The continent of Africa continued to suffer from debilitating political and civil conflict during 1996, resulting in massive flows of refugees and displaced persons. The countries most severely affected by ethnic strife and the ensuing humanitarian problems were African nations in the Great Lakes region, particularly Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi. The situation in Burundi was further complicated by a coup d’etat on 25 July, when the power-sharing Government established in 1994 was overthrown. The widespread tensions and violence in the Great Lakes region led to hundreds of thousands crossing borders between neighbouring Central African nations, particularly Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi. During the year, Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania were also affected by the turmoil. Beginning in mid-November, the significant return of refugees to Rwanda from eastern Zaire eased the humanitarian crisis to some degree. The mandate for a multinational force, authorized by the Security Council on 15 November, was terminated at year’s end because of the changed situation. Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General continued their work for the entire region.

Related Subject(s): United Nations
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