Author-card of document number 13372

Sunday April 24, 1994
Planned Rwanda peace talks collapse in Tanzania
Identifier (cote)
Public records
Dépêche d'agence
ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 24 (Reuter) - Plans for peace talks to end
civil war and tribal slaughter in Rwanda collapsed on Sunday with a
rebel leader refusing to negotiate and a government delegation failing
to arrive.

I'm leaving for Nairobi, Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)
Secretary-General Theogene Rudasingwa told reporters before walking out
of the hotel in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha where the talks
were supposed to take place.

Tanzanian officials said a Rwandan government delegation to the peace
talks, called by Tanzania and originally supposed to start on Saturday,
never arrived in Arusha and had vanished.

Even before leaving by road for the Kenyan capital, Rudasingwa insisted
he had no intention of meeting any members of a Rwandan government team
as the rebels did not recognise the government.

He said he came to Arusha only to brief Organisation of African Unity
Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim and Tanzanian officials on a RPF
declaration of a unilateral ceasefire from Monday.

Officials said Tanzanian Prime Minister John Malecela tried in vain to
persuade Rudasingwa to stay and talk with the government delegation --
whenever it managed to arrive.

The talks were called last week by Tanzania to end civil war and
massacres that have occurred since Rwanda's President Juvenal
Habyarimana was killed in a rocket attack on his plane on April 6.

The president of neighbouring Burundi died in the same plane crash.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said on Thursday he saw no
chance of a ceasefire being agreed between the RPF and government in
coming days so the U.N. Security Council voted to withdraw most U.N.
forces from Rwanda.

The RPF strongly opposes the government set up by survivors of
Habyarimana's political party and blames it for the killing of
countless thousands in tribal fighting that followed his death.

A three-man government delegation was reported to have left the
southwest Rwandan town of Gityrama, where the self-declared interim
government fled when rebels attacked the capital Kigali.

Tanzanian officials said the team had crossed the Zairean border to
Goma on Saturday. But U.N. officials said a plane sent to Zaire to
bring them to Arusha on Saturday found no one.

Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh, U.N. special representative to Rwanda, said
that as far as he was concerned there was no ceasefire -- indicating
his anger that the RPF had failed to inform the United Nations
officially of its move on Saturday.

Tanzania sponsored 11 months of negotiations between the RPF and
Rwandan government in Arusha that concluded last year with an agreement
to end three years of civil war.

Rudasingwa said the ceasefire would take effect without conditions but
would not be sustained unless terms were met, including the ending of
all killings by government forces and militias within 96 hours.

Human rights workers estimate 100,000 people have been killed and two
million displaced this month -- most of them opposition party
supporters and members of Rwanda's minority Tutsi clan.

(c) Reuters Limited 1994

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