Wikinews:Audio Wikinews/Transcripts/June 10, 2005
Audio Wikinews transcript – 2005 06 10 – 0300 UTC
As reported by Nicholas Gerda
June 10, 2005. This is Wikinews.
Thousands of Rwandan refugees living in overcrowded Burundi transit centre
There are over 5,000 Rwandan refugees living in a Burundi transit centre designed to hold 800, according to the UNHCR. The refugees, who were fleeing Rwanda's Gacaca courts, were forced to move from their previous border site because authorities tore it down.
"The move was the result of a decision last week by the Rwandan and Burundian authorities to group all the asylum seekers in one site to make it easier for them to ensure their safety and conduct an information campaign to try to convince the asylum seekers to return home," a UNHCR press release reported.
The UNHCR is working to improve conditions at the camp, however it will take a couple of weeks before the situation improves.
The asylum seekers began fleeing Rwanda for Burundi in early April. Their main concern was the Gacaca courts that are investigating war crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. However, the UNHCR is also reporting that some asylum seekers "... said they were fleeing threats, intimidation, persecution and rumours of revenge and bloodshed."
The courts were set up three years ago, however so far their time has been taken up with trial runs. There are 10,000 courts across the country, and they are expected to take eight years to process all accused. Regular courts would have taken up to 100 years. The judges are untrained citizens elected by their peers, and questions have been raised about the fairness of the courts.
The Rwandan government accused the UNHCR of exaggerating the size of the refugee problem, and thus causing more people to flee. They put the figure at just over 2,000.
The UNHCR is "exaggerating the number of refugees which later caused fear and made more others to flee the country," a government minister said.
First tropical storm of 2005 season forms in the Atlantic
Tropical Storm Arlene, the first named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, formed as Tropical Depression One on Wednesday in the northwestern Caribbean. At 8 am Eastern Time on Thursday, it strengthened to tropical storm status. The storm is forecast to track north over the western tip of Cuba and eventually make landfall over the Gulf Coast of the United States.
The government of the Cayman Islands has issued a tropical storm warning for that country, and the Cuban government has issued a tropical storm warning for western Cuba from Pinar del Rio to Havana. A tropical storm warning is also in effect for the Dry Tortugas.
Tropical Storm Arlene is already affecting Cuba with heavy rainfall and gusty winds. Heavy rain fall is already moving onshore well in advance of the center. Heavy rainfall, accompanied by brief gusty winds, will gradually spread across western and central Cuba; and into extreme southern Florida, especially the Florida Keys. Total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches, with maximum amounts of up to 15 inches in the highlands, are possible in Cuba. 3 to 5 inches of rain is expected over the Florida Keys.
Some coastal flooding is possible on the southern coast of western Cuba.
As of 8 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, it was moving northward at 8 mph (13 km/h) with maximum sustained wind speeds of 40 mph (65 km/h), with gusts at higher speeds. It is expected to strengthen and gradually increase its speed of motion, with a turn toward the north-northwest expected on Friday. Tropical force winds extend outward up to 140 miles to the north and east of the center. Minimal central pressure just reported by an air force reserve reconnaissance plane was 1001 millibars, which is 29.56 inches of pressure.
The current location of the center of the storm is 20.4° N, 84.2° W, which is about 110 miles south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba. The next National Hurricane Center advisory will be issued at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
Arlene is the most commonly used name for Atlantic tropical cyclones, having now been used nine times.
30 travelers from Rwanda die in Ugandan bus crash
A bus collision with a truck in Uganda has resulted in at least 30 fatalities and has left a further 21 injured. The bus, which was heading for Nairobi in Kenya, crashed in the Kabale district of Uganda near the Rwandan border. Of the 30 fatalities, 25 died instantly upon impact whilst the remaining 5 died later in hospital.
"There were 20 survivors, the majority of them are in critical condition," said Cyprian Gatete, Rwanda's assistant commissioner of police, during a telephone conversation with Reuters.
The survivors of the accident were initially taken to Kabale Hospital in Uganda, but were later flown back to hospitals in Rwanda. It remains to be seen what exactly caused the accident, however South African news source Independent Online is reporting that a Rwandan reporter on the scene speculated that the bus seemed to have swerved into oncoming traffic.
Half of Ugandan Presidential convoy blocked at Uganda-Rwanda border
More than half of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's convoy was prevented from entering Rwanda on Thursday. The President was travelling to Kigali to hand over the chairmanship of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to Rwandan president Paul Kagame.
Rwandan officials have been quoted as saying that the Ugandan convoy violated rules on the number of guns they are allowed to carry across the border. Uganda has blamed the incident solely on Rwanda, arguing that the situation could have been resolved with much less controversy.
"What happened at the border was the sole responsibility of the Rwandese officials involved. If there had been extra guns, why could they not be left on the border for later collection and allow the vehicles to continue?" said a statement from Uganda's foreign ministry.
"The guns could even have been returned to Uganda, it is only 200 meters away. The body guards normally travel with guns even incommercial [sic] airlines. You surrender the guns to the pilots. They, then, give them to you on arrival," it added.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, is a free trade area stretching from Egypt to Namibia. It was formed in December 1994.
Relations between Uganda and Rwanda have been improving over the last few years, however recently the situation has deteriorated.
Wikipedia Current Events
- President Faure Gnassingbé names Edem Kodjo the new Prime Minister of Togo.
- The United States drops its objections to another term by Mohamed ElBaradei as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency after he meets with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
- The ruling party of Ethiopia blames an opposition party after police kill at least 22 people in demonstrations against alleged fraud in last month's general elections.
- Opposition candidate László Sólyom wins the Hungarian presidency by a 185-182 victory over Katalin Szili in the Hungarian parliament.
- The Zimbabwean government dismisses rumours that President Robert Mugabe has died of a heart attack after he checks into a hospital.
Today in History provided by Wikipedia
June 10 is the National holiday of Portugal is observed. Camões, who wrote the national epic The Lusiads, died on this day in 1580.
- 1190 - Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in a river in Anatolia while leading an army to Jerusalem.
- 1829 - Oxford beat Cambridge in the first Boat Race.
- 1864 - Confederates defeated a much larger Union force at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads.
- 1935 - Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio. This is the traditional date of the first day of sobriety of the co-founder of AA, Dr. Bob Smith.
Today's fact provided by Wikipedia
Cherrapunji, India is the wettest place in the world
Thank you for joining us for today's segment. Join us again tomorrow for more headlines, news, facts, and anniversaries.
I'm Nicholas Gerda.
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