Refugees Fleeing Unrest in Congo

Placed in Two Burundian Camps

RUGOMBO, Burundi -- More than 22,000 Congolese refugees fleeing fighting in eastern Congo have crossed the border into Burundi in the past week, a local official said Wednesday.

The refugees have been put into two camps in Cibitoke and Rugombo, two towns near the border. Refugees were separated because of tensions between tribes in eastern Congo, said Onespohore Nduwumwami, mayor of Rugombo, a small town 28 miles northwest of the capital, Bujumbura.

"It is very difficult for us to handle this situation now, particularly with this situation of suspicion prevailing," Nduwumwami said.

Renegade troops led by Brig. Gen. Laurent Nkunda and Col. Jules Mutebutsi captured Congo's eastern border town of Bukavu on June 2 to stop what they claimed were atrocities against Congolese Tutsis, a minority known as the Banyamulenge. On Tuesday, a U.N. investigation reported it found no evidence of massacres of minority ethnic Tutsis in Bukavu.

"Our neighbors were threatening us saying we are the supporters of Jules Mutebutsi, and the suspicions continue here" in Burundi, said Mathias Bahungu, 58, a Banyamulenge staying in one of the camps.


* PARIS -- French power workers cut electricity to the Eiffel Tower and President Jacques Chirac's residence in central Paris to protest the government's plans to partially privatize state utilities in an effort to raise money.

Electricity was shut down at the presidential Elysee Palace, several government ministries and the Champs Elysees avenue for about 15 minutes. Some stores evacuated shoppers. At the Eiffel Tower, tourists did not notice the outage because a backup electric plan kicked in, officials at the monument said.

The power outages affected homes and offices in western Paris. Power authorities said 52,000 clients were affected.

* BRUSSELS -- Georgia won pledges of aid worth approximately $1 billion over the next two years to help with economic reforms and to fight poverty, months after a new leadership was voted into power following a bloodless revolution.

The pledges from the United States, World Bank, European Commission, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as individual European countries, at an international donors' conference were double what Georgia said it had expected.


* KABUL, Afghanistan -- A bomb hit a car used by NATO-led peacekeepers in northern Afghanistan, killing four civilians including two children, police said.

The attack came a week after 11 Chinese workers were shot in their beds in the same province and a day after President Bush lauded Afghanistan as the "first victory in the war on terror."

* PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani forces fought off militants who attacked two military posts in a lawless tribal region near Afghanistan with rocket launchers and machine guns. One soldier and five militants were killed.

-- From News Services