News Monitor for May 16-31, 2005
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.
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washingtonpost.com 30 May 2005 High Stakes at the U.N. By Fred Hiatt Post Monday, May 30, 2005; A21 Democrats are devoting their energies to delaying the confirmation of John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. Republicans are delving into U.N. scandals of the 1990s. Meanwhile, the single most fateful decision for the United Nations' usefulness over the coming half-decade is being shaped elsewhere. Neither Washington's politicians nor the State Department nor the small-d democrats who claim a desire to bend international institutions closer toward principle are paying much attention. What's at stake is who will replace Secretary General Kofi Annan when his second term expires on Dec. 31, 2006. Maybe that seems a long way away, but in Asia -- which believes its turn has come to pick a U.N. leader -- the politicking has been underway for more than a year. Or maybe it seems unimportant, since U.N. observers are forever observing that the secretary general is just a hired hand, with no more authority than the member states, particularly the five states with veto power on the Security Council, choose to give him. But a U.N. leader who cares about human rights (like Annan) can operate very differently, all the limitations notwithstanding, than would someone who views human rights concerns as an annoyance or an impediment. Which brings us back to the politicking now raging, above and below the surface, in Asia. So far the most active player in the post-Annan sweepstakes is Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is promoting his deputy prime minister for the post. Thaksin is a prime example of a breed of modern leaders who confound democracy advocates: democratically elected, genuinely popular, but not all that committed to democracy. His cousins include Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Vladimir Putin of Russia -- leaders who achieve power through the ballot box and then erode the institutions (free press, independent judiciary) on which democracies depend. These leaders tend to reveal themselves and their values in the allies they embrace: for Chavez, Fidel Castro; for Putin, the dictators of Belarus and Central Asia; for Thaksin, the corrupt strongmen of neighboring Burma. After China, in fact, no one provides more comfort to Burma's regime than Thaksin; meanwhile, he has inflamed the Muslim world with a counterproductively brutal suppression of Muslim discontent in the south of his own country. This doesn't prove that Thaksin's candidate for secretary general, deputy premier Surakiart Sathirathai, is unqualified. But when the world's strongmen are so open in their affinities (witness Beijing's welcome to Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov just days after his version of a Tiananmen massacre), do the world's true democracies not want at least to play in this game? A few years ago, those democracies established a "community" intended to promote their common interests and then a Democracy Caucus at the United Nations. They've held meetings, to cheer each other on and develop common standards, which is fine. But why not unite on a practical objective: finding a secretary general who really believes in political freedom and human rights? And why not, in the process, illustrate the virtues of transparency that the democracies claim to champion, in place of the behind-closed-door regionalism and favor-swapping that traditionally mark U.N. elections? It might then be decided that Annan's replacement need not be Asian. The last Asian secretary general was Burma's U Thant, from 1961 to 1971. Other secretaries general have hailed from (in chronological order) Norway, Sweden, Austria, Peru, Egypt and, now, Ghana. You could make the case that the formerly communist bloc of Central and Eastern Europe has never had a chance, and there are many fine democrats in Poland and its neighbors. But if Asia's claim is accepted, surely there are admirable candidates in such democracies as Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Korea and Sri Lanka. And even if Thailand's claim is accepted, the strongman's choice may not be the best; there are democracy-minded Thais, too, such as former foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan. As Adrian Karatnycky of Freedom House notes, an ideal Asian candidate might embody the entrepreneurship of the continent's vibrant economies with the political values of its young democracies -- both of which the United Nations needs. It's easy to complain about the United Nations and its absurdities, such as Sudan joining the human rights commission. But if democrats want to do more than complain, they should get to the hard political work of finding candidates and building coalitions.
AKI, Italy 16 May 2005 www.adnki.com ALGERIA: AL-QAEDA LINKED GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR TROOP MASSACRE Algiers, 16 May (AKI) - In messages posted to Islamic websites, Algeria's main rebel group, the al- Qaeda-aligned Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) has claimed responsibility for bloody bomb attacks on Sunday in two different locations. A total of 12 soldiers died and 7 were injured. In the worst of the two attacks, a bomb exploded on a road near the town of Khenchela, east of the capital Algiers, as an Algerian army truck was passing. Rebels then opened machinegun fire, killing 12 soldiers. One militant was killed in the attack. In a separate attack in in the eastern province of Skikda, militants detonated a home-made bomb as a military patrol was passing, injuring 7 soliders, according to Algerian officials. According to a GSPC statement, the militants killed two soliders and wounded five more. Sunday's attacks on government troops were the worst in months, the leading Arabic-language newspaper El Khabar reported. In the last few weeks, government forces have launched a major manhunt in Islamic strongholds in eastern and western Algeria. Security experts were quoted as saying by Reuters that GSPC has intensified its attacks to sabotage a general amnesty expected to be offered to rebels and members of the armed forces this year. Despite the recent flare-up, extremist violence has tailed off sharply in the past few years, bringing back much needed investment to the country. The GSPC denied responsibility for an infamous roadblock massacre of 14 people south of the capital on 13 April. The group, along with the other principal militant group, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), is the main police suspect for the killings. Militants - including the GSPC and the GIA - took up arms in 1992 and waged a campaign of violence after the government annulled elections that a hardline Islamist party was poised to win. The 13-year-long conflict has cost up to 200,000 lives and an estimated 30 billion dollars in damages.
Congo, Democratic Republic of
May 17, 2005 Congo Marks Anniversary of Mobutu's Fall By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 9:19 p.m. ET KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- Eight years ago, dictator Mobutu Sese Seko fled the mineral-rich country he had looted mercilessly for decades -- as rebels backed by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda marched into his capital. Now, President Joseph Kabila -- son of the rebel leader who ousted the dictator -- has ended a war, pushed through a constitution and promised elections. But as Congolese marked the anniversary of Mobutu's fall Tuesday, many say life has grown only worse. A few hundred people attended anniversary church services Tuesday, and others trickled to the capital's Laurent Kabila memorial. Congolese posed for pictures near a copper-plated bust of the rebel leader, who was assassinated by a disgruntled bodyguard in 2001. Under the guard of armed soldiers, they stood next to his coffin, which is draped with a Congolese flag and encased under glass. The memorial contrasts sharply with the landscape elsewhere in Congo's capital. Streets are cratered with sewage-filled potholes. Begging children swarm around open car windows. Jobs are a thing of the past. The rebel victory was heralded as a new beginning for Congo, whose economy had been gutted by Mobutu and his associates. Laurent Kabila, who changed the country's name back to Congo from Zaire, appointed himself president and promised a turnaround. Instead, he squandered what little Mobutu left, then fought invading armies from Rwanda and Uganda in a war that killed nearly 4 million people. Kinshasa residents say their day-to-day survival is more threatened now than under ''Papa'' Mobutu. ''When Papa was president, we had money for dresses and we ate breakfast everyday,'' said Emma Matimba, who sells peanuts near Kinshasa's soccer stadium, where Kabila was sworn in two weeks after his army's May 17 arrival. ''Now we don't have water or power to cook,'' she said. ''I can't afford to send my kids to school. Kabila made life insufferable.'' With the arrival of the Marxist-leaning rebel leader, international donors who had left after Mobutu used aid money to buy yachts and French villas slowly returned. But donors were soon accusing Kabila of pocketing aid money. Hopes of promised elections ended when Kabila banned all political activity. Neighboring Rwanda and Uganda had backed Kabila's September 1996 invasion to oust Hutu rebels who had fled to Congo after Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Once in office, however, Kabila fired many of the Rwandan advisers who had aided his advance. In 1998, Rwanda and Uganda invaded, sparking a five-year war that sucked in six African armies. Brought to power after his father's 2001 assassination, Joseph Kabila helped bring the warring sides together in 2003 to form a transitional, power-sharing government. On Monday, Congo's parliament adopted a new constitution that paves way for the end of the transition government and promises elections by June 2006. International donors have poured millions into the country's election preparations. But even after nearly three years of peace, Congo's people have seen little improvement. ''Mobutu was bad, but at least we had more food, and our husbands had jobs,'' said Farine Apoa, a bread seller in Kinshasa, pointing at rotting garbage floating in a nearby pothole. ''Look at how we live. This place is a nasty dump.''
AP 18 May 2005 U.N.: Rebels Have Killed Hundreds in Congo The Associated Press Wednesday, May 18, 2005; 9:09 PM KINSHASA, Congo -- Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in eastern Congo have killed, raped, or kidnapped more than 900 civilians over the past year, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday. Most of the attacks took place around the town of Walungu, the scene of serious fighting in December between rebels and government forces, according to the report. Walungu is located about 30 miles southwest of Bukavu, the provincial capital. Since June 2004, Hutu rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and a spin-off militia, raped 320 women, killed 175 people and kidnapped 465 people in eastern Congo's south Kivu province. In addition, the report said that 748 others were beaten. Thousands of Hutu rebels fled to eastern Congo after Rwanda's 1994 genocide that killed over 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The United Nations estimates there are as many as 10,000 Hutu rebels still living in the forests of the east. The report says that Hutu groups raid and pillage Walungu and surrounding villages from the dense forests, snatching residents and holding them for ransom. Residents are asked to pay up to $200 each to get back a kidnapped person, said U.N. human rights official Fernando Castanon. Rwanda and Uganda have invaded Congo twice, in 1996 and 1998, under the auspices of ousting Hutu rebels, who they claimed were masterminding another slaughter of Tutsis across the border.
NYT May 23, 2005 U.N. Forces Using Tougher Tactics to Secure Peace By MARC LACEY NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 - The United Nations, burdened by its inability to stave off the mass killings in Rwanda in 1994 and by failed missions in Bosnia and Somalia, is allowing its peacekeepers to mount some of the most aggressive operations in its history. The change has been evolving over the last decade, as the Security Council has adopted the notion of "robust peacekeeping" and rejected the idea that the mere presence of blue-helmeted soldiers on the ground helps quell combat. It is most obvious in Congo, which commands by far the largest deployment of United Nations troops in the world. Peacekeepers in armored personnel carriers, facing enemy sniper attacks as they lumber through rugged dirt paths in the eastern Ituri region, are returning fire. Attack helicopters swoop down over the trees in search of tribal fighters. And peacekeepers are surrounding villages in militia strongholds and searching hut by hut for guns. "The ghost of Rwanda lies very heavily over how the U.N. and the Security Council have chosen to deal with Ituri," said David Harland, a top official at the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. A turning point came in 2000 after rebels in Sierra Leone killed some peacekeepers and took hundreds more hostage. The United Nations commissioned a review, headed by Lakhdar Brahimi, a former foreign minister of Algeria, which called for troops to be deployed more rapidly in peace enforcement operations. "No amount of good intentions can substitute for the fundamental ability to project credible force," the so-called Brahimi Report said. Recently a commander in eastern Congo, a Bangladeshi colonel named Hussain Mahmud Choudhury, pointed at a huge map in his office in Bunia, the regional capital, to show a reporter where his troops had been chasing the militias. "Here, here, here," he said, banging on the map. "If we hear they are somewhere, we move in," he said. "We don't get them all the time, but they have to run. Their morale is shattered, and from a military point of view, that is everything." The peacekeepers in Haiti, as well, are using Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which allows them to protect their soldiers or innocent civilians by using force. Peace missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Burundi and Ivory Coast - each with its own rules of engagement - have also moved well beyond the traditional notion of peacekeeping in which blue helmets occupy a neutral zone between former combatants. But nowhere do war and peace seem as cloudy as in Congo, where peacekeepers received a beefed-up mandate from the Security Council in 2003 - and where at least one human rights group has complained of civilian casualties. "The trend over the last decade is that you deal with many factions, factions that don't always have a political agenda and that are not always committed to peace," said Margaret Carey, an Africa specialist at the United Nations' peacekeeping office. "Ituri is an extreme example." The operation in Congo began as a modest observer mission in 1999. It has mushroomed, now commanding 16,500 soldiers - but is still regarded as understaffed by United Nations officials in New York. After the failed missions of the 1990's, Western countries began contributing significantly fewer troops overseas. In 1998, about 45 percent of peacekeepers came from Western armies. The figure is now less than 10 percent; most now come from the developing world. In Congo, most of the peacekeepers are Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Nepalese. As they root out the insurgents who prey on Ituri's population, United Nations soldiers in the east have at their disposal tanks, armored personnel carriers, Mi-25 attack helicopters, mortars and rocket-propelled grenade launchers - all of which are getting heavy use. "It may look like war but it's peacekeeping," said Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye of Senegal, the force commander in Congo, of the largest and most robust of the 18 United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world. At a militia camp in Kagaba recently, the peacekeepers backed up besieged Congolese troops and engaged in a running battle with ethnic Lendu fighters. In March, after an ambush that killed nine Bangladeshi peacekeepers, the United Nations forces raided a crowded market near Loga to root out fighters preying on the local population. The peacekeepers also conduct what they call "cordon and search" operations, which are essentially hunts for weaponry in remote villages. Their opponents are tribal fighters who ignored the United Nations deadline of April 1 for disarming. A last opportunity to comply is approaching; after that, the peacekeepers say they will get even tougher. As the United Nations has become more aggressive, many tribal warriors have disarmed. Of the 15,000 fighters that the United Nations estimates once operated in Ituri, nearly 14,000 have turned in their weapons. The holdouts are fierce, and show no signs of surrendering. In February, militia fighters ambushed a group of Bangladeshi soldiers on a foot patrol around a camp of displaced people. Nine peacekeepers were killed, then mutilated. On May 12, another Bangladeshi patrol was ambushed. This time, six were wounded and one was killed. At a memorial service, Dominique Aitouyahia-McAdams, the top civilian in the United Nations operation in Bunia, said the death would only embolden the operation in its quest for peace. She called those who killed the peacekeepers "remnant militia bandits still marauding in the district." General Gaye was in Bunia the other day to attend a lavish ceremony for the first anniversary of a peace deal that the militias signed, agreeing to give up their guns. Since that declaration, one of the half dozen militias in Ituri has disbanded, and others have shrunk to small bands. Various militia leaders have been arrested by the Congolese, with help from peacekeepers. But the ceremony occurred a day after the memorial service, demonstrating that the job was not done. United Nations peacekeepers in Congo were not always so gung-ho. For years, they were criticized for huddling in their camps as atrocities recurred in the countryside. Now, some critics condemn them for being too aggressive. And critics also denounce the sexual abuse of girls by some peacekeepers. Justice Plus, a rights group based in Bunia, lamented that when the peacekeepers raided the market near Loga some civilians "paid with their life while the mandate of the United Nations was to protect them." The get-tough approach wins praise from those in Bunia who remember when, just two years ago, it was a battlefield between rival Hema and Lendu militias. As Lendu militias chased Hemas out of Bunia in May 2003, Lea Assamba, 17, was confronted by armed Lendu men and threatened with death. She said she explained to them frantically that she was not a Hema but someone from another tribe, one not involved in Ituri's madness. The militiamen made her suffer nonetheless. They killed a Hema girl standing by, and her body fell on Lea. They made her balance on her head the decapitated head of a Hema man, she said. The stranger's blood dripped down on her. Lea escaped but was confronted by more marauding militias down the road. They shot some people standing next to her, and she dropped to the ground as they did. They died. She, covered with blood, was left for dead. "Things would not be good if Monuc went away," Lea said, using the French acronym for the United Nations mission in Congo. But not far from Bunia, awful things continue. Villagers are on the run. Men with guns and machetes chase them. In the midst of it, heavily armed United Nations soldiers are trying to extend their reach. They engage in something shy of war but also a long way from peace. Marc Lacey reported from Bunia, Congo, andNairobi for this article.
www.smh.com.au 26 May 2005 Eyes shut to chaos in Congo, says doctor By Louise Williams May 26, 2005 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format A humanitarian crisis 10 times the extent of the Boxing Day tsunami is virtually going ignored in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where militia gangs are stripping natural resources and slaughtering and mutilating villagers, according to Congolese doctor Jo Lusi. In the latest attack, militia fighters hacked 18 people to death and kidnapped another 50 in the eastern region on Tuesday. The deadliest conflict since World War II has already cost 4 million lives. The UN's largest peacekeeping force has secured urban areas, but bands of gunmen, former soldiers and militia fighters roam much of the countryside. "We are in chaos," said Dr Lusi who is in Sydney to raise awareness of the crisis. An orthopedic surgeon working with the medical aid agency, Doctors on Call for Service, and a member of the interim government, Dr Lusi said some militia gangs, run by warlords who controlled mining, timber, gold and oil, were backed by factions in neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda. The gangs were responsible for looting crops, the murder and mutilation of villagers and the sexual torture and gang rape of women and young girls. There is only one doctor per 100,000 people in conflict zones. Dr Lusi said international efforts to stabilise Rwanda were coming at a dire cost to the Congolese because Rwanda's problems were being pushed over the border. "We regret the genocide in Rwanda, but the international community has responded there. No one is responding to the genocide in Congo," he said. "The disaster in Congo is 10 tsunamis. I want to challenge the international community: if you can respond to the tsunami suffering, why not Congo? It is just a matter of using the normal channels. Where is the IMF? Where are the UN officials? "Things are happening that are so terrible we can't even talk about them; women are being vilified." Dr Lusi's wife, Lyn, who works with victims of sexual violence, said crops were routinely looted, so malnutrition was rife in one of the most fertile areas of the world. Dr Lusi said national elections, which were likely to be postponed because of the violence in the nation of 60 million, would achieve nothing without an internationally backed nation-building effort.
AP 24 May 2005 Militiamen in Eastern Congo Kill 18 By BRYAN MEALER Associated Press Writer May 24, 2005, 7:01 PM EDT KINSHASA, Congo -- Militiamen in eastern Congo killed at least 18 people and kidnapped at least 50 others in a late-night attack on a village, hacking their victims to death as they ran for safety, a U.N. spokesman said Tuesday. Militiamen calling themselves Rastas attacked the village of Ninja late Monday with machetes, said U.N. spokesman Leocadio Salmeron. Residents then reported seeing rebels severing the hands of their corpses. The Rastas also wounded 11 people and kidnapped 50, disappearing into the lush, forest-covered mountains, according to Salmeron. He said most residents who escaped fled to nearby Walungu, where a unit of U.N. peacekeepers are stationed. No further details on the attack were immediately available. Ninja is 50 miles west of Bukavu, capital of south Kivu province. Rastas are thought to be associated with some 10,000 Rwandan Hutu rebels still operating in eastern Congo. They fled into the dense forests after Rwanda's 1994 genocide. While Hutu rebels are blamed for the killing of over 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the genocide, a majority of the rebels left in Congo are too young to have participated in the massacre, aid groups say. However, they continue to prey on the local population. Last week the United Nations reported Hutu rebels and Rastas had killed, raped and kidnapped about 900 people since June 2004. In March, the Hutu rebels announced they would disarm and return to Rwanda, but no date has been set. Neighboring Rwanda and Uganda have invaded Congo twice, in 1996 and 1998, under the auspices of driving out the rebels, who they feared were plotting another slaughter of Tutsis across the Rwandan border. The 1998 invasion sparked a five-year war that sucked in six African armies and killed nearly 4 million people, mostly from war-induced sickness and hunger, aid groups say.
AP 30 May 2005 U.N. relief mission arrives at site of Eastern Congo massacre AP The United Nations sent its first relief mission into the dense forests of Eastern Congo Friday, four days after militiamen massacred 19 people and forced thousands to flee, a U.N. spokeswoman said. A U.N. rapid-response team arrived in mountainous Ninja territory Friday morning to aid the estimated 6,400 people who fled their homes after militia attacked the area Monday with machetes and axes, said Rachel Scott-Leflaive, spokeswoman in Congo for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid. Most of the displaced fled to the village of Ihembe, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province. The team will distribute food, blankets, soap and plastic sheeting, along with establishing a camp for long-term stay, said Leflaive. "Most of the displaced we're encountering are women and children," she Leflaive. Thousands of people currently live in squalid displaced camps all over eastern Congo, which has been plagued by fighting and massacres, despite an official end to Congo's 1998-2002 war. On Monday, groups of militia calling themselves Rastas swept in from the mountains and began hacking people to death with machetes and axes, severing the hands and feet of their victims. Congo's government says the attackers included Rwandan Hutu rebels, who have been living in Congo's forests since fleeing neighboring Rwanda following its 1994 genocide. The U.N., though, says the two sides may have been fighting each other and civilians were caught up in the violence. In March, the Hutu rebels vowed to disarm and return to Rwanda, but no date has been set. U.N. officials say Hutu rebels attacked the Rastas last week, in an attempt to disassociate themselves from the group and clean up their image. The Rastas retaliated on Monday, officials say. "As always, when these groups go at one another, civilians are caught in the middle," said Leflaive. Neighboring Rwanda and Uganda have invaded Congo twice, in 1996 and 1998, under the auspices of driving out the rebels, who they feared were plotting another slaughter of Tutsi across the Rwandan border. The 1998 invasion sparked a five-year war that sucked in six African armies and killed nearly 4 million people, mostly from war-induced sickness and hunger, aid groups say.
May 10, 2005 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0510/p06s01-woaf.html A tougher UN starts taming Congo Weapons are flowing into disarmament centers, thanks to a United Nations force led by troops from Pakistan. By Duncan Woodside | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor WALUNGU AND BUKAVU, CONGO - Nobody here is taking anything for granted. After more than 10 years of ethnic clashes, many false dawns, and 5 million war-related deaths, the Congolese know to be wary. But suddenly, there is a spring in the step of peacekeepers in Congo, the troubled nation in the heart of Africa. The main Hutu rebel group, seen by many as the biggest obstacle to progress in this region, recently announced its intention to give up a decade-long fight against neighboring Rwanda. And the United Nations itself - with a highly effective Pakistani contingent at the forefront - has been scoring major military successes against renegade militias. As weapons begin to flow into disarmament camps, locals and officials alike are cautiously optimistic that the country could be on the brink of a historic opportunity for peace in Central Africa. The Pakistani peacekeepers are an uncompromising bunch. "They don't ask questions - they just shoot," quips one UN staffer, who asked not to be named. That may sound alarming, but in a country where militias have for years raped, looted, and killed with impunity, the approach is welcomed by many. Until the Pakistanis arrived six months ago, peacekeepers here had been plagued by repeated accusations of timidity. Confidence in the mission - which has been in place for more than five years and is the world's largest (with 16,000 troops) and most expensive - was near an all-time low. But one reason for the fresh optimism is Maj. Mohammed Younis, a short, bustling man with piercing eyes. Major Younis, the Pakistani sector commander of Walungu - a remote eastern town bordering a militia-infested forest - says his job is challenging, even by Congo's standards. "The miscreants emerge from the center of the forest at night, and prey on the civilian population, raping them and kidnapping for ransom," he says, as we accompany him and his men on patrol through viscous mud and banana groves. "The terrain is really very difficult - these bushes provide easy cover for the miscreants, and they know the lay of the land so well." Still, as his men have adapted to the conditions, they have managed gradually to reduce the number of attacks against civilians. "At its peak, kidnappings reached five or six per week in this area. In the last six weeks, there have been 10 attempts - and seven were thwarted," he adds. While it was impossible to confirm aggregate numbers, civilians interviewed corroborate the downward trend. This picture is mirrored across most provinces of eastern Congo. Veronique, a Congolese woman working in Bukavu for a charity called the Centre for Development and Integrity, says the population has confidence in the Pakistani peacekeepers. "They even provide security escorts from here to the more troubled areas like Walungu. They do their work very well," she enthuses. Several hundred miles to the north, a six-hour battle by peacekeepers from Pakistan and India, involving coordinated strikes from the ground and air on a militia hotbed, resulted in the death of 60 fighters a couple of months ago. Since then, the flow of weapons into disarmament centers has turned from an intermittent trickle into a steady stream. The Pakistani troops, now totaling 2,500, are well-equipped. Each carries an automatic light machine gun. For nocturnal operations, night-vision goggles, together with 60mm illuminating flares, are standard. Over the past six weeks, Congolese troops have started to deploy in the east as part of a 1999 UN-brokered transition toward peace. Increasing cooperation between them and the UN peacekeepers, which include joint patrols, is encouraging to Younis. "Now we have confidence in the Army here," he says. "Before, we did not." While recent developments have created a more optimistic atmosphere, however, significant problems persist. The leader of the main Hutu rebel group - drawn from the militia responsible for Rwanda's 1994 genocide, which has been exiled in Congo ever since - recently declared his wish for a peaceful return to Rwanda. Arriving in Congo's capital, Kinshasa, several days ago from his home in Europe, Ignace Murwanashyaka was due to come to the east almost immediately. But the UN is still waiting for him. A key sticking point is that Rwanda remains determined to bring all those guilty of perpetrating genocide in 1994 to justice. Many of the Hutu exiles, as a result, have little interest in returning to Rwanda - and a new hard-line group seems to be evolving. "We have seen the emergence of an organization calling itself the Rastas in recent months," says Sylvie Van Wildenberg, a UN spokesperson. Officials don't know the exact composition of this group, but renegade Hutu elements are involved. "It will take some time yet [to resolve this situation]," acknowledges Younis. "But we are determined to help bring security to the people here." .
Rwanda See Belgium, Burundi, France
Xinhua 16 May 2005 Rwanda to rebury 6,200 genocide victims www.chinaview.cn 2005-05-16 18:45:20 KIGALI, May 16 (Xinhuanet) -- A total number of 6,200 genocide victims will receive a decent burial as the country continues to mark the 11th anniversary of the 1994 massacre, an official said on Monday. The President of the Survivors Association, Francois Ngarambe, said that the bodies were exhumed in Kamonyi district of the central Gitarama province and will be put to rest by reburying. "It is a continuing process of finding around the country and giving the victims a decent burial. The burial is in line with storing the dignity of the victims of the genocide," Ngarambe said. According to the government, the bodies of 20,000 victims, mainly those dumped in mass graves countrywide, are expected to be exhumed and will get a decent burial . Gitarama is among other provinces that harbor the Tutsi minorities hence the killings were at its heights there. Ngarambe called on genocide survivors to take courage and give testimonies of what happened during the massacre. Meanwhile, he urged the government to safeguard the security of survivors mainly in this period of testifying before the traditional courts Gacaca. The Rwandan government is calling on the international community and countries that still harbor genocide suspects to hand them over and let them face justice. An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates were massacred in the 1994 genocide.
TimesCommunity.com, VA 18 May 2005 www.timescommunity.com"In Aftermath of Genocide": Springfield author recounts time in Rwanda By Jason Jacks 05/18/2005 Ambassador Robert E. Gribbin said the bargaining rituals behind the agreement were probably centuries old. The families of the young couple, much too young to wed in this country, were haggling over what was an appropriate price for the hand of an adolescent Rwandan bride-to-be. "They eventually settled on a cow," Gribbin said about the marriage negotiations he witnessed. "Even in the wake of all this, their cultural norms still existed. ... People do want to get on with their lives." A tall order for a country that, just two years earlier, was being ripped apart by a grisly 100-a-day killing spree that left 800,000 people dead. In his new book, "In the Aftermath of Genocide: The U.S. Role in Rwanda," the now-retired Gribbin, who served as U.S. ambassador to the African country from 1995 to 1999, recounts his time in the ravaged nation and efforts by the U.S. and Rwanda to start the recovery process. During a recent interview from his Springfield home, Gribbin said Rwanda was still in "shambles" when he first arrived in the country as ambassador two years after the mass killings of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus by other Hutus ended. Desiccated bodies were still stacked like "cardboard" in churches, he describes in his book, while thousands of refugees remained in neighboring countries, too scared to return home. "It [genocide] wiped out the human capital of the country. ... If 20 percent of the people are gone, then how do you get life back to normal?" he asked about his own task at hand while ambassador. Gribbin, 59, born in North Carolina, started his 35 years of work in Africa right out of college as a Peace Corps volunteer. While in the State Department, Gribbin also served as U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic and was interim ambassador in Djibouti and Chad, among other assignments. In his living room, surrounded by African artwork, Gribbin acknowledged that the U.S. and United Nations were slow to come to Rwanda's aid during and soon after the crisis. "It [U.S.] did not respond to the genocide when it happened. It didn't call it what it was," he said. "It generated a certain amount of guilt." However, since the genocide, he said, the international community has been vital in restoring Rwanda's judiciary system, revitalizing its economy and reintroducing returning refugees into local communities. And, while 11 years later, thousands still sit in cramped jails in unsanitary conditions awaiting trials related to the genocide, Gribbin said he is nonetheless encouraged by the current relative amount of peace among Rwanda's two ethnic groups. "It was a horrific thing. ... I think they learned a lesson that genocide is no answer," he said. Gribbin's book can be purchased from various online book stores, including Amazon.com .
Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 16 May 2005 Thousands Receive Rwanda Peace Marathon Kigali Thousands of Rwandans lined the route of the international peace marathon in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Sunday to honour the runners, in an event meant to raise awareness for peace and support for widows of the genocide, in a country still recovering from one of the worst tragedies of the last century. Almost 2,000 runners from Africa, America, Europe and Australia participated in the marathon. The main competitive event was won by Joseph Nsubuga of Uganda. He clocked two hours, twenty eight minutes and 23 three seconds. The marathon track ran up and down several hills in the Kigali suburbs of Remera and Nyarutarama. Eleven years ago, close to a million ethnic Tutsis and Hutus were killed in Rwanda in a genocide that lasted about 100 days. Organizers of the marathon hope that publicity around the event will help shed its image of a war- ravaged country by showing instead, "a positive image of a country under construction". The International Peace Marathon will now be an annual event.
BBC 19 May 2005 Minister says sorry for genocide 'Gacaca' courts are being held in villages around Rwanda Rwanda's defence minister has apologised for being part of the Hutu government behind the 1994 genocide. General Marcel Gatsinzi was speaking at a village or "gacaca" court in a football stadium attended by some 4,000 people in the southern town of Butare. He said he was sacked as chief of staff shortly after the killings began because of his moderate views. He was not accused of killing anyone. Some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 100 days. Correspondents say this is the first time a senior figure in the government which presided over the genocide has apologised. Gen Gatsinzi, a Hutu, was accused of failing to stop his troops carrying out killings. He insisted he was innocent and said one of his first orders had been to stop the killing of civilians. The "gacaca" courts have been set up to give local Rwandans a chance to challenge some of the hundreds of thousands of people accused of peripheral involvement in the genocide. He is the highest-ranking member of the government to appear before such a court. Serious cases are being considered by the UN War Crimes Tribunal in Arusha.
The Nation (Nairobi)22 May 2005 Remembering a Million Killed in Genocide By Charles Onyango-Obbo Nvuzo Hill At its size of 582,200 square kilometres, if Kenya were a python and Rwanda a rabbit, it would need to swallow it 22 times over before it finished the meal. At just over 26,000 square kilometres, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Rwanda has the highest population density in Africa, and it's 8 million live literally face to face. That is one of the reasons the 1994 genocide in which nearly 1 million people were killed in 100 days - mostly members of the minority Tutsi community and the Hutu who were considered supporters of moderate politics - was such a horrific and troublingly intimate experience. Since the rebels of the Rwanda Patriotic Army led by the current President, Mr Paul Kagame, took power after the 1994 genocide ended, every year on April 7, the country holds ceremonies to remember the killings. The Sunday Nation was in Rwanda for this year's event, and went to a commemoration event held at Nvuzo Hill. The hill had been chosen as the site to bury the remains of the people who had were killed in Buliza District. Because Rwanda is small, its districts, too, are tiny. Buliza covers an area of 11 square miles, about the size of Langata in southern Nairobi. More than 6,500 people were murdered in this small area, which, by comparison, was one of the district least affected. During this year's commemoration, they buried the remains of 3,650 people - remarkable, considering it was 11 years later. Thousands of people turned up. A visitor could easily have thought the killings had only just taken place. The prayer service and speeches lasted over three hours, and there were people who wept from beginning to end. After the prayers, a local musician famous for his songs about genocide did his thing. Emotion swept the crowd, tears flowed, and women wailed loudly, two collapsed, and were carried away to the edge of the crowd and nursed. After a few speeches, a young girl read a soulful poem. Again, a wave of sorrow consumed the stands, and several people whose relatives perished broke down uncontrollably. There is a scary amount of hurt in this hilly nation. After several years of trying suspected genocidaires, and the release of thousands, nearly 90,000 remain in jail. A few years ago, it was estimated that to hear all the cases would have required 350 years. Partly to clear the backlog, and in what the Kigali Government says is a healing process, community courts, called Gacaca, were set up. One aspect of the plan was that those guilty of lesser crimes (like collaboration, luring people to their death, robbery, or were forced to kill) could appear, ask for forgiveness, and be taken back into the community. The result wasn't exactly what everyone had bargained for. Hundreds of peasants are coming forward to pour their hearts out, and the minor culprits are having their day in court, as it were. The testimonies, however, are implicating people who were thought not to have had a role in the genocide, including ministers in President Kagame's government. The people are also revealing mass graves that the authorities didn't know existed. As the days go by, observers in Kigali say that at the end of Gacaca, the world might be shocked to find that, in fact, far more than 1 million were killed in the 1994 genocide. The process, not surprisingly, has panicked hundreds of people, so called "closet genocidaires" into fleeing to neighbouring countries. The Rwanda Government's reconciliation effort is being tested to the limit. Without punishing the genocidaires and bringing closure to the pain that killings caused, it cannot expect to be credible, and will leave anger and frustration simmering. If it follows through to the end, the mass of the people who were involved in one way or the other in the killings will remain fearful and unsettled, not believing that the government is serious about reconciliation. A debate in the English newspaper, New Times, in the week of the remembrance events explored this dilemma. Does commemorating the genocide open old wounds and make it hard for the healing process, or would not doing so fuel the need for revenge and be a vindication of mass murder? it asked. The women who dissolved into sorrow at Nvuzo Hill, I was told, represent something you don't find in many parts of the world. They are people who don't have a single relative alive. And when the ones who are beyond child-bearing die, their family line will be extinguished. To these people, the genocide left wounds that will probably never heal. And if the commemorations were no longer officially observed, they will probably continue carrying wreaths to the burial sites whenever April 7 comes round.
Reuters 26 May 2005 Annan: We must race to save Darfur ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Reuters) -- U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has urged donors to fund a bigger African peace mission in Darfur and warned an "epic relief effort" would be needed if more violence worsened hunger in the Sudanese region. Annan told a donor pledging conference in neighboring Ethiopia on Thursday that further turmoil in Darfur could wreck a deal to end a separate war in the oil-exporting south of Africa's largest country. "We are running a race against time. The rainy season and the 'hunger gap' are approaching fast, making our relief operations more difficult," Annan said in a speech at African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa. "If violence and fear prevent the people of Darfur from planting and growing crops next year, then millions will have to be sustained by an epic relief effort which will stretch international capacity to the maximum." The 53-nation AU has deployed about 2,300 troops to monitor a shaky ceasefire in Darfur in Sudan's west, with international financial backing to pay for the mission. The AU told donors it needs $724 million to more than triple its force there and equip it with attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers and fuel. Some 180,000 people have died in Darfur through violence, hunger and disease since a conflict broke out in February 2003 after rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated government. Khartoum is accused of retaliating by arming local Arab militia, who burned down villages and slaughtered and raped civilians. The AU's role in policing the civil war is seen as a major test of the body's peacekeeping abilities. The European Union and 26-nation NATO alliance have agreed to provide air transport and training for the expanded AU force. Annan urged rich nations to fund an expansion of the force, saying civilians and aid workers were being attacked. "I am confident that you will provide the support required for the effective expansion of the (AU) Mission," Annan said. Talks stalled "The situation remains unacceptable. Civilians are still at risk and subject to attacks ... Violence is increasingly targeted at aid workers, hampering their difficult work." Annan also appealed for money to fund U.N. humanitarian activities around Sudan, where food distribution by the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) faces a chronic shortage of funds. "More than three million will need relief to get through the next few months. We are still $350 million short of what we require to provide that relief," he said. Annan urged the rebels and the government to resume AU-mediated talks, which stalled in December but are due to resume in Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday. "Ultimately, it is the supreme obligation of the parties to end the conflict in Darfur," he said. "They must apply themselves fully and we must remind them, relentlessly, that the AU-led Abuja process is the only game in town." In Nairobi, Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, leader of the Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Army, called on the conference to help bring about the disarming of the Janjaweed Arab militia. He urged donors to provide "security in Darfur by means of international forces and arrest those accused of war crimes." Annan said more war in Darfur could help unravel an accord negotiated in Kenya's Naivasha town by the government and southern rebels six months ago aimed at ending 21 years of civil war that killed two million people and uprooted four million. "If stability is not achieved in Darfur, then the promise of Naivasha -- the promise of a just and democratic country able to realize its full potential -- will be in serious jeopardy."
AP 27 May 2005 Millions pledged for peace in Darfur By Anthony Mitchell ASSOCIATED PRESS ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- International donors pledged an additional $200 million yesterday to fund the African Union peacekeeping operation in Sudan's western Darfur region during a conference to discuss the ongoing violence. AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare said officials were still analyzing the pledges but that it appeared enough money was raised to bolster the force currently in Darfur. "There is a clear will. Many states and countries are willing to bridge the gap," he told reporters. Canada made the largest new pledge, promising $134 million. The State Department's senior representative on Sudan, Charles Snyder, said Washington was adding $50 million to the $95 million already pledged to end what he called "acts of genocide" in the ongoing conflict. The AU has 2,270 peacekeepers in western Sudan trying to stop the fighting between rebels and Arab militias. The AU plans to increase that number to more than 12,300. The organization has asked for $723 million to help finance and equip the Darfur operation, but was $350 million short at the beginning of yesterday's conference. Mr. Snyder said the violence in Darfur was abating, but that the only way to end it was to deploy a large AU force supported by NATO. "The truth is the AU was looking for outside support, and when you are looking at support on this kind of scale we need an organization that can do it, such as NATO," Mr. Snyder said. AU officials announced that Darfur peace talks would resume in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 10. "We are running a race against time," said United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was at the conference along with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana. "If violence and fear prevent the people of Darfur from planting and growing crops next year, then millions will have to be sustained by an epic relief effort," Mr. Annan said. At a meeting Monday in Brussels, EU nations offered air and ground transportation as well as help with command planning, surveillance and housing for the AU's Darfur peacekeepers. The EU will not send peacekeeping troops and will leave overall command of the operation to the African Union. The crisis in Darfur erupted when rebels took up arms against what they saw as years of state neglect and discrimination against Sudanese of African origin. The government is accused of responding with a counterinsurgency campaign in which the ethnic Arab militia known as Janjaweed committed wide-scale abuses against ethnic Africans. At least 180,000 persons have died -- many from hunger and disease -- and about 2 million others have fled their homes.
Reuters 29 May 2005 Annan Hears Pleas in Darfur From LABADO, Sudan — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan toured a refugee camp and a burned town in Sudan's Darfur region Saturday, hearing calls for African troops to play a bigger role in protecting those living in the troubled area. Thousands of people welcomed the United Nations chief in Kalma Camp, the biggest refugee camp in Darfur. He then traveled to Labado, also in South Darfur state, to view burned huts and speak to worried residents who have started returning home. "Now we are back, but still we don't have security and we feel unsafe," Murra Ahmed told Annan after she described how five government planes had bombed Labado and driven her out. South Darfur state has seen some of the worst recent violence in a two-year conflict between rebels and the government and pro-government militias. The U.N. says tens of thousands have died and 2 million have been displaced. The African Union commander in Labado, Col. Mohammed, briefed Annan and his delegation on the Dec. 17 attack that set Labado ablaze and killed 105 people. AU monitors verified that there had been a government bombardment of Labado. The government has not disputed the finding. Mohammed, who did not give his full name, said he wanted an expanded mandate for the AU to full peacekeeping status from its present monitoring force with limited powers to protect civilians. For now, the more than 2,300 AU troops are to protect the military observers in the troubled region. Hundreds of civilian police are also being deployed to the refugee camps. Rwanda said Saturday that it would send 1,500 troops to Darfur to join about 390 it already has there. The troops will be part of an expansion of the AU force to about 12,000 by next spring. About half the 60,000 people who lived in Labado have returned to their ruined homes since the AU set up bases there. But the residents want a bigger AU role to secure their future. "Just a week ago, they burned a village not two miles from here. The AU could see them coming," said Jumaa Eissa, one of the residents. "But they didn't stop it; they just made a report." In Kalma camp, men waved signs saying, "We are looking for freedom and justice." Refugees complained about police and militias who they said had attacked, killed and raped their family members in the camp. Annan also talked to rape victims in a reed hut guarded by AU troops. The aid group Doctors Without Borders reported in March that about 500 women had been raped in recent months and said their attackers were militiamen or soldiers. Sudan's government denies widespread rape in Darfur. Aid workers told Annan that their organizations continued to have problems getting aid to the displaced in Kalma but that the presence of AU police helped.
BBC 30 May 2005 Sudan charges MSF man over report Foreman is charged with crimes against the state The head of the Dutch wing of Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) has been charged with crimes against the Sudanese state over a report on rape in Darfur. Paul Foreman was arrested on Monday and later released on bail. The state crime prosecutor said Mr Foreman had failed to hand over evidence on which the report was based. The charity says it is confidential. Pro-government militia in Darfur are accused of mass rape and killings, but the government denies complicity. Jail term "He (Mr Foreman) is on bail and not allowed to leave the country, " MSF Holland spokesman Geoff Prescott told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme. That document was a non-political document only based on humanitarian concern of MSF which has done an excellent job of helping victims of rape UN's Jan Pronk "He's been charged with crimes against the state by the government on the grounds that they didn't seem to have appreciated our report on rape in Darfur". Mr Foreman had said "medical privilege" and patient confidentiality prevented him from handing over documents requested by the authorities. Another reason for respecting the information, Mr Prescott explained, was because women "made pregnant as a result of rape outside wedlock can be arrested by the authorities" in Sudan. He said the charity stood by its report, which he described as "accurate and truthful". Sudan's state crime prosecutor said he had come to conclusion that the report was false. Sensitive Mr Foreman could face up to three years in prison if found guilty of falsifying the report. How many deaths in Darfur? It is not yet known when he will appear in court. "We would like to reiterate that we think it's the people who perpetrate rape in Darfur who should be in court, not the people who are trying to bring medical assistance to the victims," Mr Prescott said. The report - The Crushing Burden of Rape: Sexual Violence in Darfur - which came out in March, was based on the treatment of 500 women over a four-and-a-half month period in Darfur. It details nearly 300 of these cases, with several written up as witness statements, Mr Foreman said. Contrary to Islam Rape is a sensitive subject for the Sudanese government. The government had always maintained that, as it runs contrary to Islam, rape is not taking place on the scale that numerous United Nations and international agencies have claimed. Jan Pronk, head of the United Nations in Sudan, said he deplored the arrest. "That document was a non-political document only based on humanitarian concern of MSF which has done an excellent job of helping victims of rape," Mr Pronk told the BBC. MSF says it has a significant presence in Darfur, with more than 300 international staff and 3,000 local staff treating some one million patients. The UN says that about 180,000 people have died in the two-year conflict in Darfur, and more than two million driven from their homes.
thescotsman.scotsman.com UK 31 May 2005 State-led murder and rape of villagers in Darfur uncovered GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN CHIEF NEWS CORRESPONDENT CONFIDENTIAL African Union (AU) reports have provided damning new evidence of the involvement of Sudanese government forces and their Janjaweed militia allies in the murder and rape of civilians in the Darfur region. AU monitors have collected photographic evidence of Sudanese helicopter gunships in action attacking villages, and their reports conclude that the Sudanese government has systematically breached the peace deals that it signed to placate the United Nations Security Council. Reports from Darfur indicate that air attacks on villages have continued amid defiance of UN resolutions calling on the Khartoum regime to disarm the Janjaweed, with the latest helicopter attack in south Darfur reported to have taken place on 13 May as the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, was preparing to visit the province. Pictures taken by AU monitors document attacks by a Sudanese helicopter gunship on the village of Labado in December, a month after the Sudanese government gave an assurance that there would be no more such attacks. The Sudanese government markings are clearly visible on the tailfin of the helicopter. The village was visited by Mr Annan last week as he toured the region to see for himself whether anything had changed a year after he first visited Darfur. The government in Khartoum has consistently denied using air attacks against villagers, insisting that they have only been used defensively against attacks by rebel forces. The US and British governments have accepted Sudanese assurances that there have been no air attacks since February, but the anti-genocide Aegis Trust - which is campaigning for an enlarged AU force to be sent to Darfur - claims it has received reports of a bombing raid involving an Antonov aircraft on 23 March and a helicopter attack in south Darfur on 13 May witnessed by AU monitors. Yesterday, Dr James Smith, Aegis's chief executive, said: "Reports of airstrikes against civilians in Darfur highlight the urgent need for a UN mandate for peace enforcement operations in the region. The British government should show leadership on this issue and table such a resolution at the Security Council immediately." The African Union currently has about 2,300 troops in Darfur, along with hundreds of police officers, and last week a conference of international donors pledged about $200 million in additional funding to pay for an enlargement of the force. However, there is still a significant shortfall on the $700 million the AU estimates it needs to fund a successful mission. Since last year, the AU's ceasefire monitors have been attempting to investigate reports of attacks by government, Janjaweed and rebel forces. Their confidential reports reveal in stark detail the scale of the attacks and provide conclusive proof that Sudanese government forces have carried out illegal attacks on civilians. A report into two attacks on the village of Marla on 8 and 16 December described how the AU team came upon Sudanese government forces in the process of attacking the village. "The GOS [government of Sudan] forces were fire-supported by helicopter gunships which bombarded the edges of the village and flew over the area for about 30 minutes thereafter," the report said. "The team also found some unexploded rockets in the village. During the team investigation on 16 December, the GOS soldiers were still burning houses, looting and harassing the citizens of Marla." Major Omar Bashir, the GOS commander, told the monitors that his company entered Marla on 17 December at 0800 hours escorted by helicopter gunships which were used to provide protection and direction to the area. He said he was deployed in the area to provide security and wait for the police who would be deployed there in a few days. He said that when he arrived, he saw that part of the village was burnt. There was no resistance to entering the village, he added. But a local citizen told a different story. Adam Juma Amar said the first attack on 8 December involved troops firing and burning houses. Eight days later, he said, a group of soldiers returned. He said: "On entering the village, they were escorted by two helicopter gunships firing at the edge of the village. They flew over the area for almost 30 minutes before they left." He said the soldiers set fire to houses and set up a base next to a water borehole to prevent the residents using it. "Some soldiers were within the village, looting, burning houses and stores," he added. The report - marked "AU confidential" - is accompanied by pictures of Sudanese soldiers involved in the act of looting. It also contains an interview with a man who was shot in the head The report concluded that Sudanese forces had attacked Marla. "This has led to looting, burning of houses and massive displacement of villagers," the report said. "These actions by the GOS constitute serious violations of Article 2 (2) of the ceasefire agreement of 8 April 2004 in Ndjamena and Abuja Protocol on Security of 9 November 2004." Meanwhile, Sudan has also denied there is widespread rape in Darfur, but confidential AU reports from monitors on the ground paint a different picture. An AU team - which went to the Abushok camp to investigate the shooting in the back of a man by Sudanese soldiers on 5 January this year - reported that witnesses there had complained of widespread rape and "rampant harassment" of women. After examining the body of Abdul Halmin Abdul and concluding that he had been killed unlawfully by Sudanese soldiers, Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmed Fouad noted: "During the investigation, cases of rape were highlighted by the witnesses. They claimed that GOS soldiers usually come to the camp and forcefully take away their girls to unknown locations and rape them. "One of the witnesses solicited for the AU to quickly notify the Sudanese government of the atrocities being committed by GOS soldiers at the camp, especially the cases of rape." In his report, Lt-Col Fouad recommended that the AU put pressure on the Khartoum regime to "check the menace of rape" at the camp. During another investigation, into the killing of 12 villagers in the area of Umm-Ba'oud five days later - which the AU team also concluded was the work of the Janjaweed militia and the responsibility of the Sudanese government - more evidence emerged of the targeting of women. The AU team concluded that "the soldiers from the GOS camp [at Shangil Tobaya] constantly harass women including female teachers in the area." In Labado last week, Kofi Annan saw for himself the results of the Sudanese government attacks as he walked among the burned huts and spoke to survivors. One woman described to him how five government planes had bombed the town and the AU commander there told the UN secretary-general that 105 people had died in the town during an attack on 17 December. At the time, Najib Abdulwahab, the then Sudanese government's minister of state for foreign affairs, denied AU reports that helicopters were attacking the town, claiming instead that they were fighting off an insurgent offensive. "What the government is doing in these areas is actually within its sovereign rights," he said at the time. But the AU's own confidential report into the attacks demonstrates the difficulties faced by the AU monitors, who accused the Sudanese army commander in the town of lying to them to keep them out. "Team established that GOS forces supported by Janjaweed attacked the village, killing five people and burning down part of the village," the report said. "The GOS commander said he could not guarantee their safety as rebels were still in the village. The GOS commander lied to the military observer team about the Janjaweed/armed militia on the northern area of their defensive position by saying that they were IDPs [internally displaced people]." The team found five corpses in the fields outside the village and reported that they saw about 500 Janjaweed on horses and camels. Two days after the attack, an AU helicopter came under fire as it returned to the village in an attempt to offer medical assistance. The team was again turned away. "GOS commander said it was too dangerous to go into the village due to the presence of armed elements. Helicopter took off and flew over the village," the report said. "They observed lots of human movement, some houses that were still burning. "After landing at Nyala airport, the post-flight physical checks revealed that the aircraft had been shot on the tail boom; two bullet holes, the entry and the exit points." The team concluded that the helicopter had been shot at by Janjaweed militia as it flew over Labado. Another report records how monitors who went to the scene of an attack in the village of Solokoya on 10 January found it deserted save for a few people in the fields outside. "All witness accounts revealed that the village was attacked by armed militia supported by the GOS which resulted in the death of many civilians and damage to properties," the report said. "Inspection revealed every house in the village to be burned and there were no possessions in the charred remains of the village." Witnesses told the monitors that people were shot and killed in a number of locations. "Significant quantities of blood supported this evidence and photographic evidence was taken," the report added, concluding that the presence of empty cartridges and bullet holes supported claims that high-velocity rifles and machineguns had been employed during the attack and that the attackers wanted to destroy the village as well as kill some of the inhabitants. Yesterday, the group Human Rights Watch, which is campaigning for an enlarged AU force to be sent to Darfur, warned that attacks continued to take place. "There is a lot of insecurity on the ground and it is still far too dangerous for people to return home," said a spokeswoman.
IRIN 26 May 2005 Togo: President Calls for Probe Into Poll Violence UN Integrated Regional Information Networks NEWS May 26, 2005 Posted to the web May 26, 2005 Lome Togo's newly elected President Faure Gnassingbe has ordered a probe into the violence triggered by the disputed poll that brought him to power last month. He signed a decree on Wednesday creating a "special national independent commission of inquiry into the acts of violence and vandalism which took place before, during and after the 24 April presidential election." Gnassingbe is accused by the opposition of winning the poll through massive fraud, tolerated by ministers who served under his late father and who initially wanted him to become head of state without the formality of an election. The US-educated 39-year-old businessman and former cabinet minister was originally declared head of state by the government in February following the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled the tiny West African nation for 38 years. International pressure forced Gnassingbe to step down three weeks later, but he then stood as the presidential candidate of the ruling Rally for the Togolese People (RPT) party. Official election results credited Gnassingbe with just over 60 percent of the vote, but the father-to-son transition has plunged Togo into violence. As soon as the results were broadcast, opposition supporters crying foul play took to the streets, only to be beaten back by the security forces. In the month since the election, more than 33,000 people have fled to seek safety in neighbouring Benin and Ghana, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The non-governmental organisation CARE and other aid groups reckon that a further 10,000 people have been internally displaced within Togo. The decree signed by Gnassingbe said the commission of inquiry would determine the circumstances of the violence and vandalism, evaluate losses and launch legal proceedings against those found to be responsible. The president named a former prime minister, Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, who led an earlier attempt to bring more democracy to Togo, as head of the commission. Koffigoh, a lawyer and former human rights activist, served as prime minister from 1991 to 1993 at a time when the late president Eyadema started to move Togo from a one-party state to a multi-party system. The head of the Supreme Court, Tete Tekoe, was appointed as Koffigoh's deputy on the commission of inquiry. The 10-member commission, which has three months to deliver its conclusions, also includes members of two Togolese human rights groups, one of which has said 58 people died in the country's post-election violence, while the other put the death toll at 790. Gnassingbe, hoping to bridge a bitter political divide with his opponents, began meeting leaders of minor opposition parties on Wednesday to discuss the formation of a government of national unity. Gnassingbe has also invited the coalition of six main opposition parties, which fielded a single candidate against him in last month's election, to join the talks. However, the opposition alliance which backed Emmanuel Bob-Akitani for the presidency has so far been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of joining a power-sharing government under Gnassingbe's leadership, a proposal backed by African and other world leaders as a way out of the crisis. "We still have a problem of legitimacy," Yawovi Agboyibo, a spokesman for the coalition of six opposition parties, told IRIN. "If he proposes a government of national unity, we will have to discuss further whether this could be at all credible," Agboyibo added. Rights groups and refugees fleeing from Togo say the police, the army and unofficial pro-government militia groups are continuing to threaten and detain suspected opposition supporters, especially at night. At first, the exodus from Togo mainly consisted of women and children, but aid workers in Benin said that over the last week or so, most of the new arrivals have been men aged between 18 and 30. Lome is situated right on Togo's western border with Ghana, but refugee officials in Ghana told IRIN that the influx of refugees across this border appears to have all but stopped. However, many people from the capital are still crossing the eastern border into Benin, which is only 80 km away. Ghana is English-speaking and many of the Francophone Togolese appear to find it easier to adapt to life in French-speaking Benin. Some opposition supporters still in the capital told IRIN they were too frightened to sleep in their beds or even in their own neighbourhoods. Pap, a second year university student, said he had not been home since 16 March, when he heard the security forces were looking for him. "I'm staying with this old guy, he's another opposition supporter. I met him in the street and he invited me to stay with him," he told IRIN. "He's been very kind," Pap said. "I suppose he could see himself or his son in the same predicament, so he decided to help."
IPS 26 May 2005 Serbian War Criminal of Cuska Massacre Fame Arrested Marcela Valente BUENOS AIRES, May 26 (IPS) - A new wave of war criminals, this time from the Balkans, has apparently sought refuge in Argentina, which has a sad history of taking in Nazis after World War II. The embassy of Serbia and Montenegro in Buenos Aires was taken by surprise this week by the arrest of an alleged Serbian war criminal, Nebjosa Minic, who was living in the western province of Mendoza since 2003. Minic is implicated in a 1999 massacre of ethnic Albanians in the village of Cuska, in what is today the autonomous province of Kosovo. The ambassador of Serbia and Montenegro in Buenos Aires, Iván Salvjic, told IPS that he did not know if there was an international arrest warrant out for Minic, or if his extradition would be sought by Belgrade. Salvjic also said he was unfamiliar with the massacre in Cuska, and had never heard of Minic. ”If it's really him, he wasn't a high-ranking member of the police. He might have formed part of a paramilitary organisation or a special police unit, but it's not a household name like those of other war criminals who held high military ranks,” said the diplomat. Minic's name emerged from an investigation carried out by the New York-based Human Rights Watch in Kosovo, where the human rights group interviewed relatives of victims and survivors of attacks by Serbian security forces on ethnic Albanian villages, showing the witnesses photos and asking them to identify members of the police or militias implicated in war crimes. The investigation revealed that on May 14, 1999, 41 ethnic Albanians were summarily executed in Cuska by a special Serbian police unit known as Munja or ”Lightning”. Minic, whose nickname was ”Commander Death”, was one of the militia's leaders. According to the Human Rights Watch report ”A Village Destroyed: War Crimes in Kosovo,” released in late 1999, the Serbian militia members gathered up the villagers, and separated out most of the men. They then took three groups of men into three different houses, where the villagers were shot with automatic weapons and set on fire. But in each case, one man survived to tell the story of what happened. The Lightning unit, described as a mix of police, convicted criminals (Minic fell in this category), and self-proclaimed patriots, also raped women, stole cars, jewelry and other valuables, and looted and burned houses in ethnic Albanian villages. The human rights group interviewed people who recognised Minic in the photos as one of the men who killed six members of the same family - the youngest was six years old - in Cuska in June. Minic, a convicted felon, also stole jewelry and money from the family. The witnesses identified him from his face and the tattoos on his chest and arms. Last March, the intelligence directorate of Mendoza received an anonymous tip that Minic was living in the province under an assumed name. After a two-month probe, the investigators arrested him on May 13 in the Lagomaggiore Hospital in the provincial capital. He remains under arrest in the hospital, where he was admitted with a terminal illness. Minic reportedly entered the province of Mendoza from Chile in September 2003 with a passport in the name of Gorán Petrovic, and with enough money to buy a house and open two pizza parlours in downtown Mendoza, which he named ”La Bomba” I and II. Minic, who is at the disposal of the federal courts, is under heavy guard at the hospital. According to one of the police guards, Minic admitted that he belonged to the police in Serbia, and told hiim that he was ”much tougher than you.” The news of his arrest was originally published by the daily ”Los Andes” of Mendoza, which reported that he had received support from some of his fellow countrymen operating in South America. Mendoza Governor Julio Cobos reported Wednesday that Interpol (the International Police) was able to confirm Minic's identity based on a fingerprint match. Ambassador Salvjic said he had not yet seen the documents proving that the arrested man was Minic, and that he was waiting for instructions from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia's successor state. ”They say it's him. We're waiting for the official confirmation, but we weren't able to clarify yet whether anyone is looking for him, or why they would be,” said the diplomat. Salvjic also said he was ”surprised” by the case, and added that the embassy had neither ”official nor unofficial” information on the possibility that Serbian war criminals had sought refuge in Argentina. This South American country has an embarrassing history of providing shelter to war criminals. At the end of World War II, the government of Juan Domingo Perón (1946-1955) helped smuggle prominent Nazis like Joseph Mengele, Adolf Eichmann and Erich Priebke into Argentina under false documents. War criminals from Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha regime were also taken in, including Ante Pavelic, accused of the extermination of half a million Serbs, gypsies and Jews in Croatia during the Second World War. Pavelic came to Argentina in 1948 with a false passport, and his closest associates were brought in too. They were later able to bring over the gold held in the Croatian National Bank in Zagreb, according to an investigation by Argentine journalist Uki Goñi, published in his book ”The Real Odessa”. Perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia during the Balkan war of the 1990s were tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia set up in The Hague in 1993. Former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, arrested in 2000, was tried by the Tribunal on charges of genocide in Bosnia and Croatia, and for instigating ”ethnic cleansing” operations against the Albanian population in Kosovo like the ones carried out in villages in the municipality of Pec, including Cuska, Ljubenic, Pavljan and Zahac. An estimated 250,000 civilians were killed in the war, and thousands went missing.
/www.nationalreview.com 25 May 2005, Jay Nordlinger's Journal Davos in Jordan, Part II Welcome to Part II, of this Davos-in-Jordan journal. Just to refresh you: The World Economic Forum holds a mini-meeting at the Dead Sea, in the month of May. . . . Robert Zoellick is here, representing the United States, and doing it with brio. He is the deputy secretary of state, having been trade representative in the first term. (He is a fixture in Republican administrations, once regarded as the protégé of James Baker. And he was a key, key player in the Florida post-election fight.) He will give a major speech, but first he meets with a small group of journalists. Zoellick has the reputation of being very smart, very quick — and he does nothing to diminish that reputation in this session. He has distinctive hair, a comb-over to rival what Mayor Giuliani used to sport. He also has flying, bushy eyebrows, and his initials on his sleeve. (His heart, probably not.) And the second he opens his mouth, I figure him for a fellow Midwesterner. I hear it in the word “Palestinians,” whose “a,” in the first syllable, is straight from the homeland. I later confirm that he is an Illinoisian. And in his speech, he will pronounce “yours” “yers” — pure Midwest. Made me slightly homesick. The deputy secretary is peripatetic, and he seems to have visited half the world in the last few days. If some people are name-droppers, he is a bit of a place-dropper: “I was in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, and that reminded me of a conversation I had in Kazakhstan the day before.” All of it is interesting to hear. He says there is no substitute for going places and meeting people, dealing with them face to face, in their native habitats. That is a hallmark of his work, his diplomacy, he says, and it has paid off. . . .I ask him about Sudan, a subject in which I’ve been immersed of late. Zoellick has been there recently (of course). I note that, when I talk to people, they tend to say two things: Of course we can’t send troops — that’s out of the question. And we can’t permit genocide. “How does genocide in Darfur stop,” I ask, “without foreign intervention?” “It doesn’t,” says Zoellick — a hugely relieving answer, because true. He goes on to talk about the beefing up of the African Union force, which is a pathetic group of soldiers on the ground. It is scheduled to get less pathetic in coming months. (But in genocide, as you know, time is of the essence.) And he says that he hopes Darfur will benefit from new governmental arrangements in the country at large, whereby regions have a certain autonomy, and so on. Zoellick’s answer is nothing for Darfurians to jump up and down about (provided they have the strength to jump up and down), but it’s clear that the deputy secretary knows exactly what the situation is, and what the options are.
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - infoZine 26 May 2005 www.infozine.com Letter to Bush: Use Force in Darfur to Stop Genocide By Kara N. Edgerson - Members of Congress, national leaders and advocacy groups urged President Bush on Tuesday to take action with "a robust international force" to stop the genocide in Sudan. Washington, D.C. - - "Genocide is something that needed to be stopped yesterday," said Salih Booker, executive director of African Action, which is coordinating the effort of 80 groups and eight Democratic members of Congress who signed the letter. The signatories criticized the Bush administration for not responding with urgency to the genocide in Darfur. "President Bush's senior aides said they have more important things to do than Darfur," Booker said. "We are here to ask, 'What can be more important than protecting citizens in Darfur?'" The letter says that "unless there is an urgent international intervention in Darfur, up to a million people may be dead by the end of this year." The group urged the administration to work through the United Nations to get other countries involved and to "assemble a robust international force" to deploy with African Union troops. It called for a four-part strategy: stop the killing and provide security, deliver humanitarian assistance, enforce a cease fire and provide stability so peace talks can go forward and help displaced persons return home and rebuild their homes. "It is past time for this administration to take action when it comes to Darfur," said Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus, a global policy think tank. "Approximately 400,000 people have died. Were these not African people, would the international community still stand by and do nothing?" The government-sponsored genocide against three ethic groups in Sudan began in 2003. Estimates of deaths have been unreliable during the upheaval, but in written materials the groups sponsoring the letter reported that about 215,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced. Former secretary of State Colin Powell announced last year that the United States viewed the actions in Sudan as genocide. The White House and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the letter. Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., said that he recently read a long government document about the war on terror, and "a little note at the bottom said, 'Oh, try to help Darfur'" "It's been eight months now, and what have we seen?" Payne asked. The policy shift brought no action, said Payne, who is the ranking member of the subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on International Relations. Payne called the genocide "a campaign to rid Africa of all of its black inhabitants." He said that it is disturbing that the United States has placed the war on terror, in which no weapons of mass destruction have been found, above the genocide in Sudan. Eric Reeves, who has been on leave from his job as an English and literature professor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., to work on Sudan issues, said if President Bush would step in other countries would do so as well. "President Bush needs to stand up and say that the ultimate crime will not continue on his watch or ours," said Reeves. The group has received more than 16,000 signatures and hopes to get 400,000 more by Sept. 9, the first anniversary of the Bush administration's declaration of genocide in Sudan. Every Wednesday, members of Africa Action hold vigils in front of the White House. "We have to continue to move forward despite the attitude at 1600" Pennsylvania Avenue, Payne said. National Leaders Release Open Letter to President Bush on Darfur
AP 24 May 2005 Pastor Stands By Sign Saying Quran Should Be Flushed POSTED: 11:15 am EDT May 24, 2005 FOREST CITY, N.C. -- A Baptist minister refuses to apologize for a church sign saying the Muslim holy book should be flushed. "I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong," said the Rev. Creighton Lovelace of Danieltown Baptist Church. "I knew that whenever we decided to put that sign up that there would be people who wouldn't agree with it, and there would be some that would, and so we just have to stand up for what's right." Seema Riley, a Muslim born in Pakistan and reared in New York, said she moved to Rutherford County, about 60 miles west of Charlotte, for the "small-town friendly" atmosphere. The church sign reading, "The Koran needs to be flushed," angered her and made her feel threatened, she said. "We need a certain degree of tolerance," Riley said. "That sign doesn't really reflect what I think this county is about." The sign is an apparent reference to a recent Newsweek magazine article that said U.S. investigators found evidence that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay placed copies of Islam's holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. The account has been blamed for protests in Afghanistan, where more than a dozen people died and scores were injured in rioting earlier this month, and demonstrations elsewhere in the Muslim world. Lovelace said he expected the sign in front of his 55-member church to also stir anger in some people. "If we stand for what is right and for God's word and for Christianity then the world is going to condemn us and so right away when I got a complaint I said, 'Well somebody's mad, somebody's offended, so we must be doing something right,"' Lovelace said. Danieltown Baptist Church belongs to the Sandy Run Baptist Association. Each church in the association is autonomous, said the Rev. Jim Diehl, the group's director of missions. "Each church can develop a stance on doctrinal issues and can develop its own stance on moral issues," he said.
AP 26 May 2005 Pastor Apologizes For Church Sign That Offended Muslims POSTED: 10:42 am EDT May 26, 2005 FOREST CITY, N.C. -- A North Carolina pastor is apologizing to Muslims for a sign in front of his church that said, "The Koran needs to be flushed." A now-retracted Newsweek story -- alleging that U.S. interrogators flushed Islam's holy book down a toilet -- triggered demonstrations in several countries and violent unrest in Afghanistan. But the Reverend Creighton Lovelace of Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City said he meant to affirm and exalt the Bible rather than insult Muslims. In a statement, Lovelace said that after prayer and reflection, he now realizes that Muslims revere their holy book more than many Americans revere the Bible. He said the church sign's message has been replaced with a new one that reads: "Jesus said, 'I am the way."
www.poughkeepsiejournal.com 27 May 2005 Rally focuses on genocide in African nation Speakers urge action in Sudan By Kathianne Boniello Poughkeepsie Journal FREEDOM PLAINS — The United States needs to do more to stop violence in the Sudan that has driven two million people from their homes. That was the message roughly 100 people turned out to hear Thursday night at Arlington High School, where a native of Sudan and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth W. Messinger spoke about the violence in that African nation. "The world has got to respond," said Messinger, who as executive director of the nonprofit American Jewish World Service has visited the region. "Genocide is not an African problem. Genocide is an international problem and it requires an international response." The forum was organized in part by Rabbi Jonathan Case of Temple Beth-El in the Town of Poughkeepsie and Arlington High School's Club Action. Wave of violence Messinger and Bavekir Hamed, a Sudanese native with the Darfur People Association, described the conflict plaguing Darfur, a large western region of Sudan. Women are being raped and branded, people of all ages are being attacked and murdered and livestock and villages are being destroyed in a wave of violence sanctioned and supported by Sudan's government, Hamed and Messinger said. Hamed, who came to the United States 17 years ago and now lives in Brooklyn, said before the forum that "people should learn from history, from the Holocaust, from Rwanda." The international community must do more, Hamed told the audience, and urging local congressmen and women to get involved could help. "We need actions on the ground," he said, referring to the need for international peacekeepers in Darfur. "We urge you ... to call the members of the House and the Senate and to pressure on the government to take action." When hundreds of thousands were killed in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, the international community claimed the violence happened too fast to be prevented, Messinger said. "That excuse doesn't work in Darfur. This has been going on for 28 months and the world has done nothing," she said. Kathianne Boniello can be reached at email@example.com On the Web For more information about the violence in Darfur, go to www.darfurgenocide.org
washingtonpost.com In Tulsa, Keeping Alive 1921's Painful Memory Recognition, Reparations Sought for Race Riot By Darryl Fears Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 31, 2005; A03 She heard tapping on the roof of her home in Tulsa, and in her young mind Olivia Hooker thought it was hail from a Midwest storm. Her mother grabbed her hand, crept to a small window and explained, to the 6-year-old's horror, that it was actually raining bullets. "Up on the hill was a machine gun with an American flag on it," Hooker, now 90, said in testimony at a recent hearing in the House before members of the Congressional Black Caucus. "My mother said, 'They are shooting at you.' " It was Tuesday, May 31, 1921, and the worst race riot in U.S. history was underway. It is an event that hardly anyone commemorates on Memorial Day weekend, because its existence has been all but erased. More than 1,000 homes and businesses were destroyed in less than a week, and at least 300 people were killed, and then buried, possibly in unmarked mass graves, according to a 2001 report on the incident by an Oklahoma state commission. The official death toll surpassed the totals of the 1965 Watts riot, the 1967 Detroit riot, the 1968 Washington riot and the 1992 Los Angeles riot combined. Some historians estimated that the toll reached 1,000, based on photos of trucks full of bodies as they rolled out of town, according to a member of the commission. A quest for reparations by surviving victims ended two weeks ago. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed without comment a class-action suit against the city of Tulsa, its police department and the state of Oklahoma. The rejection left in place a lower court's ruling that a two-year statute of limitations on claims had expired in 1923. According to law, the judges ruled, it mattered little that segregated courts in which Ku Klux Klan members held judgeships refused to hear claims of black victims immediately after the riot, or that evidence of its devastation was erased or hidden until the 2001 report. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, based in Denver, said that legal avenues had opened to black complainants over time, citing the 1960s as an era when claims could have been brought, or perhaps the 1980s. "Why did they just pick that date?" asked Eddie Faye Gates, who sat on the commission. "Seems to me they were looking . . . for a loophole." Charles J. Ogletree, the Harvard law professor and civil rights lawyer who argued the case for victims, said the ruling "doesn't make sense." Before the rulings, Larry V. Simmons, the Tulsa deputy city attorney who fought the case, told the Tulsa World newspaper that "this complaint should be disposed of as a matter of law." He was out of the office last week, according to an assistant, and could not be reached to comment. Ogletree promised to try to bring the case before the House Judiciary Committee to keep the case in the public eye. "I think now we have even more compelling reason to not let this disappear," he said. Tulsa's prosperous Greenwood community was the prairie's own small turn-of-the-century Harlem. It began to grow when slaves who had been owned by Seminoles, Cherokees and other Indian tribes populated the area. The Indians themselves had been forced to march from the South to the Plains by U.S. officials in what is known as the "Trail of Tears." Over time, black hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and law offices sprang up. In those days, according to the Greenwood Cultural Center's Web site, the neighborhood featured "what may have been the first black airline in the nation." "We had everything the whites had, and I suspect more," said Otis Clark of Tulsa, a 105-year-old riot survivor who testified at the hearing. On the last day of May 1921, an African American delivery boy, Dick Rowland, was accused of assaulting a white woman, Sarah Page, on an elevator after a clerk heard Page shout and saw Rowland hurriedly leave the building. There is no report of what Page told police, but charges against Rowland were eventually dropped, according to historians. The Tulsa Tribune ran a story with the headline "Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator." About 10,000 white men gathered at the courthouse where Rowland was held and demanded that the sheriff turn him over. A group of 80 black men, some of them World War I veterans, armed themselves and went to the courthouse to protect Rowland. At the time, shootings and lynchings of blacks were common on the prairie. A white man tried to disarm one of the black men, a shot rang out and the riot began. The police chief deputized white men who could get a gun and ordered them to go get a Negro, using a less polite racial slur. The state's National Guard was called in, and its soldiers disarmed African Americans and marched them through the streets to a holding area. Black survivors and newspapermen spoke of incendiary bombs being dropped on houses from private airplanes, but the commission found little evidence to support those allegations. But there was ample evidence of marauders with torches made of oil-soaked rags. "The first thing they did was burn my doll clothes," Hooker, who now lives in White Plains, N.Y., recalled in her testimony. "Then they came in the house. My mother put us under the table. We had not fled because my mother was trying to save the house." Hooker's home was spared, but her family ultimately moved to Topeka, Kan. "We didn't stay because they had blown up the schools, and my parents couldn't stand the idea of having five children and no schools," she said. Thousands of others were left homeless, Clark said. "When we got back to Tulsa our homes were burned down," he said. "Nobody saw the older folks. We never saw them again. They say they put them in a grave. We didn't have a funeral for nobody. They never did nothing for people there. Never gave us nothing." Throughout the reparations case, Tulsa officials seemed unmoved, said Michael Hausfeld, a Washington lawyer who was part of the legal team that sued for reparations. Hausfeld had helped win reparations for Holocaust victims from Swiss banks that accepted money stolen by Nazis during World War II. "We clearly heard remarks by Tulsans that were racially directed, like 'It's time that you people let this rest' and Don't push too hard -- you may regret it,' " he said. Hausfeld said the Tulsa case seems more egregious than the case against the banks because African Americans were "blamed for their own mass murder" and the court system failed to respond. "If these victims were white, in my judgment, no one would be arguing that they be denied an opportunity to have their case heard," he said. "We haven't even been given a right to present the issue."
BBC 29 May 2005 Venezuela rallies over Cuba exile Caracas wants to try Venezuelan citizen Luis Posada Carriles Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have rallied in the capital Caracas to demand the US extradites a Cuban exile accused of bombing an airliner in 1976. The march comes a day after the US rejected Venezuela's request for it to arrest Cuban-born Luis Posada Carriles, saying there was not enough evidence. Mr Posada Carriles is in US custody on suspected immigration violations. The ex-CIA employee denies involvement in the bombing that killed 73 people on the flight from Caracas to Havana. The naturalised Venezuelan citizen is wanted by both Cuba and Venezuela in connection with the attack. 'Hypocrisy' Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took to the streets of the capital, blowing whistles and chanting anti-US slogans. The BBC's Iain Bruce in Caracas says there was good humour and dancing, but despite the festive mood among protesters it is clear that many people feel strongly about the issue. Luis Posada Carriles denies involvement in the airliner bombing Some accused US President George W Bush of double standards. "Bush is protecting a terrorist while he is supposedly fighting against terrorism - that's hypocrisy," Pedro Caldera said. Mr Posada Carriles was charged last week with illegal entry into the US. The 77-year-old faces a hearing at a US immigration court on 13 June, at which he is expected to apply for asylum. On Friday the US state department said it had rejected Venezuela's initial request for Mr Posada Carriles to be detained with a view to extradition, because this had not been backed up by adequate evidence. Now the government in Caracas has announced it will be handing over the full 700 page extradition request on Tuesday. Mr Posada Carriles was twice acquitted by Venezuelan courts of plotting to bomb the plane. He escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while awaiting a trial on appeal. The US says it will not deport Mr Posada Carriles to any country that would hand him over to Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba. Caracas says it will not hand Mr Posada Carriles over, and Mr Castro has said he will be happy to see him tried in Venezuela.
BBC 27 May 2005 Muslims denounce 'US Koran abuse' One of the biggest anti-US rallies was held in Alexandria, Egypt Thousands of people across the Muslim world have rallied against the alleged abuse of the Koran by US personnel at the Guantanamo Bay military camp. Protesters in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Malaysia demanded the US apologise and punish those responsible. The demonstrations came after the US military admitted some of its guards had mishandled the Muslim holy book. But the camp commander said no credible evidence had been found that the Koran had been flushed down a toilet. Newsweek magazine reported the toilet claim earlier this month, but later retracted it. The Newsweek report sparked widespread protests, resulting in the deaths of at least 15 people in Afghanistan. During Friday's rallies: several thousand people chanted anti-US slogans in Egypt's capital, Cairo, and also in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, closely watched by police in Lebanon, sit-in protests were held across the country with people chanting "America is the biggest Satan" in Pakistan, demonstrators in Islamabad, Quetta and several other cities burned effigies of US President George W Bush in Jordan, protesters in the capital, Amman, denounced US policies in Malaysia, several hundred people protested outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur. 'Accidental' Detainees in the US detention centre in Cuba have made various allegations that US personnel had desecrated the Koran. In Lebanon, many protesters vowed to destroy White House On Thursday, Guantanamo Bay prison commander Brigadier General Jay Hood said he had found that the Koran had been mishandled on five occasions since late 2001. Three of the cases appeared to involve deliberate mishandling, while the other two incidents were apparently accidental, he said. Four cases involved guards and one an interrogator. Brig Gen Hood said those involved had not violated the rules in place at the time.
Reuters 29 Apr 2005 UN gives go-ahead for Cambodian Khmer Rouge trials By Evelyn Leopold UNITED NATIONS, April 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations announced on Friday that le
NYT 28 May 2005 China Honors a Friend It was as repellent as it was unsurprising that Beijing lavished honors the other day on Uzbekistan's blood-stained tyrant, Islam Karimov. Less than two weeks earlier, Mr. Karimov's troops fired into crowds of demonstrators, killing well over 100, including many unarmed civilians. China's leaders would not have had a big problem with that, since they are products of a system that behaved much the same way in Tiananmen Square in 1989. But China likes more than Mr. Karimov's methods of crowd control. It likes the sweeping way he has branded all political opponents Muslim terrorists, the same approach China applies to its restive Uighur minority in Xinjiang Province, near Uzbekistan's borders. Perhaps most important, it views Uzbekistan as a vital corridor for funneling oil and natural gas to Chinese industries. China isn't the only country romancing Mr. Karimov. Russia courts him, too. And, at least until the latest massacre, the United States has been wooing him as well, despite Mr. Karimov's lengthy record of gruesome human rights abuses and his unrelenting hostility to the democratic values that President Bush insists are at the center of American foreign policy. The Pentagon has a base there that it would like to keep, and American aid, under the broad label of antiterrorism assistance, still flows to some of the regime's armed enforcers, including border guards and the ministry in charge of the internal security police. Not many countries have managed to have Beijing, Moscow and Washington all competing for their affection. It is time for the United States to drop out of this ugly game and distance itself from Mr. Karimov. The Uzbekistan base was important in the early phases of the war in Afghanistan. Now that the United States has bases in a democratizing Afghanistan itself, the need for an airfield in Uzbekistan is far less acute. Nor, with Moscow no longer posing any military or ideological threat, is there any obvious need for Washington to tolerate unpleasant allies along Russia's borders. Mr. Bush would best serve America's security needs in Central Asia by honoring our nation's democratic principles.
washingtonpost.com Hong Kong Reporter Being Held By China Writer Sought Records Of Secret Interviews By Philip P. Pan Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, May 30, 2005; A01 HONG KONG -- China has detained a prominent member of Hong Kong's international press corps who traveled to the mainland to obtain a collection of secret interviews with a Communist leader purged for opposing the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Security agents apprehended Ching Cheong, chief China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times newspaper, on April 22 in the southern city of Guangzhou, where he was scheduled to meet a source who had promised to give him a copy of the politically sensitive manuscript, according to the journalist's wife, Mary Lau. Lau said Chinese authorities warned her and the Straits Times not to disclose her husband's detention, and she stayed silent for weeks in the hope he would be released. She said she decided to go public last week after a mainland official told her privately that the government was preparing to charge him with "stealing core state secrets." If charged, Ching would be the second journalist for a foreign newspaper arrested by the government of President Hu Jintao in the past year. Zhao Yan, a researcher in the Beijing bureau of the New York Times, was arrested by the State Security Ministry in September on similar charges and has been held incommunicado without trial since. The arrests could have a chilling effect on foreign news operations in China. The Chinese government often jails Chinese journalists and writers -- the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders says there are more journalists in prison in China than anywhere else in the world -- but in the past it has generally refrained from arresting individuals employed by foreign news agencies. The Straits Times, which has not reported the detention of its correspondent, said in a written statement Sunday that it had been told by the Chinese Embassy in Singapore that Ching "is assisting security authorities in Beijing with an investigation into a matter not related to the Straits Times." "Ching Cheong has served us with distinction as a very well-informed correspondent and analyst," the newspaper added. "We have no cause to doubt that throughout his stint of reporting and commenting on China, he has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism." There was no immediate response to a request for comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Ching, 55, a Hong Kong citizen and a permanent legal resident of Singapore, is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable correspondents covering China, and he enjoys extensive contacts in the government and military developed over a 31-year career. His detention could prompt an outcry in Hong Kong, where residents have complained since the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule in 1997 about their lack of consular protections when traveling on the mainland. Though China has granted Hong Kong residents some special rights and privileges, they are treated as Chinese citizens under international law. In his writings and in conversations, Ching has developed a reputation as a Chinese nationalist who favors the mainland's unification with Taiwan and objects to U.S. interference in the Taiwan Strait. He spent 15 years working for Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong newspaper with close ties to the Communist Party, but resigned in protest with 40 other journalists after the violent 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Ching's detention appears to be related to a high-priority government investigation aimed at preventing the publication of a series of secret interviews conducted over the past several years with Zhao Ziyang, the former premier and party chief who opposed the Tiananmen massacre and died in January after nearly 16 years under house arrest. What Zhao said in those interviews is unknown, but months after his death, China's Communist leaders appear worried that his words might pose a threat to the party's grip on power by reviving memories of the Tiananmen Square massacre and triggering fresh demands for democratic reform. The interviews were conducted by Zong Fengmin, a retired party official and longtime associate of Zhao's who managed to visit the fallen leader regularly while he was under house arrest. In a memoir published last year, Zong quoted briefly from his interviews with Zhao and indicated he was preparing a second book titled, "Conversations with Zhao Ziyang in House Arrest." Ching was the first journalist to obtain Zong's memoir and write about Zhao's remarks. Reached by telephone in Beijing, Zong confirmed the government had pressured him not to publish a book based on his conversations with Zhao. He said he had not finalized the manuscript and expressed surprise that Ching might have been detained for trying to obtain it. He denied ever meeting Ching in person. Xiang Chuxin, Zong's publisher, said Chinese intelligence agents visited him at his apartment in Hong Kong in October and asked polite questions about Zong's memoir. But after Zhao's death on Jan. 17, police detained him in the southern city of Shenzhen and interrogated him for several hours in an attempt to discover who brought him the book, he said. Police also placed one of Xiang's mainland employees, Huang Wei, under house arrest for several weeks. Reached by phone, she said she gave a copy of the memoir to Ching at Zong's request. She also said she sent text messages to Ching's cell phone pleading for help while trying to evade the authorities, but added the police never asked about him when questioning her. Lau said her husband learned of Zong's second manuscript late last year and met with Zong's editor not long after Zhao's death. At the time, Zong's editor wanted to publish the manuscript but was worried security agents would intercept it if he attempted to use the same people who published Zong's memoir, she said. Ching then agreed to help bring the manuscript to Hong Kong, Lau said. Lau said her husband told her a source attempted to e-mail the document to him several times without success. Then, in late April, he received a call from someone asking him to travel to Guangzhou to pick up the manuscript, she said. Lau said Ching never disclosed the identity of the source to her and that she suspected Chinese security agents might have tricked him into traveling to the mainland. A day after he was detained, she said, he called her and arranged for his laptop computer to be brought to the mainland, too. Security agents have allowed Ching to call her four more times, she said. In the latest call, on Sunday morning, Ching urged her not to tell reporters about his detention. But when a security agent picked up the phone and invited Lau to come to Beijing to see her husband, he grabbed the phone and told her to stay in Hong Kong, she said. "He told me to work on his behalf in Hong Kong," Lau said. "He told me to visit his mother and father more."
www.greaterkashmir.com HCBA seeks international community’s help to end genocide of Kashmiris GK NEWS SERVICE Srinagar, May 28: The High Court Bar Association (HCBA) today described claims of troops regarding killing of militants as “bundle of lies,” and said there has been steep rise in custodial killings. The HCBA called for International Rights Organisation including Amnesty International to take the serious note of the issue and pressurize the government of India to stop rights abuses in Kashmir. The HCBA said that recently troops took Noor-ul-Haq, a stamp vendor in the Jammu Kashmir High Court into custody and subjected him into custody. HCBA said so far his whereabouts have not been disclosed. HCBA said troops first arrested divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Muhammad Yousuf Sheikh and later killed him into custody. In Tral, HCBA said, troops few days ago arrested some youth and later murdered them in Jungle. HCBA said that police has refused to register an FIR. HCBA described the killing of youth in custody as “genocide of Kashmiris” and called upon international community to take serious note of the issue.
weekly.ahram.org.eg 26 May 2005 A nation divided With increased sectarian tension, the world has finally awakened to the grave dangers unbridled violence poses to Iraq's national unity, writes Salah Hemeid Last week the leader of the influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, Harith Al-Dhari, accused Badr Brigades, the militia of Iraq's leading Shia group, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, of being behind the killing of several Sunni Muslim clerics. Al-Dhari also accused Shia soldiers of raiding Sunni mosques. The association and the Iraqi Islamic Party, another Sunni faction, ordered dozens of Sunni mosques temporarily closed to protest the deaths. The charges brought angry reaction from Shia leaders and the brigade's secretary-general, Hadi Al-Amri, denied the charge and said the Sunni association was trying to incite sectarian strife. "These accusations aim to push Iraq into a sectarian conflict, we condemn all these terrorist operations, and we also condemn and denounce all these irresponsible declarations which encourage terrorism and justify the bloodshed in Iraq," Al-Amri said. The sharp exchange followed numerous killings of clerics in recent weeks, both Shia and Sunni. Some 550 people, mostly Shia, have also been killed since the Kurdish-Shia-dominated government took over on 28 April in what seemed to be sectarian-motivated attacks or ambushes. Many of these attacks were claimed by Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawi's terrorist groups. Last Wednesday the Jordanian terrorist denounced Shia, as "collaborating with the worshippers of the cross", a reference to the Americans. He accused the Shia of turning Iraq into "a bastion of apostasy". Shia leaders say such fiery rhetoric and crimes are not condemned strongly enough by the Sunnis and also blame them for giving sanctuary to the terrorist groups in their towns. Saad Qandeel, a spokesman for SCIRI, described Al-Dhari's remarks as "sectarian incitement" while other leaders accused the Sunni cleric of "firing the first bullet in the civil war". The war of words sparked fear in the region still haunted by the memory of Lebanon's 15-year civil war. Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit was quick to warn of such a quagmire and called on Iraqis to unite. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa warned against "a sectarian sedition" and called for self restrain. News papers' columns across the region warned that with the wave of deadly car bomb attacks that strike Iraqi cities and towns daily the war-torn country is on the verge of civil war with some saying it is already in the middle of it. On Sunday, aids of radical Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr met Al-Dhari and top leaders of his Sunni group trying to defuse tensions. Al-Sadr said the talks were aimed at settling the feud between the association and the Badr Bridges. After the meeting Al-Dhari did not retract his accusations to Badr and said the charges meant to be "a piece of advice and not an incitement". Badr leader, Al-Amri, was not quite satisfied and demanded a retraction. Qandeel accused Al-Sadr of not being impartial and asked Al-Sadr -- who sympathises with some Sunnis in opposition to the new government and the US military forces that support it -- to step aside from the mediation. Whatever the reason behind the current flare, Shia- Sunni relations have been facing greater constrains since the January elections that was turned away by most Sunnis and brought a Shia majority to power. Al-Dhari's association spearheaded the disgruntled Sunnis in boycotting the political process in an attempt to deprive it of establishing nationwide legitimacy. Yet on Saturday about 2,000 Sunni Arabs formed a political alliance and said they wanted to take part in writing Iraq's new constitution and compete in the elections for Iraq's permanent parliament due in December. The meeting, attended by religious, tribal and secular representatives, was the first wide-scale effort by Iraq's disaffected Sunnis to join the democratic process. At the meeting, held at the Engineers' Club in Baghdad, delegates called on fellow Sunnis to cast aside past doubts and throw themselves into politics to try to weigh in on the drafting of Iraq's permanent constitution, which is already under way in a Shia-Kurdish controlled committee in the transitional National Assembly. The move was an implicit acknowledgment that it had been a mistake to boycott the political process. Shia leaders welcomed the end of a Sunni Arab boycott of politics and urged the newly formed Sunni bloc to distance itself from insurgent attacks against civilians and security forces. The Shia-dominated alliance in the assembly also began consultations with Sunnis on enlarging the 55-member constitution drafting committee which has only two Sunni Arab members on its board. Other efforts have also been made to reach out to Sunnis willing to join the political process including re- organising the de-Baathification committee, in charge of ridding the government and the security forces from loyalists to the former regime of Saddam Hussein who are still sympathetic to the insurgents. Lower-and middle- echelon Baathists will be allowed to serve. The purge is one main reason behind the disaffection of the Sunnis who used to form the backbone of Saddam's army and his notorious security apparatus. With threats of more sectarian violence and two active factions bickering, the dream of a new and united Iraq will ebb away unless leaders of the Shia and Sunni communities reach out boldly and bravely to one anther. It is true that millions of Iraq's Shias and Kurds, who suffered so much under Saddam's brutal regime -- and now from terrorism -- are uncomfortable about letting people who served his predominantly Sunni regime back into positions of power but Iraqis have to come to terms if they want to build a better, more democratic Iraq.
Zinhua 23 May 2005 South
Korean to compensate Nogun-ri massacre victims in Korean War www.chinaview.cn
2005-05-23 16:59:22 SEOUL, May 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A South Korean government committee
responsible for investigation of the issue of compensation for victims of the
Nogun-ri civilian massacre said Monday that it had decided scale of compensation
for the 218 victims of the tragic incident committed by US military personnel
during the 1950-1953 Korean War. The committee, operating under the South Korean
Office of Prime Minister, has also compiled a list of 2,170 family members of
the victims who stand to be eligible for various benefits including pension and
tax cuts, reported South Korean Yonhap News Agency. The committee plans to provide
a total of 418 million won (410,000 US dollars) to 30 surviving South Korean victims
who were wounded during the incident. Each of the victims will receive between
3 million won (2,988 dollars ) and 21 million won (20,916 dollars) in compensation,
said Yonhap. In year of 1999, the long-concealed tragedy, in which some 400
Korean civilians were shot in Nogun-ri, a small village in North Chungcheon Province
of South Korea, some 200 kilometers south to Seoul, by US soldiers in the early
stages of the Korean War, came to light by media report. The survivors and victim
family members demanded South Korean and US governments to investigate the massacre
thoroughly. The US government has expressed its regret over the incident but says
an investigation into the incident has failed to uncover evidence that US military
commanders ordered the killings.
scoop.co.nz 24 May 2005
Nobel nominee explains psychology behind genocide Tuesday, 24 May 2005, 4:37
pm Press Release: Auckland University of Technology 24 May 2005 Nobel nominee
to explain psychology behind genocide Nobel peace prize nominee Professor Vamik
Volkan will give a public lecture at AUT’s Akoranga campus this week entitled
Killing in the name of identity - large group psychology and massive violence.
The lecture will focus on large group identity, a phenomenon that has been
known to impact on individuals’ free will and promote extreme forms of behaviour
such as violence and even genocide. Vamik Volkan MD is Emeritus Professor of
Psychiatry and founder of the Center for the Study of the Mind and Human Interaction
at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. His lecture will focus on
the psychology of political propaganda in the context of the former Yugoslavia
under Slobodan Milosevic. Drawing from interviews with those who knew him well,
he will explain how Milosevic’s internal wars were intertwined with his external
conflicts. The psychology of political propaganda will be discussed as will an
explanation of the deeper meaning of the systematic rapes in Bosnia. AUT’s Division
Head of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies Peter Greener says the lecture
is a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s pre-eminent political psychologists
share his knowledge. “Given the current disharmony in the Middle East and the
war on terror, Professor Volkan’s insights into large group behaviour and what
drives group members to commit atrocities they would otherwise find abhorrent,
promises to be compelling indeed.”
Dr. Volkan is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction. In 2001, he became a member of the ten member Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission. AP 18 Apr 2005 [excerpt] Turks Confront WWI Massacre of Armenians. . . Volkan said he grew up knowing nothing about the Armenian tragedy and first learned of it in the 1950s when he met an Armenian-American at a dinner in the United States. ``He turned red and had a seizure when I told him I was a Turk,'' Volkan recalls. For Turkey, the issue goes beyond the killings of Armenians to the whole trauma of losing its once mighty Ottoman Empire. .. . Volkan, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, said that after the war, the new Turkish republic ``wanted to look forward and not backward.'' www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/csmhi/bios.cfm#volkan
InsideUVA 25 May 2001 Probing the mental wounds of ethnic conflict By Matt Kelly Vamik Volkan knows personally about ethnic conflict. He watched on television as his mother and sister were being taken from their home a half a world away in his native Cyprus nearly 35 years ago. From his own suffering, Volkan became more interested in group psychology under stress. Now, Volkan, 68, a Turkish Cypriot, is stepping down as director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University’s Medical School. The center probes the psychology of groups, particularly those involved in ethnic violence, from the Holocaust to more recent conflicts in the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Volkan was born on Cyprus, an island populated by Greeks and Turks, where ethnic division became a way of life. He was already living in the United States when conditions in his homeland collapsed. He said the Greeks pushed the Cypriot Turks, who had occupied 37 percent of the land mass, onto three percent of the land. Volkan could not contact his family and did not know if they were dead or alive. At one point he was watching a television program about the Cyprus situation and that is when he saw his sister and mother being evacuated. Volkan returned to Cyprus in 1968, the first time since he had left in the 1950s. He found his family living in a Turkish ghetto, whispering when they were outside their own enclave, fearing Greek retribution for their thoughts. Volkan became a physician in Ankara, Turkey, in 1954 and came to the U.S. in 1957, first working in Chicago, then North Carolina, where he did his psychiatric residency at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He joined the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in 1963. He was the medical director of the University’s Blue Ridge Hospital from 1976 to 1995. After his visit home, realizing he was in denial and suffering from “survivor syndrome,” Volkan wrote a book, Cyprus – War and Adaptation, which helped purge his anger, shame and helplessness. The book was banned in Qatar because of his discussion of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. This prohibition was Volkan’s claim to fame for a short period. The book also got him a seat on the American Psychiatric Association’s committee on foreign affairs, which met every six months but did not have much of a foreign policy. Things changed in 1977 when Eygptian president Anwar al-Sadat went to Israel and said that 70 percent of the problems between the Arabs and the Jews are psychological. Volkan, a junior member of the foreign affairs committee, found himself in Israel studying the group psychology of the Middle East. This involved face-to-face discussions with people from all points of view. Many negotiators in recent rounds of talks were veterans of those discussions. His work in the Middle East with two seemingly intractable groups helped Volkan create a framework to examine the psychology of groups under stress. A psychiatrist can predict and outline the steps of the grieving process for individuals, naming in order each stage, he said, but they do not have a handle on the grieving process for entire societies. “The process is not like the individual’s. There will be [external] changes,” Volkan said, meaning political, social and lifestyle changes. As an example, many people downwind from the radiation release during the Chernobyl nuclear accident did not marry for the fear of giving birth to deformed children. He said that group reactions stem from the nature of the trauma they suffer. An earthquake can kill people and destroy things, but be considered an act of God or nature. If the same level of death and destruction occurs at the hands of an enemy, then the trauma includes humiliation as well as helplessness. “When someone hurts you deliberately, your anger has a target,” Volkan said. “Anger against God is one thing, anger against someone who has hurt you is another. You can get a gun and have revenge, or the next generation, if it is in a better position, can have revenge.” He said hatred, prejudice and other negative feelings are all involved in a mass reaction to trauma. “You cannot take one emotion without the others,” Volkan said. “This is why we have to take the specifics of a situation, without making a general determination.” Volkan said this type of trauma is accompanied by “transgenerational transmission” — victims select the trauma that is passed down to their children, keeping it alive for generations. He calls this “chosen trauma,” because this is the one they choose to keep alive. “They take this unmourned image and pass it on to their children,” Volkan said. “The children share in the same mental image and there is a change in function, because now it becomes an ‘ethnic marker.’” He said with ethnic markers, groups can take problems that exist with their neighbors today, and infuse them with a trauma from 600 years ago. “It gets involved in the politics and elections and propaganda. It has to be studied as a large group,” he said, adding that the solutions are specific to the history of the conflict. In times and places of ethnic tension and conflict, leadership is key, because leaders can determine the direction of events, whether the chosen trauma will be exploited or played down. Volkan said there are two principles to understand about group conflict. “Under stress, minor differences become deadly,” Volkan said. “Small changes in words become important. We need to teach this to diplomats.” He said diplomats get frustrated when they work on negotiations for a long time and everything is derailed at the last minute by a small, seemingly insignificant, change in language. The second is that borders are important, both physical and psychological. “People see real dangers and [they] must protect the border,” he said. “We need to keep the border, but make it flexible.” He said borders are important between neighbors and neighboring countries and groups. Volkan dismissed the notion that differences don’t matter and everybody needs to be friends. He said this gets in the way of realistic solutions. “We need to keep the identities separate to have a more realistic discussion,” he said. As part of his effort to promote more realistic discussion, Volkan founded the Center for the Study of the Mind and Human Interaction in 1987. Volkan credited Medical School Dean Robert Carey and contributor Bill Masey for their support of the center. In more recent years the center has gotten funding from the Carter Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The key to the center, according to Volkan, is combining the work and talents of psychologists, diplomats, political scientists and historians. “We are the only center at any medical school in the country to study large conflicts.” He said the center, while seldom recognized in Charlottesville, is known around the world. Volkan was able to use his personal relationship with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to invite him to speak at ceremonies in Charlottesville honoring Thomas Jefferson’s 250th birthday in 1993. This fame allows Volkan and other center members greater access on the world stage. Volkan and the center have done a lot of work in the former Soviet Union, where a lot of ethnic difficulties have erupted. They worked in Estonia, in conjunction with the Carter Center, designing suggestions of operations for the government, setting out the characteristics of the ambassadors and setting up model programs in which Estonians and the minority Russian population, which was looked upon as oppressors, could live and work together. Volkan said that the solutions had to be developed on the ground, because the people would not tolerate solutions imposed from the outside. One project in Klooga, Estonia, a fishing village with a former Soviet military base suffering from economic and political collapse, was the subject of a documentary film, “Dragon’s Egg,” which premiered in Charlottesville. Volkan and the center have also worked in Georgia, helping traumatized children in South Ossetia, Chechen refugees and Georgians living on the border with Abkhazia. Volkan said he and Joseph Montville, a former diplomat connected to the Center for the Study of the Mind, attended a meeting in Germany with about 200 speakers from Africa and Europe. “We were the only ones who talked about the psychology of conflict,” Volkan said and smiled. “We stole the show.” After 14 years, Volkan is ready to step down as director as soon as a new leader comes on board. He wants to concentrate more on his writing. He recently signed a contract to write a book, “The Third Reich in the Unconsciousness,” in which he will detail his theories on transgenerational transmission, and he has written half of a book on political propaganda, tentatively titled “Desire to Belong.” Volkan has built a house on his native Cyprus— “Now I’m not a tourist there,” — and he plans to live there three months a year, raising geraniums. “It’s a lazy way of gardening, but I don’t garden here in my adopted country,” he said. “It is more earthy on Cyrpus and I have to raise something. Here, I raise students.” Many of his students are returning to Charlottesville this weekend for a conference and retirement party to honor Volkan. He is also proud of his own brood of four children, the oldest a psychoanalyst, the next an artist, the third studying international relations and working for a bank, the fourth a journalist and filmmaker who speaks perfect Turkish.
BBC 27 May 2005 Deadly blast at Pakistan shrine The condition of many of the injured is serious At least 18 people have been killed in an apparent suicide bombing at a Muslim shrine in Pakistan, rescuers say. Hundreds of Shias had gathered at the Bari Imam shrine on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, to celebrate the end of a religious festival. More than 50 people were hurt in the blast. Correspondents said the scene was one of utter carnage, with bodies and body parts strewn around the area. Pakistan has a history of conflict between Sunni and Shia extremists. 'Suicide attack' Ambulance crews have been ferrying survivors to hospital following Friday's blast, which occurred at about 1120 (0620 GMT). It was like hell. I fell down... when I woke up I saw dead bodies around me Syed Muktar Hussain Shah In Pictures: Shrine bombing They said they had recovered nearly 20 bodies but survivors said the figure was much higher. Many of the injured are said to be in a serious condition. The shrine is near Pakistan's main government buildings and Islamabad's diplomatic quarter, where many countries have their embassies. Police swiftly cordoned off the blast site. Sectarian attacks March 2005: 43 Shias killed in a bomb blast in Fatehpur, Baluchistan Oct 2004: Car bomb in Multan kills 40 Sunnis Oct 2004: 30 killed in a suicide attack on a Sialkot Shia mosque May 2004: 20 killed in bombing of Shia mosque in Karachi May 2004: 15 die in Karachi Shia mosque attack "Our initial information suggests it was a suicide attack," said Islamabad police chief Talat Mehmood Tariq. Survivors said the bomber, who joined a congregation of about 1,000 people attending a sermon, triggered explosive devices strapped to his waist. "We were listening to a sermon when there was a huge blast," one survivor, Munazar Abbasi, is quoted as saying by Reuters. "Everything went blank and I couldn't hear anything." Many of those who survived were shocked and angry, some calling the attack an act of terrorism. Amongst the crowds gathered, many men pounded their chests in grief as blood-stained bodies covered with religious banners were taken away. President Pervez Musharraf expressed shock and grief at the loss of life, the official APP news agency reported. Popular shrine The BBC's Zaffar Abbas at the scene in Islamabad says it is the first time the Bari Imam shrine has been targeted. PAKISTAN'S SECTARIAN DIVIDE Shias revere Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed Pakistan is 20% Shia, 70% Sunni Violence between Sunni and Shia factions began in early 1980s More than 150 people have died in the past year alone About 4,000 people have been killed in total Most violence takes place in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab Pakistan's schisms Our correspondent says the Bara Imam shrine honoured a popular Sufi saint and was visited by many Sunnis as well as minority Shias. He says it was seen as a symbol of harmony between the two communities. Pakistan has a long history of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias. More than 40 people were killed and many injured in a bomb blast at a Muslim shrine in the south of the country in March. About 4,000 people have been killed over the past several years.
BBC 30 May, 2005, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version 'Four killed' in Karachi mosque At least four people have been killed and 13 injured in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say. They say that the bomber is among the dead. His two accomplices were killed along with a policeman in a gunfight after the device exploded. Officials say it was a "miracle" that more people were not killed. There have been numerous acts of sectarian and criminal violence in Karachi in recent years. "Three people walked into the mosque and two of them started firing in the air," mosque spokesman Shahzad Rizvi told BBC News. 'Mayhem' "The bomber rushed to the spot where people had gathered to pray, and the next thing we heard was a loud explosion. "In the mayhem I heard the other two attackers begin firing." Sectarian tension has long been a problem in Pakistan Mr Rizvi said that both attackers were wounded in the subsequent shoot-out with mosque guards and police before they were arrested. But police say they are now dead. The explosion was at the Mandinatul Ilm mosque, in the busy middle class neighbourhood of Gulshan. The attack comes three days after a suicide bomb in the capital, Islamabad, killed 19 people and wounded nearly 100. The BBC's Aamer Ahmed Khan in Karachi says that the latest attack coincides with the first anniversary of the death of Mufti Shamzai, a Sunni scholar who was killed in a blast at the Hyderi mosque in Karachi. Soon after the blast angry protesters set fire to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. Two petrol stations and several cars were also attacked as news of the attack spread. Eye witnesses say that paramilitary rangers were chased away by furious protesters when they tried to bring the situation under control. 'Pre-planned' Some of the troops were also reported to have been beaten up. Our correspondent says that angry Shia activists are still roaming the area, and the local administration has asked for extra police to control the mob. The bomber ran inside during the shoot-out and blew himself up Karachi police officer Asif Aijaz Speaking to reporters, Sindh home minister Rauf Siddiqui said: "We are trying to find a link between this incident and the bombing of Bari Imam in Islamabad. "But there is no question about the fact that this attack was pre-planned and well thought out." Meanwhile, the whole of Karachi has been put on high alert. Gulshan police chief Atif Aijaz told reporters that detonators and explosives were taped to the bodies of two attackers shot dead by the police. Mr Ajaz said all of them were suicide bombers, but two of them did not have a chance to blow themselves up.
Uzbekistan See China
BBC 30 May 2005 Uzbek activists held in new sweep By Monica Whitlock BBC News, Tashkent Activist Saidjahan Zainabiddinov is one of those being held Armed police have arrested 28 people planning to hold a protest rally in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, as part of a continuing crackdown on dissent. The officers raided an apartment before dawn, taking away the owner, well-known opposition figure Vasilia Innoyatova, and 27 others. The group had been planning to hold a small rally to protest about the killings in Andijan two weeks ago. Hundreds reportedly died when troops fired on an anti-government protest. The government says those who died were members of an extremist Islamist group, and is taking a hard line against anyone challenging this version. President Islam Karimov refused to meet a group of US senators who came to Tashkent on Sunday to push for an international inquiry. UZBEK TROUBLES Most populous central Asian former Soviet republic, home to 26m people Ruled since 1991 independence by autocrat Islam Karimov Accused by human rights groups of serious abuses, including torture Rocked by violence in capital Tashkent in 2004 Government says radical Islamic groups behind violence Crackdown to fuel unrest They did meet Mrs Innoyatova just hours before she was detained. In Andijan itself, most residents are still too frightened to talk openly, but some say, quietly, that the security forces are making night raids on the houses of anyone who might have been among the crowd, or other witnesses. One family told us that militia in riot masks burst their door and took away their son for interrogation. Others report that their sons have been arrested while searching at a hospital for relatives still missing two weeks on. The atmosphere generally in Uzbekistan is still one of shock and fear about what happened in Andijan, and worry about what the future may hold.
NYT May 30, 2005 Kyrgyz Will Not Eject Uzbek Refugees - U.S. Senators By REUTERS Filed at 10:30 a.m. ET BISHKEK (Reuters) - Three U.S. senators said on Monday they had won assurances from Kyrgyzstan that hundreds of Uzbek refugees would not be sent back to the country they fled to escape bloodshed earlier this month. But, speaking in Vienna, Kyrgyzstan's acting president avoided giving any guarantee that his impoverished ex-Soviet state would not bow to diplomatic pressure from Uzbekistan, which is pressing for the return of its citizens. The 500 refugees fled the eastern Uzbek town of Andizhan on May 13, where troops opened fire on large crowd and, according to witnesses, killed up to 500 civilians. The Uzbek government says 173 people died, mostly ``terrorists.'' ``We have requested that the government of Kyrgyzstan allows refugees from Uzbekistan to remain in this country until conditions are such that they can return without fear,'' John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said. Senator John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire, told reporters in the capital Bishkek: ``The people that we met (in the Kyrgyz government) were very clear that Kyrgyzstan intends to stand by its international and humanitarian obligations.'' International human rights groups have expressed concern about mixed messages coming from the Kyrgyz government, which has walked a tightrope between offering the refugees shelter and not offending its bigger and more powerful neighbor. In Vienna, acting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev stopped short of giving the refugees any guarantees. ``As regards the kind and the number of Uzbek citizens that should be or should not be sent back to Uzbekistan, I think it is too early to talk about this at this time,'' he told reporters, speaking through an interpreter. TORTURE THREAT His government and Uzbekistan have agreed to set up national commissions with help from the United Nations to identify refugees, he said, adding that one task of the commissions would be to decide if there were criminals among the refugees. New York-based Human Rights Watch has urged Kyrgyzstan not to send any refugees back. ``If people are pushed back at the border or forcibly returned to Uzbekistan, they could be killed or tortured,'' the group said on Friday. Uzbek President Islam Karimov has rejected a U.N. call for an independent inquiry into the violence. The senators, who visited Uzbekistan on Sunday, repeated the call, saying the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe should lead it. ``We repeat our demand for a full and complete investigation by the OSCE over the massacre that occurred just a few days ago,'' McCain said. ``President Karimov must understand that this kind of activity has no place in the 21st century.'' Uzbekistan is a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism and has given Washington the use of an airbase for operations in neighboring Afghanistan. ``We have concrete evidence that innocent people were killed while they demonstrated peacefully,'' McCain said, adding that he believed the U.S. Congress would want to ``re-evaluate'' the U.S. relationship with Uzbekistan.
BBC 29 May 2005 Nazi row lawmaker refuses to quit Siegfried Kampl: "Fundamentally there is no change" An Austrian legislator has retracted a promise to resign over remarks he made expressing sympathy to the Nazis. Siegfried Kampl also said he would take up the rotating post of president of the upper house of parliament in July. He had said he would relinquish his seat amid pressure from all sides after he deplored the "brutal persecution" of Austrian Nazis after World War II. Last month, he said his father was a member of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party like "more than 99%" of Austrians. He also referred to Austrian deserters of Nazi Germany's armed forces as "assassins of battle comrades". 'No change' On Sunday, the 69-year-old politician said he stood by his remarks. "I might phrase my views a little differently, but fundamentally there is no change," Mr Kampl told ORF public radio. "I will not give up my mandate. I will remain in the Bundesrat and I will take over the presidency." He did, however, agree to resign as a member of Joerg Haider's Alliance for Austria's Future, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, saying he did not want to be a burden on the party. Mr Kampl, who is also the mayor of the southern town of Gurk, said he had decided not to resign because of the "provocative" manner in which he was implored to do so by current Bundesrat president George Pehm, a Social Democrat. Mr Pehm had said Mr Kampl's resignation was the "only possible outcome of these unacceptable statements". Walkout threat Days after the Kampl controversy broke on 19 April, another right-wing member of the Bundesrat, John Gudenus, contended that the existence of Nazi gas chambers "remains to be proven". He was widely rebuked but has also refused to give up his seat. The post of president of the Bundesrat rotates between representatives of Austria's provinces. If Mr Kampl remains in his seat, the job will automatically go to him in July. The opposition Greens and Social Democrats have urged Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel to intervene. "We cannot tolerate somebody like this as president of the Bundesrat," the leader of the Greens, Alexander Van Der Bellen said, while the Social Democrats said they would walk out of the legislature every time Mr Kampl took his seat. Franz Morak, the State Secretary for Culture, said: "These statements do not belong in our time." He added that both Mr Gudenus and Mr Kampl "should suffer the consequences of their actions".
fena.ba 24 May 2005 (17:00) TUZLA: 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MASSACRE AT "KAPIJA" TO BE OBSERVED TUZLA, May 24 (FENA) - In Tuzla the 10th anniversary of the massacre at Kapija will be marked , where 71 persons aged averagely under 21 were killed of the shells fired from the Ozren mountain by aggressor’s army on 25 May. On the occasion today in the Peace Flame House a public discussion was held on the topic “ Tragedy at Kapija in Cultural and Legal Space”. Recalling the days and ways in which the victims were buried, today the lady manager of the Urban Planning Institute of Tuzla Municipality, Zehra Morankic, spoke on caring for the complex “Slana Banja”. Complex “Slana Banja” and the memorial at Kapija are monuments to the killed youth. In the extent in which it is possible we did our best that they are worthy of victims and grief that their dearest still feel for their loss, Ms Morankic said. Franjo Kovacevic, the assistant to the head of public services of Tuzla municipality spoke on cultural meanings of Tuzla Kapija which has become an indelible part of Tuzla identity. Attorney and president of Cantonal Court Tuzla, who worked on the “Kapija“ case, Šaban Mujcinovic, spoke on judicial treatment of the “Kapija” case. In 1997 an order was issued for investigation against unknown persons at the beginning, and later against 9 known perpetrators. In 2000 he case was forwarded to the ICTY for consideration as to if there is enough evidence for indictment to be issued. Hague Tribunal requested an additional investigation in a part, the additional investigations were carried out and the case was sent back to the Hague Tribunal and forwarded to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, Mujcinovic said. “ In this moment I am not in possession of information as to in which phase the case is, and in my opinion there is enough evidence for indictment to be issued and legal proceedings to be instituted”, Mujcinovic said. Tomorrow on the day of the 10th anniversary of the crime at Kapija, among other programs, the book “ Suada – story on fire and light “ by Heinz Jussen will be promoted and a film on the tragedy shown.
fena.ba 30.05.2005 (16:56) IHF: BELGRADE NEEDS TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR SREBRENICA SARAJEVO, May 30 (FENA) – The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), which brings together human rights groups from over 40 countries, is calling on Serbian authorities to acknowledge the responsibility of Serb forces in the genocide in Srebrenica. ”The massacre of about 8,000 Bosniaks took place on July 11-19, 1995. As the 10th anniversary of this tragedy approaches, neither Prime Minister Kostunica, nor the president of the Parliament, nor any representatives of the government, has spoken to the public or the international community to recognize the crimes committed by Serb forces and apologize to the families of the victims”, the IHF stated. On the contrary there is denial, and worse, IHF stressed. For example, members of the Law Faculty of Belgrade University glorified the crimes at Srebrenica, calling them "liberation". ”The dignity and the future of the Serbian people are not served by leaders who fail to help the society face the truth about war crimes”, this organisation stated. The IHF urges the government to adopt the Declaration on Srebrenica drafted by eight civil society organizations and to take part in the commemoration in Srebrenica on July 11. Furthermore, the arrest of indicted war criminals, including General Ratko Mladic, is necessary in order to create conditions for normalization in the region. IHF stated that Serb forces responsible for the genocide in Srebrenica comprise the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), the Yugoslav Army (VJ), the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), local Territorial Defense (TO) units, local and Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) police units and paramilitary groups.
BBC 16 Ma, 2005 Colonial abuses haunt France By Hugh Schofield Paris The French occupation formally ended in 1962 The commemoration of a wartime massacre in Algeria and a new law on how to teach colonial history have reopened wounds from France's recent past. Despite a gradual easing of suspicions between Paris and Algiers in recent years, all the old bitterness between the two countries resurfaced on the 60th anniversary of one of the most notorious episodes of France's 130-year rule. In May 1945 French soldiers killed thousands of Algerians around the eastern town of Setif, after celebrations to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany turned into pro-independence protests. The official Algerian version is that 45,000 people died, though French historians say the number was between 15,000 and 20,000. Algerian 'tragedy' For the first time ever this year, the French ambassador to Algeria, Hubert Colin de Verdiere, went to the scene to pay homage to the victims - describing the massacres as an "inexcusable tragedy." The gesture was welcomed in Algeria, but subsequent remarks by politicians including President Abdelaziz Bouteflika showed how raw the memories still were. The Algerian people are still waiting for ... the French ambassador's declarations to be followed by a more convincing gesture President Bouteflika Mr Bouteflika said Algeria had "never ceased waiting for an admission from France of all the acts committed during the colonial period and the war of liberation." And he shocked many in France when he drew a direct comparison between the burning of thousands of Algerian bodies after the massacres with "the ovens of the Nazis." Another senior offical - Mohamed El Korso, president of the May 1945 Foundation - said that French "repentance is seen by the Algerian people as a sine qua non before any Franco-Algerian friendship treaty can be concluded." The two governments were hoping to agree on a treaty later this year. "French and international public opinion must know that France committed a real act of genocide in May 1945," he said. History revisited Algerian feeling was aggravated by reports of a new law voted through the French parliament in February, which many fear will hold up the task of confronting the colonial legacy. An Islamist revolt brought more violence to independent Algeria In an otherwise innocuous text bearing on the treatment of "pieds noirs" and "harkis" - returned expatriates and Algerians who remained loyal to France - Article Four has given rise to accusations that French schoolchildren are to get a sanitised version of the experience in Algeria and elsewhere. "School programmes are to recognise in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, especially in North Africa, and give an eminent place ... to the sacrifices of fighters for the French army raised in these territories," the law reads. A petition has been signed by hundreds of French historians demanding an abrogation of the text, claiming that it "imposes an official lie about the crimes, about the massacres which sometimes went as far as genocide, about the slavery, about the racism that has been inherited from this past." It is not just colonial Algeria that many fear could be misrepresented, but French rule across Africa. Sub-Saharan wounds Cameroon, Senegal and Madagascar experienced periods of harsh repression in the 1940s, little of which is taught in French schools today. In 1947, for example, French troops massacred thousands of people in Madagascar in order to quell a rebellion. "There is a real risk that we will end up hiding the crimes and the racism that are inherent in the fact of colonialism," said Claude Liauzu, a historian of France's colonial past at the University of Paris. "That kind of denial will encourage those who want to reactivate the old nationalist reflexes - but also those at the other end of the spectrum, who want to shut themselves off in a minority and nurture their sense of oppression. Each is as dangerous as the other." 'Gestures needed' Benjamin Stora, a leading specialist on Algeria, said that more than 40 years after it left its former colony France still had to face up honestly to its role there. "France has never taken on its colonial history. It is a big difference with the Anglo-Saxon countries, where post-colonial studies are now in all the universities. We are phenomenally behind the times." According to Mr Stora, it is wrong to claim there is ignorance of what happened - historical research has been thorough and fair - but too little of it is transmitted into the wider public consciousness. The result is that ideology - instead of an open acknowledgement of the past - too often dominates the dialogue between France and Algeria, as it has done over the Setif massacres. "Repentance is not what matters. What matters is making the right gestures, dedicating places of memory, reconciliation - and not perpetually replaying the past," he said.
AP 17 May 2005 Rwanda Genocide Familes To File French Soldier Lawsuits Dow Jones International News PARIS (AP)--Relatives of victims of the 1994 Rwanda genocide plan to file 10 lawsuits in the coming days alleging France and French soldiers were complicit in the mass killings, lawyers said Thursday. The French military, operating on a humanitarian mission under a U.N. mandate, was the only foreign force in the African country at the time. The French forces have been accused of helping the attackers. The lawsuits will accuse France's soldiers of "complicity in genocide," the lawyers said. Under French law, military tribunals have sole jurisdiction in cases of crimes committed by French soldiers. "The complaints will target the military units on hand at the time," lawyer Antoine Comte said. The suits were to be filed in the coming days in Paris. "Complicity in genocide does not mean there was a desire for genocide," he said, "but there were acts of encouragement allowing genocidal acts" - such as allegedly providing weapons and training to Rwandan soldiers. Comte spoke as a civilian investigatory panel, made up of lawyers, historians and leaders of human rights groups, issued a 600-page report alleging that French forces helped the attackers more than the victims. The U.N. was alleged to have been a "passive" accomplice to the crimes, while France was an "active" participant, said Francois-Xavier Verschave, a panel member from human rights group Survie. Annie Faure, who was in Rwanda at the time for the French humanitarian group Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), said French forces "protected the killers and gave them weapons." Militias composed of Hutu militants and army soldiers killed more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus during the genocide that took place from April to July 1994. Some estimate that up to 800,000 died. The U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda plans to try at least 17 suspects for allegedly masterminding the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the court's chief prosecutor said last month.
BBC 30 May 2005 'Race killing' sparks French riot Hundreds of North Africans clashed with police Police say at least 37 people have been arrested after a night of violence in the southern French city of Perpignan. The trouble started after a man of North African descent was shot dead. Hundreds of North Africans clashed with police, who responded with tear gas and baton charges. Tensions between North Africans and Romas have increased after another man of North African descent was beaten to death last week, allegedly by Romas. On Saturday, more than 3,500 people demonstrated in a tense atmosphere in memory of Mohamed Bey Bachir, who was killed on 22 May. French police say eight were injured in Sunday night's violence following the latest killing, which left shops smashed and about 50 cars damaged or burnt out. On Monday, pupils from schools near the scene of the shooting were being kept away from classes. Perpignan's mayor visited the shops destroyed in the violence and urged the two communities to enter a dialogue.
AP 17 May 2005 Poles Upset by 'Stalinist' Take on History ELA KASPRZYCKA The Associated Press Tuesday, May 17, 2005; 5:48 PM WARSAW, Poland -- A Polish magazine has called on its readers to send Russian President Vladimir Putin a postcard depicting him as the long-nosed lying fairy tale character Pinocchio for presenting a "Stalinist version of history." The campaign comes amid a rise of anti-Russian sentiment in Poland and drew a statement of concern from Russia's foreign ministry about a "worsening atmosphere" in bilateral ties. Many in Poland were angered by Putin's May 9 Red Square speech marking the end of World War II in Europe, in which he failed to condemn the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland as many had hoped. In response, this week's issue of Wprost magazine comes with a pre-addressed postcard that reads "With greetings for Putinocchio" above the computer-generated image. On the other side, a brief text in Polish and Russian asks Putin to apologize for failing to condemn the 1939 secret Nazi-Soviet pact, which set the stage for World War II. The card also said Poles felt humiliated that Putin thanked the Italian and German anti-fascist resistance but failed to mention the Polish sacrifice. Ties between the two countries have been strained in recent months. Russia was irked at Poland's intervention in the Ukrainian presidential election crisis last year, which led to the victory of pro-Western opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko. Formerly Communist Poland joined the European Union last year and has been one of the strongest supporters for Ukraine's EU membership hopes under Yushchenko, as he seeks to steer his former Soviet republic away from Russia's influence. Russia, meanwhile, raised Poland's ire in March when the country's top military prosecutor said an investigation into the 1940 Katyn forest executions of 21,768 Polish military officers, intellectuals and priests had concluded that the massacre did not constitute genocide. The Soviet secret police executed the prisoners, taken during the invasion of Poland, on Josef Stalin's orders.
www.turkishweekly.net 30 May 2005 Serbia’s Academics and Politicians Still Denies Srebrenica Genocide Mirzet MUJEZINOVIC After the conference titled “10 Years After Liberation of Srebrenica” was delayed in April, same conference but this time titled “True about Srebrenica” realized at the Faculty of Law at Belgrade University. One of the speakers at the conference was Milivoje Ivanisevic the researcher at Center for Research the Crimes over the Serb nation. According to him, during the Srebrenica ‘rescue’ operation, 2.000 men died, but most of them were Serbs who were prisoners at ‘the Muslims jails’. The other lecturer was a ‘novelist’: Ljiljana Bulatovic. She said that there was no genocide in Srebrenica and that Karadzic and Mladic are truly heroes of Serbian nation. Mrs. Bulatovic is well known as the author of several ‘books’ about Karadzic. She also said that Muslim graves should be removed from Serbian Srebrenica to Muslim part of the Federation because it occupies a very productive part of land which should be used in agricultural production. During the conference most of the participants weared T-shirts with Karadzic’s poster. In Serbia, there was almost no reaction on this conference. Main newspapers thoroughly announced the conference. Except few NGO’s in the country, nobody including all Serbian politician leader has not condemned the conference. The President of Serbia and Montenegro Boris Tadic said, “Everyone can comment every issue from his point of view”. But according to NGO ‘Youth Initiative’s member Dragan Popovic, State Criminal Law article 34 forbids expanding hate both and national, and racism. There is another law an university education which forbidding any somewhat political or religional activity at the university. According to Popovic, responsibility for realization such conference lying over many institutions especially politics and not only those in power but also those in opposition. If we have in mind that war criminal General Mladic was receiving a regular Serbian military pension until the end of 2004, we can realize that ultra Serbian nationalism flows are still very strong in Serbia. In addition, it will be there for long time more. In November 2004, Bosnian Serb government accepted the report about the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre. This report was prepared by the Serbian commission and the Commission was forced to be established under international pressure. The Bosnian Serb government apologized for the massacre of 7.800 (which is some of the 65 % of the 12.00 total missing) Muslim civilians killed by Serb forces in an organized, planned and systematic action. Further, one of the generals of the Serb forces, General Radislav Krstic war sentenced to 35 years for aiding and abetting the genocide. Judges in the ICTY said that the massacre of up to 8.000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 was an act of genocide in a deliberate attempt by the Bosnian Serb leadership to exterminate part of the Muslim community. Judge Theodor Meron “by seeking to eliminate a part of Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide” said. Therefore, by this decision the judgment finally rests all claims that there was no genocide in Bosnia in the 1992-1995 War. As it is well-known, Srebrenica enclave was formally under the protection of the UN. A Dutch battalion served UN peacekeeping mission was tasked to protect Srebrenica Muslims. After the official report prepared by Institute for War Documentation in 2002 that blamed the Dutch’s political and military leaders for giving their peacekeepers an impossible mission to protect the enclave, the entire Dutch government resigned. By resigning Dutch government made an honorable act and show that they take political responsibility for their failures. However, the Serbian government, the state in whose name the genocide was committed, still denies the responsibility for it. Serbia and Montenegro, 10 years after the war, does not have an official consensus about the war crimes in Bosnia. How many years must pass for Serbia to be ready for taking the guilty for genocide? When will Serbia make a memorial park for the victims killed just because they were not Serb? For the Germans it does not took much time (in 70’s West Germany Premier in his visit to Poland fall down on his knee in front of the monument which is symbol of genocide over the Jewish people). But for the individuals those know Serbian nation and history somewhat must be knowledgeable that the time for it does not come yet.
Serbia - Kosovo
washingtonpost.com 17 May 2005 Bush Has Plan to Act on the Status of Kosovo By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 17, 2005; A15 After largely ignoring the deteriorating situation in the Balkans since President Bush was elected in 2000, the Bush administration has decided on a new strategy designed to finally settle whether Kosovo will become fully independent of Serbia, U.S. officials said. Ethnic tensions have been rising in Kosovo, which is still administered by the United Nations six years after NATO bombed Serbia over its treatment of the Kosovars. Sporadic violence has erupted between the majority Albanian and minority Serbian populations, most recently in March, as the region's status has remained in limbo. "If you freeze the situation for two or more years, you are likely to create a pressure cooker," a senior administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not been announced. He said the United States is signaling that it is now committed to resolving the outstanding issues in Bosnia and Kosovo. The plan, which Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns will announce in congressional testimony tomorrow and a speech Thursday, has been carefully worked out in intensive discussions with U.N. and European officials. The United Nations will shortly appoint Kai Eide, the Norwegian ambassador to NATO, to assess whether Kosovo is ready for final-status talks. Once that certification is made, probably by mid-autumn, then the United Nations will sponsor international negotiations on whether Kosovo should remain part of Serbia, become independent or achieve a hybrid status. Russia, the traditional defender of the Serbs, initially appeared to support the idea but has since expressed reservations, the official said. The administration will combine this push on Kosovo with a warning to Serbia that a normal relationship with the United States and NATO depends on the capture of the two most-wanted war criminals from the Bosnian war -- former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic. Over the past two months, the Serbian government has delivered about a dozen people to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, but Karadzic and Mladic are crucial because they ordered the killings of nearly 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica. Karadzic was recently spotted having lunch with his wife in southeastern Bosnia, according to reports in the region. The administration official noted that July 11 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. "We can't forget that," he said. "That is the next big step for the Serbian government. They have to face that." Richard C. Holbrooke, who in the Clinton administration was instrumental in forging the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnian war 10 years ago, applauded the initiative. "They inherited a Balkans policy they neither understood nor appreciated," the former U.N. ambassador said. "They were warned by many people that the situation would deteriorate. They are now -- and I am very glad to see it -- in the process of revising their policy significantly." The administration's push appears to be part of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's effort to clean up the diplomatic underbrush that gathered as policymakers in Bush's first term focused on the war on terrorism. Burns also has been a key player in engineering the administration's renewed interest in Kosovo. As a former ambassador to Greece and to NATO, Burns is intimately familiar with Balkan issues. He recently traveled to Europe to line up allied support for the initiative. Holbrooke said there is "no way U.S. troops can leave Kosovo" unless there is an agreement on its final status. "The key thing is for the U.S. to assume the leadership role that it had abdicated. We cannot have a strong NATO or a stable Europe if the Balkans are on fire." Bush administration officials say that they cannot predict how the multi-year process of determining Kosovo's future will end, and that the administration will not advocate a particular option. But Holbrooke predicted that eventually Montenegro will separate from Serbia and that Kososo will become independent, laying the groundwork for all seven parts of the former Yugoslavia to move toward membership in the European Union. Slovenia already has been granted membership.
Reuters 25 May 2005 Slovenia charges ex-communist boss with genocide LJUBLJANA, May 25 (Reuters) - A former Slovenian communist leader has been charged with genocide for his role in post-World War Two killings - the first such move since the country became independent in 1991. Mitja Ribicic, 86, was charged on suspicion of having ordered the murder of 234 people without trials while he was the deputy chief of communist Yugoslavia's notorious OZNA secret service in Slovenia, a police official said on Wednesday. "The prosecution now has to decide whether there is enough proof there or whether further investigation is needed," Pavel Jamnik, a police official in charge of investigating communist killings, told Reuters. Ribicic, who has denied any wrongdoing in the past, faces up to 30 years in prison, if tried and found guilty. Jamnik said the investigation had been under way since 1994 and "a few months ago we chanced upon new documents in the State Archives, where there are several million documents". After World War Two, when Slovenia was occupied by Germany and Italy, up to 12,000 people, both soldiers and civilians, were killed by the communists. The debate on alleged communist crimes has been simmering in the Alpine nation since independence, although the state so far had taken no formal action against any officials of that era.
BBC 25 Ma, 2005Man on Slovenia genocide charges Under Tito Nazi collaborators were hunted down Slovenia has charged a former senior communist official with genocide, over the massacre of 234 people in the aftermath of World War II. Mitja Ribicic, 86, was a chief in the security forces under Yugoslavia's post-war communist leader Tito. Slovene television said newly unearthed documents suggested Mr Ribicic ordered the summary execution of suspected Nazi collaborators. Mr Ribicic, under investigation since 1994, has always denied such charges. "He is being investigated under the law dealing with genocide committed against political or social groups," Pavel Jamnik, Slovenia's police chief dealing with war crimes, told the AFP news agency. Revenge After the war communist forces took revenge on those who had collaborated with German and Italian occupiers. Some reports say there are hundreds of mass graves in Slovenia filled with the bodies of thousands of people massacred by the communist regime in the early post-war years. Mr Ribicic is the first former Yugoslav official charged in Slovenia over the witch hunt for Nazi collaborators, since the country's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Documents found in the Slovene National Archive reportedly suggest that in 1945 and 1946 Mr Ribicic helped draft a hit list of 234 people for execution. He faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of the charges. The Slovene government has recently drawn up draft laws giving equal status to all those civilians killed during and after the war, whether by communists or fascists.
www.isn.ethz.ch 27 May 2005 Slovenia charges former official with genocide ISN SECURITY WATCH (27/05/05) - Slovenian authorities on Wednesday charged a former senior Communist party official with genocide for ordering the massacre of 234 people after the end of World War II. Mitja Ribicic, 86, was a chief in the security forces (OZNA) under Yugoslavia’s post-war Communist leader, Josip Broz Tito. The OZNA is blamed by many for intimidating or persecuting opponents of the communist regime. From the end of the war and until 1983, Ribicic served as a deputy in the Slovenian parliament, a deputy in the Yugoslav federal parliament, and president of the Yugoslav Communist Party. Pavel Jamnik, a Slovenian Interior Ministry official investigating communist-era murders, said his office had been probing the Ribicic case since 1994, but only a few months ago had “chanced upon new documents in the state archives” that helped to make the case against the former security official. According to the new documents, Ribicic was tasked in 1945 with organizing “fighting groups” to tackle the remnants of Nazi collaborators. But the Slovenian authorities say that Ribicic’s “fighting group” not only targeted soldiers, but also murdered civilians viewed as collaborators and disposed of their bodies in mines and ditches. The killings continued into 1946, according the Slovenian authorities, who said they were still coming across the bodies of those murdered across the country. As many as 12,000 Slovenes were believed to have been executed without trials after the war by anti-fascist forces in Slovenia, which was occupied by Italy and Germany during World War II. The order for the liquidation of alleged Nazi collaborators might have originated from the head of the provincial OZNA branches, the authorities said, but the orders would had to have had approval from Ljubljana. Following the elimination of so-called collaborators, Ribicic was appointed to head a specially created department to deal with priests, armed bands, and remnants of bourgeois parties, who the Communist Party sought to keep tabs on and possibly eliminate, according to the Slovenian authorities. Ribicic is the first former Yugoslav official to be charged in independent Slovenia in connection with post-World War II witch hunt for Nazi collaborators. A state prosecutor will now examine the case and decide whether to issue an indictment or drop the charges. If convicted, Ribicic could face up to 20 years in prison. (By Anes Alic in Sarajevo).
Anadolu Agency 18 May 2005 American Historian Shaw Says Switzerland Is Not Civilized Published: 5/18/2005 ANKARA (AA) - Stanford Shaw, author of the ''History Of the Ottoman Empire'', described Switzerland which opened a legal procedure against Turkish Institute of History (TTK) Chairman Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu about his statement on allegations of so-called Armenian genocide, as ''uncivilized''. In an interview with the A.A on Thursday, Shaw, a lecturer at the Bilkent University in Ankara, said that accusation against Halacoglu was violation of academic freedom and freedom of expression, adding that it was an uncivilized manner. Noting that it was already known that Halacoglu would explain results of his own studies at the meeting in Zurich, Shaw said that he considered attitude of Switzerland ''dictatorial''. An experienced historian like Halacoglu should not waste his time by dealing with such accusations, he said and called on all historians in Turkey to send letters of protest to Swiss authorities. Recalling that some groups including Greek Cypriots and Armenians raided his classes of Ottoman History, Shaw said that assailants had even tried to destroy his house in Los Angeles. Noting that one-third of the Ottoman population had died between 1911 and 1923 due to several reasons such as mass murders, starvation and diseases, Shaw said that British naval forces had prevented dispatch of foodstuffs to Anatolia. If we are talking about a genocide, it was Britain, Russia and France who committed this crime by trying to occupy the Ottoman Empire, Shaw added. 2005-05-12
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GENOCIDE POSSIBLE ONLY HAVING REALIZED ITS CAUSES 24.05.2005 06:14 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Unless the Turkish society realizes and gets to know the causes and consequences of the events of 1915, it will not be able to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Stated Editor-in-Chief of Agos Turkish journal Hrant Dink, when commenting on the holding of Ottoman Armenians in Period of Collapse of the Empire: questions of scientific policy and democracy conference in Istanbul, reported the Yerkir newspaper. In his words, before the 20-es of the past century there was no taboo in Turkey on the discussion of the Armenian issue, moreover, monuments to Genocide victims were erected. However, since 1923, when people, who had committed the Armenian Genocide, started “penetrating” into the ruling elite of Turkey, the discussion of the issues of the Armenian Genocide was banned. Moreover, pensions were assigned to those charged for committing the Armenian Genocide and the Turks killed. As noted by Dink, the Turkish people thought for a rather long period of time that the Armenian issue is long ago solved by the Treaty of Lausanne. The journal editor noted that the fact that only 50-60 thousand Armenians live in Turkey today is an outcome of Turkey’s brutal policy regarding national minorities. Answering the question why Turks decided to exterminate the Armenian population he said that the world wanted to return the indigene Armenians to the territories inhabited by them, but the Young Turks decided to massacre Armenians to avoid it and to leave the issue out of the agenda. As of the statements made in Turkey that Armenians exterminated Turks, these are consequences of the wide-scale genocide. Such actions were committed by revenge groups of Armenian, who had lost their relatives.
Zaman.com 25 May 2005 'Armenian Conference is a Stab in the Back' By Bahtiyar Kucuk, Zaman Published: Wednesday 25, 2005 zaman.com A conference on "Ottoman Armenians", that was to be conducted at the Bosphorous University (BU) in Istanbul on May 25, has been postponed after Turkish Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek harshly scolded the organization. The conference titled "Ottoman Armenians at Decline of the Empire. Scientific Responsibility and Issues of Democracy" which the History Department of BU, the History Program at Sabanci University, and the Comparative Literature Department of Istanbul Bilgi University organized together was due to start today, on May 25 and continue for three days. BU canceled the conference after reaching a decision taken in the evening hours prior to the start of the conference. In the written statement made by the university, it was noted that BU had faced serious accusations regarding the conference. In the statement, "We fear that suggesting preconceived notions about the contents of a conference which is not yet actualized, may damage the scientific freedom of a state university. We announce to the Turkish public opinion that we have decided it would be more convenient to postpone the conference in the face of possible results from conducting the conference under these circumstances." It was understood that the speech Minister Cicek gave in Parliament was effective in brining about this decision. Cicek had said that the conference to be held at Bosporus University meant a "Stab in the back to the Turkish nation". Armenian Conference Preparation Committee member Assistant Professor Halil Barktay of Sabanci University interpreted Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek's statements as unfortunate. Berktay said: "It is a very horrendous statement for the Minister of Justice to make. Is this, which democracy, which law, which mission?" Academic Aksin Somel from Sabanci University spoke as follows: "Cemil Cicek's statement concern himself. The views the state had put forth have had no repercussions till now. The view of the state has been broadcast as the Turkish view on television and in newspapers. Let other views be given voice."
Turkish Democracy Under Fire Over Pressure On Dissident Academics ANKARA, May 26 (AFP) Turkey came under fire Thursday for halting a landmark conference questioning the official line on the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, as European Union diplomats warned that Ankara's democratic credentials had taken a serious blow. Istanbul's prestigious Bogazici University, where the gathering was to open Wednesday, put off the event after Justice Minister Cemil Cicek accused the participants -- Turkish academics and intellectuals who dispute Ankara's version of the 1915-1917 massacres -- of "treason." Cicek condemned the initiative as "a stab in the back of the Turkish nation" and said the organizers deserved to be prosecuted. The killings, one of the most controversial episodes in Ottoman history, is rarely discussed in schools and the aborted conference would have been the first by Turkish personalities to question the official stand on the events. Several countries have recognized the massacres as genocide -- a theory Turkey fiercely rejects -- and Brussels has urged Ankara to face its past and expand freedom of speech. "This postponement is a serious political error," said the German Green party in a statement, adding it was "also the rejection of the role of independent science, versus accusations of treason and nationalist declarations". "We sincerely hope that this decision will be rapidly corrected and that the conference can take place," the Greens said. "He (Cicek) should be protecting freedom of expression rather than inflaming opposition to the work of investigation and explanation," the party added. A diplomat from an EU country also criticised the Justice Minister's intervention. "The remarks of the justice minister are unacceptable. This is an authoritarian approach raising questions over Turkey's reform process," he told AFP on condition of anonymity. "Now it is a real watershed. We expect government action to correct Cicek's remarks," he said. "It's up to the government to decide what to do. Doing nothing would also be a choice, but certainly not in favor of Turkey's EU membership prospects." The incident follows a brutal police clampdown on a women's demonstration in Istanbul in March, which also raised tensions between the European Union and Turkey. It also coincides with increasing criticism at home that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, a conservative movement with Islamist roots, has lost its reform drive since winning a date in December for accession talks scheduled to start on October 3. Ankara is still under pressure to convince Brussels of its commitment to the democratic reforms it has undertaken. Turkey's membership bid already faces strong public opposition in several EU countries and anti-Turkish sentiment is seen as a major factor in the widely predicted rejection of the European constitution in a referendum in France on Sunday. Another EU diplomat regretted the postponement of the conference because it "would have reflected the evolution taking place in Turkish society." The EU expects the conference to be rescheduled, he said, adding: "The Europeans will keep on insisting that civil society has a great role to play in Turkey." The conference organizers said they were determined to go ahead with the event in the coming days. "We believe that holding the gathering in the near future will be one of the most important steps to be taken in our country in the name of academic freedom... and democracy in general," the statement said. The Turkish media too condemned the incident, saying that it cast a pall on freedom of expression in the country and played into the hands of a mounting Armenian campaign to have the massacres recognized internationally as genocide. "What, really, is treason? To hold a conference in order to start a debate in Turkey on a Turkish problem debated almost everywhere in the world, or to brand as 'traitors' people who may think differently at a time when Turkey is waging a battle for democracy in the face of many obstacles?" wrote columnist Murat Celikkan in Radikal.
Anadolu News Agency 27 May 2005 zaman.com Arinc: Armenian Conference Should be Held By Ali Halit AslanThe Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Bulent Arinc said that a proposed conference on the Armenian Genocide allegations that is opposed by the government and the opposition should go ahead. Arinc noted that the conference should be accepted in the frame of freedom of speech and added: "Even if I do not like it, the speeches should not be prevented." The Speaker contributed to the argument about the Armenian Genocide conference to be organized in Bosphorous University (BU) started by Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek who fumed the other day that to hold this conference is a "stab in the back of the Turkish people". Arinc paying a visit to US spoke at the Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank organization in Washington. He criticized laws in France and Switzerland that ban denial of the Genocide as being against freedoms of speech and he also signalled to the US Congress on the genocide issue that: "ones who produce policies for only local concerns may sometimes try to misuse the legislative body for policy. At this point I want to note that this puts the US Congress in a position where it feels obliged to decide on historical issues." Meanwhile the university has issued a statement about the postponement of the conference, "We are concerned that the intellectual freedom and autonomy of a state university has been harmed by the accusations and opinions put forth by a conference which hasn't even occured yet. We are letting the Turkish public know that it seems more appropriate at this point, given the current conditions and the problems which could arise, to postpone the conference until further notice." The organizers of the conference have complained of pressure and blackmail and have pledged to hold the conference "in the near future."
Interfax 18 May 2005 Crimea rallies on deportation anniversary SYMFEROPIL. May 18 (Interfax) - An all-Crimean rally commemorating the 61st anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks and Germans was held in the central square of Symferopil on Wednesday. According to some estimates, up to 20,000 people took part in the rally. Many of them carried posters demanding the observation of the rights of Crimean Tatars and the adoption of a law on the status of the Crimean Tatar people. Speaker of the Crimean parliament Boris Deich, Crimean Prime Minister Anatoly Matviyenko and members of the Ukrainian national parliament attended the rally.
- Agence France-Presse
Institute for War & Peace Reporting
(the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special project on the Yugoslav
war crimes tribunal)
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