Talks end as food crisis hits Rwanda

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The Independent Online
Kigali (Reuter) - Warring parties in Rwanda ended ceasefire talks yesterday with no progress towards a truce, and the rebel commander said he would fight on. Aid workers said many of the more than a million people uprooted by massacres and civil war could die unless supplies of food, water and medicine reach them soon.

The only plane which has been flying into Kigali arrived yesterday with no food supplies for the 8,000 refugees trapped on both sides of the divided capital. The last time food was brought in was on a C-130 transport plane on Monday. 'The bottom line is that if it doesn't come soon, a lot of people are going to die,' said Gerry McCarthy of Unicef, the UN children's fund.

Following talks between the army and the rebels, evacuations are due to resume today for the first time since a Senegalese UN officer was killed by a rebel mortar blast on Tuesday.

But the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (PFP) said the army had not replied to its demands that the government should end the massacres and halt radio broadcasts urging mass killings. 'Our aim was to go into ceasefire talks but then these obstacles came up,' the UN deputy commander, Brigadier- General Henry Anyidoho, said. He said he expected the two sides to meet again soon.

Colonel Frank Mugambage of the RPF denied government accusations that the rebels were backed by Uganda and included Ugandan fighters, saying: 'We are capable of fighting and we will continue to fight with or without anybody's assistance.'

Doctors at the International Committee of the Red Cross hospital in the government-held city centre said they admitted at least 40 people, including 10 soldiers and 10 children with shrapnel wounds. Rwandan government radio broadcast a special appeal yesterday calling on people to save the capital. It accused some members of the security forces of fleeing the city and urged government officials to return.