RWANDAN REFUGEES STREAM HOME : HUMAN DISASTER APPEARS AVERTED; FATE OF WORLD MISSION UP IN AIR.Byline: James C. McKinley Jr. The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees streamed homeward home·ward
adv. & adj.
Toward or at home.
homewards adv. from eastern Zaire on Friday, appearing to break a military and political deadlock that had threatened to cause a human catastrophe on a grand scale.
The sudden exodus of refugees began after Zairian rebels routed ethnic Hutu militias that had prevented the refugees from returning home for nearly two years. The refugees began pouring out of the sprawling camp just as the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , Canada and other nations were preparing to send troops to rescue more than 1 million refugees cut off from food and water by fighting. That mission is now in question.
The departing refugees choked the main road to Rwanda all the way to the border, nine miles Nine Miles is a reggae "band" started by Yoshiaki Manabe (真鍋吉明) of The Pillows. The name Nine Miles comes from the name of the town in which Bob Marley grew up in Jamaica.
The mass of ragged people marched with bundles on their heads past skeletons and rotting corpses of people killed in battle, past the rude fortifications This is a list of fortifications past and present, a fortification being a major physical defensive structure often composed of a more or less wall-connected series of forts. the Hutu guerrillas had erected, through the town of Goma and over the border.
They came carrying everything they owned - machetes, pots, umbrellas, sheeting, mats, guitars, water cans, burlap sacks full of tattered tat·tered
1. Torn into shreds; ragged.
2. Having ragged clothes; dressed in tatters.
a. Shabby or dilapidated.
b. Disordered or disrupted. clothes. They wore the worried looks of people who had lived for weeks with fear and gunfire.
After two years of exile and fear, of living in makeshift huts on a volcanic plain that was never fit for human habitation HABITATION, civil law. It was the right of a person to live in the house of another without prejudice to the property.
2. It differed from a usufruct in this, that the usufructuary might have applied the house to any purpose, as, a store or manufactory; whereas , many expressed joy at what they considered signs of the end of the ethnic war that caused them to flee in April 1994. Many said they had wanted to return to Rwanda for over a year, but that the Hutu guerrilla forces based in the camps, known as the interahamwe, had prevented them, using intimidation and propaganda.
``We have been kept as hostages for two years,'' Wenceslas Gakwaya, 61, said. ``It was just good luck for us to escape from the interahamwe this morning,'' he said, referring to the outcome of the battle.
The exodus left the future of the proposed military intervention The deliberate act of a nation or a group of nations to introduce its military forces into the course of an existing controversy. up in the air. The mission of the international force was to set up safe corridors and urge the refugees to return home, using food and medicine as an enticement. But the rebels appeared to have accomplished that on their own Friday, although they denied having timed their attack to force the refugees home before the international troops arrived.
The timing also revived questions about Rwanda's role in the Zairian rebellion. Though Rwanda denies it, Zaire has accused Rwanda's Tutsi-led army of backing the Zairian Tutsi rebels in an effort to close down the refugee camps and destroy the Hutu guerrillas.
Pouring over the border at a rate of more than 70 a minute, the refugees were directed by U.N. workers to an empty refugee camp just inside Rwanda. By evening, when a hard rain began to fall, there were more than 30,000 people crowded into the camp, said Ray Wilkinson Ray Wilkinson (b. April 14, 1925 in Lombard, IL, USA d. December 4, 2004 in Raleigh, NC) was a long time agricultural news anchor and reporter for Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, NC. , a U.N. spokesman. At least 500,000 others were believed to be on the road in Zaire.
``The impasse has been broken, and these people are moving in the right direction,'' Wilkinson said. ``It wasn't the ideal way to break the problem, like this, but it has been cracked.''
The exodus did not represent a final resolution of the crisis, however, since hundreds of thousands of refugees remain unaccounted for An inclusive term (not a casualty status) applicable to personnel whose person or remains are not recovered or otherwise accounted for following hostile action. Commonly used when referring to personnel who are killed in action and whose bodies are not recovered. .
The Mugunga camp held about 400,000 refugees before aid workers were evacuated e·vac·u·ate
v. e·vac·u·at·ed, e·vac·u·at·ing, e·vac·u·ates
a. To empty or remove the contents of.
b. To create a vacuum in.
2. two weeks ago. There were another 300,000 from other camps north of Goma who fled into nearby forests and were headed for the Mugunga camp. It is not known how many arrived.
There are also about 490,000 refugees from the towns of Bukavu and Uvira, 150 miles to the south, who are still scattered through the countryside south of Lake Kivu Noun 1. Lake Kivu - a lake in the mountains of central Africa between Congo and Rwanda
Belgian Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zaire - a republic in central Africa; achieved independence from Belgium in 1960 . After nearly a month without aid, they are believed to have little means of getting food and clean water.
It also remains to be seen if the U.N. refugee agency and the Rwandan government can move the refugees through the border camp before sanitation becomes a problem. U.N. plans for repatriating refugees call for only 12,000 people a day, but hundreds of thousands are likely to arrive in the coming days.
Rwanda issued a statement saying it would no longer support the international intervention plan. Laurent Desire Kabila, the commander of the Zairian rebels, who have close ties to Rwanda, told journalists Friday afternoon that he saw no more need for foreign troops.