European diplomats appealed to the presidents of Congo and Rwanda Sunday to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as an estimated 250,000 refugees from around the city of Goma remained out of reach of aid. Rebels led by Gen. Laurent Nkunda have sought to assure those who fled that they may return. But rain and the lack of food, water, and shelter were making conditions miserable. The Congolese and Rwandan presidents appeared cool to any intervention by troops other than the UN peacekeepers who already are unable to provide security. But they've agreed to talks on the matter this week in Nairobi, Kenya.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Survivors of last week's earthquake in southwestern Pakistan pleaded for insulated tents Sunday, saying that continuing aftershocks make returning to their houses too risky. Red Cross officials said villages in Baluchistan Province that haven't been helped are still being discovered. They appealed for $8 million in emergency funds to buy tents, since nighttime temperatures are dipping below freezing.
Exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand addressed tens of thousands of supporters in a Bangkok stadium Saturday night by telephone and said he can't return as long as he remains subject to a prison sentence. The event was the biggest response so far to the ongoing antigovernment protests by Thaksin's opponents in the People's Alliance for Democracy, who accuse him of corruption.
Acting President Rupiah Banda was declared the winner of last week's election in Zambia and was sworn in as soldiers guarded against potential unrest. The Electoral Commission said Banda, who was vice president until Levy Mwanawasa died in August, won 40.1 percent of the vote, versus 38.1 percent for opposition leader Michael Sata. Sata refused to accept the outcome and will demand a recount, his Popular Front Party said.