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War and Peace


Angola's former rebel group UNITA on November 11said it was disappointed by an announcement that the Joint Commission, the body overseeing the country's peace process, would disband next week. UNITA said there were no guarantees the government would follow through with an agreement to reintegrate tens of thousands of its ex-combatants.

"The Joint Commission provided us [UNITA] with a forum to discuss the country's many problems. Without it, it will be difficult to sustain this dialogue with the government. While the government has plans to reintegrate UNITA soldiers into society, these are just plans. What about the practicalities behind this," UNITA spokesman Marcial Dachala said. Some 80,000 former rebel soldiers and more than 350,000 members of their families have been settled in 42 camps in the country, which the government plans to close by December. (Source: IRIN)


Despite the uncertainty hanging over the Burundi peace process, the talks facilitator, South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, said on 8 November that he was "pleased with the progress" made so far. In a communique issued on 8 November, a day after the end of the latest round of ceasefire negotiations in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, he said agreement had been reached on "a number of substantial issues".

These included implementation of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes, as well as demining and destruction of excess weapons. Among other issues agreed on were reform, the establishment of the new armed forces, selection and training of soldiers and the leadership core, matters concerning prisoners of war, and a mechanism to implement the ceasefire agreement. (Source: IRIN)

Cote d' Ivoire

A workshop aimed at equipping refugees with skills in peace-building and possible conflict prevention opened on 11 November in Cote d'Ivoire's commercial capital, Abidjan.

The 30 participants included Central Africans, Congolese (DRC), Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Togolese. They came from camps in Abidjan, where refugees have been accommodated following the destruction of shanty towns on the order of the authorities.

"The workshop is to help enhance peace and particularly help them know how to live together despite their different nationalities so as to minimize and prevent possible conflict amongst them," a facilitator told IRIN. It covers communication skills, collaboration, listening and understanding and in general, empathy. The workshop was organised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Service d'Aide et d'Assistance aux Refugies et Apatrides (SAARA) a governmental organisation that deals with refugee issues. (Source: IRIN)

Cote d' Ivoire

The death of the brother of a senior member of Cote d'Ivoire's rebel Mouvement patriotique de Cote d'Ivoire (MPCI) cast a shadow over talks between the rebels and a delegation designated by the Ivorian government, prompting the insurgents to suspend the negotiations last weekend. Benoit Dacourey-Tabley, a medical doctor, was found dead on 8 November in Abidjan, one day after he was taken from his clinic in the Ivorian commercial capital by men in police uniforms. On 6 November, his elder brother Louis Dakoury-Tabley, a former national coordinator of President Laurent Gbagbo's ruling Front Populaire Ivorien (FPI), announced that he had joined the MPCI. (Source: IRIN)

DR Congo

Access to at least 900,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains "impossible", according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Of this total, some 500,000 IDPs are in the Ituri District, fleeing ongoing fighting between the Lendu and Hema communities.

The number of IDPs was expected to rise as instability was continuing in the region, the international relief NGO, World Vision, reported on early this month. The group reported that many of these IDPs were leading "wretched lives" in camps, churches, warehouses and with relatives in a string of towns along a 200-km stretch between Bunia and Beni.

Most of the IDPs are living in Eringeti, 50 km north of Beni, with others in Mayi-Moya, Mbau, Mavivi, Ngadi, Mutwanga and Beni, according to World Vision. They need food, clean water, shelter, medicine, clothing, blankets, kitchenware and utensils.


At least 336 people were displaced by last week's communal clashes between the Konkomba and Nawuri ethnic groups at Kitare in Nkwanta district in the eastern Volta region of Ghana, the district coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Bernard Mensah said. Briefing the Volta regional security committee who were assessing the situation on 2 November, Mensah said 226 of the displaced persons had been registered at Nkwanta and 110 at Nyambong. Five people were killed and several others wounded.

He said the incident was characterised by shooting, looting and destruction of property including foodstuff worth several millions of cedis.

A number of arrests had been made and the Volta regional minister, Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, who is also the chairman regional security committee, directed that the suspects be transferred to Ho, the regional capital, to be prosecuted in courts for conspiracy to murder, murder and causing damage. (Source: IRIN)


Amnesty International early this month appealed to the Liberian government to release a leading human rights activist, Aloysius Toe, who was arrested and charged with treason.

"Toe has done nothing but work legitimately for the defense of fundamental human rights in Liberia," Amnesty International said. "There is no basis to the charge against him and he must be immediately and unconditionally released."

Toe is a member of the National Human Rights Center, Secretary General of the Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders and Executive Director of the Movement for the Defense of Human Rights (MODHAR). Amnesty said he was the latest "in a long line of human rights defenders to be imprisoned as the Liberian government persists in attempting to silence its critics".

"He was arrested after he emerged from almost a week in hiding. In the early hours of 29 October, his home was raided by police and his wife, Vivian, was arrested. She was released later the same day. The authorities announced that Toe was wanted in connection with documents found in his home which, they alleged, linked him to the armed opposition Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD)," Amnesty said.


Judge Erik Mose of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda extended by 21 days the period of the provisional detention of a genocide suspect, Tharcisse Renzaho. The period will now expire on 19 November. The prosecuting attorney, Cire Ba, had requested the extension at the end of the 30-day provisional detention period on 29 October, saying that it was "impossible to file the indictment and supporting material earlier", the tribunal reported. In addition, he said, the statements of two witnesses qualified as "important" during the hearing were missing from the material supporting the indictment.

Renzaho was arrested on 29 September in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and transferred the same day to the tribunal's detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania. He is being held in connection with his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, during which he was governor of Kigali. Under the tribunal's rules, a suspect may only be provisionally detained for a maximum of 30 days starting from the day of the suspect's transfer to the detention facility. The prosecution is supposed to issue an indictment before the end of this period.

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