Zaire’s President Mobutu Sese Seko pledged Tuesday to bar Rwandan Hutus from using refugee camps in Zaire to launch attacks against their homeland’s new government.
“Zaire will never be the base for the re-conquest of another land,” Mobuto told a news conference in the western resort of Bad Kreuznach.
Soldiers of Rwanda’s former Hutu army continue to rearm and reorganize in Zaire, which has done nothing to stop the activity despite assurances to the Rwandan government.
In a report released Monday, Human Rights Watch-Africa said there are 50,000 Rwandan fighters in 12 camps in eastern Zaire. It said they have rearmed with the help of Zaire, France and South Africa.
U.N. officials in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, say the Hutus have already carried out cross-border attacks into Rwanda. Most of the forays amount to banditry.
About 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were killed last year by the Hutu army before it was defeated by Tutsi-led rebels who formed the new government.