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Greater Protection From Hutus Promised

Thu., Jan. 23, 1997

Rwandan and U.N. officials promised Wednesday to do more to protect citizens and aid workers, after weeks of violence that have killed more than 110 people.

A shadowy Hutu militant group, People in Arms to Liberate Rwanda, said attacks would continue unless foreigners “get out of the way” of the armed fight against the Rwandan army.

Northwestern Rwanda has become the scene of increasing bloodshed by Hutu insurgents bent on destabilizing the Tutsi-led government that came to power in 1994, ending massacres that killed a half-million Tutsis.

U.N. monitors said gunmen killed 20 unarmed civilians Monday in Ruhengeri prefecture, 60 miles northwest of the capital, Kigali. State-run Radio Rwanda put the death toll at more than 30.

U.N. security sources said Hutu insurgents killed at least 30 people last week in Rushashi district, 25 miles northwest of Kigali - apparently to stop them from testifying against people accused in the 1994 genocide.

Marie Van Der Elst, spokeswoman for the regional U.N. human rights office, said monitors were looking into those killings.

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