Views and news on peace, justice and reconciliation in Africa





Some 307 genocide suspects freed from a jail in central Rwanda during a raid by Hutu rebels early this month turned themselves in to the Rwandan authorities. Some of the prisoners, who were among 570 freed in the December 3 attack on the prison in Bulinga, Gitarama Prefecture, were quoted by the Rwandan news agency (RNA) as saying they had been forced to follow their "liberators" into the bush.


Police arrested a Protestant clergyman for allegedly making defamatory remarks about President Laurent-Desire Kabila. Reverend Theodore Ngoy was arrested at his Gombe parish in central Kinshasa after he said at a regional seminar that the Kabila government was making the "same mistakes" as the one it ousted.


Burundi and Eritrea signed a cooperation agreement at the end of a two-day visit by Eritrean Foreign Minister Haile Woldentensae.The accord covers the areas of transport of goods and people, trade and university education.

Sierra Leone

Reports said an agreement had been reached on the monitoring of disarmament process in the country.


Deteriorating security conditions in northern Niger have caused two non-governmental organisations to partially suspend operations in the Agadez area. An NGO driver was wounded in the area when armed men tried to hijack an agency vehicle. A CARE project manager's house was also robbed at gunpoint before thieves made off in a vehicle stolen from the compound.


The civil servant's union called for a three-day strike saying the implementation of the World Bank-brokered Structural Adjustment Programme was hurting the workers. It marked the fourth such action by major unions in the last two months.


Angola and Congo-Brazzaville signed a cooperation agreement on security along the border. Angolan Interior Minister Santana Andre Pitra Petroff and his Congolese counterpart Pierre Oba signed the agreement which also includes training of the Congo-Brazzaville police. Angolan government officials said the army and the police were gearing up for an offensive against separatists still holding out in the oi-rich enclave of Cabinda.


US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met Sudanese opposition and rebel leaders in Kampala and announced that Washington would isolate Khartoum's leaders. Albright, in Uganda during an African tour held talks with the head of the rebel SPLA, John Garang, and three other leaders in the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which linked up with Garang in 1995. The meeting was the first between a US government representative and the SPLA and also the first at such a senior level between Washington and the exiled opposition.

South Africa

A major political storm erupted in South Africa following the decision on November 28 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to grant amnesty to 42 people, among them Deputy president Thabo Mbeki, five cabinet ministers and Trevor Tutu, son of the commission's chairman, Archbishop Tutu.
In a statement, the body probing human rights abuses during the apartheid era said it had granted amnesty to 37 members of the ruling African NAtional Congress (ANC) and to five white rightwingers. It named the cabinet ministers as Justice Minister Dullah Omar, Defence Minister Joe Modise, Transport Minister Mac Maharaj, Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo and Environment Minister Pallo Jordan. Many leaders in the government of President Nelson Mandela applied for amnesty for the various roles played in the 30-year guerilla war against the former white minority government.


Chadian rebels attacked and overran a small town in the south of the country killing at least seven civilians, some of whom were burned alive, the Chadian state radio reported.


With less than three years to go before the world ushers in the third millenium, Catholics both in Africa and other parts of the world are actively reporting on preparatory activities by the church, leading to the Great Pastoral Jubilee celebrations, scheduled for the end of this century, the year 2000.


A team of Congolese military commanders visit the war-torn Uganda Congo-border region inpreparation for a major offensive against the Allied Democratic Front rebels.
Speaking to residents of Bundibudyo in western Uganda, the Congolese visitors promised to join Ugandans in an operation against the ADF.


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