Rwanda: December 24, 1999


A Rwandan government source says Hutu guerrillas attacked a Tutsi camp in northwest Rwanda and killed over 30 people. The government claims this is the first Hutu extremist attack in 18 months. One report said the Hutus came from a base in the Virunga volcano region. Western press sources say the Hutus also wounded a large number of people, though no figure for the wounded is available. That same report said a number of the dead were killed with machete slashes --a grim reminder of the 1994 genocide.

December 24; South African President Mandela has been named as the new mediator for the Burundian Civil War, replacing Tanzanian President Nyerere, who died of Leukemia in October. Mandela had resisted the appointment, insisting that he wanted to retire from public life. --Stephen V Cole

December 17; In Burundi, government troops killed 27 Hutu rebels 20 kilometers south of the capital.

December 16; The UN released a secret report of how they dealt with the 1994 mass murder in Rwanda. The UN admitted that it's people in Rwanda had reported the coming slaughter, but that senior UN officials had not acted promptly. The main reason, which the UN was reluctant to admit, was that the UN is staffed by diplomats, not soldiers. Even with the warning, it is unlikely that the UN would have been able to muster sufficient military force in time to halt the killings. Attempts to set up a standing military force for the UN is difficult, because so many UN members see themselves as potentially on the receiving end of such intervention. December 15; The murderers of two UN workers killed in October in Burundi have been identified as being members of the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), the military arm of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD). The CNDD is the main Hutu rebel organization in Burundi.

December 12; Several sources report that the Rwandan military is training military officers to serve as treasury officials inside rebel areas of the Congo controlled by Rwanda and its Congolese allies. The officials would "monitor receipts" inside "liberated territories."

December 6; Zimbabwe and Rwanda are discussing how to arrange a ceasefire between their troops in the Congo. Zimbabwe backs the government and Rwanda one of the rebel factions in that civil war.

December 5; Peace talks between the government and Hutu rebel groups are being negotiated. February is seen as a target date for actual negotiations to begin.


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