OCTOBER 14, 1994

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council on Friday blamed Hutu politicians, soldiers and militiamen for preventing tens of thousands of Rwandans from leaving refugee camps in Zaire and returning home.

About 500,000 Rwandans, mostly members of the minority Tutsi tribe, were killed in ethnic massacres in Rwanda earlier this year. About 1 million refugees in Zaire, most of them Hutus, have refused to return out of fear of revenge killings by the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, now in power.

Exiled Hutus loyal to the former government have accused the front of carrying out reprisals against Hutus. U.N. officials who investigated the reports say the allegations are part of a propaganda campaign waged by murderers in exile.

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said in a report on a recent U.N. mission to Zaire that "it was agreed with Zairian authorities that the only effective way of ensuring safety of refugees and their freedom to exercise their right to return to Rwanda would be the separation" of Hutu political and military personnel from regular refugees.

The Security Council didn't act on the idea, which would require major financial and logistical support and security.

The report said about 50 political leaders and their families were in the refugee camps in Zaire, which house about 1 million people.

Another 16,000 soldiers are in camps with their families, raising the total to 80,000. An unknown number of militia also have mingled with ordinary refugees.

One problem with the separation proposal is that many people inciting trouble in the camps are accompanied by innocent family members. Separating leaders and soldiers from their families would be controversial under international guidelines for treatment of refugees.

In a non-binding resolution, the Security Council said it "deplores the continuing acts of intimidation and violence within the refugee camps which are designed to prevent the refugee population there from returning home."

The council requested another report from Boutros-Ghali on the issue of camp security and the proposal to separate refugees. It also asked the neighboring countries of Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi to ensure that their territories are not used to destabilize the Rwandan situation.