NOVEMBER 14, 1994

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- A leading relief organization announced Monday it would leave Rwandan refugee camps in eastern Zaire because of poor security there.

Doctors Without Borders said soldiers loyal to Rwanda's ousted Hutu government were policing the camps and brutalizing refugees who want to return to Rwanda through "intimidation, arrest or assassination."

In a statement issued in London, the group said Hutu militiamen had threatened and in some cases arrested its volunteers as well as volunteers from other private aid groups, which do most of the work in the camps.

The statement did not say when Doctors Without Borders would leave Zaire.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said last week he plans to propose sending troops to restore order in the camps and try to persuade the more than 1.2 million Rwandans living there to return home.

Other private aid agencies have recently threatened to pull out of the camps, which are now controlled by extremist Hutus and soldiers suspected of committing the worst massacres in Rwanda. Some 500,000 people -- mostly minority Tutsis -- were killed between April and July, when the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front won Rwanda's civil war.

Hutu militias consider those who want to return traitors, since the Tutsi-led rebels now control Rwanda's government.

Last month international aid workers left one refugee camp, home to 270,000 Rwandan Hutus, for five days after more than 200 Hutus took control of it and threatened staff members.

The organizations decided to go back after refugee leaders agreed to conditions to ensure the security of foreign workers, but warned that further crises could precipitate a total departure of the aid organizations.