Prevent Genocide International 

News Monitor for April 1 - 15, 2005 (Last updated 12 April 2005)
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

Current Month, Jan 31, 2005 Feb 14, 2005 Feb 28, 2005 Mar 15, 2005 Mar 31, 2005 Apr 15, 2005
Search News Monitors - Past Years: 2004  2003  2002  2001
For abbreviated news sources (ie: AP, BBC) see below
. Use Find (Ctrl+F) to search this webpage.
For larger text: on your browser's "View" menu, point to "Text Size" and click the size you want.
Also see the weekly Peace Negotiations Watch (since Sept. 2002),
the monthly CrisisWatch (since Sept. 2003) and
United Nations - Geneva (UNOG) News

AfricaAmericas Asia-PacificEurope

Global - Focus on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Freedom House 31 Mar 2005 www.freedomhouse.org PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael Goldfarb 917-353-5408 (Geneva mobile/dial U.S.) WORLD'S WORST REGIMES UNVEILED Several of the World's Greatest Human Rights Violators Sit on UN Human Rights Panel GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 31, 2005 -- Freedom House today released its annual list of the world's most repressive regimes at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Six are members of the UN body, charged with monitoring and condemning human rights violations. The report, "The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2005," includes detailed summations of the dire human rights situations in Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Haiti, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Chechnya, Tibet, and Western Sahara are included as territories under Russian, Chinese, and Moroccan jurisdictions respectively. The report is available online. Significantly, six of the eighteen most repressive governments--those of China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe--are members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), representing nearly 11 percent of the 53-member body. "Repressive governments enjoying CHR membership work in concert and have successfully subverted the Commission's mandate," said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor. "Rather than serving as the proper international forum for identifying and publicly censuring the world's most egregious human rights violators, the CHR instead protects abusers, enabling them to sit in judgment of democratic states that honor and respect the rule of law," she said. A report issued March 21 by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged that the presence of these nations on the CHR has dealt a severe blow to the UN body's credibility. Mr. Annan recommended that states elected to a reformed "Human Rights Council" be chosen based on their compliance with the "highest human rights standards." "The Secretary General's recommendation is welcome: the solution to restoring the UN human rights panel's credibility lies in the establishment of strict membership criteria," said Ms. Windsor. "In the short-term, however, it is incumbent upon the CHR's democratic member states to work together as an effective bloc that upholds the Commission's mandate by strengthening and promoting human rights and democracy." An additional nine countries Freedom House rates as "Not Free" enjoy membership on the Commission: Bhutan, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Swaziland, and Togo. Together, "Not Free" countries comprise just over one quarter of the Commission's membership. A breakdown by Freedom House ranking of CHR members available online. The "Worst of the Worst" report is excerpted from Freedom House's forthcoming annual global survey, Freedom in the World 2005. The countries deemed the most repressive earn some of the worst numerical ratings according to the survey's methodology, which measures the state of political rights and civil liberties worldwide, and classifies countries as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free. Freedom House is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations.

Prensa Latina 1 Apr 2005 www.plenglish.com Cuba Denounces US Attempt to Control Commission on Human Rights Geneva, Apr 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced here Thursday US manoeuvres and proposals aimed to control the UN Commission on Human Rights Commission (UNCHR), and considered Washington´s attempt to become the tutor of the so-called Community of Democracies a fraud. The acting representative of the Cuban delegation, Rodolfo Reyes, asserted that President George W. Bush´s government is now insisting on transferring its criminal electoral and political practices to the works of this forum. In this respect he said the US delegation seeks to consolidate a lobby at the service of their interests, made up by several countries under the title of Community of Democracies. "Is it possible to build a Community of Democracies under the aegis of the country that represents the main threat to liberty, peace, democracy, human rights and the sustainable development of the world?" asked the diplomat of the full meeting. The Cuban delegate criticized the proposals distributed by the US regarding the reforms to the CHR. He emphasized the US commission is trying to eliminate the socio-humanitarian Commission on Human Rights, "of universal composition and where the States´ sovereign equality prevails", from the General Assembly By this method, he pointed out, its purpose is to get it far from the Economic and Social Council and with it the value of the economic, social and cultural rights Washington now questions. He launched a savage attack on the US recommendation for the elaboration of a Code of Conduct for the membership, stressing that the one who proposes those measures is the same that does not permit the CHR rapporteurs to visit the international centers of torture in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Reyes also called the current Republican administration hypocritical in claiming to fight against terrorism in the world while it provides protection to groups that practice it with impunity against Cuba from Miami. At the same time, the US arbitrarily imprisons Five Cubans who were working to neutralize the sort of criminal activities that have caused over three thousands death to the Cuban people. The Cuban representative opened the list of speakers from many countries who will speak on political and civil rights issues over the final week. Hundreds of non governmental organizations who have been actively working in areas addressed by the agenda are also waiting to speak. See Council for a Community of Democracies A leading advocate of the Community of Democracies movement www.ccd21.org

BBC 7 Apr 2005 Annan says rights body harming UN Kofi Annan has proposed sweeping reforms of the United Nations UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has accused the UN Human Rights Commission of failing to uphold human rights and said a new, permanent body is needed. Speaking in Geneva, Mr Annan said the commission was undermining the credibility of the entire UN. Human rights groups say the body's member nations are too concerned with protecting their national interests. Current members include Sudan, Zimbabwe, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia - all accused of rights abuses. Unless we re-make our human rights machinery, we may be unable to renew public confidence in the United Nations itself Kofi Annan "We have reached a point at which the commission's declining credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system," Mr Annan said as he addressed the commission's annual six-week session at its Swiss headquarters. "Unless we re-make our human rights machinery, we may be unable to renew public confidence in the United Nations itself," he said. Greater status As part of his programme of UN reforms, Mr Annan wants to create a smaller Human Rights Council, whose members must uphold the highest human rights standards. Mr Annan said the UN needs the new council if it is to prevent appalling suffering occurring around the world. He said the council must be more accountable and more representative. It would, he explained, allow for a more comprehensive and objective approach, which, in turn, would produce more effective assistance. "The main intergovernmental body concerned with human rights should have a status, authority and capability," Mr Annan said. Sudan controversy The commission was launched in 1946 to uphold human rights worldwide, and has 53 members. Libya chaired the commission in 2003, despite opposition from the US and human rights groups. In his annual address last year, Mr Annan warned that the conflict in Sudan's province of Darfur bore worrying similarities to the Rwandan genocide. The commission had before it strong evidence of atrocities being committed in Darfur and of the Sudanese government's involvement in them, but no resolution was passed condemning Sudan. Instead, Sudan was elected to the commission for another year. There is talk of a resolution this year, but the countries drafting it include Sudan itself and Zimbabwe, also in the spotlight for human rights violations. Activists also want the commission to condemn the US for its treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.



ICRC 29 Mar 2005 ICRC News 05/26 Cameroon: Pan-African course on international humanitarian law The ICRC held a pan-African course on international humanitarian law in Yaoundé between 14 and 25 March. This seminar – the second of its kind – brought together around 40 French-speaking lawyers with an interest in the incorporation of IHL into their domestic legislation or in the teaching of this branch of law at universities and similar institutions in a dozen of Africa’s French-speaking countries. The course had two aims: to promote IHL as a separate subject at universities and educational institutions that prepare students for careers as diplomats, administrators or judges, and to encourage countries to incorporate IHL into their domestic legislation. Subjects included the application of international humanitarian law to peace-keeping operations, the relationship between human rights and IHL and the protection of different categories of victim during armed conflict. The participants also discussed how the conduct of hostilities could be regulated in contemporary conflicts. The ICRC’s regional delegation for central Africa has been based in Yaoundé since 1992. It undertakes a range of humanitarian activities in the region, specializing in the promotion of IHL among the armed forces and civil society.

DR Congo See Rwanda

AP 4 Apr 2005 Leader of Hutu rebel group agrees to cooperate with criminal court for Rwanda's 1994 genocide AP A Rwandan rebel leader operating in eastern Congo said Monday his group would cooperate with an international court prosecuting people accused of the 1994 genocide in his country. Ignace Murwanashyaka, president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, denied his Hutu group was involved in the killings of some 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus, but said it was willing to collaborate with officials from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a U.N. court based in Tanzania. "This is not to say that we are genocidaires or that we accept everything people say about us," Murwanashyaka said by telephone from Rome. "If there are suspected genocidaires among us, they must surrender." Since it was set up in November 1994, the court has convicted 21 people and acquitted three. He spoke after his group announced in Rome last week that it would end its decade-long armed struggle against Rwanda and return home from eastern Congo, following talks with Congo's government organized by the Sant'Egidio Community, a Catholic group that mediates world conflicts. Murwanashyaka said his group, better known by its French acronym FDLR, would transform from ragged rebels lurking in the forests of eastern Congo to a legitimate political party. Hutu rebels fled into eastern Congo following the bloody 100-day pogrom ordered in 1994 by Rwanda's extremist Hutu government. The killing stopped only after Tutsi rebels - led by current Rwandan President Paul Kagame - pushed the killers out of the country. The announcement by the Hutu rebels could possibly halt nearly a decade of war and viciousness that has plagued Congo in the wake of the genocide. Rwanda invaded Congo to hunt down the rebels twice, in 1996 and 1998, sparking a devastating five-year war in Congo that sucked in six African nations and killed nearly 4 million people, aid groups say. In December, Rwanda threatened to invade a third time, and Congo sent thousands of soldiers to the border in a tense face-off. The United Nations estimates about 10,000 Hutu rebels remain in Congo, but it is not clear how many fall under any central command. Until last week, few in Rwanda or Congo had even heard of Murwanashyaka. One Hutu rebel commander in eastern Congo, Augustin Nsabimana, indicated his fighters would obey him. "Some of our combatants on the ground accused the political headquarters of badly negotiating our return to Rwanda," said Nsabimana, reached on a cellular telephone at his base in Lubero, 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Goma. "But because the military branch wouldn't have political support if we continued on, we finally joined their position." Rwandan officials say the Hutu rebels may have buckled under severe pressure from U.N. peacekeepers, who recently began aggressively dealing with thousands of Congolese militia. The United Nations gave them until last week to surrender their weapons or confront the full force of their mission, and followed up the threat Saturday with an hours-long battle in which they said they killed 18 militiamen at a camp where hundreds refused to disarm. So far, more than 8,000 militia have surrendered their weapons in northeast Ituri province, in a campaign U.N. peacekeepers plan to pursue with the Hutu rebels. Tim Reid, leader of the U.N. disarmament program in Bukavu, said U.N. peacekeepers were waiting for negotiations in Rome to end before making any formal plans. "They're telling us they'll go home as a group," Reid said by telephone. "We'll have to wait to decide what to do with those who decide not to go home." Associated Press writers Bryan Mealer in Kinshasa and Jack Kahora in Goma contributed to this report.

i-newswire.com Suppressed Evidence in Security Council Reports on Darfur and Congo Another scandal is taking place at the UN Security Council. Two member nations are exploring allegations that the UN Security Council covered up the fact that the most recently released report by the UN Experts on the Congo contained misreprentations and false accussations. i-Newswire, 2005-04-04 - PERMISSION GRANTED BY WILLIAM CHURCH TO REPRINT IN WHOLE OR PART@COPYRIGHT 2005 Suppressed Evidence in Security Council Reports on Darfur and Congo On the heels of sex abuse and corruption scandals, an internal United Nations report charges the United Nations contributed to the destabilization of the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( DRC ). The consultant involved in the investigation alleges the Sanctions Committee allowed the publication of a UN Expert Report that reported rumors as fact and contained misrepresentations and omissions of material facts to support their conclusions. In addition to the DRC, highly credible sources in the US government allege the Darfur genocide report ignored credible evidence of Sudanese government control and direction of the killings and rapes in Darfur. The internal investigation points to consistent fraudulent reporting in Security Council Expert Reports. This includes the alleged falsification of environmental scientific findings in the late 1990’s and the more recent DRC Resource Exploitation Report that charged individuals and companies with exploiting the resources of the DRC without sufficient evidence. The impact of these UN Expert Reports has been described as potentially devastating by government and human rights sources, The Eastern DRC, already a powder keg of ethic violence, has been inflamed by false reports of Rwandan government soldiers in the city of Goma, which has been the site of two other Rwandan invasions. Across the border in Rwandan refugee camps, the unsubstantiated UN report of the Rwandan government recruiting soldiers for another invasion has increased the tension between the Rwandan and DRC governments. William Church, a UN data quality consultant, claims during the review of the July 2004 DRC Expert Report and his current work on the January 2005 report the Experts made unsubstantiated charges against South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda and the Experts intentionally withheld evidence that would have cast doubt on their findings. Church also charges that the Experts falsely claimed their investigation met their Evidentiary Standards even though they had full knowledge that it was not properly supported. In the most damaging allegation, the UN Report claimed the presence of Rwandan government soldiers in Goma in eastern DRC who had been wounded during skirmishes with the DRC government. “The Group,” the UN Experts claim,” is cognizant of the presence of RDF soldiers in North Kivu. According to doctors, hospital staff and soldiers interviewed, approximately 30 Rwandan military personnel were being treated in two hospitals in Goma.” However, the UN data quality consultant reviewed the original field report of that incident and the Experts clearly state they did not interview nor investigate the soldiers. This is in direct contradiction to their UN findings which claims they interviewed the soldiers. In addition, the independent review of the Expert Report found it highly unlikely and unbelievable that the Experts did not report the presence of Rwandan soldiers inside the DRC to MONUC, the UN force in the DRC, to local military police, nor any appropriate intelligence agency for further investigation and accurate identification. This step is vital considering the consistent rumors of Rwandan soldiers in the DRC which has lead to the death of innocent civilians on the streets of Goma by angry mobs fearful of another invasion. The independent consultant alleges these false UN Expert findings are not an isolated case. The consultant examined a June 2004 report of militarization and recruitment in Rwandan refugee camps. The UN alleges the following: “Between 5 and 6 a.m. on 18 June 2004, members of the Rwandan military entered the premises of the UNHCR transit camp in Cyangugu, rounded up 30 young men and forced them into one of their trucks. Some of the young men interviewed by the Group of Experts described having been taken to a police compound and then to a Rwandan military compound, where they were asked to enter into military service on behalf of Mutebutsi’s forces inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo” Once again the independent review found the Experts withheld vital evidence and misrepresented the incident. The Experts had full knowledge that the Rwandan government was invited into the camp by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees ( UNHCR ) staff after they had reported the presence of combatants in the camp mixed with the legitimate refugees. Contrary to the scenario described by the Experts, the Rwandan military government was carrying out a screening process which is required by international law and their intent was not to recruit. In addition, the Experts give the impression that the young men were detained and only after complaints were filed were they returned to the camp. However, this is not accurate, according to an Expert investigative report filed at the time of the incident. The report states the young men were returned within hours except for two individuals who were correctly identified as combatants. This incident prompted another independent investigation by the Small Arms Survey in Geneva because reports of militarization of refugee camps sparked the mid-1990s war in the region. The report, awaiting publication, by Greg Salter interviewed the UNHCR staff and supports the view that the purpose of the Rwandan army in the camp was to separate combatants and not to recruit, as falsely stated by the UN Experts. Church states that he informed the representative of the Sanctions Committee of these misstatements and omission of facts in the Expert Report some two months prior to publication. In addition, Church and another independent consultant worked with the Experts during the editing of the final report and pointed out significant errors that were included in the report over their objections. Both consultants informed the Sanctions Committee of these problems and were assured the report would receive a proper vetting process. The governments of the United States, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and European Union have reviewed the charges by the independent consultant and have expressed support for a proper review of the Expert Report. The Rwandan government has gone on record and denied each of the charges and demonstrated that the Experts did not conduct a complete investigation and spent a very limited time in Rwanda. -30- For additional information contact: William Church wchurch@sms.intranets.com ### If you have questions regarding information in these press release contact the company listed below. Please do not contact us as we are unable to assist you with your inquiry. We disclaim any content contained in this press release. More Information William Church Arms Trade Monitor

BBC 9 Apr 2005 DR Congo's atrocious secret By Hilary Andersson BBC Africa correspondent Despite a peace deal signed two years ago to end the long-running civil war, violence is continuing in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And in the province of Ituri, Hilary Andersson finds evidence of cannibalism by some rebels. There is a part of the world where atrocities go beyond all normal bounds, where evil seems to congregate. Almost everyone who has ever worked there will know where I am talking of. The area is not very large on the map of Africa. But the region in and north of the forests of central Africa has hosted Rwanda's genocide, the massacres in Burundi, the devastation of southern Sudan, the mutilations in Uganda, and the atrocities of the north-eastern Congo. And so I had the usual feeling of dread when we flew into the area on this trip. We left the acacia-lined, sunswept plains of east Africa and, as we approached, the sky began to darken. We began to descend through black clouds that hugged the huge forests below. We landed in a ferocious rainstorm in the small town of Bunia in the north-east of the Congo. 'Hole in Africa's heart' The Congo is a vast territory, the size of western Europe. The war is not about any principle at all, violence has just moved in where there is no authority But it has been called the hole in the heart of Africa, because much of it is a giant power vacuum. In the north-east, at least seven warlords are locked in brutal scramble for personal power and control. Lots of the fighters are children. Rape is more widespread than possibly anywhere else on Earth. And the war is not about any principle at all, violence has just moved in where there is no authority. Mutilation We visited a refugee camp set in a small valley, a piece of land like a basin. Around its rims the United Nations patrolled to keep the militia out. It reminded me of the atrocities in Bosnia, where at a certain point individuals turned into human devils In an afternoon every person we spoke to, without exception, had witnessed not just killing but horrific mutilation. The children had sunken, troubled eyes. The women looked exhausted and the men were bursting with what they had to tell. Their relatives had their hearts ripped out, their heads cut off, their sexual organs removed. This, it seemed, was the standard way of killing here. Why? You want to know why? Yes there is war, but this is different. This is not just killing, or taking territory. It is deliberate mutilation on a scale that makes you reel with horror. It reminded me of the atrocities in Bosnia, where at a certain point individuals turned into human devils, bent on doing not just the worst they could but the most atrocious. Militia attack We met a woman who I will call Kavuo, not her real name. Survivors of militia attacks remain in hiding for fear of further violence To talk to her about her story we had to travel to a remote location in the jungle, where we could not be seen or heard by others. What she had to speak of is an atrocity shrouded in secrecy here, an atrocity. It is taboo to even speak of it. The events she told me about happened two years ago and hers was one of the first public testimonies of its kind. Kavuo was on the run with her husband, her four children and three other couples. They had spent the night in a hut, and got up in the morning to keep moving. But they had barely left the hut when six militia men accosted them. Kavuo and the women were ordered to lie with their faces on the ground. The militia ordered Kavuo's husband and the other men to collect firewood. Then the women were told to say goodbye to their husbands. They obeyed. The militia then began to kill the men one by one. Kavuo's husband was third. Her testimony is that the militia men lit a fire and put an old oil drum, cut into two, on the flames. I will omit other details. But Kavuo says the militia cooked her husbands parts in the drums and ate them. Beliefs perverted Those who have studied the region say cannibalism has a history there but as a specific animist ritual, carried out only in exceptional circumstances. Fighters told us that those who carry out such acts believe it makes them stronger What has happened now is that the war has turned Congo's society upside-down. Warlords are exploiting this, and perverting existing beliefs for their own ends. Fighters told us that those who carry out such acts believe it makes them stronger. Some believe they are literally taking spiritual power from their victims. That once they have eaten, they have the power of the enemy. These atrocities are also designed to instil utter fear into the enemy. Anarchy It is estimated that four million people have died in the Congo as a result of the long running war. That is truly staggering. It is more than those killed by Cambodia's Pol Pot and more than those killed in Rwanda. Most people have died of hunger and disease that the violence has left in its wake. Kavuo lost four of her children to illness and malnutrition even before her husband was killed. Now she lives in a remote village in the forest, and cannot afford to look after her surviving children. If this is her story, imagine how many others are like it and the numbers begin to make a horrifying sort of sense. As we flew out of the Congo, I could see the vast forests below, thick with trees, infested with malaria, and barely accessible. A huge area that few outsiders venture into an area where evils happen that are rarely reported. The blood red sunsets, the streaks of black clouds a weird sort of echo. Anarchy is not just a word. In the north-eastern Congo we saw its reality. What is happening there is proof of the scale of devastation that chaos can invite, and of the terrifying human capacity for unleashing deliberate evil on the innocent.


Independent Online ZA 2 Apr 2005 www.iol.co.za Ethiopian court jails five for 'massacre' April 02 2005 at 06:24PM Addis Ababa - An Ethiopian court has sentenced five people to up to 14 years in prison for the ethnically-motivated murder of 28 people in western Gambella region, state media said on Saturday. The five convicted of the July 2002 massacre of Nuer refugees from south Sudan had committed the killings "with an intent to eliminate all Nuers", the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted the federal high court as saying. "The five accused stopped a passenger vehicle on its way to Funido refugee camp, ordered 28 Nuer refugees from south Sudan out and brutally murdered them by slashing them with pangas (machetes) and shooting them," the court said. One of those convicted was a former policeman, ENA said. Five others detained on suspicion of involvement in the massacre were set free for lack of evidence, the agency said. The Nuer are southern Sudan's second-largest ethnic group. Their presence in Gambella has caused strife for the past several years. Nuer native to Ethiopia and members of the Anuak ethnic group have also traditionally fought over land in Gambella, west of Addis Ababa. Violent clashes broke out in December 2003, killing an estimated 1 100 people over three months. The government has charged six soldiers with involvement in the bloodshed. Opposition and human rights groups have accused the military of murdering and raping hundreds of Anuaks during the violence. Addis Ababa has denied the charges, saying the military was only involved in restoring order.


New Era (Windhoek) 8 Apr 2005 Where Were the Damaras in the German Genocide? Windhoek IN an effort to get all Namibians of Damara origin involved in the national discussion on the impact the German genocide had on them, the Damara Culture and Heritage Forum (DCHF) plans to hold a meeting on this issue next week Tuesday in Windhoek. Chairperson of the DCHF, Rosa Namises, told New Era that the purpose of the meeting would not only be to focus on how Damara-speaking Namibians were affected in the German genocide, but also to restore the many misconceptions about the historical origin of this group of people. "We realised that there's a lot of distortions in our history, identity and culture as Damaras. Therefore, we realised it has become vital for these people to know the culture and language," explained Namises. The motive of the up-coming discussion is also to develop a possible information curriculum for schools on this topic. With regard to the German genocide talks especially during the course of last year, Namibians of Damara origin were left out of this discussion. "We were also part and parcel of the slave trade and genocide committed by the Germans. Therefore, it is important to ask what was the role of the Damara people in this regard?" The Damara Culture and Heritage Forum was formed on January 22, 2005. The meeting will take place on April 12, at 18:30 at the Namibia Breweries Customer Care Centre in Ka-tutura, right next to the Katutura Community Hall/Central Shops.


April 9, 2005 Jim Wiwa, Nigerian Chief and Father of Dissident, Is Dead By MARGALIT FOX Jim Wiwa, a chief of the Ogoni of southern Nigeria who became a symbol of his embattled people after the execution of his son, the dissident environmentalist and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, in 1995, died on April 1 at his home in Bane, Nigeria. He was believed to have been 101. Mr. Wiwa's grandson Ken Wiwa confirmed the death. An outspoken critic of Nigeria's military government, led by Gen. Sani Abacha, and of Royal Dutch/Shell, which had operated for years in oil-rich Ogoniland, Ken Saro-Wiwa was arrested in May 1994 on charges of inciting his followers to murder and was sentenced to death after a trial his defenders said was a sham. With worldwide attention focused on the case, Mr. Wiwa pleaded with the Nigerian authorities to spare his son's life. Mr. Saro-Wiwa, then 54, and eight other Ogoni men were hanged on Nov. 10, 1995. Jim Beeson Wiwa was born in Bane in 1904. Educated in Nigeria, he worked as an interpreter and later as a forest ranger and a trader in palm oil and other goods. At his death, he was chairman of the Council of Chiefs of Bane and a patron of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, the organization founded by Mr. Saro-Wiwa. Mr. Wiwa married several times. His wife Jessica, Mr. Saro-Wiwa's mother, died in 2003. He is survived by many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Even after the death of General Abacha in 1998 and the advent of democratic rule in Nigeria the next year, Mr. Wiwa remained bitter about his son's death, and about the persistent poverty among the Ogoni. "There has been no reconciliation," he told the magazine In These Times in 2001. "There is no water, there is no electricity, there is no good school. And yet it is here where the resources of Nigeria come out, from this Ogoniland."

Rwanda see France, Tanzania

Reuters 31 Mar 2005 Rwandan Hutu Rebels Denounce 1994 Genocide Thu Mar 31, 2005 05:13 AM ET By Crispian Balmer ROME (Reuters) - A Rwandan Hutu rebel group denounced the 1994 genocide in their country and said on Thursday they would halt military operations against Rwanda to help ease the "catastrophic humanitarian" crisis in the region. A delegation representing the rebel organization, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), made the announcement in Rome after two days of talks at the Sant'Egidio religious community. The declaration was a first from Hutus rebels, accused of killing 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a spasm of violence over 100 days in 1994. "The FDLR condemn the genocide committed against Rwanda and their authors. It is committed to fight against all ideologies of ethnic hate and renews its commitment to cooperate with international justice," FDLR President Ignace Murwanashyaka told a news conference. "From this moment forward (the FDLR) announces that it is halting all offensive operations against Rwanda." A statement by the group, some of whom traveled from eastern Congo to Rome, said they recognized the "catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes" and were aware of the "incredible suffering of men, women and children in the region." "The FDLR is committed to end the armed struggle. The FDLR has decided from henceforth to transform their armed struggle into a political one." Some FDLR rebels were members of the former Rwandan army and the notorious Hutu militias, or Interahamwe, which took part in the genocide. CONTINUING TENSIONS The Hutu rebels in Congo have been at the center of continuing tensions in the vast country's eastern region where violence and disease have created a major humanitarian crisis. Their presence has also fueled instability within Congo, as it tries to rebuild after years of war, and regionally where lingering mistrust threatens to erupt into full-fledged fighting. Rwanda says the Congolese government and U.N. peacekeepers in Congo have failed to disarm the Rwandan rebels and Kigali has threatened to launch fresh cross-border raids unless something is done to neutralize them. "I think they have realized they have nowhere to go. They have seen the progress in Congo, the possibility of elections and the initial steps of the integration of the army," said Henri Boshoff, military analyst at the Johannesburg-based Institute for Security Studies. "A lot of these people had nothing to do with the genocide and just want to go home. We will have to see how the hard-core leaders on the ground react." In its statement, the FDLR said, "following further developments and assurances," it would accept voluntary disarmament and the peaceful return of its forces to Rwanda. The group did not specify what assurances it was seeking. The FDLR also called for an immediate international inquiry into "terrorism and other crimes committed in the Great Lakes region and to identify and punish those responsible." It called for Rwandan refugees to be allowed back into their country. Disarmament officials estimate there may be as many as 30,000 FDLR dependants in Congo. The Community of Sant'Egidio is a Roman Catholic movement of lay people who strive to broker peace around the world. Nicknamed "the U.N. of Trastevere" for the Rome neighborhood where it is based, Sant'Egidio scored its greatest diplomatic success in 1992 when it helped build a deal to end 16 years of civil war that killed 1 million people in Mozambique. (Additional reporting by Katie Nguyen in Nairobi, David Lewis in Kinshasa)

Guardian UK 1 Apr 2005 Hutu rebels apologise for Rwanda genocide Jeevan Vasagar in Nairobi Friday April 1, 2005 The Guardian A Rwandan Hutu rebel group offered an unprecedented apology yesterday for the 1994 genocide, announcing that it would lay down its weapons before peacefully returning home. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the main Hutu rebel group, includes the Interahamwe militia who participated in the mass murder of 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus during 100 days of violence. About 2 million Hutus fled Rwanda in the last days of the genocide, as Tutsi-led forces swept across the country. In refugee camps in the jungles of the eastern Congo, Hutu extremists rallied their followers and plotted a counter-strike to bring Rwanda back under their control. The presence of the rebel militias prompted Rwanda to invade its huge neighbour in 1996, to drive home the refugees. Large numbers of former Interahamwe, their families and other refugees fled deeper into the rainforest, vowing to keep up a guerrilla war. That led to a second Rwandan invasion in 1998, triggering a wider war which sucked in several neighbouring countries and cost an estimated 3 million lives. Yesterday, the rebel group's president, Ignace Murwanashyaka, declared an end to their struggle, marking a turning point for both Rwanda and the war-ravaged eastern Congo. "The FDLR condemn the genocide committed against Rwanda, and their authors," he said. "It is committed to fight against all ideologies of ethnic hate and renews its commitment to cooperate with international justice. "From this moment forward [the FDLR] announces that it is halting all offensive operations against Rwanda." He spoke at a press conference in Rome after talks with the Sant'Egidio religious community, a Roman Catholic group which brokered a peace deal in Mozambique in 1992. A statement by the FDLR, which has an estimated 30,000 followers in the Congo, said it recognised the "catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes" and was aware of the "incredible suffering of men, women and children in the region". The militia said it would transform its armed struggle into a political one, though this might prove impossible under a Rwandan government which tolerates little dissent. In its statement, the FDLR said it would accept disarmament and the peaceful return of its forces to Rwanda. It called for an international inquiry into "terrorism and other crimes committed in the Great Lakes region". The news will come as a relief to the Congolese government, which is struggling to rebuild a shattered country, draw former militias into a national army and hold elections later this year. "I think they have realised they have nowhere to go," a military analyst, Henri Boshoff, told Reuters news agency. "They have seen the progress in Congo, the possibility of elections and the initial steps of the integration of the army. "A lot of these people had nothing to do with the genocide and just want to go home. We will have to see how the hardcore leaders on the ground react." A spokesman for the Rwandan government said the country was ready to receive them, but no conditions could be attached to their return. The government says that any former rebels who committed genocidal crimes must face justice. Community courts, known as gacaca, have begun trying 761,000 genocide suspects.

Times UK 4 Apr 2005 'I know all about the killing. I was in the gang that killed him. I ask for forgiveness' From Jonathan Clayton in Shyogwe Rwanda aims to tackle the backlog of genocide cases with traditional justice MUHAMMED MUHIGIRA, 64, a kindly, grandfather-type figure with a greying, close-cropped beard, stood up and strode purposefully towards the long wooden desk, behind which sat seven “judges”. “I know all about the killing of Peter Twigiredute. I was in the gang that killed him. I ask for forgiveness,” he said. He recounted in detail how he and a group of other Hutu villagers in this tiny hamlet in southwestern Rwanda had set out in the early hours of April 25, 1994, to kill Peter, one of their Tutsi neighbours. Sitting on the grass around the makeshift Gacaca court, several hundred fellow villagers leant forward, straining to catch every word. Some were Tutsis who survived Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Others were fellow murderers waiting to see if their crimes are about to come to light. Others are there to join Mr Muhigira in confessing their guilt and begging forgiveness from their neighbours. Slowly, but precisely, Mr Muhigira named the other gang members. The crowd murmured loudly, prompting one of the panel of four women and three men judges to demand quiet. Mr Muhigira, nervously fingering his anorak, continued his story. “Peter’s door was locked, so we gathered grass to burn his place down, but it had rained and would not light. We kicked the door open and he ran out. Someone hacked at his leg and he fell to the ground. Then we hit him with a hammer and his brains spilled out.” Then he confessed to his role in a second murder and the burning down of another victim’s house. Then he returned to his seat. “Is that all? What happens if evidence comes up today that you killed someone else, too,” the presiding judge, a distinguished-looking woman, asked He replied: “Then they would be lying, I have confessed to everything I did.” Under the Gacaca (pronounced Ga-cha-cha) system, the accused, most of whom languished for years in hugely overcrowded prisons until last April, can stay free if the judges — who are elected by the local communities — accept that they have confessed their full role. If they are caught lying or are accused of other crimes, they are sent back to prison to finish a 30-year term. Gacaca means grass in Kinyarwandan and for centuries Gacaca courts were the traditional way of settling village disputes. The Government has revamped Gacaca justice as a means of dealing with the country’s almost 800,000 genocide suspects, more than 120,000 of whom were detained until last year in facilities designed for 15,000. It was estimated it would take 100 years for traditional courts to clear the backlog of cases. Across the country some 200,000 Inyangamugayo — people of high moral integrity — have been chosen as “judges”. They are presiding at some 9,013 village and 1,545 regional courts. The courts do not deal with Category One cases, the planners and architects of the genocide, who will still go before the state courts or the United N ations-backed international tribunal in Tanzania. More than a decade after the genocide, the latter has handed out only 23 judgments. Gacaca courts deal with the footsoldiers, those who carried out the orders of national and local leaders and constitute the vast majority of the suspects. The courts are also charged with powers of investigation to ensure that other culprits do not escape justice. Human rights organisations have expressed concern, but supporters of the process say that the confessions, along with a full account of what happened on a particular day to someone’s relative, are crucial to national reconciliation. After Mr Muhigira had finished, two villagers named as being part of the gang vehemently denied their participation. One said that he had had an injured foot and could not walk that day. To show how friendly he was to Tutsis, he said that he had agreed to look after a Tutsi villager’s cow — but then implicated himself by saying that he had walked half a mile to fetch it. Then another villager stood up and said that no one was talking about Peter’s two children, who were killed the same day. Mr Muhigira was called back to the desk. “I know they were killed, too, but I was not there then. I went back home after Peter was killed,” he said to murmuring from the crowd. The courts can take several weeks to make a decision. “I feel remorse about what I did, about what happened here. There are people who like what happened and others who regret it and I am one of those,” Mr Muhigira, who spent nine years in prison, told The Times.

UN News Service 4 Apr 2005 Partnership Unit Welcomes New Fund to Help Rwanda Genocide Survivors UN News Service (New York) NEWS April 4, 2005 Posted to the web April 4, 2005 On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda, a senior United Nations official welcomed the establishment of an international fund to help with projects to aid Rwandans with their recovery from the 1994 genocide. The International Fund for Rwanda, established by people who worked on the film "Hotel Rwanda" and by the UN Foundation (UNF), is "a very timely initiative" in light of a General Assembly resolution adopted last December that deals with assistance to survivors of the mass killings, particularly orphans, widows and victims of sexual violence, said Amir A. Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP). With collaboration of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the funds, expected to come especially from mobilized grassroots people, would support genocide survivors, especially orphans heading households, and returning refugees. It would also train doctors and nurses, replacing those who were killed or took part in the killing, establish gender-sensitive HIV/AIDS income-generating projects and support a film school in Rwanda's capital, Kigali. "It is not too late to help those who survived the Rwandan genocide and will create the country's future. This project shows the value and the power of private-public partnerships to transform countries devastated by conflict," UNF president Tim Wirth said. UNF dispenses the $1 billion gift donated to the UN in 1997 by communications tycoon Ted Turner.

BBC 5 Apr 2005 Stadium premiere for Hotel Rwanda The crowd erupted in boos and cheers during parts of the film Almost 10,000 people packed the main stadium in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday for the country's premiere of Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda. The movie tells the true story of hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina's attempts to shelter refugees and rally global help during the 1994 genocide. Mr Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, missed the screening due to illness. Survivor Anne, 46, who took shelter in the hotel, saw the film and said: "They portrayed human nature well." Hotelier Paul Rusesabagina (left) was played by actor Don Cheadle She added: "I was there. It reminds me of my family, I stayed there for a month, separated from my husband and children." Hotel Rwanda has received worldwide acclaim, culminating in three Oscar nominations in January, including one for Cheadle for best actor. Boos erupted during a scene when machetes were dumped on the ground, with cheering when Hutu extremists were killed by the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front. The screening at the Amahoro stadium came three days before the country marks the 11th anniversary of the start of the genocide, in which about 800,000 people were killed. The city's stadium is playing host to a string of new genocide movies Mr Rusesabagina's absence was officially blamed on illness, but there was speculation he stayed away because he recently claimed genocide was still going on. Belfast-born director Terry George was there. He said: "It was really important to come back here and show the movie to people in Kigali to let them see that the world is starting to get a message of what took place in 1994. "We are trying to see how we can use the emotion generated by the film to help the people of Rwanda, most especially the survivors." In January, the same stadium hosted a premiere of another genocide film, Sometimes in April, while yet another, Shooting Dogs, will be shown there later this year.

The New Times (Kigali) 8 Apr 2005 New Genocide Memorial Sites to Be Constructed By John Bayingana Ruhengeri The expected decent burial of over 130 remains of the 1994 genocide victims would lead to the construction of three more genocide memorial sites in the province. According to the coordinator of FARG, an association of genocide survivors in Ruhengeri Province, Javan Sebasore, only 138 victims in the two sectors of Kiliba and Buranga would be handed a decent burial, in an event to take place in Nyarutovu. "The district has many victims of the genocide buried in mass graves, which are scattered all over the district, while others were thrown in pit latrines. FARG has decided to give them a decent burial and as a result, three memorial sites chosen due to their strategic location on the main roads will be constructed," Sebasore explained. He cited the lack of sufficient funds as the main handicap towards the interring of the remains of the 1994 genocide and the construction of more genocide memorial sites. "Nyarutovu District has only Frw 500,000, yet the whole exercise requires about Frw 3 million."

Sudan See Netherlands

NYT 30 Mar 2005 U.N. Council Approves Penalties in Darfur By WARREN HOGE UNITED NATIONS, March 29 - The Security Council voted Tuesday to impose sanctions on individuals in the conflicted Darfur region of Sudan who commit atrocities or break cease-fire agreements. The vote was 12 to 0, with three countries - Algeria, China and Russia - abstaining. Under the resolution, all 15 countries would contribute members to a new panel that would decide who was eligible for punishment. The measure, drafted by the United States, bans travel by individuals who are deemed guilty of offenses and freezes their assets. It also forbids the Sudanese government in Khartoum from conducting offensive military flights into Darfur and from sending military equipment there without first notifying the Security Council. It did not contain an oil embargo, a step that probably would have brought a veto from China, which is a principal buyer of Sudanese oil. It was the second Sudan resolution in a week. Criticism of the Council has been rising after two months of inaction on Darfur. The other one, also written by the United States, passed Thursday and authorized a 10,715-member peacekeeping force to monitor the peace agreement in the south of Sudan and to lend assistance to the 2,000-soldier African Union force in Darfur. A third resolution, which would determine what court should handle war-crimes suspects, is scheduled for action Wednesday. The resolution, drafted by France and supported by 11 of the Council members, proposes that suspects be tried in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The United States opposes the court, and Stuart Holliday, a deputy American ambassador, declined Tuesday to say whether the United States would veto the measure. The United States suggested creating a new court for Sudanese crimes in Arusha, Tanzania, but the idea attracted little support. Nine of the 15 Council members have ratified the treaty creating the international court, and three others, Algeria, the Philippines and Russia, have signed it. The Darfur sanctions resolution said the people subject to its terms would be those who were found to "impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities." In statements by their ambassadors, the three abstaining countries said they felt that putting pressure on Sudan would be counterproductive. "You may end up complicating the situation and making it more difficult to resolve," said Andrei Denisov, the Russian ambassador. Passage of the measure brought a rebuke from Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa, the Sudanese ambassador, who complained that the real impulse had come from members of the United States Congress who he complained were beholden to "pressure groups and drum-beaters." He charged that American lawmakers knew nothing about his country and never visited or read about it, a critique that brought a rejoinder from Mr. Holliday. Saying he had not meant to make a statement, Mr. Holliday asked for the floor to "defend the honor of the United States Congress." He told Mr. Erwa that, contrary to his assertion that the lawmakers ignored his country, many of them had gone there to see the situation firsthand. The United Nations office in Khartoum reported Tuesday that the number of people displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict in Darfur had reached 2.4 million. The United Nations estimates that 180,000 people have died, but other reliable estimates place the figure at 300,000. Pro-government Arab militias, including those known as the janjaweed, have been blamed for most of the violence, including rape, murder and arson. The Security Council has been pressing the government to arrest and prosecute the militia leaders, and this week Khartoum announced that it had taken 24 people into custody on suspicion of crimes including rape and murder in Darfur.

www.forward.com NY 1 Apr 2005 Call the Massacre In Darfur by Its Name: Genocide By WILLIAM KOREY April 1, 2005 As the United Nations Security Council deliberated this week on whether to send suspected Sudanese war criminals to the International Criminal Court for atrocities committed in Darfur, one man was noticeably absent from the proceedings. Not once in the recent U.N. report on which the Security Council decision was to be based was Raphael Lemkin's name mentioned. Lemkin, a Jewish refugee who escaped from Nazi-occupied Poland in 1939, invented the term "genocide," single-handedly got the U.N. General Assembly to adopt the historic resolution branding genocide an "international crime," and played a key role in drafting and winning approval for the historic Genocide Convention. Yet the 176-page report of the U.N. commission of inquiry, carrying extensive footnotes, avoids any mention of Lemkin's classic work, "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe," in which the term "genocide" is defined for the first time. Neglected, too, are Lemkin's numerous published and unpublished articles elaborating on genocide and providing illustrative historical examples. The valuable but flawed report's ignorance of Lemkin's work goes a long way toward explaining why the U.N. commission of inquiry concluded after a three-month investigation that Sudan had "not pursued a policy of genocide." Instead, the commission argued, the reported killing by the Sudanese government and its allied Janjaweed militias of a quarter-million Darfurians and the displacement of another 2 million by the destruction of their farmland and cattle constituted "gross violations of human rights." Had the authors of the commission's report paid closer attention to the man who quite literally wrote the book on genocide, however, they would have found that the Sudanese government and the janjaweed militias clearly committed the most heinous of crimes. According to the report, what was lacking was evidence of intent to commit genocide, as required by the genocide treaty. From the commission's perspective, the systematic pattern of massive killings, expulsion and destruction did not reveal genocidal intent. This finding flies in the face of Lemkin's definition of genocide as "the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of a national group." Certainly the liquidation of the Darfurians' agricultural means of subsistence would fit Lemkin's definition. The commission of inquiry, though, found that "the destruction and burning down of villages" and "the forced displacement of civilians" could be perceived as the result of "counter-insurgency warfare" — even if they display "persecutory and discriminatory" motivation. The commission's odd legalistic arguments are at times strikingly contradictory. While the Sudanese government is exonerated from committing genocide, the report notes that "in some instances individuals, including [Sudanese] government officials, may commit acts with genocidal intent." To square this circle, the commission simply avoids taking responsibility: "Whether this was the case in Darfur, however, is a determination that only a competent court can make on a case-by-case basis." Lemkin, however, expressed no such hesitancy. In his unpublished work "History of Genocide," he cites the Roman killing of the Carthaginians and Christians, Germany's massacre of the Hereros in Africa in the early 20th century and the murder of Armenians in Turkey during World War I — all without a specific discussion of intent. His documentation and interpretation of former genocidal events were never discussed in the U.N. commission's report. While the U.N. commission of inquiry has shied away from the charge of genocide, other investigators have drawn conclusions that validate Lemkin's definition. This past September, a State Department team, together with the American Bar Association and the Coalition for International Justice, found a "consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities" conducted against Darfurians by the Sudanese government and its Janjaweed allies. That same month, former secretary of state Colin Powell testified before a Senate panel that what was happening in Darfur was indeed genocide. Powell's assertion is supported by a February report by Physicians for Human Rights, which found in its investigation that there was "substantial evidence of intentional destruction" of Darfurian livelihoods. This nongovernmental organization had no hesitancy about labeling the destruction "genocide." International law also backs Powell's charge. The Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was adopted in Rome in 1998, argues that genocide is committed when a racial, ethnic or religious group has conditions inflicted upon them that are "calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." The danger of shying away from the genocide label was brought home by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan last year, as the Darfur events were reaching a crescendo level. Annan, who as the head of U.N. peacekeeping operations during the Rwandan tragedy, knows all too well the cost of inaction, expressed profound concern about the hesitancy of governments to use the term "genocide." He bitterly complained that U.N. member states refuse to call genocide by its name in order to avoid fulfilling their obligations under the Genocide Convention. While Annan was specifically referring to the horrors perpetrated in Srebrenica and Rwanda during the 1990s, he was very much conscious of the ongoing developments in Darfur. He posed the issue more sharply later that year, while speaking at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Determined to avoid a repeat of the international community's failure in Rwanda, Annan cried out that "we must not be held back by legalistic arguments" over Darfur. Tragically, legalistic arguments continue to inhibit forceful action by the international community. As the U.N. Security Council deliberates on how to respond to the genocide in Darfur, it would do well to heed the lesson learned by the secretary general: "By the time we are certain, it may often be too late to act." William Korey is the author of the monograph "An Epitaph for Raphael Lemkin"(2002) and a half-dozen books on human rights.

www.timesonline.co.uk 2 Apr 2005 Darfur genocide trials to reach world court after US 'climbdown' From James Bone in New York THE United States has granted its first formal recognition of the International Criminal Court by agreeing to allow perpetrators of atrocities in Darfur to be brought before the new global tribunal. After two months of negotiations, Washington backed down on a threat to use its veto and abstained in a late-night vote on Thursday to refer the mass killings in the western Sudanese province to the court in The Hague. The 11-0 vote marked a victory for Europe in an ideological clash with the United States over the creation of global institutions. Washington, fearing that the court could mount politically motivated prosecutions of American soldiers and officials, had vowed not to co-operate with it. Its turnaround suggested that pragmatists in the Bush Administration had won out over hardline “neo-cons” opposed to the court, indicating that the President may take a more conciliatory line in foreign policy in his second term. It was surprising because President Bush had nominated John Bolton, a leading critic of the court, to be Washington’s next Ambassador at the UN. It was Mr Bolton who formally rescinded President Clinton’s signature on the treaty establishing the court, describing it as “the happiest moment in my government service”. Anne Patterson, the acting US Ambassador, told the Security Council: “We decided not to oppose the resolution because of the need for the international community to work together to end the climate of impunity in Darfur.” She added: “We have not dropped, and indeed continue to maintain, our longstanding and firm objections and concerns regarding the ICC.” Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, called the vote “a further step forward in the development of international justice and the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide”. Human rights groups were jubilant at what they described as an historic American climbdown. “Given the history of US opposition to the ICC, it has been very big of them to compromise and abstain on this,” James Smith, the chief executive of the Aegis Trust, which co-ordinates the newly established “Protect Darfur” campaign, said. The vote marks the first time that the Security Council has referred a case to the ICC — which otherwise would not have had jurisdiction over Sudan because it is not a party to the 1998 Rome Treaty setting up the court. Britain and France led the diplomatic campaign to force the United States — the only council member to describe the killings in Darfur as genocide — to refer the crisis to The Hague, but to secure a US abstention supporters of the court had to offer a broad exemption from prosecution for Americans on UN duty in Sudan. Up to 300,000 people have died since war broke out in Darfur in February last year. A UN inquiry has identified 51 Sudanese officials and army officers, Arab tribal leaders and rebels who could face prosecution for war crimes. Sudan complained yesterday that the ICC’s involvement would undermine peace efforts. “I believe it is unfair, ill-advised and narrow-minded,” Najeeb al-Kheir Abdul Wahab, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said. “It undermines the Government’s quest for justice in Darfur through reconciliation.” Last night Sudan’s ruling party rejected a UN resolution on sending Darfur war crime suspects to court and signalled that it would not co-operate in bringing them to trial abroad. Rebel groups in Darfur welcomed the resolution. “This is a big day for justice in our country,” said Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army

Reuters 2 Apr 2005 Sudanese President Vows to Defy U.N. Vote KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 2 -- President Omar Hassan Bashir said Saturday that Sudan would not allow any national to be tried in courts outside the country, after the U.N. Security Council voted to send those accused of war crimes to the International Criminal Court for trial. In a speech broadcast on Sudanese radio, Bashir said the Sudanese justice system was good enough to try any Sudanese for crimes and that trials had already started for crimes in Darfur. "We will never give up any Sudanese national for trial outside Sudan," he told the final meeting of the leadership council of the ruling National Congress party on Saturday. The party dominates government and parliament. The leadership council of the party made similar comments and rejected the U.N. resolution Friday. The Security Council voted late Thursday to refer alleged crimes against humanity committed during more than two years of rebellion in the remote Darfur region to the international court. The United States is opposed to the court but dropped its opposition to the resolution in return for guarantees that its citizens in Sudan would be exempt from prosecution by the court. The United States calls the Darfur violence, which has forced more than 2 million people from their homes, genocide. A U.N.-appointed commission stopped short of the U.S. declaration but said heinous crimes against humanity had taken place in Darfur, where tens of thousands have been killed in fighting, and gave a sealed list of 51 accused to the U.N. secretary general, recommending they be sent to the ICC for trial. The list includes senior government and army officials, militia leaders and some rebel and foreign army commanders. The court's prosecutor is expected to request the list and the documents gathered by the commission in the next few weeks. Neither Sudan nor the United States has ratified the treaty establishing the court.

Reuters 3 Apr 2005 Gaddafi rejects outside trials for Darfur crimes TRIPOLI, April 3 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has condemned a U.N. vote to refer Sudanese accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a blatant violation of Sudan's independence. Muammar Gaddafi "The Sudanese laws are the only ones that apply on Sudanese citizens in Sudan. Sudanese courts are the only ones entitled to try people inside Sudan," said Gaddafi, in a statement reported by state news agency Jana late on Saturday. Gaddafi enjoys strong links with Khartoum government leaders and their rebel foes in the Darfur region. The U.N. Security Council on Thursday voted 11-0 to refer alleged crimes against humanity committed during more than two years of rebellion in Darfur to the ICC. A U.N.-appointed commission said heinous crimes against humanity had taken place in Darfur where tens of thousands have been killed in fighting. It gave a sealed list of 51 accused to the U.N. Secretary-General, recommending they be sent to the ICC for trial. The list includes senior government and army officials, militia leaders and some rebel and foreign army commanders. Gaddafi said the Security Council had no right to "mingle in the internal affairs of countries". "That decision (of the U.N. Security Council) aims at fanning the conflict in Darfur and will not at all help resolve the crisis in that region," he said. "It is an affront to all Sudanese and a blatant violation of Sudan's independence," Gaddafi added.

Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) 5 Apr 2005 Thousands protest in Sudan against U.N. Darfur resolutionKhartoum (dpa) - Thousands of government supporters on Tuesday demonstrated in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum against the recent United Nations resolution on the country's war-torn Darfur region. Workers, students, professionals and members of Moslem sects handed a letter of protest to the office of the U.N. Resident Coordinator in the capital. "We the people of Sudan demonstrate in support of our government against the UN Security Council's unsuccessful endeavours to tarnish the image of Islam and Moslems in Sudan,'' the letter said. The protest was organized by the National Authority for Defending Religion and the State, a body formed by the Islamist government in 2001 to regulate and coordinate the activities of trade unions, student unions and professional associations. A copy of the same letter was handed to the embassies of Britain and France, where an angry mob chanted "death to President Chirac'' in Arabic. Sudan's leading National Congress party last week mobilized its supporters in the wake of U.N. Security Council resolution 1593, which it rejected, vowing not to hand any Sudanese individuals over to foreign institutions. Tensions are mounting in Sudan over the issue of the U.N. list of suspects, an issue that has caused grave divisions among Sudan's various ethnic groups. Abdalla Ahmed Osman, a lecturer at the University of Khartoum, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Tuesday that the Islamists "will not abandon their government to fall prey to Western agitation'', adding that they are ready to die for the sake of Sharia (Islamic) law. The then Sudanese dictator Jaffer Mohammed Numeiri implemented Sharia law in 1983, a process that caused war between the Christian south and Moslem north Sudan. The current situation in Darfur is a result of the unfair distribution of wealth and resources in addition to the issue of power-sharing between the centre and the regions. The war in Darfur has claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced nearly 2 million.

AFP 5 Apr 2005 AU report says Sudan's Darfur force should be doubled by August ADDIS ABABA, April 5 (AFP) - An internal African Union (AU) report has called on the 53-member bloc to double the size of its military force in Sudan's troubled western region of Darfur over the next four months, diplomatic sources said Tuesday. The report, compiled by officials from the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations who toured Darfur last month, recommends that the AU mission be expanded to 6,000 troops by August, the sources said. "It proposes that from June to August, the AU mission be doubled to 6,000 soldiers and some 1,000 police officers," an AU diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. The AU now has some 2,200 troops in Darfur protecting AU observers monitoring a shaky ceasefire between Khartoum, its proxy militia and two rebel groups who have been fighting the government for two years. By the end of May, the AU plans to have boosted that number to 3,200 soldiers. The report, the findings of which must still be approved by the AU's Peace and Security Council which must authorize such an expansion, also says the pan-African body should decide in September whether to increase the mission even further to 12,000 troops, the diplomat said. The two-year-old conflict in Darfur has killed at least 180,000 and displaced more than 1.8 million others, while about 200,000 have fled to neighboring Chad. Early last month, UN Humanitarian Affairs Secretary General Jan Egeland called for an urgent troop reinforcement to curb the rising number of refugees fleeing violence from the area. Egeland said a 10,000-strong force was needed to ease security risks that he said could lead to the number of refugees rising to between three and four million.

Reuters 8 Apr 2005 WFP: Funds Shortage Forces Food Cuts in Darfur Fri Apr 8, 6:08 PM ET?World - Reuters KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Food rations will be cut for more than one million Darfuris who have fled fighting to makeshift camps in the region because of a drastic shortage of funds, the World Food Programme said on Friday. More than 2 million Darfuris have fled their homes during 26 months of open revolt in the remote west of Sudan and are dependent on food aid in camps. Tens of thousands have been killed in the fighting, which the United States calls genocide -- a term Khartoum rejects. "We have done everything to avoid this including borrowing supplies. We are simply left with no alternative," said Carlos Veloso, WFP's Emergency Coordinator for Darfur. WFP said the cuts of non-cereal items would not affect malnourished children and nursing mothers, but would impact the diet of more than one million poor and vulnerable people. It said it had received only 41 percent of the required funds for the emergency program in 2005 and that the food shortage would worsen in July and August when the rainy season would increase the number of people needing food aid to 2.8 million from 2.3 million. Poor rains last year would hurt this year's harvest, and continuing insecurity in the region was hindering aid operations, it said. The United Nations and aid agencies say donors have been slow to aid Sudan in 2005 after funds flooded in last year when the Darfur humanitarian crisis was at its height.

BBC 9 Apr 2005 Darfur village rampage shocks UN The UN and African Union have condemned with "disbelief" a village rampage by militiamen in Sudan's Darfur region. They said 350 militiamen torched all but two buildings in Khor Abeche, 75km (47 miles) from Nyala on Thursday. The organisations named Nasir al-Tijani as the militia leader and demanded action from Sudan's government. A two-year conflict between Sudanese pro-government Arab militias and black African rebels has left at least 180,000 people dead in Darfur. Cattle revenge The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Khartoum says reports speak of 17 people killed in the raid by militiamen riding horses and camels. A joint statement by the UN and African Union said: "We condemn this senseless and premeditated savage attack." The UN decision on war criminals sparked Khartoum protests It said the militiamen "rampaged through the village killing, burning and destroying everything in their paths and leaving in their wake total destruction with only the mosque and the school spared". The statement said the raid appeared to be in revenge for villagers allegedly stealing 150 cattle. Mr Tijani had also accused a rival militia of failing to return the bodies of two of his men killed in an earlier raid, it said. The organisations said the militia leader had previously threatened to destroy the village but the government had not taken steps to prevent it. The naming of Mr Tijani comes after the UN Security Council voted recently to refer those believed guilty of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. That decision sparked protests in Khartoum. Sudan says it can bring war criminals to justice. The attack was the worst since a raid on the village of Hamada in January in which about 100 people died. The Darfur conflict began in February 2003, when Sudanese rebels of African origin took up arms against the government. Khartoum is alleged to have armed Arab militiamen to fight the rebels. The fighting has displaced about 1.8 million people.

NYT 12 Apr 2005 World Leaders Pledge $4.5 Billion for Sudan While Pressing for Peace Pact By JOEL BRINKLEY SLO, April 12 - Leaders from more than 50 nations pledged more than $4.5 billion for Sudan in a donors' conference here today, but one official after another warned that continuing violence in Darfur would undermine the peace agreement they were here to support. The Sudanese government and rebels in southern Sudan reached a peace agreement in January after more than 20 years of warfare. But the violence in Darfur's western province - that has already claimed 300,00 lives - broke out anew while those negotiations were under way. "This is time of choosing for Sudan," Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick said in an address to the conference this morning. "The leaders of Sudan must realize that the eyes of the world are on Sudan. The world knows what is happening in Darfur, and the government cannot escape the consequences of that knowledge." German and Norwegian officials, among others, echoed that sentiment. The Norwegian prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, said, "There is no peace in Sudan until the situation in Darfur has been solved." The United States pledged between $1 billion and $2 billion to support the north-south peace agreement. The monetary span results from uncertainty over how much Congress will approve of the administration's requests for Sudan. A report by the United Nations and the World Bank found that Sudan needs $2.6 billion in outside aid to meet its $7.9 billion budget for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction in the south over the next two years. The European Commission promised about $760 million. Britain offered $545 million and Norway, $250 million. Several officials speaking at the conference praised the donor nations for their pledges while urging them to make the actual payments. Pledges made at conferences like these are often followed by failure to make all of the payments promised. In remarks to reporters on Monday and in his speech today, Mr. Zoellick said the United States and other countries would have trouble meeting their funding commitments if the government in Khartoum does not quell the violence in Darfur. Sudan, he said today, "could slip back into the depths." Sudan's vice president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, told the conference that his government was committed to reaching a peace agreement with rebel groups in Darfur. However, the government in Khartoum has made such promises many times in the past year. As Mr. Zoellick put it after Mr. Taha made his statement: "We'll have to follow up on that."

Tanzania - ICTR

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 11 Apr 2005 Defence Challenge the Existence of the 1994 Genocide Arusha Defence counsels in the trial of four military officers facing genocide charges before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), on Monday challenged prosecution evidence describing what happened in 1994 in Rwanda as a genocide. Making his opening statement, before defence witnesses will be called, the lead defence counsel for the former director of cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, told the court that 11 years on, "The prosecutor has never proved that the genocide occurred". Raphael Constant from France said, "Genocide has not been proved before this tribunal because premeditation has not been established and neither has it been established that Theoneste Bagosora participated in it". "It is not enough to say that there have been massacres between April and July 1994 and then conclude that there was a genocide", Constant continued. Constant stated that when the trial started in April 2002, the tribunal's prosecutor at the time, Carla Del Ponte, said, "the tribunal will not be able to mathematically re-write the whole history of the Rwandan tragedy and notably the beginning of the genocide because we do not have any proof or mandate for that." He also quoted the lead prosecutor in this case, Chile Oboe Osuji from Canada and Nigeria as saying, "we don't have to be entangled in what the cause of the genocide was". Constant argued that those statements from the prosecutors prove that the prosecution has been unable to demonstrate the causes of crime. Bagosora's counsel also challenged the prosecution for failing to bring high ranking officers to prove that there was a conspiracy to commit the genocide. Constant said 32 out of the 83 prosecution brought were military personnel. Among them, only one was a lieutenant, while the rest were junior soldiers who could not testify to any proof of conspiracy. Another defence counsel, also making his opening statement, professor Peter Erlinder, representing Major Aloys Ntabakuze, who was a former commander of Kanombe Paramilitary battalion based in Kigali, also contested the existence of the genocide saying that "the mere mention of the word genocide (by the Prosecutor) is not evidence it occurred". Colonel Bagosora and Major Ntabakuze are co accused with Brigadier General Gratien Kabiligi, who was head of military operations of the former Rwandan Army, and the former military commander of Gisenyi (North-West Rwanda) region, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. The four former military officers of the former Rwandan army (EX-FAR) on trial in this so-called Military I case have all pleaded not guilty to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This trial started on April 2, 2002. The first defence witness has begun testifying in closed session before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR presided by Judge Erik Møse of Norway.


IRIN 8 Apr 2005 Police shoot dead opposition protestor [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN "Write down my name, I want to vote," says an opposition demonstrator LOME, 8 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - One man was killed and several were injured as opposition protestors clashed with police in the capital Lome and several towns in the interior of Togo on Friday, an alliance of the country's main opposition parties said on Friday. Police opened fire on demonstrators with automatic weapons in the town of Tabligbo, 60 km north of Lome, killing one man and injuring several others, the opposition alliance said in a statement. It also reported that protestors were hurt in clashes with the security forces in Kpalime and Keve on the Ghanaian frontier. In Lome, eyewitnesses said police used tear gas and fragmentation grenades to try and disperse several thousand opposition protestors who marched on the town hall to demand voting cards so they could take part in a landmark presidential election due on 24 April. Voter registration was due to have ended on Tuesday, but the government, which faces opposition charges that it is planning to rig the election, has pledged to make voting cards available up to the last minute so that nobody will be left out. However, it has rejected opposition demands for the election to be postponed so that a free and fair election can be properly organised under international supervision. The European Union has declined to send observers to monitor the poll and the United States is still mulling whether or not to do so. The six main opposition parties have united behind a single candidate to challenge the son and heir apparent of the late president Gnassingbe Eyadema. He died in February after ruling this small West African country with an iron hand for 38 years. The formerly fragmented opposition is demanding a new era of freedom and change. The election is likely to be straight fight between Faure Gnassingbe, the 39-year-old son of Eyadema, and Emmanuel Bob-Akitani, the candidate of the opposition alliance. Two other minor candidates are only expected to attract a handful of votes. However, the opposition parties have accused the authorities of withholding voting cards in opposition bastions and of playing havoc with the electoral roll ahead of the hastily arranged presidential election, which is just over two weeks away. Interior Minister Akila-Esso Boko, said two big hand-outs of cards were being organised in Lome this weekend “for people who were unable to put their names on the electoral roll and pick up cards” before the initial deadline for registration expired. “In any case voting cards will be distributed up to the eve of the election,” he said at a meeting with party leaders on Thursday. The interior minister said that during the initial 10-day period allocated to update the electoral roll, 450,000 new voters had been registered and 100,000 names had been struck off. A further two million registered voters had been handed new cards, he added. Interim President Abass Bonfoh declared campaigning officially open in a speech urging “each one of us to avoid feeding tension and upsetting our climate of peace and security.” Gnassingbe, who briefly seized power with the help of the army after his father’s sudden demise on 5 February is standing as the candidate of the ruling Rally of the Togolese People (RPT), which controls the government and virtually all the seats in parliament. He launched his election campaign on Friday in the Eyadema family's traditional stronghold in northern Togo.


washingtonpost.com 7 Apr 2005 End This African Horror Story By John Prendergast Thursday, April 7, 2005; Page A31 GULU, Uganda -- Sitting in the main town in war-riddled northern Uganda, you get the feeling you are not in the middle of a conventional peace process -- not when two local women have just been abducted by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and had their hands chopped off in the name of divine retribution. You know something evil lurks just out of sight when you see thousands of children streaming into town every evening seeking refuge from abduction by the LRA. And yet you are sure that history is somehow being made when the lead mediator in the process turns out to be a dynamic Ugandan woman who is shunning her comfortable office at the World Bank headquarters and risking her life to bring peace to the long-suffering people of northern Uganda. Her name is Betty Bigombe, and she will probably have to play a major role in the coming month if there is to be any hope of ending the madness. This country may have its best chance for peace in 18 years -- a period marked by brutal warfare that has displaced 1.6 million people and sparked the first investigation into crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC). But the peace process is in trouble and needs a high-risk, high-reward gamble to move it forward. The actions of the LRA's leader, Joseph Kony, will be crucial. My discussions with LRA commanders paint a portrait of a man rooted in a grotesquely distorted view of the Old Testament. Kony seeks revenge for past transgressions the government committed against northerners -- literally an eye for an eye. He likens himself to Moses bringing the Ten Commandments to a people who are largely deaf to his message. He attacks civilian targets within his reach because he believes he is instructed by God to punish anyone who collaborates with the government. For all the havoc Kony has wrought, his insurgency is on the ropes. The Ugandan military has become more effective, and the government of Sudan, after years of providing support, has cut most of its links to the LRA. Robbed of its camps and supply lines, the LRA has gone into survival mode, stealing food and abducting children to replace those killed, captured or surrendered. But the LRA has a track record of coming back from near oblivion, and premature pronouncements of its defeat could prove deadly. Massacres over the past couple of weeks, in which hoes and machetes have been the sadistic tools of death, are reminiscent of the tactics used in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. To be sure, if Kony is killed or captured, the LRA will unravel just as rebellions did in Angola and Sierra Leone. But pursuing this "one bullet" solution could end up killing thousands more abducted child soldiers and LRA dependents, while costing more than the alternatives and making reconciliation more difficult. Those hard-core commanders remaining in the bush would continue to terrorize civilians. In a country whose post-colonial history has been marred by extreme sectarian violence and some of the most murderous dictators in Africa, including the psychotic Idi Amin, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has demonstrated ways to bring conflict to an end other than through violence alone. Negotiations would isolate hard-liners, make it more difficult to oppose a final agreement and provide an exit strategy for the LRA, or, as Museveni put it to me, a "soft landing." The window of opportunity for a peace settlement will not be open long. The U.S. role is crucial. Its support for Ugandan military efforts has led many Ugandans to believe that the United States does not support a peaceful resolution. As one LRA commander told me, "The U.S. is too quiet. The LRA can't hear that the U.S. supports peace." Assigning a senior diplomat from Washington to support the peace effort would provide a boost to the negotiating process, giving the LRA commanders confidence that if they did lay down their weapons they wouldn't walk straight into an ambush. The next month will be decisive and requires a major diplomatic gambit. Bigombe, as lead mediator, must go to the source in neighboring southern Sudan and meet with LRA leader Kony. Once there, she should present a comprehensive settlement, rather than the current cease-fire proposal, for which the necessary levels of good faith and confidence simply do not exist. The settlement involves security and livelihood guarantees for the LRA. Getting the meeting requires the direct help of the Sudanese regime, which has provided a lifeline to Kony for the past decade. The United States and others would need to lean hard on Sudan to influence it to act. Without such a diplomatic gambit and increased international support, the process could crumble. This would unleash a new round of conflict and leave military defeat and ICC prosecution as the only means by which the war might be ended, a path that would be much longer and bloodier than that afforded by a peace deal. The writer is special adviser to the president of the International Crisis Group. He has worked at the State Department and the National Security Council.

CRISIS GROUP 11 Apr 2005 Shock Therapy for Northern Uganda's Peace Process The peace process aimed at ending the eighteen-year old conflict in Northern Uganda is in critical condition, with neither the Ugandan government nor the insurgent Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) appearing fully committed to a negotiated solution. The LRA leadership is reorganising for intensified conflict and has launched an aggressive campaign of abductions and mutilations of civilians. Kampala appears to be losing patience with mediation efforts, refocusing instead on a military solution. If the process is to be rescued, Ugandan government mediator Betty Bigombe needs to replace the government's ceasefire-first approach with a deal that includes appropriate security guarantees for LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders, and a peace dividend to help rebuild war-ravaged communities. If such a proposal is to be credible, however, it will require increased support from the European troika of Norway , the UK and the Netherlands and a more engaged United States. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org


Reuters 3 Apr 2005 Zimbabwe's restive south glum over Mugabe victory ZIMBABWE'S southern Matabeleland region, long chafing under President Robert Mugabe's rule, was in gloomy mood on Sunday after his ruling party's victory in a disputed parliamentary election. Matabeleland voters, still bitter over an army offensive 20 years ago which rights groups say killed 20,000 civilians, voted heavily for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), giving it all but 5 of the province's 19 seats. But as with elections in 2000 and 2002, Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF took the national vote -- this time extending its dominance with a two-thirds parliamentary majority that will permit it to change the constitution at will. The victory was labelled a fraud by the opposition and western governments, who charged Mugabe with stealing his third election in five years. In Matabeleland, there was grim resignation. "As you can see, we are trying to drown our sorrow. We thought there would be change this time but it's the same old story," said 40-year-old Dan Tabisa as he sat in a bar in Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo, listlessly sipping a beer with a couple of friends. "This means five more years of suffering for us here in Matabeleland. Industries are closing down so unemployment is high and I don't see any hope of a change now," he added. DESPAIR His sentiments were echoed by scores of people in Bulawayo and surrounding areas, with most shrugging their shoulders despairingly when asked about ZANU-PF's victory. "I'm very unhappy because my party lost. There's no development in this region and people are suffering. I haven't had a real job for five years now and I'm just scratching around for a living," said a 42-year-old man in Nyamandlovu, 40 kms (25 miles) southeast of Bulawayo, who gave his name as Diba. Analysts say Thursday's election will worsen a crisis that has ruined the once-prosperous nation and which critics blame on Mugabe's mismanagement and his chaotic seizure of white-owned land for redistribution to landless blacks. Unemployment is 70 percent, inflation at about 130 percent and food and fuel are in short supply. Matabeleland has been a thorn in Mugabe's side ever since a rebellion against his rule two years after independence in 1980. The army assault followed government accusations that Matabeleland supported plans for an armed revolt against Mugabe's rule led by a rival nationalist leader, Joshua Nkomo. The crackdown in the minority Ndebele-speaking region fuelled ethnic tensions with the Shona who dominate Mugabe's government that only subsided with a 1987 peace pact. For many in Matabeleland, the ruling party's victory was no surprise, although the opposition's poor performance did leave many questioning the way forward. "I think the MDC needs to change its tactics if there is to be any hope of defeating ZANU-PF because we keep voting for them but they keep losing," said a store security guard in Bulawayo who declined to give his name

washingtonpost.com 4 Apr 2005 Zimbabwe's Enabler South Africa Falls Short As Monitor of Democracy By Sebastian Mallaby Monday, April 4, 2005; Page A21 Thursday's election in Zimbabwe was not merely stolen. It was stolen with the complicity -- no, practically the encouragement -- of Africa's most influential democrat. If you think too long about this democrat, moreover, you reach a bleak conclusion. For all the recent democratic strides in Africa, the continental leadership that was supposed to reinforce this progress is not up to the challenge. The bankrupt democrat in question is Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president. For the past few years, he's been promising a pan-African Renaissance, a new era in which Africans would take charge of their own problems. Mbeki led the creation of the grandly titled New Partnership for Africa's Development, which commits members to the rule of law and other principles of good government; he's the driving force behind the peer-review mechanism that's supposed to police compliance with those pledges. The New Partnership's principles are quoted frequently by Africa sympathizers who advocate more foreign assistance, and they've boosted Mbeki's profile marvelously. Mbeki has become a fixture at the rich countries' annual Group of Eight summits. He has been treated by George Bush and Tony Blair as a player. He has felt emboldened to advance South Africa as a candidate for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. But do Mbeki's New Partnership principles mean anything? In the run-up to Zimbabwe's election, when the regime's thugs were denying food to suspected opposition sympathizers, Mbeki actually undercut the international pressure for a fair contest. He expressed a serene confidence that the election would be free and fair. He allowed his labor minister, who was serving as the head of the South African observer mission in Zimbabwe, to dismiss the regime's critics as "a problem and a nuisance." He quarreled with the Bush administration's description of Zimbabwe as an outpost of repression. He did everything, in other words, to signal that mass fraud would be acceptable. And so Zimbabwe's thugs obliged him. Before the election, they arranged for ballot boxes made out of see-through plastic and a voter's roll stuffed with fictitious names. When polling day came, about a tenth of the voters were turned away from election stations for mysterious reasons. One constituency, in which 14,812 people voted according to election officials, was announced the next day to have awarded more than 15,000 votes to the president's nephew. In this way, the regime won a famous victory -- and with it the power to change whatever's left of Zimbabwe's constitution. If South Africa, which could strangle its smaller neighbor's economy by switching off its electricity, had been tougher beforehand, this fraud might have been forestalled. If Mbeki had protested after the election, events also might have been different. Some brave Zimbabweans called for an African version of Ukraine's Orange Revolution. But as one opposition politician said wistfully, regional conditions provided no encouragement. Ukraine benefited from proxi- mity to pro-democratic Europe. But Zimbabwe's democratic neighbor sent the opposite signal. After the election was stolen, the head of the South African observer mission heaped praise on the process, declaring that the outcome reflected "the free will of the people of Zimbabwe" and that "the political climate was conducive for elections to take place." Zimbabwe isn't the only place where Mbeki has been disappointing. On New Year's Day he visited Sudan and addressed that country's government. If ever there was an opportunity for some peer-to-peer truth-telling, surely this was it: Sudan's Arab leaders are engaged in the systematic killing of ethnic Africans in the western province of Darfur. But Mbeki spoke understandingly of "the challenges facing the government," and reserved his toughest comments for the easy scapegoat of imperialism. "When these eminent representatives of British colonialism were not in Sudan, they were in South Africa, and vice versa, doing terrible things wherever they went," he lectured. Mbeki is undoubtedly an able man -- thoughtful in conversation, workaholic in habit, a wizard in the dark arts of backroom politics. But he is a tragic figure: He personifies the flaw that his own New Partnership is intended to inhibit. Open and accountable government is desirable because it exposes leaders to criticism, obliges them to listen and so reduces the risk of blatantly bad policy. But Mbeki, who leads a democratic government but one without electable opponents, is no more willing to accept criticism than to dish it out. He surrounds himself with yes men and spits viciously at critics. He lacks the humility to admit errors, even when the consequences are plain for all to see. Mbeki's error on Zimbabwe is almost as terrible as his earlier one on AIDS, when he opposed anti-retroviral treatment. Zimbabwe is the poster child for the emphasis on governance in the New Partnership for Africa's Development; it shows how bad government can take a promising society and ruin it. A country that was once a breadbasket for the region now depends on food aid; a country that once took in migrants now exports desperate people by the million. And yet Mbeki, the mastermind and guiding light of the New Partnership, will not speak out against this tragedy.

BBC 7 Apr 2005 Mugabe defies ban for Pope burial Mugabe denies rigging the vote Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Rome for the Pope's funeral on Friday despite a European Union travel ban. Italy is obliged to let him enter under accords with the Vatican, which is legally a separate state. Mr Mugabe is a Catholic and often attends Mass in Harare's cathedral. The trip was denounced by one of his leading critics - the Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube. Mr Mugabe's party is accused of rigging last week's poll. Mr Mugabe and about 100 of his associates were banned from the EU and the US after being accused of using fraud and violence to ensure victory in the 2002 presidential election. He has nevertheless attended several international summits in both EU countries and the US. Sympathy "That man will use any opportunity to fly to Europe to promote himself. The man is shameless," Archbishop Ncube told the Associated Press news agency. FINAL ELECTION RESULTS Zanu-PF: 78 seats MDC: 41 seats Independent: 1 seat Elected seats: 120 seats Seats appointed by the president: 30 Mugabe sweeps to victory Muted opposition AP also reports that Mr Mugabe used a service for the Pope in Harare's cathedral to denounce his western critics on Monday. Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party won a two-thirds majority in parliament after last week's elections - enough to enable it to change the constitution. He denied accusations that the polls were rigged as "nonsense". But on Wednesday, the main opposition party released figures it said proved the elections were tainted by "massive fraud". The Movement for Democratic Change said that in 11 constituencies, ballot box stuffing accounted for Zanu-PF victories. It notes that these candidates were mostly ministers or senior party officials. For example, in Mutare South, it was initially announced that 14,054 votes had been cast, the MDC says. But the final results showed 28,575 ballots, with 16,412 for Zanu-PF and 12,163 to the MDC. The MDC says it has been unable to get the breakdown of results countrywide, but this has been denied by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The results were endorsed by Southern African observers but a local group of monitors and western countries said the poll was seriously flawed. Mr Mugabe says he is the victim of a Western plot, led by the UK in opposition to his seizure of white-owned land.



www.diamonds.net 31 Mar 2005 Amnesty Int'l Finds Human Rights Violations in Brazil By Ketan Tanna Posted: 3/31/2005 7:05 AM (Rapaport...March 31, 2005) Amnesty International has accused Brazil of failing to guarantee or enforce the rights of Brazilian Indians on their lands, leaving indigenous people poverty-stricken, and generating the hostilities which led to the massacre of 29 illegal diamond miners in 2004. On March 30, Amnesty released a study entitled: Foreigners In Our Own Country, Indigenous Peoples In Brazil, which asserts that the campaign of violence against Brazilian Indians has involved businesses and prospectors who mine in indigenous territories as well as ranchers, logging companies, and the military. "Impunity for human rights violations in Brazil is pervasive and persistent," Amnesty International writes. "In addition to the violence that is so often generated in the context of land disputes, Indians also suffer when there is a failure by the state to protect them from invaders on their land, as was the case in the Cinta Larga Roosevelt territory in 2004." Cinta Larga Indians allegedly massacred 29 illegal diamond miners in April 2004 in what is believed to have been a dispute over mining revenues. Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry estimated that $2 billion worth of diamonds have been mined on the seven million acre reserve. The massacre exposed questions concerning the ownership of the region's mineral resources, and flaws in legal applications for the reservation to when and how mining exploration may be conducted on indigenous lands. web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR190022005

washingtonpost.com 2 Apr 2005 At Least 30 Are Killed In Rio Shooting Spree Gunmen Thought to Be Rogue Policemen Reuters Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page A18 RIO DE JANEIRO, April 1 -- Gunmen believed to be rogue policemen killed at least 30 people in a shooting spree in a Rio de Janeiro suburb. Officials said Friday that the attack may have been a response to a crackdown on corrupt and brutal officers. Men, women and children were killed at random in Thursday night's attack in Baixada Fluminense on Rio's rough north side. The victims of the city's biggest death-squad massacre in more than a decade included a civil servant drinking in a bar, a young boy playing pinball, a cook on his way home from work and a transvestite prostitute, morgue officials said. Marcelo Itagiba, Rio's public security secretary, said outlaw police likely carried out the massacre in reprisal for the arrests Thursday of eight officers suspected of a separate double murder. In that case, police were filmed throwing the severed head of one victim over the wall of a police station. "This is a public calamity, a barbarous crime," Itagiba said at a news conference Friday. Early signs from the investigation ordered by Rio's governor, Rosinha Matheus, appeared to support the assertion that police officers were the killers. Bullets collected from the crime scene were shot from the same guns used by the police, said lvaro Lins, head of the state's investigation force. "The crimes were committed by professionals," he said. It was Brazil's deadliest urban massacre since 1993, when 21 people were murdered by a police death squad. "Any hopes that such actions were horrors of the past have been dashed by the events of last night, which show the lengths that 'death squads' will go to in order to spread terror and resist attempts by the authorities to stop their activities," Amnesty International said in a statement. International human rights groups often accuse Rio police of having a history of summary executions. Officials said police killed 983 suspects last year and 1,195 in 2003. Last year, about 50 Rio police were killed in the line of duty.

AP 4 Apr 2005 Two officers arrested in killing spree RAMPAGE: The two police officers accused of killing 30 people are thought to have been angry over the arrest of eight officers caught on camera dumping bodies AP , RIO DE JANEIRO Monday, Apr 04, 2005,Page 7 People walk beside graves during a funeral at a cemetery in Nova Iguazu, Brazil, on Friday. In what was described as a ''massacre'' and ''bloodbath,'' police murdered 30 people in three separate shootings in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, officials said Friday. PHOTO: AP Two police officers suspected of going on a shooting spree that left 30 people dead in Rio de Janeiro were arrested and questioned after an intensive manhunt, authorities said. Composite sketches and anonymous tips led police to officers Jose Augusto Moreira Felipe, 32, and Fabiano Goncalves Lopes, 30, police said. The two officers, who worked in the district where the shootings occurred Thursday, were taken into custody Saturday afternoon at their home, police said. A .380-caliber pistol was also found, though authorities have not said if that weapon was used in the shootings. The killings Thursday were the bloodiest massacre in years in a state already famous for its homicide rate. Authorities had suspected the killings were likely the work of rogue police angered by the arrest of eight other officers caught on film while disposing of two bodies. The two men were questioned, but had not been charged yet, said Marcela Lobo, a spokeswoman for the Rio de Janeiro Public Safety Department. Authorities did not immediately release details about the interrogation. A warrant for their arrest had been issued Friday based on the sketches, and Rio de Janeiro state Governor Rosinha Matheus had offered a US$1,900 reward for information leading to the capture of the gunmen, whose victims included five teenagers who were shot while playing video games at a bar. "We want this case to be rigorously investigated because it can't go unpunished," Matheus said Saturday on her weekly radio program. "As a mother I'm shocked. Only monsters are capable of that." Elite police units had searched for the suspects in two squalid neighborhoods on Rio's outskirts on Saturday and, aided by federal agents, set up roadblocks and searched houses in the impoverished Baixada area -- a sprawling network of shantytowns some 35km north of Rio where the shootings took place. Authorities were still searching for at least two other men. Police believe the men are linked to death squads -- shadowy associations often made up of off-duty or retired officers who are hired by local businessmen to kill undesirables. The death squads created an international uproar 12 years ago when they were believed to have killed eight children sleeping outside a church in Rio's downtown. Marcelo Itagiba, Rio's state security secretary, said the crime was likely the work of police angered by the arrest of eight officers caught on film while disposing of two bodies. But Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos said it was too early to say for sure that the killings were the work of corrupt officers. "We must follow all lines of investigation so nobody gets away, whoever they may be," Bastos said. According to witnesses, the shooting started around 10pm when four men got out of a silver Volkswagen and opened fire on the crowd at a street corner bar in Nova Iguacu. Fifteen people were found dead in and around the bar, and three more died in the hospital Friday. The gunmen left the scene, firing randomly and killing two bicyclists along the road, then killed 10 people more in Queimados, a neighboring town. Victims were buried Saturday, as families wept and held up banners calling for justice. A memorial mass for the victims was planned late Saturday at the Santo Antonio Cathedral in Nova Iguacu.


Canadian Jewish News www.cjnews.com Student organizations hold benefit concert for Darfur Students Taking Action Now: Darfur Canada (STAND) co-founders Ben Fine and Meredith Herman with Sudanese refugee Acol Dor, middle. By MEREDITH HERMAN Special to The CJN United Nations emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland recently estimated that 10,000 people have died each month over the past year in Darfur, the western region of Sudan. This rapid death rate will continue unless pressure is placed on the Sudanese government to stop perpetrating what the UN has labelled the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.” In response, representatives of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND) have set for themselves the goal of collecting 10,000 signatures for a petition urging the Canadian government to take further action in the region. STAND Canada was formed during the One Weekend Jewish student conference hosted by Hillel Montreal late in January. What began as a small group of Jewish students determined not to let the message “never again” become a hollow symbol has grown to include representatives on 16 Canadian campuses. STAND’s goal is to give students the means with which to educate themselves and to enable them to take action. A series of educational programs began at McGill and Concordia universities, with the hopes that a heightened sense of awareness about the crisis will lead to an increase in pressure on the Canadian government to help end the conflict. Two awareness days took place recently at the entrance to Redpath, McGill’s main library. The event included a photography exhibit, a DVD documentary, information sheets and the selling of green wristbands and ribbons to raise awareness. Students were asked to sign the petition urging the Canadian government to do more to stop the killing in Darfur. Ben Fine, a co-founder of STAND Canada, said education amounts to nothing if it does not lead to action. “We need to push the government to act, and the way to do that is through petitioning.” The event was a success, raising more than $500 for humanitarian aid and collecting 931 signatures. Many McGill students were relieved to discover that attention is finally being paid to the crisis in Dafur, and STAND members were thrilled with the number of McGill students eager to join their group. But this enthusiasm was not unanimous among students. Many responded with apathy, refusing to sign the petition, or even to pick up the information sheets being distributed. Several group members said that disinterest has been the group’s biggest obstacle. “Apathy has been our biggest challenge,” STAND representative from Concordia, Josh Fisher, said. “Some people don’t care because they don’t know what’s going on. Others don’t care because they live in a country where their security is a given, and can’t be bothered to help those who don’t share that liberty.” To combat this feeling of apathy among students, STAND and Hillel Montreal are holding a benefit concert called Give It Up For Darfur, to raise awareness about the crisis and money for the victims. It takes place on April 7 at Just for Laughs Cabaret. The concert includes an eclectic lineup of Montreal musicians, among them Mike Evans, Hearts of Palm and Throwback. The show also features Mosaica, McGill’s professional modern dance group, and keynote speakers Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Sudanese refugee Acol Dor. Hillel Montreal President Yacov Fruchter said the success of the event “will not be determined by the event itself, but rather by what comes out of it. Education about the crisis coupled with a call to action is what is needed to combat the apathy that has infected our society. I am confident that the passion Hillel members have for this cause will spread rapidly, and that we will soon see positive changes on campus.” See Canada STAND "Students Taking Action Now: Darfur. Canadian Students. Fighting Today's Indifference." We are students from across Canada concerned frustrated by the lack of international response to the atrocities in Darfur, Sudan, which have left over 200,000 dead and 2 million without homes, and the sluggish pace of political progress in bringing an end to the violence. As we commemorate 60 years of the lesson of “never again”, the world again sits idle. As Canadian students, we believe it is our responsibility to speak out, and are determined not to let the world remain indifferent as hundreds of thousands of innocents die in ethnically-motivated conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan."www.cfjs.ca/darfur/ or write neveragain@cfjs.ca

www.gateway.ualberta.ca The Gateway | Thursday, 31 March, 2005 | Volume XCIV Issue 43 Abortion is not genocide Tess Elsworthy The latest trend sweeping North American anti-abortion groups in the past few years has been the strategy of categorizing legal abortion as genocide, and comparing fetuses to traditionally oppressed groups, like women, Jews, Black slaves and Aboriginal people—as if a fetus’ legal termination is a part of such racist and misogynistic histories. Just last year, the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) brought the “Genocide Awareness Project” to this very campus to treat passersby—including a few buses full of children—to photos of aborted fetuses compared with Nazi atrocities and the lynching of African-Americans in the southern US. I recall that the people standing proudly next to this absurd display claimed that they were not there to highlight the commonalities between Nazis, the KKK and women who undergo abortions, but if you’re going to compare fetuses to lynching victims and those who went to the gas chambers in World War II, you have to link the perpetrators, an act that inevitably places people like my mother on the same plane as Hitler or Colonel Custer. Indeed, the CBR happily makes this connection, proclaiming that, “Latter-day feminists dehumanize unborn children with the chant ‘it’s my body,’ but racists preceded them by dehumanizing slaves with the refrain ‘it’s my property.’” The CBR likes to claim that abortion is genocide because, “Genocide is always built on the ‘choice’ of those in power to systematically destroy those who are not in power.” This discourse seems fishy to me, but perhaps I didn’t read the part in the history texts where Hitler defined “choice” as part of the Final Solution, nor have I been spending time in abortion clinics filled with women muttering about Lebensraum as their reason for ending a pregnancy. It seems too obvious to me that perpetrators of racism do not typically link their acts of hate with civil rights, a fact that makes the GAP project and others like it both misleading and ridiculous. When it comes to the definition of genocide, I stick to the original definition coined in 1944 by a Polish jurist named Raphael Lemkin. He defines genocide as “the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” The Genocide Convention of 1948 decided to expand the definition to include ethnic, racial and religious groups as well. The fact that the women who have abortions are of the same national/ethnic group as their potential offspring deflates the logic of the CBR. Perhaps the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform might appropriately borrow a term like “race traitor” from white supremacists in the effort to attack women for killing members of their own racial groups—after all, if abortion was about an ethnically motivated hate, it would be about self-loathing, rather than a secret plan to destroy an ethnicity, as the Nazis and KKK sought to do. Or maybe I’m wrong; maybe potential mothers who don’t follow through with pregnancies are plotting against their fetuses and wish they were capable of sending them to plantations or residential schools because of nationalistically motivated hatred. Should this be true, I hope the CBR will accept my sincerest apologies. Something tells me, though, that such a conspiracy is no more than a fiction. If the CBR really wants to spread awareness on the issue of genocide, maybe it should start by running a campaign to teach North Americans about the Aboriginal holocaust that is still occurring on this continent.


maryknoll.org 29 Mar 2005 Take action on San Jose de Apartado massacre Mar 29, 2005 - In late February, eight members of the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community in northwest Colombia, most of them women and children, were massacred. Internationally respected peace leader and co-founder of the San Jose Peace Community Luis Eduardo Guerra, his son and partner were among the victims; their assassins were identified by witnesses as members of the Colombian military. The following alert is from the Latin America Working Group, a coalition of faith-based and human rights organizations of which the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is a member. Reports from the field allege involvement of the Colombian army in the massacre, and a thorough investigation should be a first priority for the Colombian government. The massacre has generated outrage and crucial momentum on Colombia policy issues, including a strong letter from 32 members of Congress to President Alvaro Uribe, and another letter from 28 national NGOs to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But we need your help to ensure that the U.S. government’s response is swift and meaningful, and that the Colombian government conducts a transparent and thorough investigation of the incident. Please help to ensure justice and transparency in the investigation and safety for the members of the Peace Community by sending a letter to the U.S. State Department. Below is a sample letter drafted by friends at Witness for Peace for you to use and share with others. The letter urges the State Department to undertake the following actions: Vigorously pressure the Colombian government to conduct a transparent investigation and prosecution in civilian courts of those responsible; Withhold certification of security assistance to the Colombian military until the above noted investigations and prosecutions occur, along with progress on other key cases and in breaking links between the army and paramilitary forces; Direct the U.S. Embassy to issue a public statement condemning the massacre and to visit San Jose de Apartado to show concern for the community's safety; and Call on the Colombian government to provide protective measures to the community in careful consultation with community members, as required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Please send letters to Ambassador Michael Kozak; draft letter and contact information below. This action should be taken as soon as possible; we'll let you know when the State Department makes a move on the case. Even as we grieve for the victims, we can move forward alongside courageous Colombians who, despite threats and loss, live joyfully and with strength and conviction. Please be on the lookout soon for a reminder message on the April 26 National Call-In Day on Colombia. Timing of this call-in day to Congress is crucial, as we expect a June or July vote on Colombia legislation. Our message to Congress: “Plan Colombia (2000-2005) has failed. We believe that peace is possible, but not through more military aid and fumigation. A new Colombia policy should prioritize social aid, not an inhumane and ineffective military approach."

BBC 31 Mar 2005 ICC probes Colombia on war crimes Thousands have died in Colombia's 40-year-old civil war The International Criminal Court has asked the Colombian government for details of crimes against humanity which may have occurred in the country. Colombia is suffering from a four-decade-old civil war which sees about 3,000 people killed every year. Colombia's ICC representative has said his government will fully co-operate with the tribunal. The ICC considers cases of genocide or crimes against humanity committed since it started work in 2002. 'Thousands killed' The ICC has also asked for details of government proposals for a truce with the main right-wing paramilitary group, the AUC. Some human rights groups say provisions of the bill mean serious past abuses will go unpunished. r If the bill is passed, paramilitary commanders are expected to face a maximum of 10 years in prison. Colombia's civil war has seen leftist rebel groups fighting right-wing paramilitary factions and government troops. All parties have been accused of abuses. "The information received so far indicates thousands of people have been killed, disappeared, kidnapped and forcibly displaced since 1 November 2002," said Luis Moreno, an Argentine, who is the court's chief prosecutor. Colombia was one of the signatories to an accord which set up the ICC based in The Hague, Netherlands.

UPI 31 Mar 2005 Colombia to cooperate with ICC Colombia said Thursday the government will cooperate with the International Criminal Court's probe into human rights violations. El Tiempo quoted officials in its online edition. The court is looking into possible violation committed by the Colombia government in its fight against left-wing rebel groups as well as alleged infractions by the Marxist rebels as well as their other foe: Colombia's right-wing paramilitary groups. Colombia has been battling leftist rebels for 40 years, an ongoing civil war that claims thousands of lives every year. However, since 2002 the government has ratcheted up its efforts to contain the rebels and disarm the paramilitaries.

BBC 4 Apr 2005 Colombia rebels refuse kidnap end The ELN is Colombia's second-largest leftist rebel group Colombia's second largest guerrilla group has refused to stop carrying out kidnappings - rejecting a condition set by the government for peace talks. A leader of the ELN, known as Antonio Garcia, said the practice was needed for financial reasons. He also accused President Alvaro Uribe of breaking the confidentiality of preliminary talks by discussing them in front of the media last week. But Mr Garcia said ELN does want to work towards peace in the country. Last week, Mr Uribe's chief negotiator, Luis Carlos Restrepo, indicated that the preliminary talks in Bogota were going well. But Mr Garcia dismissed a government proposal to end kidnappings as one of the conditions for holding peace talks. "Since the ELN has refused, and will continue refusing, to get involved in drug-trafficking, it cannot halt kidnappings at this time," he said. Dialogue 'still possible' He also attacked President Uribe for his comments on the talks, broadcast live, at summit with Venezuelan, Spanish and Brazilian leaders in Venezuela last week. "President Uribe did not have the decency to respect the confidentiality that had been agreed on, and began talking 'privately' at a meeting of over 200 people, which was being transmitted on television." Before his comments were made, Mr Restrepo had said the two sides were on the right track and a study was being made to "assess the exploratory phase and lend continuity to a peace process." Mr Garcia said the doors to dialogue were not now closed, according to El Colombiano newspaper. But he stressed that the president's comments have made it "very difficult for us on both sides to be able to move"


BBC 7 Apr 2005 'Riot' takes place in Cuban jail By Stephen Gibbs BBC News, Havana Human rights activists provided news of the disturbance Human rights activists in Cuba say a riot has taken place in one of the country's biggest prisons. The government has not commented on the reports, but less than three weeks ago admitted to a "minor incident" in the same jail. The riot at the Combinado del Este prison just outside Havana is believed to have taken place on Tuesday night. It seems a group of prisoners were protesting at conditions in the jail and at some stage a fire broke out. Prominent human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez says several prisoners are now seriously ill with burns injuries or the effects of inhaling fumes. None of Cuba's imprisoned dissidents are believed to have been involved in the disturbance. 'Sub-human' conditions In the incident three weeks ago, there were rumours that five prisoners had been killed during a riot at the jail. Cuba's foreign minister said no-one had been killed or seriously injured and that not a shot had been fired by prison guards. Per capita, Cuba has one of the highest prison populations in the world. Dissidents have described conditions as "sub-human". Since 1989, the Cuban government has not allowed the International Red Cross to inspect its prisons.


BBC 5 Apr 2005 Guatemala politicians were racist Rigoberta Menchu has been campaigning for indigenous rights Five Guatemalan politicians have been found guilty of racial discrimination against indigenous activist and Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. Footage of the accused shouting abuse at Ms Menchu was shown in what was the country's first racism trial. The five, including the grandson of the former military ruler, were sentenced to three years' prison and fined $400 (£210) but can pay more to avoid jail. About 60% of Guatemala's population is indigenous - most living in poverty. Taunted The racist chants were made at a court hearing in October 2003 to decide whether former ruler Gen Jose Efrain Rios Montt could stand for president. Ms Menchu opposed the candidacy of the general, who ruled the country during the bloodiest period of Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war when a total of 200,000 indigenous Maya were killed or disappeared. Gen Rios Montt's supporters taunted her with comments such as "Go and sell tomatoes at the market, Indian" after the court ruled in their favour. The five guilty are Gen Rios Montt's grandson Juan Carlos Rios, and four women - former lawmaker Enma Samayoa, a member of the Guatemala City-based Central American Parliament, Ana Lopez, and two activists from the Republican Front party founded by Gen Rios Montt, Mirna Orellana and Elvia Morales. Today we have a great experience that we can communicate to our children Rigoberta Menchu At the end of the month-long trial, the judges sentenced each of them to three years and two months in prison for discrimination and disturbing the peace. They were also ordered to pay $400 in fines each but can avoid jail by paying $10 for each day of their sentence. Ms Menchu won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign for Indian rights. She said: "Today we have a great experience that we can communicate to our children, that nobody should discriminate against anybody else, that nobody should offend the dignity of anybody else just because they speak another language or come from another part of the country."

5 April, 2005, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Guatemala politicians were racist Rigoberta Menchu has been campaigning for indigenous rights Five Guatemalan politicians have been found guilty of racial discrimination against indigenous activist and Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. Footage of the accused shouting abuse at Ms Menchu was shown in what was the country's first racism trial. The five, including the grandson of the former military ruler, were sentenced to three years' prison and fined $400 (£210) but can pay more to avoid jail. About 60% of Guatemala's population is indigenous - most living in poverty. Taunted The racist chants were made at a court hearing in October 2003 to decide whether former ruler Gen Jose Efrain Rios Montt could stand for president. Ms Menchu opposed the candidacy of the general, who ruled the country during the bloodiest period of Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war when a total of 200,000 indigenous Maya were killed or disappeared. Gen Rios Montt's supporters taunted her with comments such as "Go and sell tomatoes at the market, Indian" after the court ruled in their favour. The five guilty are Gen Rios Montt's grandson Juan Carlos Rios, and four women - former lawmaker Enma Samayoa, a member of the Guatemala City-based Central American Parliament, Ana Lopez, and two activists from the Republican Front party founded by Gen Rios Montt, Mirna Orellana and Elvia Morales. Today we have a great experience that we can communicate to our children Rigoberta Menchu At the end of the month-long trial, the judges sentenced each of them to three years and two months in prison for discrimination and disturbing the peace. They were also ordered to pay $400 in fines each but can avoid jail by paying $10 for each day of their sentence. Ms Menchu won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign for Indian rights. She said: "Today we have a great experience that we can communicate to our children, that nobody should discriminate against anybody else, that nobody should offend the dignity of anybody else just because they speak another language or come from another part of the country."

Background: AFP 10 de marzo de 2005, 02:42 PM Rigoberta Menchú pone en jaque sistema de discriminación de Guatemala Haz clic aquí para agrandar PUBLICIDAD GUATEMALA (AFP) - La Premio Nobel de la Paz 1992, Rigoberta Menchú, una líder indígena autodidacta, puso en jaque el sistema de discriminación imperante en Guatemala, al protagonizar el primer juicio contra el racismo. El juicio oral y público contra cinco acusados, entre los que figura un nieto del ex dictador Efraín Ríos Montt y una diputada ante el Parlamento Centroamericano, inició el pasado martes y ha generado gran expectativa en este país donde el 60% de los 11,2 millones de habitantes es indígena. "Más que una condena, el juicio deja un mensaje que visualiza el problema del racismo que afecta a todos", dijo a la prensa la dirigente humanitaria, Hellen Mack. Menchú fue la primera en brindar su testimonio el miércoles ante el presidente del Tribunal Décimo de Sentencia, Leonel Meza, donde narró con lágrimas el "horror" y la humillación que vivió durante una agresión verbal en 2003. "El dolor nunca se va a superar, es toda la historia de este país que no es posible superar, y quiero dejar muy claro que estoy profundamente afectada y voy a seguir así por tiempos venideros", afirmó Menchú durante su intervención, donde reconoció plenamente a los acusados en la sala judicial. Menchú, de 46 años, presentó la querella por considerar que fue discriminada y ofendida en una audiencia pública el 9 de octubre del 2003, en la que se debatió sobre la legalidad de la candidatura presidencial del ex dictador Ríos Montt. De acuerdo con Menchú, entre los insultos que recibió en esa instancia figuran "india shuca (sucia)", "india sinvergüenza", "india hija de puta" y "anda a vender tomates a la terminal (de buses)", entre otros. A los procesados se les acusa de discriminación, coacción y amenazas contra Menchú y de desorden público contra el Estado, ya que el incidente se registró en las instalaciones de la Corte de Constitucionalidad (CC), máximo tribunal guatemalteco. La dirigente indígena aseguró que con la agresión había perdido "la fe en que en este país (algún día) seamos iguales". "Lo que más me golpeó fue a estas alturas volver a recibir los insultos que recibí en mi infancia, que recibió mi madre", agregó. Para Premio Nobel 1992, la apertura de juicio en Guatemala sienta un precedente en América Latina, debido a que "en muchos cientos de años nunca se habló del racismo como una pena que debería de existir". "El juicio es un gran comienzo, que todos los hombres que quieran ser libres del racismo y de la discriminación en el futuro deberán invocar este mismo expediente y esta misma experiencia y deberán convertirla en un precedente", señaló. "Tengo entendido que nunca se ha librado en toda la historia, desde la ocupación colonial hasta la fecha, un juicio por racismo o discriminación como ofensa contra una mujer indígena, un joven, un hombre, cualquier persona que pertenezca a los pueblos indígenas", afirmó. La líder comparó las agresiones sufridas con la quema de la embajada de España en 1980 cuando vio morir calcinado a su padre en el asalto lanzado por las tropas de la dictadura guatemalteca, para terminar con una manifestación pacífica de un grupo de indígenas. Menchú no fue a la escuela ni al colegio, pero aprendió junto a los suyos a leer y escribir, en los ratos libres, mientras era empleada doméstica o trabajadora agrícola.
     www.prensalibre.com Guatemala, sábado 12 de marzo de 2005 Frases para insultar Expertas explican significado de palabras contra Menchú Por: Conié Reynoso Anabella Giracca -derecha- declaró ayer durante el juicio oral contra eferregistas, sobre las distintas expresiones de discriminación. Foto Prensa Libre: Jorge Castillo. Tres expertas en lingüística explicaron que durante la agresión a Rigoberta Menchú, Premio Nobel de la Paz de 1992, las frases pronunciadas por eferregistas llevaban intenciones de insulto y discriminación. “India es una palabra a la que la sociedad guatemalteca le ha dado un significado despectivo”, comentó Anabella Giracca, directora del colegio Maya y experta en lingüística, durante el juicio que se sigue, por racismo, contra eferregistas. Julia Guillermina Herrera, licenciada en Filosofía y Letras, se pronunció en el mismo sentido que Giracca. “Todos los elementos lingüísticos son analizables y tienen diferentes significados (...), el emisor de la frase se pone en una posición de superioridad”, dijo Lucía Verdugo de Lima, experta en lingüística. Las tres comentaron sobre el análisis de las frases pronunciadas contra Menchú por seguidores del líder del FRG, Efraín Ríos Montt, durante una audiencia en la Corte de Constitucionalidad (CC), efectuada el 9 de octubre del 2003. Las frases “india vendepatrias”, “andá a vender tomates a La Terminal”, tienen un mensaje de insulto y discriminación, señala el informe de las peritos. Policía los reconoció El juicio contra cinco eferregistas acusados de discriminación, coacción, amenazas y desorden público contra la Nobel prosiguió ayer, con la participación de Wilson Sosa Vargas, agente de la Policía Nacional Civil, quien estuvo presente en la audiencia en la CC y dijo haber visto a los acusados cuando le gritaban a Menchú. Los enjuiciados son: Juan Carlos Ríos Ramírez, nieto de Ríos Montt; Ana Cristina López Kestler, diputada al Parlamento Centroamericano por el FRG, y las eferregistas Vilma Orellana Ruano, Elvia Morales de López y Enma Concepción Samayoa de Rosales.


AP 10 Apr 2005 Mexican prosecutor plans new genocide charges in past crimes ASSOCIATED PRESS 10:14 a.m. April 10, 2005 MEXICO CITY – Mexico's special prosecutor for past crimes announced plans to file new genocide charges against those responsible for a massacre of student protesters in 1968, possibly including former President Luis Echeverria, local media reported Sunday. Special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo has been frustrated so far in his attempts to try Echeverria, who was interior minister in 1968 and served as president from 1970 to 1976. Last year, a judge rejected genocide charges against the former leader in the killing of leftist protesters at a 1971 demonstration. In an interview with the newspaper Milenio, Carrillo confirmed the plans to launch the new genocide charges. He said the law prevents him from identifying the subject of the new charges until they are formally filed; but Echeverria is the highest-ranking official from 1968 still alive, and has been the target of Carrillo's efforts in the past. Carrillo has promised to continue the effort to prosecute Echeverria – who denies any wrongdoing – despite setbacks. In February, the Supreme Court rejected Carrillo's argument that the statute of limitations did not apply to the 1971 killings. However, the court continues to weigh other prosecution arguments as to why that case might still be tried. Those killings occurred during a Mexico City march on June 10, 1971, which has become known as the "Corpus Christi massacre," named after the day on the Roman Catholic calendar when it occurred. Ignacio Carrillo had previously told reporters that he will file genocide charges against a total of 25 people – both military and civilian – for their alleged roles in the Oct. 2, 1968, massacre of protesters in Mexico City's Tlatelolco plaza. The government's effort to weed out alleged rebels and sympathizers in the 1960s and 1970s has become known as a "dirty war." The National Human Rights Commission has documented the disappearance of at least 275 suspected rebels.

San Diego Union Tribune


BBC 8 Apr 2005 Paraguay tribe faces bleak future By Tom Gibb BBC News, Sao Paulo Lawmakers in Paraguay have refused to protect a forest which is home to one of the last uncontacted Indian tribes in the region. Conservationists condemned the decision by congress - and warned it could spell the end for the Ayoreo tribe. They say the move opens the way for cattle-ranchers and loggers, who are already encroaching on the land. They accused the government of ignoring constitutional guarantees of land rights for indigenous peoples. Endangered habitat The Ayoreo are one of South America's last uncontacted group of Indians living south of the Amazon. Their word for white people means, literally, "people who do strange things". Looking at their recent history it is not hard to see why. First, many were hunted out of the forest by Protestant missionaries who argued this was necessary to save their souls. More recently, cattle-ranchers and settlers have been bulldozing the forest and fencing off land which the Paraguayan government sold them for almost nothing. Today, only six or seven family groups of Ayoreo are thought to still be surviving in the forest, hunting wild pig and anteaters with spears. The London-based group Survival International, which campaigns for indigenous rights, said the latest decision by congress to reject the creation of a reserve would spell the end for the Ayoreo - forcing them to become day workers on ranches. This is what has happened to most of those who have already left the forest, many of whom live in camps in abject poverty. On the Ayoreo See http://survival-international.org/tribes.php?tribe_id=16

United States

rockymountainnews.com 31 Mar 2005 City puts controversial street name in its past Road named for leader of massacre now Sunrise Drive By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News March 31, 2005 LONGMONT - Chivington Drive became part of history Monday as city workers put up four signs designating the street Sunrise Drive. "We're really happy to see that occur," said Glenn Spagnuolo, 34, a member of the Longmont Citizens for Justice and Democracy, which pushed for the name change for the past two years. Advertisement "It's a very positive step on the part of the city of Longmont to live up to the principles of diversity that it espoused," he said. But some residents who live on the street still don't believe the change was necessary. "We're stuck with it," said James Roark, 40, who likes the old street name. "Sunrise is kind of a lame name. They should change it to something snazzy, like Politically Incorrect. It doesn't fit the neighborhood, it doesn't match any of the other streets, which are all about Civil War people." The Longmont City Council voted Dec. 28 to find a new name for the two-block street on the city's north side after decades of protest from American Indian groups and others who believed the name commemorated Col. John Milton Chivington, the man responsible for the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in southeastern Colorado. Last year, the city thought it had reached a compromise by agreeing to keep the name but erect a marker on the street about the Sand Creek Massacre and Chivington's role in the event. But Spagnuolo's group told the council at its Dec. 14 meeting that the plaque didn't go far enough, and that it wanted the wording to be revised and a drawing be included on the plaque. That demand eventually led the to the council's decision to abandon the marker idea and to change the name of the street. Earlier this year, city officials met with the street's residents to choose a new name. Susan Hanes, 50, who has lived on the street for the past 25 years, initially opposed the name change because of the inconvenience to residents of having to change their addresses. However, it was Hanes who came up with "Sunrise" as an alternative name for the drive. "I noticed that people were having a hard time coming to a decision on a person's name," she said. "So I decided to go with nature." She said she was inspired by seeing the colors of the dawn on Long's Peak and Meeker Mountain, and suggested sunrise as a moniker. The other names that residents suggested were Barton, after Clara Barton, and Evergreen.

www.dailybruin.ucla.edu 4 Apr 2005 Armenian Genocide conference draws scholars JENNIFER DRADER/daily bruin senior staff Elazar Barkan, from Claremont Graduate University, presents a lecture on “Amnesty, Truth, Reconciliation” as part of “The Enduring Legacy of the Armenian Genocide.” - By Neal Larkins DAILY BRUIN CONTRIBUTOR nlarkins@media.ucla.edu The UCLA International Conference Series in Armenian Studies commemorated the 90th Anniversary of the Ottoman Turkish genocide of Armenians in a three-day conference held this weekend. Richard Hovannisian, UCLA professor emeritus of Armenian history and organizer of the conference, titled "After Nine Decades – The Enduring Legacy of the Armenian Genocide," opened up the event by asking the mostly Armenian audience how many years the genocide should be commemorated. "For the Armenian Genocide to find its proper place, it must be integrated into the collective human experience," he said. Armenian scholars from across the country and world converged at UCLA, from Berry College in Georgia to Columbia University, and from France to Argentina. The first day of the event on Friday was held in Pasadena, and featured speakers from Damascus University in Syria and Erevan, the Armenian capital. The speakers at the Friday event spoke in Armenian. The Saturday and Sunday events were held at UCLA in English. At the Saturday event at Moore Hall, Henry Theriault from Worcester State College challenged the common notion that for genocide to occur, the victim must be dehumanized in the mind of the perpetrator. He argued that unlike the Nazi killing of Jews during World War II, the Turkish slaughter of Armenians during World War I was "unnecessarily brutal" to the point of inefficiency. "The levels of violence was from the enjoyment of the leaders. Killing an ant is not that pleasurable," Theriault said. The more human the victim, the greater the enjoyment of the killer, he said, adding, "The Armenians were recognized as human." The violence that Armenians believe killed 1.5 million of their people began on April 24, 1915, and continued until 1923. In 1908, the Ottoman sultan was overthrown by the Young Turks, the regime that would commit the genocide. "At some point a critical mass of Young Turks became ultra-nationalistic. At some point the ultra-nationalists became genocidal," Theriault said. Speaking about U.S. foreign policy during the genocide, Suzanne Moranian of the Armenian International Women's Association said American policy toward Armenians was "paradoxical." The "self-interest that impelled the United States to help the Armenians is the same as the self-interest that caused them to abandon Armenians," Moranian said. While then-President Wilson pursued a policy of neutrality with Turkey during WWI, American missionary groups conducted a substantial relief operation in present-day Syria that was supported financially by both Congress and private citizens. But "America's post-WWI retreat from internationalism" and Wilson's attention to his planned League of Nations decreased American support for the Armenian cause, Moranian said. She said that the policy for dealing with Armenians in WWI formed the blueprint of U.S. foreign policy for the future. The United States has not officially acknowledged that a "genocide" took place. In his February visit to UCLA, U.S. ambassador to Armenia John Evans said that the term genocide, created in 1943, should not be applied to the events of 1915. Turkey continues to deny a genocide took place. Recently, however, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan took a small but symbolic step to address the issue by announcing that Turkey's official archives would be opened to historians. Examining the philosophical and literary response to genocide, Michael Papazian of Berry College in Georgia said that many Young Turks were educated in Germany, and that the Jewish "Holocaust was perpetrated by (Germany's) most philosophically advanced group." "Jewish philosophy can be a guide for Armenian philosophers to come to terms with the genocide," he said. He also warned Armenians to "be mindful not to make death and destruction the central theme in Armenian history, rather than the Christian ideas of life and rejuvenation." Philippe Videlier of the National Center for Scientific Research in Lyons, France was inundated with many questions after his lecture on "The Armenian Genocide and French Society." Questions from the largely middle-aged and elderly audience were about the absence of foreign intervention during the genocide and recognition of the genocide in countries around the world today. Videlier said France did not intervene with the genocide because they were occupied fighting a war with Germany, even though at the time the government and intellectuals were aware of the atrocities. Later, France was pressured by Turkish government lobbyists into banning the release of a film about the genocide, he said. While these statements brought scoffs from the audience, the crowd offered a roaring applause after he noted that "four years ago the French government recognized the 1915 genocide."

Long Beach Press Telegram 31 Apr 2005 www.presstelegram.com Cambodians united News Year's events, to be successful, must rely on a shared purpose. Thursday, March 31, 2005 - Long Beach's Cambodian community has much to celebrate and much to mourn this year during the week of the Cambodian New Year. Let's hope the emphasis is on celebration. The annual celebration, which attracts as many as 15, 000, will be held Saturday, April 16, at El Dorado Park. This year, for the first time, a parade is planned for the following day, which happens to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the day the hated Khmer Rouge began one of history's bloodiest genocides. Sadly, the coincidence has caused a serious confrontation between the planners of the parade, who intended only to prolong the New Year celebration, and others who take affront at the timing. The opponents say the slaughters by the Khmer Rouge are to be detested and mourned, not celebrated, and they are right. In that sense, the timing is wrong. Two local Cambodian newspapers have attacked the parade plan, one of them with a lurid illustration of the skulls representing the many victims of the Khmer Rouge atrocities. But a dozen Cambodian groups were represented in the planning, and the councilwoman of the district, Laura Richardson, whose office coordinated the efforts, stands firmly behind their decision (too firmly, in our judgment). The two sides are in a standoff. They ought to be in a collaboration. Cambodian politics are passionate, but this isn't about politics. It's about a nation whose people, nearly destroyed, survive, some of them in a foreign land. That's cause for honor and respect to be duly paid to the victims of the atrocities, but it's also cause for celebration. On that, both sides could agree. The Cambodian New Year deserves a second day of celebration, much like it's done in the homeland. A parade, both reflective and celebratory in tone, could be fitting. But first, people representing all factions of the Cambodian community must sit down together and plan, with a common purpose. And with the help of a supportive City Hall.

KFSN - Fresno,CA 2 Mar 2005 March For Humanity Begins in Fresno A group of young people are marching to the state capitol with the goal of raising awareness about the Armenian genocide. They began their 19-day journey in Fresno on Saturday. Along the way, they'll distribute fliers about the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians, who died at the hands of the Turkish government. They'll wrap up the march with a rally at the state capitol, to thank California lawmakers for officially recognizing the genocide. The Turkish government still denies it ever happened. Below is a list of all the cities/towns the March For Humanity will walk through: April 2 Fresno April 6 Chowchilla April 10 Modesto April 14 Stockton/Lodi April 18 Elk Grove April 3 Madera April 7 Merced April 11 Modesto April 15 Lodi April 19 Florin April 4 Madera April 8 Atwater April 12 Manteca April 16 Galt April 20 Florin/Sacramento April 5 Chowchilla April 9 Turlock April 13 Stockton April 17 Elk Grove April 21 Sacramento 215-mile walk from Fresno to Sacramento

AP 3 Apr 2004 Up to 20 teens may have known of Minn. massacre April 3, 2005 BY PATRICK CONDON RED LAKE, Minn. -- Up to 20 teens possibly knew about the massacre plot that left 10 dead at the Red Lake Chippewa reservation, it was reported Friday. A tribal police officer said the FBI seized about 30 computers from Red Lake High School's computer lab and was searching them for evidence of online contacts between students. He said classes should not resume until authorities know whether any other students were involved. ''The indication is there were more kids involved,'' police Capt. DeWayne Dow said. ''Grades are important, but our kids' lives are more important.'' A law enforcement official who declined to be identified told the Washington Post that as many as four students were directly involved in the plan to attack the high school. The official said more than a dozen others may have been aware of the plot. Tribal chairman says he won't quit One of the students directly involved, Jeff Weise, was originally described as the lone gunman in the March 21 spree. The 16-year-old killed nine people before shooting himself at the high school. The tribal chairman's son, Louis Jourdain, was also identified by the official as one of those with direct involvement. He has been arrested. His father, Floyd Jourdain Jr., said Friday he would not resign unless the public urges him to leave, and he proclaimed his son innocent. ''The only thing my son is guilty of is being friends with Jeff Weise,'' said Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. Jourdain said his son's story would be told at some point. ''It's a story that has a lot of twists and turns and tragedies and hope and messages. And that story will unfold eventually, and it will be a story everyone can learn from,'' he said. Jourdain said he has taken time off from his job since his son's arrest but remains in contact with staff every day. He said he has gotten support from the tribal council and the community, including about 300 e-mails mostly encouraging him to remain on the job. ''If the people of Red Lake determine it's time for me to move on, then I will,'' he said. ''Right now, I'm not getting that feeling from the majority of people out there."

NYT 5 Apr 2005 Crisis of Indian Children Intensifies as Families Fail By SARAH KERSHAW LUMMI INDIAN RESERVATION, Wash., March 29 - The very full house on Gumel Place was steeped in the usual loud weekend chaos when 14-year-old Cecilia Morris burst through the door. "Hey," she said. "Is Mom in jail?" No, said her uncle, Jasper Cladoosby, but her mother had gone back into drug treatment. Her father is the one in prison. Mr. Cladoosby, 27, who is raising four of his own children along with Cecilia and two of her sisters, is one of possibly hundreds of uncles, aunts, grandparents and others caring for children whose parents are unable to raise them because of dire poverty, alcoholism and epidemic drug abuse on this reservation on Bellingham Bay in Northwest Washington. Cecilia's four remaining siblings are being cared for by other relatives. "Their parents basically left them last summer," said Mr. Cladoosby, who works as a part-time crabber and mechanic but relies mostly on food stamps and his wife's salary and tips as a dealer at the new Lummi casino to care for his children and nieces. "It's pretty much overwhelming." Tribal officials here estimate that fewer than half of the 1,500 children on the reservation are living with a parent full time. A breakdown of the American Indian family, mirrored throughout reservations across the country, has been building for generations but is now growing worse, tribal and outside experts say. The crisis gained new attention this month after a troubled youth went on a shooting rampage on the Red Lake reservation in northern Minnesota. The broken family of the teenager, Jeff Weise, 16, who the police say killed nine people and then himself, is typical among Indians. With his father dead and his mother disabled by a drunken-driving accident, he was staying with his grandmother on the reservation, after living with his mother, before her accident, in Minneapolis. "The breakdown is huge," said Danita Washington, coordinator of Lummi's drug abuse prevention program, who is caring for three nieces and a nephew because her sister is addicted to heroin. "We're trying to find a solution." Lummi tribal officials say their roster shows that 11 percent of the children on the reservation have been placed in foster care or with relatives receiving foster care payments. Statewide, about 8 percent of Indian children are in foster care, Washington officials say. But like national statistics, those numbers tell only a sliver of the story. Even though tribes have made great strides over the last two decades in keeping children from troubled homes, a cascade of statistics paints a bleak picture of the roughly 850,000 Indian and Alaska Native youths, about half of them living on Indian reservations, according to the Census Bureau. Compared with whites and with other minorities, Indians have extremely high teenage suicide rates, are more likely to get into fights at school and carry weapons to school, and have high rates of substance abuse, several recent reports show. "It's not so much the idea of a traditional mother and father, but the concept of family, and the idea of supportive, safe and nurturing family is very important," said Dr. Jon T. Perez, director of the division of behavioral health for the Indian Health Service, the primary government agency responsible for providing health care to more than 560 federally recognized tribes. "And when you have generations of people for whom that has not been the case, it can be problematic." According to the latest federal statistics, nearly 10,000 Indian and Alaska Native children, or about 1.2 percent, are in foster care, living with relatives or others. (Indians and Alaska Natives make up 1.5 percent of the nation's population. ) The federal data, from the Department of Health and Human Services, show that about 1.8 percent of black children and about 0.5 percent of white children are in foster care. Terry L. Cross, executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, based in Portland, Ore., said that at least 25,000 Indians under the age of 18, or 3 percent, were living in foster care or with relatives, although he acknowledged that his surveys, which do not include Alaska Native children, probably failed to take into account many more informal living arrangements. "I think Native Americans aren't really on anybody's radar," said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, based in Alexandria, Va. "When people write federal legislation, they keep leaving the tribes out." While the shuttling of children between relatives is typical in inner cities and poor rural areas - and much public attention has been paid to the large numbers of black and other minority children in foster care - the crisis is growing more acute on the many isolated Indian reservations, several experts said. "Basic human needs are in very short supply," said Esther Wattenberg, professor of social work and an associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota. "That is, food, shelter, income and a sense of having access and availability to services." As public assistance benefits have dried up under time limits for federal welfare payments, Professor Wattenberg said, Indians and their children who were living in cities have begun to return in significant numbers to their reservations. There, they may find space on a relative's couch and add more families to the roster of the desperately poor. Many experts say the crisis for Indian children stems not so much from living without their parents - the role of the extended family in child rearing is crucial in Indian culture - but from a lack of mental health services and recreation on reservations, some so destitute that there is no swimming pool or basketball court, let alone a counselor. Money for health and mental health care on reservations, which comes mostly from the federal government but is increasingly supplemented by gambling revenues, falls far short of the demand, many experts say. Here at Lummi Nation, the Silver Reef Casino opened in 2002 but has only recently begun to yield steady profits. The tribe has invested $2 million in a new home, scheduled to open April 13, that can hold 28 troubled children; a "safe home" for youths; and more counselors. Now, there are seven counselors available for the 1,500 children, well above the national average for Indians. But tribal officials acknowledge that Lummi families still bear the brunt of caring for neglected children and emotionally supporting them. Ms. Washington, the Lummi drug prevention program coordinator who is caring for her sister Geraldine's four children, runs a tight ship. The children, ages 9 to 16, sleep in the front room of Ms. Washington's three-bedroom home, along with another sister of Ms. Washington and the sister's teenage son. Their clothes are kept in makeshift dressers in the garage. Ms. Washington, 49, who is divorced but still lives with her ex-husband, has two children of her own, a son, 20, and a daughter, 24, who live with her. Her daughter is helping raise her boyfriend's 2-year-old daughter, who stays at the house every other weekend. Geraldine Washington's children were placed with her sister by the Lummi Tribal Court, which works with the state to arrange foster care; the state pays Danita Washington $647 monthly for their care. On a recent Sunday, Geraldine, 40, who is living with a relative, came to visit. Her children had not seen her in two weeks. Sitting on her sister's couch, she said she quit using heroin on Oct. 14, her daughter Hannah's 11th birthday. But Danita said she doubted that Geraldine was clean. "Nobody can really get you cleaned up," Geraldine said, as Hannah fiddled with her mother's rings and watch and grasped her hand tightly. "I was tired of going to jail. This round is really different. I have had enough." Danita Washington said she worried most about her nephew, Justin Zollner, who was to turn 16 on Wednesday, and who, she said, has an anger problem. The children's father, she said, has "been out of the picture" for a long time and has not come to see them in many years. Justin has uncles who live nearby, and they attend his football games and take him canoe racing, a passionate pursuit for the tribe. "My brothers and I talk a lot about this," Danita Washington said. "We made conscious choices. We can't change our sisters, but we can influence their children." Still, it is painful when Justin talks, fairly often, about missing his father, she said. "Mostly, every kid wants their parents," said Justin, who has the biggest mattress in his aunt's front room and plays football for the Golden Eagles at Ferndale High School near here. "Right now, I kind of wish my dad was still here because I've played football for like seven years now, and he never got to watch me." He was happy to see his mother, though he was not sure when he would see her again. "I think she's doing good now," he said. " She's trying. I can see it." And on this day, for his birthday, she was going with him, his aunt and his sisters to ride indoor go-carts. Eli Sanders contributed reporting from Seattle for this article.

Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL - Apr 2, 2005 www.news-journalonline.com Nice spot for a religious massacre, an odd name for a school By MARK LANE FOOTNOTE Last update: April 03, 2005 I'm fascinated by place names. How the associations surrounding the names shift. What the names say about us. Usually we don't even notice them. Particularly the ones we see a lot. This seems to work like repeating a word over and over until it loses any meaning. Drive past a name on a sign four times and its name means a spot by the road. You see this happening with the argument in Flagler County over what to name the new high school. The plan is to name it Matanzas High School. Which seems just fine when you think of the name as a spot on the road. You cross Matanzas Inlet driving to Flagler from the north. This is where the Matanzas River connects to the sea. Which is near Fort Matanzas. And the Matanzas Woods golf course and the Matanzas Shores subdivision and the Matanzas Meadows stables. In short, a popular, spot-by-the-road place-name. A popular, spot-by-the-road place-name that has become divorced from any meaning the word has. And this brings us to a problem. The word in Spanish means "slaughter" or "massacre." This would make the school's name something like "Slaughter High School," which sounds like a direct-to-DVD horror movie. Slaughter High School 3: The Revenge of the Domestic Science Club! Still, Florida is full of Spanish place names that have come to be separated from anything connected to their literal meaning. I'm always amused at the elegant sound of Boca Raton, in Palm Beach County, which means "Rat Mouth" in Spanish. Experience the gracious living of Rat Mouth Estates. This effect can be extreme. Some prettier names have come unmoored from any meaning in any language. Such as Volusia, the origin of which remains mysterious, even though somebody always has a theory. The origin of the place-name Matanzas, on the other hand, is clear and literal. The inlet was near the spot where, in 1565, Spanish Roman Catholics executed nearly 250 French Protestant prisoners, 10 at a time, their hands bound behind them. It's the sort of thing that gave faith-based initiatives in the New World a bad name. I sometimes wonder what Florida would be like if the French got to stick around. I'd like to think we'd be more like New Orleans. We'd have more and better restaurants. Outrageous festivals. More live music and maybe our own musical style. Central Florida with a few hundred years of French influence could have developed one really funky cultural mix. Not to mention an impressively impenetrable local accent. After the killings, the Spanish commander, Pedro Menendez Aviles, heard from a few complainers who said this time he really had gone a bit far. Generally, though, he was praised for a proactive, zero-tolerance policy toward Protestantism. Menendez still is remembered as the founder of St. Augustine. There's a Menendez Birthday Festival held there each February. But don't worry, nobody gets hurt. St. Johns County even named a high school after him. In the spirit of evenhandedness, Duval County named a high school for one of his victims, the French commander, Jean Ribault. (I sometimes wonder if their teams ever play each other. I can see the headlines: Menendez slaughters Ribault.) Seldom has there been religious massacre so well-represented by the naming of high schools. Naming another high school after the massacre site would seem in line with that tradition. As long as they steer clear of school mottoes like "Death to heretics!" I don't see a big problem. Plus, this might also be the only way the incident will get mentioned in school because things like that just aren't on the state's standardized tests.

Background: Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL 19 Mar 2005 www.news-journalonline.com New high school now has name By NICOLE SERVICE Staff Writer Last update: March 19, 2005 BUNNELL -- The new high school currently under construction will bear the name Matanzas High. The School Board unanimously approved the name Tuesday, saying there was really no other choice. The other two proposed names -- Forest Grove High and North Flagler High -- just didn't work as well, said Board Member Colleen Conklin. "Look at the other two. North Flagler? No," Conklin said. "I think Matanzas lends itself to the history, the location of the school. I think you can establish worthwhile school colors, themes, mascots -- all those things around Matanzas versus North Flagler." The school, which is at the corner of ForestGrove Drive and Old King's Road, is located in an area that was once called Matanzas in the mid-1700s. The word "Matanzas" is actually Spanish for massacre. Local historians say the name stretches back to a battle between Spanish forces based in St. Augustine and French ones living near present day Jacksonville. A violent storm overtook the French ships, pushing them south and wrecking them on the beach somewhere near Mosquito Lagoon, which is now Ponce de Leon Inlet. The surviving soldiers and crew made their way north along the beach through today's Flagler County to the Matanzas River where they attempted to surrender, but were instead slaughtered. The area became the Matanzas Inlet. Board Member Evelyn Shellenberger said while she wasn't happy that Matanzas means massacre, she would still support the name. "That area was originally called that a long time ago, and I am partial to staying with names that are characteristic to the history of the area," she said. "Of the three that was really the best one." A 10-member committee made up of community leaders, students, parents and teachers, received 83 potential names and narrowed it to three, which were presented to the School Board. Diane Dyer said discussions about the school's color and mascot are under way, and that all suggestions will be added to the list of possibilities. A few Bunnell residents and community leaders say they would like school officials to think about using the old George Washington Carver High School mascot and colors. The Carver Tigers, whose colors were royal blue and gold, had a highly successful football and basketball team, as well as a superior band, according to former graduates. It was also an all-black school from 1949 to 1967, at which time it was integrated. The school later burned down in the 1970s. Local Attorney Sidney Nowell, who had been talking to Carver graduates, said now would be a good time to reclaim a part of the county's history that has faded away. "I hope they give it some serious thought," Nowell said. "There is really nothing throughout the county that reflects that part of the county's history." Conklin said it's an idea she would favor. "That's a very large part of our county history," she said. "It gives the community a wonderful opportunity to really remember the history of this county. I would be interested to look at that." Matanzas High will be a 216,000-square-foot, two-story facility with capacity for 1,442 students, and it is expected to completed in fall 2006

Fredericksburg, VA Free Lance-Star 3 Apr 2005 www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS Free Lance-Star's Rick Mercier interviews former Marine who was witness to genocide in western Sudan. TEN YEARS from now, when we reflect on the genocide in Darfur, we may well remember Brian Steidle as one of the reasons why we can't say we didn't know what was going on in that ravaged part of Sudan. Few other Americans have had such an up-close view of the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. And only a handful of other Americans have worked as feverishly to educate their fellow citizens about the region's orgy of violence, which has claimed well over 200,000 lives and forced more than 2 million people (out of a population of about 7 million) from their homes. Steidle, a former Marine, served as an adviser to African Union monitors in Darfur from September to February. While he was there, the 28-year-old Virginia Tech graduate encountered some of the Sudanese military officers and janjaweed militiamen who are perpetrating crimes against humanity--and he was repulsed by their air of invulnerability despite worldwide media coverage of their atrocities. Steidle wants to see deployment of a large international force in Darfur that has an explicit mandate to protect civilians and ensure secure routes for humanitarian aid workers. He thinks that force may have to number in the tens of thousands. He also advocates enforcement of a no-fly zone over the region so the Sudanese government can no longer bomb and strafe civilians with helicopter gunships and warplanes. Steidle has testified on Capitol Hill about Darfur and is working with members of Congress from both parties to craft a strategy for ending the ethnic violence in the western part of Sudan. The Free Lance-Star's Rick Mercier caught up with Steidle last week in Arlington to discuss what he witnessed in Darfur and what he thinks needs to be done to stop the genocide there. Here are excerpts from that interview: Mercier: Could you explain what you were doing in Darfur? Steidle: We were reporting on violations of the cease-fire [between rebels and Sudanese government forces]. [My job] was basically to assist in report-writing, assist in questioning, anything I could do. Mercier: We hear about a mandate that limits what AU troops can do. And, of course, in your experiences, you saw abuses occurring but were unable to intervene. Steidle: Yes. The troops that are there, their mandate, what they are tasked to do, is to protect the monitoring teams, to protect their camps, their helicopters. They're not there to protect villages or IDP [internally displaced persons] camps or even roads so that humanitarian traffic can get through. Now, we're doing some of that. We are driving a road and telling the NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and the U.N., "We're driving on a road at this time and if you want to follow us, that's fine." So we're providing an escort, without [officially] doing an escort. There are a number of times we've gone out to a village, put a monitoring team in a village for a week, and brought in about two platoons of soldiers. Basically, they're there to protect the civilians, but that's not their mandate. When they talk about expanding the mandate, they talk about specifically saying, "Your job is to protect the civilians in the villages and IDP camps, and open the roads for humanitarian traffic and be able to stop any kind of hostile action against the civilian population." Mercier: Maybe we can talk about the attacks you witnessed. Steidle: Well, I mean, there were too many to recount all of them. We'd go out and see villages that had been burned, and scores of people had been killed. We conducted interviews with women who'd been gang-raped. We'd see evidence of torture, people who'd had their ears cut off or eyes plucked out before being shot. Men who, after running from their village, if they were caught, were usually castrated and either left to bleed to death or executed. You know, small children who had been shot, people who had been locked in their house and burned alive. Mercier: You've talked before about an incident where you positioned AU troops at a spot and it had the effect of deterring an attack. It seems important to mention these examples to establish what could be done. Steidle: Yes, absolutely. After an attack on a village called Labado, a village of 20,000, burnt down--government did it, no doubt about it. Mercier: When you say the government did it-- Steidle: Meaning I was standing next to the government of Sudan general who was in charge of the troops as the village was being burned to the ground. Mercier: Was it ground troops, by air, a combination? Steidle: It was helicopters, it was Antonovs [transport planes reportedly used for bombings], it was government of Sudan forces in vehicles, plus janjaweed [militia forces]. After that village had been attacked and completely burned down, the next village in line--they were on a mission to clear a road to Khartoum--they said they were going to clear it and any resistance to it, they were going to attack. Well, the next village in line was Muhajeryia. It had twice as many people as Labado and it was an SLA [rebel] stronghold. We knew that there would be hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were going to die. So we knew we had to stop it somehow. The African Union was able to put 35 armed troops in the village, and their job there was not to protect the civilians, not to protect the town--because that's not their mandate--but to protect the civilian contracting team building a more permanent camp. And after that, the government troops did not advance. So then the African Union put 70 troops in the village of Labado to protect the monitoring team. Within a week, they were able to negotiate for the government of Sudan to withdraw their thousands of troops from the area, and 3,000 people returned to that village to start to rebuild. And as of two weeks ago, the State Department told me that 10,000 people had returned. So that can happen. That example can be repeated all over Darfur. Mercier: How many troops do you think would be needed? Steidle: There are many, many numbers. There are a number of very detailed reports that are going to be coming out soon, from a number of working groups. They are very detailed about what is needed. I've always said 25,000 to 50,000. Some people have said 44,000. Some people think it is lower. Some people think it is 10,000. I think that all depends on how the mission is structured, and also whether there's a no-fly zone. If there's a no-fly zone, then obviously you need fewer troops. But that's what I've always said: 25,000 to 50,000. Now, I don't believe the African Union is capable of mustering that many people. Mercier: Would that mean a U.N. force would be necessary? Steidle: Meaning somebody else. I'm not advocating for U.S. or NATO troops to go into Sudan, not by any means. The U.N. would be a good option. Now, the U.N. is stretched thin. They've had other problems in Africa--Congo of late--and they've just agreed to put 10,000 troops in the south [of Sudan], so I don't know if they're capable of mustering this many. But there needs to be some sort of large troop force to stop the fighting. I think a no-fly zone is a big point, and I think it would cause the government to rethink their actions. And troops on the ground to monitor what is happening, allow the people to return, and also to protect the civilians from the janjaweed that are controlled by the government. I think if those things happen, there can be peace in Darfur. Mercier: You mentioned the place that was the rebel stronghold. And the Sudanese government says their actions are legitimate counterinsurgency actions, and so if there are areas where there is a rebel presence, is there credibility to the government's claims? Steidle: They signed a cease-fire in April 2004. Since that time, they have taken back about 75 percent of what the rebels had held before the cease-fire. They use the excuse that there are bandits, that they are policing the area, that they are opening routes. They say they don't know these are rebel territories. That's from the mouth of the general in charge of this operation: "We don't know where the rebels are, we're just clearing the roads. There are bandits." It's a complete lie. They know where the rebels are. If we know where they are, then they know where they are. They're using it as an excuse to defeat the rebels. Mercier: We've heard a few things about rebel attacks on humanitarian workers, about rebels not allowing humanitarian workers into certain areas. Do you know what the motivations are for that? Steidle: I would say in the six months I was there, I saw one of those incidents. And it was done by a bunch of drunk soldiers that were out of control. That unit was completely disbanded. People were reprimanded. I didn't see any other evidence of them restricting humanitarian access. It doesn't make any sense for them do that. The humanitarian groups are providing aid to their people who have been displaced by the government. Mercier: How much were you able to ascertain about the relationship between the janjaweed and government? Is it right out there in the open? Steidle: It's clear-cut. It's absolutely clear-cut. They work together. When the government troops need assistance, they call the janjaweed. Sometimes when the janjaweed attack a village, even when there aren't any regular [government] troops on the ground, they call in air support. I mean, it is clear-cut. It's just two different units. There is the regular government forces and there is the janjaweed, and they fight side by side. Mercier: So in your mind, is there no question that what's going on is genocide--or do you not get into it? Steidle: I don't get into it, but there's no question in my mind that it's genocide. Speaking to some janjaweed on the ground, they have told me why they're doing it. They're doing it because these people are a lesser race, they're black Africans, they want to kill them all or drive them out. Mercier: You've heard this directly from janjaweed? Steidle: Absolutely. Mercier: Why would they tell that to you? Steidle: They tell us they are going to burn and loot and kill people. They say, "We've had camels stolen, and we're going to go in this line; we're going to go to this village, and this village, and this village." And we say, "Well, what are you going to do?" They say, "We're tracking our camels. Until we find our camels, we're going to burn these villages down, we're going to kill everybody we can, we're going to rape all the women, we're going steal all their stuff." And then they do it. They're completely up in your face about it, because they know that there is no teeth to the [AU] mission that is currently there. They need to put more teeth in the mission. They need to specifically mandate that they are to protect civilians. Mercier: Diplomatically, what do you think the U.S. can do? Steidle: There's a lot we can do. Hopefully, we can put pressure on the United Nations to get troops in there and to impose sanctions. I think that one of the most important things that can be done is to put the political aspects aside. Put the debate over the [International Criminal Court] aside. Put the debate over whether it's genocide aside. It doesn't matter what you call it, it doesn't matter where these people are going to be tried right now. It does in the future, for sure. But right now it doesn't. Right now what needs to happen is, the killing needs to stop, the people need to be safe. Going back to what the U.S. can do, there are a number of other countries that have more influence over Sudan than we do. Mercier: Such as Arab League countries? Steidle: Arab League countries, China, Russia, Nigeria. I think we can speak to these governments, I think that we can put pressure on them to act on Sudan. Mercier: It's been about a year since Darfur made it into the papers here, but not a whole lot has been done since then. Do you think we can allow another year to slip by in which not much is done? Steidle: I think if another year slips by, there won't be anybody left. I mean, 75 percent of the villages in south Darfur are now gone. It's happening right now as we sit here. It's not stopping. You've got to act soon, or there's not going to be anything left. And we're going to be looking back 10 years from now saying: "Man, that was a genocide. We should have stopped it"--like we're doing now with Rwanda. RICK MERCIER is a writer and editor for The Free Lance-Star. To learn more about Darfur and about what you can do, go to the International Crisis Group's Web site, crisisweb.org, and the Save Darfur Coalition's Web site, savedarfur.org.

Apr. 07, 2005 Brownback Student group seeks action on Darfur Kansas senator praises anti-famine effort By DAVID GOLDSTEIN The Star's Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON – Sen. Sam Brownback on Wednesday praised the efforts of a nationwide student campaign urging more government action to end the famine in the Darfur region of war-torn Sudan. Speaking to the 300 students as they set out to lobby members of Congress, Brownback, a Kansas Republican, said: “God bless you for listening instead of just rolling over and going to sleep, or turning to another channel. You're doing something about it. Together we will stop the genocide that is taking place in Sudan.” The students kicked off their “100 Days of Action Campaign” Wednesday in commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda that began on the same date, April 6, in 1994. The carnage, depicted in the film, “Hotel Rwanda,” lasted 100 days as the rest of the world did little. “I lost over 100 of my family,” said Stephanie Nyombayire, a freshman at Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, who grew up in Rwanda. “On the first day of the genocide, my grandmother was shot. We want to stop the talking and begin the action. We must refuse to let Darfur become another Rwanda. Today, there is no more time for excuses.” For several years, Brownback has been urging that more attention be paid to the problems in Sudan and Darfur, which U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has described as “hell on earth.” More than 380,000 people have been killed since 2003 in a civil war between black rebel groups and the largely Arab governing class. The 300 students gathered in the Hart Senate Office Building for a news conference with Brownback and other members of Congress were part of a grassroots group that has sprung up on campuses across the country called the Genocide Intervention Fund. Its goal is to push the Bush administration and Congress to take stronger steps on Darfur. The group also hopes to raise $1 million for the U.N.-backed African Union peacekeepers, who are trying to provide security and protect the public in Darfur. “It has become a commonplace that, when we hear the word ‘genocide,' we say, ‘Never againsaid Sen. Jon Corzine, a New Jersey Democrat. “Now is a time when we must say this and mean it.” To reach David Goldstein, Washington correspondent, call 1-(202) 383-6105 or send e-mail to dgoldstein@krwashington.com.

VOA 6 Apr 2005 US Students Launch Campaign to Raise Private Funds for Darfur Peacekeeping By Deborah Tate 06 April 2005 Tate report (Real Audio) - Download 221k Tate report (Real Audio) A group of American students has launched a campaign to raise money from private individuals in an effort to stop the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. The effort received support from members of Congress.. Hundreds of college and high school students gathered at the Hart Senate office building Wednesday to begin a drive to raise money to support the African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Andrew Sniderman, a junior at Swathmore College, is leading the effort through the Genocide Intervention Fund, an initiative he helped organize. Mr. Sniderman says his campaign, which involves schools, houses of worship and other civic groups, hopes to raise one million dollars for the African Union mission in Darfur over the next 100 days. He also says he hopes his effort will generate 100,000 letters to U.S. officials urging action to end the genocide. He says the campaign was timed to begin on the 11th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. "We do not believe that it is enough to grieve for these victims, and so we will remember Rwanda by taking action in Darfur. It is our hope that we will be united now in action in a way that we were not 11 years ago," he said. Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, spoke to the students and welcomed their grassroots campaign. "I have to say how invigorating this is to me to see you here, that you are putting your heart, your soul, your time and your efforts, your resources into this fight. It renews us here to be able to see that taking place. It says there are others who care," he said. Senator Brownback has introduced legislation calling for U.N. economic and diplomatic sanctions against those responsible for genocide in Darfur, including against the Sudanese government. See Genocide Intervention Fund

Harvard Crimson 7 Apr 2005 www.thecrimson.com/ Students Fund Sudan Peacekeepers By DANIEL J. HEMEL Crimson Staff Writer Stirred by reports of genocide in Sudan, Swarthmore College senior Mark Hanis concocted a zany scheme last fall: an “adopt-a-peacekeeper” fund to finance an African Union (AU) force stationed in Darfur. Hanis spent many sleepless nights e-mailing human rights leaders to request support for his plan. One of the activists he contacted was Samantha Power, a Kennedy School of Government (KSG) lecturer who last summer traveled to the western Sudanese region of Darfur, where government-backed militias have slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslim villagers. “I thought, this kid at Swarthmore—he’s lost his mind,” Power said. Power met Hanis face-to-face yesterday evening at a KSG panel discussion on Hanis’ brainchild, the Genocide Intervention Fund (GIF). Drawing roars of laughter from the audience of more than 100, Power asked Hanis, “What were you smoking when you had this idea?” “I was smoking a lot,” Hanis quipped. In November, Hanis persuaded Clinton-era National Security Council official Gayle Smith to back GIF’s mission. Smith said last night that she had traveled to Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and found that AU leaders were enthusiastic about Hanis’ initiative. GIF, an upstart initiative staffed by Swarthmore students, aims to raise $1 million for the AU in the next 100 days. GIF has attracted support from students on nearly 80 other college campuses, as well as several members of Congress and a coterie of retired military officers. Senators Jon Corzine, D-N.J. and Sam Brownback, R-Kansas joined GIF members at a Capitol Hill press conference kicking off the campaign yesterday. GIF is currently negotiating an agreement with the AU under which donations will be used to provide logistical support for the peacekeeping force—but funds will explicitly not be used to purchase lethal weapons. Hanis noted that Swarthmore is a Quaker school, and he said that the initiative’s support on campus would suffer if GIF funded weapons purchases. At last night’s panel event, Romeo Dallaire, a retired Canadian general who led the ill-fated UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1994, endorsed GIF’s decision to abstain from supporting weapons purchases. He said that millions of illicit small arms are already circulating in the developing world. “They are not void of weapon systems,” said Dallaire, a fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which sponsored last night’s event. “They are void of trucks. They are void of water purification equipment.” Late last year, the AU sent a shoe-string force of 2,193 soldiers to Darfur, where more than 300,000 civilians have died since 2003. Dallaire said that GIF’s efforts would likely boost the morale of Rwandan and South African peacekeepers in the AU force, who he said were suffering from a “sense of abandonment.” He said that the AU’s mandate from the UN does not provide peacekeepers with sufficient authority to shield civilians from government-backed militias. “It is my belief that the mandate that the AU has is dooming them to failure. Their mandate is to observe and report—not to protect,” Dallaire said. But Smith said that “while the AU has limitations...the fact of the matter is that the AU was in Darfur while the rest of the world was issuing statements.” Meanwhile, news of Harvard’s historic decision to divest from PetroChina, an oil company with links to the Khartoum regime, has spread among aid workers in Sudan and boosted morale, panelist Rebecca Hamilton said last night. Hamilton, a joint-degree candidate at the Law School and the KSG, said she had received e-mails from workers in south Sudan and the Darfur region hailing Harvard’s move.

MTV.com 7 Apr 2005 College Students Sacrifice To Help Sudanese Genocide Victims 04.07.2005 8:05 PM EDT STANDFast project asks them to donate instead of spend for one day. Sudanese children in a refugee camp Photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images In an effort to stop the genocide in Africa, tens of thousands of students from more than 160 colleges banded together Thursday (April 7) in mtvU's STANDFast, a day of remembrance and action that focused attention on the growing crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. From the hallowed halls of Harvard to the green lawns of UC Berkeley, students across America participated by giving up something they would normally have purchased, then donating the money they would've spent on that everyday purchase to relief efforts. "History proves that college students are a powerful engine for social change," said Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU, who noted that all it takes to feed a Sudanese person for a day is 19 cents. "My hope is that the world's awareness will be raised, but also that each student takes with them the realization that a simple act can make a difference." Sudan, which is led by an Islamic military regime and an Arab-controlled government, stands accused of trying to wipe out its tribal population in an ongoing genocidal battle over land, water and resources. Since February 2003, more than 200,000 Africans have died as a result of the conflict and disease, and nearly 2 million have been displaced from their homes as a result of the relentless fighting in Darfur and must find housing in refugee camps set up throughout the country. On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, Africans are still facing the threat of mass killings, destruction of their homes, and other abuse by the Janjawid militias — bands of Arab fighters backed by the Sudanese government. Last year, former Secretary of State Colin Powell visited the region. ''When we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team, we concluded — I concluded — that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjawid bear responsibility, and that genocide may still be occurring," he told Congress. Powell also charged the Sudanese government with not acting to stop the genocide, which the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Activists have urged the world to take action before it becomes a repeat of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 that killed more than half a million people. The Sudanese are also undergoing a second conflict between the north and south, who have been engaged in the longest-running civil war in Africa for over 20 years. In January, both parties signed a peace agreement to end the conflict, but doubts remain about whether the peace will last. "So many of us live in our own bubble and we don't realize there are real people going through a genocide, and instead of silently watching, we need to do something to stop it," said Rachel Berkson, a junior at the University of Illinois who helped organize a STANDFast event at her school. "Everyone always says, 'Well, didn't someone do something?' " she said. "And now this is our turn to do something." — Brandee J. Tecson, with additional reporting by Conor Bezane

Boston Globe 6 Apr 2005 OPINION: Who says student activism is dead? By Rebecca Hamilton | April 6, 2005 THE CYNICS of our time should heed two striking events that occurred this week in relation to the ongoing atrocities in Darfur. First, for the only time since the tobacco cases and the apartheid era, Harvard University has acted on purely moral grounds, divesting itself of shares in a company that supports the government of Sudan. Second, a mechanism has been launched enabling private citizens to take action to stop genocide if their governments don't. The driving force behind such unprecedented occurrences? A bunch of 20-year-old students who believe we must make real our promise of ''never again" to protect civilians in Darfur. On Monday, Harvard announced that despite the ''strong presumption against divestment for reasons unrelated to investment purposes" it would take the rare step to divest itself on moral grounds of the $4.4 million worth of shares it held in PetroChina. Citing a recent report to the British Parliament that estimates the death toll in the Darfur region of Sudan to be at least 300,000, the Harvard Corporation stated that its decision reflected deep concerns about the extensive role of PetroChina's closely affiliated parent company, China National Petroleum Corporation, as a leading partner of the Sudanese government in the production of oil in Sudan. The report of the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility noted that ''oil production is widely understood to be a crucial source of revenue for the Sudanese government, essential to the government's capacity to fund military operations, and an asset of exceptional strategic importance to the regime." It is appropriate that the Ivy League institution and its president, Lawrence Summers, should now bask in the positive publicity for having taken such a responsible role; indeed, one that sets an example for universities around the country. However, the real praise rightly belongs to those idealistic twentysomethings who dared to believe that they could persuade Harvard to take this step. Their campaign to take on the impenetrable Harvard Corporation began last year, and they have shown themselves to be the true leaders. Slowly but surely, the students built up a coalition that could not be ignored. A combination of tactics -- carefully researched memos to the board, persistent lobbying, behind-the-scenes assistance from faculty, and traditional visible activism -- culminated with a protest Monday morning. Hundreds of students dressed in black, carrying the symbolic green signs for Darfur marched silently to the site of the corporation's meeting. When the announcement to divest was made, a student gospel choir broke into song. As it turns out, the Harvard student activists are not alone. Another group of students from Swarthmore College came up with the audacious idea that if their government wasn't going to stop the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, then they would have to take on the task themselves. Today they are launching the Genocide Intervention Fund. Through the fund, private citizens can donate money to support the peacekeeping efforts of the African Union forces. Two years into the crisis, these troops remain the only people standing between civilians and their killers on the ground in Darfur. The Genocide Intervention Fund raises money for civilian protection rather than for humanitarian aid, since aid is no help to a dead civilian and relief agencies continue to claim that they are being prevented from delivering food aid due to insecurity. While the concept remains controversial, there is nothing student-like about the manner in which it is being executed. The students behind the fund have managed to gain the endorsement and expertise of many influential individuals, from politicians on both sides of the aisle to Juan Mendez, UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, and Gareth Evans, president of the International Crisis Group. Only time will tell the ultimate impact of student activism for Darfur. However the lesson from this week is clear: Leadership can come from unexpected sources, and before the cynics criticize the idealism of youth, they should look to these students to see how, with intelligent and savvy execution, ideals can be transformed into reality. Rebecca Hamilton is a joint degree student at Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She worked in Sudan last year and is a cofounder of the Darfur Action Group.

Africa Action (Washington, DC) 7 Apr 2005 PRESS RELEASE Africa Action Commemorates Rwanda Genocide with 'Speak-Out Vigil' on Darfur Washington, DC Hundreds call for Urgent Multinational Intervention in Darfur; Demand U.S. Action to Stop Genocide On the eve of the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people were massacred as the U.S. and other major powers failed to act, Africa Action and hundreds of activists participated in a vigil at the White House last night to demand urgent action from the U.S. government to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Special guest speakers at this event included Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, actor and activist Danny Glover, Yves Twagirayezu, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and Fatima Haroun, a Darfuri woman working with the Sudan Peace Advocates Network. Marie Clarke Brill, Director of Public Education & Mobilization at Africa Action, said, "The White House has called the atrocities in Darfur genocide and failed to take the action necessary to stop the violence. Instead, the U.S. stands back with eyes wide shut and answers the suffering with silence. That is unacceptable! We demand that President Bush break his silence and do everything necessary to move the UN Security Council to form a multinational intervention force to protect the people of Darfur." Salih Booker, Executive Director of Africa Action added, "In a mere 100 days in 1994, 800,000 people were butchered in Rwanda and the U.S. government did nothing. As we commemorate that sad event 11 years later, the same atrocities are taking place in Sudan, and the President’s apathy again reveals a flagrant disregard for African lives. This time we will not allow the White House to twiddle its thumbs in the face of genocide." Booker added, "Would the U.S. government act in the same way if this were happening to white people? Why should African lives be any less valuable? " Yesterday’s vigil drew hundreds of participants, including members of the Darfurian community in Washington D.C., students, members of religious communities, and human rights activists, all of whom sternly condemned the White House for its silence on the genocide. Participants in the vigil demanded urgent action from President Bush to stop the genocide in Darfur. Up to 400,000 people have died in Darfur over the past two years, and recent reports confirm that the security situation on the ground is deteriorating, and the humanitarian crisis is reaching desperate proportions. Africa Action is calling on the U.S. to do everything necessary to secure a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing a multinational intervention force to strengthen the efforts of the African Union force on the ground and to stop the genocide in Darfur. Ann-Louise Colgan, Director of Policy Analysis and Communications at Africa Action, said, "Although the UN Security Council last week passed resolutions on sanctions and on a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Darfur, more urgent steps are required to stop this genocide. There is a pressing need for a rapid and robust international intervention in Darfur to protect civilians, to enforce the ceasefire and to facilitate a massive expansion of humanitarian operations. Unless such an intervention is mounted immediately, up to a million people could be dead by the end of this year." Last night’s speak-out vigil was the latest in a series of weekly vigils organized by Africa Action to demand urgent U.S. action to stop the genocide in Darfur. These vigils take place every Wednesday at Lafayette Park in front of the White House at 5:30pm and will continue until the U.S. takes sufficient action to end the genocide in Darfur.

corzine.senate.gov/press_office CORZINE LEADS FIGHT TO STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR, SUDAN On March 2, 2005, Senator Corzine and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced the Darfur Accountability Act of 2005. The bipartisan bill calls for a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against the Government of Sudan, including an arms embargo; a military no-fly zone over Darfur; and accelerated assistance to African Union peacekeepers. The bill provides for accountability for those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity by freezing the assets of and denying visas to those individuals. It also calls for prompt prosecution and adjudication in an international court of justice. Finally, the bill calls on the Administration to undertake a concerted, sustained diplomatic initiative to stop the genocide, with other members of the UN Security Council and through the appointment of a Special Presidential Envoy for Sudan. Click here to view Senator Corzine and Senator Brownback's Darfur Accountability Act of 2005 Click here to view Senator Corzine's press release and statement for the record on the situation in Darfur. corzine.senate.gov/priorities/darfuraccountabilityact.pdf

AP 7 Apr 2005 Two-State Shooting Rampage Leaves Two Dead, Four Wounded LAUREL, Delaware (AP) -- Police say two people are dead and four more have been wounded in a series of shootings from southern Delaware to northern Maryland this morning. Delaware state police said a suspect is in custody in all the attacks, but they're providing no details. The shootings started in Laurel, Delaware, where three men were shot, two at an apartment complex and one at a shopping center. A shot was also reported in Delmar, on the Delaware-Maryland border. Then three more people were shot in Salisbury, Maryland. One victim in Laurel and one in Salisbury died. Police in Delaware say they know of a possible motive for the shootings, but they're not disclosing it.

People's Daily (China) 8 Apr 2005 english.people.com.cn Two killed in US shooting incidents Two people were killed and several others were wounded in separate shooting incidents in the United States on Thursday, media reports said. In Laurel, Delaware, the suspect, Allison L. Norman, shot one person to death and wounded two others. He continue the shooting rampage in neighboring Salisbury, Maryland, killing one person and wounding two others, before he was arrested by police. Norman was charged with first-degree murder and handgun violations, the reports said. Also on Thursday, the father of a high school football player shot and wounded the coach with an assault rifle in Canton, Texas, and police were investigating the incident.

Princeton Packet, NJ 8 Apr 2005 Girls start campaign to end genocide in Africa By: Rachel Silverman, Staff Writer John Witherspoon School students launch letter-writing campaign at Princeton Public Library. Somewhere, over on the remote, desert-swept plains of Africa, an unspeakable human tragedy is at play. Over the past two years, close to 180,000 civilians have reportedly died and millions more have been displaced by Western Sudan's brutal ethnic-cleansing campaign, in which government-backed militias have been systematically eliminating entire communities of African tribal farmers. Now, as the Sudanese people search for missing family members among the millions of silent, unmarked gravestones, the poverty-stricken nation is sounding a desperate cry for help. Their call struck a chord with two John Witherspoon Middle School students — seventh-graders Aislinn Bauer and Sarita Rosenstock — who recently have embarked on a letter-writing campaign to help save the Darfur region. "I took them to see Hotel Rwanda," Aislinn's mom, Charlotte Hussey, said, describing the girls' first exposure to the vexing, catastrophic issue of human genocide. "At the end of the film, they were pretty moved and pretty shocked by it. "They were really interested to learn what was going on," Ms. Hussey continued. "Something that struck them was the lack of response by the international community. They wanted to do something to keep the issue in the forefront of our government's mind." So on Saturday, armed with paper and pen, the pair will set up shop at the Princeton Public Library in an attempt to galvanize the community into writing letters to Congress and President George W. Bush. "They just believe they are doing something that will make a difference," Ms. Hussey said. "They are not cynical or jaded. They are very horrified by what's happening." The letter-writing initiative, which already has garnered more than 300 letters and $200 in contributions, also doubles as an education-outreach campaign. "They'll be handing out green ribbons to raise awareness," Ms. Hussey noted. "The goal is twofold," she said. "It's to get the letters signed and also to raise people's interest and awareness." According to Teen Librarian Susan Conlon, who has helped coordinate the weekend event, this type of teen activism, while admirable, is hardly an anomaly in a community like Princeton. "We have a lot of middle and high school students who are very conscious about things going on in the world," she said. "We have an activist teen community here. They are involved with all different things. They are developing a sense of autonomy about how they see the world." The library, for its part, aims to foster a nurturing environment for such youthful curiosity and idealism. "One of the things we can do as librarians is to offer them the ability to find information," Ms. Conlon said. "We want to provide kids the support they need to do these things."

NYT 6 Apr 2005 OP-ED COLUMNIST The Pope and Hypocrisy By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF President Bush and other world leaders are honoring John Paul II in a way that completely misunderstands his message. We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur. The message of the pope's ministry was about standing up to evil, not about holding grand funerals. "Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak," Mr. Bush said. Well, what about that reminder? What kind of a "culture of life" is it that allows us to shrug as Sudanese soldiers heave children onto bonfires? The latest estimates, from the British government and others, are that 300,000 or more have perished so far in Darfur. Mr. Bush has forthrightly called this slaughter "genocide," but he has used that label not to spur action, but to substitute for it. These days the Sudanese authorities are adding a new twist to their crimes against humanity: they are arresting girls and women who have become pregnant because of the mass rapes by Sudanese soldiers and militia members. If the victims are not yet married, or if their husbands have been killed, then they are imprisoned for adultery. Doctors Without Borders issued a report last month about Darfur that quoted one 16-year-old girl as saying: "I was collecting firewood for my family when three armed men on camels came and surrounded me. They held me down, tied my hands and raped me, one after the other. When I arrived home, I told my family what had happened. "They threw me out of home, and I had to build my own hut away from them. I was engaged to a man, and I was so much looking forward to getting married. After I got raped, he did not want to marry me and broke off the engagement because he said I was now disgraced and spoilt. ... "When I was eight months pregnant from the rape, the police came to my hut and forced me with their guns to go to the police station. They asked me questions, so I told them that I had been raped. They told me that as I was not married, I will deliver this baby illegally. "They beat me with a whip on the chest and back and put me in jail." The report quoted another girl, 17, who was gang-raped and then locked inside her hut, which was set on fire. She escaped through the wall of the hut but suffered extensive burns. John Paul wanted world leaders to show compassion for suffering people like these girls, not for dead popes. Mr. Bush and other world leaders flocking to Rome could truly honor the pope by meeting there to establish a protection force in Darfur. In the meantime, these attacks are continuing daily. And what are we doing about it? When girls are mutilated after their rapes, we provide free Band-Aids. Mr. Bush has supported a humanitarian relief effort. But even the aid agencies emphasize that what is needed most is a security force to stop the slaughter. "We're proud of what we do," said Kenny Gluck, the operations director based in the Netherlands for Doctors Without Borders. "But people's villages have been burned, their crops have been destroyed, their wells spiked, their family members raped, tortured and killed - and they come to us, and we give them 2,100 kilocalories a day." In effect, Mr. Gluck said, the aid effort is sustaining victims so they can be killed with a full belly. I'm not proposing that we send American ground troops. But an expanded United Nations and African force, with logistical support from the U.S., is urgently needed. And Condoleezza Rice should immediately visit Darfur to show that it is a U.S. priority. Mr. Bush should promptly back the Darfur Accountability Act, a bipartisan bill that would pressure Sudan to stop the killing (so far, the White House hasn't even taken a position on the act). Ordinary citizens can also urge their members of Congress to pass the act. If there is a lesson from the papacy of John Paul II, it is the power of moral force. The pope didn't command troops, but he deployed principles. And it's hypocritical of us to pretend to honor him by lowering our flags while simultaneously displaying an amoral indifference to genocide.

NYT 8 Apr 2005 How to Honor the Pope's Message (5 Letters) To the Editor: Nicholas D. Kristof ("The Pope and Hypocrisy," column, April 6) has defined a moment in history. By juxtaposing the overwhelming expressions of love for John Paul II with the horror of a suffering people - the men, women and children of Darfur, Sudan - Mr. Kristof has revealed an opportunity that may never come our way again. Each of the world leaders who will be present in Rome at the pope's funeral is being challenged as never before to announce before this vast gathering of the faithful his country's commitment to end the horror of Darfur in the name of John Paul II and all that he stood for. May the world come together to end the agony of Africa and be a blessing for all mankind and the glory of a miraculous papacy. Barney Harris Toronto, April 6, 2005 • To the Editor: It is true, as Nicholas D. Kristof writes, that situations like Darfur require foreign aid, but world leaders attending the pope's funeral are not pretending "to honor him by lowering our flags while simultaneously displaying an amoral indifference to genocide." No one is attending the pope's funeral to address the evils in the world. The "grand presidential delegation" at Pope John Paul II's funeral is there to admire him, if not out of faith, then out of political admiration. Sharon Mei New York, April 6, 2005 • To the Editor: I agree with Nicholas D. Kristof about how to pay tribute to John Paul II. The pope called on the modern world to rediscover the universal call to holiness. That included the civil authorities. Just as they must defend life from conception to natural death and defend the institution of marriage, so they must also seek to protect and defend the oppressed of all countries. If the Republican Party wishes to claim the mantle of Christian morality, it must realize that building the culture of life means not only defending the unborn and the disabled but also defending all the defenseless, from the poor at home to the terrorized abroad. Taking action on the Sudanese genocide would be a good start. Daniel Weick Bay Village, Ohio, April 6, 2005 • To the Editor: We have heard the cry "Never Again!" after the Holocaust and again after the Rwandan genocide. But we have known of the desperate situation in Darfur now for more than a year, and the Bush administration and the governments of the world have refused to act. Nicholas D. Kristof's column shows the effect of such apathy on a personal level. The use of rape as a weapon is not unique to the Sudanese conflict: the practice is prevalent when war, revolution and chaos overcome a country. Pope John Paul II's life and work shined a light on the plight of such desperate people. Whether in his name or our own, how can we refuse to act? Bill Smith New York, April 6, 2005

NYT 9 Apr 2005 Suspect in Blast at '96 Olympics to Plead Guilty By SHAILA DEWAN ATLANTA, April 8 - Eric Robert Rudolph, the former fugitive who evaded capture in the North Carolina mountains for more than five years, has agreed to plead guilty to bombings that killed two people and injured more than 150 others at abortion clinics and at the 1996 Olympics here, the Department of Justice said on Friday. As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Rudolph revealed the whereabouts of more than 250 pounds of dynamite and of a buried bomb more than twice as powerful as the one that went off here in Centennial Olympic Park, the authorities said. The explosives were recovered and disposed of this week. In exchange for the information, Mr. Rudolph, 38, will serve life in prison instead of facing possible execution. His lawyers did not return calls seeking comment. The surprise announcement came two days after preliminary jury selection began in what was to be Mr. Rudolph's first trial, for a 1998 bombing at a Birmingham abortion clinic that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse. Prosecutors had believed that the Birmingham bombing was their strongest case. Mr. Rudolph was also charged for bombings outside a family planning clinic and a gay club in Atlanta in 1997. After the bombing in Birmingham, authorities identified him as a witness. But he fled, evading bloodhounds, heat sensors and even volunteer paramilitary brigades for five years before being caught apparently scavenging food behind a grocery store in Murphy, N.C., in 2003. For a time, Mr. Rudolph's success as a fugitive reframed the conflict, from criminal vs. the law to local boy vs. federal intruders. It made him a celebrated underdog, with T-shirts being sold bearing the phrases "Run Rudolph Run" and "Hide and Seek Champion." Meanwhile, his victims struggled to recover from the trauma of shrapnel wounds, cracked bones and blinded eyes from bombs spiked with nails and screws. Emily Lyons, the nurse left half-blind and hobbled by the Birmingham explosion, and Jeffrey, her husband, initially resisted the plea agreement but softened their stance because of the hidden dynamite. "I watched what my wife went through," Mr. Lyons said. "I did not want to have somebody come to me and say, 'My mother looks like your wife because you held out for the sentence you wanted.' " Had it not been for the dynamite, Ms. Lyons said, she would never have been able to accept the plea. "The crime deserves the punishment of death," she said. "He killed two people directly, killed one indirectly, killed all the lives that we had at that time. So death to me is the appropriate punishment." Authorities concluded that it was worth forgoing a potential death sentence to find the explosives, which they believed were a serious threat to public safety, said a government official who declined to give his name because of the nature of the plea negotiations. With Mr. Rudolph's cooperation, according to the Justice Department announcement, the dynamite was found in several places in western North Carolina, where Mr. Rudolph camped while on the run. Officers also unearthed a fully constructed bomb containing 20 to 25 pounds of dynamite and a detached detonator that had been hidden "in close proximity to a road, homes and businesses," the announcement said. "The deal was contingent on them finding it," Mr. Lyons said. The authorities said that the hidden explosives could be dangerous even without a detonating device, because dynamite destabilizes as it ages. Dr. Van Romero, an explosives expert at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, said there had been numerous cases in which children came across old dynamite sticks and set them off merely by moving them. "The nitroglycerine in the dynamite actually starts to crystallize," Dr. Romero said, "and when that happens, it's very, very unstable." Law enforcement officials involved in the hunt for Mr. Rudolph praised the plea deal. "It shocked me," said Kent B. Alexander, who was the United States attorney in Atlanta during the bombings and is now general counsel at Emory University. "From everything I know about Rudolph, it seemed like he was the type who hated the federal government so bad he would never do anything to admit his guilt. So whatever the authorities did to get him to plea was masterful." But Woody Enderson, a retired F.B.I. inspector who led the Rudolph investigation, said he had predicted that Mr. Rudolph would plead to avoid possible execution. "There are some people that probably would find a lifetime in prison very, very difficult," Mr. Enderson said. "But I just believe that Mr. Rudolph was such a loner, and was so comfortable just with himself - and in reality for five years he was in his own prison - that it would not be the hardship for him that it would be for other people." Mr. Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty in federal court in Birmingham on Wednesday and, later the same day, in federal court in Atlanta, the Justice Department said. He will serve multiple life sentences with no possibility of parole. The Birmingham bombing in 1998 was one of the last in a decade of extreme anti-abortion activity. In the 1990's, hit lists of abortion providers were posted on the Internet, and a manual circulated that included instructions on how to amputate doctors' thumbs. A rash of killings of abortion providers ended with the death of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Amherst, N.Y., in 1998. Mr. Rudolph, who moved with his family from Florida to North Carolina after his father died when he was a teenager, became emblematic of a link between white supremacists, antigovernment sentiment and the anti-abortion movement. In ninth grade he wrote an essay arguing that the Holocaust never happened. For a time in his teenage years, his mother took him to Missouri to live with a religious sect called Christian Identity, which opposes abortion, homosexuality and interracial marriage. With his two brothers, Mr. Rudolph worked in North Carolina as a carpenter and also sold marijuana, family members have said. In pretrial motions in Birmingham, his lawyers asked to present expert testimony about western Carolina culture. "Rudolph's retreat to the wilderness in the face of being sought by federal law enforcement is consistent with the cultural values, principles and lifestyles of some of those in the region," they said, which include "strong community ties coupled with an independent spirit; living off the land; preservation of individual privacy and freedom; and a persistent mistrust and suspicion of government." The bombings were accompanied by letters claiming that they were the work of the "Army of God," which people who study hate groups say is not a real organization but a name that has been claimed by people acting independently. Mr. Rudolph was not connected with any of the bombings until the one in Birmingham, when a truck seen leaving the scene was traced to him. By the time the authorities reached his mobile home in North Carolina, he had disappeared. Investigators have described the Birmingham bombing as the cruelest, because the bomb was not on a timer. Instead, Mr. Rudolph chose the exact moment to set it off, watching as Robert Sanderson, the clinic security guard and an off-duty policeman, leaned close to the bomb. In the Olympic bombing, Alice Hawthorne was killed and 111 people were wounded. A security guard, Richard A. Jewell, was identified as a suspect but was later cleared. Many victims are now involved in lawsuits seeking damages for their injuries, emotional scars or financial devastation. Several said they were glad the case was being resolved. Memrie Creswell, 36, whose right shoulder was pierced by a four-inch nail from a bomb planted by Mr. Rudolph in 1997 at the Otherside Lounge, an Atlanta club frequented by gay men and lesbians, said she was pleased that Mr. Rudolph would not be eligible for parole. "I don't want him ever walking the streets again," Ms. Creswell said. Dana Ford, a co-owner of the club, said business plummeted after the bombing, forcing her and her partner, Beverly McMahon, to close it in 2001. She said she was glad Mr. Rudolph would receive a life sentence, because she believed that the death penalty would have turned him into a martyr among his supporters. Linda Bourgeois, the administrator of the New Woman All Women abortion clinic where the Birmingham bombing took place, said the clinic staff was "very happy" when they learned of the plea. "I think it says to other people that if you bomb us, we're going to get you in the end," Ms. Bourgeois said. Ariel Hart contributed reporting from Atlanta for this article, and James Dao and Eric Lichtblau from Washington.

washingtonpost.com 9 Apr 2005 And the Verdict on Justice Kennedy Is: Guilty By Dana Milbank Saturday, April 9, 2005; Page A03 Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards. Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse. Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the "good behavior" requirement for office and that "Congress ought to talk about impeachment." Next, Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions. "If our congressmen and senators do not have the courage to impeach and remove from office Justice Kennedy, they ought to be impeached as well." Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law." Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said. The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence. But then, these are scary times for the judiciary. An anti-judge furor may help confirm President Bush's judicial nominees, but it also has the potential to turn ugly. A judge in Atlanta and the husband and mother of a judge in Chicago were murdered in recent weeks. After federal courts spurned a request from Congress to revisit the Terri Schiavo case, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) mused about how a perception that judges are making political decisions could lead people to "engage in violence." "The people who have been speaking out on this, like Tom DeLay and Senator Cornyn, need to be backed up," Schlafly said to applause yesterday. One worker at the event wore a sticker declaring "Hooray for DeLay." The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral. The Schlafly session's moderator, Richard Lessner of the American Conservative Union, opened the discussion by decrying a "radical secularist relativist judiciary." It turned more harsh from there. Schlafly called for passage of a quartet of bills in Congress that would remove courts' power to review religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance, same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts. Her speech brought a subtle change in the argument against the courts from emphasizing "activist" judges -- it was, after all, inaction by federal judges that doomed Schiavo -- to "supremacist" judges. "The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is," Schlafly asserted. Former representative William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) followed Schlafly, saying the country's "principal problem" is not Iraq or the federal budget but whether "we as a people acknowledge that God exists." Farris then told the crowd he is "sick and tired of having to lobby people I helped get elected." A better-educated citizenry, he said, would know that "Medicare is a bad idea" and that "Social Security is a horrible idea when run by the government." Farris said he would block judicial power by abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents, by allowing Congress to vacate court decisions, and by impeaching judges such as Kennedy, who seems to have replaced Justice David H. Souter as the target of conservative ire. "If about 40 of them get impeached, suddenly a lot of these guys would be retiring," he said. Vieira, a constitutional lawyer who wrote "How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary," escalated the charges, saying a Politburo of "five people on the Supreme Court" has a "revolutionary agenda" rooted in foreign law and situational ethics. Vieira, his eyeglasses strapped to his head with black elastic, decried the "primordial illogic" of the courts. Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges." A court spokeswoman declined to comment.

San Francisco Chronicle 10 Apr 2005 OPEN FORUM What We Don’t Know About the World Rebuilding America's international knowledge base Margee Ensign Sunday, April 10, 2005 Printable Version Email This Article Main Opinion Page Chronicle Sunday Insight Chronicle Campaigns SF Chronicle Submissions Letters to the Editor Open Forum Sunday Insight Many Americans were moved by the powerful performances in the award- winning film "Hotel Rwanda." But the real story of Rwanda begins where "Hotel Rwanda" ends. We are left wondering who stopped the genocide. While the world turned a blind eye, soldiers from the Rwanda Patriotic Front captured the major cities and ended the horrific violence. Those soldiers were led by then Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame, now the elected president of the country. During the past decade, the world's greatest experiment in reconciliation has been unfolding in Rwanda -- and again the world has turned a blind eye. Since 1994, the government and people of Rwanda have written a constitution; established free education for all children; elected more women to national office than any country in the world; and are meting out justice to the genocide's perpetrators, both in the national courts and by using an indigenous process called gacaca. Most of this has occurred under the leadership of Kagame. A controversial figure whom many in the West have branded as an African strongman more interested in power than in his people, Kagame is a strong critic of the United Nations, which failed to intercede during the genocide. He is a strong critic of the Christian religions that contributed to the genocide. He has intervened in the Congo, where organizers of the genocide still reside. He has tried to erase the ethnic distinctions between Hutus and Tutsis and develop a new national identity as Rwandans. True, Kagame maintains strong control in his country. Strong leader? Yes. Dictator? Not based on my experience with him and five years working in the country. When I met Kagame, we talked about America's response to "Hotel Rwanda." He said he was glad that Americans now had some understanding of what had happened in 1994, but recounted, with some frustration, a story about the unveiling of the film: When the film opened in New York, there was a table outside the theater where people could get information about Rwanda. He was told that many said, "Why go to Rwanda when it is in the middle of this genocide?" Few seemed to understand, he said, that the country was rebuilding, that the HBO documentary "Sometimes in April" is about events that occurred 11 years ago. Americans' knowledge of the rest of the world, and especially Africa, is extremely limited. In any year, less than 1 percent of our college students study abroad, and only 3 percent of these students go to Africa. Languages are essential to understanding other countries and cultures, yet fewer than 8 percent of undergraduates enroll in a language course. Many can't even find America on a map. The most recent National Geographic Global Literacy Survey found that despite our recent war in Afghanistan, 83 percent of U.S. young adults could not find it on a map, 58 percent could not locate Japan and 69 percent were unable to find England. Close to 30 percent could not locate the Pacific Ocean and 11 percent of Americans could not even find the United States. Our greatest national security threat comes not from al Qaeda, but from our ignorance about international affairs. Our economic illiteracy rivals our lack of geographic knowledge. Few U.S. high school students have any courses in economics. According to the National Council on Economic Education, only 17 states require that economics be offered in high school, and only 14 of these states require students to take an economics course to graduate. Markets and democracies only work when citizens are informed. Equally alarming are the results of a recent survey of first-year students at universities and colleges across the United States. Only about a third said it was essential for them to learn about other countries and cultures. Being well off financially and raising a family are far more important objectives for this group. They have yet to realize the impact that globalization will have on all of their objectives. Today's college generation is not receiving the knowledge and skills necessary to rebuild America's international knowledge base. Proficiency in languages, economics, geography and understanding of culture are central not only to the war on terrorism but to the U.S. role as superpower. In this era of globalization, we should encourage all college students to study abroad. This is one thing Lawrence Summers, Harvard's president, did get right recently. Study abroad needs to be a "preoccupation" of Harvard, he said, to promote international understanding. As for foreign students who want to study here, instead of restricting visas, the State Department should provide scholarship support for foreign students in political science, law, economics and the humanities from conflict- ridden areas around the globe. The Middle East and Africa should be given the highest priority, followed by those countries seeking to build sustainable democracies. The cost of one military aircraft should be more than sufficient to get this program started. The gains will more than compensate for the tax dollars involved: exposing international students to American education and democracy. Finally, the recently developed position of undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in the State Department should focus its attention not only internationally, in combating anti-Americanism, but domestically, in combating international ignorance. In announcing the nomination of Karen Hughes for this position, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "Our nation must engage in a much stronger dialogue with the world. " But that dialogue must be based on knowledge of the rest of the world.Margee Ensign is dean of the School of International Studies at University of the Pacific in Stockton. She formerly ran the Development Studies Program, an academic-training program for the State Department that included the current ambassador to Rwanda. Page C - 5

Philadelphia Inquirer 11 Apr 2005 http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/ Students take action to aid Sudan By Patrick Kerkstra Inquirer Staff Writer If any college student could fully grasp the horror of the genocide unfolding in Sudan, it is Swarthmore College freshman Stephanie Nyombayire, a Rwandan citizen who lost family members in the massacres that began there 11 years ago. "The first thing you notice is the tents in the middle of the desert, tents as far as you can see, two million displaced people materializing in front of you," said Nyombayire, who recently returned from a weeklong trip to refugee camps in Chad, along Sudan's border. "You realize the scale of it. So many people. They each have a story to tell, but the stories are all the same." Those stories have received scant attention in the media, and governments - including the United States' - have so far been unwilling to intervene forcefully in the tragedy. But on more than 160 college campuses nationwide, a large and growing network of students is fast becoming a powerful advocate for intervention. Some of the largest and most committed student groups are local. Swarthmore's leading-edge organization, known as the Genocide Intervention Fund (GIF) is raising money directly for an African peacekeeping force - perhaps the first time a humanitarian group has raised money to help field a military force. A more traditional aid group founded by Georgetown University students known as STAND - Students Taking Action Now: Darfur - has one of its most active chapters at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as one at Rutgers University. Students have organized other groups at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges and at Temple, Drexel and St. Joseph's Universities. Through petition drives, fund-raising and lobbying, STAND and GIF have lined up an impressive roster of supporters, including political figures such as U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (D., N.J.) and foreign policy heavyweights such as Gayle Smith, the former director of African Affairs on the National Security Council. Last week, Corzine and Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) spoke at a news conference launching GIF's 100 Days of Action campaign. The goal is to raise $1 million and get 100,000 signatures in 100 days. It is an audacious target. But there is an all-consuming dedication by the group's students. All-nighters are routine. Travel - to Washington and to other schools - is typically paid for out of the students' pockets. "I joined the Genocide Intervention Fund in the first or second week of November and have sort of devoted my life to it since then," Cara Angelotta said. "I'm not doing so well in my classes, but don't tell my mom that." She is bewildered by the question "Why are you doing this?" "My response is, 'Well, why aren't you?' " Angelotta said. "Once you know about it, you have to do something," agreed Penn sophomore Anna Mayergoyz, founder of Penn's STAND chapter. Mayergoyz saw an exhibit on the Sudan atrocities at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and began following developments in the news after that. GIF's novel approach to the Sudan crisis - raising funds for African soldiers - separates the organization from the dozens of others working to raise money for humanitarian relief in Darfur. These Swarthmore students, and those at GIF chapters elsewhere, believe the genocide will be stopped only by a military force. The money they raise is earmarked for the United Nations-endorsed African Union peacekeepers. The funds will not be used for weapons or ammunition. The African Union peacekeepers are too poorly equipped to intervene in large enough numbers to stop the genocide. "We see humanitarian aid as a necessary but insufficient response to genocide. It doesn't solve the root of the problem - which is security," Angelotta said. "Governments should be paying for this, but if they don't, who will?" Student interest in the Sudan crisis has spread so quickly that MTV's campus television network, mtvU, dedicated 24 hours of programming last week to the genocide and plans to continue paying close attention to the Darfur region, spokesman David French said. Nyombayire was featured prominently in one of the programs, a documentary on life in the Chad refugee camps. The network flew Nyombayire and two other U.S. students to Chad, where they interviewed scores of Darfur refugees. After returning, Nyombayire said the story of one 15-year-old girl had stayed with her most strongly. The girl had been raped, seen her parents murdered by the notorious Janjaweed militia, and walked 40 days across the desert to reach the Chad refugee camp. "They were very grateful that people would want to know what's happening to them," Nyombayire said. "I hope it brought them some hope that they are not completely forgotten."

New Book: NYT 29 Mar 2005 BOOKS OF THE TIMES | 'AT THE POINT OF A GUN' An Idea Paul Wolfowitz and Kofi Annan Can Agree On By MICHIKO KAKUTANI AT THE POINT OF A GUN Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention By David Rieff 270 pages. Simon & Schuster. $24. he provocative title of David Rieff's provocative book "At the Point of a Gun" refers to "armed intervention in the name of democracy, human rights and humanitarian need," a phenomenon that the author says has won growing support from both the United States and Western Europe, despite the fallout from the war in Iraq and despite problems with other interventions in the 1990's. The idea has become so popular, he argues, that "it unites American neoconservatives and human rights activists, humanitarian relief groups and civilian planners in the Pentagon," individuals as different (and frequently at odds) as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general. The problem, Mr. Rieff asserts, is that in places "from Somalia to Rwanda, Cambodia to Haiti and Congo to Bosnia," "the failure rate of these interventions spawned by the categorical imperatives of human rights and humanitarianism in altering the situation on the ground in any enduring way approaches 100 percent." Time and time again, he concludes, "our moral ambitions have been revealed as being far larger than our political, military or even cognitive means." He does not address - and this is a significant omission (no doubt resulting from the timing of the book's publication) - recent developments in the Middle East, most notably the elections in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, the fall of Lebanon's pro-Syrian government and the highly provisional stirrings of democratic change in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. What makes Mr. Rieff's pessimism particularly interesting is that he began the 1990's in Sarajevo, a "convinced interventionist" himself. Given his Hobbesian view of the world as a place "governed by force," he then argued that the choice of alternatives "seemed to be between sitting by and doing nothing as a Rwandan genocide unfolded, or the Albanian Kosovars were forcibly displaced, or accepting the unpalatable fact that in the world as it is, the only other option was to call for the old imperial powers to do their old imperial thing - that is, however politically incorrect it might be, to wish for the Seventh Cavalry to ride to the rescue." How Mr. Rieff's thinking changed over the last decade is one of the subjects of this book, and he proves to be brutally articulate about his own political and philosophical peregrinations. He is also very savvy about how the human rights movement (which came of age in opposition to the Vietnam War and American involvement in Central America in the 80's) was changed by the experience of Bosnia and came, however reluctantly, to an accommodation with the idea of American military power. "In a sense," he writes, "what happened in the 1990's was that the American human rights movement simply moved, at least partially, from a Wilsonianism of moral suasion and law-based regimes to a Wilsonianism dependent on the use of military force, above all American military force." He adds that this development "was as much the product of despair as of any change in convictions": "U.N. peacekeeping demonstrably failed in the 1990's; it was a broken instrument, and one that was highly unlikely to be repaired," and international law (like the fledgling International Criminal Court) "was, to put it charitably, a work in progress." Since "no one seriously expected these instruments to prevent the next Rwanda," he says, that left one remaining option: American military power, which, activists reasoned, could be harnessed "to this noble cause of protecting the victims of genocide and mass slaughter, securing people's liberties, and spreading - call it what you will - open societies, democracy, liberal capitalism." Unfortunately, the flip side of this development is never fully examined in these pages - that is, the embrace by neoconservatives and the current Bush administration of the idea of foreign intervention aimed at the promotion of democracy and human rights abroad. This is perhaps because "At the Point of a Gun" is a collection of essays written over the last decade - a collection that, like many anthologies, remains filled with gaps and repetitions, despite Mr. Rieff's efforts to tie things together in a cursory introduction. Indeed, the essays in this book turn out to be held together less by any overarching theme or idea than by the author's own sensibility: his shrewd suspicion of ideology and sentiment, his "vertebral anti-utopianism," his "lack of sympathy with either the left or its mirror image, neoconservatism." What made Mr. Rieff change his mind about armed intervention in the name of democracy and human rights? What persuaded him that what he thought was "a way of reducing human suffering" was actually "a recipe for a recapitulation in the 21st century of the horrors of 19th-century-colonialism" (whose moral justification, he reminds us, "was also humanitarianism, human rights and the rule of law")? The short answer is: Iraq. The longer answer is that he came to see the limits of American unilateralism and the limits of American military power, as well as the dangers of what he calls a United States "seemingly bent on empire." He adds that the war in Iraq can be seen as "the final nail in the coffin of the dream of global citizenship," which began "more than half a century ago with the founding of the United Nations" - that the war made it clear that the post-9/11 world would not be based on consensus and collective security. "I have changed my mind in the sense that I did not imagine Bosnia, or, had it happened, Rwanda, would become a template for the messianic dream of remaking the world in either the image of American democracy or of the legal utopias of international human rights law," he writes. "In other words, I imagined they would be exceptional acts, not the routine business of a hubristic altruism, maddened by a strange mix of ethical compulsion and national pride, and nourished by an overconfidence - that we will be successful in the first place, that we will know what to do with our success, that, unlike every empire that has preceded us, we will not be corrupted by that success." The one hope articulated by Mr. Rieff in these gloomy pages is that the war in Iraq might spur a re-evaluation of what he sees as the current "hypermoralization of international political action" and provide "an opportunity to rethink realism" - a realism animated by the conviction that "while there are many wrongs that do indeed need to be righted, and many causes worth defending, not everything is possible, least of all, to paraphrase the slogan of the anti-globalization movement, 'another' world." It's a hope unlikely to be realized soon, given President Bush's self-vindicating claims that in the wake of the Iraq invasion, a "thaw has begun" in the broader Middle East, and the assertion by some pundits that the so-called Bush doctrine is already bearing fruit. The reader only wishes that this intriguing but woefully incomplete book had examined such arguments and the question of just how premature they might be in light of less positive postwar developments like a continuing insurgency in Iraq, growing anti-American sentiment in the Arab world and the prospect that Al Qaeda has used the war to recruit more terrorists.

Profile: Independent 11 Apr 2005 news.independent.co.uk John Prendergast: Bush mistook me for Bono Like his doppelgänger, John Prendergast is a man on a mission - to save 2 million lives in Darfur. Jane Bussmann pushes past Angelina Jolie and Bill Clinton to catch up with the radical peacekeeper 11 April 2005 Chad, January: News cameras film Darfur's refugee children for ABC's prestigious Nightline show in the United States. It's unusually good publicity for an old story. The refugees were bombed out of their villages, but a legal stalemate means the UN can't name the perpetrators. But the media-savvy youngsters have made a banner for viewers: blood-coloured paint rains on stick people as a fat man laughs; his caption, "Omer al-Bashir" - the President of Sudan. For two decades, Bashir's Arab government has sent Arab "Janjaweed" militia to purge the black villages of Darfur, stealing their land and livestock. In 2003, black rebel groups took up arms. The government, instead of targeting the rebels, began exterminating their people - against the Geneva Convention, which prohibits attacks on civilians. The British Foreign Office admitted in November they did not want to intervene because "it would become bogged down and some new cause for all the jihadists in the world would emerge". Fall-out from the invasion of Iraq means the West hesitates to stop a genocide that has nothing to do with it, and so, unpunished, Bashir's storm troopers ethnically cleanse and mutilate villagers for days at a time. The children have four people to thank for the airtime: Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle, hollow-eyed at vibrant genocide; real Hotel Rwanda manager Paul Rusesabagina; crusading congressman Ed Royce and John Prendergast. With his back-to-front baseball cap over less-than-military hair, Prendergast isn't your typical peacemaker: in the past, he's been kicked out of Sudan and declared an enemy of the state for demanding its government answers to war crimes - and still he refuses to be quiet. Prendergast's informality conceals serious business. The four men are inspecting the refugee camp, and Cheadle is interviewing Prendergast. He chooses his words carefully: "These people have been hit by tsunamis of violence." This phrase will inevitably attract criticism, but Prendergast is used to breaking the rules on what he sees as a race against time to save two million lives: today, Darfur's problem is violence, but if the refugees aren't back on their farms before the planting season, it's Ethiopia all over again. Among rock stars turned politicos, Prendergast is a politico who seems more like a rock star: endearingly chivalrous and cheeky, he explains that his epiphany came in 1985. "Ethiopia starved," he says. "A million lives. I was stunned by the unfairness. I was 21 and felt I had to go to Africa to learn what was going on. I ended up staying 11 years, writing and working for Human Rights Watch, Unicef - then the White House called." Bill Clinton hired Prendergast in 1996 as one of Africa's most informed specialists on conflict, human rights, aid and counter-terrorism on the National Security Council; later promoting him to the State Department. Prendergast and Clinton flattered sworn enemies Ethiopia and Eritrea towards a ceasefire. "Clinton sent his former national security adviser Tony Lake," he says. "In Africa, Western leaders usually don't care, sending low-level people." Prendergast says many Africans care more about America than any other country, and the personal touch could help even Uganda's horrible child-army mess. "President Museveni wants the President of the United States to care about what he's doing," he says. "Make him a partner for peace. Really. It's not that much. Sending troops, invading, all that stuff is totally irrelevant." Whether you believe Prendergast is talking common sense or has his head in the clouds, this is uncommon thinking. He's proposing an alternative to sabre-rattling - the backbone of modern foreign policy. But the world has changed. Clinton's no longer in the White House and George Bush is anything but a partnership president - with a massive majority. So how does Prendergast hope to turn the public on to gentlemen's diplomacy? Now 41, Prendergast works as special adviser to International Crisis Group (CG), which has grown into the world's most respected policy advice organisation, with more than 100 field agents worldwide gathering information and then telling the likes of Jack Straw - the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs - how to prevent any impending crisis. "We had a good meeting recently with Straw," says Prendergast. "I think he hasn't had the unvarnished point made directly to him - that the longer the British remain non-aggressive to the Sudanese government, the more it delays peace and emboldens human rights abuses." CG's recommendations, Prendergast notes, "are often strongly critical, even of people giving us money". Yet, in 2003 a fat 40 per cent of its recommendations were adopted by international governments. Washington DC, a snowy morning in February: Prendergast is at America's brainiest think-tank, The Brookings Institution for a televised debate. Prendergast is going head to head over Darfur with Pierre-Richard Prosper, Bush's ambassador-at-large for war crimes. The atmosphere is heavy: the butchers of Darfur are still at large because Bush refuses to allow them to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Critics say Bush's problem with the ICC is that it tries war crimes, and therefore might want a word about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and invading Iraq. The moderator asks Prendergast if you had one minute to tell the President what he should do about Darfur, what would you tell him? With a glint in his eye, Prendergast says Bush did, in fact, quiz him intently for advice. "I was at some bill-signing ceremony and he saw me across the room and came over," he marvels. "Then his aide told me that he thought I was Bono." The room of boffins explodes into laughter. Prendergast's eyes are bloodshot from days on a speaking tour; yet despite his tireless efforts, still Darfur burns. But Prendergast can't stop it because four out of five of the countries who could impose arms embargoes on Sudan's government and confiscate their money are the very countries selling them arms. For years, Prendergast has advocated targeting the ego and wallets of individual perpetrators, rather than the trickle-down diplomacy of blanket sanctions. Prendergast knows the ego-sodden lifestyle the war criminals currently enjoy. "I've visited the ministers' homes, listened to their nonsense." On leather sofas? "Oh yeah, good stuff," he sighs. Plundered cattle, tax and oil money add up to wealth "equivalent to the collective requirement accounts of a very rich town in the US or UK". Hence Prendergast's new mission. "I can have meetings with White House officials till I'm blue in the face," he says. "Nothing will change without domestic political cost." So Prendergast works 21-hour days to focus goodwill beyond tsunamis, and show voters their own power. And this peacemaker has new weapons. In an age of impunity, it might end up falling to celebrities to save the world. "I met Angelina Jolie at a reception on refugees," he says. "I was going to see one of my favourite actresses, but she found out I was going to the Congo, wanted to assess their refugee situation, particularly sexual violence - within five minutes we decided we were going together." The result is humanitarian gold dust. "We crafted a strategy. She talked to policy makers, TV crews. Every week somebody calls me because Angelina says we've got to do something - Mira Sorvino wowed Congress advocating for victims of violence. She's a Harvard grad, a very, very intelligent woman with blonde-bombshell status. Senators who won't meet NGOs trip over themselves to meet someone like her." Prendergast chuckles, but his celebrity missions are not flippant. This is no Band Aid of the heart; he's going straight for root causes. No government wants popular, attractive people drawing attention to its failings. And these actors aren't showboating; as America's powerful broadcasting watchdogs reanimate McCarthyism, politics can severely damage your career, while billboards on Sunset Strip mock celebrities who stumped for Kerry. Los Angeles, 1 March: I head to the faux Oxbridge towers of UCLA, where Prendergast, Cheadle and actor Ryan Gosling have been invited to explain genocide to the students. The sight of the prime California youth slumped before Prendergast in stretch Gap might make you want to re-criminalise marijuana, but these are tomorrow's media moguls - and they vote. The electricity of star power shoots through the hall as they recognise Cheadle and Gosling, who implore students to write to their congressmen. Prendergast, on three hours' sleep, breaks internationalism into digestible chunks. The students gradually sit up. He's funny and he's urgent: Rwanda's genocide was tolerated, he points out, because politicians deliberately made it sound more complex than it was. The mission works. Students are "impressed, overwhelmed and excited". Afterwards, Cheadle says: "John continues to make noise about something that needs constant noise. Tony Blair seems like his heart's in the right place. I hope he'll stand up and do the right thing for Darfur". That night, protest letters are retyped on iBooks all over campus. White House officials said they never heard from the American public during the Rwandan genocide. Prendergast won't rest until he makes sure they never use that excuse again. New York, UN HQ, 28 March: Prendergast is invited to meet Kofi Annan hours before the Security Council vote on Darfur. NGOs have sent their top brass. The UN secretary-general's concern for Darfur is palpable, but he is crippled by the Security Council. Pulitzer winner Samantha Power and a Human Rights Watch spokesperson tell me the British Government is double-dealing on the ICC - professing support while brokering exemption deals for America behind the back of the British public. Under forceful pressure from Prendergast and the NGOs, Annan arranges an audience for them with the Security Council, but Prendergast doesn't have to wait: as he leaves, a man rushes up to pump his hand, telling him significantly to keep it up. Prendergast looks slightly stunned. I look around to see the same man on a TV monitor: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, one of the key players in the forthcoming Security Council vote - and the future of Sudan. New York, 5th Avenue, 29 March: Prendergast is rallying lawyers-to-be at the prestigious Cardozo School of Law when CG calls: the Security Council has voted for asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargoes on the guilty. Two days later, America steps aside, abstaining on the ICC - a sign that the US government can be moved. I ask Prendergast if he's happy. "Pleased", he says, but his eyes sparkle. But thousands of miles away, two million refugees are still on famine's clock and the ticking keeps Prendergast from sleeping more than four hours a night. So he's hatching something big. "A secret," he says. "Tell them it's the human rights versions of a blockbuster. I'm just getting warmed up."



ABC Online, Australia 13 Apr 2005 www.abc.net.au Aboriginal elders lodge genocide case in High Court A group of Aboriginal elders has vowed to disrupt next year's Commonwealth Games unless Prime Minister John Howard and others are charged with genocide. Federal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty are also named as defendants in the writ. The activists want the defendants to show cause why an investigation into acts of genocide against Indigenous communities should not be carried out. The group lodged a writ with the High Court in Melbourne. Aboriginal elder Isabelle Coe says if the High Court fails to act on the claim they will be taken to the International Crimes Commission (ICC) at The Hague. She says the group will also call on other countries to boycott the Games. "This is the shame game," she said. "We want to get our message out to the rest of the world, and that the genocide is continuing here in our country, and we want to stop it. "As a mother and grandmother, we're sick and tired of seeing our people, old people, young people, dying in the thousands, thousands in this country ... due to inter-generational effects of trauma and grief." See http://www.aboriginalgenocide.com.au


IPS 31 Mar 2005 Cambodia steps closer to justice By Niko Kyriakou NEW YORK - United Nations member states have pledged the lion's share of funding needed to launch an international tribunal to prosecute a small number of surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge, the infamous communist regime responsible for the massacre of an estimated 3 million Cambodians - or one-quarter of the country's population in the late 1970s. Countries attending Monday's fundraising conference here pledged US$38.4 million, about $5 million short of the sum the UN has agreed to raise. But Secretary General Kofi Annan told donor countries the amount exceeded his expectations and voiced confidence that the UN would be able to raise the balance. "The crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge were of a character and a scale that it is still almost impossible to comprehend," he said. "The victims of those horrific crimes have waited too long for justice. By your generous contributions today you can send a message that, however late and however imperfect, impunity will not remain unchallenged." Annan explained that court proceedings scheduled for mid-2005 could not start until the UN's full contribution of $43 million had either been pledged or contributed. He especially thanked Japan, whose pledge of $21.6 million - already paid in cash - is just over half the UN target. France made the second-largest pledge of $4.8 million, followed by the United Kingdom's $2.8 million and Australia's $2.3 million. Sean Visoth, who spoke for the Cambodian delegation, told Inter Press Service that the announcement of pledges totaling $38 million was "encouraging". But in a written statement, Sok An, chairman of the Royal Government Task Force for the Khmer Rouge Trials, asked the international community also to help the Cambodian government cover half of its $13.3 million obligation, meaning that about $12 million in pledges would still be needed before work to set up the court can begin. The United States refused to donate, saying it had already given $7 million to Cambodia over the past decade for documentation and research for the crimes committed there. The US has been criticized for indirectly fueling Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot's rise to power through its bombing of Cambodia in the early 1970s and for providing Central Intelligence Agency support for the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s to fight the Cambodian puppet government installed by North Vietnam at the time. In the 1980s, the US also successfully exerted pressure on the United Nations to give aid to the Khmer Rouge regime. Since 1997, the Cambodian government has sought the UN's help to create an international tribunal to bring about a dozen living suspects, most in their early 70s, to justice. Pol Pot, Brother No 1 of Democratic Kampuchea (the Khmer Rouge's name for Cambodia), died in 1998, and the opportunity to try those who planned, directed or carried out serious crimes is slipping away. Surveys by the Center for Social Development in 2002, the Asia Foundation in 2004 and the Khmer Rouge Institute for Democracy in 2005 found that the majority of Cambodians want to see trials of Khmer Rouge leaders, provided the trials conform to international standards. A Cambodian tribunal initially set up in 1979 found both Pol Pot and another Khmer Rouge leader, Leng Sary, guilty of genocide. But it lacked the muscle to apply sentences. Until 1998, civil war prevented the establishment of other tribunals. Talks between Cambodia and the UN lasted six years, from 1998 until 2003, before an agreement to set up a tribunal under Cambodian law was finally reached. Only late last year did Cambodia ratify the agreement and establish a budget estimate for the project. One cause of this delay may have been a lack of political will to have the trials, particularly on the part of Prime Minister Hun Sen's party, said Dinah PoKempner, a lawyer with Human Rights Watch (HRW). "One reason there was foot-dragging is that political deals were brokered," PoKempner told IPS. "The civil war was won partly through co-opting the Khmer Rouge and allowing them positions in government and the military. There are people who come under explicit terms of amnesty." Another reason negotiations over the court took so long, she said, is that the current government's style has been to control the Cambodian courts completely. "There is not an independent judiciary, so having an independent judiciary is a political threat to the government," the HRW lawyer said. The model for the court finally agreed upon, the Extraordinary Chambers (EC), is an affordable hybrid of the international tribunals held at The Hague. Mixing mostly Cambodian but also foreign judges, the EC's decisions require a majority vote and must include at least one foreign vote. HRW, however, has criticized this arrangement as vulnerable to stalemates. Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington director of HRW's Asia Division, said the EC model is susceptible to manipulation, because the government can choose from the judges and prosecutors nominated by the UN, but the UN has no say in the appointments made by the Cambodian government. But according to a paper by Tara Gutman, a legal consultant for the Cambodian government, there are also drawbacks to moving the court away from Cambodian influence. If this were done, Cambodian citizens and the Cambodian press would be less likely to attend the trial, and most of the public would be unable to understand the language of the proceedings, she wrote. Neither the International Criminal Court nor the International Court of Justice are options for Cambodia as the former can only hear cases that took place after its genesis in 2002, and the latter only handles disputes between states. Gutman said that since the hybrid model relies predominantly on existing institutions and local staff to run the trials, it is not only cheaper but leaves a wake of skilled personnel. Plus, holding the trials in Cambodia improves the public's faith in their country's legal system and Cambodia's reputation as a just society, she explained. In response to questions of whether wider corruption in Cambodia's courts will bleed into the tribunal, Gutman said some margin of accountability will be established by non-governmental organizations, the press and public monitors allowed to attend the open, televised hearings. Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT), which will be located in the capital, Phnom Penh, differs from other international tribunals that have been held in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Kosovo and Iraq in that it is set to try cases for no more than three years at a cost of about $20 million per year. By comparison, the Yugoslav tribunal is expected to last 17 years at an estimated cost of $100 million per year, and the Rwandan tribunal $24 million per year for 14 years. Sierra Leone's Special Court and East Timor's Serious Crimes Panel are more similar to the Cambodian model. Both use mixed tribunals made up of national and international judges, which is much less expensive. But the KRT is unique even from these examples because 25 years have passed since the atrocities it addresses, while most other tribunals deal with conflicts less than three years old. This means the KRT has fewer cases to try and far more evidence of crimes, including maps of mass grave sites and a 50,000 page collection of Khmer Rouge-era documents assembled over the past two and a half decades by Yale University's Cambodian Genocide Program. http://www.cambodia.gov.kh/krt/

Reuters 4 Apr 2005 Cambodia privatises "Killing Fields" genocide site By Ek Madra PHNOM PENH, April 4 (Reuters) - Cambodia has privatised a mass grave where thousands of Pol Pot's political enemies were clubbed to death, sparking anger among relatives who say the Khmer Rouge's 1.7 million victims are being traded for profit. Phnom Penh mayor Kep Chuktema said on Monday a Japanese company called JC Royal had signed a 30-year deal to manage the Cheoung Ek "Killing Fields" genocide memorial on the outskirts of the capital for an initial annual payment of $15,000. The firm will have to plant trees and flowers at the site, which is home to a memorial tower of 8,000 human skulls, as well as build other visitor facilities, he said. In return, it will be able to charge foreign tourists an admission charge of $3 -- up from $0.5 -- while Khmers, who have always been allowed in for free, will have to pay 500 riel ($0.125). "We need to beautify the site to attract tourists," Kep Chuktema told Reuters. "This project will benefit our country's tourism as some tourists do not just want to visit our historic temples. They also want to see with their own eyes the past violence of the 'Killing Fields,'" he said. Other survivors of the ultra-Maoist regime's four-year reign of terror see it differently. "Morally speaking this upsets me so much," said Neang Say, manager of the Cheoung Ek site since the 1980s, who lost nearly 40 relatives under Pol Pot. "Justice has not yet been found for the victims, but at the same time their spirits have been traded of for money," he said. The Khmer Rouge swept to power in the jungle-clad southeast nation in April 1975, and immediately enacted a "Year Zero" agrarian revolution, emptying the cities, blowing up the central bank and destroying all money. An estimated 1.7 million people were executed or died of torture, disease, overwork or starvation before invading Vietnamese troops toppled Pol Pot in 1979. The regime's reclusive leader died in 1998, and none of the top surviving henchmen have ever faced justice. However, the United Nations and Cambodia said last week they had managed to raise $38 million for a planned trial, which officials hope will get under way this year. Cheoung Ek was the main execution site for Phnom Penh's notorious S-21 torture and interrogation centre, which is likely to feature prominently in any trial.


www.chinadaily.com.cn 4 Apr 2005 Nanjing massacre victims remembered (newsphoto) Updated: 2005-04-04 09:29 Students from a Nanjing college lay a wreath April 3 at the memorial for 300,000 Chinese victims slaughtered by Japanese invading troops in 1937. Thousands of Nanjing residents in Jiangsu Province went to pay their respect to the victims on Saturday and Sunday. During the weekend, two days before the the Tomb-Sweeping Day (April 5), millions went to honor the dead across the country. [newsphoto] A student lays flowers as a way to remember the dead at the memorial in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, April 3. [newsphoto] Nanjing residents come to the memorial to remember the 300,000 victims killed during the massacre by Japanese troops in 1937.

AP 5 Apr 2005 Group: China Leads World in Executions By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 9:09 a.m. ET LONDON (AP) -- China accounted for the majority of executions reported worldwide last year, but the true frequency of the death penalty is impossible to count because many death sentences are carried out secretly, Amnesty International said Tuesday. During 2004, more than 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries, including at least 3,400 in China, the rights group said. More than 7,000 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries, it said. Iran reportedly executed at least 159 people, Vietnam 64 and the United States 59, the report said. ``The figures released today are sadly only the tip of the iceberg. The true picture is hard to uncover as many countries continue to execute people secretly -- contravening United Nations standards calling for disclosure of information on capital punishment,'' the organization said. Amnesty International said there was a worldwide trend toward ending the death penalty. During 2004, five countries -- Bhutan, Greece, Samoa, Senegal and Turkey -- abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Several countries, while retaining the death penalty in law, observed moratoria on executions, including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi and South Korea, the human rights group said. But the latest figures highlight the ongoing need for international action to outlaw the death penalty, Amnesty added. ``It is worrying that the vast majority of those executed in the world did not have fair trials. Many were convicted on the basis of 'evidence' extracted under torture,'' it said. Amnesty cited the case of Ryan Matthews, who in 2004 became the 115th prisoner in the United States cleared and released from death row since 1973. Matthews had been sentenced to death in Louisiana in 1999 for a murder committed when he was 17 years old. His death sentence was overturned in April 2004 after an appeal judge found that the prosecution had suppressed evidence at the trial, and on the basis of DNA evidence that pointed to another person as being the murderer. ^------ On the Net: Amnesty International, http://web.amnesty.org

www.chinadaily.com.cn 7 Apr 2005 Fury erupts over textbook whitewash 2005-04-07 06:47 NANJING: The newly approved Japanese textbook referring to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre as a mere "incident" has once again aroused anger in Nanjing, where at least 300,000 civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed by Japanese invading troops. Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Nanjing Memorial Hall of Compatriots Murdered in the Nanjing Massacre, denounced the Japanese actions as an attempt to modify history. The textbooks hid the Imperial Army's militaristic past, Zhu said from the memorial site in the capital of Jiangsu Province. "The modified history textbooks advocate and justify aggression and deny the Nanjing Massacre occurred. It is dreadful that Japan defiles their descendants with this distorted view... that Japan was a victim in World War II," Zhu said. A queue of 10,000 mourners snaked around the Nanjing Memorial Hall to commemorate the victims killed by Japanese invaders on April 5, China's Qingming Festival, an occasion to honour departed family members. The mourners were composed of local residents, people from other parts of China and foreigners, including some from Japan, the Republic of Korea and other Asian countries. In silent reverence, mourners prayed for the dead, reminisced about history and appealed for peace. More than 300,000 Chinese civilians and captive Chinese soldiers were slain in the Nanjing Massacre, which occurred after invading Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, then the capital of China, on December 13, 1937. About 20,000 women were raped and a third of the houses in the city were burned to the ground in a six-week orgy of atrocity, considered one of the three bloodiest massacres of World War II. She Ziqing, whose mother died in the destruction, came to the Nanjing Memorial Hall early Tuesday morning to pay his respects. Tears flowed freely when the 76-year-old man stood in front of the wall, nicknamed "the Crying Wall." It is engraved with the names of victims. He said that when Japanese soldiers invaded Nanjing on December 13, 1937, "they killed anyone they saw." Seeing a crowd of scared people fleeing to the riverside of the Yangtze, Japanese soldiers strafed them with machine guns. "The blood of the victims turned the clear river red," She said. "My father was fortunately away from home during the massacre, and the children in our family ran to the US Embassy. But my poor mother was killed by Japanese troops. In those days, many streets were piled high with corpses. It was too horrifying to look at." Xia Shuqin, another mourner, said, "Japanese soldiers killed seven members in my family within 20 minutes. Only my younger sister and I narrowly escaped. But my back and an arm were stabbed by a bayonet and the scars are still left on my skin." Many other mourners can also clearly remember the tragedy. Wang Xiuying said Japanese invaders filled a river with corpses and used the piled bodies as a bridge, passing over with trucks. Jiang Genfu said his elder sister was cut into two pieces from head to toe with a bayonet after she refused to be raped. Li Xiuying, a female victim who made her name known throughout China for having the courage to sue a right-wing Japanese writer for defamation, was pregnant at the time of the Massacre and suffered 37 stab wounds from Japanese soldiers. Thanks to timely medical treatment by a US doctor named Robert Wilson, Li survived, but lost her baby. Some mourners came from Japan. Matsuoka Tamaki, a primary school teacher in Osaka, comes to the memorial hall each year and invites Chinese victims and historians to symposiums held in Japan once a year. On her current visit to China, she presented the memorial hall with evidence of Japanese aggression, including diaries of invading soldiers, military maps and letters, collected from Japanese soldiers involved in the killing. She also interviewed some victims in Nanjing together with a Japanese photographer. She said that Japan brought untold disasters to the people of many Asian countries. However, the Japanese Government continues to conceal its wartime aggression in domestic textbooks, hiding the truth from its younger generation. Another Japanese mourner, named Shiranishi Shinichiro, expressed respect for the victims of the massacre by planting trees in Nanjing every year. A book entitled "The History of Nanjing's Occupation by Japanese Troops: 1937-1945" will be published in May. The book depicts in detail the heinous crimes Japanese invaders committed against local residents and the destructive damage they afflicted on the city in the eight years of their occupation. Jing Shenghong, the book's author and a history professor from Nanjing Normal University, said that Japan did great harm to some Asian countries in World War II and should feel guilty for its crimes. "Its denial and distortion of history is absolutely ridiculous. The Japanese rightists' deeds are extremely dangerous and pose a threat to world peace," Jing added.

NYT 9 Apr 2005 In Rare Legal Protest, Chinese Seek Boycott of Japan Goods By JOSEPH KAHN BEIJING, Saturday, April 9 - Several thousand young Chinese marched through Beijing's high-tech district on Saturday morning calling for a boycott of Japanese-made goods, a rare legal protest that underscored the sharp deterioration in relations between Asia's two most powerful countries. The mostly college-age Chinese, singing China's national anthem and shouting, "Support the Chinese motherland, boycott Japanese goods," appeared to number in the thousands, but there were no official estimates on Saturday morning. The police formed a cordon around the marchers and lined every street along the parade route, but the protest had been authorized in advance and the atmosphere remained relaxed. China's government almost never allows public demonstrations, but officials made an exception to allow people to express their anger at Japan after a series of political and territorial disputes between the two countries generated widespread popular outrage. "Every Chinese feels anger at the way Japan ignores its own history and tries to occupy China's sovereign territory," said Li Hongbo, 19, student at Tsinghua University who participated in the demonstration. "The Japanese government must understand that China is not a weak country now. We will stand up and defend ourselves." Mr. Li wore a gray sweatshirt on which he wrote, "Little Japan, get off our land." Political ties between China and Japan have become strained over rival claims to a string of tiny islands in the East China Sea, where both countries have taken steps to exploit reserves of natural gas. China has also accused Japan of approving new history textbooks that gloss over the slaughter of millions of innocent people during Japan's World War II-era occupation of China. Beijing objected to recent moves by Japan and the United States to expand military cooperation and sharply criticized the two nations for pledging jointly to defend Taiwan if China were to attack it. Last week, Beijing made clear that it was not prepared to support an overhaul of the governing structure of the United Nations, effectively delaying consideration of plans to promote Japan and several other major countries to permanent membership on the Security Council. Japan has often criticized China for fanning the flames of nationalism by ignoring the changes Japan has made since the war and encouraging hatred of Japan in the state-controlled media. The Chinese Communist Party emphasizes its nationalist credentials and often allows civilian groups to organize activities directed against foreign nations viewed as encroaching on China's interests. This has led to charges that China fans xenophobia to shore up support for the Communist Party. Police occasionally allow small anti-Japan protests in front of Japan's embassy in Beijing. But Saturday's demonstration was by some estimates the largest to be held in the capital since a massive outpouring an anti-American sentiment in 1999, after the United States bombed China's embassy in Belgrade during the war against Serbia. Washington said the bombing was a mistake. The main purpose of the latest protest was to appeal for Chinese to stop buying Japanese goods. It is unclear how much impact such appeals will have on a society awash in Japanese goods. The Zhongguancun area where the protests took place is filled with stores selling Sony televisions and camcorders, Canon printers and Toshiba computers. Some protesters said they had the responsibility to raise awareness of Japan's past crimes and compared their current campaign to the May 4, 1919, movement, which also protested the actions of Japan and other foreign powers seen as encroaching on Chinese territory. "This is our May 4 movement," said Wei Bing, a graduate student in computer sciences. "We demand that Japan recognize its crimes." The legacy of that May 4 event has been a double-edged sword for the authorities. Intense nationalist passion has often been turned against China's domestic government if it is viewed as too weak or corrupt to defend Chinese interests.

BBC 12 Apr 2005 China 'crushing Muslim Uighurs' The crackdown is done in the name of counter-terrorism, the report says China has been accused by two US-based human rights groups of conducting a "crushing campaign of religious repression" against Muslim Uighurs. It is being done in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism, says a joint report by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China. It is said to be taking place in the western Xinjiang region, where more than half the population is Uighur. China has denied that it suppresses Islam in Xinjiang. It says it only wants to stop the forces of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism in the region, which Uighur separatists call East Turkestan. Detentions and executions The report accuses China of "opportunistically using the post-11 September environment to make the outrageous claim that individuals disseminating peaceful religious and cultural messages in Xinjiang are terrorists who have simply changed tactics". CHINA'S UIGHURS Ethnically Turkic Muslims, mainly in Xinjiang Made bid for independent state in 1940s Sporadic violence in Xinjiang since 1991 Uighurs worried about Chinese immigration and erosion of traditional culture The authors of the report say it is based on previously undisclosed Communist Party and Chinese government documents, local regulations, press reports and local interviews. The report says the systematic repression of religion in Xinjiang was continuing as "a matter of considered state policy". Such repression ranges from vetting imams and closing mosques to executions and the detention of thousands of people every year, it claims. "Religious regulation in Xinjiang is so pervasive that it creates a legal net that can catch just about anyone the authorities want to target," said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China. The report also reveals that almost half the detainees in Xinjiang's re-education camps are there for engaging in illegal religious activities. Uighurs make up about eight million of the 19 million people in Xinjiang. Many of them favour greater autonomy, and China views separatist sentiments as a threat to the state. www.hrichina.org


www.navhindtimes.com 31 Mar 2005 When Genocide Masquerades as Nationalism by Praful Bidwai IT is astonishing, and distressing, that the United States’ decision to deny a visa to Mr Narendra Modi should have caused a great outpouring of crude nationalistic sentiment and anger at Washington’s supposed discourtesy, its “interference” in India’s affairs, and lack of sensitivity towards its democratic process. This issue produced the strangest of bedfellows: some secularists who rightly regard Mr Modi as the perpetrator of India’s worst state-sponsored communal pogrom found themselves on the same side as Bharatiya Janata Party apologists of the gruesome violence. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh strongly protested against the US “discourteous” decision, saying it is not “appropriate to use allegations or anything less than due process to make a subjective judgment to question a constitutional authority.” His government got worked up enough to ask the US to reconsider its decision. Many of the BJP’s political adversaries too joined the chorus. Even sections of the Left were ambivalent on the issue. This column argues that the visa denial should be unreservedly welcomed by all secular democrats who believe in justice, in particular, justice for the victims of the Gujarat carnage. The cause involved here — politically punishing a crime against humanity — transcends national boundaries and considerations of protocol or “courtesy” — something no criminal can demand. Anything that promotes the political isolation of and denies respectability to communal criminals like Mr Modi should be a cause for celebration. This rationale remains valid even if one takes — as I do — a strongly critical view of the US’ hegemonic and largely negative global role and the double standards and hypocrisy that characterise American policy. To start with, four points are in order. First, the denial of a visa to Mr Modi does not constitute interference in India’s affairs. All states reserve the right to grant or deny visas to foreign nationals. India routinely rejects thousands of visa applications every year. So does the US. In the past, the US used to bar the entry of anyone who is a member of a Communist party or related organisations. New Delhi never took up cudgels on the behalf of those who were denied visas on this ground. Doing so in the Modi case presumes that some fundamental right or worthy principle has been violated. Yet, getting a visa is not a right. No foundational human value is injured by its denial. Mr Modi was not invited to deliver some elevated discourse at a learned society or perform a diplomatic duty, but to address the Asian-American Hotel Owners’ Association. A large proportion of its members are ethnic-Gujarati sangh parivar sympathisers. Second, the Indian government is wrong to claim that Washington made a “subjective” or baseless judgment. The US based itself on findings of our own Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission! Third, it is incorrect to invoke Mr Modi’s status as a “constitutional authority” (which he is not), or even a duly elected chief minister. Mr Modi was not acting constitutionally, but in violation of the Constitution when he instigated the violence that led to the killing of 2,000 innocent citizens and the rape of thousands. That is the material fact here. The US is not hostile to the BJP. It bears recalling that the first Bush administration reacted to the Gujarat violence without outrage and serious concern. On the contrary, it coddled the BJP. Unlike the European Union, the US did not issue a protest demarche to India. And Mr Modi boasted of similarities between President Bush’s campaigning style and himself! Finally, while we must always guard against, and counter, the US’ abuse to imperial ends of the enormous power it holds, it is important to comprehend that it is not the Bush administration that took the initiative in the present case. Rather, the initiative was taken by US-based NRI civil society activists who have long been campaigning for secular causes. The US revoked Mr Modi’s visa under Section 212(a)(2)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act “for carrying out severe violations of religious freedom.” The accuracy of the assessment is indisputable. At least 20 independent inquiries by Indian jurists and scholars have found Mr Modi guilty of instigating and guiding the Gujarat pogrom. Serious crimes of the kind that Mr Modi committed demand universal corrective action, including boycotts and visa denials everywhere. Perpetrators of genocide should be shunned by all countries. The issue of justice transcends considerations of state sovereignty. In fact, sovereignty does not vest in states. It vests in people. It must never be invoked as a shield to protect horrendous wrongdoing and gross human rights violations. The world has only made modest progress towards establishing criminal liability at the international level. Most states are notoriously unwilling to abridge the notion of absolute sovereignty sanctified in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. The most important abridgments lie in the Geneva Conventions, conventions like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and disarmament agreements, and the International Criminal Court which is designed to try crimes against humanity. But the ICC is opposed by the US, China and India, among others, and remains ineffectual. The world must do better. The slap delivered to Mr Modi is a step in that direction. But it’s more. For one, it underscores the crying need to bring the guilty of Gujarat to book-through systematic and earnest prosecution, which demands rectifying defects deliberately introduced in recording FIRs. For another, it’s a reminder that if a state fails to punish crimes against humanity, the world can and must intervene. That’s why Slobodan Milosevic is on trial and Pinochet has been indicted in numerous countries for crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s-despite his old age. And for a third, India must not take refuge under words like “due process”, which it says, the US has not followed. India has itself failed on due process in Gujarat-as in Delhi in the 1980s, and Kashmir in the 1990s. The Modi visa issue should become an opportunity to draw global attention to the persecution of religious minorities and the need to punish it effectively. Bringing Mr Modi to book means abjuring the temptation to take a chauvinist or jingoist position. Nationalism is no defence against genocide.

www.expressindia.com Nandimarg massacre: Bitter memories, false promises haunt survivors Pawan Bali Posted online: Friday, April 01, 2005 at 0418 hours IST Jammu, March 31: EIGHTY-fIVE-YEAR-OLD Gunmati Bhatt lies paralysed on the floor. As she tries to speak, her lips quiver. But speak she does, in Kashmiri and in a voice barely audible: ‘‘Why did the terrorists spare me?’’ Gunmati has been in this state for the last two years — ever since she witnessed the massacre of 24 people of her village Nandimarg, in Pulwama district. That was on March 23, 2003. Among those killed were three members of her family. The 11 survivors of the small hamlet have come together to perform a havan tomorrow (April 1) in the memory of those killed. The last two years have been painful and bitter. The politicians’ promise of extending help to them within “48 hours” has taken two years to materialise. The furore the politicians expressed over the killings has over the years turned into silent indifference. More Nation Headlines Full Coverage Samrat Shah Rukh The Great Indian Debate SelectParveen Babi's DeathNRI NewsKanchi Seer's ArrestAmbani vs AmbaniGujarat RiotsJ-K MonitorIndia Pak TalksIndia-Aus SeriesIndia-Pak SeriesIslamabad SummitRam Temple TurmoilIndia Down UnderWar on IraqNE MonitorIndia-Pak Face OffPak Nuke LeakElections 2003 Mohan Bhatt, whose father, mother and sister were killed, says politicians, including Sonia Gandhi, L K Advani, Mufti Mohamamd Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti had all come to the village and promised help, including jobs and accommodation. A lone survivor from his family, Bhatt watched the militants shatter his world. After chasing bureaucrats and politicians, he finally secured a job of a laboratory assistant a few weeks ago. Besides Bhatt, four other survivors, some holding MA degrees, got jobs as laboratory assistants, but after waiting for two years. Bhatt, who lives in a rented accommodation, says the government had urged them to stay back in the village, but after they left the Valley, all promises, it seemed, didn’t matter. Chandjee Bhatt, who also lost three members of his family, says eight families — 35 people in all — lived in the village when the incident occurred. Of these, 24 were killed. Chandjee recalls how he carried his grandmother, who was in a state of shock, in his arms for hours when they left the village. His mother, Phoolan, still refuses to step outside the house. ‘‘A curse fell on the family,’’ she says. Ramesh Kumar, who survived the attack since he was on police training and is now a constable, says he has time and again asked to be shifted to a ‘civil job’, but all pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Kumar lost six family members, including his father and two sisters-in-law.

BBC 5 Apr 2005 Bomb blast hits Kashmir bus route Security is tight after militant threats A bomb blast on the route of a landmark bus service in Kashmir has wounded at least seven people, police say. The explosion, at Hanjivira on India's side of the Line of Control, came two days before the first buses are due to link the divided territory. Two other landmines on the route were defused, police said. A dry run for the bus was secretly conducted on Monday. Militants opposing Indian rule have told people to boycott the bus and authorities have tightened security. QUICK GUIDE Kashmir dispute The bus service is seen as an important signal of improving ties between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars over Kashmir. Families in Kashmir have been divided since the first war in 1947. Police said most of those injured in the blast at Hanjivira, about 35km (22 miles) north of Srinagar, were road workers. The two landmines, weighing 70kg (150lb) and 60kg, were found and defused at nearby Palhalan, officials said. Elsewhere in the troubled territory, police said troops had killed three militants in southern Pulwama district. The militants said nine soldiers died. Passenger fears Shortly after Tuesday's blast, four Kashmir militant groups renewed their warning to people not to use the bus service, which will link Srinagar, in the Indian sector, with Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. In a statement, the groups said those wishing to travel to Pakistan-administered Kashmir should use the Wagah border crossing in the Indian state of Punjab. "If you board the bus and strengthen Indian hands you will writhe in blood and dust," it said. Militants insist they are not opposed to the reunion of divided families but accuse Pakistan of a climb-down in allowing the service, which they say undermines their campaign against Indian rule. A number of passengers on the service have been given police protection after the militants said they had an initial list of those planning to travel. The passenger list has not been officially released for security reasons. A dummy run for the bus service was conducted under a veil of secrecy on Monday - on a stretch of road between Baramullah to the west of Srinagar and the Line of Control that separates the two sectors of Kashmir. On the other side of the LoC, the authorities also conducted a test run between Muzaffarabad and Chakothi. Sabotage ruled out Last week, authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir declared the bus route safe. Round-the-clock surveillance has been mounted on the road from Srinagar to the frontier district of Uri. There are also regular patrols and anti-sabotage checks along the road. Hundreds of people with suspected links to militants have been arrested and others told to report their whereabouts to police. The bus link was announced in February and is the latest move in a peace process that began at the start of last year. Buses have not run on the route since the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947.


The Jakarta Post 10 Apr 2005 Susilo visits Santa Cruz Cemetry, gets warm greeting from locals Rendi A. Witular, Dili, East Timor President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited on Saturday the Santa Cruz Cemetery in Indonesia's former territory of East Timor, indicating that both countries have agreed to close the black chapter of past relations and start anew. During the visit to the cemetery, Susilo -- who was escorted by East Timor foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta -- was surprisingly greeted by hundreds of East Timorese who crowded along the street and in front of the cemetery. At the cemetery, Susilo laid a wreath in respect of those who perished during the brutal shooting of hundreds of proindependence activists by Indonesian troops in 1991, which met with worldwide condemnation. "My visit to the cemetery is part of our attempt to become good friends. We can now forget the past and look to the future," said Susilo at a joint press conference with East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao. Susilo reiterated that the visit was also aimed at respecting local heroes, since East Timor had no heroes cemetery nor a war memorial for East Timorese. "We are grateful that the President is willing to visit Santa Cruz Cemetery. It will become a hallmark in the relations between our nations and people," said Xanana, adding that East Timorese had agreed not to dwell on the past. After visiting Santa Cruz, Susilo visited the Seroja war memorial for Indonesian soldiers, located in front of Santa Cruz Cemetery, to pay tribute to Indonesian troops killed in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation. In Seroja, Susilo laid a wreath on the grave of Maj. B. Ginting, a member of Indonesian Army Special Forces (Kopassus) who died in 1986 during an operation to combat East Timorese fighters, and Maj. Gustav, who died during the Seroja military operation in 1976. During a visit to the East Timor parliament, Susilo said in a speech that although the two countries had settled a number of differences, there were still several problems that needed to be addressed immediately and justly. According to Susilo, the problems include repatriation of some 6,000 East Timorese refugees currently in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara as well as the repatriation of assets belonging to Indonesian citizens and state enterprises. After a majority of East Timorese voted for independence in a self-determination referendum in 1999, 285,000 prointegration supporters fled the province for West Timor. Meanwhile, as part of efforts to boost relations, Indonesia plans to extent assistance packages for East Timor, including scholarships for East Timorese university students to study in Indonesia, training programs for tax and custom officials as well as training packages for 100 police officers at the Indonesian Police Academy. Indonesia will also invite East Timor to attend this month's Asia-Africa conference in Bandung, West Java. Indonesia will also propose during next week's ministerial meeting in the Philippines to invite East Timor to the East Asian Summit in Malaysia later this year. In return, East Timor is expected to facilitate Indonesian businessmen wishing to do business in East Timor.

www.theage.com.au SBY prays at East Timor massacre site April 9, 2005 - 2:24PM Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has prayed at the cemetery in East Timor where Indonesian troops massacred hundreds of demonstrators in 1991, an event that galvanised the territory's independence struggle. Yudhoyono's visit was the first by an Indonesian leader to the graveyard, and the most clear symbol yet of the improving ties between the two countries since East Timor broke away from Jakarta's brutal 24-year rule in 1999 in a UN-sponsored ballot. But it will not satisfy human rights activists, who are pressing for an international tribunal to try Indonesian officers accused in the violence that accompanied the ballot that left 1,000 people dead and much of East Timor destroyed. East Timor itself has not aggressively supported the calls for justice, saying good relations with its giant neighbour and former occupying power are more important. "Forget the past and look to the future," said East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri after meeting Yudhoyono. "We must look at the past as a beautiful memory, not an ugly one." Yudhoyono - a former general who commanded a battalion in East Timor - prayed and laid a heart-shaped wreath at Dili's Santa Cruz Cemetery, where Indonesian troops opened fire on some 3,000 unarmed protesters commemorating the death of an activist on November 12, 1991. Troops then bayoneted survivors and hauled off the dead bodies in trucks. More than 250 people were killed and about 270 went missing in the massacre. The event focused international attention on East Timor's independence struggle. Yudhoyono - on his first trip to the tiny country since being elected in October - also visited a nearby graveyard where hundreds of Indonesian troops slain during the occupation are buried. "East Timor is like an old relative," Yudhoyono told the East Timorese parliament. "I hope that the atmosphere of this trip can be maintained and translated into closer relations in the future." Indonesia came under intense international pressure to punish those responsible for the 1999 violence. A Jakarta rights court tried 18 Indonesian military and government officials in connection with the bloodshed, but convicted only six - five of whom were freed on appeal. The United Nations has convened a panel of experts to study why the process failed. The body could recommend an international tribunal be set up to try the officers. But Indonesia would strongly oppose such a court, and diplomats say the prospect one being set up is slim.

www.westpapuanews.com 17 Mar 2005 Looting and Killing by the Indonesian Army and Police Forces in Nggweyage Village of Wunin District, Tolikara Regency, Central Highlands of West Papua By WPNews Mar 17, 2005, 04:17 [AMP Numbay Reporting on 16 March 2005 - Translation by WPNews Crew 17 March 2005] Villages and houses of villagers, livestocks and crops (gardens) in Nggoyage Village of Wunin District, Tolikara Regency were looted and burned down by the TNI-Police forces Indonesia from Yonif 310 and Mobile Brigade as well as Special Forces (Kopassus) troops. The burning and looting happened on Thursday last week at 07:00PM. As a consequence of these looting and burning the villagers lost 30 houses, 105 pigs killed, 5 gardens destroyed to the ground by the armed forces. The ruthless actions bny the TNI-Polri also cause the death of three villagers by the names of Mas Karoba (Village head), Manis Karoba and Eleyuwok. A grand plan is already in place to attack other villages as well, namely Abimbak, Tagime, Eragayam, Kelela dan Mbogondini. They did succsessfully attacked villagers in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya regency and the people are still in the jungles mid last year. At the early this year, they also attacked Wurineri village of Wunin district, Tolikara regency, burning all houses and killing elder Erelak and the other friend of his. Some months later, this attack happened in Nggweyage village.

survival-international.org 30 Mar 2005 Army kills villagers Mar 30 2005 The Indonesian army and police have killed three people, burned down houses, killed pigs and destroyed crops, in the latest in a series of attacks against tribal villages in the Papuan highlands. One of those killed was a child. The Indonesian army frequently uses the pretext of searching for members of the Free Papua separatist movement to attack and intimidate the highland people. This latest assault focused on a village called Nggweyage. Besides the child, the village leader and an elder were also killed. Survival has protested to the Indonesian government at this latest atrocity.


Reuters 4 Apr 2005 Abu Ghraib Probe Suggests CIA Role in Iraqi Deaths Mon Apr 4, 2005 06:04 PM ET By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA interrogations may have played a role in the deaths of several detainees in Iraq, as Bush administration lawyers were advocating an aggressive interrogation policy that critics say led to torture, military documents and officials say. U.S. officials have formally disclosed the death of only one person interrogated by the CIA in Iraq -- Manadel al-Jamadi, an unregistered "ghost" prisoner at Abu Ghraib who died Nov. 4, 2003, while handcuffed in a prison shower room. But sworn statements provided to Army investigators by military intelligence and police at Abu Ghraib contain at least four references to CIA detainees dying during interrogations that do not correspond with the al-Jamadi case. The documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, were collected for an Army investigation that first disclosed the presence of unregistered CIA detainees at Abu Ghraib last September. The documents were posted on the ACLU's Web site at www.aclu.org last month. The Army used the acronym "OGA" for "other government agency" to refer almost exclusively to the CIA. One document refers to an "OGA" detainee dying under interrogation in September 2003, two months before al-Jamadi. Another suggests a death occurred in October, while a third said a detainee died while chained in the prison shower. A fourth document refers to a detainee dying from heart problems during interrogation. The allegations are based on what soldiers say they heard and offer no substantiation. They provide few details and have been redacted to delete the names of the witnesses, their colleagues and superiors. Intelligence officials dismissed the statements as unsubstantiated hearsay or garbled references to al-Jamadi, who the government says died from wounds received during capture by a Navy SEAL unit. But they acknowledged that the CIA may have played a role in the case of an Iraqi military official who died during military interrogation in western Iraq in November 2003. Maj. Gen. George Fay, who helped lead the Army investigation at Abu Ghraib, told Reuters that al-Jamadi was the only interrogation-related death confirmed at the prison. But his team turned up reports of at least three other deaths elsewhere in Iraq that may have involved the CIA. "There were allegations of at least three," Fay, an assistant deputy chief of staff for Army intelligence, said in an interview. "There may have been more. OGA may or may not have been involved -- yet to be determined." Deaths in interrogation outside Abu Ghraib were beyond the scope of Fay's mission, so he passed the information on to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then the U.S. commander in Iraq. Ultimately, the allegations were left to an investigation led by Army Brig. Gen. Richard Formica, whose findings remain classified. The CIA, whose inspector general is reviewing about a half-dozen allegations of detainee abuse, said al-Jamadi's death was the only one at Abu Ghraib with possible CIA involvement. The inspector general has forwarded two cases involving CIA detainee deaths in Afghanistan to the Justice Department. One case is headed for trial in U.S. District Court in North Carolina. ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh, who recently won a federal court order requiring the CIA to disclose detainee information, said the Army documents could indicate the number of deaths in CIA custody was understated. "These documents suggest the CIA was routinely torturing detainees with utter impunity," said Singh, who believes the Bush administration permitted the CIA to use harsher interrogation methods than the military in a series of classified documents. CIA Director Porter Goss assured the Senate Committee on Armed Services last month that agency practices presently conform to U.S. law on torture. He could not say the same past techniques. But the CIA later issued a statement declaring that interrogation techniques, past and present, conform to U.S. law. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, is resisting Democratic demands that the committee investigate reports of CIA torture of detainees and says a CIA probe now underway is sufficient. "They are not torturing any detainee," he said last month. Former intelligence officers believe abuse allegations stem from a policy change that allowed aggressive new interrogation methods in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "All the CIA does is follow direction from the National Security Council and the White House. It doesn't invent these things," said one former intelligence officer. A legal opinion prepared by the Justice Department in August 2002 presented a narrow definition of torture that critics say led to the use of coercive tactics. The White House publicly rejected that policy last summer after revelations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and replaced it with a broader definition of torture in December.

Israel See Palestinian National Authority and Poland

www.haaretz.com 29 Mar 2005 Israel is among the holocaust deniers By Yossi Sarid April 24 will mark the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, and the Armenian government is holding an international conference in the capital of Yerevan, dedicated to the memory of the more than a million Armenians murdered by the Turks. I was also invited, and I decided to attend. This month will also see the Hebrew publication of Prof. Yair Auron's eye-opening and stomach churning book, "Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide," Maba Publishing, which has already been highly praised overseas in its English-language edition. As opposed to many other nations, Israel has never recognized the murder of the Armenian people, and in effect lent a hand to the deniers of that genocide. Our official reactions moved in the vague, illusory realm between denial to evasion, from "it's not clear there really was genocide" to "it's an issue for the historians," as Shimon Peres once put it so outrageously and stupidly. There are two main motives for the Israeli position. The first is the importance of the relationship with Turkey, which for some reason continues to deny any responsibility for the genocide, and uses heavy pressure worldwide to prevent the historical responsibility for the genocide to be laid at its door. The pressure does work, and not only Israel, but other countries as well do the arithmetic of profits and loss. The other motive is that recognition of another nation's murder would seem to erode the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust. Five years ago, on the 85th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, I was invited as education minister to the Armenian church in the Old City of Jerusalem. This is what I said at the time: "I am here, with you, as a human being, as a Jew, as an Israeli, and as the minister of education in Israel. For many years, too many, you were alone on this, your memorial day. I am aware of the special significance of my presence here. Today, for the first time, you are less alone." I recalled the Jewish American ambassador to Turkey at the time of the slaughter, Henry Morgenthau, who called the massacre of the Armenians "the greatest crime of modern history." That good man had no idea what would yet happen in the 20th century - who could have anticipated the Jewish Holocaust? And I recalled Franz Werfel's "The 40 Days of Musa Dagh," which came out in Germany in the spring of 1933 and shocked millions of people and eventually, me, too, as a youth. Summing up, I said, "We Jews, the main victims of murderous hatred, must be doubly sensitive and identify with other victims. Those who stand aside, turn away, cast a blind eye, make their calculations of gains and losses, and are silent, always help the murderers and never those who are being murdered. In our new history curriculum I want to see a central chapter on genocide, and within it, an open reference to the Armenian genocide. That is our duty to you and to ourselves." The Armenian community in Israel and the world took note of that statement with satisfaction. Turkey complained vociferously, demanding an explanation from the Israeli government. And "my government," of all governments, first stammered and then denied responsibility, and explained that I spoke for myself. And not a remnant survives in the new curriculum of the Livnat era. Now it can be said. They were right. All the stammerers and deniers. I really did not consult with anyone else and did not ask for permission. What must be asked when the answer is known in advance, and it is based on the wrong assumption that there is a contradiction between a moral position and a political one? Just how beastly must we be as humans, or as Haaretz wrote then in its editorial, "The teaching of genocides must be at the top of the priorities of the values of the Jewish people, the victim of the Holocaust, and no diplomacy of interests can be allowed to stand in that way"? The Israeli Foreign Ministry, and not only it, is always afraid of its own shadow and thus it casts a dark shadow over us all as accomplices to the "silence of the world." The Dalai Lama, leader of the exiled Tibetans, has visited here twice, and twice I was warned by "officials" not to meet with him. It would mean a crisis in relations with China, the exact same thing they say about Turkey. I rebuffed those warnings in both cases. I have always believed that moral policies pay off in the long run, while rotten policies end up losing. And all this I will repeat in the capital of Armenia, only in my name, of course.

Al-Ahram Weekly March - 6 April 2005 Issue No. 736 Israeli rampage Settler violence against Palestinians is burgeoning at an alarming rate, writes Khaled Amayreh from Ramallah The Palestinian Authority (PA) is calling on the international community, including the "Quartet" (the US, EU, Russia and the UN), to pressure Israel to put an end to nearly daily pogrom-like attacks by messianic Israeli terrorists on defenseless Palestinian villagers throughout the West Bank. Attacks have mushroomed recently as extremist Israeli settlers vow to commit acts of "unprecedented violence" to thwart Israel's planned "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip. "We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this unprovoked and unjustified aggression against our civilians," said Ahmed Subh, deputy minister of information in the PA. In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, Subh accused the Israeli government and army of "turning a blind eye" to the "daily pogroms and acts of savagery" by "Israeli settler hoodlums" against unprotected Palestinian civilians, mainly in the Palestinian countryside. "Does anybody in the world believe the mighty Israeli army can't rein in these criminals who terrorise and attack schoolchildren and old women? It is not a matter of inability. It is a matter of unwillingness, if not outright complicity. Inaction by the Israeli government in this respect implies acquiescence," Subh remarked. According to Palestinian sources and international peace activists monitoring settler violence, physical attacks and acts of vandalism against Palestinian villages have been occurring nearly on a daily basis in the past few weeks. On Friday, 25 March, for example, heavily armed Talmudic settlers from the Yitzhar settlement near Nablus attacked Palestinians in their homes in the nearby village of Asira Al-Qibliya. The hoodlums reportedly beat Palestinian villagers and vandalised their property. "They wore black masks and they were screaming, I don't know what they were saying," said nine-year-old Samah Ahmed, who, along with her mother and three brothers, was nearly lynched inside her home by the attacking settlers. Her mother Suha described the attackers as "the Nazis of our time". "The kids and I were alone at home. The settlers first stoned the windows with big rocks, forcing us to move from one room to the other for protection from the incoming stones. Then the attackers tried to force open the door. This really terrorised us as never before. I was really afraid they would enter the house and kill my four children." Suha said the settlers then left and returned to the settlement upon seeing other villagers coming to rescue the family. Hours later, when Israeli army officers arrived at the scene to investigate the "riot", settlers erected roadblocks and chased the officers away, preventing them from entering the settlement. The army remarked in its report on the incident that the settlers who carried out the rampage against Asira Al-Qibliya were "drunk", implying they were not responsible for their actions. Last week, as many as 30 settlers ganged up on three Palestinian labourers west of Ramallah, beating them with hoses and sharp objects. At least one worker sustained concussion from a sharp blow to the head. Some of the most wanton attacks on Palestinians and their property have been taking place in the southern Hebron hills where bands of masked Israeli settlers have been terrorising Palestinian villagers in full view of Israeli army troops stationed in the area. On 21 March, settlers spread poisonous feed and pellets across a large swathe of grazing land east of Yatta, 10 kilometres southwest of Hebron. "The pellets are small and turquoise blue, similar to rodent poison in the United States. They are spread under bushes and in the grass, pretty much anywhere the sheep graze," said Kim Lamberty, an American Christian peace activist who inspected the area. The next day, several sheep died and many others were ill after grazing. Palestinians in the area have also found two dead gazelles. When locals and international activists asked the Israeli army to investigate the poisoning and put an end to settler terror, the army said it would dispatch a "settler expert" to look into the complaint. "This malicious act not only affects the economic livelihood of the area's farmers, it could have a grave impact on wildlife in the area. The local Palestinian people along with international activists are currently attempting to clean up the contaminated site," said Lamberty. On 24 March, masked settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds and international peace activists, including two Americans -- an 18-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man. The two were injured as settlers tried to prevent them from filming the attack. A spokesman for the Israeli army told the Weekly that responsibility for "keeping law and order" lied with the police, not the army. A high-ranking army officer admitted, however, that settlers were upping the ante in the West Bank. "The situation will only intensify. We see a trend of radicalisation in the actions of the extremists. Attacks against Palestinians have increased," he said. Palestinian official Subh is worried the worst is yet to come. "We are afraid that the Israeli government's inaction towards the settlers might embolden them to commit real massacres against our people."

BBC 4 Apr 2005 Vandals desecrate Rabin's grave David Ben Gurion's grave was sprayed with the word Hitler Former Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin's grave has been defaced, the latest in a series of attacks police believe may be linked to ultra-nationalist Jews. The slogan "murderous dog" in Hebrew was sprayed on his tomb in Jerusalem as well as that of his wife Leah. Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing Jew opposed to the Oslo peace accord with the Palestinians. The graves of Zionist pioneer Theodor Herzl and the first Israeli PM David Ben Gurion were defaced last week. Jerusalem police have formed a special team to investigate the incidents. "We think that the extreme right wing is behind this," said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby in remarks quoted by AFP. Nazi slurs The Rabins' and Herzl's graves are situated in the Mount Herzl national cemetery, where Herzl's grave had the words "Neo-Nazi Hail Beilin" scrawled on it in black paint last week. Security has been stepped up around Ariel Sharon Israeli politician Yossi Beilin heads left-wing Yahad that favours pulling Israeli settlers from the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Ben Gurion's grave in the southern Negev desert was found with the word "Hitler" spayed on it on Wednesday. On Friday, the graves of 12 soldiers in Mount Herzl's military section were inscribed with the word Hitler. The desecrations have provoked outrage and condemnation among Israeli politicians. "These repugnant and shameful acts are perhaps the work of only one or two people who are mentally deranged but these are people who can shatter and destroy our way of life," said Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Some reports say security cameras filmed the acts of desecration against the graves of the Rabins. 'Incitement' The incidents follow a spate of graffiti-writing in Jerusalem streets in recent weeks threatening Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his plan to withdraw Israeli settlers and soldiers from the occupied Gaza Strip. Fears have been voiced that the atmosphere of incitement which preceded Rabin's assassination is being replicated by opponents of the plan. In February, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra called for the arrest of those threatening Mr Sharon and ministers who support Gaza withdrawal. This followed specific death threats from right-wing Israeli extremists. The Israeli intelligence services are meanwhile trying to head off any possibility of violence at the flashpoint mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City. Dozens of extra officers and cameras have been deployed at the site, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslims. Police have banned a rally called by ultra-nationalist Jews at the compound which had been planned for 10 April. Starting on 20 July, Israel is planning to pull all of its 7,000 settlers from Gaza and the troops that protect them, as part of a disengagement plan. Israel will maintain control of Gaza's borders, coastline and airspace.

BBC 7 Apr 2005 Jews held over Jerusalem 'bombs' There are fears ultra-sensitive sites could be attacked Israeli police have arrested two Jews suspected of planting fake bombs in Jerusalem to try to disrupt plans to pull settlers out of the Gaza Strip. The pair were caught after leaving a backpack rigged with wires, police said. The arrests come amid heightened fears that right-wing activists will step up attempts to sabotage the withdrawal. A Jewish group meanwhile has called for a mass rally against the pullout at a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site. The group, Revava, says it wants at least 10,000 Jews to ascend the hilltop known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif on Sunday. Fearing an eruption of violence, Israeli authorities have closed the site to non-Muslims, but Revava has vowed to defy the ban. Heightened alert Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the men who were arrested belonged to an outlawed ultra-nationalist group, Kahane Chai. We will arrive in masses... and we will in any case try to enter Israel Cohen Revava leader He said the suitcases contained wiring, a note and cardboard, without elaborating on what was written on the note. An Israeli police spokeswoman said some of those opposed to the Gaza withdrawal planned to distract the security services "so that they will not be able to carry out evacuations". The arrests came a day after police in Jerusalem raised the level of alert in the city, amid growing fears of sabotage attempts by extremists. Amos Gilad, a senior defence ministry official, said there were fears of an attack on the Temple Mount/Haram as-Sharif, but he said authorities would use "all means available, including unprecedented ones" to prevent it. Revava leader Israel Cohen said supporters would try to enter the compound regardless of the ban. "We reserve the right to pray at our holy site. We will arrive in masses... and we will in any case try to enter," the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying. Islamic leaders in Israel have called on Muslims to amass on the site to prevent Jews from entering. The fate of the Temple Mount/Haram as-Sharif, where two large mosques stand above the ruins of two Biblical Jewish temples, is one of the most sensitive issues dividing Israel and the Muslim world.

Arutz Sheva 7 Apr 2005 IsraelNN.com Revava Director Calls on Jews to Come to the Mount 16:51 Apr 07, '05 / 27 Adar 5765 (IsraelNN.com) Yisrael Cohen, director of the Revava organization which is calling on Jews to come to the Temple Mount for a prayer rally on Sunday, told Galei Tzahal (Army) Radio earlier today that the status quo religious discrimination against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is intolerable. Cohen stressed the call for prayer is just that, and not an intended provocation against Muslims or a political rally in any form. Cohen added that the Israel Police decision to reject the request to hold the event does not change his plans, and he and his organization continue calling on the masses to make their way to Jerusalem on Sunday to pray on the Mount. Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra yesterday consulted with Israel Police and Shin Bet General Security Service commanders and decided to close the Mount to non-Muslim visitors on Sunday to keep Jews out. Cohen pointed out that just as police manage to maintain order when hundreds of thousands of Islamic worshipers come to the Mount for Ramadan services, the same can and must be done to the Jews. The Temple Mount is the holiest site to the Jewish People, home of the First and Second Temples and the site on which the Third Temple will be constructed. While many rabbis permit going onto certain areas of the Mount while complying with strict compliance with Jewish Laws governing such a visit, other leading rabbis strictly forbid such a visit until we are all spiritually pure, a state that will only be realized following the coming of the messiah. "REVAVA: Changing the Rules of the Game. Revava is a Jewish grassroots organization whose goal is to restore self esteem to the state of Israel by restoring Jewish national pride and values." www.revava.org

NYT 11 Apr 2005 Huge Police Force Bars Israeli Rightist Rally at Jerusalem Holy Site By STEVEN ERLANGER and GREG MYRE JERUSALEM, April 10 - About 3,000 Israeli police officers moved into positions throughout Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday, foiling a rally called by Israeli rightists at one of Islam's holiest sites. The police, some of them in helmets and bulletproof vests, arrested at least 31 Israelis to prevent them from entering the Temple Mount, revered as the site of the two Jewish temples. The same spot is revered by Muslims as the Haram al Sharif, which contains Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The Israeli rightists were from a group that calls itself Revava, which means "10,000," but they numbered only about 50 on Sunday. Still, they tied up thousands of police officers, and the group's leaders were detained. The police later barred entry to four right-wing legislators, Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad of the National Union and Yehiel Hazan and Michael Ratzon of the Likud. Earlier this week, after the group called for the rally, the government said it would be inflammatory and would not be allowed. It barred Jews and Muslims younger than 40 from the site, to avoid a confrontation, but said it would not bar older Muslims, so they could come to pray. The site has long been considered a tinderbox. The police were not as successful in keeping Muslims under 40 from the mosques, where many of them spent the night. Several thousand Muslims gathered at Al Aksa to "defend it," and at least 15 Palestinians were arrested and 8 slightly wounded in clashes, while 3 police officers were slightly wounded. The Israeli public security minister, Gideon Ezra, speaking on the plaza near the Western Wall just underneath the Temple Mount, said, "I think it's the most sensitive place in the Middle East, and we'll do everything we can to prevent a provocation." Tensions were even higher after the killing of three Palestinian teenagers by Israeli troops in Gaza on Saturday. The army said the three had ignored warning cries and shots in the air and had run toward an Israeli patrol in an off-limits area near the border with Egypt. In response, at least 70 rockets and mortar and other shells were fired by Palestinians toward Israeli positions and settlements in Gaza. One house was damaged, but no one was injured. On Sunday in Gaza, marchers shouted for revenge for the killings of the teenagers, who witnesses said had been playing soccer. An Israeli Army spokesman said that the army had an hour of video of the young men and that they were nowhere near any residential area, were monitoring Israeli patrols and were not playing soccer. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, landing in Washington later on Sunday on his way to meet with President Bush on Monday, called the mortar shelling a "flagrant violation" of the truce with the Palestinians. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Saturday had called the killing of the three Palestinian teenagers a violation of the same truce. The tensions led to fears that the demonstration on Sunday, however feeble, could explode into something much larger. At least one Palestinian youth tried to reach the mount dressed as a woman, but the police arrested him. They also arrested one ultra-religious Israeli who had passed through police lines by, as he put it, "dressing up as a secular" Jew, until he put on a Revava T-shirt and was spotted by the Jerusalem police commissioner, Ilan Franco. As the youth was arrested, onlookers shouted, "Police state!" A West Bank leader of the militant Palestinian Hamas movement, Sheik Hassan Youssef, was detained after he tried to return to Ramallah after illegally attending the Muslim rally at Al Aksa Mosque. Sheik Youssef, who is in his 60's and was recently released from jail, is barred from entering Israel or East Jerusalem. He gave an interview earlier on Sunday to the satellite channel Al Jazeera from the mosque compound and called on "all our people in Jerusalem and the land occupied in 1948 to head toward Al Aksa Mosque." Earlier on Sunday, a working day here, opponents of Israel's plan to withdraw from Gaza burned tires and blocked a main highway during rush hour near Tel Aviv, causing a large traffic jam. Israeli news media said 25 people had been arrested. The mount is considered the place where the second intifada began in 2000, after Mr. Sharon, then the opposition leader, visited the site. The next day, the police fired at stone-throwing protesters, killing several. In 1990, during the first intifada, another marginal group, called the Temple Mount Faithful, expressed an intention to lay the cornerstone of the third Jewish temple on the mount. Their demonstration was banned, but thousands of Muslims came to the compound to defend it. They threw stones down onto thousands of Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall, and the police opened fire, killing about 20 Muslims and wounding 100. Police officials said they wanted to avoid a repeat of such a scene on Sunday.

www.dw-world.de 11 Apr 2005 Yad Vashem to Honor German WWII Officer Very few Germans are honored at the Yad Vashem memorial German Wehrmacht officer Karl Plagge has been called "better than Oskar Schindler" for saving Jewish lives during World War II. On Monday, the Israeli Holocaust memorial committee will give him one of its highest honors. "Righteous among the nations" is the title Israel's Holocaust memorial council at Yad Vashem bestows on people who risked their lives to save jews from death at the hands of the Nazis. To date, the country has given the award to 20,570 people. Just 410 of them were German, and of these, just a handful were military personnel. On Monday, thanks to the historical research efforts of a child of concentration camp survivors, German army officer named Karl Plagge will be posthumously given the award. Michael Good, a family physician in the U.S. state of Connecticut, says Major Plagge saved his mother and seven other members of his family from sure death, along with hundreds of other inhabitants of the Jewish ghetto in Vilnius, Lithuania. 'Essential' mending Good said a trip with his parents back to Vilnius in 1999 piqued his curiosity about how his family survived that era, when so many others perished. Before the trip, Good admits, he did not have much interest in his own heritage. But when his mother told him about her time in the ghetto and how she was saved by a German officer, he began using the internet to dig into the past, finding other survivors to corroborate his mother's story. What Good found was this: Just a week before the ghetto was purged by the Germans in September, 1943, Plagge commandeered some 1,000 Jews to work in an military-vehicle maintenance camp outside the ghetto, keeping them safe from death squads. Both Good's mother and grandfather survived the purge in this way. Good has pointed out to various interviewers that his grandfather "couldn't change a lightbulb," and that his mother's task was darning socks for soldiers. But by listing them as "essential workers," Plagge saved their lives, Good claims. It took Good six years of long-distance searching to find other survivors from Plagge's life-saving scheme, but eventually he succeeded. Along with Marianne Viefhaus, an archivist from the University of Darmstadt in Germany, he was able to complete the picture of a German whose courage saved several hundred Jews from certain death. Last warning A number of the workers' last memories of Plagge was shortly before the Red Army was to enter Vilnius, in July 1944. According to several survivors, Plagge performed one last heroic act. In the presence of SS officers, he gave the prisoners a veiled warning when he said they would be "escorted during this evacuation by the SS, which, as you know, is an organization devoted to the protection of refugees. Thus, there's nothing to worry about." Many of the inmates took this as a sign to run away or hide, thus saving their lives. William Begell, a survivor who was then just 17 years old, was interviewed by Good for a book he wrote called "The Search for Major Plagge." He said he understood the warning, and jumped out a window to escape evacuation by the Nazis. Good said he sought the Yad Vashem honor for Plagge after he found out the German had no relatives he could thank directly. He told England's Guardian newspaper that during their trip to Vilnius, his mother was "waving her cane around and saying 'He was better than Schindler.'" Still, Good's attempt to have Plagge named "righteous among the nations" met with resistance at first. Yad Vashem did not accept that Plagge had put himself in harm's way, since the German military had endorsed using Jewish slave labor to support the war effort. But on the third try, having gathered yet more material in support of his subject, he succeeded. Plagge was put on trial after the war, like thousands of other Germans. Trial transcripts show former prisoners and subordinates vouched for him, but he insisted on being classified as having some complicity. Plagge died in 1957 in his hometown of Darmstadt, at age 59. After the war, he was said to be burdened by guilt at not having saved more people from the Nazis. At Monday's ceremony in Israel, Plagge's name will be inscribed on a garden wall, not far from trees honoring Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and others who risked their "lives, freedom or safety" to save Jews. And Michael Good and his mother will be there to watch.

Japan See China

BBC 5 Apr 2005 Japan history texts anger E Asia - The new books have sparked public protests in Seoul Japan has approved a set of new school history text books whose version of past events has already sparked complaints from South Korea and China. One of the eight texts is an updated version of a book which triggered diplomatic protests in 2001. Seoul said the new books sought to glorify Japan's war-time past, a continuing source of regional tension. The move follows a row between Japan and South Korea over disputed islands, and anti-Japanese protests in China. The South Korean Embassy in Japan said in a statement: "The Republic of Korea expresses regret over the fact that some of the 2006 Japanese middle school text books... still contain content that justifies and glorifies wrongs committed in the past". In Beijing, China called in the Japanese ambassador and said the new texts would be "vehemently condemned by people from all Asian countries being victimized by Japan". The Japanese government, which says it can only press textbooks to be amended if they contain factual errors, said it was up to individual school districts to decide which books they use. Schools have until August to make the choice. The books will be in junior high schools from April 2006. The most controversial of the new books was written by a group of nationalist historians called the Society for History Textbook Reform, and its first version, published in 2001, caused Seoul to recall its ambassador for nine days in protest. The Chinese ambassador to Japan on Tuesday singled out this book for criticism. "A textbook by Fushosha Publishing Co has distorted history and hurt the feelings of people in Asia, including China," Wang Yi was quoted by Japanese officials as saying in a meeting with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi. The Japanese government had demanded 124 changes to the book following the complaints in 2001. These have been made, but the new text still has controversial elements. It refers to the Japanese slaughter of some 300,000 civilians in the Chinese city of Nanjing as an "incident", rather than the "massacre" it is known as elsewhere. This book is currently in use in fewer than 0.1% of Japan's schools, but this time the authors are hoping for a better response. 'Lack of detail' The seven other texts approved on Tuesday are also accused of dispensing with the kind of detail Japan's neighbours say is necessary for a balanced account. Only one of the books gives figures for the number of civilians killed in the Nanjing Massacre, while the others say "many people" died. A civic studies text book, approved on Tuesday, is also set to stoke a row between Japan and South Korea over disputed islands. The book says that "South Korea is illegally occupying" the islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea, and Takeshima in Japan. Tensions between Japan and China over territory and history are also on the rise. Japanese businesses in two Chinese cities were targeted on Monday by mobs protesting against Tokyo's attempts to gain a permanent UN Security Council seat.

english.people.com.cn 5 Apr 2005 Japan approves textbook glossing wartime atrocities Risking new rows with its neighbors, Japan authorized for school use a nationalist-written history textbook which China and South Korea accuse of glossing over Japan's wartime atrocities. The education ministry said Tuesday it approved the controversial book as one of eight that can be used to instruct students aged 13 to 15 from April 2006. The book is an updated version of the textbook which triggered formal protests from Beijing and Seoul upon its release in 2001. Japan's relations with South Korea have deteriorated recently, with Seoul alleging that Tokyo is acting like a colonialist for renewing its claim to a chain of uninhabited rock islands in the Sea of Japan. South Korea told Japan last month that it disapproved of the textbook. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Tuesday that Japan was ready to discuss the issue with South Korea. The two countries' foreign ministers are to meet on Thursday in Pakistan on the sidelines of an Asian regional meeting. In approving the revised textbook, the education ministry demanded 124 changes to tone down some of the right-wing assertions, but other deeply controversial points remain. The book avoids the word "invasion" when it refers to Japan's military occupation of other Asian countries in the first half of the 20th century. It also refers to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre -- in which some historians say at least 300,000 civilians were slaughtered by Japanese troops -- as an "incident" in which "many" Chinese were killed. The book teaches students that "no single country steered completely clear of killing or abusing unarmed people," while admitting the Japanese military was among those that committed "unfair murder and abuse" of people of enemy countries. The book published by Fuso Publishing was penned by the Society for History Textbook Reform, a group made up of avowedly nationalist historians who assert Japan has become "masochistic" in assessing its past. The history textbook was adopted in 2002 by less than 0.1 percent of schools, all of them for children with disabilities, although it became an instant bestseller when it went on sale at general bookstores in mid-2001. On the Korean Peninsula, the Fuso book had originally said: "The US and European military powers approved Japan's annexation of Korea in return for Japan's approval of their colonial rule (elsewhere)." But under ministry orders, the wording was altered to: "The US and European military powers did not oppose Japan's putting Korea under its influence." Four other approved textbooks also refer to the Nanjing Massacre as the "Nanjing Incident" while their accounts of the number of Chinese victims vary. Only one of the eight approved texts mentions the euphemistically called "comfort women", the sex slaves taken from other Asian countries, particularly Korea, to serve in frontline brothels for Japanese soldiers. A separate civics textbook by Fuso refers to the islets at the center of the dispute with Seoul as "under illegal occupation by South Korea". Another chain of islands in the East China Sea disputed with China are described as Japan's "sovereign territory but China claims it"

AFP 12 Apr 2005 The Japanese history book that angers Asian neighbours (AFP) 12 April 2005 TOKYO - Japan’s approval of a history textbook written by avowed nationalists has triggered protests by thousands of people in China and South Korea, although it is used by only a small number of Japanese students. The book by the Society for History Textbook Reform, a group of historians who consider Japan “masochistic” in assessing its past, and released by Fuso Publishing was first approved by the education ministry in 2001. It has been adopted in the curriculum by fewer than 0.1 percent of schools -- all of them for children with disabilities -- but became an instant bestseller in mid-2001 when it went on sale at general bookstores. The revised edition of the textbook was approved on April 5 after 126 changes ordered by the education ministry to tone down some of the more revisionist parts. Among the most controversial points of the textbook: -- The Nanjing Massacre carried out by Japanese troops in the occupied Chinese city in 1937 is described as an “incident.” No number is put on the number of victims other than to say “many” Chinese were killed. China says 300,000 people died in the orgy of rape, murder and destruction by Japanese soldiers. Allied trials of Japanese war criminals documented 140,000 victims. -- The book does not mention the thousands of women forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops or use the word “invasion” to describe Japan’s military activities. It says “no single country steered completely clear of killing or abusing unarmed people,” while admitting the Japanese military was among those that committed “unfair murder and abuse” of people of enemy countries. -- On the Korean Peninsula, the Fuso book had originally said: ”The US and European military powers approved Japan’s annexation of Korea in return for Japan’s approval of their colonial rule (elsewhere).” But under ministry orders, the wording was altered to: “The US and European military powers did not oppose Japan’s putting Korea under its influence.” -- A separate civics textbook by Fuso infuriated Seoul by referring to a chain of rock islands at the center of a bilateral row as “under illegal occupation by South Korea”. Another chain of islands in the East China Sea disputed with China are described as Japan’s “sovereign territory but China claims it”.

Reuters 12 Apr 2005 China Tells Japan Face History, Japan Wants Response By Simon Denyer and Elaine Lies NEW DELHI/TOKYO (Reuters) - China's premier told Japan to"face up to history" and Tokyo's trade minister called China"scary" on Tuesday as a dispute over Japan's wartime pastrumbled on after violent weekend demonstrations. Thousands of Chinese took part in the protests over whatmany in Asia see as Japan's failure to own up to atrocitiesbefore and during World War II and Tokyo's bid for a permanentseat on the U.N. Security Council. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters in New Delhi thatJapan must "face up to history squarely" and that the protestsshould give Tokyo reason to rethink its bid for a permanentcouncil seat. "The strong responses from the Asian people should make theJapanese government have deep and profound reflections," hesaid. "Only a country that respects history, takes responsibilityfor past history and wins over the trust of the people in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibility in the international community," he added. China overtook the United States as Japan's biggest tradingpartner in 2004 with about $178 billion in trade. Japanesecorporations sank about $9.2 billion into China that year. Japanese Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said he wasconcerned about the impact of Chinese anti-Japanese sentimenton Japanese companies. "Yes, I'm worried ... they're a country that's trying tobecome a market economy and we need them to take a properresponse," he told a news conference. "It's a scary country." The weekend protesters burned the Japanese flag, smashedJapanese-made cars, targeted Japanese businesses and brokewindows at the Japanese embassy in Beijing while police stoodby. On Tuesday, the Chinese protests spilled over into HongKong, with teachers and students writing letters to JapanesePrime Minister Junichiro Koizumi telling him not to gloss overTokyo's wartime atrocities. Representatives of some 60 Chinese and Japanese friendshipgroups including lawmakers from both countries met in Tokyo andissued a joint appeal for dialogue to resolve the disputes. "Based on the spirit of facing the future while usinghistory as a mirror, problems, differences in opinion, anddisputes that exist between the two countries and theircitizens should be resolved appropriately through friendlydiscussions," they said. MUTUAL EXCHANGE Tokyo demanded an apology and compensation after theweekend violence and urged China to protect Japanese firms andexpatriates but repeatedly urged dialogue as the best solution. Beijing has not apologized. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reiterated thatthe government did not approve of the "overreaction of someindividuals" but added the protests showed Chinese citizenswere "not satisfied with the wrong attitude of Japan towardhistory." Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, who is tovisit China this weekend, said the demonstrations wereregrettable and urged China to take action. But he added: "I think it is important to have an honestmutual exchange of opinions particularly when there are issuesand when the problems are large." Some concern emerged about possible repercussions in Japan. The Chinese embassy in Tokyo urged the Japanese governmentto take adequate measures to ensure security for Chinese peopleand facilities in Japan, Kyodo news agency reported. It made the request after an office building in Yokohamahousing a branch of the Bank of China was shot at on Sunday,Kyodo said. Police confirmed that glass had been cracked andthat metal pellets had been found on the ground nearby. In another incident, a bullet casing was mailed to theChinese consulate general in Osaka on Monday, prompting apolice investigation. Japan has apologized for pain and suffering caused by itspast military aggression in Asia, but many in countries thatwere victims feel the contrition is not sincere. Sino-Japanese ties soured after Koizumi took office in 2001and visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, where war criminals arehonored along with Japanese war dead. Japan's approval last week of a school history textbookthat critics at home and abroad say glosses over Japanesewartime atrocities ignited passions in China and in SouthKorea, where resentment runs deep over Japan's brutal 1910-1945colonization. North Korea's Foreign Ministry denounced the new textbookon Tuesday as "a grave insult to the peoples of Korea and therest of Asia," adding: "This betrays philistinism peculiar toJapan, a vulgar and shameless political dwarf." Of 1,000 Chinese in major cities surveyed in a telephonepoll by the independent Social Survey Institute of China,nearly all said the textbook move was an insult, with mostsaying it was "open provocation." Japanese media said the weekend demonstrations were thebiggest anti-Japanese protests since 1985, when then-primeminister Yasuhiro Nakasone visited the Yasukuni Shrine.(Additional reporting by Lindsay Beck in Beijing and MasayukiKitano in Tokyo)

Korea See Japan

Xinhuanet 6 Apr 2005 Japan asked to apologize for wartime crimes at IPU forum www.chinaview.cn 2005-04-06 15:53:27 MANILA, April 6 (Xinhuanet) -- A South Korean parliamentarian attending at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) 112th conference here Wednesday asked Japan to officially apologize for various crimes it committed during World War II, including recruiting 200,000 Asian women as "comfort women" for Japanese imperial troops. At the open forum following the IPU panel discussion on violence against women and children in armed conflict situations on Wednesday, Hye Hoon Lee, member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, spoke for the other countries Japanese forces had brutally occupied during WWII. She asked for an apology and compensation for the "pain, suffering, and humiliation" their people suffered. Lee, deputy floor leader of the Grand National Party, said Japan must abide by international laws requiring legal and financial responsibility for war crimes committed during WWII. "After listening to the heartbreaking stories of women and children raped and killed in many conflict situations around the world now, I want to remind you of the 200,000 sex slaves used by Japanese forces during WWII. These so-called comfort women from Korea, China, and the Philippines seek compensation and apology from the Japanese government," she said. Lee said that in contrast to the post-war actions of Germany, Japan had not paid war damages to its victims. "These are grave human rights violations, and they must not happen again. Just compensation and sincere apology will prevent them from happening again," she said.


AP 3 Apr 2005 Lebanon bombings stir up anxiety not felt since war April 3, 2005The latest: Even for the war-hardened Lebanese, four explosions in two weeks are too much to cope with. Fear is gripping the country following the spate of bombs placed under or near cars that have killed three people and injured 24. The latest came Friday night, targeting a shopping center in the resort of Broummana in the pine-wooded mountains overlooking Beirut. • Emotions high: The sense of security built up over years of postwar calm has been shattered, with rumors of bombs and suspicion of unclaimed bags feeding the hysteria. "This brings back such bad memories," said Lina Haddad, 34, sitting on her balcony overlooking the empty streets. "I'm afraid to leave home. I look at every parked car and wonder if it will explode." She puts her children to bed in a windowless room. • Ugly history: Car bombings -- 3,641 of them that killed 4,386 people -- were a hallmark of Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war but have been rare since. Many are too young to remember them. Lebanon was enjoying a tourism boom and a steady return to its prewar glory as a commercial hub before this latest wave of violence. • What changed: The car-bombing assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 19 others on Feb. 14 touched off demonstrations against Syria and its 28-year troop presence in Lebanon. Counter-demonstrations in support of Syria followed, but Damascus nonetheless began withdrawing troops. • Who's to blame: No one knows for sure who is behind the bombings. Anti-Syrian leaders blame Damascus and allied Lebanese security authorities, saying they are meant to show that Lebanon cannot cope without the Syrian Army. The pro-Syrian camp blames saboteurs, saying they are destabilizing the country to invite international intervention. • Where next? Suspicious cars or bags are reported daily. The fear has even overcome the Lebanese's love of a late-night dinner on the town. "We are seeing something like a 70 percent decline in business," says Walid al-Arabi, manager of the Scoozi restaurant.

Daily Star (Beirut) 28 Mar 2005 www.dailystar.com.lb Lebanese leaders with credibility must seize the moment to build a nation Monday, March 28, 2005 Editorial Saturday night's bombing in a northern Beirut suburb has confirmed the emerging pattern: Three bombs in just over a week indicate more may be on the way and that the sequence of events leading up to and including these bombings has reached a critical level. An urgent response from Lebanon's leadership is required. Statements, interviews and calls for the perpetrators of recent outrages - including the February 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - to be brought to justice are not enough, nowhere near enough. The country's preeminent (and pro-Syrian) leader, President Emile Lahoud, is one prominent figure who has until recently apparently been content to make statements but to do little. This, among other actions and inaction, has negated the president's credibility - if he had any to begin with, that is. Lebanon needs to reassess its concept of leaders and leadership, and one way this process can begin is for the major political forces in the country - namely Hizbullah, the Amal Movement, and the Qornet Shewan Gathering and other opposition factions - to meet and to determine a way forward based on cooperation and mutual respect for each other's background and current position. As a preliminary step, representatives from these three parties should hold a high-profile meeting in which they can publicly recognize their differences, even celebrate their differences, before pledging to get down to the business of dealing constructively with the realities of diversity on the path to forging a new Lebanon. Now is not the time for exclusion. No time is the time for exclusion, especially in Lebanon. This would be part of the value of a public exhibition of commitment to dialogue, and in the current climate of rising tensions and fear, it would be a way to keep ahead of the tearing asunder of the country's social fabric. This is the unfortunate task that now faces the real political and communal leaders of Lebanon - to thwart those who appear determined to rip the country apart. These leaders - those with a genuine sociopolitical mandate and not those who have lost their constituencies along with their credibility - must exert themselves to weave the fabric of a new Lebanon ahead of the tear being sliced through the existing fabric by those who have something to gain from destruction. Lebanon has traveled the road of destruction before - it does not need to travel the same road again. The stakes are high, and the players must rise to the occasion or bear the condemnation that history will bestow on them if they do not exert themselves to the maximum at this crucial moment in time. The task before Lebanon's real leaders is nothing less than nation building. This is real nation building, not a slogan that can be bandied around for short-term political gain. Whether the Lebanese have ever constituted a single nation is a matter of great debate, and it is one reason often put forward for the many tragedies that have engulfed this small state. Quite simply, now is the time to forge a Lebanese nation, and those who really represent the Lebanese people must take the lead.

CRISIS GROUP 12 Apr 2005 Syria After Lebanon, Lebanon After Syria Recent developments have brought close the prospect of Syrian withdrawal and free Lebanese elections. But ensuring a peaceful and successful transition requires insulating Lebanon from wider regional dynamics. The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri has heightened pressure on Syria, and brought together once disparate actors -- the U.S., France, and Lebanese activists -- on core demands, including complete withdrawal of Syria's military and intelligence; truth on Hariri's assassination; and free elections under international supervision. But for Lebanon, awash with weapons and on the verge of a major power redistribution, the means and motivations for violence abound. The U.S. must avoid temptations to use the situation to achieve its larger regional objectives and should focus on the goal of a sovereign, stable Lebanon. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org


BBC 9 Apr 2005 Nepal clash deaths 'rise to 100' Nepal's army says it was responding to a rebel raid on a base Authorities in Nepal now say 100 died in clashes between Maoist rebels and government forces in the remote western district of Rukum on Thursday. The clashes were by far the biggest since King Gyanendra assumed direct power on 1 February, vowing to crack down on the rebels. The army said it had recovered 97 rebel bodies and that three soldiers died. The rebels have not commented on their dead but say the army's losses were much higher. None of the claims could be independently verified. The Maoists have been fighting for nearly 10 years to replace the monarchy with a communist republic. About 11,000 people have been killed. Maoist strike Security forces said on Saturday a further 47 Maoist bodies had been found since the Rukum clash, adding to the 50 recovered on Friday. Rukum is a rebel stronghold about 550km (340 miles) west of Kathmandu. "Some bodies were buried while others were abandoned in the forests and by the side of streams," an army official told the Reuters agency. The army said about six soldiers were hurt in addition to its three dead when the rebels attacked an army base with rocket launchers and mortars. The clash was the first major battle since the king dismissed the government, saying it had failed to tackle the Maoist threat. The battle also came amid an 11-day strike, which will end on Tuesday, called by the rebels to protest at the king's move. Bus attack Police said on Saturday that three people died and dozens were hurt when a bus travelling to Kathmandu on Saturday hit a mine. Security officials blamed Maoists for setting off a landmine that struck a bus travelling to Kathmandu from the southern district of Rautahat on Saturday. Police said an Indian citizen was among the dead. They also said a second explosion had gone off, injuring two Russian nationals. They were heading to the base of Mount Everest when their vehicle hit a landmine north-east of Kathmandu, police said.

BBC 12 Apr 2005 Meeting Nepal's Maoists By Charles Haviland BBC News, Annapurna Comrade Akash: "I am a political person" "Hi, I'm a Maoist," said Comrade Akash as he entered the lodge with Comrade Himal. It was the only English they uttered during our chat in a picturesque village in the southern Annapurna mountains of Nepal. It was barely a day's walk from the road near the start of a 10-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Hours before, in another village, our guide had pointed out Comrade Akash sauntering past, a woven Nepali bag slung over his shoulder. Now we'd caught up with him. In a red T-shirt and trainers, Akash - his party name - had a huge grin, a scar on his forehead and a big mop of hair. He was 19 and had been in the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) for three years. "I joined because a corrupt 5% of the people rule over the 95%, who have no access to development." No one pressed me to join - I wanted to serve my country Comrade Himal The "old government", he said, referring to the authorities outside Maoist-controlled areas, did nothing for education, transport or health. In schooling, they were stuck in the 16th century, he said. "We want modern, 21st-century scientific methods." 'Social work' Akash admitted he had no boyhood deprivations. He considered non-violent parties, but said their leaders built themselves big houses and opened international bank accounts. "I researched a bit about the Maoists and found they get no salary or pension. Maoists can sacrifice their lives for poor people. They're the only party which regularly does social work." It's a 10-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp The Maoists routinely force villagers, hoteliers and tourists to give them money. I asked what this funded. "Money goes to the Central Committee and is divided up. The party has given 50,000 rupees to a secondary school in [neighbouring] Parbat district. It gave 21,000 for the water supply in one village. Last year it gave five million rupees for development." It was not possible to verify such claims. "Much of the rest goes to medicine, often for our wounded military comrades," Akash added. He did not mention the funding or sources of Maoist weapons. Recently, an ambulance was attacked by Maoists because it dared move despite their general shutdown. Maoist bombs targeting markets have killed two people. During a February blockade they killed a driver. They have reportedly bombed school exam centres, intercepted UN food aid and allowed sick people to die by preventing them reaching hospital. They have also ordered the imminent closure of all private schools. How did all this square with Akash's social conscience? We do as the Central Committee instructs, collecting donations and talking to people about politics Comrade Akash "I want to destroy the structure of [King] Gyanendra's government and achieve a people's government. Strikes and blockades do not affect ordinary people," he insisted. "If we close schools, people will blame the authorities." Akash asked for my frank opinion of the Maoists. I said they should stop killing people and gave examples of some local people recently murdered. "They were helping the army who had just killed our own comrades," he retorted as the grin vanished. 'I wanted to serve' Comrade Himal, aged 22, was very different. He looked unhappy and said he had joined the party a month ago, after working as a labourer in Malaysia. "No one pressed me to join - I wanted to serve my country," he said. "I'd be happy to give my life for Nepal." Maoist graffiti shows who is in charge in the area Apparently his parents, brothers and sister supported his decision to join. Akash said he spoke to his own family about twice a month. I asked Akash if he was a fighting Maoist. "We are the property of the Maoist party machine," he said, as if reciting something. "The Central Committee decides which machine part fits where. I am a political person." What was their daily routine? "We do as the Central Committee instructs, collecting donations and talking to people about politics," he replied. "Ninety-five percent of the people support us. The rest are intimidated by the army." They also demand free food at lodges. Extortion The unpaid job is perhaps better than nothing, even exciting, when you have no hope of employment. Akash said he wanted to make Nepal more welcoming for tourists. Perhaps because of blockades, tourist figures have fallen by 32% so far this year. Security forces no longer venture into this territory "When we control the government we'll promote Nepal all over the world," he said. But both tourists and hoteliers hate having money extorted by the rebels. Days later, at the base camp under deep snow, I learned that the Maoists come that high quite regularly. Former army checkposts are now defunct; the security forces no longer venture into this territory. Before leaving Akash and Himal, I asked for a photograph. Akash, the "political" cadre, extracted from his harmless-looking woven bag a revolver and socket-bombs and flourished them proudly. In a country where police and soldiers armed to the teeth are part of the landscape, this 19-year-old clearly enjoyed having his own weapons. I could only guess at the private feelings of the long-suffering villagers.

Palestinian National Authority

www.ynetnews.com 9 Apr 2005 Vanunu attends Palestinian memorial Group commemorates victims of 1948 attack on Palestinian village; ceremony modeled on Holocaust Day observances By Roee Nahmias TEL AVIV - Nuke whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is again embroiled in controversy, after taking part in a Palestinian memorial service modeled after Holocaust Day ceremonies. A Palestinian-Israeli group organized the unusual ceremony on Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, built on the ruins of Deir Yassin. The attendees recalled the deaths of Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin, which was overrun by members of Lehi (Freedoms Fighters of Israel) and Etzel (National Military Organization) on April 9, 1948. During the ceremony, Vanunu read the names of the Deir Yassin victims for the crowd. London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Saturday that the ceremony, which recalled the deaths of over 100 people, was designed to resemble a Holocaust Day service. The Remembrance Organization of Deir Yassin and Zochrot, an Israeli organization committed to remembering the Nakba (“Disaster,” i.e., what Palestinians call their defeat in 1948) organized the event, which attracted over 100 participants. The history of Deir Yassin The capture of the Palestinian village in west Jerusalem took place the night of April 9, 1948, during the War of Independence. Deir Yassin was targeted because its inhabitants attacked Jewish caravans going to Jerusalem, sniped at the neighborhoods of Beit Hakerem and Yafe Nof, and participated in the Battle of Kastel. What exactly happened during the course of the conquest is a matter of dispute. For the Palestinians, Deir Yassin is a massacre that symbolizes Jewish brutality during the 1948 war. Others, however, view it as a bloody battle between two warring sides. In any case, the results were disastrous for the villagers and created a public outcry in Israel and the Arab world. Ynetnews is the English-language website from Yedioth Group, and a sister site to Ynet , Israel’s leading news web site. Ynetnews provides Jewish communities and others worldwide interested in Israel with the same authoritative, fast, and world-class news reporting and commentary Hebrew-speakers receive from Ynet and “Yedioth Ahronoth,” Israel’s largest newspaper.

PNA The International Press Center (IPC) of the State Information Service (SIS) 9 Apr 2005 www.ipc.gov.ps Deir Yassin's 57th Anniversary, an Eyewitness to Israeli Genocide OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, April09, 2005 (IPC+Al-Bayan)-- April09, 2005 , is the 57th anniversary of the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people, as in this day back to 1948, the Israeli occupation troops perpetrated a manslaughter against Palestinian villagers of the Deir Yassin village, west of the occupied east Jerusalem, leaving more than 100 massacred and few remains of the village left. The 1948's Deir Yassin is now occupied by a Jewish enclave called Har-Nouf, in which an Israeli large mental health center called Kfar Sha'oul was built. Palestinian senior woman Om Salah Akel, a survivor of the massacre, spoke to the Emirtae-based Albayan newspaper of the horrors she witnessed when the Israelis committed their genocide. Om Salah, 80 years-old, and one of the few survivors, was quoted as saying " my father Mohammad and my brother Mahmoud, were guarding the village as they felt the Jews were coming, so they informed their neighbors about that. Yet no body believed them" "The Jews entered the village in large numbers, using the village's valley, as my father and brother were laying on our house's rooftop, then the Jews shot them dead with a mortar shell". Om Salah is now living in the Ras Al-Amoud neighborhood of the occupied east Jerusalem, she is married with six children. She burst in crying when she started talking about her little brother Mousa " I loved him very much, and when the Jews attacked Deir Yassin, we closed the house's door, then Jewish soldiers wanted to break into inside. But we didn't open the door, so they threw a bomb, killing some of the home's inhabitants". " then a soldier held my brother so I appealed to him not to harm him , I gave him all the money I had so that he leaves my brother, but the soldier put my brother besides me then shot him dead, as I burst in crying and lost consciousness", Om Salah maintained. When she was asked about the number of those killed, she answered " I don't know dear, the Jews had killed so many Deir Yassin's inhabitants, they are more than 100". Om Aziz, another women survivor, told the Al-Bayan newspaper that the Jews demolished her house, as an officer ordered them to turn to the walls, then a Jewish man called Abu Rosa, shouted at the soldiers saying " its really extremely unkind of you, take them all out of Deir Yassin". Om Aziz, said that the victims might have been buried, poured in an abandoned water well or set into fire, as herself and many others were taken to outside the village. From 1:00 am until 2:00pm, the Israeli troops that day kept killing the Deir Yassin's inhabitants and vandalizing its properties, as they concentrated the women in one building. Deir Yassin is among a series of massacres committed by the Israeli occupation troops against the Palestinian people, since the latter have occupied historic Palestine in 1948. The latest of such crimes was in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah in May 2004, when 65 Palestinian men, women and children were shot dead.


INQ7 Interactive, Inc., Philippines 4 Apr 2005 INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION RP bats for Statute of Rome despite Senate non-ratification Posted 02:50pm (Mla time) April 04, 2005 By Maila Ager INQ7.net DESPITE the Arroyo government's non-ratification of the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Philippine legislators participated in the Inter-Parliamentary Union's (IPU) discussion of the issue Monday. The Philippines proposed a just reparation for war crimes' victims in a resolution on the "role of parliaments in the establishment and function of mechanisms to provide for the judgment and sentencing of war crimes against humanity" deliberated by the First Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. "We are the only country that proposed that war crimes victims should be compensated," Senator Rodolfo Biazon told reporters on the sidelines of the IPU conference. But Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel said the Philippine government should first ratify its ICC membership before it could participate in discussions. "Directly, I'm faulting the President (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) because she's the one holding the Statute Print this story Send this story Write the editor View other stories of Rome from being submitted to the Senate," Pimentel told reporters. "In fact, what she's doing is she's concentrating in her hands the powers of the Constitution that are supposed to be shared with the Senate," he said. Biazon said the question should be addressed to Malacañang. "But there was a consensus that we are for the ratification of the ICC," he said. Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Philippines was one of the signatories of the Statute of Rome although this had yet to be ratified by the Philippine Senate. As of May 2004, 139 countries, including the Philippines, have signed the treaty. "Unless the matter is referred to us by the Executive, we could not ratify it," Drilon said. In an interview from Peace Magazine's January-March 2001 issue, Justice Paul Reinhardt, an ICC delegate, said the International Criminal Court sought to "investigate and bring to justice individuals who commit the most serious violations of the international humanitarian law, namely genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression."


AP 6 Apr 2005 Fears grow over Thai violence BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Fears that Islamic militants in Thailand's far south are expanding their reach have again been raised, after suspected Muslim separatists killed a local official in a nearby region where recent bomb blasts left at least two dead and dozens wounded. Two unidentified assailants on a motorcycle fatally shot Wittaya Baihemma, 50, an assistant village headman, as he rode his motorcycle in southern Songkhla province, said police colonel Poomphet Pipatpetpoom. Songkhla is just north of Thailand's three southernmost provinces, where an insurgency resurfaced in January of last year, and until last weekend, hadn't been significantly affected by the ongoing violence. But on Sunday, an airport, a department store and a hotel in the province were rocked by bombs, killing two people and wounding more than 70. Police lieutenant general Manote Kraiwong said Tuesday that the Songkhla provincial court had issued an arrest warrant for a man suspected of planting the hotel bomb, Muhammad Samah. No one was injured in that attack. The suspect is also wanted for a 2004 bombing at a motorcycle shop. Sunday's blasts were followed by grenade attacks in Narathiwat province, where a raid on a military base in January 2004 signaled the start of the uprising. The attacks in Songkhla have raised concerns that insurgents, who had previously restricted their attacks mostly to the southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, were broadening their theater of operations. Security forces have been put on high alert. Overnight in Washington, the U.S. State Department warned that escalating, indiscriminate violence in southern Thailand made the area risky for American travelers. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra said Tuesday that the bombings will likely have a negative impact on tourism -- an important source of revenue for Thailand. "After what happened, it's not possible that there wouldn't be an impact, but we hope that it will just have a short-term impact, and we'll try to re-build confidence as quickly as possible," he told reporters. A local bank said tourism to the town of Hat Yai, where one of Sunday's bombs exploded at an international airport, had been dropping since the violence began. The arrival of foreigners in Hat Yai fell 18.4 percent to 850,000 in 2004, the research branch of Kasikorn bank said. It warned tourist arrivals could drop by 20 percent -- causing losses of at least one billion baht ($25 million) -- if the violence continues. No casualties were reported in Monday's assaults on a police station and a government office in Narathiwat's Joh Irong district, in which the attackers used one or more M-79 grenade launchers, said police colonel Thanongsak Wangsupah. He indicated that authorities had been warned about the attacks. He said the attackers operated in two groups of about 10 men each, and fled to the forest on a nearby mountain, where they were pursued by security forces. Earlier Monday, a bomb buried in a road in neighboring Yala province wounded four soldiers. Since January 2004, almost 800 people have been killed in sectarian violence. The Muslim militant suspects have generally limited their almost daily attacks to hit-and-run shootings carried out by one or two gunmen and small bombings. Thaksin has been criticized previously for adopting an iron-fist policy that critics said would only breed more insurgents. However, he has recently called for a more measured approach that would de-emphasize military action. Southern Thailand's Muslim minority has long complained of discrimination by the central government. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist.


Armenia see Turkey

www.armenialiberty.org [Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty ] 4 Apr 2005 Dashnaks Fear Genocide Recognition ‘Without Consequences’ By Emil Danielyan The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has accused a leading Armenian-American lobbying group of complicity in what it sees as a U.S. conspiracy to spare Turkey any material compensation or other legal consequences for the 1915 Armenian genocide. Dashnaktsutyun insists that Washington is prodding Ankara to end its long-running denial of the genocide in return for an explicit Armenian pledge not to press financial, territorial or any other claims against the Ottoman Empire’s successor state. Such a solution would run counter to the century-old irredentist agenda of the pan-Armenian nationalist party represented in Armenia’s government. An agenda which seems increasingly at odds with official Yerevan’s more conciliatory policy on Turkey. “Recognizing the failure of its campaign of genocide denial, Ankara has fallen back to exploring a position of acknowledgment without consequences,” Dashnaktsutyun’s influential lobbying arm in the United States, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), said in a March 28 letter to leading Armenian-American organizations. “These efforts enjoy the support of well-placed State Department and Pentagon officials – adherents of outdated Cold War-era thinking about the U.S.-Turkey relationship,” read the memo. “These American and Turkish officials have sought to create the false impression of Armenian backing for this patently anti-Armenian undertaking by securing the nominal support of a handful of Armenians.” Dashnaktsutyun points the finger at the Armenian Assembly of America, which together with ANCA forms one of the most powerful ethnic lobbies on the Capitol Hill. In a strongly-worded editorial, its Los Angeles-based daily “Asbarez” accused the Assembly of “helping the Turks get away with the murder of 1.5 million Armenians.” The extraordinary accusations were angrily rebutted by the Assembly. “No Armenian organization and no Armenian individual would support Turkish admission of the Armenian Genocide without just resolution,” its chairman Anthony Barsamian responded in a statement. The row was sparked by the Assembly’s promotion of an independent study conducted by a New York-based human rights group at the request of the U.S.-backed Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) concluded in January 2003 that the mass killings and deportations of Ottoman Armenians’ in 1918-1921 fit the definition of genocide set by a 1948 UN convention. But it also said that the convention has no retroactive impact and therefore can not be used by the Armenians for demanding any compensation from modern-day Turkey. Armenian supporters of the now disbanded TARC, including the Assembly, consider the ICTJ study a major blow to Turkish denial of the genocide, stressing that it was jointly commissioned by prominent Armenians and Turks. As if to drive their point home, Gunduz Aktan, a retired senior diplomat and the most uncompromising of TARC’s six Turkish members, blasted the study as “awful” and “shameful” in a newspaper article last Thursday. “The ICTJ thus gave the Armenians what they sought,” Aktan wrote in the “Turkish Daily News.” Dashnaktsutyun, however, claims that the document in question is a dangerous blueprint for genocide recognition “without consequences.” “I think the main reason why Turkey does not recognize the genocide is the question of consequences,” Giro Manoyan, the spokesman for the party’s worldwide governing Bureau, told RFE/RL in an interview. “The fact is that some American circles want to guarantee the Turks that such a recognition would have no consequences.” Dashnaktsutyun leaders argue that the ICTJ has persistently refused to name the authors of the genocide study and suspect that it was secretly drawn up by pro-Turkish officials in Washington. Some of them put U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans’s public description of the Armenian massacres as “the first genocide of the 20th century” in that context. Evans is said to have drawn Armenian-American leaders’ attention to the ICTJ analysis at a series of meetings last February. And in an interview with RFE/RL shortly afterward, one of his predecessors, Harry Gilmore, made comments that were virtually identical with the ICTJ’s findings. ANCA is particularly furious with the fact that the Assembly persuaded two congressmen co-chairing the Armenian Caucasus of the U.S. House of Representatives to mention the genocide study in a recent letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The congressmen urged President George W. Bush to use the word “genocide” in his upcoming April 24 message to the Armenian-American community. More than a hundred of their colleagues have already joined the call. The ANCA chairman, Ken Hachikian, wrote to pro-Armenian congressional aides on March 24, warning that “statements favorably citing this document could add a measure of undeserved credibility to a conclusion that is deeply prejudicial to the rights of Americans of Armenian descent.” Turkey, meanwhile, shows no signs of reconsidering its traditional position on the Armenian issue. Ankara is on the contrary seeking to offset the unfolding commemorations of the 90th with a public relations campaign purporting to show that the Armenian death toll is grossly inflated and that the last Ottoman rulers did not pursue genocidal policies. Turkish leaders reportedly feel that that Bush may finally term the 1915 mass killings a genocide or is exploiting the issue to clinch Turkish concessions on Iraq. While consensus among the Armenians on the need for Turkish recognition of the genocide remains firm, there has been littler debate, let alone agreement, in Armenia and its Diaspora on what should come next. According to Manoyan, Dashnaktsutyun continues to believe that genocide recognition must, among other things, lead to Turkish territorial concessions to Armenia. Official Yerevan recognizes Armenia’s existing border with Turkey which was set by the Treaty of Kars signed in 1921 following the country’s takeover by Bolshevik Russia. The government of the then Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was among its signatories. “Armenia is the successor state of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry explains on its website. “All of the agreements which the ASSR signed continue to be in force unless new agreements have been signed to replace them.” Manoyan argued that Armenia can always declare that those agreements were forcibly imposed on it and renounce them. He said Yerevan should therefore leave the door open for future territorial claims. “We believe that Armenia is unable to make such demands today,” the Dashnaktsutyun official said. “But this doesn’t mean that it will be unable to do so tomorrow. So it must not take any steps that would hamper or inhibit us tomorrow.” However, President Robert Kocharian appears to have done the opposite in a 2001 interview with a prominent Turkish journalist. “Genocide recognition by Turkey will not lead to legal consequences for territorial claims,” he said. “Genocide recognition does not create the legal bases to allow Armenia to present certain demands before Turkey. I am surprised that Turkish attorneys themselves have not provided the Turkish government with such counsel and such an assessment.” “For the Republic of Armenia, for me, personally, this is more of a moral issue,” he added. Kocharian also made it clear that Turkish recognition “will not revive in any way” the 1920 Treaty of Sevres that gave Armenia large swathes of territory in what is now northeastern Turkey. Those provisions were effectively annulled by Western powers in 1923. “The problem is that those events have taken place in Turkey, and the Republic of Armenia did not exist at that time, and today's Republic of Armenia is not the heir to those lands,” Kocharian explained. “I don't know under what system I can present a complaint, saying that ‘certain events transpired there, and you must give me those lands.’ I can't imagine how I am to make that formulation.” The remarks highlighted important foreign policy differences between Armenia’s leadership and Dashnaktsutyun. Those most recently came to light in February 2004 when one of the nationalist party’s top leaders, Hrant Markarian, demanded that Georgia grant an autonomous status to its Armenian-populated Javakheti region. Kocharian and his Foreign Ministry were quick to disown the demand, saying that it does not reflect the official Armenian position. Dashnaktsutyun’s strong opposition to the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border and Turkey’s accession to the European is also not shared by Armenian leaders, notably the powerful Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. In a recent online news conference moderated by a Dashnaktsutyun newspaper, he said that Turkey’s entry to the EU would be good for Armenia. Sarkisian, seen as Kocharian’s most likely successor, and most other members of the Armenian government believe that an open border with Turkey would benefit the Armenian economy. “Those ministers seem to be implying that the Armenians had better cave in,” Manoyan complained. “At least, that’s the impression left by them.”

See Applicability of UN Genocide Convention to Events which Occurred During the Early Twentieth Century Read the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) Report Prepared in February 2003 for The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee (TARC). The report makes a detailed legal argument supporting two positions: "The Genocide Convention does not by its terms apply to acts that occurred prior to January 12, 1951" and "Although the Genocide Convention does not give rise to state or individual liability for events which occurred prior to January 12, 1951, the term 'genocide', as defined in the convention, may be applied to describe such events." This is a 17 Page PDF file with 59 footnotes.


BakuToday 31 March 2005 www.bakutoday.net The March 31: The Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis- A Century-Long Day of Sorrow Adil Baguirov March 31 - A century-long Day of Sorrow By Adil Baguirov, Ph.D. In Azerbaijan, the March 31 is known as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, referring to the tragic events that started on March 30, 1918, and continued until April 1. It is widely recognized, that the 20th century is the most violent, vicious and turbulent 100 year period of history, indeed known as the Century of Genocides. It has been estimated, that some 200 million people have died due to the inhumanity of men towards each other. The word “genocide”, coined only after the WWII, has forever entered our daily lexicon, to give the legal definition to the worst crimes against humanity, massacres, slaughters and ethnic cleansing. Certainly, genocide represents a policy, a campaign carried out against a group of people over a period of time and consisting of otherwise seemingly isolated massacres and bloodshed. In Azerbaijan, the March 31 is known as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, referring to the tragic events that started on March 30, 1918, and continued until April 1. A Yale University history professor F. Kazemzadeh, in one of the first comprehensive scholarly studies of the region in the US, wrote: “This three-day massacre by Armenians is recorded in history as the “March Events” and thousands of Muslims, old people, women and children lost their lives” (“The Struggle for Transcaucasia”, New York, 1951, p. 69). Another distinguished professor of history at the University of Louisville, was even more blunt: “From 30 March to 1 April 1918, the Tatars [as Azerbaijanis were sometimes called] were attacked. Almost half of the Muslim population of Baku was compelled to flee the city.… Between 8,000 and 12,000 Muslims were killed in Baku alone.…” (Justin McCarthy, “Death and Exile. The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims 1821-1922”, Darwin Press, Princeton, NJ, 1995, p. 214). “The truth is that the Armenians, under the guise of Bolshevism, rushed on the Muslims and massacred during a few frightful days more than 12,000 people, many of whom were old men, women, and children,” – continues Kazemzadeh. “The March Events, as this episode became known to history, touched off a series of massacred all over Azerbaijan. Brutalities continued for weeks…. Every Azerbaijani whom the Dashnak bands could catch was killed. [T]he “civil war” degenerated into a massacre, the Armenians killing Muslims irrespective of their political affiliation or social and economic position.” For more scholarly accounts of the events, one might turn to the books by Tadeusz Swietochowski, professor of history at Manmouth University (“Russia and a Divided Azerbaijan”, Columbia University Press, 1995), or Michael Smith, professor of history at Purdue University (“The Russian Revolution as National Revolution: Tragic Deaths and Rituals of Remembrance in Muslim Azerbaijan (1907–1920),” Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, vol. 49, 2001). However, some estimates put the number of massacred Azerbaijani victims in this particular event as high as 30,000. There are a multitude of other references, shocking us with the extent of the mass-murder of the days: from the founder of the Soviet state, Vladimir Lenin, where he briefly mentions the March 1918 events, by saying that the commissar S.Shaumyan, an ethnic Armenian leader of the Bolshevik and Dashnak forces, and the chief architect of the genocide throughout Azerbaijan, “turned Baku into an Armenian operated henhouse [slaughterhouse]”, to a letter from a British officer serving in Baku during the massacres of 1918 to his Whitehall superiors in which he refers to “river of blood” flowing down the streets and bodies dumped from ships into the Baku Bay by Armenians. In his recent book, researcher R.Mustafayev writes that on August 31, 1918, for the first and last time the Armenian government itself has declared that only in one year Armenians killed 400 thousand Azerbaijanis, 120 thousand Georgians, 15 thousand Turks and others – all just in South Caucasus. In spite of the fact that government of Armenia has probably reduced the statistical data, this self-incriminating evidence bears a lot of weight (“Crimes of Armenian terrorist and bandit formations against the humanity {XIX-XXI centuries}”, Baku, 2002). In reference to various attempts to downplay or even conceal the slaughter, Kazemzadeh notes, “No matter how obvious historical facts may be, there are always means of twisting them to suit a particular theory. The March Events are exactly such case. The facts are generally known, - there are enough of them to satisfy the most exacting historian, - and yet there is hardly a book which gives an impartial account or an objective evaluation of the great massacres.” Nonetheless, revelations directly from Armenian sources abound, with the most typical self-confession being: “I killed Muslims by every means possible. Yet it is sometimes a pity to waste bullets for this. The best way is to gather all of these dogs and throw them into wells and then fill the wells with big and heavy stones, as I did. I gathered all of the women, men and children, threw big stones down on top of them. They must never live on this earth” (A. Laloyan, “Revolutsionniy Vostok” (Revolutionary East), No 2-3, Moscow, 1936. Quoted from Richard Hovannisian, “Armenia on the Road to Independence”, Berkeley, 1967, p. 41-42). Additional accounts could be found from Agop Zahoryan, Mikael Kaprilian, Ohanus Appressian, Sahak Melkonian, K. S. Papazian, and Leonard Ramsden Hartill, to name a few. “As the Armenians found support among the Reds (who regarded the Tartars [Azerbaijanis] as a counter-revolutionary elements) the fighting soon became a massacre of the Tartar population” (W. E. D. Allen and Paul Muratoff, “Caucasian Battlefields”, Cambridge University Press, 1953, p. 481). Writes the Rear-Admiral Mark L. Bristol, U.S. High Commissioner (Ambassador) in Istanbul, “While the Dashnaks [Armenian extremist party] were in power [1918-1920] they did everything in the world to keep the pot boiling by attacking Kurds, Turks and Tartars [Azerbaijanis]; by committing outrages against the Moslems; by massacring the Moslems; and robbing and destroying their homes. During the last two years the Armenians in Russian Caucasus have shown no ability to govern themselves and especially no ability to govern or handle other races under their power” (U.S. Library of Congress, “Bristol Papers,” General Correspondence Container #34). The Rear-Admiral continues, “I have it from absolute first-hand information that the Armenians in the Caucasus attacked Tartar (Muslim) villages that are utterly defenseless and bombarded these villages with artillery and they murder the inhabitants, pillage the village and often burn the village” (“Bristol Papers”, General Correspondence: Container #32: Bristol to Bradley Letter of September 14, 1920). After the proclamation of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic (ADR) on 28 May 1918, the “March Massacre” was investigated into by the Government. In 1919 and 1920, the ADR observed 31 March as a national day of mourning. This was the first attempt to make a political assessment of the policy of genocide against Azerbaijanis and of the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands for over a century. Being unable to commemorate the tragedy during the Soviet years, the March 31 has been re-established in 1998, exactly 80 years after the bloodbath, to commemorate not just that particular massacre, but the policy of genocide carried out since the 19th century and throughout the entire 20th century, with the final act being the Khojaly Massacre (see BT op-ed, http://www.bakutoday.net/view.php?d=2945 The official position of Azerbaijan is that close to a million Azerbaijanis have been massacred in the 20th century as the result of Armenian genocidal campaign. This makes for a total of 2,5 million Azerbaijanis, Turks, Kurds, Georgians and other people who fell victim to the Armenian policies of cleansing the Caucasus for the creation of their state, which was supposed to stretch from the Black sea to the Caspian to the Mediterranean. Today, Azerbaijan takes serious steps on the path of researching and preventing genocide, educating and outreaching about the history of extermination of its population. The basis is the March 26, 1998 presidential decree re-designating March 31 as the official day of commemoration, on the top of already separately commemorated recent tragedies, such as the Khojaly Massacre (February 25-26) and Black January (January 19-20). Next step has been the recently initiated process of collection of the relevant documents for pursuing the case in the court of The Hague. Moreover, a declaration has been circulated and signed in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), entitled “Recognition of the genocide perpetrated against the Azeri population by the Armenians” (PACE Doc. 9066 2nd edition, Written Declaration No. 324, 14 May 2001). Aside from the obligation by the Azerbaijani state to carry on the political assessment of the policy of genocide against Azerbaijanis and of the occupation of the lands, the genocidal campaign can stop only after the Armenian aggression is stopped and all the currently illegally occupied lands of Azerbaijan are liberated. Adil Baguirov is the founder of Zerbaijan.com -- Virtual Azerbaijan Resources (VAR) website (since 1995), Come.to/Khojaly -- first Khojaly Commemoration Website (since 1997), Habarlar-L Caspian Distribution List, Yeni Dostlar Network, and a frequent contributor on Azerbaijan-related matters. Javid Huseynov, a co-administrator of Habarlar-L and Yeni Dostlar, as well as a Ph.D. candidate, also contributed to this article.

www.bakutoday.net 1 Apr 2004 Nation marks March 31 massacre anniversary AssA-Irada 01/04/2005 14:54 The nation marked the 87th anniversary of the massacre of Azerbaijanis committed by Armenian terrorists on March 31, 1918. The act of genocide, marked as a day of mourning in the history of Azerbaijan since 1998, differs from the slaughters perpetrated all over the world with its astounding scale. Some one hundred thousand Azerbaijanis were mercilessly murdered in 1905-1907 and 1918-1920 by Dashnak Armenians, who were contemplating the establishment of the so-called “Great Armenia”. Since 1918, the territory of the present Armenia was extended from 9,000 sq. km up to 45,000 sq. km as a result of the occupation of Azerbaijani regions. In March 1918, 50,000 Azerbaijanis were ruthlessly killed by Armenian terrorists in Baku, Shamakhy, Mughan, Guba, Nakhchivan and Lankaran districts, while hundreds of thousands of people were driven out of their homes. 30,000 Azerbaijanis were murdered in Baku alone. Besides, 58 villages were leveled in Shamakhy, 122 in Guba, 150 in the mountainous area of Garabagh, 115 in Zangazur, 211 in Iravan province and 92 in Gars (presently in Turkey) province. 7,000 people, including 1,653 women and 965 children, were killed in the Shamakhy District alone. Moreover, women, children and elderly people were set on fire in the Juma Mosque where they were hiding.


AINA 10 Apr 2005 Assyrians to Mark 90th Anniversary of Turkish Genocide in Brussels (AINA) -- Assyrians will mark the 90th anniversary of the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks by holding a demonstration at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 23rd, starting on 13:30. The Ottoman Turks began a three year long systematic genocide of Christians in Turkey on April 24, 1915, which resulted in the killing of 750,000 Assyrians (75% of the Assyrian population), 400,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians. Turkey officially denies the genocide occurred.


BBC 31 Mar 2005 Srebrenica probe names officials Those named in the list are still working in official government positions The Bosnian Serb government has identified 892 officials suspected of involvement in the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslims during the Bosnia war. The list has been passed on to state prosecutors and the office of senior international community representative Paddy Ashdown. Those named are currently working at various levels of government. Officials say they hope the move will contribute to restoring a climate of confidence in Bosnia. An inquiry team was appointed in January to examine whether anyone named in an official inquiry into the Srebrenica atrocities was still employed or associated with the Bosnian government. Bosnian Serb authorities admitted last year in an official report that Serb forces killed about 8,000 Muslim men when they took control of the town during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. The government said in a statement that the report "showed its determination and commitment to meet all obligations to completely clarify the July 1995 events in Srebrenica". It added that it hoped the report would "contribute to creating a climate of confidence in Bosnia."


The New Times (Kigali) 3 Apr 2005 INTERVIEW [Excerpts only] France Has No Interests in Ex-Far/Interahamwe - Envoy Kigali The French Ambassador to Rwanda Dominique Decherf, in a recent interview said that the French government has no interests in the genocide forces still hiding in the DRC. While speaking to our senior staff journalist Patrick Bigabo, the envoy called for the immediate forceful disarmament of the militias in a bid to restore peace and security in the region. Below are the excerpts of the full interview. What is the current level of cooperation between Rwanda and France? The cooperation between the two countries is improving. Since Rwanda is in the period of reconstruction after the 1994 mayhem, we have started identifying specific areas of cooperation. . . . Rwanda is on a countdown to the 11th commemoration of genocide. How is France prepared for this period (given the situation last year)? The French Embassy in Rwanda will officially recognise fallen embassy staff that were Rwandese nationals. So far, we have identified fourteen of our former staff members that were targeted during the genocide of 1994. We are also in full cooperation with Ibuka, youth, Avega and among other self-help projects involving genocide survivors and orphans. . . Six Rwandans living in France have filed cases against French troops accusing them of torture and abuse during the 1994 genocide. What is your reaction about this recent development? Yes. I have heard about the cases filed by the Rwandans living in Paris. As a member of the legal profession, I cannot comment on matters before court. If I comment, it would be contempt of court. I would, therefore, distance myself from divulging any information about the development. Does France accept that the 1994 Rwanda ethnic massacres were an equivalent of genocide? France officially announced in 1994 in the Paris Parliament that the killings in 1994 were true genocide not just acts of an equivalence of genocide. We were among the first people to recognise genocide in Rwanda. Mark you, the 1994 events were not a mere equivalent but a real genocide and France condemns genocide wherever it might be. . . In a 900-page report 'Leave none to tell the story' released 1999 by Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues and a US-based Human Rights Watch criticises France, US,UN and Belgium for knowing about the preparations of the impending slaughter and not taking action. What is your reaction about the criticism? No comment. So, does France accept involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda? I do not think so. Those are false accusations but I would say that somehow, somewhere France was involved. Returnees of Ex-FAr/Interahamwe always say that France and DRC governments are financing them. What is France's contribution to Interahamwe? France no longer has any interests in the Ex-FAr/Interahamwe whatsoever. You once told the local press that you had come to 'clean up the table' in Rwanda. What exactly was the meaning of your message? I meant that Rwanda and France ought to sit together and establish facts about the events of the 1994 genocide and iron out points of disagreement and to see to it that their cooperation is restored for the benefit to all the parties. Did France take part in dirtying the table? Hmm... Yes, France took part in making the table dirty I would accept. We should reach a common conclusion and move on positively without occasional accusations here and there. We should exploit the current opportunities between ourselves. Why has France never retracted statements made after 1994 that the incumbent Rwanda government is an Anglophone occupation? You have to judge events in their correct time. It was a cover-up by the French. They had no way of defending their activities and more to that their defeat by the Rwandese Patriotic Army that had been spreading wings to all parts of the country. I would say that guise of 'Anglophone occupation' was derived from the fact that the RPA were attacking Rwanda from Uganda and they had been fluent in English. Does France fear that the French language might be phased out in a former French-speaking colony? You should understand that you can never fight about language. Language is not a weapon. It is good to have many languages in a country and not merely one. Why are most French-speaking African countries marred by political instability? No comment. Why did France falsely promise the Security Council that its then objective in Rwanda 'naturally excluded any interference in the parties involved in the conflict' but within a week after their arrival, the French troops occupied nearly a quarter of the country sweeping across South-West Rwanda to stand face to face with RPA? I will keep out of Rwanda politics. I have no side on this issue since am a diplomat. My duty is to improve cooperation between the two countries. And that's all. Thank you. . . . As an individual what would be the words you would tell a genocide survivor that lost all relatives? It's beyond words. There is a relationship between me as a Frenchman and you as a survivor. We are brothers and sisters. If possible let us sit together to go beyond this situation and make peace. The French weren't the murderers. Let's reconcile. Let us share the grief. We don't want this to happen again.

BBC 5 Apr 2005 France 'shelters guilty Rwandans' Some 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide A Rwandan official has called for legal action against France over its alleged role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Aloys Mutabingwa, a representative at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said the court had heard enough evidence of France's involvement. He said some 100 Rwandans wanted by the court or by Rwandan prosecutors were "comfortably living in France". At least 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, died in the massacres between April and July 2004. French were individually and collectively responsible for allowing the massacre to unfold, he said. "I would like to seize this opportunity to urge the United Nations and the French government to make sure these people are put under investigation and prosecuted," he said at a press conference in Tanzania. "The testimonies heard by this tribunal during the last 10 years are probably sufficient to indicate that there is some damning evidence" of French responsibilities, AFP news agency reported him as saying. Some witnesses have claimed that French troops were involved in the training of Interahamwe militias, which carried out most of the killings. He added it was only in order to avoid "a diplomatic incident" that the tribunal's prosecutor had not yet named France as one of the countries which refuse to co-operate with the inquiry. France has always denied any direct involvement in the massacres.


www.baltimoresun.com 2 Apr 2005 Atrocities discovered in Germany By Frederick N. Rasmussen Sun Staff April 2, 2005 In early April 1945, near the end of World War II, armored units of Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army were racing northeastward from Frankfurt, Germany, as beleaguered and disorganized German units fell back, offering little resistance. Lee McCardell, Sunpapers war correspondent, was traveling with 3rd Army troops when they made the startling discovery of a German concentration camp on the outskirts of Ohrdruf, eight miles south of Gotha. "There on the blood-soaked ground before you lay the bodies of 31 miserable men. Each had a bullet hole in the back of his head. They had been shot three days ago by SS Guards, you were told," McCardell wrote. "You had heard of such things in Germany. You had heard creditable witnesses describe just such scenes. But now you were actually confronted with the horror of mass murder, you stared at the bodies and almost doubted your own eyes," he wrote. "'Good God!' you said aloud, 'Good God!'" McCardell reported seeing bodies stacked like cordwood near a shed. "These dead, more horrible in death than any carnage you had ever seen on a battlefield, belonged to German Concentration Lager North S-3," he wrote. "'Good God!' you repeated, 'Good God!'" An average of 30 prisoners a day perished from typhus. Others who had died by other means were stripped of their clothes while SS guards scrawled a number upon their skin with a black crayon. Bodies were then piled on trucks for transport to a crematory pit in the woods for disposal. Col. Hayden A. Sears, of the 4th Armored Division, took Ohrdruf residents, including Nazi party members who claimed they had no knowledge of what went on there, to the camp so they could see the bodies of inmates who had been tortured, shot and beaten to death. "All of you are responsible," Sears told them. "It was done by the party the German people had put in power. Therefore, we hold the German people responsible." Three days later, the 6th Armored Division liberated 21,000 inmates at Buchenwald, where 44,000 had died. "Perhaps Americans are tired of reading these atrocity stories. God knows we correspondents are sick of writing them," McCardell wrote. "We are sick of seeing these people, sick of listening to their tales. But they belong to the Nazi wreckage, laid bare by the ebbing tide of war on the battlefront. And the tide is still running out." On April 20, as U.S. forces approached Flossenbuerg concentration camp in Bavaria, SS guards ordered the camp's evacuation. The 22,000 inmates, including 1,700 Jews, were marched toward Dachau. Near the outskirts of Neunburg, 160 Hungarian Jews were slain while they ate from a cart of cooked potatoes that German peasant women had prepared and persuaded guards to let them eat. They were buried in shallow graves by SS guards who hastily disappeared. Arriving American forces were told of the mass execution by survivors. An American commander ordered that the citizens of Neunburg were to remove the bodies from the fresh graves. When the work was done, they were to serve as pallbearers for the slain Jews. McCardell was an eyewitness to the events that unfolded in the small Bavarian village. "Every man, woman and child above the age of 5 in Neunburg who was able to walk attended the funeral by military order," he wrote. "They stood in the cemetery with the mutilated and emaciated bodies of 160 murdered Jews lying in front of them in open coffins." As they stood near the open coffins, loudspeakers blared a message in German to the town's residents. "The German people, all of you, conspired to tear these wretched victims from their homes and families - from their wives, children and other dear ones in foreign lands. You conspired to transport them here to work as your slaves in your factories, your farms, your homes. "None among you raised his voice or arm in protest. You were content to profit by their blood and sweat and misery." The bodies were placed in wooden coffins built by village carpenters. After a service conducted by U.S. Army chaplains, they were buried in three large common graves that had been dug in the Catholic cemetery. "The Germans accepted the task stoically. Several of the women faltered and wept and one fainted with hysteria, but the others struggled along with set faces," McCardell observed. The loudspeaker had a final message: "May the memory of these tragic dead rest heavily upon the conscience of every German so long as each of you shall live."

BBC 3 Apr 2005 'Bloodbath' at church in Germany Police say the attack was motivated by personal problems. A man wielding a sword has killed a woman and injured at least three other people during a service at a church in southern Germany. Police said they found "grisly" scenes, including severed limbs, at the scene of the attack in Stuttgart. A 25-year-old suspect was overpowered by officers and arrested. He is an ethnic Tamil, as were most of the congregation. Police say the attack was not politically motivated and was probably prompted by personal problems. The man stormed into the church just before 1600 (1400 GMT) waving a sword before going on the rampage, according to eyewitnesses. He killed a 43-year-old woman and seriously injured three other people, including one whose hand was hacked off, police said. Police described the scene as a "bloodbath". About 65 people - half of them children - are believed to have been in the church at the time. Counselling has been offered to those who witnessed the attack. Tamils are a predominantly Hindu minority in Sri Lanka and southern India. The group regularly rented the Stuttgart church to hold its services.

Reuters 8 Apr 2005 Berlin Court Wants Cold War Site Closed BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) - An outdoor exhibit in the center of Berlin that commemorates hundreds of people killed trying to escape Communist East Germany and marks one of the most famous sites of the cold war faces closure after a court ruling on Friday. The Berlin state court ruled that hundreds of wooden crosses and a rebuilt section of the Berlin Wall must be cleared because a lease on the piece of ground was no longer valid, a court official said. Politicians from Berlin's governing coalition of Social Democrats and former Communists have called the installation tacky and have criticized the exhibition of crosses just a few minutes walk from the new Berlin Holocaust Memorial. The German media have also had harsh words for the "Wall-Disneyland," where tourists can pose for photographs and buy original pieces of the wall and where a straggling market has been set up by sellers of Russian military gear and other Communist-era memorabilia. Alexandra Hildebrandt, a Ukrainian émigré who heads the nearby Museum at Checkpoint Charlie and who set up the exhibition, said she was considering whether to appeal. See www.mauer-museum.com

Background : BBC 8 Dec 2000 Checkpoint Charlie tower demolished Checkpoint Charlie was a Cold War flashpoint Developers have torn down an old East German watchtower at the former Checkpoint Charlie crossing point in central Berlin - one of the most famous symbols of the Cold War. The watchtower - demolished on Thursday night - is to make way for offices and shops. City officials said they could not save it, as it was not classified as an historic landmark. They waited until it was dark, and we were told nothing in advance. We had often discussed how the tower could be moved, but now it is too late Rainer Hildebrandt, Checkpoint Charlie Museum director Since the Berlin Wall was removed after the city's reunification in 1989, the watchtower had attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year. A director of the Checkpoint Charlie museum dedicated to the Berlin Wall, Alexandra Hildebrandt, said the decision to bulldoze the watchtower was a "barbaric act". Memorial A spokesman for the property developers who own the land said the office complex they planned to build would include a multi-media memorial to the tower. The area is now visited by tourists and shoppers The concrete watchtower by the Berlin Wall was once used by Soviet and East German soldiers guarding the east-west border. Since reunification, the main Friedrichstrasse avenue running north from the former border has been lined with glitzy boutiques and car showrooms. Checkpoint Charlie - which divided the US and Soviet sectors in Berlin - was used as a crossing for foreigners such as Allied diplomats and soldiers. It came to symbolise the drama of the Cold War, and was the scene of several escape attempts. The Berlin Wall divided the city from 1961 to 1989. Nearly all of the former 155km (97-mile) Berlin Wall has been torn down, except for a few scattered sections. About 190 East Germans were killed trying to reach the West before the country's Soviet-backed government - and the Berlin Wall - collapsed in 1989. About 5,000 made it across, while a similar number were arrested by the East German authorities. The original checkpoint buildings were dismantled and reassembled at the Allied Museum in the west of the city.
Berlin Wall History: Checkpoint Charlie Ten days after closing the border on August 13, 1961 tourists from abroad, diplomats and the military personnel of the Western Powers were only allowed to enter East Berlin via the crossing point at Berlin Friedrichstrasse. Soon the US military police opened the third checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse. The other two checkpoints were Helmstedt at the West German-East German border and Dreilinden at the West Berlin and East Germany border. Based on the phonetic alphabet the Helmstedt checkpoint was called Alpha, Dreilinden Checkpoint Bravo and the checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse got the name Charlie. The main function of the checkpoint was to register and inform members of the Western Military Forces before entering East Berlin. Foreign tourists were also informed but not checked in the West. The German authorities in West and East Berlin were not allowed to check any members of the Allied Military Forces in Berlin and in Germany. Checkpoint Charlie was removed on June 22, 1990. The former Allied guardhouses are now located in the Allied Museum. A copy of the American guardhouse was errected on the original place on August 13, 2000. The East German watch tower at Checkpoint Charlie was demolished by the property owner Checkpoint Charlie Service Company on December 9, 2000. A 140 meter long section of the Berlin Wall was re-erected by the museum on October 31, 2004 and nearby, a field of 1,065 crosses represents all victims of the East German border system." From http://www.dailysoft.com/berlinwall/history/checkpoint-charlie.htm

Independent UK 11 Apr 2005 Schröder attacks far right at Buchenwald memorial By Tony Paterson in Berlin 11 April 2005 The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, and Nazi Holocaust survivors marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp with warnings about the rise of right-wing extremism in Germany. Mr Schröder was speaking at a ceremony in the east German city of Weimar yesterday, commemorating the liberation by US troops of what was the Nazi's largest concentration camp. He was joined by German Jewish leaders and more than 500 survivors from the camp, where more than 56,000 Jews, Russian prisoners of war, political prisoners and homosexuals were systematically worked to death between 1937 and the end of the Second World War. Others were shot, given lethal injections or starved. "They fell victim to hunger, sickness, sadistic terror and systematic murder," Mr Schröder said. "We cannot change history, but this country can learn a lot from the deepest shame of our history." Referring to the recent political gains by far right parties, including the neo-Nazi German National Democratic Party (NPD), Mr Schröder said: "Democratic Germany will not allow injustice, violence, anti-Semitism and hatred of foreigners to have a chance of success. "Humanity and the principles of a free and socially just society are values which we must and will go on defending every day." The NPD won more than nine per cent of the vote, and parliamentary seats, in key regional elections in the east German state of Saxony last autumn with a campaign that focused on anti-foreigner and anti-EU sentiment. In February, more than 5,000 NPD members marched through Dresden to protest against the allied bombing of the city in 1945 in what was the biggest demonstration by the far right in Germany since the Nazi era. The rise of the far right has become a source of concern to Mr Schröder's coalition which is trying to ban the NPD through the country's constitutional court. Paul Spiegel, a Holocaust survivor and the leader of Germany's Central Council of Jews, warned: "Buchenwald does not exist any more, but the fact that right-wing extremism has now begun to reach the centre of our society is an extremely dangerous development. The far right has no problem in winning new recruits." Several survivors of Buch-enwald, many of them now aged in their eighties, wore their striped prison uniform caps at yesterday's ceremony, where a choir sang a song written by two inmates that became a secret unofficial anthem during their ordeal. Unlike Auschwitz, Buchenwald had no gas chambers. Prisoners were worked to death by SS guards. Pavel Kohn, 75, a Jewish survivor from the camp, whose parents were murdered by the Nazis, said: "The camp was packed, there was hunger and the living conditions and hygiene were unbelievable." The US Army's approach prompted a revolt by Buchenwald's inmates. When the Americans reached the camp on 11 April, they found 21,000 sick and emaciated inmates. At least 10,000 others died. Appalled by what he found at the camp, the US Army commander forced the inhabitants of Weimar to visit Buchenwald. Film footage shows them weeping and vomiting.


Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, Italy 24 Mar 2005 CIAMPI COMMEMORATES ARDEATINE MASSACRE (AGI) - Rome, March 24 - Italian President Carlo Azegli Ciampi starter what he defined as the "road to memory" for the 60th anniversary of Italy's liberation from the Nazis with a visit to the Mausoleum of the Ardeatine Caves. Ciampi, together with a series of politicians and institutional members, listened to the reading of the names of the 335 victims of the massacre that took place on March 24, 1944, which was ordered as a reprisal for an attack on Via Rasella. Fabio Mussi and Cesare Salvi represented the House and the Senate, Walter Veltroni, Antonio Martino, Francesco Storace, Piero Marrazzo, Enrico Gasbarra, Rome's head rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and the president of the Constitutional Court Capotosti. At the end of the ceremony, officiated by a Catholic priest and a rabbi, Ciampi visited the cave where the Nazi platoon, on orders by Herbert Kappler, killed the civilians rounded up on Via Tasso, Regina Coeli, and Via Rasella, five by five. After visiting the tombs where the remains were found after the war, he spoke with the victims' families and representatives of Anfim. Among these, there was also a survivor of Auschwitz, who expressed his disappointment for the presence of Francesco Storace in the delegation. "We are all Italians," responded Ciampi. "We must all come here to pay homage." (AGI)

Netherlands - Hague

International Criminal Court 5 Apr 2005 www.icc-cpi.int Prosecutor receives list prepared by Comission of Inquiry on Darfur The Hague, 5 April 2005 ICC-OTP-EN Please find below the statement of ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo: This envelope contains the conclusion of the Commission of Inquiry created by the Security Council. The Commission collected thousands of documents and issued a public report. Ten hours ago, my office in The Hague received these documents. The Commission reports that there were mass killings of innocent civilians, systematic rape of girls and women, and the burning of family homes. To protect life, the international community has joined together to end impunity in Darfur. The Security Council has referred the case to the International Criminal Court. Now, we have a common task - to end the culture of impunity. As the Prosecutor, my duty in this common task is to investigate the crimes and to respect the interests of the victims. Before I start an investigation, I have to assess the crimes and the admissibility of the case. I will analyze the Commission’s documents and gather all other available information. I urge states and organizations with information on Darfur to provide it to my Office. I call for partners to help me do my job, from individual citizens all over the world to governments, the African Union and the United Nations. I have an additional duty: to assess national proceedings. The Sudanese authorities report they have begun investigations. This could be very important. I will carefully and independently assess these proceedings. I will closely monitor ongoing crimes in Darfur as well as efforts to prevent and stop them. We all have a common task: to protect life in Darfur, ending the culture of impunity.

BBC 5 Apr 2005 UN sets Darfur trials in motion Boxes of documents have been delivered to the court The UN has given a sealed list of 51 people suspected of carrying out atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region to the International Criminal Court. Last week, the UN Security Council passed a resolution referring the situation in Darfur to the tribunal. But Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir says his country will refuse to co-operate with the court in The Hague. And tens of thousands of people have marched through the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, protesting against the UN. Ending impunity UN Secretary General Kofi Annan handed the names of the 51 suspects to the ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, at UN headquarters in New York. The list, drawn up by the UN commission investigating allegations of killings, torture and rape in Darfur, includes Sudanese government and army officials, as well as militia and rebel leaders. Radio stations and newspapers urged people to join the protest Earlier on Tuesday, the UN handed other documents outlining the war crimes allegations to the court in The Hague. Mr Ocampo, said the court would work to end the impunity in Sudan and stop the atrocities. Sudan is refusing to hand over any of its citizens, preferring to rely on local justice. Mr al-Bashir swore "thrice in the name of Almighty Allah that I shall never hand any Sudanese national to a foreign court", he is quoted as saying by AFP news agency. Defiance Tens of thousands of people have marched through the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to protest at the UN's decision to refer the suspects to the ICC. Newspapers, radio stations and even text messages were used to call on all Sudanese people to take part in the government-backed demonstration, says the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Khartoum. Protesters gathered outside a key UN building in Khartoum, as well as the French and US embassies, waving banners criticising the UN, the US and its allies, our correspondent said. "We are coming here to say to America 'no' to these orders. We are not people who have to listen to orders from anybody except the Sudan," one demonstrator said. Unprecedented decision The UN Security Council voted to refer the atrocities in Darfur to the ICC last week. It is the first time a case has been referred to the court in The Hague by the Security Council. The commission found that Sudanese government forces and militias committed gross human rights violations that could amount to crimes against humanity. The Sudanese government described the Security Council plan to try criminals in The Hague as "unfair, ill-advised and narrow-minded". But Darfur's two main rebel groups welcome it. Unknown toll The UN says at least 180,000 people have died and more than two million have sought refuge from the violence since the two-year conflict began. A UK parliamentary investigation concluded that as many as 300,000 could have died. Many of the deaths and atrocities are blamed on the Arab Janjaweed militia, which the government denies arming. Meanwhile, Darfur rebels have rejected an Egyptian initiative to hold peace talks. The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Sudanese government of trying to intimidate humanitarian relief agencies by arbitrarily detaining aid workers. HRW says it has documented the arrest and detention of more than 20 foreign and local aid workers in the past four months. All the arrests took place in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, and according to HRW's Peter Takirambudde are "nothing less than a campaign to harass and threaten aid agencies to keep them in line".


Reuters 4 Apr 2005 Holocaust survivor remembers Pope as saviour By Corinne Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The strapping Polish seminarian gathered up into his arms the starving Jewish girl who had just been liberated from a Nazi forced labour camp. Now, Edith Zierer, 74, remembers the warm look in Karol Wojtyla's eyes and on Saturday she mourned the death of the man who became Pope John Paul II. "He was a kindred spirit in the greatest sense -- a man who could save a girl in such a state, freezing, starving and full of lice, and carry her to safety," she told Reuters. "I would not have survived had it not been for him." Polish-born Zierer was 13 when she ran away from the Nazi camp at Czestochowa in Poland after the Soviet army liberated it in January 1945, five months before World War Two ended in Europe. She was heading towards her home town in Poland to find her family, who she would later learn had died in the Holocaust. Exhausted, she reached a train station and sat there for two days without food or water while people ignored her. "Suddenly, there he was," Zierer said, referring to Wojtyla. "He brought me some tea and two pieces of bread with cheese and then carried me to a train carriage. He sat with me and put his cloak on me because it was freezing." "We came to Krakow and then I ran away because people started to ask why a priest was walking with a Jewish girl." After spending a few years in orphanages in Poland and France, Zierer immigrated to British-mandated Palestine, where she later married and bore a son and daughter in what became Israel. She now has five grandchildren. She wrote to Wojtyla after he became Pope in 1979 and wrote him letters, saying she was the little girl he had saved at the train station in Poland decades ago. After a correspondence ensured, the Pontiff invited her to the Vatican in 1998. She last met him in 2000, when he visited Israel on a millennium pilgrimage and met several survivors at the Vad Vashem Holocaust museum. "I did not cry at the Vatican but at Yad Vashem, I just burst into tears," she said. She said she and the Pope kept up their correspondence, writing mostly during Christmas and before birthdays. "I received a letter from him last year and I knew it was the last," she said. "He included a picture from his private collection and his handwriting was very shaky. I wrote to thank him for the memory that never left."

International Herald Tribune 6 Apr 2005 The Polish Seminary Student and the Jewish Girl He Saved By ROGER COHEN Here is a family story of Pope John Paul II, an intimate tale of his humanity. During the summer of 1942, two women in Krakow, Poland, were denounced as Jews, taken to the city's prison, held there for a few months and then sent to the Belzec death camp, where in October they were killed in primitive Nazi gas chambers by carbon monoxide from diesel engines. Their names were Frimeta Gelband and Salomea Zierer; they were sisters. As it happens, Frimeta was my wife's grandmother. Salomea - known as Salla - had two daughters, one of whom survived the war and one of whom did not. The elder of these daughters was Edith Zierer. In January 1945, at age 13, she emerged from a Nazi labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland, a waif on the verge of death. Separated from her family, unaware that her mother had been killed by the Germans, she could scarcely walk. But walk she did, to a train station, where she climbed onto a coal wagon. The train moved slowly, the wind cut through her. When the cold became too much to bear, she got down at a village called Jedrzejow. In a corner of the station, she sat. Nobody looked at her, a girl in the striped and numbered uniform of a prisoner, late in a terrible war. Unable to move, Edith waited. Death was approaching, but a young man approached first, "very good looking," as she recalled, and vigorous. He wore a long robe and appeared to be a priest. "Why are you here?" he asked. "What are you doing?" Edith said she was trying to get to Krakow to find her parents. The man disappeared. He came back with a cup of tea. Edith drank. He said he could help her get to Krakow. Again the mysterious benefactor went away, returning with bread and cheese. They talked about the advancing Soviet Army. Edith said she believed that her parents and younger sister, Judith, were alive. "Try to stand," the man said. Edith tried and failed. He carried her to another village, where he put her in the cattle car of a train bound for Krakow. Another family was there. The man got in beside Edith, covered her with his cloak and made a small fire. His name, he told Edith, was Karol Wojtyla. Although she took him for a priest, he was still a seminarian who would not be ordained until the next year. Thirty-three more years would pass before he became Pope John Paul II and embarked on a papacy that would help break the Communist hold on Central Europe and so transform the world. What moved this young seminarian to save the life of a lost Jewish girl cannot be known. But it is clear that his was an act of humanity made as the two great mass movements of the 20th century, the twin totalitarianisms of Fascism and Communism, bore down on his nation, Poland. Here were two people in a ravaged land, a 24-year-old Catholic and a 13-year-old Jew. The future pope had already lost his mother, father and brother. Edith, although she did not know it yet, had already lost her mother at Belzec, her father at Maidanek and her little sister at Auschwitz. They could not have been more alone. Pope John Paul II is widely viewed as having been a man of unshakable convictions that some found old-fashioned or rigid. But perhaps he offered his truth with the same simplicity and directness he showed in proffering tea and bread and shelter from cold to an abandoned Jewish girl in 1945, when nobody was watching. It was based in the belief that, as he once put it, "a degradation, indeed a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human being" was at the root of the mass movements of the 20th century, Communism and Fascism. Stalin once contemptuously asked, "How many divisions has the pope?" Starting with his 1979 visit to Poland, John Paul gave an answer. Perhaps the strength that enabled him to play a central role in ending Communism and the strength that led him to save Edith Zierer did not differ fundamentally. Like his healing ecumenism, those acts required the courage born of a core certitude. Edith fled from Karol Wojtyla when they arrived at Krakow in 1945. The family on the train, also Jews, had warned her that he might take her off to "the cloisters." She recalls him calling out, "Edyta, Edyta!" - the Polish form of her name - as she hid behind large containers of milk. But hiding was not forgetting. She wrote his name in a diary, her savior, and in 1978, when she read in a copy of Paris-Match that he had become pope, she broke into tears. By then Edith Zierer was in Haifa, Israel, where she now lives. Letters to him went unanswered. But at last, in 1997, she received a letter from the Vatican in which the pope recalled their meeting. A year later they met again at the Vatican. Edith thanked the pope for saving her. He put one hand on her head, another hand in hers, and blessed her. As she parted, he said, "Come back, my child."

Background: Zenit News Service 23 Mar 2000 How the future John Paul II saved a Jewish girl's life Thursday, 23 March 2000, was an unforgettable day for Edith Zirer, a Jewish woman who was born in Poland but who has lived in Haifa for decades. At last, in the Yad Vashem Memorial to the Holocaust, she was able to personally thank Karol Wojtyla, the man who saved her life 55 years ago. At that time, Edith Zirer said: "I remember perfectly well. I was there, I was a 13-year-old girl, alone, sick, and weak. I had spent three years in a German concentration camp at the point of death. And, like an angel, Karol Wojtyla saved my life; like a dream from heaven: he gave me something to drink and eat and then carried me on his back some four kilometres in the snow, before catching the train to safety." Edith Zirer tells the story as if it had happened yesterday. It was a cold morning in early February, 1945. The young Jew, who was not yet aware that she was the only member of her family to survive the Nazi massacre, let a tall, strong 25-year-old, tonsured seminarian carry her and give her a ray of hope. Today, at 66, Edith is the mother of two and lives in a beautiful home in the Carmel hills, on the outskirts of Haifa. She rebuilt her life in Israel, where she arrived in 1951, suffering from tuberculosis and frightful dreams connected with the war. For many years, she kept this incident to herself. When Karol Wojtyla ascended the Chair of Peter in 1978, she felt the need to tell the story and express her gratitude. The question that arises immediately, of course, is how could she be certain that that seminarian is the Pope? The reporters of Haifa's weekly newspaper Kolbo, who heard the story for the first time in 1998, say her story is very convincing. "She is not trying for publicity, all the details she gives seem credible." The story speaks for itself. "On January 28, 1945, Russian soldiers liberated the Hassak concentration camp, where I had been imprisoned for almost three years, working in a munitions factory. I felt confused, I was prostrated with illness. Two days later I arrived at a small railway station between Czestochowa and Krakow." At this time, Wojtyla was in Krakow preparing for his priestly ordination. "I was sure I would arrive at the end of my journey. I was lying on the ground, in the corner of a large hall where dozens of refugees were gathering, the majority of whom still wore uniforms with the numbers of the concentration camps. Then Wojtyla saw me. He came with a big cup of tea, the first hot beverage I had had in weeks. Then he brought me a cheese sandwich made with Polish rye bread, wonderful. But I didn't want to eat. I was too tired. He made me eat. Then he told me I would have to walk to catch the train. I tried, but I fell down on the ground. He then took me in his arms and carried me for a long time. All the while the snow fell. I remember his brown jacket, the tranquil voice who told me about his parents' death, and his brother's, the loneliness he felt, and the need not to be overcome by sorrow and to fight for life. His name was indelibly imprinted in my memory." When they finally arrived at the convoy that would take the prisoners to the West, Edith met a Jewish family who alerted her: "Be careful, priests try to convert Jewish children." She was afraid and hid. "Only later did I understand that all he wanted to do was to help me. Now I want to thank him personally," she said. [This story was first told in the Haifa weekly newspaper "Kolbo" on Feb. 6, 1998]


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Public Statement AI Index: EUR 46/011/2005 (Public) News Service No: 078 31 March 2005 Russian Federation: Russian police officer found guilty of crimes against the civilian population in the Chechen Republic Amnesty International welcomes the conviction and sentencing of Sergei Lapin, member of a special federal riot police unit (OMON) from the Khanty-Mansiisk region in the Russian Federation, by the Oktiabrskii District Court in Grozny in the Chechen Republic. For the first time a member of the Russian federal forces has stood trial in Chechnya itself for human rights violations against the civilian population. Sergei Lapin had been involved in the torture and "disappearance" of 26-year-old Zelimkhan Murdalov, who was detained on 2 January 2001 in Grozny. The court on 29 March 2005 found Sergei Lapin guilty of intentional infliction of serious harm to health under aggravating circumstances (article 111, part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code); exceeding official authority under aggravating circumstances (article 286, part 3) and forgery by an official (article 292). He was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment in a strict regime prison colony. On release he will be banned from working for agencies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs for three years. In addition, the court sent a special ruling to the head of the Khanty-Mansiiskii OMON, reportedly criticising the conduct of the OMON unit serving in Chechnya in broader terms. Other individuals responsible for the torture and "disappearance" of Zelimkhan Murdalov have yet to be identified and brought to justice. Amnesty International has closely followed the case and campaigned for those who were found responsible for the "disappearance" of Zelimkhan Murdalov to be brought to justice. Amnesty International's section in Norway provided finances for the legal support in this landmark case. Sergei Lapin was initially detained and taken into pre-trial detention in January 2002. He was released in May of the same year pending trial. The trial started in October 2003 after intensive efforts of the family of Zelimkhan Murdalov to see justice done. The investigation found that on 3 January 2001 Zelimkhan Murdalov was taken into a cell in the district police of Oktiabrskii district by Sergei Lapin and another unidentified official. There Sergei Lapin had beaten Zelimkhan Murdalov with a truncheon. Zelimkhan Murdalov was also subjected to electric shock treatment while in detention. Witnesses told the court that while in the cell, Zelimkhan Murdalov could hardly stand and lost consciousness several times. His arm was broken, his ear torn and he had received a concussion to his head. The next day Sergei Lapin and some as yet unidentified colleagues took Zelimkhan Murdalov out of the cell and since then his fate and whereabouts remain unknown. Zelimkhan Murdalov's family faced harassment and intimidation for seeking justice and his mother and sister had to leave the country in search of security. Zelimkhan Murdalov's father Astemir Murdalov told Amnesty International that he is still searching for information about his son's fate. Throughout the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic, Amnesty International has been concerned about the climate of impunity prevailing there and has called on the Russian authorities to bring to justice perpetrators of human rights violations. However, very few effective measures have been taken. Only very few cases of "disappearance", torture and ill-treatment or extrajudicial execution have reached the Courts. Many Chechen civilians have decided to turn to the European Court of Human Rights as the Russian judicial system has failed to show real commitment to punish those who commit human rights violations in the North Caucasus. While this ruling is of great importance not only for the family of Zelimkhan Murdalov, but for many other people in the Chechen Republic, who have been subjected to human rights violations and war crimes, much more needs to be done. Russian and Chechen officials give about 2000 as the official figure for "disappearances" since late 1999 and unofficial estimates are as high as 5000 "disappeared". Amnesty International and other human rights organizations working in the region have found evidence of the involvement of federal and Chechen forces in a large number of such cases of "disappearances".


news.ft.com 5 Apr 2005Serbian authorities 'know where Mladic is hiding' By Eric Jansson in Belgrade and Daniel Dombey in Brussels Published: April 5 2005 03:00 | Last updated: April 5 2005 03:00 Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general wanted for war crimes, is hiding with the help of Serbian security services, according to Vuk Draskovic, foreign minister of Serbia and Montenegro. It is the first admission by a senior Serbian official since General Mladic, who is wanted on an international warrant, went into hiding after the Bosnian war a decade ago. "It is only logical that the security services know where Mladic is. They know if he is in Serbia, and they know if he is not. They are paid to know," Mr Draskovic told the Financial Times. "Without that kind of protection, without that kind of network, it would be impossible for Mladic to be invisible," he added. Mr Draskovic's statement undermines severely Belgrade's long-held claim that Serbian officials do not know Gen Mladic's whereabouts and therefore cannot arrest and extradite him for trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. The outspoken foreign minister is an uneasy ally of Vojislav Kostunica, Serbia's conservative prime minister. He has often criticised Serbia for failing to co-operate fully with the tribunal. But Mr Draskovic has sharpened his rhetoric as April 12 approaches, when the European Commission is due to make a key decision on Serbia's relationship to the European Union. At stake is whether the Commission concludes that talks should begin on a stabilisation and association agreement with Serbia - a way station to EU membership - or instead delays such a decision. Commission officials say Serbia has until the end of this week to make more progress. A key development came with yesterday's voluntary surrender of Sreten Lukic, a retired Serb general indicted for alleged crimes during the Kosovo war in 1999. However, government officials in Belgrade said they had lost track of Nebojsa Pavkovic, the other retired general whose extradition European diplomats are looking for. "I appreciate the positive move of General Lukic's transfer but at the same time we expect more work," said Olli Rehn, EU enlargement commissioner. "It's important that the current emerging trend does not stop suddenly in mid-April," he added, signalling that Mr Mladic's transfer would be increasingly important with the approach of the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in July. Mr Kostunica said six weeks ago that his government's recent successes in coercing Serbs indicted of war crimes to surrender would "end with the complete list", including Gen Mladic being handed over to the tribunal. Mr Draskovic said Mr Kostunica was not going far enough. "If I were the prime minister, I would call the head of state security before me and ask him where Mladic is. If he said 'I don't know' I would fire him then and there." Mr Draskovic said Serbian security services could arrest Mr Mladic "today, and he should have been arrested yesterday". He did not say whether he believed Serb intelligence also knew the whereabouts of Radovan Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, who alongside Gen Mladic is the other top Bosnian Serb wanted for war crimes.

www.crisisgroup.org 8 Apr 2005 Serbia's Sandzak: Still Forgotten Whenever Balkan politicians discuss Kosovo's future status, they warn of a "domino effect". One area frequently mentioned as vulnerable and a possible flashpoint of new violence is Serbia's Sandzak, an ethnically-mixed Muslim-Slav (Bosniak) majority region sandwiched between Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia. Sandzak experiences attempts by extremist forces on both sides to stoke tensions and suffers from significant economic decline and ongoing loss of population. It also has all the problems endemic to Serbia as a whole: organised crime, corruption, dysfunctional state structures, and official incompetence. Provided Belgrade deals with both peoples' sense of discrimination and vulnerability and reins in nationalist forces, however, the situation ought to be manageable. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org

Turkey see Israel

www.turkishdailynews.com.tr Administrator ‘acts’ on Pamuk books A local administrator in Isparta sends a circular to all state libraries demanding that Orhan Pamuk's books be seized because of his statements on the so-called Armenian genocide. The only problem was that there were no Pamuk books in the libraries ANKARA - Turkish Daily News The local administrator of Isparta's Sütçüler district, Mustafa Altinpinar, issued a directive to all state libraries under his jurisdiction on Tuesday, ordering the seizure and destruction of all books written by the renowned author Orhan Pamuk, for Pamuk's statements about the so-called Armenian genocide. Some prior investigation, however, would have revealed that there were no Pamuk books in any of his district's libraries. The administrator in his haste had forgotten to verify the existence of the book in the area's public institutions before issuing his order. The directive issued by Altinpinar read: “The so-called author who has come to public attention in recent days has done a great disservice to the Turkish people with the statement he made overseas. The nation has the right to defend itself against the insults of this pro-minority racist. In this context all the state libraries need to conduct a search of this individual's books and destroy them.” ‘It is personal': Altinpinar, in a statement made to the Anatolia news agency, said his decision to send the directive was personal, adding: “I sent this directive in reaction to Pamuk's statements about the so-called genocide.” Altinpinar said: “I am now thinking it would have been better to check whether there were any such books before issuing the order.” Misuse of authority: Isparta Governor Isa Parlak, in a statement released on Wednesday, confirmed that Altinpinar had asked all libraries to seize Pamuk's books. “Altinpinar misused his authority. It was a mistaken directive. It was cancelled today,” he said.

Background: The books of Ohan Pamuk (b. 1952) translated into English include: the 1991 The white castle : a novel (Turkish: Beyaz kale), the 1994 The black book (Turkish: Kara kitap). The new life : a novel (Turkish: Yeni hayat), the 2003 My Name Is Red, the 2004 Snow (Turkish: Kar) and the 2005 book Istanbul : memories and the city. www.turkishdailynews.com.tr 19 Feb 2005 Another charge filed against writer Orhan Pamuk Writer Orhan Pamuk allegedly says, ‘30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians had been killed in Turkey,’ a statement argued to constitute a crime according to the Turkish Penal Code ANKARA - Turkish Daily News Another charge has been filed by Kayseri Bar Association attorney Orhan Pekmezci against internationally renowned Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk for statements he reportedly made during an interview with the Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger, published in the newspaper's Feb. 6 issue, reported Anatolia news agency. “Pamuk has made groundless claims against the Turkish identity, the Turkish military and Turkey as a whole. I think he should be punished for violating Article 159 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code,” said Pekmezci after filing charges at the Kayseri State Prosecutor's office. “He made a statement provoking the people to hatred and animosity through the media, which is defined as a crime in Article 312.” Pekmezci claimed that Pamuk said, “30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in Turkey. Almost no one dares to speak out this but me, and the nationalists hate me for that.” Pamuk the author of six novels and the recipient of major Turkish and international literary awards, has had his work translated into more than 20 languages. His most recent novel is “My Name Is Red.” Pamuk's latest novel, "Kar," (Snow), translated by Maureen Freely, has been included in The New York Times' "100 Notable Books of the Year" list prepared by the daily's "Book Review" section. The review, published every Sunday, has selected 100 notable books from all those it has reviewed since Dec. 7, 2003. Previously Mehmet Üçok an attorney from the Anatolia Professional Association of Owners of Scientific and Literary Works (ANASAM) filed charges against Pamuk at the Kayseri Public Prosecutor's office.
The Observer UK 27 Feb 2005 They say 'incident'. To me it's genocide When its finest novelist attacked Turkey's bloody past, he became a hero for Armenians and Turks alike, says Nouritza Matossian Sunday February 27, 2005 There is a Turkish saying: 'A sword won't cut without inspiration from the pen.' Orhan Pamuk, wielder of Turkey's finest pen, has spoken and cut a swath through his country's conscience. His most recent novel Snow was set in Kars and peppered with references to the Armenian culture of that formerly Armenian city. Brilliant novelist, translated in 20 languages, winner of international prizes, he has become a hate figure. His crime was one sentence in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger this month. 'Thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in Turkey. Almost no one dares speak but me, and the nationalists hate me for that.' All hell broke loose. The press attacked him for dishonouring the Turkish state and incitement to racial violence. He has been called a liar, 'a miserable creature' and a 'black writer' in the daily Hurriyet. Professor Hikmet Ozdemir, head of the Armenian studies department at the Turkish Union of Historians, rejected his statement as a 'great lie'. A lone voice, Halil Berktay, professor at Sabanci University, supported Pamuk: 'In 1915-16 about 800,000 or one million Armenians were killed for sure.' Mehmet Üçok, an attorney, filed charges at the Kayseri public prosecutor's office. Another charge was filed by Kayseri Bar Association attorney Orhan Pekmezci: 'Pamuk has made groundless claims against the Turkish identity, the Turkish military and Turkey as a whole. He should be punished for violating Articles 159 and 312 of the Turkish penal code. He made a statement provoking the people to hatred and animosity through the media, which is defined as a crime in Article 312.' I find this ironic. My mother's family was deported from the historic Armenian city of Kayseri, leaving their murdered menfolk behind. I was recently in Istanbul lecturing on my biography of Armenian-American artist Arshile Gorky, the basis for the controversial genocide movie Ararat. Official permission for my talk required me not to utter the word 'genocide' to refer to the Ottoman empire's systematic deportations, tortures and killings of two million Armenians which Gorky witnessed. I might refer to those 'incidents'. The crime has never been acknowledged by successive Turkish governments, Britain or the United States. Recent discussions of Turkey's possible entry into the EU were dominated by France and other countries demanding that Turkey first admit the Armenian genocide. What if Britain had a law forbidding criticism of its history, identity, or the armed forces? Turkey has far to go to reach the legal standards of EU members, with their humane and non-discriminatory laws aiming at standards of truth and reason. So much hatred. So much anger. What does Turkey have to hide? 'Pamuk has always defended freedom of speech and thought, the rights of minorities,' writes Hrant Dink, owner of the Armenian Turkish-language weekly Agos . 'For 90 years we Armenians have been abused, insulted and discriminated against. We cannot enter certain professions, we Turkified our names. We have learnt to survive and endure without protest. Maybe it is time that the Turkish people also learnt tolerance and endurance from us.' In London, a thinly veiled propaganda exercise at the Royal Academy trumpets Turkish empires, making far-reaching claims about the origins of the 'Turkic peoples'. Echoes of master-race ideology. Pamuk himself writes in the Academy journal: 'Turks gripped by romantic myths of nationalism are keen to establish that we come from Mongolia or central Asia... scholars have come no closer to offering definitive or convincing evidence to link us with a particular time and place.' In the show the contributions of other nationals in the Ottoman empire - Armenians, Greeks and Jews - are not credited. Yet their handiwork is everywhere, in architecture, pottery, carpets, manuscripts. Britain colludes in this travesty for the sake of oil interests in Azerbaijan, Turkey's closest ally. Akin Birdal, vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, emphasises: 'No matter we have come to the 90th year of "incidents" Orhan Pamuk talked about, these will of course be discussed on domestic and international platforms. The aggressions carried out against Pamuk are those which have been carried out against thought. Pamuk is not alone.' Pamuk has cut the Gordian knot. He has become the hero of every right-thinking person in Turkey and every Armenian worldwide. ·Nouritza Matossian is author of 'Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky' . www.arshile-gorky.com

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey - Mar 29, 2005 www.turkishweekly.net Justin McCarthy: A One-Man Army (On the Armenian Allegations) Tufan Turenc JUSTIN MCCARTHY: A ONE-MAN ARMY BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET) Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the recent visit to Turkey of historian Justin McCarthy. A summary of his column is as follows: “It’s obvious why we can’t disprove the Armenian allegations, because we don’t know what happened in the years 1915-16. Moreover, unlike the Armenians’ fervent belief in their allegations, we don’t have a strong belief in the fact that we are right. As with every issue, we are so lazy that we prefer to stay silent instead of fighting. I was thinking about this when I was talking with Justin McCarthy from the University of Louisville after his conference at Marmara University. ‘The Armenian allegations are a great lie and their documents are false. Turkey has to fight these slanders, but I have to admit I’m not positive that it will do so,’ he told me. I asked McCarthy how he began his research on the issue. As a Ph.D. student at the University of California Los Angeles in 1976, McCarthy found out that 3 million Muslims had been killed in the Balkans and Turkey, and he started to look into this. His studies drove him to research the Armenian genocide allegations. ‘I have to say that until then I also believed the Armenian genocide allegations, but as I looked deeper into the issue the truth came out,’ he said frankly. ‘As my research continued, I found out that the documents of the Armenians were fake. The Turks were facing a great lie and slander.’ McCarthy came under pressure. He was threatened with losing his job if he continued his research. His family had to get police protection. This didn’t intimidate McCarthy. Many of his colleagues who signed an open letter published in The Washington Post saying that there was no genocide withdrew after receiving threats and gave up their research on the allegations. Only McCarthy stood firm. ‘I would always say the same things, because they’re true,’ said McCarthy. He also exposed that the people and accounts in ‘The Blue Book’ by British historian Arnold Toynbee were nothing more than fiction. He found out that there had been no genocide at the places mentioned in the book. ‘Toynbee did it wrong. He wasn’t honest in his profession,’ said McCarthy. ‘I think he was embarrassed. History can’t be written with such lies, because this isn’t history.’ I believe that McCarthy’s honesty and courage won’t let him give up his fight." [ Justin A. McCarthy who holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, arrived at UofL in 1978 after receiving his Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. He is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar of the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey and the Middle East. He has received numerous honorary degrees. His most recent book is The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire (2001). http://www.louisville.edu/a-s/history/facspec.html ]

Turkish Daily News, 2 Apr2005 www.turkishweekly.net How Shameful (2) (On Armenian Issue) Gunduz Aktan By Gündüz AKTAN The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in January 2003 issued a "legal" document that answered a question that had, in fact, not been posed to it by the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). This hypothetical question was, "Would the Armenian incidents be called genocide if the Genocide Convention could be applied retroactively?" The answer volunteered by the ICTJ was "Yes." This gave the Armenians a chance to claim that they are "in the right" from the legal angle as well -- without having to go to court or seek arbitration, something they dread. The ICTJ is not a judicial authority. And it has no history of conducting studies on the genocide issue. During the time the Apartheid regime was collapsing in South Africa it merely engaged in a kind of reconciliation effort between the victims and the persecutors of that regime. Still, David L. Phillips and the Armenians are presenting the ICTJ as a kind of judicial authority. Since the very beginning David Phillips had obviously known about the outcome of the ICTJ study that yielded the aforementioned document. In fact, on some occasions he had said that it would be the right kind of give-and-take if the Armenians dropped their demands for land and compensation and Turkey "admitted the genocide" in return. (We had said that was not possible.) It is exactly that kind of outcome that the ICTJ study has brought about. It has been kept secret whether the ICTJ received any payment for the study that it had been commissioned for and if it did how much was that sum and who shared it. We have not been able to find out the identity of the person who drafted the document, the person described only as an "independent legal counsel." That person must be so ashamed of the nature of the document that he or she has preferred to remain in the dark. However, the quality of the document has given us the impression that the "jurist" in question is only a newcomer to the study of the genocide law. Contrary to the procedure that had been agreed upon in advance we were denied a chance to hold joint meetings and to relay our views directly to the rapporteur. Thus we could not criticize the draft he or she had written and suggest that the erroneous parts be omitted from the text and replaced with correct information. In other words, the Turkish side was not given a chance to defend its views in the course of a "legal study" that claims to be a substitute for arbitration or adjudication. The document does not provide a description of the term "Events" when referring to the Armenian incidents. Rather than the term "forced relocation" it uses the term "deportation" and that is on only one occasion (page 12). Our famous jurist obviously does not know that in legal terminology deportation means something else. The document notes that according to the preparatory work related to the International Criminal Court (ICC) genocide would consist of four "elements of crime." Then it says that three of these (namely, the act of killing, the victims being members of the same group, and the conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern…) can be seen in the Armenian incidents (p. 13). But he/she forgets that these three elements of the crime are also seen in Armenian attacks on Turkish/Muslim inhabitants of the region. In this context the report says it reached that conclusion on the basis of "newspaper reports," the "memoirs" of the Ottoman and foreign officials and Armenian survivors as well as the "other documents contained in government archives" and the work of eminent historians beginning with Arnold Toynbee (p.14). The fourth "element" of the crime of genocide would be "the intent to destroy." The document says that the fourth element too was present in the Armenian incidents. It argues that can be deduced from the "overwhelming majority of the accounts." Obviously "accounts" do not constitute legal proof. The document admits that the "acts of genocide" are committed by persons (meaning that there is no state responsibility). Despite that, it says that what is asked from him/her (no one knows who asked) is to analyze whether the convention is applicable to the Events, "collectively" (p.14). This is a contradiction. It adopts the language used when describing the Holocaust, saying that it would be "legally appropriate" to maintain that the Events constituted genocide … on the basis of a conclusion that they were perpetrated with the intent of permanently resolving the, "Armenian question." (p.16). The document maintains the fact that some "righteous Turks" had tried to save the Armenians means that these efforts resulted from the knowledge that the latter were on their way to their deaths. It refers to these efforts as evidence proving the presence of the "intent to destroy," (p. 18). Then the writer of the document remembers that "the discussion of the appropriate standard for intent is inherently fact-specific," -- and proceeds to say: "We do not express an opinion on the standard that might be applied in any particular determination of whether the Events constituted genocide." Thus the door is kept ajar to provide an escape route to get away from the aforementioned absurdities in the document. The document does not contain any reference to the contents of any historical document, not even as an example. It fails to refer to the way the Armenians had rebelled to the Ottoman state in order to set up an independent state in eastern Anatolia or to the way the Armenian bands had attacked civilians. It does not mention the way they collaborated with the invading Russian army. It does not refer to the military requirement for the relocation. Nor does it refer to the population figures and the epidemics. It does not mention concrete cases of genocidal acts and it does not accuse any individuals. And this is called a legal study.

Background www.turkishdailynews.com.tr 28 Mar 2005 [Summary Only] Unsilencing the Past: A book on Turkish-Armenian reconciliation efforts ANKARA Unsilencing the Past: Track Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation by David L. Phillips (Berghahn Books, New York/Oxford) describes efforts to promote contact, dialogue, and cooperation between Turks and Armenians. Established in 2001, the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) broke a taboo about Armenian issues in Turkey and spawned many civil society projects involving business leaders, women’s associations, youth groups, cultural activities, parliamentarians, and local government officials. David Phillips chaired the U.S.-sponsored Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). He is the Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. For Phillips Bio see www.cfr.org/bio.php?id=179

See Applicability of UN Genocide Convention to Events which Occurred During the Early Twentieth Century Read the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) Report Prepared in February 2003 for The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee (TARC). The report makes a detailed legal argument supporting two positions: "The Genocide Convention does not by its terms apply to acts that occurred prior to January 12, 1951" and "Although the Genocide Convention does not give rise to state or individual liability for events which occurred prior to January 12, 1951, the term 'genocide', as defined in the convention, may be applied to describe such events." This is a 17 Page PDF file with 59 footnotes.

news source abbreviations

AFP - Agence France-Presse
All-Africa - All-Africa Global Media
AI - Amnesty International
Al Jezeera - Arabic Satellite TV news from Qatar (since Nov. 1996, English since 2003)
Anadolu - Anadolu Agency, Turkey
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata - Italy
Antara Antara National New Agency, Indonesia
AP - Associated Press
BBC - British Broadcasting Network
CNS - Catholic News Service
DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
EFE - Agencia EFE (Spanish), www.EFEnews.com (English)
FANA - Federation of Arab News Agencies

HRW - Human Rights Watch
ICG - International Crisis Group
ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
Interfax - Interfax News Agency, Russia
IPS - Inter Press Service (an int'l, nonprofit assoc. of prof. journalists since 1964)
IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Networks (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Africa and Central Asia)
IRNA -Islamic Republic News Agency

IWPR Institute for War & Peace Reporting (the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special project on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal)
JTA - Global News Service of the Jewish People
Kyodo - Kyodo News Agency, Japan
LUSA - Agência de Notícias de Portugal
National Native News
NYT - New York Times
UN-OCHA - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (ReliefWeb)
OANA - Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies
Pacific Islands Report - University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Pacific News Service nonprofit alternative source of news and analysis since 1969PANA - Panafrican News Agency
Peace Negotiations Watch
 (PILPG) Weekly News monitor since Sept. 2002
PTI - Press Trust of India
RFE/RL - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ( private news service to Central and Eastern Europe, the former USSR and the Middle East funded by the United States Congress)
Reuters - Reuters Group PLC
SAPA - South African Press Association
UPI - United Press International
WPR - World Press Review,
a program of the Stanley Foundation.
WP - Washington Post
Xinhua - Xinhua News Agency, China

Home | Genocide? | Law | Prevention | Punishment | Education | Action | About Us 
  Global News Monitor | Americas | Europe | Africa | Asia-Pacific

Prevent Genocide International