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DATE=8/24/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N-H-C-R - CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE (L UPDATE) NUMBER=2-253080 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= /// EDS: This report updates CR 2-253073, changes in intro and kills graph six of text /// VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nations Refugee Agency, U-N-H-C-R, says it is bracing for a possible heavy influx of refugees from Congo-Brazzaville into neighboring Gabon. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the agency is sending additional staff to its office in Tchibanga and plans to open an additional office in Gabon (in Franceville) in anticipation of the heavier refugee load. TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency reports the number of refugees in Gabon has not grown significantly since the first groups of Congolese crossed into the country in early July. An estimated 20-thousand refugees are currently in the capital, Libreville, and scattered in other parts of the country. But U-N-H-C-R Spokesman Paul Stromberg says his agency has received information that tens of thousands of other Congolese are waiting out the fighting in the dense forest on both sides of the border. He says refugees who have entered Gabon have told aid workers they have witnessed atrocities committed against civilians by the militias fighting the national army. /// STROMBERG ACT /// We don't have that much information right now from the groups that have moved into Gabon simply because so many of them are still in hiding. But, many of the people who have made their way and who we've been able to interview in Gabon have said that they've witnessed killings at roadblocks, that children have been forced to kill their parents. We have no idea of the scope of this yet. /// END ACT /// Mr. Stromberg says the refugees all say horrible crimes have been committed against civilians. They say the rebel soldiers are committing these acts to intimidate civilians and to control their movements as part of a tactic in their fight against the government. The U-N is planning to send two freight containers of emergency relief supplies to Gabon by the end of the month from its West African stocks. (Signed) NEB/LS/JWH/KL 24-Aug-1999 12:18 PM EDT (24-Aug-1999 1618 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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