News and Views on Africa from Africa
Last update: 1 July 2022 h. 10:44
Subscribe to our RSS feed
RSS logo

Latest news


War and Peace


Some 12,000 civilians have fled their homes in Burundi's western province of Bujumbura Rural following the latest fighting between the army and fighters loyal to rebel leader Agathon Rwasa, Governor Ignace Ntawembarira said on November 12.

"These people fled their homes in the last one-and-a-half weeks and are now gathered at the [southern] commune of Mutambu near the hydroelectric dam of Mugere," he said. Others have sought refuge in nearby villages.

The latest fighting in the province brings to at least 60,000 the number of people displaced since fighting in September between Rwasa's Force nationales de liberation (FNL) and the Burundian army, and between the FNL and the country's largest rebel movement, the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces nationales pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD) faction led by Pierre Nkurunziza.

Ntawembarira said that at least 40,000 people who fled fighting in September between the CNDD-FDD and the FNl were in the northern commune of Mubimbi. These people have not returned to their homes but they are regularly receiving food assistance from the UN World Food Programme. (Source: IRIN)

Cote d Ivoire

Rebels occupying the north of Cote d'Ivoire sent out mixed signals on November 12 about how they intended to proceed following the failure of a West African summit to achieve a breakthrough in the country's deadlocked peace process.

Louis-Andre Dakoury-Tabley, the deputy leader of the rebel movement, officially known as "The New Forces," said in a speech that nothing more could be expected of the French-brokered peace agreement signed in January and the rebels might consider establishing a separate state in the area under their control.

However, an official statement issued at the end of a three-day Economic and Social Forum in the rebel capital Bouake, said: "The New Forces reiterate their total and unconditional adherence to the Marcoussis agreement."

Dakoury-Tabley said in a speech to the closing session of the forum, that the meeting of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo with six other West African heads of state in the Ghanaian capital Accra on November 11 had been a failure, because Gbagbo had refused to make any of the concessions that the other leaders had demanded of him. (Source: IRIN)


Ethiopia appealed on November 12 for more help to overcome the potentially lethal effects of its estimated 2 million landmines. The Ethiopian Mine Action Office (EMAO) is seeking US $19 million over the next three years to combat the threat.

Ethiopia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world the legacy of successive conflicts over the last 70 years that have ravaged the Horn of Africa. And the scale of landmine contamination in Ethiopia is enormous. Under current plans, the government believes it will take two decades to rid the country of landmines. The funding would support victims of landmine blasts and help with a mine-risk education programme for 500,000 people.

EMAO is looking to boost activities along its northern border to clear mines left over from its bitter two-year conflict with Eritrea. Mine clearance began after a bilateral peace deal was signed in December 2000, but casualties particularly among shepherd boys regularly occur. Currently four companies are clearing mines in the northern Tigray and Afar regions.

EMAO is now seeking to engage the services of two additional companies to work in manual mine clearance, as well as funding for three specialized dog teams, seven rapid response teams and mechanical flailing machines.

Aid agencies have warned that landmines are still hampering attempts to move home families who fled during the bloody conflict. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has said families still fear the potential threat from residual landmines. "Many of these war displaced are unlikely to fully reintegrate into their communities and attain self-sufficiency unless the frontier is demarcated, their lands demined and security ensured," NRC said. (Source: IRIN)


Relief agencies resumed plying the road to Liberia's second city Buchanan on November 12 after a shootout between former government fighters and rebels on November 11 forced them to suspend activities for 24 hours.

The UN World Food Program said in a situation report on November 11 that it had temporarily suspended road transport to Buchanan, a port city 120 km southeast of the capital Monrovia, pending "further information and improvement insecurity situation".

However Abou Moussa, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Liberia, told a news conference in Monrovia on November 12 that the situation had been brought under control. Relief workers, he added, had resumed work.

"The information we have received so far indicates that the incident in Buchanan was more of a scare. There was shooting in the air [but] that has not and will not disrupt our activities there," Moussa said.

A commander of the rebel Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), which controls the area around Buchanan, said that the shootout occurred along the Monrovia-Buchanan highway, not far from Roberts international airport, at a village called Compound Number One. (Source: IRIN)


The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, on a visit to Sudan, said on Novenber 11 his agency was making plans for the return of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees, should a peace agreement be signed as expected before the end of this year. The agency warned that the operation would be one of the "most challenging" of recent times.

"Once the peace process is concluded, then the real work starts for us," Lubbers said. "UNHCR is looking at how to support the peace agreement once it is signed and is trying to ensure that we are ready to move once this has happened."

Lubbers was in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on the third leg of a four-nation Africa tour that has already taken him to Tanzania and Burundi. In Khartoum, he discussed the prospects for repatriating Sudanese refugees with President Umar Hassan al-Bashir, and on November 12 was due to travel to southern Sudan to meet Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) leader John Garang.

According to a UNHCR statement, Lubbers was "closely watching" progress in the peace talks, currently in recess and due to reopen on 30 November in Naivasha, Kenya. "The last mile in the peace talks should not take too long," Lubbers said.

Sudan's 20-year conflict has displaced an estimated 4 million people internally, with another 570,000 Sudanese living in neighbouring states as refugees. The bulk of these refugees [about 223,000] live in Uganda, followed by Ethiopia [88,000] and Kenya [69,000m], UNHCR said.

Bashir told Lubbers he was hopeful that the much-awaited peace agreement between the Khartoum government and the SPLM/A would be signed before the end of the year, and would allow for the return of the millions of Sudanese displaced within and outside the country, the UNHCR statement added.

Muhammad Ahmad Dirdeiry, the Sudanese deputy ambassador in Nairobi, said on November 12 it was "encouraging to hear that UNHCR was ready to carry out such a large task". He said that the signing of the agreement would be followed by a six-year transition period, during which both Sudanese parties were expected to "work out modalities" of the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced people. (Source: IRIN)

Contact the editor by clicking here Editor