STARVING HUTU REFUGEES COME OUT OF HIDING.Byline: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
Thousands of Rwandan Hutu refugees emerged from hiding in the jungles of eastern Zaire on Monday, their hunger more powerful than their fear of the mobs that drove them from squalid squal·id
1. Dirty and wretched, as from poverty or lack of care. See Synonyms at dirty.
2. Morally repulsive; sordid: "the squalid atmosphere of intrigue, betrayal, and counterbetrayal" camps a week ago.
Aid workers estimated seeing 5,000 to 10,000 refugees, frightened, exhausted and desperate for food, heading toward an abandoned camp at Biaro, south of Kisangani. Until Monday, international officials could account for only a few hundred of the at least 80,000 missing refugees.
U.N. workers struggled to bring in tons of food for the Rwandans, while U.N. officials argued for the refugees' immediate airlift back to Rwanda - something Zaire's rebels have blocked repeatedly.
``This is the only way. These people have to go home,'' said Filippo Grandi of the U.N. refugee agency.
``If I could go only today,'' refugee Sosthene Ntirampaga said as he emerged from a week of hiding and wandered into the camp.
Refugee camps housing about 80,000 Rwandans near Kisangani were found deserted last week, five days after rebels fighting to oust oust
tr.v. oust·ed, oust·ing, ousts
1. To eject from a position or place; force out: "the American Revolution, which ousted the English" Virginia S. Eifert. President Mobutu Sese Seko Mobutu Sese Seko (mōb`tō sā`sā sā`kō), 1930–97, president of Zaïre (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). sealed the area to foreign aid workers and journalists.
The refugees are among 1 million Rwandan Hutus who fled into Zaire to escape retaliation RETALIATION. The act by which a nation or individual treats another in the same manner that the latter has treated them. For example, if a nation should lay a very heavy tariff on American goods, the United States would be justified in return in laying heavy duties on the manufactures and for the nation's 1994 genocide of a half-million Tutsis. Most have returned; the Rwandans who remained in central Zaire camps increasingly were at odds with local Zairians and rebels, many of them Zairian Tutsis.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson This article or section contains information about one or more candidates in an upcoming or ongoing election.
Content may change as the election approaches. , flew to Zaire on Monday to talk with Mobutu and rebel leader Laurent Kabila about ending their 7-month-old war. Kabila's forces have overrun more than half of Zaire in their battle to topple Mobutu.
Richardson said in the capital, Kinshasa, that he would try to improve refugees' conditions: ``There have been reports of human rights abuse and massacres - this must end.''