U.S. Water News Online
GISENYI, Rwanda -- About 1 million Rwandan Hutu refugees in Zaire are in desperate need of food and water, according to U.N. workers who report that many refugees have died of thirst in eastern Zaire. Others survived by sucking water from roots.
The refugees have fled camps in eastern Zaire to escape fighting between Zairian army troops and rebels. France has asked the U.N. Security Council to authorize a multinational security force to protect the refugees there.
U.N. officials have planned a meeting to discuss how an international force could be put into place to secure routes for food distribution and the return or refugees to Rwanda. The Tutsi-dominated Rwandan government has given assurances that Hutu refugees have nothing to fear.
The Rwandan Hutus fled their country when a Tutsi-controlled government took power in 1994, ending a Hutu-led massacre that killed a half-million Rwandans, most of them Tutsis.
The 15-nation European Union said it would pressure the U.N. Security Council to approve plans to secure military protection for aid and return corridors from Zaire, but failed to agree which EU member-state should send troops.
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