Rwanda Engulfed in Week Of Ethnic Warfare
KIGALI, the capital of Rwanda, echoed from the sound of mortar and heavy machine-gun exchanges on April 14 between government troops and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi rebel force that is advancing from the north.
The city was filled with men armed with machetes, clubs, hatchets, and spears. Six days of ethnic warfare has killed an estimated 20,000 people, and the streets of Kigali were littered with the bodies of people killed in the violence.
Fears mounted that the entire country could become engulfed in fighting between the majority Hutu ethnic group and the minority Tutsi. In the countryside, smoke from burned-out villages wafted over the lush green hills that once earned Rwanda the nickname ``The Switzerland of Africa.''
The RPF said it would not agree to a truce the United Nations has been attempting to broker for days. ``We have not signed any cease-fire agreement and we don't intend to,'' said Christine Omutoni and Bosco Butera, members of the rebel group's political bureau in Uganda. They do not recognize the provisional government appointed on April 8.
The interim government was reported on April 12 to have fled a Kigali hotel where it had been staying. The British Broadcasting Corporation said the group left in a convoy for an unknown destination, prompting further panic in Kigali.
The country's political parties have been unable to agree on who would serve in the government following the turmoil that has convulsed Rwanda since the presidents of Rwanda and neighboring Burundi died in a plane crash on April 6. The cause of the crash has not been confirmed, but earlier reports said the plane was hit in a rocket attack.
United States officials said all of the 250 Americans, mostly missionaries and aid workers, who wanted to leave Rwanda had been evacuated by April 10, along with hundreds of French, Belgians, and other expatriates. US asks Turkey to protect embassy
THE US embassy in Ankara has asked Turkey for better protection after an attack on its premises April 10 by Islamic militants, a Turkish foreign ministry official said on April 12.
Thousands of Muslim extremists demonstrated in Ankara, Istanbul, and other big cities in protest against Serbian attacks on the Muslim town of Gorazde in Bosnia. Protesters in Ankara stoned UN and US missions. A group entered the embassy compound, smashed windows, and hung a Turkish flag on the door.
The demonstrations followed exaggerated reports by private television stations that thousands of Muslims had died in Gorazde from Serbian chemical attacks. MIA remains sent home from Vietnam
THE US military on April 12 sent home nine more sets of remains believed to be those of servicemen killed in the Vietnam War and said Vietnamese cooperation in the search for US war dead had improved since the economic embargo was lifted.
Nine wooden boxes of fragments - five discovered by joint US-Vietnamese search teams at crash and burial sites and four handed in by Vietnamese villagers - were placed in metal caskets and loaded into a US Air Force plane. The remains will be flown to Hawaii, where military forensic and dental experts will examine them to try to make a positive identification.
They were turned up by eight teams that investigated more than 60 MIA cases and excavated 12 burial or crash sites during the most recent search, which ended on March 22. The search was the first since President Clinton lifted the 30-year-old US economic embargo against Hanoi in early February. Lt. Col. John Cray, head of the Hanoi detachment of the Hawaii-based US Joint Task Force Full Accounting Office, said 606 sets of remains had been returned to the US since the end of the war.