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November 04, 1996 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Refugees flee to escape soldiers

The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 4, 1996 - 7A

U.Mass of refugees
move north in Zaire as
Tutsis advance
GISENYI, Rwanda (AP) - In the
adow of towering Mount Nyiragongo
volcano, a seemingly endless line of
refugees trudged north yesterday from
the, Zairian city of Goma to escape
advancing Tutsi rebels and their
Rwandan allies.
From a hillside across the border in
Rwanda, it was impossible to see a
beginning or end to the stream of peo-
ple heading past the once teeming
Kibumba refugee camp in the valley
Elow. Hundreds of thousands more
refugees were fleeing west, deeper into
Zaire, where aid will be hard to find.
A Rwandan guard at the dirt track
border post, 20 miles north of Gisenyi,
refused to allow reporters to cross into
eastern Zaire, where Tutsi rebels backed
by the Tutsi-led Rwandan army have
been routing Zairian troops.
The camp below, the guard muttered,
as filled with dead Zairian soldiers and
( terhamwe, the Rwandan Hutu militia-
men who fled to Zaire after massacring
500,000 Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. His
claim was impossible to verify.
The refugees, clutching bundles of
meager belongings, headed up the val-
ley road past the volcano toward the
refugee camp at Katale, 25 miles far-
ther north, and to the town of Rutshuru,
10 miles beyond.

There were rumors Rutshuru had
fallen to the Tutsi rebels. If true, the
refugees may try to join 20,000 others
who already have crossed into Uganda,
still farther north.
The fighting between the Tutsi rebels
and Zairian troops that flared last month
and continued yesterday on the western
edge of Goma, has scattered more than
1 million refugees. The last internation-
al aid workers left Goma on Saturday,
leaving the displaced masses with bare-
ly a week's
rations and
no medical Unless i
The U.N. the refuges
high com-
missioner nny woms
for refugees
appealed to children ,,,
the warring to W
parties yes- toale.~
terday to
allow aid
shipments U.N. Commiss
through and
to cease attacking refugees.
"Unless we reach the refugees soon,
many women and children, the elderly,
the sick and the wounded are going to
die," Sadako Ogata said in a statement
from Geneva.
The refugees, she said, are moving
toward some of the most inhospitable
and inaccessible areas in Zaire. The far-
ther west they go, the more difficult it
will be for relief workers to reach them,

she said.
The French government said
European countries were preparing to
send in food, water purification kits and
antibiotics to stave off cholera and
malaria epidemics, prefabricated shel-
ters and other aid.
There is no easy way to get aid in.
The region's humanitarian lifeline,
Goma airport, was closed by fighting
and believed to be in rebel hands.

A plane with Italianz
w'e reach
es soon,
on and
are going
- Sadaka Ogata
sioner for Refugees
authorities ordered then

aid has been on
standby for
days, wait-
ing for the
airport to
reopen and a
break in
fighting, the
Italian for-
eign min-
istry said.
Zaire's Tutsi
rose up after
m off land they

Rwanda denies its troops have
crossed into Zaire to help the rebels, but
soldiers wearing Rwandan uniforms
have been spotted in Goma and else-
A group of Rwandan soldiers and
armed men in civilian clothes who
appeared to be Tutsi rebels drove out of
a track of forest yesterday from the
Zairian side of the border crossing
above Kibumba camp.
Rwandan army spokesman Maj.
Emmanuel Ndahiro dismissed the
sightings, saying "Those are not our
uniforms. Anybody can buy them."
Apart from occasional rifle fire,
Goma appeared quiet, the rebels appar-
ently consolidating control. From
across the border in Gisenyi, men in
civilian clothes could be seen in the
streets; a large building was burning.
Rwandan border guards refused to
allow journalists into Goma, the capital
of North Kivu province, claiming it was
too dangerous.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve the cri-
sis include a summit Tuesday of African
leaders in the Kenyan capital of
Nairobi. But with Zaire and Rwanda
refusing to participate and neighboring
Burundi not invited, the meeting has lit-
tle chance of success.
The fighting risks destabilizing the
whole of Zaire and could spread to other
nations in Africa's Great Lakes region.
Zaire's military commander blamed
the government Saturday for not acting

have held for generations. Tutsis came
under attack from Zairian military,
Rwandan Hutu militias, and local
Zairian gangs..
They struck back with startling mili-
tary efficiency, driving Zairian forces
from much of the border provinces of
North and South Kivu. Many of the
Tutsi rebels are believed to have once
served or received training in Rwanda's

Let it snow
Mark Adams and Jonathan Adams put the finishing touches on what could
possibly be the season's first snowman in Leelanau County near Traverse
City on Saturday.


lections in Madagascar favor ex-leader


Island nation poised to elect
controversial former dictator
Los Angeles Times f
AMBOHIBAO, Madagascar - Laurette
soatinanga was overjoyed to see her two younger
brothers again.
As a brass band blared, she and scores of her neigh-
bors wrapped them in expensive new robes, daubed
them with pungent perfume, slaughtered an ox in their
honor and spent the day happily hugging and dancing
with the enshrouded bones.
They gave the guests a final, shoulder-borne
parade as twilight fell. Then the two brothers'
skeletons - and those of 38 other deceased vil-
lagers given similar tribute - were quickly
sealed inside the concrete tomb where they have
in since their deaths long ago.
Dancing with the dead is a common custom in
Madagascar. It is also an apt analogy for this country's
current political prognosis.
By most accounts, Didier Ratsiraka, the military
dictator who ruled and ruined this impoverished island
nation in the Indian Ocean from 1975 until 1993, is
expected to regain power after yesterday's presidential
election. The top two contenders will face a run-off if
none of the 15 candidates wins a majority.
,Ratsiraka's first reign was a disaster. Per capita
income fell by half. Literacy rates plummeted. Infant
mortality rocketed.
His closest ally, and ostensible model of economic
and social development, was the late Kim I Sung's
tyrannical Communist regime in North Korea.

"The Western countries abandoned me as if I was
the devil, a dictator, the worst dictator in the world,"
Ratsiraka said in an interview. "But the people have
forgiven me."
The deposed despot's current chances reflect
Madagascar's woes. His elected successor and
chief rival in the current race, Albert Zafy, resigned
as president on Oct. 10. He had been impeached by
Parliament for abuse of power amid charges that
his bankrupt government was enmeshed in scandal.
Unable to borrow money on international markets,
the government had turned to a shady collection of
foreign con men and fraud
artists. Bizarre proposals w ere c s e t i p n l a___
considered to import nuc ear
waste from the United States The W
and to build a $5-billion solar r
energy system in one of the co nre
world's poorest countries. e as
High finance became low if I

The Texas rancher, who had offered $500 million,
was later jailed by U.S. authorities for tax evasion. The
Canary Islands group was never identified.
The governor of Madagascar's Central Bank signed
promissory notes for $2 billion, or half the national
debt, in one deal. When news leaked, the prime minis-
ter claimed that the signature was forged and warned
investors against buying the debt. Both officials were
later dismissed.
And in 1994, the government sent $3.2 million
to a Swiss bank account for a consortium alleged-
ly headed by a prince from Liechtenstein. The
group promised to aid
development. It also
pledged to repay the cash.
stern It did neither.

Come and enjo
India's Festival of Lights
in our
November 6, 1996
8:00 P.M.
Stockwell Blue Lounge
Prasadam will be served
Sponsored by Hindu Students Council
) Michigan Chapter


was the

The dubious deals fright-
ened legitimate investors just
as the infant democracy was
battling to overcome years of

farce. devl.
O ne letter w riter claim ed to
represent "the Board of -
Governors of the United Former
Nations of America." A group
allegedly based in Dublin mis-
spelled Ireland on its letterhead. Another tried to forge
stationery for what was supposedly a Tokyo bank.
"One address was traced to a farm in Texas," said
Prosper Youm, the International Monetary Fund rep-
resentative in Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital.
"He was a goat breeder. Another address was a whore-
house in the Canary Islands."

economic decline. Now, with
the scams apparently dead,
Didier Ratsiraka the IMF and World Bank
military dictator have signaled their intent to
approve the government's
more conventional efforts at
economic reform, including lowering tariffs and cut-
ting subsidies.
But one of the most prominent presidential hope-
fuls, Richard Andriamanjato, speaker of the
National Assembly, is campaigning on his promise
to continue seeking what he calls "parallel financ-

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