Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya to send envoys to Burundi.
By Adam Lusekelo
443 Mots
06 Avril 1994
Reuters News
(c) 1994 Reuters Limited

DAR ES SALAAM, April 6 (Reuter) - Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda agreed on Wednesday to send their foreign ministers to Burundi, the central African state ravaged by tribal slaughter, to help rebuild confidence in the government.

But after a day of talks at an African summit called to find ways to end Hutu-Tutsi tribal violence in Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda, no mention was made in a statement of Tanzanian proposals for sending a peacekeeping force.

"As neigbours and human beings we cannot be mere spectators to the carnage in Burundi," Tanzanian President Hassan Ali Mwinyi told a news conference after the summit.

Mwinyi, who called the one-day summit, said the foreign ministers would be sent to the capital of Bujumbura immediately.

In their statement, leaders resolved to support the government of Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira and called on all political and security forces to cooperate fully.

They said the central African country's leaders must not be changed and any obstruction to the government's functions would "have far-reaching consequences". They did not elaborate.

The Dar Es Salaam talks were attended by Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim and representatives of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) guerrilla group, deadlocked with Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The leaders also called for reforms to the Burundian army, dominated by the minority Tutsi and seen as largely responsible for clashes since October with the Hutu majority.

The leaders reaffirmed the role of the OAU, including the need for it to assist in restoring confidence in Burundi.

On neighbouring Rwanda, they said they were concerned at delays since December in forming transitional institutions as agreed in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha last August.

Ntaryamira said he was grateful for neighbouring countries sheltering 800,000 Burundi refugees from the tribal fighting since renegade troops killed Burundi's first Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye, on October 21 last year in a failed coup.

The United Nations says 375,000 Burundians are registered as refugees in Zaire, Rwanda and Tanzania.

"Burundi is bleeding. I am aware it hurts your economies. Still, we need your help." said Ntaryamira.

Tens of thousands of Hutus and Tutsis have been slaughtered across the tiny country in massacres and clashes since October.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday renewed the mandate for peacekeeping forces for Rwanda for four months but threatened to pull them out unless the Arusha peace agreements were honoured.

Nearly a million Rwandese had been driven from their homes and at least half a million people are in danger of starvation.

(c) Reuters Limited 1994

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