Aid workers flee as Zairean rebels seize key town
Nairobi - Zairean rebels yesterday seized the eastern town of Kindu and foreign aid workers fled a major eastern refugee camp for fear of rebel attack, aid agency and UN sources said. Rebels said they were four miles from Tingi Tingi but were delaying an advance for the sake of refugees.
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, encouraged by France, said he hoped to persuade member-states to reconsider sending a multinational force to eastern Zaire in light of a serious humanitarian situation.
A UN source said the rebels captured Kindu and its airport on Thursday but in Kinshasa a defence ministry official said Kindu, a transport hub and base for operations in the war zone, remained in army hands. The UN source added that all 2,000 Zairean troops in Kindu fled without a fight after looting the town and were heading towards the town of Katako- Kombe, 100 miles away.
Kindu had the northernmost working station on a rail line to South Africa. It also had a large airport used by the military. The aid officials said an immediate evacuation of all expatriates had been ordered from Tingi Tingi, 160 miles north-east of Kindu, after camp leaders were warned that the camp would be attacked by another rebel force last night.
Aid workers said Zairean troop reinforcements and mercenaries arrived from the city of Kisangani in Tingi Tingi, backed by warplanes and helicopter gunships. Tingi Tingi has some 170,000 Rwandan and Burundian refugees who fled earlier rebel advances. Meanwhile, Laurent Kabila, the rebel leader, was reported to have returned from exploratory peace talks in South Africa and headed for his headquarters in Goma. Some 500 Rwandan Hutus, including officers of the former Hutu Rwandan army, have escaped to Kenya from Tingi Tingi in the last two weeks by air at a cost of pounds 500 seat, Hutu sources said.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: PM says plane's communications 'deliberately disabled' as police raid pilots' homes
Friends in high places: Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s smoked pot with
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood after Reeva Steenkamp shooting shown in court
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: New radar evidence suggests missing plane may have been hijacked
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...