Prevent Genocide International 

Global News Monitor for September 1- 15, 2005
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

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Each CrisisWatch report includes a Summary, Trends of
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AP 13 Sept 2005 Genocide survivors urge world leaders to protect civilians from massacres By VERENA DOBNIK Associated Press Writer September 13, 2005, 4:48 PM EDT NEW YORK -- Pregnant and with three small children in tow, Grace Mukagabiro ran for her life after her husband was beheaded and their house burned down. On Tuesday, the Rwandan survivor of the attack on her Tutsi village joined former Irish President Mary Robinson and other activists begging the United Nations summit of more than 160 world leaders to endorse a U.N. measure that would protect civilians from mass killings. "I survived the Rwandan genocide. Almost a million others did not," the 42-year-old mother of four said, a decade after the massacres led by the Hutu government. She still lives in Kigali, Rwanda, working as program coordinator for the global aid agency Oxfam. Mukagabiro spoke at an Oxfam-sponsored news conference in the Church Center opposite the United Nations headquarters, where the summit was to begin Wednesday. Then the group walked several blocks to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, where a mock graveyard was erected, with 100 white tombstones that read, "NEVER AGAIN?" U.N. member nations are trying to reach consensus on a document enabling the world body to tackle major issues of the 21st century. It would reaffirm nations' obligation to protect their people from genocide _ a crime under the U.N. convention first adopted in 1948. But the document has been significantly watered down from earlier drafts, which might have given the international community the firm responsibility to protect victims by overriding the sovereignty of local governments and taking direct action. "That would mean nations wouldn't have to ask the question again, as they did in Sudan, 'Is this genocide?"' said Robinson, a lawyer and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights who chairs the Council of Women World Leaders, a Washington-based nonprofit. Robinson, president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, said formalizing an international response against genocide is only part of the answer to stopping the ethnic violence now bloodying every continent. "It's only one leg of a stool _ the other two are having control of small arms and development," she told The Associated Press. "On these other two problems, I'm very disappointed with the United Nations. If people have arms and they're poor, it's difficult to control genocide." Robinson founded the New York-based Ethical Globalization Initiative, a human rights group that is helping her lobby U.N. members on these three issues. With the summit hours away, tensions are running high at U.N. headquarters over the final document. Some nations are leaning toward a pro-active response, with both human forces and funds pledged to stopping genocide; others disagree, citing prohibitive costs. To Mukagabiro and another survivor, the U.N. goal should be simple. Said Kemal Pervanic, a 37-year-old Bosnian Muslim who was tortured for seven months in two Serb-run camps: "You live day-to-day, keeping your head down in case you catch a guard's eye; seeing men called out who never return; hearing their tortured screams and the shots that kill them." A U.N. measure defining an international plan to deal with genocide, he said, "could prevent people like me from going through this sort of ordeal."

AP 4 Sept 2005 U.N. Members Divided Over Summit Document By EDITH M. LEDERER The Associated Press Sunday, September 4, 2005; 9:16 PM UNITED NATIONS -- There is a growing sense of crisis as the United Nations prepares for history's biggest gathering of world leaders next week. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants the leaders to take action to tackle poverty, reform the United Nations and address global security. But the 191 member states are deeply divided on what the summit should accomplish, and negotiators have not agreed on a single key issue. "We are in a crisis situation at the moment," said Pakistan's U.N. ambassador, Munir Akram. "There has to be something for the heads of state and government to adopt, but obviously we're not going to reach a conclusion by doing what we've been doing." Others, including U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Dutch Ambassador Dirk Jan van den Berg, said it was too early to talk about a crisis, saying some progress had been made. But no one played down the gaps to be bridged and the short time to do it before more than 170 world leaders arrive for the Sept. 14-16 summit. Seven issues are snagging talks: poverty and development, terrorism, collective action to prevent genocide, disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation, a new Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission, a new Peacebuilding Commission to help countries emerging from conflict; and the overhaul of U.N. management. Diplomats involved in the negotiations said the United States, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela had taken hard-line positions on different issues. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are continuing. In March, Annan laid out his blueprint for the most sweeping changes to the United Nations administration in its 60-year history along with proposals to achieve U.N. development goals that world leaders adopted at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. General Assembly President Jean Ping then began consultations with the 191 member states to turn Annan's vision into a document for leaders to adopt at the summit marking the world body's 60th anniversary. His first draft was issued in June and the last _ 39 pages long _ in early August. The United States submitted hundreds of proposed amendments after every draft but they were never made public. When Bolton sent every ambassador similar amendments to the latest text, the Bush administration came under intense criticism, drawing accusations it was entering the negotiations late and was trying to sabotage the talks. Ping chose a "core group" of 32 countries Aug. 26 to try to reach consensus on a final text. He hoped they would reach agreement by Friday, so he could submit the text to member states Monday for approval. Instead, ambassadors from the 32 countries met Saturday to take stock of progress by small negotiating groups. With serious gaps remaining, Indian Ambassador Nirupam Sen said Ping sent the small groups back to negotiate Sunday and Monday. Ping is then expected to prepare a new text that would include any agreements and put all the remaining outstanding issues on the table for tough final negotiations. "There's much yet to be done, but I'm heartened that all of the secretary-general's major proposals are still on the table and being taken seriously," U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Robert Orr told The Associated Press. Bolton told reporters: "The negotiating process ... is like making sausage. It isn't necessarily pretty. It takes a long time, and that's the process we're engaged in." He also said negotiators had made some progress. "I wouldn't describe it as spectacular, but I think this is what you have to do to bridge the significant differences that still exist." Van den Berg, the Dutch ambassador, said about 125 countries supported Ping's latest 39-page text, including the 25-nation European Union. India's Sen said that differences remained on all the key issues and that some "are insurmountable," citing disarmament and nonproliferation and intervention in another country in case of genocide or war crimes. Nonetheless, many ambassadors remained hopeful they could agree on a serious document for their leaders to adopt. "I believe we'll have a substantive statement," said Brazilian Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, noting there have been down-to-the-wire negotiations at the last summit and many U.N. conferences.

Press Trust of India 9 Sept 2005 www.outlookindia.com UN-SURVIVORS Endorse UN draft on mass killings: Genocide survivors NEW DELHI, SEP 9 (PTI) Survivors of the holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda came together here today to ask the Indian Government to endorse a UN initiative to establish a new international standard to prevent mass killings. The proposal, to be discussed at the United Nations next week, says countries will share the "responsibility to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner to protect civilians suffering from grave atrocities like genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes when the government of the people concerned is unwilling to do so or is unable to do so." India, along with Pakistan, the US, Cuba, Russia and Brazil are calling for amendments in the proposal. Susan Pollock, a survivor of the massacre of Jews by Germans during the Second World War, said "we understand that India has its reservations as it can address these issues at a domestic level because it is a vibrant democracy. "However, this draft must be passed because not all countries have means of redressal," she told reporters here. However, she pointed out that force should be the last option to be used in case of a genocide. "The agreement will force the international community to act if there is another Rwanda," said Grace Mukagabiro, who lost her husband in the Rwanda genocide of 1994 during which nearly 10 lakh people were butchered in 100 days.

New York Times 10 Sept 2005 Clash by Diplomats at U.N. Over Reform Bares Divisions By WARREN HOGE UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 9 - Diplomats working on a pivotal document on the management overhaul of the United Nations and updated approaches to terrorism, development and human rights have locked horns just days before it is to be presented to more than 170 world leaders for their endorsement. Deep divisions persist despite crisis talks involving 32 ambassadors chosen to try to reach consensus, and there is looming embarrassment for the United Nations in having another failure on the heels of this week's report by the commission investigating the Iraqi oil-for-food program. The report, by a commission led by Paul A. Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, called for the kind of fundamental changes that the document puts forward. Once imagined as a visionary statement of the most far-reaching changes since the United Nations was created in San Francisco 60 years ago, the document instead is exposing the debilitating internal conflicts that often doom the organization to inaction. "Trying to reach the ambitions we had for it back in January as San Francisco II has rapidly become unrealistic," Mark Malloch Brown, Secretary General Kofi Annan's chief of staff, said in an interview Friday. "Now people are crimping it out of shape; they're emptying it of a lot of content," he said. "If this is just brinkmanship, we can still pull it out, but if not, my deepest fear is that we'll end up with a summit of empty words and broken promises." That would be a great setback for Mr. Annan, who first proposed the changes, and whose future is increasingly being tied to whatever success he can have with pushing them forward. Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican who has repeatedly called for Mr. Annan's resignation because of the oil-for-food scandal, came to the United Nations on Friday to reiterate his position. "The secretary general is in no position to let that reform happen," he said. "If the guy leading the charge is stained with a record of incompetence, of mismanagement, of fraud, it's going to make it very hard for him to do the very heavy lifting required." Representative Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, rejected the notion, however, saying that Mr. Annan "is the first to recognize the need for the fiscal and administrative reforms at the institution that Congress has called for. Therefore, calls for him to step down are misguided and do him an injustice." Stalling progress is a basic disagreement between nations that want to see more power vested in the office of the secretary general and the 15-member Security Council and others, from the developing world, who want to retain power in the 191-member General Assembly. Abdallah Baali, Algeria's ambassador, said, "On management reform, you have one side basically saying that the secretary general should be empowered and should have all flexibility as a kind of C.E.O. and the other side saying that it is not ready to give up the prerogative of the General Assembly and would like to keep a close eye on the work of the secretary general." Also in dispute are measures to define terrorism as action against civilians that can never have any political justification, to enable the United Nations to take action in countries that do not protect their citizens from genocide. A clash over development was defused Tuesday when the United States withdrew an earlier demand to eliminate all mention of the so-called millennium development goals and compromised on language covering the Kyoto Protocols on climate change and the goal of devoting 0.7 percent of gross national product to development aid. The original document went through refinements in the spring and summer and appeared headed to general acceptance. In late August, though, the new United States ambassador, John R. Bolton, made public more than 400 amendments and deletions and insisted that the matter be taken away from lower ranking representatives and given to ambassadors to work out. Other nations saw that as an opportunity to bring their wishes to the table, and the ensuing talks have sometimes sharpened the divisions. A senior United Nations official, speaking anonymously because of the need to maintain neutrality among member states, identified the principal spoilers as Cuba, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Pakistan and the United States. "There is progress on a lot of small stuff, but no deals on the big stuff," he said. "Clearly everyone is waiting, and the game is for very high stakes. The spoilers are taking hostage the rest of the world, because Africa, Europe, large swatches of Asia, Latin America all want this deal, but the unholy alliance are holding out for their pet projects."

www.dailytimes.com.pk 11 Sept 2005 India and Pakistan to block UN legislation on genocide By Iftikhar Gilani NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan have joined hands at the United Nations to block measures designed to prevent future genocides. An agreement to prevent mass killings and genocide could be finalised at the United Nations World Summit next week. India, Pakistan, Russia and Brazil have come together demanding major cuts to the agreement. The NGOs running the campaign for such an agreement say these cuts will render the legislation completely ineffective. Oxfam International and the Aegis Trust, which had brought survivors of genocides here, urged the governments of India and Pakistan to protect civilians facing genocide or other mass killings. “If endorsed in its current form, the commitment on protection would establish a new international standard that could prevent future Rwandas,” said Aditi Kapoor, Oxfam South Asia regional media coordinator. Under the agreement states would share “responsibility to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner” to protect civilians facing grave atrocities like genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes when the governments concerned would be unwilling or unable to do so. India and Pakistan say it will amount to interference in the government activities and want this clause scrapped. “I was 13 years old when German troops came to my village of Felsogod, Hungary, and took my father. I never saw him again. Then they came for me and my family rounded us up and sent us to Auschwitz. My mother was gassed to death as soon as we arrived. I survived Auschwitz, slave labour, selection at the hands of Doctor Josef Mengele and a death march to Belsen before I was 15 years old. In my mind I can still see the mountains of corpses at Auschwitz,” said Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack who was here in New Delhi to launch the campaign against genocide. Aditi Kapoor asked the governments of Pakistan and India to help make genocide a thing of the past. Grace Makagabiro, a Rwandan who survived the horrors of the 100-day genocide, which left around one million people dead, was also in Delhi to urge the Indian government support the legislation. “I survived the Rwandan genocide, but my husband and most of my family were killed,” said Mukagabiro. “When the troops came to my village they beheaded my husband. My name was on a list of those to be killed the next day. At midnight I escaped, carrying my three small children and two others whose parents had also died. I was pregnant and my youngest child was 11 months old. We walked 18 kilometres to a small town called Nyanza, where two sisters agreed to hide us in their home and we survived. Almost a million others did not,” she told media persons.

NYT 13 Sept 2005 Envoys Reach Compromise on Scaled-Back U.N. Reform Plans By WARREN HOGE UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 12 - Faced with the imminent arrival of more than 170 presidents and prime ministers, negotiators agreed Monday to resolve differences blocking acceptance of the centerpiece document for this week's summit meeting on combating poverty and reforming the United Nations. The breakthrough, ending three weeks of tense day and night talks, occurred late Monday when ambassadors adopted compromise language across a range of issues. The changes undercut the ambitions and scope of the 45-page document, but brought an end to an impasse that had threatened the United Nations with fresh embarrassment just a week after findings of mismanagement and corruption in the oil-for-food program were reported by Paul A. Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who headed an investigation into the program. The final version was expected to emerge Tuesday, the eve of the three-day gathering of world leaders. "What we can say now is that we will have a document that will reflect what is politically possible right now among 191 members," said Gunter Pleuger, the German ambassador. "It may not be the great reform idea that Kofi Annan put into the world two years ago and might not meet with the excitement of all member states and of the press, but it will be an important step in the direction of a basic reform of the U.N.," he said. Jean-Marc de la Sablière, the French ambassador, said, "The text is not an ideal text, but there is enough substance in it for us to have a good summit." The United States delegation also tried to put a good face on the outcome, though it expressed disappointment in not obtaining pledges for thorough management reform. Noting that the proposals fell far short of "the kind of cultural revolution that we need in United Nations management and governance," John R. Bolton, the United States ambassador, said: "Reform is not a one-night stand. Reform is forever. That's why we're going to continue to work on it." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking to reporters and editors at The New York Times, said, "If there's a concern right now with the U.N., it is that we really do need a strong reform agenda on the key issues - management reform, secretariat reform." [Click here to read a transcript.] The draft document addresses seven main issues: a new human rights council to replace the discredited human rights commission; steps to promote development and reduce poverty; a new peace-building commission; a management overhaul; nuclear nonproliferation; terrorism and a measure to allow international intervention when countries fail to protect their populations from genocide. In many cases, the solution was to substitute specific goals with broad statements of principle, leaving the details to the upcoming yearlong General Assembly session. Progress had stalled over management reform because of resistance by some countries to proposals by the United States, Europe and other big donor countries to vest more power and executive flexibility in the secretary general's office. The nations of the developing world say they are reluctant to cede power from the General Assembly. Max Lawson, a policy adviser for the aid organization Oxfam International, said groups like his were let down by watered-down language on development assistance. "We are really depressed," he said. "We are left clawing our way back to commitments made three years ago. When we start defining success as simply standing still, that's a terrible situation to be in."

www.theepochtimes.com Oxfam Calls for Greater ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Start of United Nations World Summit marks historic opportunity for global cooperation on human rights issues Shelly Zhang Epoch Times New York Staff Sep 14, 2005 NEW YORK - On the eve of the 60th annual United Nations General Assembly, the human rights organization Oxfam International called on member states to support a “Responsibility to Protect” agreement to prevent future genocides and mass killings. In a joint press conference with the International Crisis Group and the Aegis Trust, a U.K. organization working for the prevention of genocide, Oxfam urged the international community to endorse the historic measure. The general assembly meeting, dubbed the “World Summit,” brings a record 150 head of state together for 3 days at the United Nations headquarters here. Part of the World Summit’s outcome document, the draft version of the “Responsibility to Protect” agreement states that each nation “has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.” It also includes provision that if a nation fails in its responsibility, the international community will be “prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner.” “For too long civilians have been massacred while world leaders refused to live up to their moral and legal obligations to prevent genocide, despite the Genocide Convention of 1948,” said Juan Mendez, U.N. Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide during the press conference. According to Oxfam spokesperson Brendan Cox, many nations have been hiding behind the “fig leaf” of arguing about the definition of genocide instead of taking action to stop it. The main differences between the “Responsibility to Protect” agreement and the 1948 Genocide Convention are its broadening to protect civilians from mass killings of any kind, and its firm acknowledgement of international responsibility to stop such killings. While Cox recognizes that the agreement won’t solve anything overnight, he believes that it sets a new precedent by increasing moral pressure on the international community, and as a result it will lead to long-term action. While the majority of governments support the measure, Oxfam continues to encourage more nation states to fall into step, following the organization’s belief that there can be no compromise on an issue of such importance. In addition to the press conference, Oxfam set up a mock cemetery on the north side of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza containing 120 white Styrofoam tombstones, each with “Never Again?” inscribed in bold red letters, referring to their hope that the United Nations will take the first steps to stop the mass murder of civilians. “We want this agreement to make ‘Never Again’ a reality,” said Cox. “It’s still a question mark so far, but hopefully by tomorrow or the day after, it will be ‘Never Again,’ full stop."

Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa 13 Sept 2005 www.mg.co.za Diary of the UN World Summit: Part one Grace Mukagabiro | New York, United States 13 September 2005 09:54 Grace Mukagabiro This week, the largest meeting of world leaders in history will take place in New York at the United Nations. Governments are to look at the agreements they made five years ago, in 2000, as part of the Millennium Declaration and agree key measures on ending poverty, stopping genocides, terrorism, peace-building and human rights. The decisions made by world leaders at the UN World Summit this week in New York affect all of us and are a crucial chance for UN reform. As a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, I arrived on Monday ahead of the summit and am very excited to be here. I am here to do my best as part of Oxfam's team for the summit, to make sure that governments agree that they have a responsibility to protect civilians facing large-scale atrocities -- such as genocide and ethnic cleansing -- when the government of the people concerned is failing to do so. This could prevent the terrible atrocities that happened in my country from every happening again. The meeting is a crucial chance for countries to commit truly to ending the terrible poverty, injustice and suffering that kill millions of people every year. We are now less than two days away from the summit, during which crucial final negotiations on the summit outcome document are taking place. Unless leaders commit to poverty reduction and their responsibility to protect civilians, the summit will fail. Usually the details of the agreement are worked out far in advance of an international meeting, but two days before the summit there is still no agreement. Today, Tuesday, we are all waiting for the latest draft of the negotiations to arrive to see if governments have moved any closer to reaching an agreement. We are nervous that they will be back-tracking on previous international agreements. It seems that diplomats who want a good outcome for the summit are now fighting just to maintain those earlier agreements. We might not move any closer toward seeing the outcomes that we all know must be achieved. Officials worked late into the night and over the weekend to reach an agreement, but it never came. We were told on Monday that there was a real opportunity that governments may agree to protect civilians from genocide, but the situation changes so quickly that we are not sure if that will still happen. We were all hoping to hear from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a press conference earlier on Tuesday what he thought of the negotiations, but it was cancelled. I will be meeting with colleagues and officials to continue to press for changes to ensure that genocide never happens again. On Wednesday, I am taking part in a press conference to share my experiences and tell people that what happened in my country must never happen again. I have seen in my work for Oxfam in Rwanda that it is possible even for communities that have been torn apart by genocide to resolve their differences and live together in peace. I just hope that the UN ambassadors can find a way to bridge their differences and make commitments that will help millions of people around the world. Hopefully, we will see more progress and results on Wednesday. Grace Mukagabiro, from Rwanda, works for Oxfam and is reporting from the UN World Summit in New York



KATU 2 16 aug 2005 www.katu.com News - Portland, Oregon www.katu.com Gresham machete attack has racial overtones August 16, 2005 - GRESHAM, Ore - Gresham police took four people into custody late Sunday night on charges of intimidation, menacing and attempted assault following an alleged attack involving a machete outside a convenience store. Police officials say the suspects fled in an SUV just as police were arriving, but officers quickly apprehended four people. Gresham Police officer Grant McCormick said that "this case involved racial issues due to the victims being African-Americans and some of the suspects claiming to be white supremacists." One of the suspects had a swastika tattooed under her left eye, and racist graffiti was scrawled on nearby buildings. Witnesses say the suspects used racial taunts, pulled out a machete and tried to start a fight while in front of a 7-11 store at 1825 NE Division Street in Gresham, officer McCormick said. Police identified the suspects as Christian Lee Coats, Dennis Lloyd Mothersbaugh, and Ariane Elizabeth Celis. The suspects did not claim affiliation with any specific white power groups. The four suspects were being held in the Multnomah County Jail as the investigation continues. One suspect, Dennis Lloyd Mothersbaugh, is also being held for a parole violation related to prior drug charges. He has also been arrested for stabbing a black man in 2003. Police called that incident a hate crime. Local residents expressed worry and dismay that racial violence might be taking place near their homes.

AP 16 Aug 2005 Hate crime growing in Russia AP in Moscow Tuesday August 16, 2005 The Guardian Racism and xenophobia are growing at an alarming rate in Russia, civil rights groups said yesterday, fuelled by economic hardship and the government's failure to come up with a plan for reducing ethnic tensions. An EU-funded study by the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights said 10 people had been killed and another 200 victimised as a result of hate crime in the first half of 2005. The number of fatal attacks was nearly three times higher than last year. A nationwide opinion poll, meanwhile, found that 58% of respondents either fully or partially supported the concept "Russia for Russians". A similar poll last year found 53% held that view. Growing extremist sentiments are rooted in Russia's economic problems and the Soviet collapse, which sent thousands of migrants from poorer former republics to Russia seeking jobs. Experts also accused political parties of openly using racially tinged messages to appeal to voters sceptical of foreigners.

english.pravda.ru 16 Aug 2005 Russian storm troopers: myth or reality? 08/16/2005 12:54 Referring to 50 thousand skinheads, it is just a phantom Moscow Bureau for Human Rights made a report, which said that "there are about 15 thousand adult fighters and up to 50 thousand teenage skinheads under arms of Russian nationalistic organizations" and "these groups are already responsible for several terrorist acts and riots." Sixty-five thousand fighters is a whole army. Hitler had about ten times less storm troopers in 1933 not to mention a handful of Russian Bolsheviks in 1917. If such an army existed for real in Russia it would have occupied Moscow long time ago and solved the national question. It is obvious that such an organization that forms armed groups and organizes operations would not be left unnoticed. In fact there is no such army or regiment or battalion of skinheads in Russia. This conclusion can be drawn from the report itself. To advance a slogan is one thing, but to support it with facts is absolutely different. It is not clear what was meant by the terrorist acts in the report. There was no incident mentioned in the report, which can be regarded as such. There are some examples: several buildings where Gypsies lived were burnt in the Novosibirsk region, a so-called "Che Guevara squad" smashed several cars, which presumably belonged to drug dealers in Yaroslavl, Cossacks sacked local Armenians' houses near Novorossiysk. Three Polish people were beaten in Moscow. There is more: "nationalists in the Komi Republic threatened with massacre to several scientists and human rights activists, whom they accused of espionage for the US." Those are certainly crimes. However, it is a lame argument to prove the existence of 65-thousand-strong army. Human rights activists themselves almost admit that they made up this figure. In fact, it is hardly possible to count the number of armed nationalists. Suppose, that 15 thousand were deduced by simple calculation of members of seven nationalistic parties and movements - Russian National Unity, Brown Season and others. However, it was nationalists themselves, who counted their members. It is obvious that they did so in order to show off. It is unclear why the human rights advocates believe them though. Referring to 50 thousand skinheads, it is just a phantom. The report clearly states: "there is no unified skinheads organization in Russia, they are scattered in small groups." It continues with "their number is estimated at 10 thousand to 50 thousand people." The second figure is meant to impress, of course. It is stated in the beginning of the report, but afterwards it is admitted that the figure cannot be proved. A gap of 40 thousand is too much. It is impossible to count all the people who belong to these bands and gangs (not the troops). How can you differentiate between mere street thugs and devoted skinheads? Moscow Bureau for Human Rights statements that 10 people were killed by skinheads and more than 200 were beaten in the first half of 2005 can be proved neither by facts nor by testimonies. Seems like the responsibility for any crime can be shifted on skinheads. It would be wrong to deny that that there is enough scum in Russia who loathe Caucasians, Gypsies, Chinese, Jews and who are ready to beat and even kill foreigners. But there is such a scum in every society. They must be fought. And they are fought in fact! The human rights activists said, "During the first half of 2005 there were 6 trials. As a result 21 extremists were sentenced to 4-19 years in prison for committing grave crimes on the ground of national hatred." Those are the real figures. Igor Dmitriev Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/politics/2005/1/5/398/20572_SKINHEAD.html (Translated by: Dmitry Sudakov)

MoscowTimes.com August 24, 2005. Issue 3237. Page 3. Deputy Calls for NGO to Be Closed By Carl Schreck Staff Writer The Prosecutor General's Office said Tuesday that it was considering an appeal by an ultranationalist State Duma deputy to shut down the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights, which the deputy accused of using foreign funding to wage a political war against the state. The NGO's director, Alexander Brod, said that Liberal Democratic Party Deputy Nikolai Kuryanovich was trying to settle a personal score and to curry favor with the Kremlin. The Moscow Bureau of Human Rights presented a report titled "Racism, Xenophobia, Ethnic Discrimination and Anti-Semitism in Russia" on Aug. 15 that identified Kuryanovich as one of several politicians who consistently used xenophobic language. The report also named Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. On Aug. 16, Kuryanovich sent a letter to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, Kremlin chief of staff Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov that accused the NGO of "living off of money from U.S. intelligence" to portray Russia as a "Nazi society." The opening paragraph of the letter quoted President Vladimir Putin's statement at a meeting with human rights activists in the Kremlin last month that Russia would not tolerate foreign funding for the political activities of NGOs. Kuryanovich called on Ustinov, Medvedev and Ivanov to "take all necessary measures to liquidate" Brod's organization, which he described as "extremist" and "seditious." A Prosecutor General's Office spokesman said Kuryanovich's complaint was being examined and that a decision on what action, if any, to take would be made by Sept. 16. Brod said Kuryanovich was upset about the report. "Kuryanovich is riding on that ideological wave and doing everything he can to make the powers that be like him," he said by telephone. Brod said his organization was completely transparent and that it received funding from the European Commission, the Dutch Embassy and the St. Petersburg Mayor's Office, as well as from private Russian donors. Kuryanovich insisted on Tuesday that his rhetoric did not promote xenophobia. "We are supporting Russian patriotism, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with racism and xenophobia," he said by telephone. Kuryanovich made headlines earlier this year by co-authoring legislation that would exile Russians and strip them of their citizenship if they married foreigners. "Our women, the most beautiful and best in the world, are going abroad. By doing this, they are wasting the most valuable thing we have -- the gene pool of our nation," Kuryanovich said on Ekho Moskvy radio in June.

Bigotry Monitor: Volume 5, Number 33 (August 26, 2005) Volume 5, Number 33 Friday, August 26, 2005 BIGOTRY MONITOR ) Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union, DC - Aug 26, 2005 6. HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU MAY BE SHUT DOWN. On August 23, the Prosecutor General's Office disclosed that it was considering an appeal by ultranationalist State Duma member Nikolai Kuryanovich to shut down the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights, which the deputy accused of using foreign funding to wage a political war against the state, “The Moscow Times” reported. The NGO's director, Alexander Brod, said that Liberal Democratic Party Deputy Kuryanovich was trying to settle a personal score and to curry favor with the Kremlin. In its report, titled “Racism, Xenophobia, Ethnic Discrimination, and Antisemitism in Russia,” the Bureau identified Kuryanovich as one of several politicians who consistently used xenophobic language. The report also named Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. On August 16, Kuryanovich sent a letter to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, Kremlin chief of staff Dmitry Medvedev, and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov that accused the NGO of “living off of money from U.S. intelligence” to portray Russia as a “Nazi society.” * * * *


www.crisisgroup.org 25 Aug 2005 Elections in Burundi: A Radical Shake-up of the Political LandscapeCrisis Group 25 Aug 2005 Burundi's general elections are a welcome step toward a lasting peace, but the political sea change also brings significant risks. Some of the dangers now facing Burundi appeared during the election period itself. The polls have left key political figures with uncertain futures, and for the first time since independence, the Hutu-Tutsi interethnic conflict has been eclipsed by a violent power struggle between two traditionally Hutu parties, the CNDD-FDD, the poll's victors, and FRODEBU, the former governing party, which was a major loser. Most Tutsis in power now belong to traditionally Hutu parties, but it is crucial that the CNDD-FDD preserve the spirit of the Arusha Agreement by also involving the main Tutsi parties in the administration. All parties must also focus on resolving the ongoing war with PALIPEHUTU-FNL. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org

UN News Centre 30 Aug 2005 New Burundian Government faces challenge of high voter expectation, says UN official Nureldin Satti briefs correspondents 30 August 2005 – The newly elected Burundian Government, led by former rebels, faces the challenges of voter expectations for an improved economy, the reduction of high unemployment and an end to Tutsi-Hutu ethnic strife and persistent impunity for massacres and military coups, a senior United Nations official said today. "The first 100 days of this Government are going to be the real test of the credibility of the new Government in Burundi,” the Principal Deputy Special Representative for Burundi, Nureldin Satti, told journalists in New York, referring to newly elected President Pierre Nkurunziza and his National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), a Hutu-dominated group. The people’s expectations included expanding their livelihoods, conducting a successful economic recovery, improving the standards of living and reducing poverty and unemployment, he said after speaking to the Security Council in closed session. Many of the wars in recent Burundian history were caused by the growth of unemployment, making unemployed youth vulnerable to calls for armed rebellion, Mr. Satti said, and the social and political strife that had engulfed the country for the past four decades entailed consequences. Meanwhile, many Burundians have been accused of crimes against humanity, genocide and other serious crimes, but no one had gone to jail, he said. He added that the Arusha peace agreement had stipulated that ending immunity and establishing a truth and reconciliation process should go hand-in-hand. Linked to those issues were law and order, democracy, respect for human rights, and finalizing the integration of former rebels into the army and the police force. Mr. Nkurunziza, Burundi’s first democratically-elected President since the start of the civil war in 1993, was sworn in on 26 August and had chosen two vice-presidents yesterday, one from a Tutsi party and the other from CNDD-FDD, while consultations were taking place to form his cabinet today or tomorrow, Mr. Satti said. Having played a major role in helping along Burundi’s peace process, the international community should remain committed to aiding the country, he said. For that reason, consultations were under way between the Government of Burundi, the UN and other international institutions on putting in place a follow-up mechanism to assist the country in tackling its main challenges. In addition, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan would chair a mini-summit on Burundi on 13 September to finalize a mechanism to suceed the Arusha Agreement Implemntation Monitoring Committee, Mr. Satti said.

IRIN 31 Aug 2005 President Names Cabinet, New Faces Abound UN Integrated Regional Information Networks NEWS August 31, 2005 Posted to the web August 31, 2005 Bujumbura Burundi's new president, Pierre Nkurunziza, appointed a new and more streamlined cabinet on Tuesday with all but one of the 20 ministers coming into government for the first time. Eleven of the ministers are Hutus and nine Tutsis, in accordance with the country's constitution which calls for a 60-40 ratio of Hutus to Tutsis. Nkurunziza, 40, is a Hutu who had headed the former Hutu-dominated rebel group; the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD). Tutsis will head some of the most important ministries, including the Ministry for National Defence and Former Combatants, which will go to former army chief of staff Maj-Gen Germain Niyoyankana. Seven women are to hold ministerial posts, in accordance with a requirement in the new constitution that at least 30 percent of personnel in all levels of government be women. Some of the most senior posts, such as the minister for justice; the minister for commerce and industry; the minister for external relations and international cooperation will be women - the first in Burundi's history. Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD party holds 12 ministries, among them the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security. Three ministries will be headed by the members of the party of former President Domitien Ndayizeye, the Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU). These are the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock; the Ministry of Public Health; and the Ministry of Land Management, Environment and Tourism. FRODEBU spokesman Frederic Bamvuginyumvira said his party was not consulted before the announcement of the appointments. One member from each of four other parties were appointed ministers including one from the former ruling Tutsi-dominated Parti de l'unite pour le progrès national (UPRONA). She is Marie Goreth Nizigama, who will be minister of development planning and national reconstruction However, UPRONA Chairman Jean Baptiste Manwangari denied that Nizigama was a member of UPRONA. "I am in the best place to know the party members and to my knowledge no minister from UPRONA is in the cabinet," Manwangari said. Nkurunziza has eliminated six ministerial posts of the former cabinet. The only minister to be retained, Francoise Ngendahayo, will be minister of national solidarity, human rights and gender which combines three previous ministries. The new ministers are due to be sworn in on Thursday. Following is the ministerial list: Minister of Interior and Public Security - Salvator Ntacobamaze (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of National Defence and Former Combatants - Maj-Gen Germain Niyoyankana (independent) - male Minister of Development Planning and National Reconstruction - Marie Goreth Nizigama (UPRONA: But party chairman denies membership) - female Minister of Public Works and Equipment - Potame Nizigire (CNDD-FDD)- male Minister of Energy and Mines - Herman Tuyaga (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation - Antoinette Batumubwira (CNDD-FDD) - female Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications - Jean Bigirimana (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of Finance - Dieudonne Ngowenubusa (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of Good Governance and General Inspection of the State and Local Administration - Joseph Ntakirutimana (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of Information, Communication, Relations with Parliament and Government Spokesman - Karenga Ramadhani (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of Public Health - Dr Barnabe Bonimpa (FRODEBU) - male Minister of Commerce and Industry - Denise Sinankwa (CNDD-FDD) - female Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals - Clotilde Niragira (CNDD-FDD) - female Minister of Agriculture and Livestock - Elie Buzoya (FRODEBU) - male Minister of National Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender - Francoise Ngendahayo (Inkinzo) - female Minister of Public Service and Social Security - Juvenal Ngowenubusa *(MRC) - male Minister of Youth and Sports - Jean-Jacques Nyenimigabo (CNDD-FDD) - male Minister of Land Management, Environment and Tourism - Odette Kayitesi (FRODEBU) - female Minister at the Presidency in charge of AIDS - Dr Triphonie Nkurunziza **(PARENA) - female Minister of National Education and Culture - Saidi Kibeya (CNDD-FDD) - male * MRC - Mouvement pour la réhabilitation du citoyen ** Parti pour le redressement national (PARENA) [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Xinhua 5 Sept 2005 South Africa to withdraw peacekeepers from Burundi www.chinaview.cn 2005-09-05 20:50:29 JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said on Monday his country would withdraw its 369-strong peacekeeping and protection unit troops from Burundi. "We try to get out of there now. We think we have done what we could," Minister Lekota said in Pretoria, the administrative capital in the country's northeast. He said that the first priority was securing the withdrawal of the peacekeeping unit, which has been guarding the safety of Burundian leaders during peace talks leading to the country's political transition. The minister said he would start negotiations this week to achieve that. As for the 1,266 South African peacekeeping troops deployed in Burundi under a United Nations mandate, Lekota disagreed with the UN assessment that they should stay a while longer. "The UN continues to have a sense that they would like to allowfor a period of time to see there is stabilization and that the stability is sustained for a period of time. We think actually that the atmosphere is so positive now that we can withdraw," he said. "Unfortunately, the mission of the UN can only be decided upon by the UN. The protection unit was our deployment and that we can take a decision on," he added. Lekota said the South African deployment was instrumental in achieving a democratic dispensation for Burundi. The South African National Defense Force, which was the first to deploy troops in that country, has gained valuable peacekeeping experience, he added. Former rebel chief Pierre Nkurunziza, a Hutu, was sworn in as Burundi's first post-transition president last month following national elections which began in June. Burundi's conflict, which has claimed an estimated 300,000 lives, erupted 12 years ago when the country's first democratically elected president, a member of the Hutu majority, was assassinated by the Tutsi-dominated military.

United Nations Operation in Burundi http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/onub/ Current strength (31 July 2005)5,601 total uniformed personnel, including 5,316 troops, 182 military observers and 103 civilian police, supported by 340 international civilian personnel and 378 local civilian staff and 153 United Nations Volunteers Fatalities 12 military personnel 12 Total Approved budget: 1 July 2005 - 30 June 2006: $307.69 million (gross)


BBC 7 Sep 2005 CAR refugees flee mystery attacks By Stephanie Hancock BBC News, southern Chad Hungry people clutching ration cards crowd into a food distribution centre in Amboko refugee camp in southern Chad. A sack of sorghum must last this man's family 25 days These refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) are anxious to get their sack of sorghum which will have to last them for the next 25 days, until ration-time comes around again. Until a few weeks ago, the population at Amboko was just under 14,000, but since violence broke out in CAR in early June, more than 8,000 new refugees have arrived. In total, there are now more than 40,000 refugees in this part of Chad. Terrorising villagers It is unclear who is behind the violence that is making people flee their homes. They took all our belongings - our food, our clothes, our shoes CAR refugee But all the refugees tell a very similar story: unidentified groups of armed men are storming villages in the far north of CAR, shooting randomly, looting homes and terrorising villagers. "It was 9 August. I was at home alone," says a refugee, who didn't want to give his name, describing the arrival of the armed men. "I don't know where they'd come from. They broke down the door and began asking me questions I couldn't understand. They took all our belongings - our food, our clothes, our shoes. "Then they forced me to carry the belongings they'd stolen for some way, before they finally let me go. I fled immediately with my wife and children." 'Surprise' With these new arrivals, Amboko camp has almost reached its maximum capacity of 27,000, and the United Nations refugee agency is struggling to cope with demand. This woman holding her ration card if one of some 40,000 who have fled violence in CAR UN guidelines say each refugee should have 20 litres of water a day, but currently they can only provide 12 litres per person. And while it's also difficult providing enough food for these refugees, there are more stuck in villages near the border, awaiting help. In remote Mballa village a woman from CAR explains how she had been working in the fields when her children ran to tell her of shooting in the village. "I just had time to grab some water and we ran straight from the fields. "I was so surprised; I didn't have time to go home to collect anything," she says. Limbo UN staff have visited Mballa to register these 800 new arrivals, and each refugee wears a white bracelet which means they are on a list to be transferred to Amboko camp. Sometimes women take pity on us when my children cry, and give us peanuts Monica, CAR refugee But until a delivery of tents arrives, these refugees cannot be moved and are living in limbo. "Since we arrived here we haven't eaten a single proper meal," says Monica, who has slept under a tree for the last month with her four children. "Sometimes women take pity on us when my children cry, and give us peanuts. I give these to my children though, I'm just been drinking hot water." Sharing To make matters worse, local villagers are also suffering because this year's crop has failed. "We're right on the border, so we're obliged to take these refugees in. But we've been hit by famine ourselves, so it's very hard. There's nothing to eat," says Beosso Simon, the district chief. Some refugees are relying on the charity of local villagers "Everything we eat, we've been sharing with the refugees. But we must support them - tomorrow it could be us in this situation." The UN says it is doing all it can but its resources are limited and its staff overwhelmed. "Should there be new refugees, we don't have resources to respond," George Menze, UN head of operations in the region, says. "We have an urgent need for shelter, cooking equipment, health, water and everything necessary for an adequate life." As news comes in that the delivery of tents is finally about to arrive, there are also reports that more than 2,000 new refugees have just crossed the border. With no-one able to predict when the refugees will stop coming, the pressure here in southern Chad is mounting daily.

Côte d'Ivoire

UN News Centre 25 Aug 2005 western militias reportedly ready to disarm 25 August 2005 – The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) reported today that four militia groups in the western part of the war-divided country have agreed to join in a ceremony marking their intention to disarm and demobilize. The mission reported the actual weapons transfer will begin as soon as the National Programme for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration works out the details and secures the necessary funds. This past July, UNOCI joined Ivorian authorities in the west for patrols in and around the major cocoa marketing town of Duékoué, where brutal attacks by unidentified armed elements have left scores dead and wounded. The Security Council strongly deplored the massacres and urged authorities to conduct the inquiry so the perpetrators could quickly be brought to justice and condemned. Fighting erupted in Côte d'Ivoire in 2002 when rebels seeking to oust President Laurent Gbagbo seized the north, dividing the world's largest cocoa producer in two. Last year the Security Council set up UNOCI, which, along with French Licorne forces, maintains a ceasefire between Government forces, ruling the south of the country, and the major rebel group, Forces Nouvelles, controlling the north.

Congo, DR

www.csmonitor.com 25 Aug 2005 Digging for 'tainted gold' in Congo By Abraham McLaughlin | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor MONGBWALU, CONGO - "I dig every day to help my family," says 12-year-old gold miner Eric Tanguda, as he scrambles through the ankle-deep mud in a yawning open-pit mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This region, in Africa's heartland, has some of the world's biggest gold deposits. But for years competition to reap its riches - with the labor of men and boys like Eric - has helped fuel armed conflict, including a 1998-2003 war that resulted in up to four million deaths. But now there are growing efforts to halt the region's resource-related troubles. A June report by the international group Human Rights Watch shed light on the role of local militias, which apparently have ties to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda. They were using proceeds from gold mining to buy weapons to further their battle over control of the most productive mining areas, the report said. In the process, they killed thousands of civilians and extorted many poor local miners. The militias also got financial and logistical support, the report charged, from a South-Africa-based multinational mining firm, AngloGold Ashanti. The company admits that a militia extorted about $9,000 from its staff near the mining town of Mongbwalu. But it has reviewed its operations and vowed to prevent any more extortion, even as it continues its gold exploration with an eye toward opening a full-scale mine here. "At the moment, we think it's possible for AngloGold Ashanti to do business in Mongbwalu in a way that's consistent with our values and principles," says spokesman Steven Lenahan. "If it were brought to our attention that there was a breakdown, we would immediately take [our staff] out." A major force preventing a breakdown - and allowing miners like Eric to make money for themselves - is the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo, which now has a battalion in Mongbwalu. The militias' overt presence has receded. Security is improving, which could also make it possible for locals to vote in national elections, expected next year. Also, the Human Rights Watch report prompted a Swiss firm, Metalor Technologies, to forswear buying "tainted gold" from Congo, which is typically smuggled out via Uganda. Yet the digging continues. The war destroyed most other employment options, so many locals go to "the holes." Many diggers are ex-militia members, including young men and boys, who use picks and shovels now. At one mine near Mongbwalu, roughly 40 percent of the workers are under 18. About 25 percent are 12 to 14 years old. Each miner gets paid in mine muck, usually three buckets for a full day's work, and all the gold that may or may not be in it. One 12-year-old, who didn't give his name, says he works only for himself. "Both my parents were killed in the war," he says, walking along with a bucket of mud balanced on his head. Global Witness Exposing and breaking the links between natural resource exploitation, human rights abuses, conflict and corruption. www.globalwitness.org/.

IRIN 8 Sept 2005 Army to start expelling foreign fighters on 30 September [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] KINSHASA, 8 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - The army of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will on 30 September begin using force to expell all foreign rebel fighters in the country, a spokesman for President Joseph Kabila said on Thursday. "To do this we need logistics support from [the UN Mission in the DRC] MONUC and the international community," Kasongo Kudura, the spokesman, said. The deadline for the rebels to leave voluntarily or face expulsion was set during a meeting on Tuesday with President Joseph Kabila, representatives of the country's Independent Electoral Commission, and those of the International Committee in Support of the Transition; known as CIAT. The committee includes ambassadors from Angola, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, France, Russia, South Africa, the United States, Zambia, the African Union, the European Union, and MONUC. "President Kabila had already decided to disarm the foreign armed groups especially the Interhamwe," Kudura said, referring to one of the Rwandan Hutu armed groups that fled to eastern Congo following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, "but we did not have the operational capacity." MONUC spokeswomen Rachel Eklou said on Thursday UN troops would support the army operation. "Already we have joint operations, for example at Kahuzi Biega Park [in the east of DRC's South Kivu Province]," she said. Eklou also said the head of MONUC, William Swing, would soon be going to the towns of Beni and Butembo in the northeast. "He may get to speak with NALU," Eklou said, referring to the rebel National Army for the Liberation of Uganda which has its base in the area.

www.gorkhapatra.org.np 14 Sept 2005 Kathmandu Yalathow Ekadashi Thanks To MONUC, The Worst Is Over In Congo By Sunil KC The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) is a classic example of how political instability, regressive economic and political policies and conflict of interests of different communities, both internal and external, can degenerate and disintegrate a society. It is also the result of corruption, mismanagement and internal forces seeking outside support for ethnic and partisan interests in terms of controlling natural and mineral resources. Moreover, the conflict is beyond ethnic. The ethnic communities are being used as fronts to loot, pillage, plunder and rob the natural resources by outsiders. The humanitarian crisis in Congo has been called the worst since WWII with about 3.8 million deaths by the end of 2004, although majority of them by disease, famine and hunger, since the civil war started in the late 90s. The eastern side of Congo, bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi were the sites where three-fourths of all killings had taken place and 90 per cent of Congo’s internally displaced people come from that part. The small district of Ituri, lying northeast of Congo bordering Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda was the scene of the most savage fighting, arson, torture and killings that were provoked, fuelled and propelled from outside. The toll of the ethnic violence in the district was 50,000 killed and more than 200,000 displaced in six years, earning it the notoriety as the bloodiest corner of Congo. Taking advantage of the anarchy and lawlessness, even smaller neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Burundi, especially the former, took advantage by sending troops and forming and arming militias of different ethnic groups. For example, Uganda had occupied Ituri, the area rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamond and other precious metals and potentially a major source of oil, from 1998 to May 2003. It withdrew its troops only under heavy international pressure. Similarly, Rwanda, in the pretext of the Hutu militias who had fled the country and taken refuge in Congo in the aftermath of the ethnic massacre of 1994, control the eastern Congo for four years. In the meantime, in 1999/2000, according to a report presented at the UN Security Council, Rwanda had taken away Coltan, a metal which is a key component in everything from mobile phones, computer chips, stereos and VCRs and costs about US$ 200 a kilo, at the rate of 100 tons a month. Both during and after their occupations, the countries armed and provided military training to different ethnic groups, propagating the local conflict. During the height of conflict, Uganda alone was backing and supporting at least six militia groups of both the ethnic communities. During those days, there were more than a dozen major militia groups, who were splitting and joining and changing allegiances for financial gains. The conflict between these two ethnic communities had risen to such intensity that all other communities had to choose one or the other. The situation was like if you are not with us, you are the enemy, and dealing with the enemies was in the most brutal way. A report of the Human Rights Watch details how combatants tortured and summarily executed opponents and raped women of rival ethnic groups. They also engaged in such inhumane acts as the mutilation of bodies and even cannibalism. The reports compiled by the Human Rights watch group tell the gruesome tale of how torture, rape and murder were meted out. To cite an example, the following is an excerpt of a woman describing how her 20-year-old daughter was killed: …four heavily armed combatants came to our house at 9 p.m. Everyone in the neighborhood had fled. I wanted to hide my children, but I didn’t have time. They took my husband and tied him to a pole in the house. My four-month-old baby started crying and I started breastfeeding him and then they left me alone. They went after my daughter, and I knew they would rape her. But she resisted and said she would rather die than have relations with them. They cut off her left breast and put it in her hand. They said, “Are you still resisting us?” She said she would rather die than be with them. They cut off her genital labia and showed them to her. She said, “Please kill me.” They took a knife and put it to her neck and then made a long vertical incision down her chest and split her body open. She died with her breast in her hand. The photographs found by MONUC also show the extraordinary cruelty like people, including children and babies, roasted alive when their houses were torched keeping them inside; militias beheading people and carrying the heads on poles on the streets and them mutilating bodies and biting off the chopped limps of the victims to terrorize people. In Ndrele, about 20 kilometres from Mahagi, when the Nepalese troops chased the militias from a camp, they found several mass graves within it. The camp is now used by the locals and they are developing it as a coffee processing unit. Keeping peace in an area, which had seen the worst kinds of murder, arson, torture and other atrocities is a difficult task. The difficulty is compounded because of total breakdown of the law and order situation, complete absence of the state machinery, and armed militias belonging to different tribes bent on finishing the other off. When the UN mission came to Ituri as part of the interim multinational contingent about 21 months ago, the situation was grim with extreme violence, including systematic murder, sexual abuses, forced labour and forced recruitment of minor. Mohammad Abdul Wahab, chief at the Press Information Centre of MONUC headquarters in Bunia, said that until September 2003, there was bloodbath with inter- and sometimes intra-ethnic violence and no one would dare even two kilometres after dusk. “There were corpses all around. It was a challenge to provide security to the people in such a situation.” Sebastien Lapierre, a member of the UN Observation in Aru, said that it was very important to understand the complexity of peacekeeping in Congo. “Nothing like this had been undertaken (by the UN) because of the size and the involvement of so many players.” But the situation had changed to a great extent by the middle of 2004. Monsignor Marcel Utembi, Bishop at the Church in Mahagi, has all praise for MONUC and the Nepali troops, who are stationed there. “We are really satisfied with the Nepali troops’ presence here,” he said. Before the Nepali troops came all the 25,000 people of Mahagi had fled and there were only priests, the church and three militias groups fighting each other. The peace enforcement campaign had gained momentum after the UN authorized MONUC to use ‘all necessary means’ to fulfill its mandate. With the use of force, the militias were gradually pushed to the back. Still biggest challenge before MONUC was disarming the militias. After the DCR (Disarmament and Community Reintegration) programme was launched in September 2004, more than 15,500 militias were disarmed. They were either reintegrated to civilian life or were conscripted in the national army. Still there are remnants of some militias groups, who have refused to give up arms. But they are in complete minority and their attacks and atrocities are few and far between. The contribution of the RNA battalion has been significant with about half of those were disarmed were in the areas where RNA has been stationed. Now, the next step of bringing peace to the troubled land has started. The campaign for voters’ registration has begun in Ituri and the primary job of the MONUC soldiers was to supply registration materials to the registration centers. Ultra-modern computerized registration system has been adopted to prepare the registration cards and to avoid duplicate and forgery. As of July, about 23,000 people have registered in Bunia and Mahagi alone. If all goes well, the people of Congo will cast votes for the first time in 45 years for provincial and national election in March and May next year. Chief administrator of the Aru territory Faustin Drakana says because of what MONUC did, the worst is over Congo.

Liberia see Nigeria

Crisis Group 7 Sept 2005 INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP - NEW REPORT Liberia's Elections: Necessary but Not Sufficient Liberia's presidential and legislative elections in October represent welcome progress but it would court disaster to consider them the end of the country's transformation. The process can still easily fail if Liberians refuse to implement an intrusive economic governance mechanism or international partners pull out early. The UN, U.S., EU and World Bank need to stay the course. Working with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, they must rebuild shattered institutions and infrastructure and ensure Liberia's security through maintenance of the UN peacekeeping mission and the gradual training of new Liberian security forces. Long-term issues also need to be addressed, including citizenship, reintegration of ex-combatants, decentralisation of government, transitional justice, judicial reform and possibly constitutional reform. Elections are just one step on a long road to recovery. ------------------------------------- Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org

Rwanda See Norway

www.thetablet.co.uk 1 Sept 2005 Mass murder without a cause Darfur: the ambiguous genocide Gérard Prunier Hurst & Co, £15.95 Tablet bookshop price £14.40. One of the little-noticed effects of the Asian tsunami of last December was that it ended the Darfur famine. A humanitarian crisis that had dominated print and broadcast media for most of that year suddenly evaporated from the face of the earth, at least the part of the earth that is on camera. We are talking media reality here, of course, not reality per se. But as Gérard Prunier observes towards the end of this excellent and authoritative analysis of the continuing Darfur catastrophe, we live in a time when things are not seen as they are, but “in their capacity to create brand images, to warrant a ‘big story’, to mobilise TV time high in rhetoric”. The media can only handle one emotion-laden story at a time, Prunier points out, and the tsunami was “much more politically correct” than the suffering of the people of Darfur. In other words, the tsunami tragedy was heavy on emotion and light on actual politics. This year’s African horror story is, of course, unfolding in Niger: news of the famine there broke on television screens with awkward timing immediately after the Live8 concerts. Yet the very mention of the country that was last month suddenly “hit by hunger” illustrates how much we need books like Prunier’s. Niger is the latest (though already fading) African disaster story. It is a humanitarian crisis that demands a response and charities and donors have duly responded. But explanations of the causes of the crisis are thin on the ground, and not always convincing. The media’s – and therefore the public’s – understanding of the Darfur catastrophe was marginally less rudimentary than its apparent understanding of the Niger crisis. Ethnic cleansing was going on in Darfur, certainly. People were being driven out of their villages, and they ended up in camps where they needed feeding. The people doing the “cleansing” saw themselves in some way as Arab, while the people who were “cleansed” were African rather than Arab. So there was a racial factor. The objective of the “cleansing” was difficult to discern as there was no evidence that the aggressors – who conducted their campaign on horseback, in the manner of conflicts in the American Wild West – ever settled the land from which they drove people. They laid waste villages, raped and murdered indiscriminately and that was that. There were strong suggestions that these militias were in the pay of the government in Khartoum, but why the Sudanese Government would want them to behave like this was again something of a mystery. They just did. It was Africa, after all. The question of the role of the government in the killings, however, led directly to a whole set of further questions about whether what was happening could be categorised as genocide. Prunier, a research professor at the University of Paris who has also written books on the Rwandan genocide and on the Congolese conflict that followed it, addresses this issue head on, with refreshing clarity and with due recognition of its complexities. Part of the reason why the violence in Darfur reached genocidal proportions, he says, was the climate within the Sudanese Government, which was one of “complete contradiction and infighting” among its various cliques, as it responded to an insurgency whose causes reached back – as Prunier demonstrates in forensic detail – to the time of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and before. The resulting impression of confusion was partly a deliberate ploy by the Sudanese Government: by issuing completely contradictory statements they could never be held to be in the wrong. “This is a factor”, writes Prunier, “which the international community finds very difficult to understand in its dealings with Khartoum.” For Europeans, he says, the extreme evil of genocide or ethnic cleansing is “a very serious business”. The fact that it could be carried out in haphazard conditions was “unthinkable” for the international community. “The grotesque is not part of its conceptual equipment,” he points out, “and only late in the day did foreigners begin to realise that the horror was far from coherent.” This book is worth reading for that insight alone. The genocidal model for Europeans is of course the Nazi Holocaust, but this model does not transfer neatly to Africa. There was no Sudanese equivalent of the Wannsee Conference of 1942, in which the top brass of the Nazi regime sat down at a table and decided on the modalities of the Final Solution to the “Jewish question”. The question of intent in the Sudanese context is not so clearcut. Prunier, to his credit, deals brusquely with the semantics of death. The December 1948 International Convention on the prevention and Punishment of Crimes of Genocide defines genocide as “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”. By this definition, he writes, events in Darfur should certainly qualify as genocide. But Prunier employs another definition, the one that he previously used in his book on Rwanda, according to which genocide would require “a coordinated attempt to destroy a racially, religiously or politically predefined group in its entirety”. By this definition, he argues, the slaughter and deliberate starvation of the inhabitants of Darfur does not constitute genocide. It is a measure of the jaded cynicism of our times, Prunier says, that killing 250,000 in a genocide is perceived to be more serious and a greater tragedy than killing 250,000 people in non-genocidal massacres. The media must take much of the blame: Prunier draws attention to this example of lazy journalists copying each other and reproducing obsolete data without verification –the routine repetition of a figure of 70,000 dead in Darfur in 2004. While he admits that it is difficult to be completely certain, he makes a convincing case for a figure of 280,000 to 310,000 dead by the beginning of 2005. Others too come in for incisive criticism. The United Nations Special Envoy for Sudan, Tom Vraalsen, made statements of “almost surreal” optimism and credulousness, calling President Omar el-Beshir’s promise of “unimpeded access” for humanitarian aid a “breakthrough”. (Finally Vraalsen “sobers up”, pointing out that there is a “systematic” denial of access.) Manipulating aid was all part of the programme of destruction in Darfur. The Americans were preoccupied with extracting what information they could from Osama bin Laden’s former hosts in Khartoum, and then so obsessed with making sure the peace deal with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the South was finally signed, that the Khartoum Government could all too easily pull the strings to its own advantage. But the most poisonous role by far was that played by the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, whose furtherance of his Arabist fantasies by interference in neighbouring countries brought untold suffering to millions. The first chapters of this book offer a detailed and dispassionate account of the history of Darfur. Prunier’s horrific facts speak for themselves and the tone is restrained. The later chapters are a searing indictment of those who must be held responsible for suffering and death on an unimaginable scale. And that means most of us. As long as tragedies such as these can unfold without anyone stopping them, then humanity itself is on trial. James Roberts

Xinhua 3 Sept 2005 Ex-minister denies part in Rwandan genocide www.chinaview.cn 2005-09-03 14:28:11 DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The former Rwandan minister of family and women affairs has denied the allegation that she harbored an ideology of discrimination between Hutus and Tutsis during a trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the only woman indicted for the Rwandan genocide and crimes against humanity in 1994, told the United Nations court that she had never exercised discrimination as her parents had come from these two ethnic groups. The prosecution alleged that Nyiramasuhuko, appointed minister in 1992, had encouraged local pro-Hutu militia to kill Tutsis and rape Tutsi women and girls in Butare in southern Rwanda. Nyiramasuhuko pleaded innocent to the charges, according to reports reaching here Saturday from the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha where the UN court is based. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, with its mission to expire in 2008, has so far convicted 22 people and acquitted three, with 25 suspects currently under trial and 16 currently in custody awaiting trial. Fourteen suspects are still on the run from the UN court. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda killed some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

BBC 6 Sept 2005 Genocide arrest of Rwanda general About 800,000 people died in Rwanda's 100-day genocide in 1994 An army general has been arrested at the order of a Rwandan local 'gacaca' court collecting evidence about the 1994 genocide, a court official says. Maj-Gen Laurent Munyakazi denies accusations by witnesses that he was involved in killing people taking refuge at churches in the capital. Domitille Mukantaganzwa confirmed his detention for war crimes and said he would appear before a court martial. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide. Community-based gacaca courts began in March the process of identifying the victims and perpetrators of massacres. Correspondents say it is the first time an officer of such seniority has been detained on the orders of a gacaca court. 'Witness intimidation' "He was put in detention by the gacaca... which will transfer his case to the court-martial, that is the requirement of the law," gacaca court official Ms Mukantaganzwa told AFP news agency. 'Gacaca' courts are being held in villages across Rwanda She confirmed reports that the general had also been arrested on suspicion of intimidating witnesses and attempting to tamper with evidence at the gacaca hearing in May at which he appeared. His alleged war crimes would put him in the "first category" of genocide perpetrators, she said, meaning he is thought to have planned some of the killings. Maj-Gen Munyakazi served as a lieutenant colonel in the Hutu-led army during the genocide. He has made no comment since his detention. First category suspects are tried by Rwanda's formal justice system. Some 12,000 gacaca courts were set up because the country's conventional courts were overwhelmed with genocide suspects and unable to try all those responsible.

BBC 8 Sept 2005 Genocide arrest of Belgian priest Many Rwandan Catholics believe the Church let them down A Belgian Catholic priest has been arrested at the airport in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, for his alleged role in the 1994 genocide. Guy Theunis worked as a missionary in Rwanda, a former Belgian colony, from 1970 until 1994. Belgium's Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht has expressed his "astonishment". Several Rwandan priests and nuns have been convicted of participating in the killing of some 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Transit Rwandan prosecutor Emmanuel Rukangira told the BBC that Father Theunis had incited Rwandans to commit genocide by republishing articles from extremist publication Kangura in his Dialogue magazine. Former Kangura editor Hassan Ngeze has been sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations court set up to try those responsible for the genocide. Thousands of Tutsis were slaughtered after seeking sanctuary in churches Mr Rukangira said Father Theunis would be tried by the Gacaca village courts set up to deal with genocide suspects. He was in transit through Rwanda from Democratic Republic of Congo when he was arrested. Mr de Gucht said he had asked for an explanation from Rwanda. Some members of the Catholic hierarchy in Rwanda had close ties to extremist politicians and aided Hutu militias in the run-up to the 1994 killings. Thousands of Tutsis were slaughtered after seeking sanctuary in churches. In 2001, a Brussels court convicted two Rwandan Catholic nuns for their roles in the genocide. In the 11 years since the genocide, some Rwandans have converted to Islam, saying the churches let them down. [Fr. Guy Theunis was born in 1945 in Brussels,. Belgium. He became a member of the Société des. Missionnaires d’Afrique (White Fathers) in 1968]

Hirondelle News Agency 9 Sept 2005 RWANDAN GENOCIDE COMES TO HAUNT A SILENT CATHOLIC CHURCH Arusha, September 8th, 2005 (FH) - The arrest this week in Rwanda of a Belgian catholic priest has jarred the church at a time when it is trying to come to terms with some of its own accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Father Guy Theunis, a member of the White Fathers congregation, was arrested Tuesday evening at Kigali airport as he prepared to board a plane to Brussels. The priest had for many years edited a church-backed magazine, Dialogue, and had left Rwanda at the height of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. According to a statement from the Belgian embassy in Kigali, Rwandan authorities accuse the priest of “crimes against humanity”. He becomes the latest in a long list of priests who have been prosecuted in Rwanda, Belgium and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). As each of the accused enters the courts of law, it appears that it is the Catholic Church in Rwanda, which is being judged by the court of public opinion. Father Athanase Seromba, the former priest in charge of the Nyange parish in Kibuye (western Rwanda), has since September last year been on trial at the ICTR for allegedly taking part in the genocide. Seromba, 41, is accused of ordering bulldozers to demolish his church in Nyange in which Tutsi were hiding during the genocide. Following that attack, an estimated 2,000 Tutsi were buried under the debris or killed by militias around the church grounds. He has denied all the charges. Seromba fled to Italy after Tutsi-led rebels overthrew the government. Despite many calls for his arrest from human rights organizations and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the priest, (then with a new identity: Don Anastasio Sumba Bula) continued to conduct mass at a parish in Florence. As the pressure increased, Seromba turned himself in to the ICTR. In Arusha Tanzania, where the ICTR is based, the Hirondelle news agency has learnt that he has received a visit while in detention, from the apostolic nuncio (the Pope’s representatives) of Rwanda and Tanzania. Other religious leaders have been paraded in court before him; among them pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a leading member of the seventh Day Adventist church in Rwanda who was found guilty by the ICTR in 2003 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The 81-year-old pastor was jointly tried and convicted with his son. While stating that there had not been any church policy to support the genocide, the Seventh Day Adventist’s top leadership apologized for the crimes committed by its pastors. The Anglican Church in Rwanda has also apologized for acts of some of its clergy. Also accused at the same court is Father Hormisdas Nsengimana. He was a priest in Nyanza parish (Butare Province) in the South of Rwanda. After the genocide in which he is accused of playing a part in the killing of Tutsi refugees who had taken refuge in the church, he also fled to Italy. He then moved to Cameroon where, like Seromba, he continued to work in a parish despite protests from local and international human rights organizations. Father Nsengimana was finally arrested two years ago in Yaoundé, Cameroon and joins Father Emmanuel Rukundo, a former military chaplain, in custody. In 2001, two Rwandan Benedictine nuns were convicted of genocide by a Belgian court. Sisters Maria Mukabutera and Gertrude Mukangango were found guilty of supplying the gasoline that Hutu attackers used to burn down a garage sheltering 500 Tutsi refugees during the genocide. They were sentenced to 12- and 15-year prison terms, respectively. In a formal statement after their conviction, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls noted that: "The Holy See cannot but express a certain surprise at seeing the grave responsibility of so many people and groups involved in this tremendous genocide in the heart of Africa heaped on so few people." Catholic Church authorities in Rwanda did not make any formal response at the time. In an interview with Hirondelle News Agency, the Archbishop of Kigali, Thaddée Ntihinyurwa, the most senior official of the Catholic Church in Rwanda said, “the Catholic Church is not found in Rwanda alone. Those nuns have a mother organization that can speak on their behalf”. Nor has the Catholic Church in Rwanda anything to say about Seromba, Rukundo and Nsengimana. “We have no responsibility for whatever they may or may not have done. Even though they are priests, they answer any charges as individuals”, responded Archbishop Ntihinyurwa, when asked why the church had remained silent on the cases. Archbishop Ntihinyurwa went on to say, “even if they were to be convicted, we may never say anything”. Some Rwandans and human rights organizations believe that the Catholic Church should at least say something about its senior leaders that were openly close to or involved in MRND, the ruling party at time of the genocide. “Powerful members of the church were active partners in a government that planned and executed a genocide”, says Rwandan historian and commissioner in the Rwandan National Human Rights Commission Tom Ndahiro. “The church says its clergy that participated in the genocide did so as individuals, but we haven’t even heard it condemn them in their individual capacities.” In their report on the genocide ‘Leave none to tell the story’, New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’homme (FIDH) observed that in the run up to the genocide, the Rwandan leadership had “benefited enormously from the support of the Catholic church”. “The archbishop of Kigali, Mgr Vincent Nsengiyumva was an ardent supporter of the president, known for wearing Habyarimana’s portrait pin on his cassock while saying mass”, says the report. Nsengiyumva was also notably a member of the ruling party’s highest decision making organ, the Comité Central for many years. Rwanda, one of the most Christianized countries in Africa is overwhelmingly Catholic. Over 60% of its population identify themselves as Catholic. “By not issuing a prompt, firm condemnation of the killing campaign, church authorities left the way for officials, politicians and propagandists to assert that the slaughter actually met with God’s favour”, says ‘Leave none to tell the story’. Witnesses in various genocide trials have testified about clergy at the height of the genocide announcing before congregations that God had “sacrificed Tutsis the same way he occasionally did Jews”. The human rights report further states, “Four days after the start of the genocide, catholic priests promised their ‘support to the new government’. They asked all Rwandans to ‘respond favourably to calls’ from the new authorities and to help them realize the goals they had set including the return of peace and security”. Almost all members of that government are now on trial at the ICTR, or in custody awaiting trial. The prime minister of that government is locked away in a Malian jail serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to genocide at the ICTR. Veteran Rwandan journalist Jean Paul Tuyisenge, editor of Kinyamateka, a Catholic weekly that is the oldest newspaper in Rwanda agrees that the entire leadership of the church was in the hands of the MRND. “There was no way they were going to denounce themselves. They never denounced anything. The closest they came to denouncing the killings were calls for dialogue between the government and the rebels”, says Tuyisenge. But Tuyisenge supports the Catholic Church’s refusal to apologise for the actions and omissions of its leadership before and during the genocide. “Those were individual actions of leaders and not the Christians”, he explains. “The church could only ask for forgiveness if, as an institution, it had said; ‘go out and kill’”. The Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union) report on the genocide noted that: “since the end of the genocide, several parties have apologized for failing to stop the massacres, including President Clinton, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Prime Minister of Belgium and the Anglican Church”, but pointed out that “no apology had yet come from the French Government or the Catholic Church”. Two years after the genocide, the Pope Jean Paul II said clergy should accept responsibility as individuals. He denied any role or responsibility for the church. Critics of the Vatican argue that while the church has denied any institutional blame, it has paid legal fees for its clergy suspected of genocide, aided fugitives and discouraged its members from cooperating with genocide tribunals. “The church denounces prosecutions or investigations of its clergy as politically motivated, yet it chooses to remain silent when they are convicted”, says human rights activist Ndahiro. “We haven’t heard calls encouraging its followers to assist the courts”. Among some Catholics in Rwanda there is a spiritual crisis. For genocide survivors in particular, they face the dilemma of how to maintain a relationship with God, while wanting to circumvent the clergy or quit the church completely. “My trust in God hasn’t changed”, says Charles Kagenza, one of a handful of people known to have survived the Nyange church massacres. “But I don’t think I will ever look at my priests in the same way I did before the genocide”, he adds. Kagenza lost an eye and has a big scar on his head from the attack on Nyange church during the genocide. He still attends mass in the improvised structure next to the debris of Nyange church where members of his family and friends are buried. There has been no official study on the current numbers of members of the Catholic Church in Rwanda compared to pre-genocide figures. In a rare interview held in 2003, Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro diocese in the south of Rwanda, admitted that there had been a decline in numbers of Catholic Church goers in his diocese of Gikongoro after the genocide. “But the numbers are going up again”, he said. Bishop Misago was tried for genocide in Rwanda and acquitted in 2000. Joseline Mukamuganga is not one of those Catholics that will not be returning to her Church. She has moved to a Pentecostal church. “The Catholic Church did nothing to help us or even to remain neutral. There’s no way I could stay in such a church”, says Mukamuganga.

Hirondelle News Agency 9 Sept 2005 FEMALE GENOCIDE SUSPECT NYIRAMASUHUKO TAKES AIM AT EXPERT WITNESS (WEEKEND FEATURE) Arusha September 9th, 2005 (FH) - Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the former Rwandan minister of gender who is on trial for genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has decided to focus her attacks on French academician Professor Andre Guichaoua. Guichaoua has appeared several times as an expert witness for the prosecution. According to Nyiramasuhuko’s lawyer, Nicole Bergevin, the French expert has described her client as an intellectually weak woman who only managed to go up the political ladder courtesy of her friendship to the president’s family. This was rejected by the accused. “That man is only speculating and he does not know me. The first time he saw me was here in court and it was also my first time to see him”, said Nyiramasuhuko. A graduate of the school of social studies of Karubanda (Butare, Southern Rwanda), she was appointed minister in 1992 after a late entry into university where she had obtained a law degree a year earlier. She also dismissed allegations that she had entered late into university in order to fulfil the requirements to be appointed minister. “I made the best choice possible that would allow me to continue my social work”, Nyiramasuhuko assured the court. She continued that she was appointed “on merit because I had the necessary education and experience”. Before being appointed minister, Nyiramasuhuko had first worked as a social worker for about 20 years and had attended training abroad including in Israel. She continued that she had been appointed with “no prior planning” – contrary to the claims by Guichaoua. The prosecution maintains that Nyiramasuhuko was one of the most influential members within the ruling Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement (MRND). According to the French expert, she also played a parallel role within the MRND in her hometown of Butare (south). “It is an outrage that a professor like Guichaoua could state falsehoods”, protested the accused who now sat in the witness box. “I was a simple civil servant who was in charge of receiving people’s complaints”, she said. At one moment, the accused told the chamber that she was hurt by what the French expert said about her. ”He wrote many books without mentioning my name and yet when the prosecutor brought him here, he started focusing on me”, stated Nyiramasuhuko. The former minister chose to testify in her mother tongue Kinyarwanda, though sometimes she would mix in some French. She is the first woman to be indicted by the ICTR where she is accused of the massacres of Tutsis in Butare as well as inciting rape between April and July 1994. She is being tried together with her son Shalom Arsene Ntahobali who is alleged to have been a militia leader, as well as two former préfets (governors) and two former bourgmestres (mayors). All have pleaded not guilty. The trial which opened in June 2001, is presided over by Judge William Hussein Sekule from Tanzania.

South Africa

www.dispatch.co.za 7 Sept 2005 Our Opinion September 7 - never again Gqozo calls in SADF, screamed the Daily Dispatch headline on August 4, 1992. Exactly a month later, another headline reverberated: Remove Gqozo from power, ANC urges FW. The same report went on to say that the ANC had called for the replacement of Ciskei's Brigadier Gqozo with an interim administration "acceptable to all parties". With the subsequent declaration of "unrest areas" in the then Border Corridor, however, the battle lines were drawn. Today, 13 years later, one can be forgiven for looking back on those turbulent years with disbelief at what started out as a peaceful march - only to end in tragedy when Ciskei soldiers opened fire, killing 29 civilians and one soldier, and wounding hundreds of others. South Africans and the world reacted with horror to an event that was televised throughout the world. The Commonwealth Secretariat at the time called the action "wholly unjustified". The tragedy of what many called "South Africa's own Tiananmen Square" unfolded before the world's eyes - the tragedy of a nation at war with itself. For weeks after the massacre families searched for the missing, others buried their dead and Ciskei went up in flames as people vented their anger against anyone associated with Ciskei authority. That an almost unknown dictator in a tiny "independent" South African homeland such as Oupa Gqozo was being propped up by apartheid South Africa's army was untenable in the view of most observers. After all, the ANC had been unbanned for more than a year and talks between the two sides were well under way. That the order to open fire was given by SADF generals to Ciskei soldiers was even more shocking. The Bhisho Massacre stands alongside other events in this country's history that brought the country to the brink - the Sharpevilles, the Sebokengs, the Boipotongs and the assassination of Chris Hani - moments when the country teetered on the edge. At the time future and current leaders rose to the challenge and steered South Africa away from the abyss towards the democracy we enjoy today. Today's stories on page six bear witness to ordinary people like Nomutile Nontshinga who lost her son Headman on that fateful day and who commemorates the anniversary of his death by dusting off his academic gown and looking at photographs. Headman had recently graduated with a science degree. He was 29 with his whole life before him. No-one should have died that day. We owe it to the memory of those whose lives were cruelly cut short 13 years ago today to ensure that South Africans never have to die again in defence of an evil system imposed by the few on the majority.

BBC 9 Sept 2005 Retrial for SA's 'Doctor Death' An appeal court refused to overturn his acquittal The Constitutional Court in South Africa has ruled that a high profile apartheid-era criminal case against the man dubbed "Dr Death" can be reopened. The court said ex-biological weapons head Wouter Basson, should face trial on charges of crimes against humanity. Mr Basson has been accused of being involved in a number of plots to poison anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela, using deadly bacteria. However, he was acquitted of murder and other charges by a judge in 2002. The South African Court of Appeal refused to overturn the acquittal. But the country's highest court said the original judge had erred when ruling that the original charges fell outside South African law because they involved crimes allegedly committed outside the country. In an unanimous decision, the high court said the country was obliged under international law to prosecute charges amounting to crimes against humanity. Many of the original charges stemmed from horrific testimonies during the Truth and Reconciliation hearings. Prosecutors estimate a retrial could begin within three months.


AFP 2 Sep 2005 AU envoy secures Sudan commitment to solve Darfur crisisKHARTOUM, Sept 2 (AFP) - The African Union mediator in the Darfur conflict secured Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir's commitment to support upcoming peace talks as he wrapped a three-day official visit Friday. Beshir "unequivocally reiterated the commitment by the government of Sudan to supporting the inter-Sudanese peace talks scheduled for September 15 in Abuja," Nigeria, a spokesman for AU envoy Salim Ahmed Salim told AFP. The spokesman quoted Salim as saying he was "encouraged by this commitment." Beshir was quoted by local media as calling on the AU to "assume firm stances with regards to commitment by all parties to the ceasefire agreement and to locating the positions of feuding parties for creating a conducive atmosphere for the forthcoming negotiations." The AU's 6,000-strong peacekeeping force is monitoring an April 2004 ceasefire between Khartoum-backed militias and Darfur rebels, which has repeatedly been breached. The Sudanese president also requested "accelerated negotiations in Abuja, particularly as the country is presently implementing the (north-south) Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which stands an evidence of the government's sincerity towards reaching peace and stability to the people of Darfur." Salim met during his visit with leaders from the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) -- the main Darfur rebel group -- and the smaller Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He said he also obtained their support for the peace talks. According to some estimates, up to 300,000 have died and more than two million been displaced in the 30-month-old Darfur conflict. Although the humanitarian situation has improved and the violence receded in recent months, incidents continue to plague peace initiatives and efforts to repatriate the displaced. The UN mission in Sudan on Thursday quoted a government report alleging that five troops had been killed in an ambush earlier this week in Darfur.

American Prospect Online 2 Sept 2005 www.prospect.org Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide by Gerard PrunierCornell University Press (September 1, 2005), 240 pages http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0801444500/104-4021169-3971956?v=glance Review: The Unintended Genocide: The first essential history of Darfur just hit the shelves. By Kyle Mantyla American Prospect Online www.prospect.org Web Exclusive: 09.02.05 Gérard Prunier, a professor at the University of Paris, has performed an unusual feat: He has managed to produce the earliest book-length analyses of two African genocides. Just one year after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Prunier published The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide; now, 10 years later, while Africa is experiencing yet another genocide, Prunier is again the first out of the gate with his analysis, this time Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide. The fact that his book is being published while the genocide is still going on speaks volumes about the international community’s ability and willingness to effectively deal with the death and destruction occurring in western Sudan. While an estimated 400,000 people have died, the world has focused its efforts elsewhere, primarily on reaching, and then implementing, the Naivasha peace agreement in hopes of ending the two-decade-long war between Khartoum’s National Islamic Front (NIF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. While certainly a worthwhile goal, the distraction it has created and the leverage it granted to the genocidal regime in Khartoum has generated a situation where, according to the international aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières, millions of lives are now “dangling by the thin thread that is humanitarian aid.” As Prunier explains, this is no accident. When Darfur first began to receive media coverage in 2004, politicians around the world sought to portray it as a “humanitarian crisis” as opposed to the “political crisis” it truly is. Whereas a political crisis would require a political response, a humanitarian crisis requires merely a humanitarian response. Prunier notes that the United Nations and the rest of the world quickly passed the responsibility for the situation off to humanitarian organizations on the ground, expecting them “not to complement political action but themselves to be substitutes for what the politicians should have done.” They have, in essence, succeeded in creating an “impression that something is being done without that ‘something’ being political.” Prunier examines the history of the Darfur region, going back to the 17th century, as he describes just how the current situation came to pass. While that history is dense and complex, Prunier manages to effectively convey the point that the current “Arab vs. African” context in which the genocide is taking place is not a distinction that appeared until shortly after Sudan became independent in the late 1950s. Darfur had always been neglected and marginalized by the rulers in Khartoum, but with independence came elections, and with elections came “electoral tactics” that exaggerated the “racial-cultural” nature of the region. Amid years of drought and famine, those seeking electoral support told the “African” agricultural tribes that the region’s woes were the fault of “the Arabs,” while those seeking the support of the more nomadic “Arab” tribes claimed that it was the “Africans” who were cutting them off from lands that were rightfully theirs and destroying their way of life. At the same time, Darfur was being used as a pawn and battleground in a three-way struggle between Chad, Libya, and the regime in Khartoum. Libyan dictator Muammar Quaddafi, who harbored dreams of an “Arab Union” in the region, had set off a border dispute with Chad, and soon began using Darfur as a launching pad for attacks. Weapons and soldiers flooded the region while various political and military alliances were made and broken. As Prunier writes, while “Darfur did not seem to matter enough to be taken seriously at the level of good governance … it certainly mattered enough to become an increasingly racialized battleground between Khartoum, Tripoli and N’djamena.” By the early 1990s, the regime in Khartoum had been overthrown by the NIF, while the Libyan-backed General Idriss Deby had likewise overthrown the government in Chad. When all was said and done, Darfur “had been left in a state of total chaos.” And so it remained for more than a decade. Following the attacks of September 11, writes Prunier, “Khartoum was quick to understand that for a born-again Christian president, a repented sinner would be more valuable than a routine ally” in the war on terrorism, and soon became an important intelligence asset to the CIA -- a relationship that continues to this day. Around the same time, President Bush began to take an interest in the north-south peace process, in part because it was an issue important to his religious political base. All the while, Khartoum continued to ignore the needs of the people of Darfur until 2003, when two rebel movements -- the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement -- launched a coordinated raid in which they managed to kill more than 30 Sudanese soldiers, destroy a handful of military planes and helicopters, and capture the commander of an air-force base. Khartoum responded by launching attacks, not against the rebels themselves but against their perceived supporters in Darfur. Russian-built Antonov aircraft were used to bomb villages, an utterly reckless tactic considering that the Antonovs are transport planes, not bombers. As such, the bombs couldn’t actually be aimed -- and, in many cases, weren’t actually bombs at all. Instead, they were mostly “old oil drums stuffed with a mixture of explosives and metallic debris” that were simply rolled out of the plane’s open rear ramp, “completely useless from a military point of view” but effective as “terror weapons aimed solely at civilians,” writes Prunier. As part of its “counterinsurgency” campaign, Khartoum also recruited, trained, paid, and coordinated with Arab militias known as the Janjaweed. Mostly criminals, former soldiers, and jihadists, the Janjaweed were given the task, once the bombs had stopped falling, of sweeping in on horseback and killing, looting, and raping, as well as burning the villages to the ground. The attacks continued for more than a year, but it was not until thousands had died, and hundreds of thousands of others had fled, that the world began to even take notice -- though it still did next to nothing. The UN Security Council passed several resolutions demanding that Khartoum stop its attacks and disarm the Janjaweed, which Khartoum routinely ignored. People debated whether what was taking place was “genocide,” as the United States finally declared the situation in September of 2004. Not that it made any difference. Prunier reports that he was informed by a high-ranking member of the Bush administration in October 2004 that then-Secretary of State Powell had essentially been ordered to use the term “genocide,” but to follow it with a declaration that it “did not obligate the United States to undertake any sort of drastic action” -- which is exactly what Powell did. The UN sent a commission of inquiry to Sudan in the latter part of 2004, and though it reported that it could find no genocidal “intent” on the part of those responsible for the death and destruction in Darfur, it did find overwhelming evidence of “indiscriminate attacks, including killing of civilians, torture, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur.” The names of those responsible for these crimes were then handed over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution -- and just happen to be many of the same people the world was counting on to carry out the Naivasha peace agreement and end 20 years of civil war. In 2004, the African Union (AU) agreed to provide some 300 troops to patrol Darfur, a region the size of France, though their mandate was limited to protecting their own cease-fire monitors. Since then, the AU has expanded the size of its mission to roughly 4,000, but its mandate remains more or less the same. The AU is ill-equipped and unprepared to bring peace to Darfur, but the rest of the world has been more than happy to let it take the lead. As Prunier explains, the mantra of “‘African solutions to African problems’” [has] become the politically correct way of saying ‘We do not really care.’” The AU has been set up to fail, given a “‘Mission Impossible’ type of situation” that it cannot handle in order to give the impression of “serious international involvement.” Prunier concludes that what has taken place in Darfur does meet the standard set out by the 1948 Genocide Convention, though he argues that “the practice of genocide or quasi-genocide in Sudan has never been a deliberate well-thought out policy, but a rather spontaneous tool used for keeping together a ‘country’ which is under minority Arab domination.” Though nearly all of the people of Darfur are Muslim, Prunier states that the genocide has occurred mainly because “a large chunk of the Muslim North has decided to act not according to its religious identity but rather in line with its racial origins.” Prunier’s focus on the details of Darfur’s history can be overwhelming at times, but he does a good job of explaining how, for nearly all of its existence, Darfur has been routinely ignored, marginalized, or exploited by Khartoum, and how this marginalization and exploitation sowed the seeds of the current conflict. While Prunier does not claim to have answers or solutions for the current crisis, his book is the first, and thus currently the best, examination of the crisis in Darfur -- one that ought to be read by anyone who seeks to truly understand the 21st century’s inaugural genocide. Kyle Mantyla is a policy analyst with People For the American Way. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Guardian 10 Sept 2005 The tragedy of Darfur Gérard Prunier offers an incisive analysis of the Sudan crisis in Darfur, the Ambiguous Genocide. The world must act now, says Dominick Donald Saturday September 10, 2005 The Guardian Buy Darfur at the Guardian bookshop Darfur, the Ambiguous Genocide by Gérard Prunier 212pp, Hurst, £15 During 2003, occasional reports emerged in the international media of fighting in Darfur, a huge tract of western Sudan bordering Chad. Over the next year the picture became confused, as - depending on who was doing the talking - a minor rebellion became a tribal spat, or nomads taking on farmers, or Arab-versus-African ethnic cleansing, or genocide. An outside world that understood political violence in Sudan through the simplistic lens of the unending war between Muslim north and Christian/animist south - a war that seemed to be about to end - had to adjust. And nothing that has emerged since has made that adjustment easy. If Darfuris are Muslim, what is their quarrel with the Islamic government in Khartoum? If they and the janjaweed - "evil horsemen" - driving them from their homes are both black, how can it be Arab versus African? If the Sudanese government is making peace with the south, why would it be risking that by waging war in the west? Above all, is it genocide? Gérard Prunier has the answers. An ethnographer and renowned Africa analyst, he turns on the evasions of Khartoum the uncompromising eye that dissected Hutu power excuses for the Rwanda genocide a decade ago. He is never an easy read. While his style is fluid, there's too much brilliant, obscure but pivotal erudition, too much confident summarising, and not enough readiness to compromise for the reader cramming in another five pages on the tube. He isn't helped by the fact that he is usually offering an incisive user's manual for a machine most of us have never seen before. But stick with him. For he deploys his fierce logic to a powerful moral purpose. He builds an understanding of a community and a culture in all its complexity to then strip away the convenient truths and confused equivocations that guilty or disinterested politicians use to explain why nothing should be done. Read Darfur and you will be in no doubt at all that the government of Sudan, whatever it says, is responsible for what is happening there. The killings are the consequence of a logical, realist's policy, stemming from a racial/ cultural contempt. You will also wonder whether anything substantive will be done to stop them. Prunier's Darfur is a victim of its separateness - not just from Khartoum, but from everywhere else in Sudan. Geographically, culturally and commercially it always looked west, along the Sahel, rather than east to the Nile, north to Egypt, or south to Bahr El Ghazal. Its Islamic practices fused Arab with African, unlike the more ascetic, eschatological Muslim brotherhoods prevalent along the Nile, or the animism or polytheism adhered to in the south. Above all it retained a political and cultural identity apart from the homogenising forces of what became Sudan. The Sultanate of Darfur tottered on, essentially independent, until 1916; the Ottomans never established a foothold there, the Mahdists were resisted and co-opted, while once the British brought it into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, they ruled through paternalistic neglect. Even when Darfur was key to politicians in an independent Sudan - for instance, as a bedrock of support for the neo-Mahdists who ruled the country for much of its first two decades - it was ignored. Ravaged by the 1985 famine - Khartoum effectively denied it food aid - and proxy battles for Chad, it saw in the new century with a marginal economy and a government which, when it paid attention to Darfur, did so through the medium of militias encouraged to define tribal or cultural groups as the enemy. As Prunier shows, it is the economics and the militias that lie at the heart of the atrocities in Darfur. The Sudan Liberation Army, recognising that the Naivasha power-sharing peace process between Khartoum and the SPLA/M in the south was going to leave Darfur even further behind, took up arms in 2002. All the government could do was unleash the militias in the hope that it could deal with the problem before southerners arrived in government and vetoed any repression. Now probably half of Darfur's population has been driven into camps for internally displaced persons (IDP), beyond the reach of international food aid, where malnutrition and disease are carrying them off at the rate of perhaps 8% a year. This suits Khartoum just fine. For while the international community havers about what it cannot see, Khartoum is free to pay lip service to the Naivasha peace process that will ensure regime survival, keep the Americans off its back, and allow the élite to exploit Sudan's oil. It is this peace process that ensures the tragedy of Darfur goes on. The UN Security Council has passed powerful-sounding resolutions demanding the Sudanese government behave in Darfur. But it doesn't have the physical tools to coerce anyone. The African Union force it dispatched there is small, immobile, unsighted and with a weak mandate, and neither the US, UK nor France has the troops to send in its place. Above all, it won't apply too much pressure on Khartoum for fear of scuppering Naivasha - the deal that will end 50 years of on-and-off fighting, and bring a recalcitrant Sudan back into the embrace of the international community. Yet Naivasha will almost certainly fail anyway. The Sudanese government probably has no intention of sticking to the Naivasha deal; it has never stuck to its deals before, choosing to obscure non-compliance with sorrowful tales of lack of control and warnings that enforcement will bring in the bogeyman. The process is driven by external actors, and so is hostage to their brief, easily distracted political attention spans. And it will bind the international community to Khartoum as tightly as vice versa - who will be coercing and who will be coerced? The international community believes it can't pull out of Naivasha in the face of Sudanese non-compliance for fear of losing oil deals, or an Islamic supporter in the war on terror, or of ushering in something worse. In reality it has saddled up a spaniel and sent it over the sticks, ignoring the sturdy point-to-pointer waiting in the wings. Is what is happening in Darfur genocide? As Prunier points out, in the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention ("deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part"), it is - particularly what is happening in the IDP camps. Yet in his superb book on the Rwandan genocide, Prunier argued for a different definition, namely "a coordinated attempt to destroy a racially, religiously, or politically pre-defined group in its entirety". Why quibble about definitions? After all, they're irrelevant to Darfuris - their suffering will be the same, whatever tag is used. They're a concern for the international community alone. But for them, he concludes, the "G" word really matters. In the west, "things are not seen in their reality but in their capacity to create brand images ... 'Genocide' is big because it carries the Nazi label, which sells well." Unfortunately what is happening in Darfur doesn't look like Treblinka. So the international community finds itself fixated on a distraction - a legal genocide, that doesn't look like a genocide. Instead it should ignore the "G" word and focus on the key issue. The Sudanese government is responsible for the deaths of perhaps more than 200,000 Darfuris as an instrument of policy. It is weak, profoundly unpopular, and hugely vulnerable. It needs the pretence of Naivasha. It can be coerced. Let's get on with it. · Dominick Donald is a senior analyst for Aegis Research and Intelligence, a London political risk consultancy

Daily Star 30 Aug 2005 www.dailystar.com.lb Ideology in arms: The emergence of Darfur's Janjaweed By Julie Flint and Alex de Waal Commentary by Tuesday, August 30, 2005 The nomad encampment lay in the middle of a stony, trackless waste, three hour's drive from the district town of Kutum. Broad black tents were spread among the few thorn trees and in the distance was the great sweep of Wadi Kutum, its pale red sand ringed by date palms and vegetable gardens. Visitors waited on a fine Persian carpet while the sheikh was summoned. Even in his 80s, bedridden and almost blind, Sheikh Hilal Abdullah was a commanding figure. As the visitors entered his tent, he swung his tall frame upright and ordered his retainer to slaughter a sheep for dinner. He was courteous and imperious in equal measure. "Who are you?" he demanded. "You can't be British. All the British speak Koranic Arabic!" Then a servant served sweet tea on a silver platter while Hilal explained that the world was coming to an end. Although settled in Aamo for more than a decade, Hilal kept to the old nomadic ways. Hung on the sides of his tent were only those things that could be packed on the back of a camel in an afternoon - water jars, saddles, spears, swords, an old Remington rifle, his silver tea set and well-worn rugs. "All the Um Jalul possess camels," he said. "You see that small boy?" He gestured at his grandson. "Even he has camels." He spoke about the traditions of mutual support among the Um Jalul, the most traditional of Darfur's Rizeigat Arab nomads. During the famine that had devastated the region over the previous 18 months, one of his nephews had donated more than a hundred camels to support hungry kinsmen. He himself had loaned many animals, from a herd that was shrinking faster than he knew. "None of us will need to cultivate," he said. "None of us even need to collect wild foods like the Zaghawa. Camel nomadism is our way of life." But just an hour's walk away was a small encampment of destitute nomads whose animals were dead and who were scraping away at infertile, sandy soils in a desperate attempt to grow enough millet to support their families. They pointed bitterly at the distant wadi and its fertile alluvium. "There's enough land here," said one, "but the Tunjur have registered every inch." Their cooking pots were filled not with millet but with wild foods, especially the mukheit berries, bitter and scarcely palatable, that had been the staple diet of most Darfurians during the famine months. The proud old sheikh refused to talk about his people's poverty. Instead he spoke darkly of how the cosmic order was changing. In the old days, the nomads had been welcome guests of the Fur and Tunjur farmers. He himself had traveled south every year to Kargula on the slopes of Jebel Marra, where the Fur chief, Shartai Ibrahim Diraige, would welcome him with a feast and the nomads would assist the farmers by buying their grain, taking their goods to market and grazing their camels on the stubble of the harvest. On leaving, the sheikh would present the Shartai with two young camels. But now all this was changing: Fur farmers were barring the Arabs' migratory routes and forcing the camel herders to range further south in search of pastures. In the far north, in Wadi Howar, the Um Jalul shared the pastures with other herders, the Zaghawa and Meidob. But this, too, was changing. The famous jizu desert pastures had bloomed that season - 1985 - for the first time in seven years. Hilal brooded on the ecological changes that were disturbing the region. But he would rather die than change. For him, the old ways were the only ways. Contemptuous of police procedures, he presided over swift customary justice at his tribal court in Aamo. He had no hesitation in tying a witness or a suspect to a tree in the midday sun, or smearing him with grease to attract biting insects, to extract a confession. Punishment - payment of blood money, or whipping - was immediate. But people from many different tribes, in Chad as well as Darfur, trekked to Aamo court. There was no appeal, but the sheikh was famously just. The fame of his son Moussa has spread even further: his name is first on a list of suspected genocidal criminals compiled by the U.S. State Department. Moussa Hilal: A big sheikh On February 27, 2004, hundreds of armed men mounted on camels and horses attacked the town of Tawila on the eastern slope of Jebel Marra, the heart of the Fur lands. By the time the attack was over, three days later, 75 people had been killed, 350 women and children abducted and more than 100 women raped. Overseeing this mayhem, moving between a temporary headquarters in a large canvas tent and a convoy of five Landcruisers protected by mounted men, was Moussa Hilal, 44, the most powerful leader of the government-supported militias that have come to be known as the Janjaweed. In the days before the attack, more than 500 Janjaweed had converged on Tawila from different directions and congregated, without interference from any of the government forces in the area, in a makeshift camp on a nearby hill. This was more than Arab raiders settling old scores. These Janjaweed had light and medium weapons, communication, internal structure - and impunity. The state capital, Al-Fasher, is only 64 kilometers miles away from Tawila and Governor Osman Youssef Kibir was fully informed of the attack while it was continuing. But it was only on the third day, after the Janjaweed withdrew, that the governor sent representatives to Tawila. Confident of the impunity afforded him by the government, and of international community's refusal to match its bark with bite, Hilal has amused himself by playing word games while his men burn Darfur. He has never convincingly denied the crimes he stands accused of, nor shown any regret over the destruction of Darfur, its people and its multi-ethnic society. He has only protested at being called "Janjaweed" - a word customarily used to refer to outlaws and highwaymen from Chad. "The Janjaweed are bandits, like the mutineers. It is we who are fighting the Janjaweed." What Hilal does not deny, indeed relishes, is being a government agent. "A big sheikh. not a little sheikh." As the father in his desert tent took pride in his independence, so does the son in his Khartoum villa, many hundreds of kilometers away from Darfur, take pride in being the government's man, "appointed" by the government to fight against the rebels. "I answered my government's appeal, and I called my people to arms. I didn't take up arms personally. A tribal leader doesn't take up arms. I am a sheikh. I am not a soldier. I am soldiers!" And not only "soldiers." According to documents obtained by the authors, Hilal is also leader - amid - of an Arab supremacist organization called the Tajamu al-Arabi, variously translated as the "Arab Gathering," "Arab Alliance," "Arab Congregation" and "Arab Congress." Little is known about the secret organization, which has roots in Moammar Gadhafi's Libya and active contact today, according to the documents, with "intelligence and security leaders" from other Arab countries. But its ultimate objective in Darfur was spelled out in an August 2004 directive from Hilal's headquarters. "Change the demography of Darfur and empty it of African tribes." Confirming the control of Military Intelligence over the Darfur file, the directive was addressed to no fewer than three intelligence services - the Intelligence and Security Department, Military Intelligence and National Security, and the ultra-secret "Constructive Security" or Amn al-Ijabi. In the figure of Moussa Hilal, Arab supremacism has converged with criminal impunity, and the result has been cataclysm. Hilal's public position is that, at the request of the government, he raised a tribal militia to fight the rebellion in Darfur. This is true, as far as it goes. In December 2003, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed publicly to "use the army, the police, the mujahideen, the fursan to get rid of the rebellion." But there is more to Hilal's war than he acknowledges publicly. In the documents that we obtained, Hilal makes clear he is doing more than merely combatting a rebellion. He is waging jihad, "cleaning our land of agents, mercenaries, cowards and outlaws." He urges steadfastness despite the spotlight focused on Janjaweed activities. "We promise you that we are lions, we are the Swift and Fearsome Forces. We fear neither the media and the newspapers nor the foreign interlopers." He sends greetings to his supporters, a roll call of some of the most important men in national and regional government: "Major General Omar al-Bashir. Ustaz Ali Osman Mohammad Taha, vice president and the hero of Sudan. Brother Major General Adam Hamid Moussa, governor of South Darfur. Air Force General [Abdullah] Safi al-Nur. Brother Ustaz Osman Mohammad Youssef Kibir, governor of North Darfur" and the man who turned a blind eye to the rape of Tawila. Hilal signs himself, "The Mujahid and Sheikh Moussa Hilal, emir of the Swift and Fearsome Forces," the main division of the Janjaweed forces based at Misteriha, the Janjaweed control center in North Darfur. He is not a common Janjaweed criminal. He is a holy warrior, tribal leader and commander in chief. How did Moussa Hilal get from the tents of Aamo, where his father inspired such respect, to the paramilitary base that is Misteriha, where he commands such fear? The answer lies in a militarized ideology that fed off desperation and grievance. Roots of the Northern Janjaweed From the time of the sultans, the camel-herding, or Abbala Rizeigat, had been a headache to the rulers of Darfur. They refused to stay in the places allotted to them, and had no paramount chief to keep them in order. The British authorities tried to tidy up the tribal hierarchies, but never succeeded. Since the Rizeigat camel men were too few to qualify for their own nazir, or paramount chief, the first plan was to put them under the authority of one of Britain's staunchest allies: Ibrahim Moussa Madibu, nazir of the cattle-herding Baggara Rizeigat. But the Abbala were too far away from the nazir's headquarters in southeastern Darfur for that to be feasible. So the district officer proposed that the sheikhs of the Abbala Rizeigat elect their own deputy nazir. The election, held at the annual horse fair in Al-Surfayya in December 1925, was anti-climactic. The most influential clans of the Mahamid, one of the main sections of the Abbala Rizeigat, boycotted the conference to protest against British support for Abdel-Nebi Abdel-Bagi Kiheil, a rival candidate. Abdel-Nebi, elected in their absence, turned out to be ill-suited for the post: he didn't have the wealth to provide the continual generosity expected of a leader; he quarreled with Ibrahim Madibu, and he preferred town life. A few years after the conference, Abdel-Nebi left his headquarters and court at Girer and Mehdi Hassaballah Ajina, sheikh of the Mahariyya, became the most senior chief. But Mehdi never became nazir. His claim was disputed by the sheikh of the Mahamid, Issa Jalul, whose clan - the Um Jalul - was the richest and most numerous of the Abbala Rizeigat. No decision on the nazirate was possible without Issa Jalul's consent. Had Rizeigat camel-herders won their nazirate, a vast area of pastureland north of Kutum could have been allocated to them as a tribal homeland, ending their centuries-old search for land to call their own. Wells and reservoirs could have been dug to assist the herders in their annual trek northward to the desert, minimizing the risks of clashes with other nomads. But the status of the Abbala Rizeigat in Darfur's tribal hierarchy was never resolved, fuelling a cycle of tribal conflicts and economic grievances that culminated in the emergence of the Janjaweed. In 1948, Issa Jalul died. None of his sons was considered worthy of succeeding him as sheikh of the Mahamid, and the clan leaders met to decide a successor. Hilal Mohammad Abdullah, then in his 40s, came from a humble background: he had most recently been a guard in Jalul's court. But Jalul on his deathbed endorsed him as his successor and he was elected by acclaim. Hilal spent the following half-century striving to become the first nazir of the Abbala Rizeigat. Sheikh Hilal stayed at Aamo until his death in 1990. In his last years, he witnessed one momentous event beyond his control and was caught up in another for which he was partly responsible. The first event was the great drought and famine of 1984-85; the second, the arming of his tribe. Death of the old order Seeing the northern desert dying, and drawn increasingly to the savanna to the south, the Zaghawa say that "the world finishes south." The drying of the Sahara is an integral part of their cosmos. The same is true for the camel-herding Rizeigat. They, too, have drifted southward across the desert over the centuries. Speaking at the time of the great drought of 1984-85, Sheikh Hilal recounted this historic migration, and how it had been driven by drought, war and political rivalries: whenever two cousins disagreed, one could always move somewhere else. Unlike other Darfurian Arabs who claimed that their forefathers had always come across an empty land, Hilal didn't dispute that Darfur was always inhabited. Taking his stick, he drew a chessboard in the sand. One set of squares he allocated to the Fur and Tunjur farmers. The second set he labeled as pastureland, available for the use of the nomads. But Hilal brooded on how the drought was disrupting the age-old order: wind was blowing sand onto cultivated farms and huge rainstorms were carving gullies out of the wadis. Farmers were now barring the nomads' way by erecting fences or even burning off the grass. Even worse, although the old sheikh was too proud to admit it, the Um Jalul were losing their beloved camels. Many were becoming farmers or laborers in towns such as Kebkabiyya and Birka Saira, and the villages in between such as Misterih. The failed nomads of Aamo and Birka Saira, seeking a route out of poverty, were ready conscripts to rapacious militias. Along with the other peoples of Darfur, the Um Jalul were eating or selling their precious assets in order to stay alive. Darfurians were astonishingly resilient in the face of the worst threat to their lives and livelihoods since the famine of 1913. Thanks to their hardiness and skill, and especially to their ability to gather wild foods, far fewer died than aid agencies predicted. But survival came at a price which was only apparent later: they exhausted their land, their assets and their hospitality. The fabric of rural life never recovered. Sheikh Hilal was less innocent of the second change that killed the old order: guns. Just as the rains failed, semi-automatic firearms began to flood Darfur. Then-President Jaafar Nimeiri had allowed Sudan's famine to develop unchecked and in April 1985 popular protests brought him down. Relief aid at last began to reach Darfur and, with a new regime in Khartoum ready to deal with Libya, the trans-Saharan road to the Kufra oasis in Libya was opened, transforming Darfur. The desert road allowed impoverished Darfurians to migrate to oil-rich Libya and send money back to their families. It also allowed the Ansar, the military wing of the Umma Party (see below), and Islamist exiles to return to Sudan. Having trained in Gadhafi's camps, alongside the Failaq al-Islamiyya (Islamic Legion) or as part of the Arab Gathering, they arrived infused with a supremacist agenda. They also came with weapons: huge convoys of military trucks rolled across the desert to set up rear bases in Darfur. Gadhafi's designs on Chad needed an intermediary in North Darfur. He chose the Mahamid, the largest section of the northern Rizeigat and the best represented in Chad. Sheikh Hilal, endeavoring to boost his clan's power, had long been in close touch with his brethren in Chad, and the Um Jalul's camps had been used for storing Libyan arms destined for the Burkan ("Volcano") Brigade headed by Ahmat Acyl Aghbash. But Hilal never saw the automatic weapons that changed the face of Darfur. Incapacitated from early 1986, the old sheikh lost his sight, rarely rose from his bed, and withdrew from worldly affairs. Moussa Hilal, the only one of Sheikh Hilal's sons who had attended secondary school, took over the leadership of the Mahamid before his father's death. As clashes with the Fur grew more frequent, it was he who organized the Mahamid's new arms supplies from Libya. Arab Gathering As significant as lack of rain and an abundance of guns was a new political ideology in Darfur: Arab supremacism. Sheikh Hilal, for all his stature and ambition, was a parochial and traditional man; neither he nor his courtiers had ideological sophistication. But by the end of the 1980s, the old bedouin intrigues became caught up in national and international currents far stronger than they. The origins of those currents lay in the Libya of Gadhafi in the 1970s. The roots of Arab supremacism in Darfur do not lie in the Arabized elite ruling in Khartoum. They lie in the politics of the Sahara. In Sudan in the 1960s, the Umma Party and the Muslim Brotherhood had supported the Arab factions who led the Chadian opposition with arms, money and rear bases, believing that they were fighting for the rights of Muslims against the Chadian government's Christian, "African" agenda. But Nimeiri normalized relations with Chad upon coming to power in 1969 and the axis of Sahelian Arabism shifted to Libya, where Gadhafi was dreaming of an Arab state straddling the desert and where, thanks to oil money, he was busy fashioning his instruments. These included the Islamic Legion, which recruited bedouins from Mauritania to Sudan; the Munazamat al-Daawa al-Islamiyya (Organization of the Islamic Call), which fostered Islamic philanthropy and evangelization; and sponsorship of the Sudanese opposition National Front including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ansar. In addition, Gadhafi was hosting a raft of Arab opposition movements, known popularly as the "Arab Gathering," and giving them military training in Kufra in the southeast of the country. In Darfur, the first signs of an Arab racist ideology emerged in the early 1980s. At the time of regional elections in 1981, candidatures had taken on ethnic dimensions and the Arabs had been hopelessly split, allowing the Fur politician Ahmed Diraige to sweep to power. Darfurian Arabs argued that if they were united, and drew the Zaghawa and Fellata into their constituency, they could command an absolute majority. All that was needed was an "Arab alliance." Around this time, leaflets and cassette recordings purporting to come from a group calling itself the Arab Gathering began to be distributed anonymously, proclaiming that the zurga (a derogatory term for blacks) had ruled Darfur long enough and it was time for Arabs to have their turn. The speakers claimed that Arabs constituted a majority in Darfur. They called upon them to prepare themselves to take over the regional government - by force if necessary - and to change the name from Darfur, the "homeland of the Fur," to reflect the new reality. A directive, published during the "critical stage" of 1998-99, laid out the aims and strategies of the movement in greater detail, and set a "target date" of 2020 for completion of its project. Invoking, for the first time, the name of the tribe of the Prophet Mohammad, this directive was entitled "Qoreish 2." The crux of Qoreishi ideology, a convergence of Arab supremacy and Islamic extremism, is that that those who trace their lineage to the Prophet are the true custodians of Islam and therefore entitled to rule Muslim lands. Adherents regard Sudan's riverine elite as "half-caste" Nubian-Egyptians and believe the country's only authentic Arabs are the Juhayna, the direct descendents of the Qoreish, who crossed the Sahara from Libya in the Middle Ages. They claim that these immigrants found an empty land stretching from the Nile to Lake Chad, and say this land should now be governed by their descendents - the present-day Abbala and Baggara Arabs. The Qoreishi idea became an ideology in arms. No sooner had it been published than Darfur was engulfed in a civil war that was stoked by the spillover from Chad. For the first time, Darfurians heard of a militia called the Janjaweed. Julie Flint and Alex de Waal are authors of "Darfur: A Short History of a Long War," from which this commentary is excerpted for THE DAILY STAR. The book is published by Zed Books, and will be available in October 2005.

Africa Action 8 Sep 2005 www.africaaction.org Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ann-Louise Colgan (202) 546-7961 Hundreds Mark "A Day for Darfur" with White House Rally Ongoing Genocide Seen as Consequence of Failed Presidential Leadership Thursday, September 8, 2005 (Washington, DC) - To mark the one-year anniversary of the Bush Administration’s declaration of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, hundreds of activists joined leadership figures at a rally outside the White House today to denounce the continuing failure of political leadership from President Bush on this crisis. The death toll in Darfur now stands at more than 400,000 people, with a further 2.5 million people displaced and left homeless as a result of the ongoing government-sponsored genocide. Salih Booker, Executive Director of Africa Action, said today, "As Americans struggle to cope with the President’s failure of leadership on the domestic front in the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we must also condemn the President’s failure of political leadership on the international front, where he has failed to act to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur, and the death toll continues to mount." Speakers and activists at today’s event emphasized the urgent need for protection for the people of Darfur, and called on President Bush to take every step necessary to ensure an immediate multinational intervention to support the African Union and provide security to Darfur. Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service, said, "As Jews who understand the consequences of silence and indifference in the face of genocide, we must respond to the crisis in Darfur and increase pressure on the international community to end the violence and suffering. No-one can stand silently by." Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, said, "It is unacceptable for us to sit idly by as people die. This is true whether it is in the Deep South or Darfur, Sudan. This genocide is one of the greatest horrors of our day. We urge people of conscience everywhere to call on our leaders to take action now before events force us to one day have to confess our sin of negligence and complicity." Today’s event also saw the release of a petition signed by many tens of thousands of Americans, calling on the President to act urgently to provide protection to the people of Darfur. Across the country, citizen engagement on the crisis in Darfur continues to grow, as Americans raise their voices to emphasize that genocide cannot be ignored. Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder an Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners Magazine, said today, "People of faith are united in their call for bold and immediate Presidential leadership in order to restore hope and security to the people of Darfur. Now is the time to put real meaning behind the words 'never again'." Fatima Haroun of the Sudan Peace Advocates Network said today, "The people of Darfur have suffered more than enough already. It is time for international action to stop the violence and bring relief and peace to this troubled region." David Rubenstein, Coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition, said today, "The Save Darfur Coalition’s 134 member organizations represent more than 130 million Americans. We call on President Bush - one year after he recognized the genocide in Darfur - to take decisive and effective action to end the violence that is brutalizing innocent civilians in Darfur." Today’s event was organized by Africa Action, American Jewish World Service, Armenian National Committee of America, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Faithful America, Greater Washington Jewish Task Force on Darfur, NAACP, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Save Darfur Coalition, Sojourners, STAND, Sudan Peace Advocates Network, TransAfrica Forum, and the United Methodist Church. ####

www.usnewswire.com 9 Sept 2005 Year after Bush Administration Declared Darfur Violence a 'Genocide,' Progress is Minimal, Evangelical Official Says 9/9/2005 12:02:00 AM To: National Desk, Religion Reporter Contact: Sean Crowley 202-478-6128 or 202-550-6524 (cell), for the National Association of Evangelicals, scrowley@mrss.com WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Since the Bush Administration declared that the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan amounted to genocide one year ago (September 9, 2004), it has made minimal progress protecting millions of victims of the world's worst humanitarian crisis. That's the conclusion of an official for the National Association of Evangelicals and the Save Darfur Coalition -- http://www.SaveDarfur.org -- an alliance of more than 130 faith- based, humanitarian and human rights organizations committed to protecting the civilians of Darfur. Together, the organizations united in the Save Darfur Coalition represent more than 130 million Americans. "It is time to move the Darfur genocide from a talking point to an action item. President Bush must put this issue on the top of his inbox," said Richard Cizik, vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. "The more the American people learn about the suffering, devastation and killing, the more they are demanding that our president turn his words into action. America has been the world's conscience and halted genocide when it raised its evil head in Europe. We have a moral obligation to do the same in Africa." Since February 2003, government-sponsored militias known as the Janjaweed have conducted a calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation and displacement in Darfur. It is estimated that 400,000 people have died due to violence, starvation and disease. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and more than 200,000 have fled across the border to Chad. Many now live in camps lacking adequate food, shelter, sanitation, and health care. "While the Bush Administration has displayed some leadership in this humanitarian crisis, it has not done nearly enough to stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in Darfur," concluded David Rubenstein, coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition. "If every American citizen understood how serious this crisis is, they would demand that our leaders take action to save our brothers and sisters in Darfur. Our government needs to hear from concerned American citizens about the need to step up its leadership and march the world towards peace in Darfur."

Africa Action 8 Sep 2005 www.africaaction.org Chronology of a Failure to Stop Genocide: Bush Administration Policy on Darfur since September 9, 2004 September 9, 2005 On this day last year, the White House declared that genocide was taking place in Darfur, Sudan. This announcement was the result of political pressure from Congress and citizen pressure from across the U.S. The legal finding was itself based on overwhelming evidence from a study of the region completed by the State Department the previous month. The U.S. remains the only government to acknowledge the crisis in Darfur as genocide, thereby invoking special responsibilities to act. However, since September 9, 2004, the Bush Administration has done little to stop the violence and provide protection to the people of Darfur. Despite important opportunities and obligations, and growing public pressure, the President has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure an urgent multinational intervention to stop this genocide. Instead, the Bush Administration’s other interests in Sudan have inhibited its response to the crisis in Darfur. U.S. diplomatic engagement in ending the long-running civil war between the northern government and southern rebels, and the U.S. desire to maintain an intelligence-sharing relationship with the Sudanese government in context of the so-called "War on Terror" have both been considered more important than saving lives in Darfur. A decade after the U.S. blocked international action on the genocide in Rwanda, the White House has abdicated its responsibilities to stop the genocide in Darfur. It has left the African Union (AU) to deal with this crisis, even while it knows that the AU lacks the capacity and the mandate to protect the people of Darfur. The death toll in Darfur now exceeds 400,000 people, more than 2 million people have been displaced and left homeless, and the genocide continues. It is clear that U.S. financial support for humanitarian efforts in Darfur, limited official travel to the region, and occasional remarks about U.S. engagement have failed to substitute for assertive international leadership to provide the protection to the people of Darfur necessary to stop the genocide. Genocide is a unique crime against humanity and it demands a unique and urgent response. Once the U.S. recognized that genocide was occurring in Darfur, it should have immediately acted to provide protection to the people of Darfur - to stop the killing and rapes, to restore security to the region, to facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance, and ultimately to support the voluntary return of displaced people to their land. A multinational intervention mission, approved by the United Nations (UN) Security Council under Chapter 7 of its Charter, would provide the mandate and authorize the force necessary to build on the AU mission and stop this genocide. Instead, while the U.S. has drafted all UN resolutions on Darfur in the past year, it has not once sought to achieve such an intervention to stop this genocide. The following is a chronology of the failure of the Bush Administration over the past year to stop the genocide in Darfur: September 9, 2004: President Bush issues a press statement acknowledging that genocide is taking place in Darfur. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that genocide has been committed in Darfur, and that the government of Sudan and its proxy militia bear responsibility, but he denies logic by stating that "no new action is dictated by this determination." September 18, 2004: The United Nations (UN) Security Council passes a weak U.S.-sponsored Resolution (1564), which presses the Government of Sudan to end the violence in Darfur but fails to impose strong measures to ensure this outcome. Indeed, this follows the expiration of a deadline set in a previous resolution, by which the government was supposed to have disarmed the Janjaweed militia. Resolution 1564 also requests that the Secretary-General establish an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur. September 21, 2004: President Bush briefly mentions the "terrible suffering and horrible crimes in Darfur" in remarks to the UN General Assembly, and reiterates the U.S. finding that genocide is occurring, but he fails to propose urgent international action to stop the genocide. October 1, 2004: President Bush responds to a question on Darfur during the first Presidential debate by emphasizing that genocide is occurring but failing to propose action to address the crisis. He simply states that the AU observer mission in Darfur should be supported. October 18, 2004: President Bush commits to supplying two military transport aircraft to support the small African Union mission in Darfur. November 1, 2004: President Bush extends Executive Order 13067, which was first invoked in 1997, and which maintains sanctions against Sudan and states that the actions and policies of the Sudanese government pose an extraordinary threat to U.S. national security. November 19, 2004: The UN Security Council passes a weak U.S.-sponsored Resolution (1574), which again demands that the government, its militia forces and the rebel groups cease violence in Darfur, and expresses support for AU plans to increase its mission to 3,320 observers. January 9, 2005: President Bush commends the signing of the North-South Peace Agreement in Sudan, and urges the government of Sudan to end atrocities in Darfur and allow the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies. February 1, 2005: In response to the UN Commission of Inquiry report on Darfur, a State Department spokesperson emphasizes that the U.S. stands by its conclusion that genocide had been occurring in Darfur, and states that the continued accumulation of facts on the ground, and the facts in the UN report itself, support that view, and that the U.S. continues to hold that position. March 31, 2005: The U.S. abstains as the UN Security Council adopts a resolution to refer cases of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC). April 14-15, 2005: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick travels to Sudan to meet with senior officials from the genocidal regime in Khartoum. While in Sudan, Zoellick evades media questions on the crisis in Darfur and refuses even to use the word "genocide". April 20-22, 2005: Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, Head of the Sudanese intelligence agency, is flown to Washington on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) jet to discuss intelligence sharing in the context of the so-called "War on Terror." Gosh has been accused by numerous human rights groups and members of Congress of planning attacks on civilians in Darfur. April 25, 2005: Media reports indicate that the White House has leaned on Congressional allies to strike the Darfur Accountability Act from the budget supplemental appropriation bill, claiming it might impede the North-South peace process in Sudan. May 27, 2005: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) agree to send air transport, vehicles, training and other materials to support the expansion of the AU mission in Darfur. The U.S. agrees to provide additional financial support for this mission. May 31, 2005: Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick again travels to Sudan, continuing a policy of constructive engagement on the part of the Bush Administration with the genocidal regime in Khartoum. June 1, 2005: President Bush breaks months of silence on the crisis in Darfur by repeating his Administration’s position that genocide is occurring, but offers only a transport plane to support the AU mission. June 9, 2005: NATO agrees to help the AU with airlifts and training for its mission in Darfur. June 22, 2005: Deputy Secretary Zoellick’s testimony before the House Committee on International Relations confirms that the U.S. has an intelligence-sharing relationship with Sudan, which is impacting the U.S. response to the crisis in Darfur. Zoellick emphasizes that U.S. support for the small AU operation is the centerpiece of U.S. policy on Darfur. July 7, 2005: NATO begins a three-month airlift of AU observers into Darfur, and the U.S. commits to supporting NATO’s work in the coming weeks by transporting about 1,200 Rwandan troops and equipment from Rwanda to Sudan to participate in the AU observer mission. July 9, 2005: Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick again visits Khartoum to represent the U.S. at the inauguration of the Government of National Unity. Zoellick also makes a third, and uneventful, trip to Darfur to meet with local leaders, NGOs and humanitarian groups and internally displaced people (IDPs). July 21, 2005: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Sudan to meet with senior government officials in Khartoum and to visit camps for displaced people in Darfur. However, a fracas between Sudanese security officers and Rice’s entourage appeared to generate greater attention and indignation from U.S. officials and media than did the ongoing genocide in that country. Rice repeats that the Administration’s position remains that genocide is occurring in Darfur. July 26, 2005: The State Department announces the appointment of Roger P. Winter as Special Representative of the Deputy Secretary of State for Sudan, tasked with engaging with the new Government of National Unity and advising the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on policy related to Darfur and to Sudan in general. August 1, 2005: President Bush issues a statement expressing condolences to the family of Dr. Garang, First Vice President in the Government of National Unity, who has just died. Secretary of State Rice emphasizes that the U.S. remains committed to the cause of peace in all of Sudan, including resolution of the "humanitarian crisis" in Darfur. September 8, 2005: For more than two years, a growing number of communities and organizations across the U.S. have been demanding leadership from the White House to stop the genocide in Darfur. This diverse movement now includes a range of religious groups, student activists, African-American groups, relief agencies, and human rights organizations of all kinds. On the one-year anniversary of the Bush Administration’s declaration of genocide in Darfur, a coalition of these groups and their supporters gather outside the White House to condemn the failure of political leadership on the part of the President in ensuring protection for the people of Darfur, and to urge immediate action to stop the genocide in Darfur. This event, called "A Day for Darfur", is co-sponsored and endorsed by the following groups: Africa Action, American Jewish World Service, Armenian National Committee of America, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Faithful America, Greater Washington Jewish Task Force on Darfur, Human Rights First, NAACP, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Save Darfur Coalition, Sojourners, STAND, Sudan Peace Advocates Network, TransAfrica Forum, and the United Methodist Church. NOTE: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for Darfur (2003-present) = $710,000,000 U.S. Spending on Iraq War & Occupation (2003-present) = $192,000,000,000

IPS 8 Sept 2005 Darfur Crisis Eclipsed But Not Forgotten Jim Lobe WASHINGTON, Sep 8 (IPS) - Exactly one year after the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush declared the ongoing violence in Darfur, Sudan to be "genocide", activists here declared that the president had failed to follow through with a sustained effort to provide help to the victims. Rallying in Lafayette Park across from the White House Thursday, more than 100 activists noted the anniversary and called for the international community to urgently provide protection for the estimated 2.5 million people who have been displaced and left homeless by the continuing attacks on the African population by government-backed Arab militias in Sudan's western-most province. "As Americans struggle to cope with the president's failure of leadership on the domestic front in the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," declared Salih Booker, the director of Africa Action, "we must also condemn the president's failure of political leadership on the international front, where he has failed to act to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur, and the death toll continues to mount." Africa Action, which Thursday released a petition signed by nearly 100,000 people calling on Bush to "take every step necessary" through the United Nations to immediately dispatch a multinational intervention force with a mandate to protect civilians in Darfur, was joined by the leaders of several religious denominations, including the American Jewish World Service, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the National Council of Churches, as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP, among others. While some observers have claimed that the violence has abated somewhat in recent months, the death toll in Darfur since the conflict began two and a half years ago has continued to climb and is now estimated at between 300,000 and more than 400,000. Recent reports have also indicated an increase in sexual assaults on women and girls in many of the camps where most of the African population in Darfur have been displaced. The African Union (AU) has now deployed -- with the logistical and transport assistance of members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including the U.S. -- nearly 5,500 troops to Darfur to monitor the situation there, and they still lack a U.N. mandate to protect civilians. Moreover, the AU announced this week that it was suspending additional deployments for at least three weeks due to the lack of jet fuel, thus putting its goal of having 7,500 troops on the ground by the end of this month out of reach. Activists have argued that a considerably larger force is needed to cover an area roughly equivalent to France or Iraq. The activists are also concerned that the media attention being given to Hurricane Katrina, as well as the ongoing conflict in Iraq, will make it much more difficult to publicise the situation in Darfur. A study released in July by the Genocide Intervention Fund (GIF) found that U.S. network and cable-news television stations had devoted more than 50 times more coverage to Michael Jackson's child molestation trial than they had to Darfur violence. Moreover, when GIF subsequently prepared an ad announcing those findings, the networks refused to broadcast them. "We face a new challenge, particularly with Katrina's shocking aftermath, of getting media attention focused on Darfur," said Ann-Louise Colgan, Africa Action's assistant director. "But Katrina highlights the common vulnerability of people in this country and around the world. For that reason alone, we need to refocus on Darfur, where the ultimate crime against humanity is still taking place with impunity." "It is unacceptable for us to sit idly by as people die," said Robert Edgar, NCC general secretary. "This is true whether it is in the Deep South or Darfur, Sudan. This gnocide is one of the great horrors of our day, and we urge people of conscience everywhere to take action now before events force us to one day have to confess our sin of negligence and complicity." It was one year ago that Bush issued a press statement acknowledging that genocide was taking place in Darfur and that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell testified that the Sudanese government and its proxy militia bore responsibility. Nine days later, the U.N. Security Council passed a weak, U.S.-sponsored resolution that pressed Khartoum to end the violence but failed to impose strong measures in the event that the regime did not comply. In November, the Security Council, at Washington's urging, passed another resolution authorising the AU mission but once again failing to threaten or impose sanctions for non-compliance. Since then, Washington has stepped up its support for the AU operation but has declined to take stronger action, privately citing its concerns that a more-aggressive approach would be vetoed by China, which has substantial investments in Sudan's oil industry, and could derail a peace agreement between Khartoum and a long-standing rebel movement in the southern part of the country. But some critics have charged that other motives may also be at work. The secret visit here in April of the head of Sudan's intelligence agency, Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, who reportedly has been named in a U.N. report as one of the chief perpetrators of the government's Darfur campaign, suggested that Khartoum's cooperation in Washington's anti-terror struggle had bolstered its position in Washington. This assessment was bolstered by subsequent White House pressure on Congress to sideline legislation designed to add pressure on Sudan to end the violence in Darfur. Despite several trips to Darfur over the summer, including one in July by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the appointment of Roger Winter, a senior USAID official known for his sceptical views of Khartoum good faith, as a special envoy to Sudan, the administration has done little or nothing to reduce suspicions by Darfur activists that it is willing to pay additional political and diplomatic capital to ensure Sudan's full compliance with Security Council demands or its own promises to rein in the Janjaweed and provide sufficient security to the displaced to enable them to reclaim their homes and villages. "We call on Pres. Bush, one year after he recognised the genocide in Darfur," declared David Rubenstein, coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition, which includes 134 member organisations to which 130 million U.S. citizens belong," "to take decisive and effective action to end the violence that is brutalising innocent civilians in Darfur."

OneWorld.net 9 Sept 2005 White House Urged Act on Anniversary of Darfur Genocide Declaration by Abid Aslam WASHINGTON - Hundreds of activists descended on the White House Thursday to protest what they called President George W. Bush's inaction in the year since his administration said that genocide was taking place in Sudan's western Darfur region. Some 700 people took part in the Washington rally, at which a petition demanding U.S. action and bearing tens of thousands of signatures was unfurled, said Ann-Louise Colgan, director of policy analysis at Africa Action, one of the event's organizers. ''As Americans struggle to cope with the President's failure of leadership on the domestic front in the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we must also condemn the President's failure of political leadership on the international front, where he has failed to act to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur and the death toll continues to mount,'' said Salih Booker, the organization's executive director. Separately, the Sudanese government and two main rebel groups from Darfur said Thursday they would attend peace talks scheduled to resume Sep. 15 in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. Violence in Darfur, now in its third year, has killed more than 400,000 people and forced 2.5 million of the region's 5.5 million people to flee their homes and villages, U.N. agencies and advocacy groups have estimated. Relief workers also have been caught up in the fighting. The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said Tuesday it had received fresh reports of fighting between rebel groups and the nomadic Janjaweed militia, looting of humanitarian assistance, and attacks on villages. ''The combat between the Janjaweed and the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) has been taking place in the Jabal Moon hills in North Darfur,'' UNMIS said in a statement, ''but the situation in West Darfur is most troubling, following two attacks last week on humanitarian convoys sent in by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).'' The death toll could exceed one million people by the end of the year unless bold steps are taken to rein in the conflict between rebel groups of African descent and Arab militias that the regime in Khartoum stands accused of arming and abetting, Africa Action warned. It has urged Washington to push for the deployment of an international peacekeeping force and has demanded that Africa Union (AU) peacekeepers be given a political mandate to intervene in the fighting to protect civilians. The fighting started over rebels' claims that the Sudanese government had deliberately neglected Darfur, starving it of basic services and development money. It has been compounded by competition for control of local oil, gas, and mineral resources. Even as government and rebel forces implement a peace process in the country's south, the Khartoum regime appears to be girding for new violence in eastern Sudan, where local populations also are rebelling against the government, according to Africa Action. In 2000, the group was among the first to warn of what it then saw as an impending crisis in Darfur. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Sudan in July and urged the government to end the violence in Darfur, a region about the size of Texas. However, U.S.-Sudanese intelligence cooperation in what the White House calls its ''war on terror'' and prospects for peace in war-torn southern Sudan dominated Rice's talks with President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and senior government officials. Washington also has pledged to help airlift AU troops from their home countries to Sudan. Even so, speakers at Thursday's rally chided the White House for what they said amounted to scant lip service. They renewed demands for urgent action to protect Darfur's civilians and to mobilize a multinational intervention to support the AU, Africa's equivalent of the European Union. ''We call on President Bush, one year after he recognized the genocide in Darfur, to take decisive and effective action to end the violence that is brutalizing innocent civilians in Darfur,'' said David Rubenstein, coordinator of the 134-organization Save Darfur Coalition, which claims a combined membership of more than 130 million Americans. Thursday's event was organized by Africa Action, American Jewish World Service, Armenian National Committee of America, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Faithful America, Greater Washington Jewish Task Force on Darfur, NAACP, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Save Darfur Coalition, Sojourners, STAND, Sudan Peace Advocates Network, TransAfrica Forum, and the United Methodist Church. Anti-genocide activists also have been pressing U.S. television networks to increase coverage of the Darfur situation, described by the United Nations as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The campaign--run by the American Progress Action Fund and the Genocide Intervention Fund--asks networks to ''be a witness'' to the genocide in Darfur. Organizers said they hoped increased coverage would move voters to exert pressure on elected officials. ''Television has told us stories of important human brutality before, and Americans have responded by demanding action from our elected representatives,'' the campaign said in a statement citing examples including the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s and the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s. Last year, the ABC, CBS, and NBC network nightly newscasts aired a total of only 26 minutes on Sudan, according to the Tyndall Report, which monitors major broadcasters. ABC devoted 18 minutes to Darfur coverage, NBC five, and CBS only three. By contrast, lifestyle doyenne Martha Stewart's legal woes received 130 minutes of nightly news coverage. A U.N. commission concluded last January that crimes against humanity--but not genocide--had occurred in Darfur. In April, the world body passed a resolution referring cases of alleged atrocities since July 1, 2002 to the International Criminal Court. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan then handed the names of 51 people suspected of war crimes and atrocities in Darfur to the court. The list included Sudanese government and army officials as well as militia and rebel leaders. © Copyright 2005 OneWorld.net

washingtonpost.com 14 Sept 2005 Genocide, One Year On Wednesday, September 14, 2005; A30 A YEAR AGO, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell declared that the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan justified the term "genocide." That was the first time since the adoption of the U.N. Genocide Convention in 1948 that a government had accused a sitting counterpart of this worst of all humanitarian crimes, and Mr. Powell chose his words carefully. His language was based on a survey of Darfurian refugees commissioned by the State Department: Of 1,136 civilians interviewed, a third had heard racial epithets while being attacked, suggesting that the mass killings and evictions in Darfur constituted genocide. The survey also found that three in four refugees had seen government insignia on the uniforms of their attackers, leaving no doubt as to the guilt of Sudan's government. Since that finding, the United States has led an international effort to end the genocide. The effort has not been as quick or decisive as the genocide finding warranted: The Bush administration's attempt to pressure Sudan's government with U.N. sanctions was feckless, and it made no effort to deploy a robust NATO peacekeeping force. But, little by little, American diplomacy has made headway. For now, the horror has abated. The first success of Western diplomacy was to improve access to Darfur for humanitarian workers and supplies, ending the government's policy of systematically denying visas to aid officials and bottling up their equipment in customs. Next, Sudan's rulers were persuaded to accept the deployment of 7,700 African Union troops in Darfur, up from the handful who were there a year ago. Partly thanks to the presence of these troops, violence between government forces and rebels, and between government and civilians, has greatly diminished. But the progress is incomplete and reversible. Fully 3.2 million people have been affected by the war, half of Darfur's population. Many of these subsist in crowded camps for displaced people, where they depend on Western charity. Although humanitarian access has improved since last year, it remains imperfect. In the Kalma camp, which is home to something like 160,000 displaced people, the government has refused to extend a Norwegian group's authority to coordinate the distribution of relief supplies and has imposed an economic blockade. Meanwhile low-level violence continues. Although the government has authorized the deployment of 7,700 A.U. troops, only 5,800 are in place so far -- a failure both of the African governments that had promised troops and of the Western governments that promised to support them logistically. The progress over the past year demonstrates that the United States and its allies do have the power to save lives by the tens of thousands. It also suggests that, if the Bush administration had pushed harder and earlier, it could have saved many more people. This lesson must be remembered over the coming weeks and months. Outsiders need to persist in their efforts to broker peace negotiations between Sudan's government and Darfur's rebels; they must complete the deployment of the African Union force and continue to pressure the government for humanitarian access. The past year demonstrates that, if the United States and its allies pursue these goals with determination, they can get what they want. But if they lose interest in Darfur, violence may resume and humanitarian access may dry up. With so much of the population already displaced and weakened, Darfur's death rate could easily return to the horrific levels of a year ago.

IRIN 14 Sept 2005 Darfur risks descending into anarchy - observers [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN SLA fighters in Fienna, Jebel Marra in South Darfur State. NAIROBI, 14 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - Darfur risks sliding into a perpetual state of lawlessness even as the Sudanese government and the main rebel groups in the war-torn region discuss the possibility of peacefully resolving the conflict there, observers have warned. Banditry and continuous attacks by armed groups on humanitarian workers, Arab nomads and villages in Darfur have increased significantly over the past weeks and threaten to destabilise the fragile ceasefire in the volatile western Sudanese region. "The month of September, so far, has not been a good month. There has been quite an increase in both the number and the scale of attacks," Radhia Achouri, spokeswoman for the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), said on Tuesday. "Overall, there have been at least 10 serious attacks on humanitarian workers in the past 30 days - for the purpose of looting - particularly in West Darfur," Achouri added. "The situation in South Darfur is not better." "These type of occurrences are happening all the time and all over," Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, head of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), said on 6 September, expressing his worry about the widespread nature and frequency of recent attacks. In the latest reported incident on Tuesday, Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, chairman of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), accused the Sudanese government of killing 10 SLM/A of his soldiers and 10 civilians during attacks on their positions west of Sheng al-Tobei village, about 65 km south of El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur, Reuters news agency reported. An armed forces spokesman, however, denied government forces were involved in any attacks in Darfur. "I can confirm that the fighting is going on in that area. We have an AMIS presence on the ground, but yesterday it was too hot [with hostilities] to do any investigation," Nourreddine Mezni, spokesman for AMIS in Khartoum, said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, preparations for the sixth round of the Abuja peace talks between the government and the two main rebel groups - the SLM/A and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) - have been completed, and the peace negotiations are expected to resume in the Nigerian capital on Thursday. Mezni warned that any incident would have a negative impact on the talks: "That is why Ambassador Kingibe made an appeal on all parties to refrain from hostilities on the eve of the resumption of the talks." In the past, fighting has tended to increase among the parties prior to the resumption of peace talks. The alleged intension of this display of military power was to strengthen parties’ respective bargaining position at the negotiating table. Observers on the ground in Darfur, however, warned in August that the SLM/A chain of command was disintegrating and that "warlordism" was increasing in the region. "The conflict in Darfur started as a counterinsurgency campaign that lasted a few months, with huge humanitarian consequences, but it has now transformed into a low-intensity conflict which is likely to evolve into a situation of chronic instability," Alexandre Liebeskind, head of Darfur operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said. On 25 August, a rebel group entered a village near Turba, some 50 km north of the South Darfur capital Nyala, and abducted children belonging to the Arab nomads living in the area. According to AMIS, the rebels also stole over 2,000 camels and killed three civilians and three government solders. In an unconfirmed incident on 8 September, armed men attacked the village of Abujidal in North Darfur, reportedly killing 12 villagers. On Friday, shooting erupted in the town of Tawilla, also in North Darfur, forcing many people to flee. Three persons were reported dead and an estimated 25 people injured, among them 11 police officers. On the same day, fighting took place between roughly 80 armed tribesmen and an unknown number of SLM/A troops at Kunjo, in East Jebel Marra in South Darfur. The armed tribesmen allegedly attacked the village and looted a number of cattle, leaving three tribesmen dead and four wounded. "Although at this point we can't certify all of the incidents, as a general trend the situation is concerning," Achouri warned. UNMIS had asked the government of Sudan to secure the areas where there was no rebel activity, she added, while AMIS had promised to do what it could in providing escorts for humanitarian convoys. The conflict in Darfur pits Sudanese government troops and allied militias like the Janjawid - accused of terrorising the region's non-Arab tribes - against two main rebel groups, the SLM/A and the JEM, who claim to be fighting against the marginalisation of their region by Khartoum. Over 2.9 million people continue to be affected by the conflict, of whom 1.85 million are internally displaced or have been forced to flee to neighbouring Chad.

Tanzania - ICTR

The Nation (Nairobi) 13 Sept 2005 Luxurious Life of Genocide Suspects By Cyrus Kinyungu Nairobi The United Nations prisons in Arusha may be the only jail in Africa where inmates live like guests in a luxury hotel. The United Nations Detention Facility (UNDF) is a jail in a class of its own, especially in Africa. Detainees at the jail have access to luxuries few people in any African country can afford. The prison holds suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where close to one million people were killed in 100 days. It is a facility exclusively reserved for politicians and senior military officers who may have taken part in the killings. While other regular suspects languish in congested Rwanda prisons awaiting trial, the detainees at UNDF while away their time comfortably waiting for trial at International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha. The ICTR penitentiary is the United Nations model for a prison. It is the only jail that is owned by UN. The UNDF commander, Mr Sandon Guindo, told the commissioners of prisons attending the Conference of Eastern, Southern and Central Africa (Cesca) Heads of Correctional Services in Rwanda recently that they should strive to achieve its standards. He explained what the detention centre offered to the surprise of many. On arrival at the detention centre, the inmates are received by the commanding officer or his immediate subordinate. Before registration, each detainee is given a copy of the rules and documents related to his rights and privileges. At the unique prison in the northern Tanzanian town, detainees receive daily food rations costing Sh500. There are different menus which take into consideration the detainees' health, age and cultural requirements. "There is general menu, vegetarian menu, low or no salt, white meat-only diets and many more," said Mr Guindo, adding that some inmates insisted on taking food from a specific country. The UNDF serves as a detention centre for people charged by the ICTR during trial while pending appeal and while waiting for transfer to national prisons. The prison has the capacity to accommodate 90 inmates but it currently holds 57. Each UNDF cell has an area of 5.22 metres by 2.15 metres. The cells contains a toilet, shower, hand wash basin on fixed table, chair and book shelves. Mr Guindo said every compound in the prison, comprising five to 13 cells, is provided with a television set with DSTV satellite channels. He said this was for recreation and information. "Most compounds have green areas for flower gardening and sheds where one can watch television. Two benches and one table are provided in the TV shed," he said. In accordance to UN rules, each detainee is accommodated in an individual cell provided with bedding and sanitary kit. The sanitary kit provided in each cell includes bathing soap, tooth paste, a shaving machine, toilet paper, disinfectant liquids and cleaning kit. And for clothing, the detainees are allowed to dress in decent clothing and proper attire for appearance in court or while within the detention centre. "ICTR provides clothing every year to detainees. These are two suits, shoes, socks, shirts, sportswear and much more. All their clothing including bedding are sent to dry cleaners once a week," said Mr Guindo to the surprise of the commissioners. The detainees are given the opportunity to select a lawyer from a list of lawyers from reputable international law firms. Mr Guindo said the UNDF was open to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Detainees, he said, were allowed to elect compound leaders to address problems in their individual compounds and to present them to commanding officer when they cannot find solutions. The detainees undergo medical examination upon their incarceration. A medical consultant attends to them daily. "UNDF has a medical consultation room and equipped with a short stay unit, should overnight observation be required," he said. Mr Guindo told the prison commissioners that the detainees had a programme for physical exercises and sports. "An open ground is available to detainees for exercise, a separate yard is available for basketball and a gymnasium was built and equipped for calisthenics. "All these are geared towards maintaining their state of good health," he said. He said all meals are prepared under the supervision of a dietician. The detainees are allowed to receive as many telephone calls as they wish from family members. They are also allowed to receive letters from them while family visits are unfettered. "The detainees are allowed to receive various presents from their relatives such as magazines, books, clothing, radios, television sets and even computers," said Mr Guindo. However, conjugal visits are not allowed in the cells though some detainees request for such visits. Prison commissioners from several African countries said they were surprised prisoners were treated so well. The Tanzanian principal commissioner of prisons, Mr Nicas Banzi, said African societies could not afford to treat their prisoners in this way.


International Herald Tribune 11 Sept 2005 www.iht.com The nightmare of northern Uganda Don Cheadle and John Prendergast The New York Times SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005 GULU, Uganda It sounds like some incredibly dark Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Each night before the sun sets, thousands of children march in grim procession along dusty roads that take them from their rural villages to larger towns. The children are afraid to sleep in their beds, terrified that they will be abducted by a madman who will force them into a marauding guerrilla army that hunts down their friends, families, and loved ones. The fleeing children sleep in churches, empty schools, makeshift shelters, and alleyways. And every morning at sunrise, the children walk home, free for another day. This is no fairy tale; the reality of northern Uganda's 18-year-old conflict is brutal. Under the control of a self-proclaimed messiah named Joseph Kony, the rebel Lord's Resistance Army has terrorized the region's civilian population. Kony, his few disciples, and an army comprised largely of kidnapped, tortured and brainwashed child soldiers have waged a campaign to overthrow the government of President Yoweri Museveni and establish an ethnically pure state based on Kony's distorted interpretation of the Old Testament. During our visit to northern Uganda this month, we talked with one 13-year-old girl who had recently escaped from her LRA abductors. In an attack in which her parents were killed, she was captured during the one night she hadn't made her nightly commute to safety because she had fallen ill. She was held for nearly a year, experiencing all manner of depredations. Her chilling tale was typical of the stories we heard from one child after another. Yet despite the horrors of this conflict, developments over the past six months have given observers two reasons for optimism. First, the LRA has been weakened because of improved performance by the Ugandan military, pressure from an investigation by the International Criminal Court and reduced support from Kony's long-time benefactor, the Sudanese government. Many LRA bases in southern Sudan have been overrun and supply lines have been disrupted. Defections and captures of its command and rank-and-file continue apace. Second, a mediation effort led by a former Ugandan state minister, Betty Bigombe, has opened contact with the LRA, giving its leadership an exit option. But the window for peace is closing. Recent reports of sadistic mutilations - hacking off lips, ears and breasts with axes and machetes - mark a return to the worst LRA atrocities of the past 18 years. These attacks reinforce the opinion of many that Kony will never come out of the bush. Renewed Sudanese government support for the LRA makes matters worse. The LRA's retreat further into Sudan has created complications for the Ugandan military, while Kony and his forces can rest, resupply and plan further attacks on civilians. This is consistent with the LRA's history. When backed into a corner, it has consistently emerged stronger, more focused and more bloodthirsty than ever. The peace process is in need of some shock therapy. The Ugandan government should make a clear proposal spelling out terms for the end of the war, and the U.S. government, as the key external actor, should step up its support for the peace process and help see if a deal is ultimately possible. Because such a deal may not be possible, a simultaneous effort to increase the effectiveness of Uganda's military actions against the LRA should also be a high priority. Additional military pressure will influence LRA leaders to consider a deal. This way forward is not simple, and will require the active assistance of the Sudanese government in Khartoum and the Southern People's Liberation Movement in southern Sudan, as well as diplomats in Kampala and Khartoum. The job will be harder after the death of John Garang, the long-time leader of the SPLM, who had recently become Sudan's vice president. His death should be a catalyst for increased international support for ending the crisis in northern Uganda, one that has destabilizing impacts on peace efforts in southern Sudan as well. U.S. help is indispensable. The United States was crucial in ending the conflict in southern Sudan, and has considerable influence with President Museveni of Uganda. In addition to supporting peace efforts, U.S. influence also should be brought to bear on the imperative of civilian protection. Consultation should begin about the deployment of an international force to protect people in the displaced camps from further attack. Around the world, children face all manner of depredations, but the stories we heard in northern Uganda may be among the most horrific ever told. Without more international support for the peace process and civilian protection, the region's children will be condemned to continue living out their dark fairy tale of abduction, torture, rape and murder. A happy ending is possible, but it will require much more commitment from the Bush administration to these forgotten children. (Don Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in ''Hotel Rwanda.'' John Prendergast is a special adviser to the president of the International Crisis Group.)


30 August 2005, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Zimbabwe tightens Mugabe's grip President Mugabe will be able to appoint 16 of the 46 senators Zimbabwe MPs have passed changes to the constitution to strengthen government control over land redistribution. Another clause would allow President Robert Mugabe's government to confiscate passports of those deemed to pose a threat to national security. Critics have condemned the proposals as an attack on fundamental rights. The bill also reintroduces the Senate, which was abolished in 1987. Critics say this will allow the president to appoint more people to parliament. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the amendments would bring to a full circle Zimbabwe's war against British colonial rule "This amendment will conclude the third chimurenga [liberation war] and the process of decolonisation," he said. Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the opposition MDC, described the bill as " the rape of democracy." Concerns The bill has raised serious concerns among human rights groups and the political opposition, who are worried about how the draft puts certain actions of the government beyond the reach of the judiciary. Legal battles have slowed down the transfer of land to new farmers The government will now, for example, be able to expropriate land without being challenged in court. This is being seen as a measure to smooth the government's programme of land redistribution from white farmers to the black majority. One opposition MP raised the concern that vague wording meant it could affect someone growing cabbages in his back yard. Another clause will give the government the right to withdraw passports or travel documents, again with no possibility of judicial appeal - opponents of the measure fear that it will be used to keep government critics on a tighter rein. The changes also reintroduce the Senate, the upper house of parliament that was abolished in 1987. The president will be able to appoint 16 of the 46 senators, in addition to the 30 MPs he already appoints to the lower house. President Robert Mugabe is expected to use this as an opportunity to bring back into parliament certain favoured former MPs and ministers who lost their parliamentary seats in the election earlier this year. Property rights The new bill also includes a proposal to bring private schools under state control. President Mugabe has repeatedly changed the constitution during his 25 years as Zimbabwe's leader, but the latest changes are the most wide-ranging amendments ever put forward. Most attention, though, has focused on the clause to deny the right of appeal to farmers whose land has been seized. The government says it will conclude the land question. The opposition says the move would further undermine property rights, deepening the country's economic crisis. The Law Society of Zimbabwe has joined the criticism, condemning the proposals as an undisguised assault on the rights of citizens. It concludes that the plans would seriously erode if not remove rights to property, protection of the law and freedom of movement.

IRIN 31 Aug 2005 Children living in borderland limbo [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN Trucks parked at the Musina border crossing MUSINA/BEITBRIDGE, 31 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Lucas Mavhube, 17, sat hiding under a clump of bushes in the dark, a few kilometres from the border gates at Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, waiting for an opportunity to slip through the fence that separates his country from South Africa. "I waited and waited. My time came when I saw some soldiers go past the security gate, late in the night - the guards were distracted, and I then slipped through." He is now in the South African border town of Musina, scratching a living as an "undocumented migrant." Mavhube is among scores of Zimbabwean teenagers who risk their lives to slip through the security cordon on either side of the fence and cross the crocodile-infested Limpopo river that marks the border, motivated by the need to find jobs to uplift their families and a better life for themselves. "After [crossing the river] there is a 12 km trek to the town of Musina. They try to keep to the bushes, away from the prying eyes of authority," said an aid worker with a local NGO that provides support to migrant Zimbabwean children. Mavhube was found wandering in the streets by one of the NGO's volunteers. After his mother died in 1997, Mavhube dropped out of school in Chiredzi, a town in southern Zimbabwe. He did odd jobs when he could, while his grandmother, a vegetable vendor, supported three younger siblings. "But there is no food now - the situation got very desperate," he said. "I thought I should leave so I can earn something in South Africa to help my family." Zimbabwe is going through a severe economic crisis and facing serious food shortages due to recurring droughts and the government's fast-track land redistribution programme, which disrupted agricultural production and slashed export earnings. Mavhube and five other Zimbabwean teenagers do odd jobs around Musina in an attempt to earn enough money to get to another South African city, preferably Johannesburg, where they think there are better opportunities. "Often, children have other siblings, relatives or friends working in South African cities and they just pass through Musina. But children like Mavhube, who do not know anyone else in South Africa, hang around in Musina or Makhado [a neighbouring town]. We try to provide them with shelter, a place to bathe in, wash their clothes, play, study and plan their next move," an aid worker explained. The NGO is aware of at least 100 Zimbabwean children who have crossed the border illegally since the beginning of this year. "These are children that we came to know of - there are probably many more who were smuggled in unnoticed," the aid worker said. According to the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM), at least 2,000 Zimbabweans are deported from South Africa via Beitbridge every week. "In 2003 the South African authorities deported 55,753 Zimbabweans without official documents. Figures for this year are likely to be higher, with 24,000 irregular Zimbabwean migrants being deported between January and March alone. Deportees are both male and female, and aged from in their teens and upwards, but the reason for deportation is always the lack of legal documentation," said IOM spokeswoman Nicola Simmonds. "It is easier for teenage girls to cross the border - they often offer sex in exchange for transport to truck or combi [minibus] drivers - girls even as young as 14 years. It is also more difficult for authorities to track them down, as once they make it across the border they assume married identities, but who will marry a teenage boy?" remarked an aid worker. There were few job opportunities for unskilled Zimbabweans back home, remarked Elias Gwamure, 16. "None of us could finish school, as we could not afford it, so there is little we can do." Many teenagers in Beitbridge are waiting for a lift - preferably unnoticed - across the border. With their thumbs in the air, they line the sides of the highway through the town and almost 30 km beyond, while scores of adults and children sit at the petrol stations in town, begging for any foreign currency that could help buy them a trip out. "I don't have a passport - most of us don't. Getting a lift is the only way out," said a waiting Zimbabwean teenager. They sit for hours and even days in the blazing sun, after having made it to Beitbridge from towns as far as 300 km away; they live off offerings from passers-by, or sell bags of oranges for local farmers. Many of them have already had a brush with the South African authorities. "Once caught, the Zimbabweans are transported to Beitbridge. They are usually denied access to their belongings after being caught, and so often arrive empty-handed and needing to bathe, eat, rest and receive counselling," said Simmonds. According to IOM, many deportees often do not have enough funds to either attempt another crossing or return home, and usually remain in town. In collaboration with the Zimbabwean and South African government, IOM is to set up a reception and support centre at the Beitbridge border in October, to provide humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwean migrants deported from South Africa. "The reception centre, funded by the British government's Department for International Development (DFID), will help the deported migrants with transportation, food rations, basic healthcare, and information on HIV/AIDS and irregular migration issues, including human trafficking and smuggling," said Simmonds. A tripartite dialogue between IOM and the ministries of home affairs in South Africa and Zimbabwe on issues of cross border migration will also be initiated, she added. Although there are no reliable data on the number of undocumented Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimated that last year 1.2 million Zimbabweans were living across the border. * The names of the children have been changed to protect their identities

IRIN 31 Aug 2005 "Third way" runs into criticism [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © New Zimbabwe.com Jonathan Moyo - former information minister BULAWAYO, 31 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Reviled by both sides of the political divide in Zimbabwe, sacked information minister Jonathan Moyo is back at the centre of controversy, promoting a "third way" to break the logjam between the ruling party and its main opposition. Moyo, the only independent candidate to win a seat in the parliamentary elections in March, argues that his United People's Movement (UPM) offers an alternative to ZANU-PF's 25-year grip on power, and the labour-backed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has lost three elections in a row since 2000, in ballots many regard as rigged. Although the initiative has stirred discussion in a country suffering triple-digit inflation, food shortages, savage unemployment and critical foreign exchange shortages, the debate remains coloured by the image of Moyo himself - first a staunch former critic of the government, then one of its most ardent ministers, now a new party leader. According to Moyo, the UPM is a "synthesis of the dialectic between ZANU-PF and the MDC", and an idea that has attracted disgruntled elements in both parties. The goals of the "third way" are to provide "a pragmatic ideological and policy alternative" for charting a way out of Zimbabwe's crisis, and to "succeed where the MDC has failed". "As a sunset political party going through an inevitably bitter [internal] succession struggle, ZANU-PF no longer has the capacity to govern, and govern well," Moyo told IRIN. The MDC, on the other hand, believes "it can come to power on the strength of protest votes produced by the ineptitude and brutality of the ZANU-PF", but had become "trapped by the web of protest politics". However, University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe commented that what Zimbabwe needed most at present was political dialogue between the MDC and ZANU-PF - not the introduction of more parties. "Currently there is so much polarisation in Zimbabwe, there can only be two horses in the political field, which are ZANU-PF and the MDC - there is no space for the so-called third way," said Makumbe. "Jonathan Moyo must not fool himself into thinking that he can win the people's support," Makumbe added. "His brutality against progressive forces, and his unbridled hate for opposition politicians, is well documented." As information minister for five years, Moyo was an abrasive defender of the government, and spearheaded the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act: legislation for controlling the media that has seen the arrest of more than 100 journalists and the closure of four private newspapers in the past four years. Moyo has, however, attracted audiences when he has spoken publically about the third way, winning applause, especially from college students. His willingness to stand up to ZANU-PF after being sacked in 2005 for his role in organising resistance to President Robert Mugabe's succession plans has earned him the admiration of some Zimbabweans. But for civil society activists and past opponents, like National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, the third way initiative is tainted by association with Moyo. "Little is known about it and if it is a credible movement at all, it can only succeed when reputable people take charge, and not the likes of Moyo - he has no credibility with the people, who justifiably dismiss him as a disillusioned former ZANU-PF die-hard," said Madhuku. Thokozani Sibanda, a civic activist, wondered aloud, "What is it that the MDC has failed to do, that Moyo and his UPM think they will achieve?"

www.newzimbabwe.com 5 Sept 2005 Facing a Zimbabwean genocide By Kevin Engle and Gregory Stanton Last updated: 09/05/2005 21:38:21 "We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people." Didymus Mutasa – Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Lands Reform, and Resettlement – August 2002 Operation Murambatsvina has been, “…a long cherished desire.” Robert Mugabe – Executive President of Zimbabwe – June 2005 Like a snared animal, attacking even those who would free Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, severely injured by their own failed policies, and in a desperate attempt to hold onto power, are tearing into the flesh of Zimbabwe’s own citizens. At first cloaking his ruin of Zimbabwe’s economy as land reform, Mugabe has now turned on his urban poor, bulldozing hundreds of thousands of peoples’ homes in the cold of winter. According to the United Nations Report on the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe to Assess the Scope and Impact of Operation Murambatsvina, there are, “three main categories of victims – those who have lost their homes, those who lost their livelihoods, and those who lost both.” There can be little doubt that this list will soon contain a fourth main category, those who have lost their lives. Beginning officially on May 19, 2005, Operation Murambatsvina (“Operation Drive out the Filth”), having already left 700,000 homeless, and directly impacting the lives of a further 2.4 million, is simply the most recent manifestation of the Mugabe/ZANU-PF’s systematic progression toward a governmental policy of overt mass murder. Make no mistake, what we are currently witnessing in Zimbabwe—even now, Operation Murambatsvina continues to unfold—constitutes nothing less than the first stages of a centrally organized program of mass murder on a scale of the genocides of Rwanda and Darfur. With a diligence akin to that of Hitler’s Germany, where valuable resources were diverted from the war effort—even as the Eastern Front collapsed under the onslaught of the Red Army—in order that the trains could continue to transport their pitiful cargos to the death camps, the Mugabe regime squanders what few assets it is still able to squeeze out of the freefalling Zimbabwean economy, to fuel a policy that aims at the elimination of all potential opposition, an opposition that Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwean Police Commissioner, has described as a, “crawling mass of maggots bent on destroying the economy.” Use of such dehumanizing language is one of the surest early warning signs of genocide. The Devil is in the Details Genocide is a process and not an event. The Mugabe regime has committed genocide before, and it has now begun the genocidal process again. In October 1980, when then Prime Minister Mugabe signed an agreement with the North Korean President, Kim Il Sung, providing that the North Korean communists would train what was to become the elite “5 Brigade” of the Zimbabwean army, he launched an intentional, organized process of genocide. 5 Brigade, comprised largely of Shona-speaking members of the armed wing of what is now the ZANU-PF, and organized along the lines of Hitler’s SS—standing outside of the army chain of command, and answering only to Mugabe himself—unleashed the Gukurahundi (“the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”), the regime’s first, and still unpunished, genocide. While an accurate death toll for the Gukurahundi is all but impossible to ascertain, with thousands of bodies disposed of in mass graves and thrown down abandoned mine shafts, it is estimated that at least 20,000 people were murdered by members of 5 Brigade, the ZANU-PF Youth Militia, the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), and the Police Internal Security Intelligence Unit (PISI), all active participants in the killings. What is known, and documented, about the Gukurahundi, is that it constituted the Mugabe regime’s first overt use of food as a weapon of suppression, with over 400,000 Zimbabwean citizens driven to the brink of starvation before 5 Brigade was withdrawn and disbanded in 1986. The Gukurahundi, while mainly about consolidation of raw political power, the establishment of a one-party, Mugabe/ZANU-PF led government, and the suppression of any opposition—by whatever means necessary—was also genocide. Its’ victims were almost exclusively Matabele. Having ruthlessly acted to cripple those he saw as threatening the ZANU-PF government in the 1980’s, Mugabe turned to consolidation of his political power by co-opting Zimbabwe’s parliamentary democracy, and its’ judiciary, hoping to turn both into rubberstamps for his dictatorship. Mugabe was shocked when in the Referendum of February 2000, a majority of those Zimbabweans who voted rejected proposed constitutional changes designed to strengthen the powers of the executive presidency. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF reacted with a second violent and coordinated attack on those perceived as threatening its grip on power, the political opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Zimbabwe’s commercial farming sector. The ZANU-PF Youth Militias, nicknamed the “Green Bombers,” have been re-constituted, with Shona ethnic indoctrination and lethal armament. Now, Mugabe’s assault on the Zimbabwean people, again utilizing the same tools of intimidation, torture, murder, and terror that were so viciously applied during the Gukurahundi, has escalated into Operation Murambatsvina. No longer content to control and suppress its’ political opposition, the Mugabe/ZANU-PF regime has implemented a systematic policy of forced relocation and mass murder by attrition. It is winter in the southern hemisphere. Mugabe’s policy of murder by homelessness, neglect, and starvation has been organized at the highest levels of government. It constitutes a crime against humanity as defined by international law. Action not Discussion As with Sudan and Niger, discussions about the situation in Zimbabwe have been taking place within the international community’s halls of power. The UN has compiled a damning report, the US and UK, in concert with other nations, have called on the Mugabe regime to cease and desist, while NGOs around the world have identified the specific steps that can be taken to end this grave humanitarian crisis. Yet the power elite in Zimbabwe have shown open contempt at demands that it end Operation Murambatsvina, a program of destruction that Mugabe cynically claims is meant to “bring joy to the people.” Given Mugabe’s evident refusal to end the policies that will lead to the extermination, by attrition, of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean citizens, the time for discussion and hand wringing has passed. Now it is time for those nations with the moral will, and the necessary resources, to act decisively – either with, or without, the approval of Mugabe, the ZANU-PF, or this criminal regime's apologists. Facing a Zimbabwean Genocide Mugabe has been called upon to take measured, reasonable, and responsible steps to end the humanitarian crisis caused by Operation Murambatsvina – he has refused. Mugabe has been offered humanitarian support if only he agrees to allow independent, international aid agencies to distribute assistance to those in the most dire straits, free from the corrupt influence of the ZANU-PF and its self-serving functionaries – he has refused. Mugabe has been offered a desperately needed influx of foreign exchange credits, if only he agrees to enter into talks with the MDC – he has refused. Mugabe has been called upon to provide international access to assist the hundreds of thousands of now homeless and hopeless victims of his brutal campaign of “urban cleansing” – he has refused. In fact, Mugabe has even gone so far as to deny that these victims exist, commenting to reporters on the subject when in Libya for the recent African Union (AU) summit: “Where are they? We don’t know about those. It’s just nonsense.” Mugabe and the ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe must not be given yet another opportunity that they can refuse! Never Again or Again and Again? What remains is for the world’s governments to decide whether they want to look back on this time in pride at having acted to avert another humanitarian disaster, a “tsunami,” as its victims have named it, a program of mass murder, to call it what it is, or in shame, at their collective complicity in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The dying has already begun in Zimbabwe. Will the “Never again,” invoked piously after Rwanda, again translate into “again and again?” As Judith Todd, the Zimbabwean human rights activist observed in June 2005, “If, in bitter winter, you deprive people and their children of shelter, and thus also their food and clothing and warmth; if you deprive them of their tools of trade and their means of survival, you do this for one reason only; you intend them to die….The regime will not stop with what we know so far of Operation Murambatsvina. They will not stop until they are stopped!” Kevin Engle, an independent researcher, has lived in Zimbabwe. Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch and James Farmer Professor of Human Rights at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia, has conducted genocide prevention training in Zimbabwe


NYT 1 Sept 2005 After Decades, Nations Focus on Rights Abuses By LARRY ROHTER BUENOS AIRES - After years of inertia, governments throughout Latin America have recently shown surprising vigor in prosecuting human rights violations that occurred, in some cases, 30 years ago or more. Chile, for instance, has offered reparations to torture victims and forced the army to apologize for its abuses, while the Supreme Court in Argentina in June declared unconstitutional a pair of amnesty laws from the 1980's. Why this sudden activity? After all, reopening issues like forced disappearances, torture and state-sanctioned murder is painful for any society and hardly as popular with voters as, say, creating jobs or building roads or schools. "What's happening now is not a coincidence, or like some kind of flower that has blossomed overnight," argues Víctor Abramovich of the Center for Legal and Social Studies here, one of Argentina's leading human rights group. "It's a regional process that has taken years to mature." Indeed, even nations that for years did their utmost to forget the past have now been confronting incidents once thought safely buried. In Uruguay, a leftist government, led by Tabaré Vázquez, took power for the first time in March and a former president, Juan María Bordaberry, was indicted three months later for the 1976 murders of two political leaders. Mexico charged one of its former presidents, Luis Echeverría, with genocide last year for his role in a "dirty war" against students and leftists in the late 1960's and early 1970's. And in Peru, military, intelligence and police officials involved in abuses during the authoritarian rule of Alberto K. Fujimori in the 1990's are also facing charges. One factor is clearly generational. Men and women who came of age politically during the height of the abuses in the 1970's are now becoming presidents, judges, cabinet ministers and senators, like President Néstor Kirchner here and his wife, Senator Cristina Fernández. "We speak a common language," explained Javier Miranda, a 41-year-old lawyer who is a leader of the Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Uruguay. "I don't have to explain to Tabaré Vázquez who my father was," he said. The same is true, he added, for other Latin American leaders. "All knew people who disappeared and thus understand what we are talking about. So there's a different sensibility." With the military now on the sidelines in every country in the region - no longer able to intimidate relatives of victims, much less interfere outright as it did in the past - those with claims of abuse also feel more comfortable coming forward. After 20 years, citizens are finally willing to believe that democracy has come to stay. But perhaps most important, there is now a body of international law to assure that once cases are brought, they can be won. Over the last decade, several countries in the region have approved new constitutions or laws that enshrine the American Convention on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which interprets and applies the convention, above their own national jurisprudence. The main precedent cited in the June decision of the Supreme Court here, for example, was not an Argentine case but one from Peru, the so-called Barrios Altos ruling from November 2001. In that case, the Inter-American Court ruled that there was no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity and ordered Peru to repeal two amnesty laws that prevented a state-sponsored death squad from being held accountable for the massacre of 17 people a decade earlier. "This is a remarkable and very important development that we have only seen in the past few years," said Santiago Cantón, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. "More and more, tribunals are deciding they can reopen a case internally and make justice if it is in order to comply with the Inter-American system." Not only is that system being used to resolve cases from the 1970's, it is also being applied to broader, more contemporary issues. Because of it, censors in Chile were forced to allow "The Last Temptation of Christ" to be shown in cinemas there, while Guatemala eliminated a law that prevented women from working without the approval of their husbands. All told, 22 Latin American and Caribbean nations have accepted the court's jurisdiction. Though the United States constantly lectures Latin American countries about human rights violations, it has not ratified the 1969 convention and consequently does not recognize the court's jurisdiction, a situation that has not stopped the court from raising questions about the treatment of Taliban prisoners being held at the Guantánamo base in Cuba. Even during the years Latin American governments were indifferent to the subject, human rights groups kept plugging away, building cases against offenders who they were sure had literally gotten away with murder. If there was a single turning point, however, it was probably the detention of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998. In the end, British courts turned down a Spanish extradition request and allowed General Pinochet to return to Chile, where efforts to prosecute him are continuing. But the "mere idea that a head of state had no immunity and could be treated like any other citizen was a revolutionary finding that reverberated throughout the region" and still does, said José Miguel Vivanco, director of the Washington-based Human Rights Watch's Americas Division. "The jailing of Pinochet was a contagious example, a catalyst," said Mr. Miranda, the Uruguayan human rights leader. "It gave us a blueprint for what could be done." The Pinochet ruling also helped debunk the myth that human rights was somehow exclusively a left-wing cause. "No one could accuse the British law lords, in their black robes and starched wigs, of being part of an international socialist conspiracy," Mr. Vivanco noted. Many of the governments that have reopened the human rights issue, like the one here and in Uruguay, do have a leftist tinge. But Alejandro Toledo of Peru, Vicente Fox of Mexico and Óscar Berger of Guatemala, conservatives all, have also taken steps to account for abuses in their countries, and have been more assertive than Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who leads Brazil's first elected leftist government. "No matter what its ideological coloration, a modern government wants to be perceived as respecting the rule of law," said Horacio Rosatti, a professor of constitutional law and former minister of justice here. "And the rule of law means that justice must eventually prevail."


BBC 12 Sept 2005 Violence as Chile marks 1973 coup The violence is being blamed on anarchist groups Protesters and police have clashed during events to mark the 32nd anniversary of Chile's military coup. Violence erupted in a cemetery, where thousands had gathered to pay tribute to the more than 3,000 victims of Gen Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 regime. Chile's centre-left government blamed the clashes on "infiltrators". A teenager is reported to have been killed in later disturbances. Gen Pinochet stayed at home and was visited by former aides. Protest At least 9,000 people marched 3km (1.8 miles) to the General Cemetery in the Chilean capital, Santiago. It is not about forgetting the past, but about using those experiences so that things like that do not happen again President Ricardo Lagos Many of them carried flags of the Communist party and of other left-wing movements, as well as pictures of former President Salvador Allende who committed suicide when the military took over the presidential palace on 11 September 1973. Marchers demanded justice for the victims of the military regime and protested against recent moves to pardon some officers convicted of human rights abuses. Some 10,000 police officers were deployed to keep order. But after a few incidents of violence outside the cemetery, clashes broke out inside, with demonstrators throwing rocks at police. Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. 'Dark moment' Local reports suggest the violence was instigated by hooded protesters, believed to be members of an anarchist group. Some of General Pinochet's supporters rallied outside his house Later in the evening, barricades were set up in a number of working class neighbourhoods in Santiago. A 16-year-old boy is reported to have died from a bullet wound during the protests, which continued into the early hours of Monday. The day of violence also left 21 police officers injured. More than 80 people have been arrested. President Ricardo Lagos - who has come under fire for pardoning an officer who killed a trade union leader in 1982 - made a call for unity. "I think the time has come to overcome this grey and dark moment," he said, referring to the coup. "It is not about forgetting the past, but about using those experiences so that things like that do not happen again."


United Nations News Service 29 Aug 2005UN rights office condemns leftist rebel massacre of farm workersThe United Nations human rights office in Colombia has condemned the massacre of 14 farm workers in the northwest of the country and warned leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Popular Army (FARC-EP) that they were incurring war and could be subject to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The workers were shot dead on 23 August in Valdivia municipality of Antioquia province in an attack which the authorities attributed to members of FARC-EP’s front 36, the office noted. “The Office warns that with killings like that of Puerto Valdivia, the FARC-EP members are indulging in conduct that constitutes war crimes,” it said in a statement issued in Bogota, the Colombian capital. “Moreover, murders of this type, by their generalized and systematic character, would possess the characteristics of crimes against humanity, and thus those responsible could be subject to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice,” it added. It called on the FARC-EP secretariat to “publicly assume the responsibility that arises from this atrocious act and odder its members to refrain at all times from attacks against the civilian population.” Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have been killed and millions displaced in four decades of fighting in the Andean country between leftist guerrillas, government forces and right-wing paramilitaries.


RightsAction 10 Sept 2005 rightsaction.org GUATEMALA: DEATH THREATS TO MEMBERS OF THE F.A.F.G. [GUATEMALAN FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY FOUNDATION] There have again been death threats to members of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG), in particular against Fredy Peccerelli, executive director. Since 1994, Rights Action has been supporting Mayan communities across Guatemala digging up the mass graves where their loved ones were dumped during the years of repression and genocide. This exhumation work would not have been possible with out the courageous work of the Forensic Anthropology Teams. Since the first Team was formed in 1992, death threats have been constant. The work of the Forensic Teams is crucial to efforts to tell the truth about Guatemala’s repression and genocide, to efforts to have justice done for these crimes against humanity. ON AUGUST 26, 2005: Jeannette Peccerelli, Fredy's wife, was in her car at a stoplight, when two men approached her. One put a gun against her head and told her they were watching Fredy, while he pushed her head. And then they left. ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2005: Omar Giron Bertoni, who works for the FAFG and is Fredy's brother-in-law, received an anonymous note at his home, threatening the entire Team, as well as his wife Bianca Peccerelli (Fredy’s sister). The death threat - addressed to Omar - said that people working at the FAFG will be punished for their work; that previous threats were just an initial message and that now they will have to use other means to stop these “sons of bitches that continue to do this work."


BBC 14 Sept 2005 Fujimori gets new Peru passport Alberto Fujimori has vowed to return to Peru for the 2006 election Peru's former President, Alberto Fujimori, has received a new Peruvian passport in Tokyo, ahead of his expected return to the Andean nation. Mr Fujimori, who has been in Japan since fleeing Peru in 2000, has vowed to return for the April 2006 elections. In Peru he faces arrest on charges of human rights abuses and corruption - he denies all the accusations against him. Peru has banned him from office until 2010 and sought his extradition, which has so far been refused by Japan. Mr Fujimori - who ruled between 1990 and 2000 - was given Japanese citizenship because his parents were originally from Japan. 'Comeback' The authorities in Peru say the passport move proves their point that he is a fugitive from justice. "Giving a passport demonstrates beyond any doubt that Alberto Fujimori is effectively a Peruvian citizen and that he took Japanese nationality to run and hide from justice in Peru," prosecutor Antonio Maldonado. It's clear this is another step by Fujimori on his comeback path Carlos Raffo Spokesman Mr Fujimori has been accused of involvement in the killing of 25 suspected members of the Shining Path guerrilla group by death squads. He is also accused of misusing public funds. Carlos Raffo, the former president's spokesman in Peru, said his return was "another step... on his comeback path". Mr Fujimori has said he believes he can win the 2006 presidential vote. Election officials have said they cannot rule on his candidacy until he presents it.

United States

washingtonpost.com 3 Sept 2005 Roberts Set Out Doubts On Genocide Treaty As Reagan Aide, He Advised President to Sign It By Amy Argetsinger and Jo Becker Washington Post Staff Writers Saturday, September 3, 2005; A03 Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. once expressed some agreement with conservatives who opposed entering an international anti-genocide treaty, saying that foreign governments might try to use it to prosecute the United States for its military actions overseas. But Roberts, then a young White House lawyer, ultimately urged President Ronald Reagan to sign it, arguing that to do otherwise would be a public-relations embarrassment on the world stage. His arguments -- which could provide fodder for Democrats pressing for more clarity on the nominee's views on U.S. obligations toward international law -- were outlined in a memo that was among 18,000 pages of White House records released yesterday by the National Archives. The documents, which come on top of tens of thousands of pages already released from Roberts's files, are probably the last that will be made public before the start of his confirmation hearings Tuesday. The papers include insights into his thinking on a variety of issues -- including the insanity defense, the invasion of Grenada, international trade and the spraying of herbicides on marijuana crops. A witness list released yesterday by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary signaled their intent to focus the hearings on the civil rights record of Roberts, who was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit two years ago. Like the administration he served in the 1980s, Roberts was a staunch opponent of affirmative action, generally took a narrow view of civil rights laws and fought efforts to expand anti-discrimination protections. Among the witnesses the Democrats will call during the four days of scheduled hearings are several civil rights leaders, including the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Democrats also plan to call witnesses who have advocated for the rights of the disabled and women. Carol M. Browner, the Environmental Protection Agency head under President Bill Clinton, will testify, as will a representative from Planned Parenthood, an abortion rights group and former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, who has advocated for the release of memos from Roberts's post as principal deputy solicitor general under the George H.W. Bush administration. The White House, citing attorney-client privilege, has refused Democratic requests to release the documents. Also yesterday, the AFL-CIO wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) expressing "grave concerns" about Roberts. Citing Roberts's record on civil rights and other issues, President John J. Sweeney urged committee members to engage in "vigorous and extensive questioning" of Roberts. But to the disappointment of some Democrats, the union federation did not explicitly oppose his nomination, which has won support from the business community in the form of an endorsement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yesterday's document release, which included some duplicative material, came after National Archives staff realized many of Roberts's papers had been filed under a previously unknown coding system. Roberts's Sept. 4, 1984, memo on the Genocide Convention could draw the interest of Democrats, who have already put him on notice that they intend to question him on the Bush administration's approach to terrorism. As a federal appeals court judge, Roberts upheld the use of military tribunals to try detainees suspected of terrorism. The Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), has said he told Roberts to expect questions on whether President Bush tried to set himself "above the law" in setting torture policy for terrorism suspects. Leahy has pointed to a controversial memo written by current administration lawyers that gave advice on when torture is appropriate and argued that the president had the right to issue orders violating the Geneva Convention and other international laws. Leahy has said he hopes to get Roberts's opinion on the memo. The Genocide Convention treaty, which committed nations to preventing and punishing genocide, had been signed by President Harry S. Truman in 1948 but had languished in the Senate without ratification because of conservative opposition. Roberts noted in his memo that the objections included the argument that the treaty "internationalizes" criminal law, that it could force Americans to stand before an international tribunal, that violent nations would ignore the treaty while hostile ones could use it for "propaganda" purposes, forcing the United States to go before the tribunal because of its actions in Vietnam or other countries. "These objections are not unfounded," Roberts wrote. But he added that "a consensus has evolved that they are outweighed by the propaganda windfall our failure to ratify the convention has already afforded our international opponents." The Reagan administration later declared its support for the convention. The debate, though, has resonance today, since Bush has adamantly opposed subjecting U.S. soldiers to international courts. In April 1985, the head of the White House Fellowship program asked for guidance when the staff writer for the program's alumni newsletter penned a favorable review of a book criticizing the administration's call for reform of the insanity defense. In a memo to his boss Fred F. Fielding, Roberts gave his own review. "[Author Lincoln] Caplan documents how infrequently the insanity plea is invoked, and how rarely it is successful, but does not note that, even rarely invoked, the plea imposes staggering costs on the judicial system and, since it is often invoked in celebrated cases, has an effect on public confidence in the law far out of proportion to the number of cases in which it figures." But he advised against making any changes. "The surest way of according prominence to the book and the review would be to attempt to block the review." In a Jan. 12, 1984, memo, Roberts raised "serious legal questions" about the president's intended radio address announcing the recall of the U.S. ambassador and suspension of all trade with Nicaragua following the mysterious slaying of a U.S. service member there. Roberts noted that the suspension of trade required an "unusual or extraordinary threat" and a consultation with Congress. A few months earlier, Roberts chafed at the president's planned remarks at a reception for medical students rescued in the Grenada invasion, objecting to the scripted comment that "we didn't invade Grenada, we rescued Grenada." "Of course we invaded Grenada, as we invaded France on D-Day," Roberts wrote in a Nov. 4, 1983, memo. Staff writer R. Jeffrey Smith, researcher Bobbye Pratt and news aide Elliott Postell contributed to this report. http://www.archives.gov/news/john-roberts/

washingtonpost.com OPENING SOON Friday, September 2, 2005; WE50 OPENING SOON -On Stage The African Continuum Theatre Company stages "I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady From Rwanda," about the efforts of a Rwandan genocide survivor to publish her account of the massacre, Sept. 15 through Oct. 19 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $21.50 to $36.50. Call 202-529-5763. {diam}

washingtonpost.com 2 Sept 2005 Displacement Of Historic Proportions By David Von Drehle and Jacqueline Salmon Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, September 2, 2005; A01 The largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War reverberated across the country from its starting point in New Orleans yesterday, as more than half a million people uprooted by Hurricane Katrina sought shelter, sustenance and the semblance of new lives. Storm refugees overwhelmed the state of Louisiana and poured into cities from coast to coast, crowding sports arenas, convention centers, schools, churches and the homes of friends, relatives and even strangers. Red Cross officials reported that every shelter in a seven-state region was already full -- 76,000 people in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Hundreds of miles from New Orleans, hotels were jammed or quickly filling. Rich and poor alike, they found themselves starting over. The former began buying new houses and leasing new office space. The latter waited in lines for a bar of soap or a peanut butter sandwich. Katrina has scattered more than twice as many people as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and unmoored more people in a few days than fled the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Estimating from census data, about 150,000 of the displaced lived below the poverty line even before they lost everything. Far more than 50,000 of them are past retirement age. Cities and hamlets, charities and individuals stepped up to help. In Washington, District officials made plans to open a shelter in the D.C. Armory, and 415 retired veterans were moved from the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss., to a similar facility here. "The biggest issue we're faced with is handling the volume of people," said Margaret O'Brien Molina, a spokesman for the Southwest region of the American Red Cross. "Just identifying their needs is so complex." In Baton Rouge and other Louisiana cities, the influx was dangerously straining services, officials warned. Armed guards were stationed at food distribution sites, and Baton Rouge police chief Jeff LeDuff said the city's hospitals might have to be barricaded to prevent desperate storm victims from continuing to swamp emergency rooms. The city's sanitation system is overloaded, garbage collection has soared, gasoline is scarce. "Instead of water flooding in, we've got people flooding in," said Mike Walker of the East Baton Rouge Parish Council. "The levee of people broke." Where to go? What to do? They needed food, water, medicine, beds, showers, toilets, clothing, jobs, schools, friends, diversions. Where to begin? For many of the impoverished refugees from the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, the first step into the future led to a strip mall near the Astrodome, which transformed into a bazaar of free ham sandwiches, water, diapers, baby formula and other supplies brought by volunteers. Gaynell Warden, 46, stood in her pajamas, 350 miles from home -- make that former home. For now and the knowable future, she lives in a new town of 25,000 made up of cots in an old stadium. "My son is missing. I don't know if he's dead or alive," she said. Allen Porter, 18, sat in a hotel lobby in Hot Springs, Ark., 530 miles from his former home. His parents were out looking for a condominium while their son tried to sort out the confused picture that had seemed so clear and glittering just days before. Senior year, top of his class at Jesuit High in New Orleans, Porter was a bit annoyed when his mother insisted on evacuating. He packed his iPod, "Wuthering Heights," and his applications to places such as Princeton, Yale and Virginia. Now his high school was reportedly under 13 feet of water, deep enough to drown his transcripts, and his khaki-clad buddies were scattered to the winds. "It could get lonely over time," he mused via the Internet. Porter was probably wise to take the long view, because the few lessons available in upheaval of this scale suggest that the metropolis flung apart by the hurricane may still be in pieces years from now. More than 300,000 Japanese were left homeless by the Kobe earthquake in 1995 and some were still in makeshift camps three years later. Closer to home, the sudden influx of125,000 Cubans in the 1980 Mariel boatlift was only partially absorbed by families and volunteers across the country; some of the refugees remained in camps into the late 1980s. Herbert McKnight, 44, had no intention of waiting for New Orleans to be restored. "The way I'm looking at it, I don't have a job and I don't have a home," he said in Houston, where he and 20 members of his extended family were among the tens of thousands of displaced people occupying virtually all of the city's 55,000 hotel rooms. McKnight, an accountant, said he was desperate to find work and move into an apartment in the Texas city. Mostly, though, it was a matter of coping with the here and now. Internet bulletin boards buzzed with offers of spare bedrooms and pleas for volunteers. "I have 11 family members arriving," a harried host in Maryland began, and "a rental property in Capitol Heights, MD to put them in. . . . However, it is currently undergoing renovations and is not quite habitable yet . . . I need donations." And: "I am in Kewanee, IL. a small rural community in Illinois. . . . I can fit 2-4 comfortably . . . 6-8 in a squashed condition." School boards in state after state dropped their normal admission rules to make room for more than 100,000 school-age children from New Orleans and other storm-wrecked communities. Colleges and universities offered to reopen their rolls to take in about 50,000 displaced students. But for some of the hardest-hit evacuees, such concerns seemed light years away. Those who were not moved to the Astrodome fanned out across Louisiana, swelling cities and towns to the bursting point and sorely testing the capacities of their neighbors. In Sorrento, approximately 50 miles northwest of New Orleans, there was "looting everywhere, all over the place. There is chaos everywhere right now," said Police Chief Earl Theriot. "There's a bunch of fights. All our shelters are full. The gas rationing is getting out of hand." Theriot spent part of his day dealing with the death of an elderly woman on a bus full of nursing home patients who were traveling without any attendants or medical personnel. Up the road in Alexandria, where the sometimes surly storm-tossed were being housed in an abandoned Wal-Mart, police chief Daren Coutee issued a plea for authorities in New Orleans to search each evacuee for weapons before sending them along. In Baton Rouge, city officials said that 20,000 refugees are being housed in official shelters, but they believe that's just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands more are thought to be staying in private homes, hotels and other facilities. And they are braced for more. Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.) said he planned to ask for temporary housing facilities from the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and private companies and realtor groups. "Portable barracks, mobile homes, vacant commercial structures -- whatever can house people in humane conditions," he said yesterday. More than 800 people are currently sleeping on inflatable beds on a gymnasium floor at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, where their living quarters aren't much larger than an average car. All of their belongings -- perhaps some clothes, toiletries and an old a photo album -- are stacked by the beds. There's no other space for storage. Beds are crammed in like puzzle pieces, covering nearly every bit of the hardwood floor. Some residents plan to live in the gymnasium for at least the next month. "When my family first came here, I was like, 'No way. I'm not staying at a shelter. I'm not going in,' " said Latrice Alexander, 35, who fled here from New Orleans on Sunday. "I sat in the parking lot for like an hour and refused to come in, and now this place is basically home. "It's tough. When you want to shower, there's usually a line of 10 people in front of you. There's never anything to do. You get up. You eat. You take a walk. Then you come back to your little bed." The scene is repeated in towns and cities across thousands of square miles. By midday yesterday, more than 1,000 refugees had found Starkville, a university town in northeastern Mississippi, according to Duane Tucker, disaster chairman for the local Red Cross chapter. "All the hotels in town are full, we've got people staying with relatives, and about 40 people from New Orleans living in a church shelter." And the problem is likely to worsen as middle-class families in hotels run out of money. "I can't see the end," Tucker said. A major city, thrown to the winds. No one spared. Not the prosperous DeLongs, a Garden District family of lawyers and university administrators now dispersed from Texas to the District. And not the huddled masses in the Astrodome, suffering from dehydration, diarrhea, malnutrition and other problems. In Houston, Harris County Chief Administrator Robert Eckels hoped that the Astrodome would not be a city for long. "This is not a place you want to be living for months with that kind of crowd. We want these folks to move on." Still, plans are being hatched to open a school there. And Walker, the Baton Rouge council member, is predicting that his city of 217,000 could double in size as refugees come to realize that "they have no place to go back to for years." "This is not a one-day or a one-year crisis. This is changing people's lives," said Baker, whose district includes Baton Rouge. "This is a societal problem of a magnitude that America has never seen." Salmon reported from Baton Rouge, La. Staff writers Peter Whoriskey in Baton Rouge; Sam Coates in Sorrento, La.; Lisa Rein in Houston; Eli Saslow in Shreveport, La.; and Ylan Mui, Robert Pierre and Neely Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia 3 Sept 2005 www.heraldsun.news.com.au Stranded Aussies fear for their lives Matt Cunningham and Shannon McRae 03sep05 TWO Melbourne women were trapped in the chaos at New Orleans' Convention Centre last night. Karen Marks, 25, of Meadow Heights, and her aunt Pamela Whyte, 59, of Broadmeadows, are stuck with thousands of hungry, frantic people tired of waiting for buses to take them out. Karen's mother, Joy Marks, said they were getting desperate. "They are running out of food and water and they are just hanging in there," she said. "They are promised buses every day and they don't arrive." Ms Marks said Karen and Pamela were concerned for their safety amid rising violence. "There's a mob-like tendency in there. People are running around with legs broken off chairs, threatening people," she said. Up to 50 Australians are believed to be stranded across the Gulf Coast. About 10 escaped the New Orleans Superdome yesterday after it erupted in violence. They were holed up in the foyer of the Hilton Hotel last night. Brisbane's John McNeil, 22, told his family he'd witnessed murders, rapes and stabbings, and feared he would be killed. Mr McNeil's father, Peter, said his son was with about 60 other foreign tourists who had fled the Superdome. "They couldn't stay another night, the situation was so bad," he said. "People were just staring at them and making suggestions that they were going to kill them." John's sister Susie said he saw shocking acts of violence amid fierce racial tension in the Superdome. "It's turned into a black against white thing," she said. "My brother has witnessed murders, stabbings, rapes . . . it's like a Third World country." The mother of Sydney woman Vanessa Cullington, thought to be in the Superdome before it was evacuated yesterday, flew to the US in a desperate bid to find her daughter. Sharon Cullington said she had not heard from Vanessa since Tuesday. Vanessa's boyfriend, Toby Salmon, is accompanying Mrs Cullington. "We've brought lots of photos and we're just basically going to see who we can hassle," she said. "We're just going to try and talk people into taking the photos and try and find her." There are also concerns for Queenslander Fiona Seidler, 27, and her sister-in-law, Katie Maclean. The women had been staying at a French Quarter hotel since Monday, but a family spokesman said he had been unable to contact them yesterday. "The latest that we heard was that they were staying in a hotel, but the manager or owner told them that they had to get out because it wasn't safe and now we've lost contact. We don't know where they are," he said. Sydney woman Denise Riviera, 29, called her mother in Australia begging her for help. She rang her mother, Mercedes, yesterday, saying she was trapped in a church without food or drinking water. Mrs Riviera said her daughter told her: "Mum, I'm alive but I am trapped in this church. Get someone to come and rescue us. Report it, ring the embassy . . . since there's water everywhere we can't go anywhere; we haven't got any food or water." A tearful Mrs Riviera said: "I wonder how long my daughter is going to be alive." Adelaide man Scott Ramsay sat through the hurricane when it hit Biloxi, Mississippi. Four Aussie workmates managed to cross into Florida before the hurricane struck, including Michael Hawkins, who said: "The images of the tsunami are exactly what you are seeing in Biloxi - just rubble everywhere, concrete slabs." Queenslanders Tim and Joanne Miller and Garry and Cynthia Jones were rescued by a Channel 7 crew late yesterday. The two couples had huddled under a bridge next to the Convention Centre since they were evacuated from their hotel on Monday. Mr Jones said they were terrified by the violence. "It's a battle zone. There's shooting, dead bodies in the street," he said, adding they had to steal to survive. "We're looters, like everyone else." Mrs Miller said there were bodies around them. "I had an altercation with a police officer and he ended up just crying to me because he was so frustrated and he couldn't do any more," she said. The Millers' daughter, Kelly-Rae Smith, was elated her parents had been found safe and well. "You don't realise how hard it's been. Now we can celebrate," she said. Parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Bruce Billson said the Australian Government was doing all it could. "All foreign governments that have expressed interest in getting access to the disaster area have been advised that they're not able to enter at this time," he said.

Loudoun Times-Mirror, VA 6 Sept 2005 www.timescommunity.com Across county, we're responding By Shannon Sollinger 09/06/2005 Alan Courtemanche has been in Gulfport, Miss., since Sunday night, doing the little bit he can to bring relief to the thousands left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. Courtemanche, of Leesburg, is among countless Loudoun residents and businesses responding to appeals to help people who lost everything in last week's catastrophe. Courtemanche, who would have graduated from Park View High school if he'd stayed one year longer, moved to Baton Rouge, La., from Sterling in 1979. His mother still lives in Jefferson Parish, but had evacuated to the higher ground of Baton Rouge before the hurricane hit and floods inundated New Orleans. He went down to see what was salvageable in her home, and he didn't go empty-handed. From the time the storm subsided, until Friday, when his patience gave out and his conscience took over, he and his brother, Mike, had expected to see thousands of Americans flocking to the stricken Gulf Coast in private vehicles, each one packed with water and food and clothing and medicines. A domestic Dunkirk. When it didn't happen, the brothers decided to go there themselves. Alan Courtemanche is a senior instructor at Gold's Tae Kwon Do in Sterling. When the word went out, the school's students and Gold's Gym clients donated 40 cases of bottled water, 12 cases of diapers, 17 large trash bags full of clothes, 25 boxes of baby formula, medical supplies, food and more than $800 in cash. Matt Godek Rugby and Soccer Supply, in Vienna, offered its 12-foot trailer. The brothers are registered electricians. They are staying in Gulfport until the weekend, offering their skills wherever they can be used. They took their tools with them. What they have seen, said Alan Courtemanche, is devastation beyond anyone's worst nightmare. "These people need everyone's help, anything anyone can do." By the time he got there, the National Guard and local law enforcement agencies had put up shelters. "A week late," he said. "There's people like us from all over the country who have been helping out, pulling up in trailers and trucks and vans, bringing supplies." They got to Birmingham, Ala., before the seriously overloaded tires on the borrowed trailer started to give out. A wrecker came to them, in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart, and put on new tires. He didn't charge a cent. News reports, said Courtemanche, have concentrated on New Orleans. The Mississippi coast, he said, is worse. "They're picking through splinters." He harked back to the tremendous outpouring of giving after the Asian tsunami. But here, for a week, "our American brothers and sister died by the thousands, and I don't believe America is going to do anything about it." By Tuesday – the storm struck early Monday morning – "this place should have been stormed by 100,000 military and civilians to help," said Courtemanche. He blamed the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana for not being prepared. "We've seen parking lots full of school buses, flooded now, and public transit buses. They could have put the people on them and driven them out of town. They could have saved thousands of lives. This was almost a mass homicide, almost a genocide." As for sending cash to the Red Cross, "You can chew on that for a while, but it doesn't taste that good. These people need food and water and supplies now."

NYT 7 Sept 2005 In Nursing Home, a Fight Lost to Rising Waters By GARDINER HARRIS CHALMETTE, La., Sept. 6 - They nailed a table against one window, ran a heavy electric wheelchair with a table on top against another and pushed a couch against a door. These failed defenses are still in St. Rita's nursing home, as are at least 14 swollen, unrecognizable bodies. St. Bernard Parish officials say that 32 of the home's roughly 60 residents died on Aug. 29, more than a week ago. It is a measure of the enormity of the disaster that has struck southern Louisiana that no one has removed many of the bodies, and local officials say there are no immediate plans to do so. The flood victims still lie where they died - draped over a wheelchair, wrapped in a shower curtain, lying on a floor in several inches of muck. The home, about 20 miles southeast of downtown New Orleans, is still surrounded by three feet of murky water. Eight vehicles are parked in front, covered in debris and mud. Indeed, officials suspect that there may be hundreds of similar, though smaller scenes of death that will become apparent only after the water recedes and they are able to search every house in the region. Many evacuees have told stories of near escapes, of busting out attic windows or axing through the roof to reach safety. The stories that will never be told are of those who tried and failed to make those escapes. St. Rita's nursing home whispers this story. Ricky Melerine, a St. Bernard Parish councilman, said the water in his area rose at least three feet from 10 to 10:15 that Monday morning. And it rose faster still after that. Ronald Nunez, a local resident, said several men tried to save St. Rita's residents by floating some out on mattresses. Others were able to walk and float on their own to a nearby school, Mr. Nunez said. And someone had time to put up a fight against the tide. Nails were pounded through a table. Dressers were thrown against windows. Several electric wheelchairs were gathered near the front entrance, perhaps in hopes of evacuation. They simply ran out of time. There are signs in the home that the water rose to the roof. Three inches of muck still cover the floors. Tadpoles wriggle in doorways. The stench is nauseating. The story of St. Rita's leads locals here to voice the same frustrations they have about the entire disaster. "Why didn't they evacuate?" Mr. Nunez asked. "Why?" Mr. Nunez also said, with some bitterness, that his parish got only sporadic help from state and federal authorities. St. Bernard's Parish has five major nursing homes with roughly 65 patients each, said Henry Rodriguez Jr., the parish president. There are another six smaller facilities, he said. Almost all but St. Rita's were evacuated before the storm. Steve Kuiper, vice president of operations for Acadian Ambulance, said he was told that St. Rita's had an evacuation plan that depended on another nursing home. Acadian, by far the largest ambulance provider in the state, used helicopters to evacuate many of the parish's neediest medical cases after the storm hit. But Mr. Kuiper said he never heard from St. Rita's. "They didn't think this would ever happen," Mr. Melerine said. "They just didn't evacuate." The failure at St. Rita's is particularly difficult to explain. The home is in a depression in the ground. The nearby road, which was covered with four or five feet of water, sits at least five feet above the home's floor. The home appears in retrospect to be particularly vulnerable to flood. Efforts to reach its management late Tuesday were unsuccessful. Military and private helicopters began ferrying people out of St. Bernard Parish almost as soon as the storm hit. The Coast Guard spent much of the day of the storm landing people on a berm above the Mississippi River near downtown Chalmette, which is some of the highest ground around. Mr. Nunez said he helped establish a shelter there. Water was running so fast down the nearby road that it nearly swept some of those seeking shelter away. Mr. Nunez said he had to tie himself to a tractor to save some people from the current. "We ran a little over 400 people through that camp," Mr. Nunez said. Dozens of boats are still on the side of the road in and around Chalmette, most of them washed there by the storm, and others stranded there after use by rescuers. Janie Fuller, an Acadian paramedic, helped deliver a baby in the town jail and then managed to get a helicopter to evacuate mother and child. Ms. Fuller got another woman out who seemed to be suffering internal bleeding by commandeering an air boat and then a pickup truck to get her to a landing zone for a National Guard helicopter. Still, the parish is only now getting the full attention of the authorities, who initially focused on the tens of thousands stranded in the Superdome and the convention center in New Orleans. For parish residents, this is a badge of honor as well as a source of quiet anger. As a result, there are myriad stories of heroism and rescues in St. Bernard Parish. But there is also St. Rita's. "I just can't understand how you don't evacuate," Mr. Melerine said.

NYT 14 Sept 2005 Owners of Nursing Home Charged in Deaths of 34 By SHAILA DEWAN and AL BAKER BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 13 - The owners of a nursing home where 34 people died in the floodwaters that inundated the New Orleans area were charged Tuesday with multiple counts of negligent homicide, shortly after a new dispute broke out between the State of Louisiana and the federal government over the retrieval of hundreds of other bodies. Mable B. Mangano and her husband, Salvatore A. Mangano Sr., owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home in Violet, just east of New Orleans, turned themselves in after the charges were filed, Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. said. He said the couple had not acted on several warnings to move the residents as Hurricane Katrina approached. "They were warned repeatedly, both by the media and by the St. Bernard Parish emergency preparation people, that the storm was coming," Mr. Foti said at a news conference here. "In effect, I think that their inactions resulted in the death of these people." The charges represent the first major prosecution to emerge in the hurricane's aftermath. The legal action came as the pace of recovery of the storm's other casualties increased. Louisiana authorities said the number of confirmed dead in the state increased to 423, a substantial rise from the 279 reported on Monday. Bob Johannessen, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said the number of confirmations was expected to rise each day. Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said the pace of recoveries should have been much faster, however, and accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency of slowing the retrieval of the dead to the point where the contractor responsible for that work had threatened to pull out. After days of news reports of bodies in the streets of New Orleans, Ms. Blanco, with palpable frustration, said the state would bypass FEMA and sign its own contract with the company, Kenyon Worldwide Disaster Management. "In recent days, I have spoken with FEMA officials and administration officials to convey my absolute frustration regarding the lack of urgency and the lack of respect involving the recovery of our people whose lives were lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina," Ms. Blanco said at a news conference in Baton Rouge. "We have pleaded for contract resolution. In death, as in life, our people deserve more respect than they have received." FEMA officials responded by saying that the recovery of bodies was a state responsibility, while the federal role was to assist state officials. "The state has always maintained direct control over the mortuary process following this tragedy," Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, who is directing FEMA efforts in the region, said in a written statement. "We are committed to a process that treats the victims of Katrina with dignity and respect and accomplishes the mission as quickly as possible. We will work with state officials on what they believe to be the best solution for their constituents." Kenyon officials said they had been struggling under cumbersome conditions to execute a task that gets grislier by the day. The company, which has a contract with FEMA to respond when called, arrived Sept. 1 but was not asked to begin recovering bodies until Sept. 6, said Bill Berry, a company spokesman. The company's 100 or so workers have bunked in a funeral home in Baton Rouge, forcing them to drive four hours round-trip each day, and Kenyon officials said they had repeatedly asked for living quarters in New Orleans. On Sunday, Kenyon officials told FEMA that they would not enter into a contract with the agency and would pull out as soon as a replacement was found, Mr. Berry said. Mr. Berry said the company was already responding to Ms. Blanco's request that it increase its staffing even before the new contract was completed. "We just keep moving the cots a little closer together," he said. Mr. Berry said he did not consider it appropriate to discuss why the company did not want to continue working under FEMA. But he had high praise for the state, which reached out to Kenyon after the company notified FEMA on Sunday that it would not accept a contract. "I can't say enough about the Louisiana state people," Mr. Berry said. "They heard our problems, and they simply fixed them. It's beautiful to see a general sitting there from the National Guard saying, 'I can do that,' and it's done." In an effort to explain why Kenyon may have walked away from a federal contract, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security, who would not allow his name to be used because the department had already issued an official statement, said Tuesday that the state's proposed contract was "less detailed than the plan we were negotiating" and had four provisions compared with nine that FEMA had wanted. For example, the official said the federal proposal would have required that the Kenyon employees have specialized training and use personal protective gear and have appropriate security, provisions that the federal official said were not included in the state contract. Mr. Berry declined to respond, except to say that the company had 76 years of experience in disasters. It was hired in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and last year's tsunami. "We will let our record speak for itself," he said. Kenyon - a unit of Service Corporation International, a giant funeral company - operates worldwide and handled preservation of remains after the World Trade Center attacks and the cleanup of mass graves in Iraq under government contracts. The company, which is based in Houston, has contributed heavily to President Bush's campaigns. The chairman and founder of the company is Robert L. Waltrip, a longtime friend of the Bush family and a trustee of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. In New Orleans, anger over the slow collection of bodies, which officials say has been hampered by floodwater and debris, still smoldered. Dr. Brobson Lutz, a former health director for the City of New Orleans, led an impromptu and morbid tour on Tuesday that he said reflected the extent to which those who perished had been neglected. It included a nursing home on Dauphine Street, where three bodies had stayed until Dr. Brobson had mentioned them on Fox News, and the kitchen area of his own office, where he wiped at blood from the body of Michael Lala, the owner of Old N'Awlins Cookery. Mr. Lala had died from heart failure a week after the storm, but the authorities did not respond to requests to pick up the body, Dr. Brobson said, so he stored it in his office for a week until it finally was collected on Tuesday morning. "FEMA couldn't get the live people out in time and they can't get the dead people out in time," Dr. Brobson said. "They failed the living and the dead." The residents of St. Rita's did not have to die, Attorney General said, and he warned that other nursing homes that failed to remove residents also faced prosecution. Local officials had ordered a mandatory evacuation amid news reports about the approach of the storm, Mr. Foti said. Because St. Rita's was licensed as a Medicaid facility, it had an evacuation plan in place, but it did not use it, he said. In addition to the mandatory evacuation order, officials offered to send two buses to the nursing home, but Mr. Foti said the Manganos declined that offer. Also, the owners had an agreement with an ambulance company, signed in April, to provide ambulances to evacuate special-needs patients, but "they were never called," Mr. Foti said. At least two drowning victims at the home could have been family members who went to the scene or people who took refuge there, he said, adding that the remains were being identified. James A. Cobb, the lawyer for the Manganos, said that they were not guilty of the charges and that they were unaware a mandatory evacuation order had been issued. Mr. Cobb said that if the patients - some on feeding tubes, oxygen and in need of medication - had been put on a bus for 12 hours to evacuate, "people are going to die." A deputy at the East Baton Rouge jail said the Manganos had posted a bond of $50,000 and were expected to be released. William Yardley contributed reporting from New Orleans for this article, and Eric Lipton from Baton Rouge, La.

UPI 9 Sept 2005 Cops trapped survivors in New Orleans By Shaun Waterman UPI Homeland and National Security Editor Sep. 9, 2005 at 10:48AM Police from surrounding jurisdictions shut down several access points to one of the only ways out of New Orleans last week, effectively trapping victims of Hurricane Katrina in the flooded and devastated city. An eyewitness account from two San Francisco paramedics posted on an internet site for Emergency Medical Services specialists says, "Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot." "We shut down the bridge," Arthur Lawson, chief of the City of Gretna Police Department, confirmed to United Press International, adding that his jurisdiction had been "a closed and secure location" since before the storm hit. "All our people had evacuated and we locked the city down," he said. The bridge in question -- the Crescent City Connection -- is the major artery heading west out of New Orleans across the Mississippi River. Lawson said that once the storm itself had passed Monday, police from Gretna City, Jefferson Parrish and the Louisiana State Crescent City Connection Police Department closed to foot traffic the three access points to the bridge closest to the West Bank of the river. He added that the small town, which he called "a bedroom community" for the city of New Orleans, would have been overwhelmed by the influx. "There was no food, water or shelter" in Gretna City, Lawson said. "We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people. "If we had opened the bridge, our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged." But -- in an example of the chaos that continued to beset survivors of the storm long after it had passed -- even as Lawson's men were closing the bridge, authorities in New Orleans were telling people that it was only way out of the city. "The only way people can leave the city of New Orleans is to get on (the) Crescent City Connection ... authorities said," reads a Tuesday morning posting on the Web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, which kept reporting through the storm and the ruinous flooding that followed. Similar announcements appeared on the Web site of local radio station WDSU and other local news sources. "Evidently, someone on the ground (in New Orleans) was telling people there was transport here, or food or shelter," said Lawson. "There wasn't." "We were not contacted by anyone" about the instructions being given to survivors to use the bridge to get out of town, he said. The two paramedics, who were trapped in the city while attending a convention, joined a group of people who had been turned out by the hotels that they were staying in on Wednesday. When the group attempted to get to the Superdome -- designated by city authorities as a shelter for those unable to evacuate -- they were turned away by the National Guard. "Quite naturally, we asked ... 'What was our alternative?' The guards told us that that was our problem, and no, they did not have extra water to give to us. "This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile law enforcement." As they made their way to the bridge in order to leave the city "armed Gretna sheriffs (sic) formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads." Members of the group nonetheless approached the police lines, and "questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge ... They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. "These were code words," the paramedics wrote, "for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans." The authors say that during the course of that day, they saw "other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated." Efforts to contact the authors of the Internet posting were unsuccessful, but UPI was able to confirm that individuals with their names are employed as paramedics in San Francisco. Lawson says that his officers "acted in the manner they were instructed to" and defends the order to close the bridge as "the right decision." He said that in addition to his security concerns, an unmoored vessel on the river "raised the threat that it might crash into and breach the levee, which would have flooded Gretna." He says that his officers did assist about 4000 people who "arrived at the doorstep of (Gretna City)" either by crossing the bridge before it was closed or approaching from another route. "We commandeered public transit buses and we took them to higher and safer ground" at the junction of Interstate-10 and Causeway Boulevard where "there was food and shelter," he said. [See also September 6, 2005 First By the Floods, Then By Martial Law Trapped in New Orleans By LARRY BRADSHAW and LORRIE BETH SLONSKY http://www.counterpunch.org/bradshaw09062005.html or Trapped in New Orleans by the flood--and martial law The real heroes and sheroes of New Orleans September 9, 2005 http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/556/556_04_RealHeroes.shtml]

ABC News Nightline 4 Sept 2005 abcnews.go.com/Nightline/ New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin [excerpt from transcript] JOHN DONOVAN, ABC NEWS: The last thing I want to ask you about is the race question. So, I'm out at the highway — it was last Thursday — huge number of people stuck in the middle of nowhere. Jesse Jackson comes in, looks at the scene, and says it looks like the scene of a, from a slave ship. And I said, "Reverand Jackson,, the imagery suggests you're saying this is about race." And he didn't answer directly, he said, "Take a look at it, what do you think it's about?" What's your response to that? RAY NAGIN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: (Sighs) You know, I haven't really thought much about the race issue. I will tell you this. I think it's, it could be, but it's a class issue for sure. Because I don't think this type of response would have happened if this was Orange County, California. This response definitely wouldn't have happened if it was Manhattan, New York. And I don't know if it's color or class. DONOVAN: In some way, you think that New Orleans got second-class treatment. NAGIN: I can't explain the response. And here's what else I can't explain: We are basically, almost surrounded by water. To the east, the bridge is out, you can't escape. Going west, you can't escape because the bridge is under water. We found one evacuation route, to walk across the Crescent City Connection, on the overpass, down Highway 90 to 310 to I10, to go get relief. People got restless and there was overcrowding at the convention center. They asked us, "Is there any other option?" We said, "Well, if you want to walk, across the Crescent City Connection, there's buses coming, you may be able to find some relief." They started marching. At the parish line, the county line of Gretna, they were met with attack dogs and police officers with machine guns saying "You have to turn back..." DONOVAN: Go back. NAGIN: "...because a looter got in a shopping center and set it afire and we want to protect the property in this area." DONOVAN: And what does that say to you? NAGIN: That says that's a bunch of bull. That says that people value their property, and were protecting property, over human life. And look, I was not suggesting, or suggesting to the people that they walk down into those neighborhoods. All I wanted them to do and I suggested: walk on the Interstate. And we called FEMA and we said "Drop them water and supplies as they march." They weren't gonna go into those doggone neighborhoods. They weren't going to impact those neighborhoods. Those people were looking to escape, and they cut off the last available exit route out of New Orleans. DONOVAN: And was that race? Was that class? NAGIN: I don't know. You're going to have to go ask them. But those questions need to be answered. And I'm pissed about it. And I don't know how many people died as a result of that.

NYT 10 Sept 2005 Police in Suburbs Blocked Evacuees, Witnesses Report By GARDINER HARRIS Police agencies to the south of New Orleans were so fearful of the crowds trying to leave the city after Hurricane Katrina that they sealed a crucial bridge over the Mississippi River and turned back hundreds of desperate evacuees, two paramedics who were in the crowd said. The paramedics and two other witnesses said officers sometimes shot guns over the heads of fleeing people, who, instead of complying immediately with orders to leave the bridge, pleaded to be let through, the paramedics and two other witnesses said. The witnesses said they had been told by the New Orleans police to cross that same bridge because buses were waiting for them there. Instead, a suburban police officer angrily ordered about 200 people to abandon an encampment between the highways near the bridge. The officer then confiscated their food and water, the four witnesses said. The incidents took place in the first days after the storm last week, they said. "The police kept saying, 'We don't want another Superdome,' and 'This isn't New Orleans,' " said Larry Bradshaw, a San Francisco paramedic who was among those fleeing. Arthur Lawson, chief of the Gretna, La., Police Department, confirmed that his officers, along with those from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Crescent City Connection Police, sealed the bridge. "There was no place for them to come on our side," Mr. Lawson said. He said that he had been asked by reporters about officers threatening victims with guns or shooting over their heads, but he said that he had not yet asked his officers about that. "As soon as things calm down, we will do an inquiry and find out what happened," he said. The lawlessness that erupted in New Orleans soon after the hurricane terrified officials throughout Louisiana, and even a week later, law enforcement officers rarely entered the city without heavy weaponry. While police officers saved countless lives and provided security to medical providers, many victims have complained bitterly about the behavior of some of the police officers in New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Officials in Lafayette, La., reported seeing scores of cruisers from the New Orleans police department in their city in the week after the hurricane. Some evacuees who fled to the Superdome and the convention center say that many police officers refused to patrol those structures after dark. "It's unbelievable what the police officers did; they just left us," said Harold Veasey, a 66-year-old New Orleans resident who spent two horrific days at the convention center. And in the week after the hurricane, there were persistent rumors in and around New Orleans that police officers in suburban areas refused to help the storm victims. Mr. Bradshaw and his partner, Lorrie Beth Slonsky, wrote an account about their experiences that has been widely circulated by e-mail and was first printed in The Socialist Worker. Cathey Golden, a 51-year-old from Boston, and her 13-year-old son, Ramon Golden, yesterday confirmed the account. The four met at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. Mr. Bradshaw and Ms. Slonsky had attended a convention for emergency medicine specialists. Ms. Golden and her two children, including 23-year-old Rashida Golden, were there to visit family. The hotel allowed its guests and nearly 250 residents from the nearby neighborhood to stay until Thursday, Sept 1. With its food exhausted, the hotel's manager finally instructed people to leave. Hotel staff handed out maps to show the way to the city's convention center, to which thousands of other evacuees had fled. A group of nearly 200 guests gathered to make their way to the center together, the four said. But on the way, they heard that the convention center had become a dangerous, unsanitary pit from which no one was being evacuated. So they stopped in front of a New Orleans police command post near the Harrah's casino on Canal Street. A New Orleans police commander whom none of the four could identify told the crowd that they could not stay there and later told them that buses were being brought to the Crescent City Connection, a nearby bridge to Jefferson Parish, to carry them to safety. The crowd cheered and began to move. Suspicious, Mr. Bradshaw said that he asked the commander if he was sure that buses would be there for them. "We'd had so much misinformation by that point," Mr. Bradshaw said. "He looked all of us in the eye and said, 'I swear to you, there are buses waiting across the bridge,' " Mr. Bradshaw said. But on the bridge there were four police cruisers parked across some lanes. Between six and eight officers stood with shotguns in their hands, the witnesses said. As the crowd approached, the officers shot over the heads of the crowd, most of whom retreated immediately, Mr. Bradshaw, Ms. Slonsky and Ms. Golden and her son said. Mr. Bradshaw said the officers were allowing cars to cross the bridge, some of them loaded with passengers. Only pedestrians were being stopped, he said. Chief Lawson said he believed that only emergency vehicles were allowed through. Mr. Bradshaw said he approached the officers and begged to be allowed through, saying a commander in New Orleans had told them buses were waiting for them on the other side. "He said that there are no buses and that there is no foot traffic allowed across the bridge," Mr. Bradshaw said. The remaining evacuees first sought refuge under a nearby highway overpass and then trudged back to New Orleans.

news.independent.co.uk 12 Sept 2005 'Racist' police blocked bridge and forced evacuees back at gunpoint By Andrew Buncombe in Washington Published: 11 September 2005 A Louisiana police chief has admitted that he ordered his officers to block a bridge over the Mississippi river and force escaping evacuees back into the chaos and danger of New Orleans. Witnesses said the officers fired their guns above the heads of the terrified people to drive them back and "protect" their own suburbs. Two paramedics who were attending a conference in the city and then stayed to help those affected by the hurricane, said the officers told them they did not want their community "becoming another New Orleans". The desperate evacuees were forced to trudge back into the city they had just left. "It was a real eye-opener," Larry Bradshaw, 49, a paramedic from San Francisco, told The Independent on Sunday. "I believe it was racism. It was callousness, it was cruelty." Mr Bradshaw said the police blocked off the road on the Thursday and Friday after Hurricane Katrina struck on Monday 29 August. He and his wife Lorrie Slonsky, also a paramedic, had sheltered with others in the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. When food and water ran out they were forced to head for the city's convention centre, but on the way they heard reports of the chaos and violence that was taking place there and inside the Superdome where thousands of people were forced together without running water, toilets, electricity or air conditioning. So Mr Bradshaw spoke with a senior New Orleans police officer who instructed them to cross the Crescent City Connection bridge to Jefferson Parish, where he promised they would find buses waiting to evacuate them. They were in the middle of a group of up to 800 people - overwhelmingly black - walking across the bridge when they heard shots and saw people running. "We had been hearing shooting for days. What was different about this was that it was close by," he said. Making their way towards the crest of the bridge they saw a chain of armed police officers blocking the route. When they asked about the buses they were told their was no such arrangement and that the route was being blocked to avoid their parish becoming "another New Orleans". They identified the police as officers from the city of Gretna. The following day Mr Bradshaw said they tried again to cross and directly witnessed police shooting over the heads of a middle-aged white couple who were also turned back. Eventually, late on Friday evening, the couple succeeded in crossing the bridge with the intervention of a contact in the local fire department. Arthur Lawson, chief of the Gretna police department, said he had not yet questioned his officers as to whether they fired their guns. He confirmed that his officers, along with those from Jefferson Parish and the Crescent City Connection police force, sealed the bridge and refused to let people pass. This was despite the fact that local media were informing people that the bridge was one of the few safe evacuation routes from the city. Gretna is a predominantly white suburban town of around 18,000 inhabitants. In the aftermath of Katrina, three quarters of the inhabitants still had electricity and running water. But, Chief Lawson told UPI news agency: "There was no food, water or shelter in Gretna City. We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people. If we had opened the bridge our city would have looked like New Orleans does now - looted, burned and pillaged." Mr Bradshaw and his wife were evacuated to Texas and have since returned to California. They condemned the authorities, adding: "This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heartfelt reception given to us by ordinary Texans. "Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept and racist... Lives were lost that did not need to be lost."

washingtonpost.com 10 Sept 2005 Some GOP Legislators Hit Jarring Notes in Addressing Katrina By Charles Babington Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, September 10, 2005; A04 Some lawmakers are still struggling to find the sympathetic but diligent tone that a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina -- and the lagging government response to its victims -- would seem to call for. The latest elected official to step into the swamp was Rep. Richard H. Baker, a 10-term Republican from Baton Rouge. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that he was overheard telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." Democrats, of course, gleefully disseminated the report, saying they detected a GOP pattern. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) recently spoke of bulldozing part of New Orleans, they reminded everyone, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) suggested punishing people who had ignored pre-storm evacuation orders. Baker issued a lengthy statement saying he was "taken aback" by the Journal's brief item. "What I remember expressing, in a private conversation with a housing advocate and member of my staff, was that 'We have been trying for decades to clean up New Orleans public housing to provide decent housing for residents, and now it looks like God is finally making us do it,' " Baker wrote. "Obviously I have never expressed anything but the deepest concern about the suffering that this terrible catastrophe has caused for so many in our state." Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Santorum was drawing a second round of fire, this time for saying the National Weather Service's forecasts and warnings about Katrina's path were "not sufficient." Democrats e-mailed audio links to a radio interview in which Santorum said that "we need a robust National Weather Service" that focuses on severe weather predictions. "Obviously the consequences are incredibly severe, as we've seen here in the last couple of weeks, if we don't get it right and don't properly prepare," Santorum said. In fact, many people think the Weather Service got the Katrina prediction exactly right. They include GOP Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), who chairs the Senate Commerce subcommittee on disaster prediction and prevention. He issued a statement headlined "DeMint Gives National Weather Service 'A' Grade for Katrina Prediction." Santorum, long at odds with the federal agency, is pushing a bill that would require it to surrender some of its duties to private businesses, some of them located in his state. The National Weather Service Employees Organization said in a statement: "We did our job well and everyone knows it. By falsely claiming that we got it wrong, Rick Santorum is continuing his misguided crusade against the National Weather Service." Santorum's office issued a statement yesterday repeating the concern that "there are serious consequences" when the Weather Service falls short of "getting it right." These days it seems that no Republican remark is too small or ambiguous to trigger a Democratic mass mailing. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee yesterday sent links to a Houston Chronicle blogger who had watched House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) tour the Astrodome, where children evacuated from New Orleans were playing. The blog reported that DeLay "likened their stay to being at camp and asked, 'Now, tell me the truth, boys, is this kind of fun?' " The blogger said the youngsters "nodded yes, but looked perplexed."

NYT 11 Sept 2005 Uprooted and Scattered Far From the Familiar By TIMOTHY EGAN BLUFFDALE, Utah, Sept. 9 - Carrying the scraps of their lives in plastic trash bags, citizens of the drowned city of New Orleans landed in a strange new place a week ago and wondered where they were. The land was brown, and nearly everyone they saw was white. "I'm still not sure where I am - what do they call this, the upper West or something?" said Shelvin Cooter, 30, one of 583 people relocated from New Orleans to a National Guard camp here on a sagebrush plateau south of Salt Lake City, 1,410 miles from home. "We're getting shown a lot of love, but we're also getting a lot of stares like we're aliens or something," Mr. Cooter said. "Am I the only person out here with dreadlocks?" Hurricane Katrina has produced a diaspora of historic proportions. Not since the Dust Bowl of the 1930's or the end of the Civil War in the 1860's have so many Americans been on the move from a single event. Federal officials who are guiding the evacuation say 400,000 to upwards of one million people have been displaced from ruined homes, mainly in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Texas has taken in more than 230,000 people, according to Gov. Rick Perry. But others are scattered across the United States, airlifted from a city that is nine feet below sea level to mile-high shelters in Colorado, to desert mesas in New Mexico, piney woods in Arkansas, flatlands in Oklahoma, the breezy shore of Cape Cod and the beige-colored Wasatch Mountain front in Utah. Many say they will never go back, vowing to build new lives in strange lands, marked forever by the storm that forced their exodus. They seem dazed and disconnected, though happy to be alive, to be breathing clean air, to be dry. Others say they still feel utterly lost, uprooted from all that is familiar, desperate to find a missing brother or aunt. "The people are so nice, but this place is really strange to me," said Desiree Thompson, who arrived in Albuquerque last Sunday with six of her children and two grandchildren, along with about 100 other evacuees. "The air is different. My nose feels all dry. The only thing I've seen that looks familiar is the McDonalds." It came as a shock to Ms. Thompson and others when they were told of their destination - in mid-flight. They had boarded a military plane out of New Orleans last weekend, expecting to go to Texas, many of them said. "In the middle of the flight they told us they were taking us to New Mexico," Ms. Thompson said. "New Mexico! Everyone said, 'My God, they're taking us to another country.' " It was bad enough, Ms. Thompson said, that one of her sons is in another city and that a close family friend is still missing. She cried at the thought of them. Being in a place that felt so far away and foreign only added to the sense of dislocation. Not that New Mexico - the Land of Enchantment, rainbow-colored chili peppers and a black population of barely 3 percent - has not tried to make the exiled residents of New Orleans feel at home. Naomi Mosley offered free hair styling - "mostly relaxers and hair-straightening," she said - to a handful of women at her parlor, and the Rev. Calvin Robinson was one of the preachers doling out counseling and soul food at a church in Albuquerque. "This is almost like the exodus of Moses," Mr. Robinson said. "These people have left everything behind. Their friends and relatives are far away. Most of what they had is gone forever. They feel abandoned by the government, but we are trying to make them feel at home." After he consumed two plates of mustard greens, fried chicken, potato salad and corn bread at God's House Church in Albuquerque, 67-year-old Walter Antoine said the dinner was the nearest thing to New Orleans comfort food he has had in more than a week. Like others, he was sleeping on a cot at the Albuquerque convention center and was bused to the church for dinner. But sitting outside at sunset, with the 10,000-foot Sandia Mountains in the background, Mr. Antoine was pining for home, for his wife and for anything that looked or felt familiar. He had walked through knee-high water to a levee, where a helicopter rescued him. "See, I can't get around all that well because I'm a double amputee," he said, lifting his pants to show two prosthetic legs. "If I had a brother or sister or someone here, maybe I might stay. But I don't know anybody. If I'm going to die, I want to die back in New Orleans." But with the prospect that New Orleans could remain uninhabitable for months, many of those displaced by the hurricane say they are eager to start anew and never go back. They will always have what federal officials are calling the worst natural disaster in the United States as their common ground, but for now many people say they want to blend in and shed the horror of predatory winds, fetid water and lost loved ones. "It's just time for another change, for me to start my life over," said Matthew Brown, 37, newly relocated to Amarillo, in the dusty panhandle of Texas. "I have a job and a couple of offers. The money's nice. People like me, treat me right." Some 70 years ago, Amarillo was losing people, as the largest city inside the hardest-hit area of the Dust Bowl. As skies darkened with mile-high walls of dust and the land dried up, nearly 250,000 people fled from parts of five states in the Southern Plains. They were called Okies and Arkies, and many of them were not welcome in places like Los Angeles, where sheriff's deputies arrested people without visible means of support. Now the Texas Panhandle, along with Oklahoma to the north, is on the receiving end of people made homeless by a force of nature. And while the evacuees say they have been struck by the kindness of the volunteers and residents, their relocation could start to strain state services. Texas officials have already indicated that state facilities are near capacity. Nearly 6,000 children from Louisiana have enrolled in Texas schools. After a request from Governor Perry, evacuees were flown to at least 12 other states. But thousands simply moved on their own, arriving by bus or car. "In some ways this is comparable to the close of the Civil War, or the Dust Bowl, but we have greater numbers now and there's the suddenness of this movement - within a day or two, nearly a million people left their homes," said Jeff Ferrell, a professor of sociology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, who has studied urban dislocation. "There's been a tremendously generous response," he said. "But what happens over the next few months? In Texas, we couldn't even get the Legislature to fully fund the schools." The diaspora is also concentrated close to home. Baton Rouge has nearly doubled from its prestorm population of 250,000, according to some city estimates, and that has already caused some grumbling among its residents. From there, evacuees spread out in ripples, with heavy populations in Georgia, Arkansas and Texas, and then to the nation's far corners, to the Rocky Mountain states, the Pacific Northwest and New England. For now, after complaints from people who said they were being moved too many times, making it difficult to get anchored, federal officials say they are putting a hold on plans to fly large groups of people to other states. Joseph Haynes moved his wife, a family friend and two grown sons to Seattle, arriving in two cars after a 2,100-mile journey from their home in New Orleans. Mr. Haynes said he left behind a house he owns and a mechanic's job that he suspects will never return. He headed for Seattle because one of his sons lives there. "What good is me going back with my family to a city that is dead?" he said. "Then my life would be dead. So I need to move on." Here in Utah, more than a 100 of the evacuees have boarded buses from the shelter to go to Denver and Dallas, and then beyond. They said they needed to be closer to home. But others have already found jobs in the Beehive State, which has a black population of less than 1 percent, according to the last census, and they say they intend to stay. "I didn't have a clue where they were taking us," said Reginald Allen, 36, smoking a cigarette outside his temporary home at Camp Williams. "But when they told us it was Utah, I just said, 'Well, it's a change. I got to adapt.' And now I got a job, and I plan to make this my home. I think I could be a cold-weather guy.' " The Red Cross, which has been widely praised for running many of the shelters, helped to organize a job fair here on Thursday, which resulted in the hiring of 40 people. But there are some incongruous sights. Inside the community center at Camp Williams, where people are staying in barracks-style rooms, a posted sign gave notice of the chance to use the "rock-climbing wall today" as well the impending arrival of "ethnic hair products." Like other shelters that are emptying quickly as people move into apartments, the one here was full of rolling rumors about a $2,000 debit card from the government - initially offered, then withdrawn by FEMA, then offered again - and clues about missing family members. Some of the evacuees still have a 2,000-mile stare, and they are frustrated by their inability to connect with people who were left behind, who may be dead or lost or in another distant shelter. "I got out on a helicopter line, but I saw one woman, she was too heavy, and she snapped the cable and fell into the water," said George Lee Jr., 24. "Back home, the roof caved in on my bedroom, in my grandma's house. But I'm O.K. My plan now is to find a job, save some money, and then maybe move to Florida." For those who do stay here, one question was whether they would become more like people in Utah, or if Utahans would become more like them. There was some evidence of the latter. This week, a Cajun-themed dinner was planned in Salt Lake City for one of the most far-flung of the wandering tribes of New Orleans. Maureen Balleza, in Houston, and David Carrillo Peñaloza, in Seattle, contributed reporting for this article.

Guardian UK 12 Sept 2005 Mercenaries guard homes of the rich in New Orleans By Jamie Wilson Hundreds of mercenaries have descended on New Orleans to guard the property of the city's millionaires from looters. The heavily armed men, employed by private military companies including Blackwater and ISI, are part of the militarisation of a city which had a reputation for being one of the most relaxed and easy-going in America. After scenes of looting and lawlessness in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans has turned into an armed camp, patrolled by thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers, as well as 70,000 national guard troops and active-duty soldiers now based in the region. Blackwater, one of the fastest-growing private security firms in the world, which achieved global prominence last year when four of its men were killed and their bodies mutilated in the Iraqi city of Falluja, has set up camp in the back garden of a vast mansion in the wealthy Uptown district of the city. David Reagan, 52, a semi-retired US army colonel from Huntsville, Alabama, who fought in the first Gulf war and is commander of Blackwater's operations in the city, refused to say how many men he had in New Orleans but indicated it was in the hundreds. Asked if they had encountered many looters so far, Mr Reagan said that the sight of his heavily armed men - a pump action shotgun was propped against the wall near to where he was standing - was enough to put most people off. Two Israeli mercenaries from ISI, another private military company, were guarding Audubon Place, a gated community. Wearing bulletproof vests, they were carrying M16 assault rifles. Gill, 40, and Yovi, 42, who refused to give their surnames, said they were army veterans of the Israeli war in Lebanon, but had been living in Houston for 17 years. They had been hired by Jimmy Reiss, a descendant of an old New Orleans family who made his fortune selling electronic systems to shipbuilders. They had been flown by private jet to Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, and then helicoptered to Audubon Place, they said. "I spoke to one of the other owners on the telephone earlier in the week," Yovi said. "I told him how the water had stopped just at the back gate. God watches out for the rich people, I guess."

Register Guard (Eugene, OR) 12 Sept 2004 www.registerguard.com Katrina moved us to act, so why not Darfur? By Paul Slovic Published: Monday, September 12, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating natural disaster in American history, has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless along the Gulf Coast. Who among us has not witnessed the terrifying and heartbreaking images of destroyed cities and destroyed lives? The media have done a remarkable job of covering this tragic event from every angle, beginning with newscasters risking life and limb in the midst of the storm, and continuing with almost nonstop coverage of the personal, social, economic and political impacts. Such vivid reporting has triggered what President Bush has called "a tidal wave of compassion" in this nation and around the world. The aid that flows from this compassion will be sorely needed to help cities to recover and their residents to rebuild their lives. This tragic event gives us the chance to reflect on great humanitarian crises and our response to them. Consider a disaster in which every village in an entire region is destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people killed, and close to 2 million displaced persons interned in refugee camps, threatened with death from famine and disease. The disaster I'm referring to is not caused by nature's fury, but by man's. It is the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan, where gangs of assassins called Janjaweed, supported by the Sudanese government, systematically have been exterminating the population. Unlike Katrina, which lasted less than a day, the Darfur crisis has gone on for over a year. Unlike Katrina, where refugees are free to leave their camps and rebuild their lives as opportunity and aid become available, the refugees in Darfur are virtually imprisoned in the camps, unable to venture outside the boundaries without being assaulted. Unlike Katrina, the destructiveness of which has been graphically portrayed in constant media reports, the ongoing fury in Darfur gets almost no media attention. CBS carried only three minutes of coverage last year, about one minute for every 100,000 deaths. NBC had five minutes. Not surprisingly, nearly invisible events are treated with apathy by governments and their citizens. President Bush has been virtually silent on Darfur, even after then-Secretary of State Colin Powell visited there in 2004 and informed him of the genocide that was occurring. The president can get away with ignoring this massive humanitarian crisis because the American public is uninformed and apathetic. Of course, great dissimilarities between Katrina and Darfur can account for and perhaps even justify the vastly different responses. Katrina hit close to home; Darfur is distant. This distance didn't stop us from vividly portraying last December's tsunami in South Asia and rallying to aid its victims. But tsunamis and hurricanes are acts of nature; they have clear endpoints after which recovery can begin, unhindered by the messy political issues

www.nytimes.com 12 Sept 2005 Yahoo Hires Journalist to Report on Wars By SAUL HANSELL SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Yahoo, in its first big move into original online video programming, is betting that war and conflict will lure new viewers. Lloyd Braun, the former chairman of ABC's entertainment group who now oversees Yahoo's expanded media group in Santa Monica, has hired Kevin Sites, a veteran television correspondent, to produce a multimedia Web site that will report on wars around the world. Mr. Sites, who has worked as a producer and correspondent for NBC and CNN, is probably most notable for a videotape he shot for NBC of a marine shooting and killing, in a mosque in Falluja last year, an Iraqi prisoner who appeared to be unarmed. That video generated a storm of outrage in the Arab world, and spawned both a military investigation into the incident and controversy about Mr. Sites. The Web site, called "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone" (hotzone.yahoo.com) will focus entirely on Mr. Sites's travels as a war correspondent and will use nearly every kind of format the Internet allows. His reports will begin Sept. 26. Yahoo is building a large beachhead in Santa Monica to establish relations with Hollywood, both to buy content from others and to produce its own. One of its motivations is to tap into the rapidly growing demand for video advertising on the Internet. Mr. Braun said the project did not mean that Yahoo was "building any kind of news organization." Rather, he said, the company is trying to develop signature programming in all areas - news, sports, health, entertainment, finance - that will complement content it already carries from other providers. Mr. Sites, who is 42, has long been comfortable using new technology and the Internet as part of his reporting, from shooting his own video to writing blogs from places like Kosovo and Afghanistan. The use of technology, he said, allows him "to report in ways that haven't been done routinely in the network news business." Mr. Braun, for his part, said he leaped at the chance to create the Web site when Mr. Sites presented the concept to him in March. "If we execute this the right way, it is a great first step to show people how we can present content in a different kind of way than television," Mr. Braun said. "One that embraces the qualities of the Internet." Those qualities, he said, including giving users the ability to control what they see and how they see it, and also to interact and respond. Mr. Sites intends to visit over the course of a year every place on earth that is defined by international organizations as a war or conflict zone. The list is evolving but is likely to include about 36 countries. As he travels to these places, Mr. Sites will write a 600- to 800-word dispatch each day and produce a slide show of 5 to 10 digital photographs. He will also narrate audio travelogues. There will be several forms of video - relatively unedited footage posted several times a week, and once a week, a more traditional video report, edited in the style of a network news broadcast. Mr. Sites will also be the host of regular online chats with Yahoo users who will be able to post comments on message boards. And he will post quick text messages on the site updating his activities throughout the day. The combination of edited and unedited material, Mr. Braun said, is intended to help counter the growing public distrust of network news, which he says may be in part attributed to its slick packaging. "We will have a transparency I think the Internet user wants and the news audience is craving," Mr. Braun said. (Indeed, traditional news organizations are also using the Internet to achieve similar goals. CBS News, for example, has hired an independent journalist to write a blog that comments on its coverage as it occurs. And the network, which is owned by Viacom, plans to post long, unedited versions of major interviews on its Web site so viewers can see the portions that were left out of the broadcast versions.) Mr. Sites will start his travels in Africa, and he said he hoped to be in Iraq in November, for the first anniversary of the invasion of Falluja. Mr. Sites plans to travel largely by himself, although he will hire translators, drivers and security guards as needed. His carefully constructed travel ensemble includes a rolling suitcase filled with lightweight clothing treated with insect repellent, a sleeping bag and a custom backpack that contains an array of gadgets that would put James Bond to shame. On his travels for Yahoo, he will carry a Canon digital still camera and three small video recorders, including one that fits on a headband. "I've had to expose myself to open street fighting," Mr. Sites said. "Moving around while looking through the viewfinder of a camera is difficult in those situations." He will also carry a small Apple PowerBook on which he can write as well as edit photos and video, and several satellite telephones to send his dispatches back to the Santa Monica office. And he will have solar panels to charge his equipment where electricity is scarce. Mr. Sites said he hoped that Yahoo users understood that what he was doing was different from the mass of opinion blogs and other Web sites. "We are a journalistic entity," he said, "trying to do things in a responsible way you don't always see on the Internet." At the same time, he will be trying to avoid what he says he believes is the weakness of network news. His credo is to be "transparent, vulnerable and empathetic," he said. "Transparent, in that we tell people what we do and how we will do it. Vulnerable, in that we are human and we know we will make mistakes. And empathetic, in that whether we agree with our sources or not, we will treat them with respect." Mr. Sites has created a small "mission control" staff in Santa Monica, run by Robert Padavick, who had worked on the international news desks at CNN and NBC. And Mr. Sites is preparing Yahoo for the day when he makes an urgent request that it has never had to deal with before. "How do you get someone a cash advance in central Asia? How do you get them tech support in the Congo?" Mr. Sites offers as examples. "To get cash, you hire a shady character who comes in with a suitcase. This is not something Yahoo has done before." Mr. Sites said that after his year abroad, he expected to take a long vacation. But his vacations have not always been restful. After his last stint in Iraq, he was in Thailand on vacation just as the tsunami hit, and found himself reporting again for NBC and writing his blog from that crisis spot and from Banda Aceh, Indonesia. http://hotzone.yahoo.com blog, www.kevinsites.net

AP 15 Sept 2005 Panel passes resolutions calling Armenian killings 'genocide' - Thursday, September 15, 2005 (09-15) 14:40 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Over the strong objections of President George W. Bush's administration, a congressional panel Thursday endorsed two resolutions denouncing the deaths of Armenians early last century as genocide — a sensitive issue in relations with Turkey. The House of Representatives' International Relations Committee voted 35-11 to approve a resolution calling on Turkey to acknowledge the culpability of its predecessor state, the Ottoman empire in the 1915-1923 killings. A second resolution passed 40-7, calling for U.S. foreign policy to reflect an understanding of the Armenian genocide and for the president to recognize the deaths as genocide. It is not clear if or when the resolutions will be brought before the full House of Representatives. Armenians say that Ottoman Turks caused the deaths of 1.5 million in a planned genocide. Turkey said the toll is wildly inflated and Armenians were killed or displaced in civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks also fear that Armenia will use the genocide claims to make territorial demands against Turkey. The State Department sent a letter to committee members saying the debate "could damage U.S.-Turkish relations and could undermine progress by Ankara and Yerevan as they begin quiet talks to address the issue and look to the future." Turkey is an important strategic U.S. ally. It is a democratic, secular Muslim state bordering on Iraq and a NATO member. The relationship, though, has been strained since Ankara refused to allow U.S. troops in the country for the Iraq war. The State Department said the "resolutions could undermine efforts to rebuild a partnership between the United States and Turkey in pursuit of America's broad national security interests in the eastern Mediterranean, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East." The sponsor of the first resolution, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, said he was sensitive to Turkey's importance and that he considers it an ally of the United States. But "that alliance cannot be used as a tool to escape from the past no matter how uncomfortable that past is," said Schiff, whose California district includes tens of thousands of Armenians. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., the panel's top Democrat, said he was reversing his own position in supporting the resolution. He said though Turkey was a good friend, it needed to show more solidarity with the United States on important matters, noting the issue of U.S. troops, among others. The committee's Republican Chairman, Rep. Henry Hyde, said he doubted the relationship with Turkey would be harmed and stressed the resolutions do not hold Turkey or the Turkish people accountable for the killings. He said the resolutions "merely recognize the fact that the authorities of the Ottoman Empire deliberately slaughtered the majority of the Armenian community in their empire." "Denial of that fact cannot be justified on the basis of expediency or fear that speaking the truth will do us harm," he said.



AP 2 Sept 2005 U.S. Creates Endowment for Cambodia Group PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The United States has established a $2 million endowment to assist a Cambodian group researching crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge government in the late 1970s, the U.S. Embassy said Friday. The fund will provide annual funding for the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which also tries to raise awareness about Khmer Rouge atrocities, embassy Charge d'Affaires Mark Storella said. The radical communist policies of the Khmer Rouge, which ruled Cambodia in 1975-79, led to the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. But none of its top leaders has faced trial. Youk Chhang, the group's director, signed an agreement establishing the permanent endowment with a representative of the United States Agency for International Development on Aug. 30, the statement said. Youk Chhang said Friday that interest from the endowment will help sustain his institute -- also known as DC-Cam -- which is in the process of turning itself into a permanent center for new generations of Cambodians to learn about the genocide. "In that way, we have a secured foundation," he said. "The center will become a place where genocide survivors' children can reconnect to the past while trying to move on with their lives into a better future." DC-Cam is an independent research institute that originated in the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University in 1995 with a grant from the State Department. It holds a large quantity of documents and evidence of Khmer Rouge crimes.


BBC 2 Sept 2005 UN envoy cautious on China rights This was Louise Arbour's first trip to China as UNHCHR chief The United Nation's human rights chief, Louise Arbour, has said she is "guardedly optimistic" that China is making progress on human rights. But she questioned Beijing's widespread use of the death penalty, warning that some of those being executed might be victims of discrimination. Ms Arbour was speaking at the end of a five day visit to Beijing. During her trip an agreement was signed to bring China closer to ratifying a covenant on civil and political rights. She also raised a number of cases of specific concern to the UN - including cases of detained journalists, labour activists and ethnic minorities - as well as highlighting treatment of Tibetans and the Muslim Uighur minority in the restive region of Xinjiang. 'Enormous potential' "I'm very energised about the prospect of helping the country face some daunting challenges, and I am guardedly optimistic about the enormous potential for positive change," Ms Arbour told a press conference on Friday. "The stage is set to expect more than modest progress in coming years," she said. But she voiced concern over the widespread use of the death penalty. China executes thousands of prisoners every year - some for offences as minor as tax evasion. Ms Arbour said she was particularly concerned about the death penalty being used against ethnic minorities or the mentally ill. "We know from worldwide experience that very often when you go beyond the numbers you uncover patterns of sometimes indirect discrimination ... [and] disproportionate application of the harshest penalties, including often the death penalties, on minority groups, people suffering from mental illness," Ms Arbour is quoted as saying. During her trip to China, Ms Arbour met the president of the Supreme Court, as well as the justice minister and several activist groups. She questioned China's belief that each country should choose its own method of protecting human rights. "It is not appropriate to say: 'We are doing this our own way'," Ms Arbour is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. And while she welcomed China's move towards ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, she warned that if Beijing were to sign right now, "it is pretty clear that the government understands that it would be in non-compliance in many areas". The high commissioner said she had urged Chinese leaders to change certain legal procedures, particularly on such issues as the death penalty and the controversial "re-education through labour" system.

CNET News.com 7 Sept 2005 Yahoo 'helped jail Chinese journalist' by Jim Kerstetter As Internet firms scramble over each other for a slice of the Chinese market, Yahoo's practices in the country have been condemned by an international media organisation A media watchdog group claimed on Tuesday Yahoo provided information that helped Chinese officials convict a journalist accused of leaking state secrets. Shi Tao, a 37-year-old writer for the Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News), was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. He was convicted of sending to foreign Web sites a "top secret" government message that had been sent to his newspaper. The international organization said recently translated court papers revealed that Yahoo Holdings in Hong Kong provided Chinese investigators with detailed information that helped them link Shi's personal email account and a specific message containing the "state secret" to the IP address of his computer. The state secret was a message to Shi's newspaper warning journalists of the dangers associated with dissidents returning to mark the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, according to the group. Shi admitted sending the email but disputed whether it was a secret document. "We already knew that Yahoo collaborates enthusiastically with the Chinese regime in questions of censorship, and now we know it is a Chinese police informant as well," Reporters Without Borders said in its statement. A Yahoo spokesperson said the company is looking into the charges but could not immediately comment. The harsh criticism comes as Yahoo and rivals Microsoft and Google are engaged in a high-stakes fight to expand into the lucrative Chinese marketplace. Just last month, Yahoo paid $1bn for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.com, which many consider to be the largest e-commerce company in China. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft are fighting in the American courts over the employment of Kai-Fu Lee, a former Microsoft employee who helped the software giant build up its Chinese offices. Google hopes Lee will help expand its presence in China as wel.

latimes.com 14 Sept 2005 Opinion : Commentary Max Boot: Just following orders in China IMAGINE WHAT would have happened if during the 1980s an American communications company had provided information that allowed the South African government to track down and imprison an anti-apartheid activist. That is pretty much the moral equivalent of what Yahoo has just done in China in the case of journalist Shi Tao. And the California-based Web giant deserves the same kind of public opprobrium that would have fallen on any Western firm that dared to publicly cooperate with the enforcers of apartheid. Shi, the victim of Yahoo's shameful behavior, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for "illegally sending state secrets abroad." Shi was a reporter for a Chinese newspaper, Contemporary Business News. His crime consisted of e-mailing to a New York-based website information about a supposedly secret directive his newspaper had received from the state propaganda department telling it how to cover the 15th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The security services were able to track him down thanks to information helpfully provided by Yahoo's Hong Kong affiliate, whose e-mail service Shi used. ADVERTISEMENT Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang breezily defended his company's role: "To be doing business in China, or anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law." I wonder how far Yang would take that logic. What if local law required Yahoo to cooperate in strictly separating races? Or the rounding up and extermination of a certain race? Or the stoning of homosexuals? Would Yang eagerly do the government's bidding in those cases too? Granted, the Chinese communist regime may not be as odious as apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany or Taliban Afghanistan. But it's bad enough. As summed up in the State Department's most recent human rights report: "The [Chinese] government's human rights record remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses." These included "instances of extrajudicial killings; torture and mistreatment of prisoners, leading to numerous deaths in custody; coerced confessions; arbitrary arrest and detention, and incommunicado detention." The State Department estimates that at least 250,000 people — and possibly as many as 310,000 — are serving sentences in "reeducation through labor" camps and "other forms of administrative detention not subject to judicial review." The subjects of such crackdowns have included labor, religious and political activists, including Tiananmen Square protesters (at least 250 of whom remain behind bars) and Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Falun Gong members. And, shades of apartheid, a particular focus of official ire has been ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Tibet who are harshly persecuted for complaining about their lack of equal employment and educational opportunities. So this is the kind of regime whose laws Yahoo shows such great respect for. Unfortunately, its conduct is not out of the ordinary, either for it or for other American media firms operating in China. They all eagerly kowtow to a despicable police state. Yahoo, Google, MSN and other Web search engines have agreed to block searches in China involving words such as "Tibetan independence" or "human rights." Bloggers can't post messages involving "democracy" or other "dangerous" concepts. Rupert Murdoch's Star TV has agreed not to carry BBC news or other information that the Chinese government might not like. Cisco has sold Beijing thousands of routers programmed to monitor Internet usage and flag for the secret police any "subversive" sentiments. There is a theory that greater access to information technology will further freedom in China. The reality is that the communist oligarchy is adroitly using the Internet to increase its level of control with the help of its American business partners. The conduct of Yahoo et al should be illegal. The Commerce Department, and if necessary Congress, should forbid American firms from facilitating human rights abuses in China. Unfortunately, the Bush administration would probably block such rules because it continues to cling to the vain hope that Beijing will solve the North Korean nuclear crisis for us. The only pressure the administration is interested in applying at the moment is to get Chinese firms to stop selling us so many bras. In lieu of government action, private investors should step into the breach. Recall how, in the 1980s, shareholders agitated for U.S. corporations to "disinvest" in South Africa or, if they did invest there, to at least follow the Sullivan Principles — created by a Baptist minister and GM board member, Leon Sullivan, in 1977 — mandating good corporate behavior. We need a similar campaign today to convince Yahoo and its ilk that helping to oppress a fifth of humanity does not make good business sense.

washingtonpost.com 12 Sept 2005 Dalai Lama: Rail Link 'Cultural Genocide' By JOHN MILLER The Associated Press Monday, September 12, 2005; 5:58 AM HAILEY, Idaho -- A rail link being built between Tibet and several major Chinese cities could lead to "cultural genocide" by luring more Chinese workers to the region, the Dalai Lama said. Tibet's spiritual leader said following a speech in Idaho Sunday that more pressure will be placed on native Tibetans by the rail line scheduled for completion in 2007. "Some kind of cultural genocide is taking place," the Dalai Lama told reporters. "In general, a railway link is very useful in order to develop, but not when politically motivated to bring about demographic change." Increasing numbers of ethnic Han Chinese have been moving to Tibet in recent years to work in construction and other booming government industries. Tibetans, working mostly in traditional pursuits such as farming and herding, are struggling to keep up amid what Amnesty International and other human rights groups have denounced as repression and racial bias. Chinese officials have denied adopting a policy of migration to squeeze out Tibetans and say any income disparities among ethnic groups stem from Han Chinese opting for service jobs while Tibetans prefer lower paid farm work. The 70-year-old monk was invited to Idaho by Kiril Sokoloff, a Buddhist and financial industry consultant, to give a speech on compassion to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and those suffering from Hurricane Katrina. "Your sadness, your anger will not solve the problem. More sadness, more frustration only brings more suffering for yourself," the Dalai Lama monk told a crowd of 10,000. "No matter how tragic the situation, we should not lose hope." While condemning violence, the Dalai Lama also acknowledged mixed feelings over the U.S. invasion of Iraq, telling reporters that "history would decide." "Violence is something unpredictable," said the Dalai Lama, who has garnered some support from the Bush administration, specifically Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for his campaign to restore Tibetan political autonomy. "In the case of Afghanistan, perhaps there's something positive. In Iraq, it's too early to tell." The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 following an aborted uprising against Chinese rule in the territory and now keeps an office in exile in the Himalayan town of Dharmsala, India. .


Deccan Herald 13 Sept 2005 www.deccanherald.com Maoists massacre 15 in Jharkhand DH News Service,Ranchi: Villagers of Giridih district have mobilised a formidable anti-Naxalite campaign. The extremists retaliated on Sunday, spreading terror in the area. Fifteen persons, a majority of them members of the village protection group (VPG), were gunned down by Maoist guerrillas at Beluwaghati under Beuri police station limits in Giridih district of Jharkhand past Sunday midnight, police said here on Monday. Six persons including a girl were also injured in the attack. The condition of the girl is stated to be critical. The massacre was in retaliation to anti-Naxalite operations launched by villagers across the district. The massacre According to the police, armed Maoists, numbering between 150 to 200, swooped down on Beluwaghati bordering Bihar at around 2:30 am. Eyewitnesses told the police that after entering the village, the Naxalites scoured every house for members of the village protection group. Fifteen villagers were pulled out of their houses and gunned down. The Naxalites also inflicted serious injuries on four persons including a girl. They blew up a house and a school building using explosives during the raid. According to the officer-in-charge of the Beuri police station, people of Beluwaghati and neighbouring villages had remained defiant in their opposition to Naxalites despite the extremists abducting 13 villagers and killing one John Hembrom, a resident of Beluwaghati village on July 23 last. The extremists had also chopped off the ears and hands of three others on the same day. State Home Secretary J B Tubid termed Sunday’s massacre as an attempt to terrorise the villagers who had forged a formidable anti-Naxalite front in Giridih district. He said by forming the village protection groups (VPGs), residents of Beluwaghati and neighbouring villagers had launched an offensive against the extremists, dealing a major blow to Naxalite activities in the area. Recently, a hardcore Naxalite, Rawani Thakur, was apprehended in Giridih district and some more extremists surrendered because of the pressure mounted by the villagers, he said. Meanwhile, Sunday’s massacre has sparked off tension in and around Beluwaghati. The police have launched combing operations in the area to nab the extremists responsible for the massacre. At the time of filing this report, State Home Minister Sudesh Mahto, DGP V D Ram and other top civil and police officials were camping at the massacre site. Desperate act: CM Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has condemned the incident. Before rushing to Beluwaghati, Munda described the massacre as a desperate act. “The people of the State have rejected their ideology and hence they (Naxalites) are feeling defeated now. This is one reason why they have targeted people from the weakest strata of the society,” he said. Rejecting any dialogue with the Maoists, the Chief Minister said they would be dealt with an iron hand. In yet another incident, the Palamau police arrested a hardcore Naxalite on Monday morning. The rebel, identified as Laloo Singh, was an area commander.

Calcutta Telegraph, India 13 Sept 2005 www.telegraphindia.com Massacre triggers mayhem memory VISHVENDU JAIPURIAR Forces patrol the Naxalite-hit area of Tamar in Ranchi. Picture by Prashant Mitra Hazaribagh, Sept. 12: The massacre in Giridih today has made villagers in Beltu, 55 kms from Hazaribagh, remember the black day in their lives. Beltu, still recovering from the killing of 14 men on April 13, 2001, waits for the fulfilment of promises made by the state government. On that fateful day, hundreds of extremists had taken this small village hostage and chopped off limbs and severed heads of villagers. The incident had brought Beltu, in Keredari, into the limelight. The then chief minister Babulal Marandi had promised to develop Beltu into a model village. But so far, nothing has been done. The massacre had shocked government agencies, as it was the first, and also a gruesome, act committed by the extremists after Jharkhand was created. But today, the village, situated 50 km from the district headquarters, lacks even the most basic facilities. Villagers, who still fear to speak against the extremists, said they have to follow the dictates of extremists in order to lead a peaceful life. But they said the government should fulfil the promises, made after the massacre. After the incident, political leaders used to visit the place in large numbers, said the villagers and added that as the days passed, all of them forgot about the promises. The villagers now fear that the same situation is going to befall Giridih village. The male members, who ran away from Beltu, are still afraid to return. The relatives of the victims have migrated to towns in order to escape the wrath of the extremists. Hazaribagh court had awarded the death punishment to three and life imprisonment to 23, in the case related to the Beltu massacre, after cross-examining 35-witnesses and going through 14-postmortem reports. Whether it’s ten years or a hundred years, the loss is never going to be replaced, said a septuagenarian, philosophically. He is now residing in the town with his grandson. , who landed a government job.

IANS 14 Sept 2005 Police betrayed us, cry villagers after massacre Wednesday September 14 2005 00:00 IST IANS RANCHI: What has shocked more - the brutal massacre of 15 people by Maoist rebels or the betrayal by police who, people say, had been informed about the planned attack? Residents of Jharkhand's Beluwa Ghati don't quite know. Life in the almost inaccessible village in Giridih district, 190 km from here, may never be the same again. Not for a long time at least, with many of those who survived the Maoist butchering at midnight Sunday planning to migrate for fear of life. "Now I will not live here. I have already lost my husband," said Gondia Devi, a terror-stricken resident. The ruthless killings by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have unnerved people. The victims were attacked with sharp-edged weapons and their heads, hands and legs chopped off. Some were shot. People say the attack was in retaliation for villagers aiding the administration's efforts against the rebels. But this very administration failed them in their hour of need. "We have been deceived by both police and former chief minister Babulal Marandi. We had informed police about the Maoist plan to attack the village, but nothing was done to save us," said Kadir Mia. Many are quick to point out that Deori police station, under which the village falls, was informed about the Maoist plan to attack. Mansoor Mia, a resident, had informed the police. But apparently police mocked him instead of beefing up security. Mansoor Mia was among the four Muslims killed in the strike. The village is located deep in the jungles and is almost inaccessible. Police reached the spot 16 hours after the incident. So difficult is the terrain that Home Minister Sudesh Mahto reached the spot on a bike. Chief Minister Arjun Munda and Marandi visited the place, but faced the shouts, tears and slogans of angry people. Marandi, they said, had exhorted them to join the campaign against the rebels and form village protection groups. With guerrillas active in 16 of the 22 districts of the state, his move has worked in many parts of Giridih district, which is also his native place, where rebels have been driven away or killed by people. But in Beluwa Ghati, it backfired. Villagers had demanded weapons to protect themselves from Maoists, but their requests went unanswered. While the families of each of the victims will get Rs. 100,000 as compensation and a job, the killings have come as a major setback. For, the courage that villagers had summoned up to fight the Maoists, may fail them for a long time to come.

Daily Excelsior 12 sept 2005 3 infiltrators, 2 shepherds killed, Dharmari massacre claims six Wednesday, September 14, 2005, JAMMU: Six members of three families were killed and eight others injured when a group of militants attacked their houses at Dharmari, 45 kms from Reasi late tonight. Official reports said that a group of four to six militants struck at Dharmari and attacked three houses, two of them belonging to special police officers, and opened indiscriminate firing. Thwarting an infiltration attempt, Army gunned down three militants in a fierce night long gun battle along Mendhar nullah in Balnoi sector of Poonch district; two shepherds were killed by the ultras as another managed to escape from their captivity in upper reaches of Mahore tehsil in Reasi police district today. In other incidents, a militant was killed in Surankote and a civilian in Doda. Militants also struck in Malhar area of Billawar tehsil in Kathua district last night resorting to heavy firing on some houses. Recoveries made from the scene of encounter include three AK rifles, 13 magazines,426 rounds, three pouches, 18 hand grenades, three Kenwood radio sets, one binocular, one Dictaphone (damaged) and one mattress.


BBC 14 Sept 2 05 Aceh rebels get ready to disarm Rebels have begun bagging up their weapons Preparations are under way for a watershed disarming of rebels in the Indonesian province of Aceh, in line with a peace deal signed last month. Free Aceh Movement (Gam) members gathered dozens of assault rifles due to be handed over on Thursday. The government is to withdraw all forces sent to quell the rebellion by the end of the year, and 1,300 elite police left on Wednesday. Some 15,000 people have died in more than 29 years of conflict in Aceh. KEY POINTS OF THE ACCORD All hostilities cease and Gam disarms Government withdraws non-local military and police Aceh to be governed under a new law Government facilitates Aceh-based political parties Amnesty granted to Gam members Truth and reconciliation commission established Aceh monitoring mission set up by EU and Asean Full text of accord "I'm happy, the sooner we get rid of these weapons the better," a Gam spokesman, Irwandi Yusaf, told the AP news agency. "There's no point in holding on to them now." Some 210 Gam weapons - about a quarter of the total to be given up - are to be handed to international monitors in coming days, and the rest by the end of the year. At the same time, the Indonesian government is gradually withdrawing about 50% of the police and soldiers stationed in Aceh -14,700 military and 9,100 police will remain. In return for laying down their arms, the rebels have put aside their demand for full independence, accepting political representation instead, and Gam political prisoners have been released. The atmosphere has already relaxed in Aceh, and Gam members have begun leaving their mountain hideouts to return home. However, the EU team monitoring the peace deal did report a violation to the two sides' Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday. It said Gam members wounded two soldiers in Lhokseumawe on Saturday, for which they would be reported to the government. Correspondents warn the newfound peace will remain vulnerable for some time. Previous peace deals have fallen apart and on the ground there is still deep mistrust between the two sides.


NYT 2 Sept 2005 Ex-Rebel Kurd Savoring Victory in Iraq's Politics By DEXTER FILKINS BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 1 - The old Kurdish guerrilla leader is savoring his most recent victory, won not on the field of battle but in the arid drawing rooms of Baghdad's constitutional convention. In three weeks of talks here, Massoud Barzani, the former guerrilla leader, quietly secured in the new Iraqi constitution virtually everything the Kurds were asking for, enshrining powers of autonomy that approach those of a sovereign state. "Let me tell you, politics is much more difficult than war," said Mr. Barzani, 59, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, who was a warlord when he was younger. "In politics, there are so many more fronts." The new Iraqi constitution, which will go before voters on Oct. 15, grants the Kurds vast lawmaking powers, control over their 60,000-man militia, and authority over new discoveries of oil and gas. The Kurds even secured a deadline of Dec. 31, 2007, for bringing back tens of thousands of Kurds expelled by the armies of Saddam Hussein in the 1980's. The constitution limits the exclusive powers of the central government in Baghdad to a few important areas like control over currency, foreign policy and defense. Policy making in areas like health care and the environment would be "shared" between the Kurds and Baghdad, but the Kurds would have the right to change most federal laws if they conflicted with local legislation. That includes federal taxes. The new constitution would ratify all laws passed by the Kurdish regional government since 1992. In effect, the new Iraqi constitution formally ratifies the quasi-independent status the Kurdish region has held since 1991, when the murderous postwar rampages of Mr. Hussein prompted the United States to set up a security umbrella that allowed the Kurds to flourish outside the control of the central government in Baghdad. In the new constitution, the Kurds did not achieve significantly new powers, but they did not give any up, either. The one significant concession made by the Kurds in the constitutional talks was the deletion of language allowing them the right to secede, under certain circumstances, from the Iraqi state. Kurdish leaders say they regarded the secession clause as mostly symbolic. They leave little doubt that they regard the new constitution as but a way station on a journey to eventual independence. "In the last decade, major changes took place in the world that gave many people their freedom," Mr. Barzani said. "I would not be surprised to see such changes in our region." But he chose his words carefully, so as not to offend his friends, like the Americans, or his adversaries, like the Turks and the Iranians, who have significant Kurdish minorities in their countries that they fear might make similar demands. "The constitution should not just be ink on paper," Mr. Barzani said. "Until such time, we will adhere to it." It was no small irony that the negotiations over the constitution, which is intended to hold this fractious country together, took place inside the Baghdad compound of Mr. Barzani, who has spent much of his adult life trying to keep the rest of Iraq at bay. Indeed, some of the most crucial talks over the constitution unfolded beneath a portrait of Mustafa Barzani, Massoud's father, a guerrilla leader who founded the Kurdish Democratic Party in 1946. For most Iraqi leaders, Kurdish autonomy was so firmly entrenched, and its existence so morally compelling, that it could not be seriously disputed. In the 1980's, Mr. Hussein and his forces are believed to have killed hundreds of Kurds, many with poison gas. But some Iraqis do worry that the precedent set by Kurdish autonomy could ultimately spell the end of Iraq - first by Kurdish secession, and later by similar designs by others, like Iraq's majority Shiites, who secured the right to set up an autonomous region of their own. The critics also worry that the new constitution, by declaring that control over resources like water must be shared, may also have sown the seeds for future conflicts. "The Kurds act as if they are representatives of a state and we in Iraq are another state," said Wael Abdul Latif, a Shiite member of the Iraqi constitutional committee. "Under this constitution, Kurdish independence is just a matter of time." At a news conference this week, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador here, suggested that granting the Kurds extensive powers of self-rule - that is, setting up a federal system - was the only realistic option. The Kurds, he said, would not have tolerated anything less. "The Kurds say they will not come back unless Iraq is federal," Mr. Khalilzad said, using the word for strong regional autonomy. That may be true for now, but it is evident that the Kurds have longer-term goals. In a nonbinding referendum held in Iraq's three Kurdish provinces in January, some 98 percent of those who voted cast ballots in favor of independence. If the central government in Baghdad tried to curtail Kurdish powers, the demands would grow more insistent. "If the constitution is not implemented and things don't move swiftly, then people will want their independence," said Dr. Mahmood Othman, a Kurdish leader who was a physician to Mustafa Barzani. Yet for all their clamoring for independence, Dr. Othman said, the Kurds played an important, secular role in counterbalancing the demands of the cleric-dominated Shiite majority, which pushed for a constitution with a more heavily Islamic character. The constitution's protections for individual rights are largely Kurdish achievements, Dr. Othman said. "The Kurds were fighting for all Iraqis," he said. He said the Kurds would probably not have achieved as much had Iraq's Sunni leaders agreed to the constitution. Now, he said, it is imperative for the Kurds to try to bring the Sunnis back on board, lest the constitution that grants the Kurds so much go down to defeat. With the talks on the constitution over, the atmosphere in Mr. Barzani's compound was that of a visiting sports team that has come a long way to play a match. With the game won, many of the players were itching to go home, away from the sweltering plains of Baghdad and back to the cooler mountains they call home. Few were more eager than Mr. Barzani. "If they would let me," Mr. Barzani said, laughing, "I would leave right now." Abdul Razzaq al-Saiedy and Robert F. Worth contributed reporting for this article.

NYT 2 Sept 2005 Gunmen Open Fire on Two Sunni Mosques in Southern Iraq By ROBERT F. WORTH BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 2 - Gunmen opened fire on worshippers at two Sunni mosques in southern Iraq this morning, killing one and wounding four, as imams across the country devoted their weekly sermons to the nearly 1,000 victims of Wednesday's deadly stampede in Baghdad. The attacks took place in Zubayr, a Sunni town south of Basra in Iraq's largely Shiite south. Gunmen in a white sedan drove up to the Mizel Pasha mosque just as worshippers were finishing their dawn prayers and sprayed the crowd with gunfire, killing one man and wounding three, witnesses said. The gunmen then drove to another Sunni mosque a few hundred yards away, opening fire and injuring one worshipper before driving away. The attack came as the American military announced the deaths of four soldiers. Two of the soldiers were killed in the capital on Thursday afternoon when their patrol struck a roadside bomb, military officials said. Another was was killed by small-arms fire on Wednesday near Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, and a fourth died Monday near the northern town of Tal Afar when his patrol was hit by small-arms fire, the officials said. It was not clear whether the attacks in Zubayr were linked to the stampede in Baghdad, which took place as tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims were crossing a bridge on their way to a Shiite shrine. The stampede began shortly after insurgents fired rockets and mortars at the shrine, killing seven pilgrims and wounding two dozen. Some Shiite leaders have publicly blamed Sunni insurgents for the stampede and hinted at reprisals, and Zubayr is known as a stronghold for extremist Sunnis. A number of Sunni Arabs have been killed in southern and central Iraq in recent weeks, and some Sunnis have accused militias controlled by Shiite religious parties of carrying out the killings. Ala al-Sabah, the spokesman of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Iraq's best-known Sunni political party, said of the attack today: "This is a serious crime, and we know who carried it out. Our reaction will come at the appropriate time." In other violence, a roadside bomb exploded this morning near a convoy of American S.U.V.'s driving through the capital, killing one contractor and wounding another, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said. In the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Adhamiya, a stationary car bomb exploded next to a passing Iraqi police convoy, wounding one officer and destroying a vehicle, the officials said.

4 Sept 2005 Date of Saddam's trial confirmed If found guilty, Saddam Hussein could face the death penalty The Iraqi government has confirmed that the trial of Saddam Hussein will begin on 19 October. The move came after the former Iraqi leader appointed a new legal team. There had been widespread speculation that the trial would begin as soon as possible after the national referendum on Iraq's constitution on 15 October. Several of the ex-president's closest aides will also face trial with him, on charges relating to the massacre of 143 Shias in a town north of Baghdad. The killings in Dujail in 1982 followed an attempt on Saddam Hussein's life. Death penalty A government spokesman, Laith Kubba, said the former leader's co-defendants would include Barazan Ibrahim, his half brother who was his intelligence chief at the time; former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan; and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, a Baath party official in Dujail. Saddam Hussein faces execution if found guilty. Iraq's Shia-led government has reintroduced the death penalty after it was suspended following the US-led invasion in 2003. The former leader and some of his former aides will also face separate trials on other charges. But some government officials have suggested that if he is convicted for the Dujail killings, subsequent trials for other crimes might be shelved to open the way for sentence to be carried out quickly. 'Capable team' The reorganisation of Saddam Hussein's defence team follows last month's move by his family to revoke the right of attorney for Western and Arab lawyers claiming to represent the former Iraqi leader. Under measures adopted by his eldest daughter Raghad, the former president will be assigned a new legal committee of international lawyers headed by Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi. "We have formed a legal defence team that includes prominent American, European, Asian and Arab lawyers who were chosen on the basis of competence and merit to put up a strong defence," said Abdul Haq al-Ani, legal adviser to Saddam's eldest daughter Raghad, who is authorised to act on behalf of the family. "This capable team will be entrusted with preparing the defence case when the trial begins and disputing its legality and procedures that deny the president justice.""

NYT 7 Spt 2005 Hussein Confessed to Massacre Order, Iraqi President Says By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 6 - The deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has confessed to crimes in meetings with investigators for the special tribunal that will try him later this year, President Jalal Talabani said in a televised interview Tuesday night. But a lawyer for Mr. Hussein's family dismissed the statement as a "fabrication." Speaking on the state-run Iraqiya network, Mr. Talabani, a Kurd, said investigators have told him the "good news" that Mr. Hussein had confessed to ordering the Anfal massacre against the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988 and to ordering other executions. "He confessed about the Anfal executions, and the orders issued by his name," Mr. Talabani said. "Saddam should be executed 20 times." It was not clear from the interview whether Mr. Talabani was saying that Mr. Hussein had acknowledged that his actions were criminal or that the former leader had merely admitted he had ordered killings he believed were proper. In the past he has not denied that he ordered people killed. After the broadcast, a lawyer for Mr. Hussein's family criticized Mr. Talabani's remarks and suggested in an interview with The Associated Press that his statements had been false. Claims of a confession "comes to me as a surprise, a big surprise," said the lawyer, Abdel Haq Alani. He said Mr. Hussein had made no mention of a confession during a meeting with his Iraqi lawyer on Monday. Mr. Alani added, "Is this the fabrication of Talabani or what?" Fighting against Sunni Arab insurgents continued in western and northern Iraq. Some residents fled the northern insurgent stronghold of Tal Afar as fighting continued between American and Iraqi forces and insurgents who have controlled much of the city for almost a year. Residents complained of severe food shortages, and news services reported that the fighting had killed and wounded civilians and that residents had been bracing for a new round of combat. Insurgents used a large roadside bomb to kill one American soldier in Tal Afar on Monday, the military said. American troops have been fighting since May to wrest control of the city from insurgents who moved in after the military largely abandoned Tal Afar last year. In western Iraq, military jets launched two airstrikes against insurgents near the Syrian border on Tuesday, the latest assault against militants who control much of the desolate badlands of western Anbar Province that are home turf to the most hardened elements of the Sunni Arab insurgency. Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, jets bombed two bridges near the town of Karabila that insurgents had used to transport foreign fighters and weapons into central Iraq, a statement by the United States Marines said. Hours later, jets flattened a "foreign fighter safe house" near the bridges after a gun battle with marines there that killed two insurgents, another statement said. In contrast to the military's normally more upbeat assertions about progress curbing the insurgency, the first statement noted that western Anbar residents have "experienced an increased level of violence at the hands of Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists." In central Baghdad, two American soldiers were killed Tuesday morning and two more were wounded when insurgents attacked their vehicle with a large roadside bomb. Another American soldier died Monday in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. In other violence, the Iraqi police found four bodies in a sewage duct in southern Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, according to an official at the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The official also said that shortly after 9 p.m., attackers shooting from a car window opened fire on people gathered at a Sunni mosque in northern Baghdad, killing three and wounding two. There were also unconfirmed reports that the son of Anbar Province's governor had been kidnapped from his college. Iraqi officials say Mr. Hussein's first trial is expected to begin Oct. 19, when he faces charges that he ordered the killing of nearly 150 men and boys from the Shiite village of Dujail, 35 miles north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt against him there in 1982. If convicted, Mr. Hussein could be hanged soon afterward, eliminating the need for other prosecutions of charges of crimes against humanity, Iraqi officials have said. Those charges include ordering the Anfal massacre, where tens of thousands of Kurds were gassed or otherwise killed and dumped into mass graves, and the suppression of the Shiite uprising in southern Iraq in 1991, when 150,000 people were killed and bulldozed into graves. Across many parts of Iraq with heavy Sunni Arab populations - especially in western Anbar - Iraqi security forces are far from being able to battle the insurgency on their own. But in the Shiite-dominated south, a battalion of 1,500 Iraqi troops formally assumed control of the holy city of Najaf, where Shiite insurgents fought fierce battles with American troops just last year. The American 155th Brigade Combat Team handed over control of the main military encampment in Najaf, Forward Operating Base Hotel, to Iraqi troops during a ceremony on Tuesday. The American commander, Brig. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, said the "Iraqi Army in Najaf can control the area," according to a pool report of the ceremony. But the general also emphasized that a contingent of American troops would remain based nearby in case the Iraqi forces needed help. "Although we are transferring authority at this F.O.B., we will still be here to help the people of Najaf," he said.

washingtonpost.com 10 Sept 2005 Security Contractors in Iraq Under Scrutiny After Shootings By Jonathan Finer Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, September 10, 2005; A01 IRBIL, Iraq -- The pop of a single rifle shot broke the relative calm of Ali Ismael's morning commute here in one of Iraq's safest cities. Ismael, his older brother Bayez and their driver had just pulled into traffic behind a convoy of four Chevrolet Suburbans, which police believe belonged to an American security contractor stationed nearby. The back door of the last vehicle swung open, the brothers said in interviews, and a man wearing sunglasses and a tan flak jacket leaned out and leveled his rifle. "I thought he was just trying to scare us, like they usually do, to keep us back. But then he fired," said Ismael, 20. His scalp was still marked by a bald patch and four-inch purple scar from a bullet that grazed his head and left him bleeding in the back seat of his Toyota Land Cruiser. "Everything is cloudy after that," he said. A U.S. investigation of the July 14 incident concluded that no American contractors were responsible, a finding disputed by the Ismaels, other witnesses, local politicians and the city's top security official, who termed it a coverup. No one has yet been held responsible. Recent shootings of Iraqi civilians, allegedly involving the legion of U.S., British and other foreign security contractors operating in the country, are drawing increasing concern from Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders who say they undermine relations between foreign military forces and Iraqi civilians. Private security companies pervade Iraq's dusty highways, their distinctive sport-utility vehicles packed with men waving rifles to clear traffic in their path. Theirs are among the most dangerous jobs in the country: escorting convoys, guarding dignitaries and protecting infrastructure from insurgent attacks. But their activities have drawn scrutiny both here and in Washington after allegations of indiscriminate shootings and other recklessness have given rise to charges of inadequate oversight. "These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force," said Brig. Gen. Karl R. Horst, deputy commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for security in and around Baghdad. "They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place." No tally of such incidents has been made public, and Aegis, a British security company that helps manage contractors in Baghdad and maintains an operations center in the capital's fortified Green Zone, declined to answer questions. In the rare instances when police reports are filed, the U.S. military is often blamed for the actions of private companies, according to Adnan Asadi, the deputy interior minister responsible for overseeing security companies. "People always say the Army did it, and even our police don't always know the difference," he said. The shootings became so frequent in Baghdad this summer that Horst started keeping his own count in a white spiral notebook he uses to record daily events. Between May and July, he said, he tracked at least a dozen shootings of civilians by contractors, in which six Iraqis were killed and three wounded. The bloodiest case came on May 12 in the neighborhood of New Baghdad. A contractor opened fire on an approaching car, which then veered into a crowd. Two days after the incident, American soldiers patrolling the same block were attacked with a roadside bomb. On May 14, in another part of the city, private security guards working for the U.S. Embassy shot and killed at least one Iraqi civilian while transporting diplomats from the Green Zone, according to an embassy official who spoke on condition he not be named. Two security contractors were dismissed from their jobs over the incident. Employees of private security firms are immune from prosecution in Iraq, under an order adopted into law last year by Iraq's interim government. The most severe punishment that can be applied to them is revocation of their license and dismissal from their job, U.S. officials said. Their heavy presence stems in large part from the Pentagon's attempts to keep troop numbers down by privatizing jobs that would once have been performed by American forces. There are now at least 36 foreign security companies -- most from the United States and Britain -- and 16 Iraqi firms registered to operate here, according to the Interior Ministry, and as many as 50 more are believed to have set up shop illegally. Their total workforce is estimated at 25,000; many are military veterans, though levels of experience vary. As of December, contracts to provide security for U.S. government agencies and reconstruction firms in Iraq had surpassed $766 million, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. "As the security world rapidly expanded, I think some had to incorporate into their labor pool people with significantly less experience," said Harry Schute, who commanded an Army civil affairs battalion in northern Iraq from March 2003 until early 2004 and now serves as an adviser to the Kurdistan regional government, which has its capital in Irbil. Johann R. Jones, director of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, a trade organization representing such companies, known as PSCs, disputed Horst's characterization of their performance in an e-mail response to written questions. "Whilst the behavior of a few PSCs is unhelpful, we have to also keep in mind that 'bad apples' are present in all organizations, including the MNF-I," wrote Jones, using the acronym for Multinational Forces-Iraq, the U.S.-led military coalition here. "There have been huge strides amongst the Iraqi government to regulate and maintain accountability regarding PSCs. There have also been huge strides within the PSC community to identify those that behave in an unacceptable manner." The U.S. Embassy official said that he was "extremely concerned" about shooting incidents involving private security companies but that the vast majority of security contractors were highly professional. Of 122 shootings by contractors protecting embassy officials since July 2004, only three have resulted in disciplinary actions, according to U.S. officials who monitor private security companies. "Look, we're in a war zone," the official said. "They are high targets. The insurgents know when they see SUVs rolling down the street. There are people trying to kill them all the time, and sometimes they have to respond." Security and other contractors working in Iraq have been frequent victims of violence. According to a Defense Department report to Congress last month, 166 contractors were killed and 1,005 wounded between May 1, 2003, and Oct. 28, 2004. The most publicized incident came on March 31, 2004, when four employees of Blackwater Security Consulting, a North Carolina-based company, were killed and their bodies dragged through the volatile western city of Fallujah. While many security companies perform military-style tasks, often on behalf of the U.S. government, they are not under the armed services' command. In response to a congressional request for more information on oversight of security contractors, the Pentagon said the military's relationship with them was "one of coordination, not control." Horst declined to provide the name of the contractors whose employees were involved in the 12 shootings he documented in the Baghdad area. But he left no doubt that he believed the May 12 incident, in which three people were killed, led directly to the attack on his soldiers that came days later on the same block. "Do you think that's an insurgent action? Hell no," Horst said. "That's someone paying us back because their people got killed. And we had absolutely nothing to do with it." Asadi, the Interior Ministry official, said Iraqi civilians nevertheless think private security guards are American soldiers. "They have the same bodies, the same looks," he said. "The only difference is the Humvees," vehicles used by the military but not by private firms. In May, Asadi sent a brief letter to registered security companies warning them to obey local laws or risk having their licenses revoked. "The cancellation will be circulated to all state offices, with the aim of shunning any dealing with you," he wrote. On May 27, after the shootings in Baghdad, Horst called a meeting with representatives of security firms and police officials at the U.S. Embassy. "We had a dialogue about propriety and conduct and consequences management," Horst said. "Our philosophy is 'make no new enemies,' and that's what I tried to impress upon these guys. They don't have to think about the consequences of what they do, but we do." The next day, the sometimes contentious relationship between security companies and the U.S. military burst into the open. Marines in the western province of Anbar detained 19 security contractors from another North Carolina-based outfit, Zapata Engineering, who allegedly shot at U.S. forces near Fallujah. Horst said his soldiers had had a run-in earlier that day with the same 19 workers. The contractors -- 16 Americans and three Iraqis -- were traveling west from Baghdad in a convoy of white Suburbans. As they passed the Abu Ghraib prison, whose perimeter is guarded by Horst's soldiers, they were shooting indiscriminately at the sides of the road, the general said. "They were doing what we call 'clearing by fire,' " Horst said. "They were shooting everything they see. They blow through here and they shot at our guys and they just kept going. No one was shooting back." The shooting of Ismael in Irbil came six weeks later. Police said the convoy of Suburbans quickly proceeded from the scene to a base operated by the U.S. Agency for International Development that is guarded by DynCorp International, an American firm. An investigation by U.S. officials concluded that "the evidence clearly indicates the vehicle was fired on from the rear by an as yet unknown party and not from the front by the" security company, according to a July 15 report filed with Kurdish security officials. The report offered "working theories" to explain the shooting, including the possibility that it resulted from an insurgent ambush in which the Ismaels' Land Cruiser was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time," or an attempt to assassinate Bayez Ismael, a Kurdistan Democratic Party official. Abdullah Ali, director of the Irbil security police, called the U.S. report "three pages of lies to try to cover up that their company was involved." "We looked at all the evidence," he continued. "Witnesses only saw a shot from the front. And we found his hair and blood towards the back window, which supports that. We are 1 million percent sure." In an e-mail response to questions, DynCorp spokesman Gregory Lagana pointed to the embassy investigation. "We have confirmed that our people in the Irbil area did not leave their compound that day," he wrote.

BBC 14 Sept 2005 Scores killed in Baghdad attacks Iraqis were queuing for jobs when the bomber struck Enlarge Image More than 150 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a series of bomb attacks and shootings across Iraq. In the worst incident, at least 114 people were killed and 160 injured when a car bomb exploded in Baghdad's mainly Shia district of Kadhimiya. During the night, gunmen killed 17 people in the nearby town of Taji after dragging them from their homes. Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed it had begun a nationwide bombing campaign to avenge a recent major offensive on rebels. In a statement on a website, the group said it acted after US and Iraqi forces attacked insurgents in the northern town of Talafar. Iraqi officials said 157 rebels were killed and nearly 300 arrested during the operation. Wednesday became one of the deadliest days in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003. The attacks once again showed the limits of military might as a solution to the insurgency, the BBC's Rob Watson says. When under military pressure in one part of Iraq, the insurgents simply strike elsewhere, our defence and security correspondent says. The attacks came as a final draft of the Iraqi constitution was handed to the UN. After months of negotiations, the draft is due to be distributed to Iraqis before a referendum on it on 15 October. In attacks elsewhere: Three Iraqi soldiers are killed when a car bomb targets their patrol in the Al-Adel district of western Baghdad A bomb explodes by an Iraqi National Guard convoy in the northern Baghdad district of Shula, killing at least four people and wounding 22 Two US soldiers are wounded as a suicide bomber rams a vehicle packed with explosives into their Humvee in east Baghdad Gunmen kill four policemen in Baghdad's northern district of Adhamiya. Three Iraqi soldiers and four policemen die when a suicide car bomber strikes as rescuers arrive to help A suicide car bomber attacks a US convoy close to the Rashid Hotel in the Green Zone, although it is not yet known if there were any other casualties A suicide bomber blows himself up in Baghdad without causing any other casualties. Labourers targeted A suicide bomber drove his car at 0630 (0230 GMT) into queues of labourers who had gathered on Oruba Square in Kadhimiya, Iraqi police spokesman Maj Musa Abdel Kerim said. BLOODIEST VIOLENCE IN IRAQ 28 Aug 2003 - 85 dead Car bomb at Najaf shrine kills Shia cleric Muhammad Baqr Hakim and many others 1 Feb 2004 - 105 dead Twin attacks on Kurdish parties' offices in Irbil 2 March 2004 - 140 dead Suicide bombers attack Shia festival-goers in Karbala and Baghdad 24 June 2004 - 100 dead Co-ordinated blasts in Mosul and four other cities 28 Feb 2005 - 114 dead Suicide car bomb hits government jobseekers in Hillah 16 Aug 2005 - 90 dead Suicide bomber detonates fuel tanker in Musayyib The BBC's Richard Galpin in Baghdad says that every day large numbers of construction workers gather in the square in the north of the city to be picked up by their employers. According to some reports the attacker lured the workers towards the vehicle before detonating the bomb. "We gathered and suddenly a car blew up and turned the area into fire and dust and darkness," one of the workers, a man named Hadi, told Reuters news agency. British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said in Baghdad that the latest attacks "will not stop the heroic attempts of the Iraqi people to create a safe, brighter future". Blindfolded The shootings in Taji took place a few hours before the bomb attack in Oruba Square. The victims, said to be civilians, were shot dead in execution-style killings. According to an interior ministry official quoted by AFP news agency, the attackers in Taji, 15km (nine miles) north of Baghdad, arrived in the town in "military vehicles" dressed as soldiers, gathered several people in a square and shot them. Witnesses said the victims were Shias. Hours later in the same town gunmen are reported to have opened fire on a group of Sunni Muslims at a market, killing six. There have been frequent sectarian killings in Baghdad and central Iraq as mainly Sunni insurgents seek to incite fear and hatred between the Muslim communities.


BBC 12 Sept 2005 Israel general 'avoids UK arrest' The warrant relates to the bulldozing of more than 50 houses The former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip has told how he dodged arrest on war crimes charges after receiving a tip-off at Heathrow. Major General Doron Almog is accused of breaching international laws during Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip. He said he had flown straight home after the Israeli military attache had warned him not to leave his El Al jet. Lawyers acting for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said a UK court had issued a warrant for his arrest. Solicitors Hickman and Rose said the 54-year-old had been due to be arrested on suspicion of committing a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, which is a criminal offence in the UK under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957. Senior District Judge Timothy Workman had given the police authority to detain Maj Gen Almog during a hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London, the law firm added. The warrant relates to the bulldozing of more than 50 houses in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, when Maj Gen Almog was head of Israel's Southern Command. It was seen as retaliation for an assault by Islamic militants on an Israeli Army post that left four soldiers dead. He told me not to get off the plane Maj Gen Almog Also under Maj Gen Almog's command, Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on a Hamas leader's home, killing the man, an assistant and 14 civilians, nine of them children. Maj Gen Almog said he had arrived at Heathrow for a three-day visit to raise money for a centre in Israel for brain-damaged children. "We were about to get off the plane, then one of the stewards came up to me and said the pilot asked that I disembark last," he told Israeli Army Radio. "After some time, the chief steward said the Israeli military attache was on his way and wanted to speak to me. "I phoned him and he told me not to get off the plane." This was definitely malicious litigation Former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry Robbie Sable He and his wife had remained on the plane and flown back to Israel on its return, Maj Gen Almog added. Any Israeli officer could now be arrested in Britain simply for having performed their duty, he said. "They could do this tomorrow to any officer who has served in the Israeli army over the past five years and has fought the hard fight against terror." But former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry Robbie Sable said it was unlikely Maj Gen Almog would have been arrested. "Courts in organised countries do not act on malicious litigation and this was definitely malicious litigation," he added. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was taking the incident seriously and seeking clarification from British authorities. Officials at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment.

Jeruslame Post 12 Sept 2005 www.jpost.com IDF generals fear war crime charges IDF generals should not visit England, Germany, Spain and several other European countries since they are in danger of being arrested and being tried for war crimes, international law experts warned Monday. On Sunday, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog – former OC Southern Command – evaded arrest at Heathrow Airport in London after he was warned not to disembark from an El Al flight because British detectives were waiting to arrest him. The arrest warrant had been issued on Saturday by the Bow Street Magistrate's Court at the request of a pro-Palestinian Muslim group. The warrant, reportedly the first of its kind issued in Britain on war crimes charges, alleged that Almog in 2002 had ordered the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes in Rafiah. Almog said in a Channel One interview that he and his wife were going to England to participate in a fundraiser for Alei Negev, an organization that builds homes for children with disabilities. Minutes after landing, he recalled Monday, a stewardess conveyed to him a message from the captain asking him to wait on the plane. The military attach at the Israeli embassy arrived after a short time and, following consultations with IDF Judge Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avi Mandelblit, Almog decided to remain on board and to return to Israel immediately. "If an IDF officer goes to England today there is a chance they will be arrested," said Irit Kahn, former head of the Justice Ministry's International Affairs Department. "It depends on the country and their laws. Britain has a wide universal legal system similar to Spain and Germany. While not all countries are like this, one needs to be careful." Kahn, who represented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his trial in Belgium in 2002, recommended that the Israeli government launch negotiations with England. "This is a problem that needs to be solved on a diplomatic level," she said. "I would recommend that Israel begin talking to England and that high-ranking soldiers refrain from traveling to England." International law expert Professor James Crawford said Israeli soldiers could only be tried for war crimes on specific events and not just for having served in the IDF. "The mere fact that they served in Gaza does not make them war criminals," said Crawford, a Cambridge Law Professor and the Palestinian Authority's counsel in hearings over the West Bank security fence at the International Court of Justice in The Hague last year. "You would need to show specific evidence of a crime within the jurisdiction of the English courts, such as torture or a war crime." The Israeli occupation of Gaza, Crawford said, was not a war crime and service there as the head of the military forces did not, in itself, constitute a crime. "Israel has the right to defend itself, even in occupied territory," Crawford explained. Crawford added that he was sure the British courts "would be sensitive about the abuses people might try to do with the law. Military personnel can only be charged for what they had done, not what some people might think they represent." The Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, was trying to establish the facts and determine whether Almog was indeed in danger of being arrested. "There is a lack of clarity over what happened," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Monday. "Part of our fact finding," he said, "is to determine whether there are any other names [on their warrant]." Regev said the ministry wanted to establish – through talks with the British judiciary and executive branches – what would have happened had Almog disembarked. "If this is a cynical attempt by anti-Israel groups to use British justice to advance their extreme political agenda, we will condemn this and expect the British government to do so as well," Regev said. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz faced a similar situation in Britain three year ago, when he quickly left the country to avoid an arrest warrant for war crimes. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon also avoided visiting Belgium in 2001 and 2002 for similar reasons. "After returning to Israel and reading about what they had prepared for me, I know I made the right decision," Almog said, adding that the State of Israel needs to fight for him and other IDF officers. "My military service was not for me but for the State of Israel." Almog added, "Look at the paradox. On 9/11, I land in London and they try to arrest me, the same person who fought terror more than anyone. I was the first soldier in Entebbe. During my service there were 400 attempts to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza, but they all failed because I created buffer zones by demolishing the homes [in Rafiah]."

http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/worldopinionroundup/ 15 Sep 2005 Israeli vs. Israeli On Monday, Israeli retired Maj. Gen. Doron Almog decided not to disembark from an airplane at London's Heathrow airport out of fear that he would be arrested by British authorities for war crimes allegedly committed against Palestinian civilians. That was big news in Britain, but what has set Israeli online commentators aflame is that Daniel Machover, the London lawyer making the case against Almog, is Jewish and an Israeli citizen, and so are some of his colleagues at the law firm of Hickman & Rose. Chaim Misgav, an Israeli lawyer writing for Yedioth Ahronoth, the country's most popular newspaper, says Machover is guilty of "treason" and that Israel should revoke his citizenship. Machover is representing the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, an independent group based in Gaza City that opposed the Oslo peace accords. The warrant, issued by Chief London Magistrate Timothy Workman, authorized Almog's arrest on suspicion of violating the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, a criminal offense in the United Kingdom, by participating in the destruction of 59 homes in a Palestinian refugee camp in January 2002. Machover also alleges on behalf of the PCHR that Doron was involved in the killing of a nine-month pregnant woman in March 2003 and the targeted assassination of Hamas leader and suicide bombing mastermind Saleh Shehadeh in July 2002. Fourteen other people died in the attack, including nine children. “The thought of an Israeli general unable to enter the capital of another democracy for fear of being detained on trumped-up 'war crimes' charges is insufferable enough,” said the conservative Jerusalem Post. “The realization that the screeching chorus of Arabs and Muslims out to get him was actually conducted by Israelis is maddening.” In the paper's view, Machover’s case “is a travesty masquerading as righteousness, exonerating terror-masters from blame but painting those who fight mass murderers as villains.” The editors of the liberal daily Haaretz did not discuss Machover’s Jewishness nor did they dismiss his case. “One can complain about the hypocrisy of legal authorities who are tough on Israel and easy on other countries. One can ascribe political and anti-Semitic motives to plaintiffs and judges. But it is hard to claim that our hands are clean,” they wrote Wednesday. Machover is unapologetic. “I would advise Doron Almog to hire a good lawyer,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth, "since in accordance with our client’s wish we are planning on making the warrant against him international.”


NYT 2 Sept 2005 4 Highly Placed Lebanese Are Charged in Killing of Former Premier By HASSAN M. FATTAH DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Sept. 1 - A Lebanese prosecutor charged a security chief and three former security officials on Thursday with murder in the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the most significant step in the investigation of the Feb. 14 bombing. The four suspects, Mustafa Hamdan, commander of Lebanon's Republican Guard; Jamil al-Sayyed, Lebanon's former head of general security; Ali Hajj, former chief of the Lebanese police; and Raymond Azar, a former military intelligence chief, were charged with murder, attempted murder and carrying out a terrorist act. The men, once feared as Syria's proxies in Lebanon, are expected to face a Lebanese investigative judge on Friday. The most immediate impact of the indictments is likely to be on the embattled Lebanese president, Émile Lahoud, who has faced calls for his resignation over the assassination. Detlev Mehlis, who leads a United Nations team investigating the bombing, acknowledged Thursday that Mr. Lahoud had argued that Mr. Hamdan was innocent. Mr. Lahoud is believed to have negotiated Mr. Hamdan's surrender to investigators to minimize embarrassment. In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Lahoud insisted that he would complete his term in office. "I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities to safeguard the Constitution, Lebanese laws and the integrity of Lebanese territory," he said. The indictments were handed down late Thursday on the recommendation of Mr. Mehlis, but the basis for the indictments was not immediately clear. The four men were detained Tuesday, with a fifth who was later released. Under Lebanese law, the remaining four would have had to have been released Thursday if not charged, an official close to the investigation said, asking not to be named because of political tensions surrounding the case. "They took some part in the planning of the assassination," Mr. Mehlis said Thursday in his first public comments since he began the investigation in earnest. "If that was motivated by political thinking or has a political goal, that will have to be determined. The motive of the crime is always important but it has to be established." The indictment of the men, all staunchly pro-Syrian, only deepened Lebanese suspicions that Syria had a hand in the assassination. An uproar after the bombing, which killed 20 people as well as Mr. Hariri, eventually helped persuade Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon in April. Mr. Mehlis noted Thursday that investigators had not held or questioned a single Syrian suspect, and emphasized that Syria had yet to cooperate with his request to interview officials. Mr. Mehlis, who was ebullient yet diplomatic, said he was optimistic. "We feel we took a very important step, but the five suspects we have arrested, in our assessment, are only part of the picture," he said. "So we have to investigate further and we do think that more people are involved." A former prosecutor in Germany's attorney general's office, Mr. Mehlis is experienced in terror investigations. He and his team have spent almost three months sifting through evidence at the blast scene, questioning hundreds of witnesses and searching suspects' homes. He is expected to release his findings this month, but raised the possibility on Thursday that he might seek an extension of his three-month mandate. The indictments were issued amid growing fear and agitation in Beirut as a string of explosions and assassinations have rattled nerves. Nada Bakri contributed reporting from Beirut for this article.

www.guardian.co.uk 6 Sept 2005 Long shadow of the Beirut massacre The UN's investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri threatens to bring down not only his successor but also Bashar al-Assad of Syria, writes Brian Whitaker Tuesday September 6, 2005 The arrest last week of four Lebanese generals on charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism is an unprecedented event in the Middle East: high-ranking officers have been arrested before - often on trumped-up charges after a quarrel with their political masters - but this time the arrests are the result of painstaking detective work by international investigators. Even more significantly, it is entirely possible the arrests will lead to the downfall of not one Arab president but two: Emile Lahoud of Lebanon and Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The murder and terrorism charges arise from the Valentine's Day massacre almost eight months ago, when Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, was blown up in his car along with at least 20 other people as he drove along the Beirut seafront. Instead of investigating thoroughly, the Lebanese security forces, who at the time were effectively under the control of Syria, blatantly destroyed evidence. In response to that, the UN security council sent its own team of investigators, headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, and last week's arrests were made by the Lebanese police at his instigation. We do not yet know what evidence Mr Mehlis has compiled, nor what the generals have to say in their defence, but if they are eventually convicted, the political implications will be stunning. The four men now in jail awaiting trial are Major General Jamil al-Sayyid, the former head of general security, Major General Ali Hajj, the former chief of police, Brigadier General Raymond Azar, the former head of military intelligence, and Mustafa Hamdan, head of the presidential guard. To anyone familiar with the way things worked in Lebanon before the Syrian troops withdrew last April, it is obvious that these four security chiefs did not casually get together and decide among themselves that it would be a good idea to assassinate Rafik Hariri; if they were involved, they were acting under orders. Technically, they were all under the command of the Syrian-backed president, Emile Lahoud, but Lahoud was not really in charge. The generals were agents of Syrian policy in Lebanon, and on all important matters took their instructions from Damascus, not the presidential palace in Beirut. Nevertheless, Mustafa Hamdan was Lahoud's right-hand man. Lahoud has publicly defended him, and in most democratic systems that would be enough to trigger the president's resignation. The situation in Lebanon, however, is more complicated, partly because Lahoud seems determined to cling on but also because Lahoud is a Christian and there are fears that his departure would upset the delicate political balance of power between the country's religious factions. Even so, it is difficult to see how Lahoud can survive until his term ends in 2007, especially if the newly elected government carries out its threat to have no further dealings with the president. So far, the Syrian aspects of the murder investigation have not really come into play, but that will change on Saturday when Mr Mehlis - after a good deal of procrastination from Damascus - will travel to Syria to question five officials there. The officials, who are described as witnesses, include Ghazi Kanaan, the interior minister, Rustom Ghazaleh, the former head of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon, and his two chief assistants, Mohammed Khallouf and Jameh Jameh. The fifth Syrian "witness" has not been named, giving rise to speculation that the person in question is the president, Bashar al-Assad, himself. This is a logical assumption to make because of a conversation - or an altercation - that took place last year between Assad and Hariri last year. During the 10-minute meeting, Assad allegedly threatened physical harm against Hariri and the Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, saying he "would rather break Lebanon over the heads of Hariri and Jumblatt than see his word in Lebanon broken". In the light of what happened to Hariri a few months later, it is not unreasonable for the UN to want to hear Assad's side of the story. Looking a little beyond the interrogations on Saturday, it is not difficult to imagine a scenario where Mr Mehlis asks the Syrian authorities to arrest one or more of their security chiefs and hand them over for trial alongside the Lebanese generals. He might even attempt to summon Assad as a witness in the case. Syria would then have to decide whether to comply - and failure to do so would be a breach of security council resolution 1595, which set up the Hariri investigation. This would dramatically shift the investigation from straightforward detective work into the realms of international politics, creating a situation reminiscent of the standoff with Libya over the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, which rumbled on for more than a decade. It is possible, of course, that at this point diplomacy would take over from detection and some sort of compromise might be worked out in order to avoid a confrontation - though in the present climate of American politics, that is extremely unlikely. Elements in the US have been trying to "get" Syria for years - over its support for Palestinian factions and Hizbullah, over its now-abandoned military presence in Lebanon and more recently over cross-border activity in Iraq. One way or another, Syria has managed to fend off all these attacks with its regime relatively unscathed, but the Hariri case has presented a fresh opportunity. If there is a silver bullet in Mr Mehlis' briefcase when he delivers his final report to the UN, the Americans will surely not hesitate to use it.

Palestinian Authority

BBC 10 Sept 2005 A frightening family feud By Lucy Williamson BBC News, West Bank The Christian village of Taybeh and the neighbouring Muslim village of Deir Jarir have always got along well. But last weekend hundreds of armed men from Deir Jarir attacked Taybeh. The reason? An alleged relationship between a Christian man from Taybeh and a Muslim woman from Deir Jarir. Nadim and his brewery escaped the attacks in Taybeh The road into Taybeh looks much like the road into 100 Palestinian villages. A winding hilly road, hugged by stone houses. The view from here is of olive trees and distant Israeli settlements. But pass the outskirts of this village, and your eye catches on the blackened walls of a house to your left. Drive on a little more, and there is another - its gaping windows leaking soot. Look up, and you will see the armed guards dotting Taybeh's rooftops. This is a town holding its breath, a town still in shock. Interview almost any Palestinian, and the chances are you will be offered a glass of tea beforehand. Nadim Khoury is an exception. "No, no," he tells me as I switch on the tape recorder, "first you must drink some beer." Nadim runs the Taybeh Brewery. Until a week ago, it was why Taybeh was famous. Nadim proudly shows me the wall of newspaper cuttings from Israel, America, and Europe. But I have not come to do another story on the success of Taybeh beer. I have come to talk about the blackened houses, the armed guards outside the brewery gates, the night last weekend when Taybeh's Muslim neighbours came to the door. 'Screaming' Nadim's voice shakes as he tells me what happened. "There were two or three hundred people," he says, "on the roof of the brewery over there; climbing over my neighbour's wall, carrying guns and big sticks. "My sisters picked up stones to throw at them. We were screaming at them not to burn the brewery." Nadim was lucky - the brewery escaped. But the mob burned 13 houses that night - all of them belonging to Nadim's extended family. His cousins hid in the olive groves overlooking the village and watched as their homes were torched. The burnings were a punishment from the neighbouring village of Deir Jarir. The target, Nadim's cousin, Mahdi - a Christian - was accused of having a relationship with a Muslim woman from Deir Jarir, which his family denies. But the woman, Hayem Ejerj, was not around to give her version. She was buried more than a week ago. Many here suspect this may have been an honour killing - that Hayem was murdered by her family to wipe out the perceived shame of her behaviour. Her two brothers are now under arrest. Truce The corridor outside the mayor's office in Taybeh is bustling. A constant flow of supplicants, journalists, religious leaders and security chiefs all come to ask the mayor how the case is going. His door opens and a knot of guards spills out. Poised in their midst is the West Bank regional governor. The mayor wipes his face. "I've got the patriarch coming in a minute," he says, "what do you want to know?" The attack, he tells me, was totally unexpected. "We've always had good relations with Deir Jarir. We share the olive harvest, we go to each other's weddings. When I buried my father, half of Deir Jarir was there." The mayor is relying on a truce brokered between the two families to calm the situation, and a police investigation to settle the row. But many in Deir Jarir itself say it is this kind of investigation that caused the problems in the first place. The family, they say, never wanted this kind of fuss. According to them, Hayem committed suicide. They buried her quickly to end the matter. It was the police - suspicious at the swift, unregistered burial - who exhumed the woman. It was their tests that confirmed she was pregnant, and made the family's dishonour public. Twenty-four hours later, Taybeh was attacked. 'Palestinian tradition' The noise of cicadas is loud outside Saoud Jeidani's house. One of the dead woman's relatives, Saoud sits with friends in this quiet corner of Deir Jarir, nursing a Coca-Cola. No investigation will convince the family of Mahdi's innocence he says. And no prison term will constitute justice. There are some things you cannot compensate for. Mahdi must die. The death threat is supported by some in Deir Jarir's traditional council. Men like Abu Rashid - proud and straight-spined despite his years. "In Palestinian tradition," he says, "when you make a mistake like this, you pay with your blood. "It doesn't mean we're not brothers. The people of Taybeh and the people of Deir Jarir are one family." Revenge fears The distance between the two villages is less than half a mile. From the road, the minaret of Deir Jarir rises slender above the rooftops; a little further on, it snakes past Taybeh's Roman Catholic school. They may talk of being one family, but chinks have appeared between the two communities. The men from Deir Jarir last weekend burned Taybeh's houses to shouts of Allahu-akbar; the young men in Taybeh, so the rumours go, are talking of revenge attacks. This is not so much a battle between Christian and Muslim as one between Palestinian officialdom and tribal justice. But the fear is that it is a battle that could spin out of control. The tension in Taybeh blinks at you in snapshots: the red eyes of men in the council offices; the closed and empty school; the lone gunman standing guard on a rooftop. One woman is dead. Three men are in jail. Two families are waiting for justice. Few on either side want communal conflict to bubble out of a family feud, but it is what many of their leaders are frightened of.


washingtonpost.com 12 Sept 2005 Syria to Cooperate With U.N. in Probe By DONNA ABU-NASR The Associated Press Monday, September 12, 2005; 3:28 PM BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Under growing pressure, Syria agreed Monday to allow a U.N. investigator to question members of President Bashar Assad's inner circle about the assassination of Lebanon's former premier, an inquiry some believe might shake his regime. The visit by investigator Detlev Mehlis highlights the vulnerability of Assad's government, which has become increasingly isolated, facing pressure over Lebanon _ where its power has crumbled _ and Iraq. Mehlis came to Damascus for the first time since his team began its inquiry into the Feb. 14 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a bombing. The United Nations said Monday it is giving Mehlis until Oct. 25 to complete his investigation _ an extension of 40 days. Damascus invited Mehlis after he accused Syria of holding up his investigation by ignoring requests to question Syrian officials. During the German prosecutor's brief visit Monday, he quickly won a deal on holding interviews. "An agreement was reached on measures and arrangements for meeting with Syrian witnesses," said a statement carried by Syria's state-run SANA news agency after Mehlis met with Foreign Ministry official Riyadh Dawoody. Mehlis returned to Beirut and is expected to visit Syria again next week, SANA said. His push to question Assad's allies turns up the heat on Syria after the U.N. investigation accused four once-powerful Lebanese generals who carried out Syrian policy in Lebanon of involvement in Hariri's assassination. "This, without doubt, is the biggest challenge that has faced the president," said Yassin Haj Saleh, a Syrian writer. "I would not be surprised if the regime felt its fate is uncertain, especially if the investigator confronts it with evidence of Syrian involvement," added Haj Saleh, who was jailed for 16 years for belonging to a communist party. Syria has denied involvement in the murder. On Sunday, it promised to cooperate with the inquiry, which began June 17. Mehlis has said there are no Syrian suspects, and those he wants to question will stand as witnesses. Lebanese media have said those include Syria's last intelligence chief in Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Rustum Ghazale; two aides; and Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan, who was intelligence chief in Lebanon until five years ago. Mehlis' talks at a later stage could include a meeting with Assad. Syria had troops in neighboring Lebanon for 29 years and dominated the country, installing allies to implement its policies. Hariri had been increasingly bucking Syria's control when a blast ripped through his motorcade, killing him and 20 others. The assassination prompted huge anti-Syrian demonstrations that helped force Damascus to pull out its military in April. Since then, anti-Syrian politicians have forced Damascus' allies out of most _ though not all _ positions of power. Anwar Bunni, a Syrian lawyer and human rights activist, said Syria "bears political and moral responsibility (for Hariri's death) since security in Lebanon was in the hands of the Syrian army." Syrians "are feeling edgy as they wait for Mehlis' conclusions," Haj Saleh said. "There's a feeling that leveling accusations against members of the security services will open the door to accusations against the regime as a whole." Mehlis' visit comes at a difficult time for Syria, whose fragile ties with the United States deteriorated after Hariri's assassination. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice excluded Assad from a meeting of European and Middle Eastern leaders this week in New York. The meeting coincides with the special session of the U.N. General Assembly, which Assad had hoped to attend to reach out to the international community. But he canceled his trip following reports Rice will use the gathering to increase pressure on Syria. Assad's close ally, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, left for the summit Monday despite calls for him not to go. President Bush snubbed Lahoud by not inviting him to a New York reception. The United States and Iraq also have accused Syria of not doing enough to prevent foreign fighters from crossing the border into Iraq. The new Iraqi government has closed a border crossing into Syria as troops battled insurgents bent on undermining the Baghdad regime. Iraqi Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi said Sunday the Syrians "have to stop sending destruction to Iraq. We know the terrorists have no other gateway into Iraq but Syria." A Syrian Foreign Ministry official denied the accusation Monday, saying Syria is doing all it can to control the border, according to SANA.


UPI 1 Sept 2005 U.S. calls for probe into Andijan massacre WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The United States has renewed its call for an international inquiry into an Uzbekistan uprising in May that led to the deaths of up to 750 people. The statement followed President Islam Karimov's announcement Wednesday on Uzbekistan state radio that those suspected of involvement in the Andijan uprising would go on trial starting Sept. 20. Human rights activists say as many as 750 people were killed in the eastern Uzbek city May 13, when troops fired on unarmed civilians demonstrating against political and religious repression by the government, the Voice of America said on its Web site. Uzbek officials say fewer than 200 people died, many of them members of the security forces, in unrest triggered by attacks by Islamic militants. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "We've been very clear that the Uzbek government needs to let in an international team, needs to be fully transparent in investigating and allowing an international investigation of what happened in Andijan." The U.S.-Uzbekistan relationship, which became closer through post-9/11 anti-terrorism cooperation, began to fray when the United States and other nations criticized Karimov's leadership following the Andijan events. Washington is withholding $22 million in aid to Uzbekistan because of human rights concerns.



www.timesonline.co.uk 5 Sept 2005 Arsonists take Paris fire death toll to 60 From Charles Bremner in Paris FIRE killed 14 people and injured 35 in a council block in suburban Paris just after midnight yesterday. Arson was being blamed for the fourth blaze since April in the capital area to cause high casualties. Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, promised action to improve safety after the blaze, at Hay-les-Roses in the Val de Marne département, brought to 60 the death toll in the rash of Paris fires. Police questioned four witnesses to the fire, which started in the stairwell of the 18-storey block of state-subsidised flats that housed 300 people. Residents said they had seen youths set fire to letter boxes. Like most estates in the poorer Paris suburbs, the Hay-les-Roses block included immigrants among its residents, but officials said there was no similarity with the other three fires. Those killed African immigrants living in a low-cost hotel near the Opera, in a squat in the Marais district and in a run-down apartment building owned by the council near the Gare d’Austerlitz. Arson is suspected in the Austerlitz fire, which happened on August 26. The first three fires prompted a debate over housing for the poor and the Government’s crackdown on illegal citizens. About 10,000 protesters demonstrated in Central Paris on Saturday to demand decent housing for poor immigrants. Fifteen of yesterday’s injured suffered from smoke inhalation and are in serious condition.


Prosecution Pursues 15 Genocide Suspects The New Times (Kigali) NEWS September 2, 2005 Posted to the web September 2, 2005 By Silver Bugingo Kigali The Deputy Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga recently told The New Times that the Prosecutor General's Office has requested for extradition of fifteen key Rwandan genocide suspects hiding in Norway. "We are pursuing fifteen key genocide suspects hiding in Norway and are in close collaboration with the Norwegian judicial authorities," Ngoga said. Ngoga, who said that a group of Norwegian prosecutors and human rights experts were in the country on a fact-finding mission, declined to reveal the identities of the suspects, saying it may jeopardize the process that is 'already at an advanced stage'. In a related development, The New Times has established that Capital Punishment as the highest criminal sanction under the Rwandan Penal Code has proved a serious obstacle to the successful extradition of hardcore genocide perpetrators hiding in western European capitals. A diplomat at the Canadian Embassy in Kigali told this reporter on condition of anonymity that his government had accepted to hand over one prime genocide suspect, Leon Mugesera, to the government of Rwanda to stand the charges on condition that he will not be subjected to the death penalty if he is convicted. "Most countries which have abolished the death penalty don't extradite suspects to countries that still uphold the death penalty," he said. But the Deputy Prosecutor General contested the assertion, saying that the retention of the death penalty cannot derail prosecution of persons accused of crimes of international nature like genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. "They could be in disagreement with our judicial standards but they cannot afford to condone impunity. We don't mind if these genocide culprits are on trial in whichever country they may be found," he said. He also noted that although the ICTR has wound up investigation of new cases the number of fugitives still at large is far more than those who have been indicted. "Something must be done at the UN Security Council to ensure that no criminal goes scot-free in the event ICTR's mandate expires," Ngoga underscored. Mugesera's application for political asylum in Canada was recently rejected by the Canadian Supreme Court on grounds of his alleged complicity in the 1994 Genocide. Observers say the task of pursuing genocide fugitives will become more difficult when the UN ad hoc tribunal, the International Criminal for Rwanda winds up its work in 2008. In response to the assertion, Ngoga observed that there was need to enact legislations to acknowledge the legal principle of universal jurisdiction with regard to genocide and other serious crimes against humanity. "In that event", he noted, "the home countries should have the high legal standing to try the cases." Ngoga also revealed that Rwanda had changed its strategy of dealing with the issue of fugitive genocide suspects in other countries, "by establishing mutual institutional relationships."


BBC 2 Sept 2005 Putin meets angry Beslan mothers Beslan mothers did not want Mr Putin to attend their memorial Russia's president has faced a delegation of mothers whose children died a year ago during the Beslan school siege. Vladimir Putin told the group that no country could completely shield its citizens from terror. But he said this did not justify the negligence of any officials and pledged a full investigation into the siege. A year ago pro-Chechen gunmen seized a North Ossetian school. The three-day siege left more than 330 people dead. 'No excuse' Of those who died, 186 were children. Their mothers, who have requested talks for months, have complained bitterly about how the tragedy was handled and the investigation which followed. Siege still a mystery Injustices fuel conflict Mr Putin compared the North Caucasus siege to the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US. "I agree with those who believe that today the state is not in condition to provide for the security of its citizens to the necessary degree," he said. "At the same time, I agree with those who say that this is no excuse for officials' improper fulfilment of their duties." In the closed-door meeting, he vowed to fully investigate what happened and to be open about the results. "All the circumstances must be scrupulously investigated and the whole public made aware of the results of the investigation," he added. There was no immediate reaction from the delegation to the outcome of the meeting. Grim sit-in Overnight, dozens of victims' relatives stayed in the gutted school gym and at the cemetery in honour of their loved ones, guarded by police and volunteers. I'm not frightened of meeting him (Putin) - it is he who should be frightened Susanna Dudiyeva Beslan Mothers Committee They said they would stay there until 1305 (0905 GMT) on Saturday - the time when a year ago an explosion in the school triggered a bloody assault by Russian forces. Many in Beslan believe most of the victims were killed by the Russian assault forces, after Mr Putin had refused to talk with the gunmen. Beslan, in Russia's North Ossetia region, is holding three days of events to mourn the victims. Controversial meeting Women who lost their children during the siege - known as the Beslan Mothers' Committee - had long requested talks with the president. Many people in Beslan blame the authorities for the bloodbath People in the town are still looking for answers and some are talking of a cover-up, correspondents say. They want to know how so many gunmen made it into their school in the first place, and why officials refused to negotiate. And most of all, they want to know exactly who was responsible for the siege ending in a bloodbath. "The government is supposed to guarantee our lives, take responsibility for our lives, and they haven't," said the head of the Beslan Mothers' Committee, Susanna Dudiyeva. Mrs Dudiyeva, whose 13-year-old son was killed during the siege, earlier told reporters that Mr Putin was unwelcome during the mourning ceremonies "since he is responsible for what happened in Beslan". "I'm not frightened of meeting him. It is he who should be frightened," she said. "He can't comprehend what we've been through." However, the decision to accept the invitation to go to Moscow caused deep divisions in Beslan. There was anger and offence that the Kremlin decided to hold the meeting as Beslan was mourning its dead. The Beslan Mothers' Committee itself was split, with many of its members fiercely opposing the plan to travel to Moscow

The Epoch Times Sep 06, 2005 www.theepochtimes.com 6 Sept 2005 Beslan Massacre Remembered Across Europe By Alex GnessinA little girl stands in a hall of the destroyed school in Beslan, where 318 hostages were killed, including 186 children in a chaotic bloodbath during a three days ordeals started on September 1, 2004. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images) England, France and Spain have joined in the memorial ceremonies to remember the 331 victims, most of whom were children, killed in the Beslan school massacre one year ago in Russia’s north Ossetia region. A four-foot transparent cube with an image of a teddy bear and the words “Don’t Forget Beslan” and “Don’t Toy With International Terrorism” will be displayed in London, Paris and Madrid. The teddy bear represents abandoned toys which littered the site of the devastated school in Beslan. Similar messages echoed in Russia, which began its usually joyous school year with sombre services on September 1, the day the Beslan siege began. Throughout the country, schools observed a minute of silence before the traditional “first bell” rang. Last year, the three-day siege ended in chaos when Russian forces stormed the building of school number one, where over 1000 children, mothers and teachers were held by armed guerrillas, demanding independence for a break-away republic of Chechnya. Beslan has been described as one of Russia’s worst terrorist attacks and its aftermath is still fresh in the north Ossetian city. On Saturday September 3 over 12,000 people packed the remains of the school for the final day of mourning. Red carnations and photographs of victims adorned the walls of the gymnasium, where the hostages were held in scorching heat, without food and water for three days. As adults and children sobbed 331 white balloons were released into the air – one for each person that died. Anger over Cover-up One year on questions are still being asked about whether the Beslan tragedy could have been avoided. Despite President Putin’s latest order for a full investigation into the incident, what really caused the violent end to the siege is still shrouded by contradictory evidence. According to the official version, bombs accidentally exploded when one of the terrorists let go of the detonator, setting off a fire that rushed through the gym and killed many of the hostages. But numerous survivors believe that the furious gun battle that broke out between the hostage-takers and armed forces was the crucial cause of the tragedy. The biggest question lies in why the Russian forces fired at the school, knowing that there were hostages still inside. The Los Angeles Times reports that following the stand-off residents found castings from the flamethrowers, as well remains of a tank cannon. Authorities denied the use of either, but later admitted that flamethrowers were used after all. A confidential military prosecutor’s review of the siege obtained by the Los Angeles Times further suggests that a botched fire-fighting operation may have led to more than 100 hostages being burned alive. Not only did the firefighters hold back in the face of the gunfire, but they also did not have enough water. The fire engine was only called an hour after the first explosions and its hoses did not have the proper fittings to connect to the nearby hydrants. Mothers Vow to Fight on A group of grieving relatives, called the Beslan Mothers Committee, has confronted President Putin on these and other issues, but they were told that no country could completely shield its citizens from terror attacks. Beslan mothers say that their children have become tools in a political game, but vowed to fight on for justice. “The authorities will never tell us what really happened, because for them it will mean losing comfortable jobs with huge salaries and benefits. So we’ll continue going to court and looking for our own evidence. We must keep digging – digging every minute of every day.”


New York Times 10 Sept 2005 The Turkish Identity Next week, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will address the United Nations here on one of the issues threatening to slow down negotiations to admit Turkey into the European Union - recognizing Cyprus. But he should also address the question of Orhan Pamuk, the pre-eminent Turkish novelist who has been charged with "public denigration" of Turkish identity. In February, a Swiss newspaper quoted Mr. Pamuk on Turkey's longstanding refusal to discuss the Armenian genocide and the deaths of some 30,000 separatist Kurds more recently. Mr. Pamuk's remarks inflamed Turkish nationalists, and he left the country. He faces the possibility of three years in jail. The charges against Mr. Pamuk violate the standards of free speech, one of the prerequisites to Turkey's admission to the European Union. The charges also cut to the heart of Mr. Pamuk's writing. The question of Turkish identity informs his work. In "My Name Is Red," Mr. Pamuk never lets the reader forget the ethnic and cultural diversity of Turkey's past. Nor does he flinch, in "Istanbul," from reminding readers of the "deliberately provoked" 1955 riots that destroyed several non-Muslim neighborhoods in that city. Beneath the notion of a Turkish identity lies a tension, still noticeable today, that has nourished Mr. Pamuk's writing. It has been about six months since Mr. Pamuk's comments were published, so it is unclear why the charges are being brought just now. Whatever the motive, they are a reminder that one of Turkey's biggest obstacles in dealing with the West is the way it chooses to patrol its own history.

United Kingdom see Israel

www.newsletter.co.uk 1 Sept 2005 30th Anniversary Of IRA Massacre By Philip Bradfield Thursday 1st September 2005 Today marks the 30th anniversary of the IRA massacre at Tullyvallen Orange Hall in south Armagh, where five Orangemen, three of them pensioners, were murdered. UUP deputy leader and MLA for the area Danny Kennedy said time has not dulled the impact of the attack at all. "It is remembered every day, never mind every year, by families and friends of the victims. I would like to pay tribute to their courage at this time, they will be remembering their loved ones with dignity and private reflections." At 10pm on September 1, 1975, two IRA gunmen burst into the lodge meeting and sprayed those present with gunfire, while accomplices outside fired in through windows. The slaughter was cut short when one Orangeman, who was in the security forces, returned fire with his personal protection weapon and reportedly hit a terrorist. Those who died were John Johnston, 80, William McKee, 70, James McKee, 40, Nevin McConnell, 40, and William Herron, 67, who died two days later. Six others were also injured.

BBC 5 Sept 2005 Officer jailed for Guyana killing Michael Cheong was earlier cleared of murder A British police officer convicted of killing a petty criminal he shot in Guyana 23 years ago has been jailed for two years at the Old Bailey. Pc Michael Cheong, 42, of Woodbridge in Suffolk, had denied the manslaughter of Brian Spencer, 20, in Guyana in 1982. Surrey-born Cheong was convicted last month, after his wife turned him in. He was tried under an 1861 law, which allows UK citizens to be tried for murder or manslaughter no matter the country the killing was committed in. The jury had earlier cleared Cheong of murder. 'Out of revenge' The court heard he had fled to Britain two years after the shooting, joining the army and later the police. He now faces dismissal from the police force. He shot Brian Spencer as he ran off after robbing wife Sandra and attempting to sexually assault her sister. Jurors heard Mrs Cheong rang police after their marriage ended in "bitterness and antagonism" in 2003. In sentencing Cheong, Judge Paul Focke said he had taken into account his wife's motive for turning him in. The judge said: "It seems your wife acted partly or mainly out of revenge for what she believed she suffered. "I will deal with you as leniently as possible."

BBC 11 Sept 2005 Northern Ireland clashes continue See the clashes Youths have blocked a road in east Belfast, following a night of violent clashes sparked by the rerouting of an Orange Order parade. The barricade was erected in the Albertbridge Road area early on Sunday. The Northern Ireland police chief earlier said the Protestant Orange Order bore "substantial responsibility" for Saturday's outbreak of violence. The Belfast Orange Order described his remarks as "inflammatory" and police actions as "brutal and heavy-handed". Loyalist rioters attacked police with homemade bombs, guns and bricks, injuring at least six officers. At this stage, all we would say is that if what we saw today was policing, it was policing at its worst Orange Order Cars were hijacked and roads were also blocked in Ballyclare, Glengormley, Rathcoole, Larne and Carrickfergus, as the violence spread. "The trouble has been as intense as anything seen in Northern Ireland since the late 1990s," BBC correspondent Denis Murray said. In a statement, the Orange Order said it would not be speaking to the media until it had evaluated what had happened. "While the Orange Order has noted the Chief Constable's intemperate, inflammatory and inaccurate remarks, we have decided to take a more responsible line and will not be drawn into a similar knee-jerk reaction, it said. "At this stage, all we would say is that if what we saw today was policing, it was policing at its worst." Officers injured Sir Hugh Orde says his police officers and the troops called in to help them contain the violence over the Whiterock parade, were heroes. Violence erupts in Belfast He said they had been attacked with petrol bombs and blast bombs in outbreaks of rioting. Gunmen had opened fire on police and they had returned fire. At least six officers were injured and one civilian was shot. "I have seen members of the Orange Order in their sashes attacking my officers. I have seen them standing next to masked men. "That is simply not good enough," Sir Hugh said. "The Orange Order must bear substantial responsibility for this. They publicly called people on to the streets." "I think if you do that, you cannot then abdicate responsibility." QUICK GUIDE Northern Ireland conflict BBC Northern Ireland correspondent Kevin Connolly said security forces were the target of a sustained attack of "extraordinary ferocity". "An ugly political blame game is certain to follow," he said. Northern Ireland Security Minister Shaun Woodward described the rioting as "appalling". "There can be no justification whatsoever for the disgraceful violence and disorder we have seen," he said. There can be no justification whatsoever for the disgraceful violence and disorder we have seen Shaun Woodward NI Security Minister "The attacks on both police and soldiers, some of whom have been seriously injured, are to be utterly condemned." DUP leader Ian Paisley earlier blamed the Parades Commission for not reviewing the route that barred it from a nationalist area. The parade was re-routed to avoid the mainly nationalist Springfield Road area. After a request by unionists on Friday, the Parades Commission reviewed its ruling on the route, but decided not to change it. "The commission treated elected representatives with contempt by its refusal to even call us to put our case," said Mr Paisley.

BBC 11 Sept 2005 Parade riots point to deeper unrest By Mark Devenport BBC Northern Ireland political editor It's hard to make much sense of the mayhem unleashed on Belfast's streets by loyalists after Saturday's Whiterock parade. The Orange Order may have been angry about being re-routed near the west Belfast peaceline. But the intense and widespread nature of the violence which ensued was breathtaking - a throwback to the early days of the Troubles or, more recently, the worst days of the Drumcree crises in the mid nineties. In short these were scenes which it had been hoped would be confined to history. Cars were set alight by rioters Unionists say the trouble is a response to more than the relatively limited re-routing of a single parade. They cite the perceived bias of the Parades Commission, the quango charged with deciding which contentious marches can or cannot proceed. On top of this, they believe the political process is slanted towards republicans, as the British and Irish governments push ahead with their quid pro quo for the IRA's announcement that it will destroy its guns and end its armed campaign. 'Malaise' Beyond the high politics, many loyalist areas are clearly suffering an economic and social malaise, with Protestants in inner city working class enclaves feeling increasingly alienated from wider society. Nationalists acknowledge that areas like the Shankill have particular difficulties, reflected in their inadequate community infrastructure and other indicators such as poor educational attainment. However they argue that unionist politicians, far from helping resolve these differences, have stirred the pot unnecessarily with their talk of potential trouble in the run up to the Whiterock parade. The riots were some of the worst seen in years It's also reasonable to question how much the recent violence is really a community blowing its gasket, and to what extent it had been orchestrated in advance by paramilitary organisations with agendas of their own. Remember that just days before, most working class Protestants were far more interested in Northern Ireland's victory against England than the impending Orange Order parade. But the paramilitaries had a bone to pick with the police who moved against a UVF show of strength the week before. The UVF - for years the most stable loyalist group - now appears obsessed by its bloody feud with the LVF. Loyalist problem Whilst it sees republicans reaping benefits on the back of the IRA initiative, its political experiment with the Progressive Unionists is now in the doldrums. All of this means that addressing the loyalist problem through political means is far from easy. It now appears inevitable that the government will specify the UVF - that means officially recognising the organisation's ceasefire has broken down. That has symbolic importance but changes little in practice. Unionists say the Parades Commission - which is currently recruiting a new chairman and new members - should be subjected to a root and branch review. But any major shift which pleases the loyal orders is more or less guaranteed to annoy nationalists. Critics of the Orange Order will say it should reconsider its own leadership and strategy before blaming the Commission. Alienation There's clearly a need to address the poverty and alienation evident in loyalist areas. But if, as has been tried in the past, you throw money at these problems it may well end up in the hands of paramilitary bosses who are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Mainstream unionists have abandoned some of their supposed principles by sitting down with those who are clearly active paramilitaries, in the North and West Belfast Parades Forum, the umbrella group behind the Whiterock parade. Could they play a less communal role by using their contacts to emulate John Hume in trying to wean the loyalist terror groups away from violence? The Loyalist Commission, which includes Ulster Unionist and church representatives alongside the UDA and UVF, was meant to be doing that job. But on the evidence of last weekend it has singularly failed to deliver the goods.

BBC 12 Sept 2005 Leaders must 'back forces of law' Community leaders in Northern Ireland must back the forces of law, Secretary of State Peter Hain has said. He was speaking after a weekend of rioting in the city that left 50 police officers injured. The violence started after a Protestant Orange Order parade was re-routed away from a nationalist area of west Belfast on Saturday. Mr Hain said "responsible community and political leaders must come foursquare behind the forces of law and order". Speaking after a briefing from Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde he said he had been shown footage of trouble at the Whiterock parade that showed Orangemen attacking police. Sir Hugh has offered to give unionist politicians and Orange Order leaders a detailed briefing on the trouble. At the weekend, Sir Hugh said the Order bore substantial responsibility for the rioting and attacks on his officers. The Orange Order described his remarks as "inflammatory", but Sir Hugh rejected this. Mr Hain said the violence was tearing communities apart and had to stop. "I think if leaders of the Orange Order actually saw the video I saw this morning of Orangemen taking off their collarettes and throwing rocks at the police, I think the leaders of the Orange Order would be as horrified as I was," he said. The Orange Order is the largest Protestant organisation in Northern Ireland, with at least 75,000 members, and its origins date from the 17th century battle for supremacy between Protestantism and Catholicism. Every summer Orangemen take part in hundreds of parades, the largest being the 12 July demonstrations, commemorating the victory of the Protestant Prince William of Orange over the Catholic King James. WEEKEND OF RIOTS 1,000 police deployed 1,000 soldiers deployed 50 police injured Petrol bombs thrown Blast bombs thrown Pipe bombs thrown Shots fired at police Seven firearms recovered Up to 500 plastic bullets fired Bomb factory found Water cannon deployed Cars and buses hijacked One man shot by Army Man critical after bomb blast Mr Hain also confirmed that he will be making an announcement in the coming days regarding the status of the Ulster Volunteer Force ceasefire. At least 18 police officers were hurt in the second night of rioting in Belfast and counties Antrim and Down, including Newtownabbey, Banbridge, Glengormley and Bangor. At one point a mob of about 700 in east Belfast hurled petrol bombs and opened fire on the security forces. Vehicles were hijacked and burned across the city in the worst rioting for years. Police put on show a Land Rover with bullets embedded in the side following weekend attacks by loyalist gunmen. Six of those arrested during the weekend have appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on charges of riotous assembly and riotous behaviour. Four were remanded in custody and the other two were released on bail. Roads Service and local council staff have been clearing roads of debris left by the rioting. One man was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm after an incident when soldiers fired live ammunition in the Broadway area. He has since been arrested for attempted murder. In Belfast a 22-month-old infant sustained a fractured skull when rioters stoned the car the toddler was in in the Fortwilliam area. Two men hijacked a bus in Bangor, County Down, robbed the passengers then ordered them off the bus before setting it alight on a housing estate. A number of other cars were then hijacked and used to block roads at Conlig between Bangor and Newtownards. In Bangor, a woman in her 70s was injured when she was attacked by a mob throwing stones at her car on Newtownards Road, just 500 metres from her home. Officers in east Belfast recovered a digger abandoned by rioters who drove it along a road knocking down street lights and causing extensive damage. Bank burned An automatic cash machine was also believed to have been removed from nearby premises by the driver of the digger. In north Belfast, automatic gunfire was aimed at Tennent Street police station. There were no reported injuries. In Newtownabbey just north of Belfast, a bank, video shop, fast food outlet and offices occupied by the Probation Board and DUP were burnt out at the Cloughfern Corner on the Doagh Road. At nearby Fernagh Avenue, a pregnant woman and a man were dragged from their car by four men during an attempted hijacking. The fresh wave of violence broke out after police raided homes in search of the perpetrators of Saturday's riots. The violence began when a controversial Orange Order march was re-routed away from a mainly Catholic area.

The Sunday Times, UK 11 Sept 2005 www.timesonline.co.uk Ditch Holocaust day, advisers urge Blair Abul Taher ADVISERS appointed by Tony Blair after the London bombings are proposing to scrap the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims. They want to replace it with a Genocide Day that would recognise the mass murder of Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia as well as people of other faiths. The draft proposals have been prepared by committees appointed by Blair to tackle extremism. He has promised to respond to the plans, but the threat to the Holocaust Day has provoked a fierce backlash from the Jewish community. Holocaust Day was established by Blair in 2001 after a sustained campaign by Jewish leaders to create a lasting memorial to the 6m victims of Hitler. It is marked each year on January 27. The Queen is patron of the charity that organises the event and the Home Office pays £500,000 a year to fund it. The committees argue that the special status of Holocaust Memorial Day fuels extremists’ sense of alienation because it “excludes” Muslims. A member of one of the committees, made up of Muslims, said it gave the impression that “western lives have more value than non-western lives”. That perception needed to be changed. “One way of doing that is if the government were to sponsor a national Genocide Memorial Day. “The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to many young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals: that the lives of one people are to be remembered more than others. It’s a grievance that extremists are able to exploit.” The recommendation, drawn up by four committees including those dealing with imams and mosques, and Islamaphobia and policing, has the backing of Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain. He said: “The message of the Holocaust was ‘never again’, and for that message to have practical effect on the world community it has to be inclusive. We can never have double standards in terms of human life. Muslims feel hurt and excluded that their lives are not equally valuable to those lives lost in the Holocaust time.” Ibrahim Hewitt, chairman of the charity Interpal, said: “There are 500 Palestinian towns and villages that have been wiped out over the years. That’s pretty genocidal to me.” The committees are also set to clash with Blair on his proposal to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, the radical Islamic group. Government sources say they will argue that a ban is unjustified because the group, which is proscribed in much of the Middle East, neither advocates nor perpetrates violence in the UK. A Home Office spokesman said it would consider the proposals for a separate Genocide Day for all faiths but emphasised that it regarded the Holocaust as a “defining tragedy in European history”. Mike Whine, a director of the British Board of Deputies, said: “Of course we will oppose this move. The whole point is to remember the darkest day of modern history.” Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside and a Holocaust Memorial trustee, said: “These Muslim groups should stop trying to evade the enormity of the Holocaust.” The seven committees finalise their recommendations today at St George’s House, Windsor, and will submit them to Blair and Charles Clarke, the home secretary, on September 22.

Guardian UK 14 Sept 2005 Victims of the Holocaust get a memorial day. Victims of other atrocities do not. Isn't it time we dropped the whole idea? Marcel Berlins Wednesday September 14, 2005 The Guardian I can understand why Muslims might find Holocaust Memorial Day - which for the past four years has had official status and the backing of Tony Blair and the Queen - exclusionary. Why, the Muslim committees advising the prime minister have asked, are atrocities committed against Jews favoured in this way? There is an answer to that: the Holocaust, in its planned and systematic nature and in the vast numbers who perished, was a far greater evil than any other perpetrated in recent times, and deserves the pre-eminent attention devoted to it. That is a not an answer that satisfies the Muslim community. They too have been the victims of great atrocities (as have many other ethnic and racial groups, and religious followers), without having a special day to commemorate their suffering. But the solution is not, as has been suggested, to incorporate the Holocaust into a national Genocide Memorial Day. Genocide - a word invented in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin, uniting the Greek genos (race or tribe) with the Latin occidere (to kill) - has many nuanced definitions, but what is essential is an intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, coupled with action which achieves that end. Earlier this week the chief of a charity giving aid to Palestinians was quoted as referring to the genocide of Palestinians by Israel. That demonstrates the problem. However brutally Israel has behaved, it is nonsense to suggest that it has been carrying out a plan to wipe out the Palestinian people. There is an argument that, in the past hundred years, apart from the Holocaust, only the Rwandan massacre qualifies as pure genocide. But then, what about Muslims butchered in Bosnia, Armenians massacred by the Turks, the atrocities in Darfur? Where does one draw the line? That definitional uncertainty, and the continuing controversies over the facts, is a good reason for abandoning any thought of a Genocide Day. Crimes against humanity is an internationally accepted label for state-ordered acts of cruelty that are less than genocide, but I do not think that the prospect of an official day dedicated to victims of such crimes will prove any less controversial than the present debates over the Holocaust and genocide. The real question should be: why do we need any such, officially blessed, memorial days at all? ·


Hartford Courant 4 Sept 2005 www.courant.com Crimes Against Us The Horrors Of War And Genocide Against Peoples Of The World ... In Their Own Words By Richard Ashby Wilson September 4 2005 Genocide is the crime of crimes, the worst of all crimes against humanity, and the most chilling example of people's inhumanity toward one another. There have been genocides since recorded history, and they have increased since the 19th century and the height of European imperialism. As the power of nation-states becomes more awesome, and as more national minorities seek self-determination, the chances for new genocides appear to be on the rise. Twelve to 16 genocides took place in the 20th century. That is one every six to eight years, making genocide the norm in international affairs. Yet against this grim backdrop, there are reasons for cautious optimism. Since the 1940s, there has been steady progress toward preventing and punishing genocide. The Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jews so horrified the world that after the second world war the international community began, albeit in a piecemeal fashion, to create a framework to outlaw genocide. The first step was to label the crime. The deliberate destruction of groups on racial or religious grounds did not have a name until 1944 when Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew working for the U.S. government, coined the term genocide by combining the Greek for race or group, genos, and the Latin for killing, -cide. Lemkin worked tirelessly to convince government officials, policymakers and lawyers to adopt his term, and he was remarkably successful. As a member of the American prosecution staff at the Nuremberg trials, Lemkin convinced some prosecutors to use the term genocide in the proceedings. Lemkin was involved in drafting the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defined genocide as "the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such" and listed a broad range of acts including killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, and forcibly transferring children to another group. Although the genocide convention is now signed by most countries, after 1948, the momentum fizzled and the convention became a paper tiger, for two reasons: First, the U.N.'s legal committee voted against an international court with universal jurisdiction, so there was no legal enforcement. Second, the genocide convention became locked in the deep freeze of the Cold War. A deadlocked U.N. Security Council was incapable of decisive action and the two superpowers - the Soviet Union and the U.S. - often turned a blind eye when their client-states slaughtered their own citizens. In 1983, for example, as Guatemala's military dictator Rios Montt committed genocide against Mayan Indians, President Ronald Reagan defended Montt, saying he'd been given a "bum rap." Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall was the genocide convention transformed from a symbolic reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust to an effective tool for punishing crimes against humanity. This came as a response to the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in the former Yugoslavia and the systematic killing of 85 percent of all Tutsis by Hutu extremists in Rwanda in 1994. Two International Criminal Tribunals were set up - one for each site - and these delivered the first-ever convictions for genocide by an international tribunal and the first-ever conviction of a head of state for orchestrating genocide against his own citizens. In 1999, NATO planes drove the Serb army out of Kosovo and saved hundreds of thousands of lives, according to Samantha Power's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "A Problem From Hell." In 2002, a permanent International Criminal Court was inaugurated to prosecute genocide and other crimes against humanity. Despite these advances, we have to recognize that American politicians would rather not intervene in other countries on humanitarian grounds alone. The risks are too high and the stakes are too low. Power's book shows how American authorities - from Woodrow Wilson to Bill Clinton - knew all about the impending genocides in the 20th century and chose not to act. While Indonesia slaughtered East Timorese in 1999, a U.S. State Department official rejected any U.S. involvement by saying, "We don't have a dog running in the East Timor race." In the case of Rwanda, African American leaders and human rights organizations ran a valiant campaign to bring the genocide to the attention of lawmakers, but failed to get the State Department to even accept it as genocide. The Clinton administration kept referring to "genocidal acts," a term with no meaning in the genocide convention. The State Department did not call the slaughter an out-and-out genocide until there were almost no Tutsis left to kill. It would not have taken very much to stop the killing by Hutu perpetrators who were armed with little more than machetes and clubs. The Canadian general in charge of U.N. troops in Rwanda, Romeo Dallaire, estimated that 5,000 well-trained troops could have prevented the Rwandan genocide. More than 800,000 lives would have been saved if we had sent 4 percent of the troops we now have in Iraq. Power's indignation is primarily directed at the United States, but to be fair, the U.S. is not alone in burying its head in the sand. I was based in London in the early 1990s and saw European leaders standing by as the Bosnian Serb Army coldly executed 7,000 captive Muslim men in Srebrenica. As one massacre followed another in Bosnia, former British Defense Minister Alan Clarke said, "I've never concerned myself with what one set of foreigners is doing to another." And if Europeans have dithered, then how can one describe the ineptitude of the United Nations and regional bodies? In the most recent genocide in Darfur, Sudan, the U.N. and African Union have reacted at a glacial pace, where estimates of those murdered range between 100,000 and 400,000. Perhaps the reticence of politicians to impose their own troops between victims and perpetrators is understandable. They have an obligation to protect their own citizens, not those of other countries. They have an obligation to exercise extreme caution when putting our soldiers in harm's way. It all looks too much like telling other people how to live. Why then, should we commit U.S. troops to protect a beleaguered population on the other side of the world? Since 9/11, America can no longer imagine itself in splendid isolation. We have seen how political instability and violence in one place, like Afghanistan, can have repercussions elsewhere. Governments seeking to eradicate whole groups within their population are pathological and out of control. It is just a matter of time before they become a source of regional instability, a haven for terrorist groups or a direct threat to the citizens of the U.S. Perhaps if Saddam Hussein had been stopped from committing genocide against the Kurds in 1988, a time when the U.S. was selling arms to Iraq and supporting the country economically, the history of the past 17 years might have been different. Putting an early stop to genocide is the right thing to do in itself, but it also has the added benefit of avoiding other problems down the road. Realistically, however, the Bosnians or Rwandans or East Timorese don't vote in congressional elections and U.S. politicians will only sit up and take notice when their own voters pressure them. This happens when ordinary people become indignant and want to see the suffering of others stopped. It's not a matter of information; in the age of the Internet it's available for those who want to know. It's a deeper issue, about how to see the suffering of others and to learn, first, not to look away and, second, to absorb and make sense of it all. That is why the powerful and intimate images of Adam Nadel's photographs really make a difference. They appeal to our common humanity and bring home the message that distant peoples are human beings who suffer like us. They allow us to make sense of enormous tragedies of the likes most Americans will never experience. Without films like "Hotel Rwanda," or books like Philip Gourevitch's "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda," the Rwandan genocide would just be an abstraction. The murder of 6 million Jews is impossible for anyone to grasp, and so we need books like Primo Levi's "If This Is a Man" and films like "Sophie's Choice" to try to understand it on a smaller, human scale. My own involvement in human rights was inspired in 1983 by the Oscar-nominated film "El Norte," which showed the plight of two Guatemalan teenagers fleeing civil war and trying to build a new life in America. I was only 18 and living in Austin, Texas. After seeing the movie, it became apparent to me that Central American refugees were living and working all around me. I just hadn't seen them before. I volunteered through a church group to teach English to refugees and to help them get health care. I traveled in Central America and saw the awful human rights situation there, where government-supported death squads left their victims on the side of the road each morning and people lived in a state of constant fear. Artistic works that engender an emotional response are the first step in a humanitarian education. Ultimately, exhibitions such as Nadel's will galvanize more citizens to action than all the international conventions and academic accounts. And what should citizens be pursuing? We need to go back and look again at the 1948 convention, which calls for both the punishment and prevention of genocide. Punishment, while difficult, is still the more straightforward of the two. Now that a new International Criminal Court exists to pursue war criminals, the U.S. ought to give it its full backing, as it did with the Rwanda and Yugoslavia tribunals. So far, both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been hostile to the court on the grounds that there should be no sovereign legal body above the U.S. Supreme Court. They fear U.S. troops will be hauled in front of an unaccountable court by a hostile prosecutor with questionable motives. These are serious concerns, but the statute of the court makes clear the principle of complementary justice. That is, if a country has a viable legal system and is willing to prosecute soldiers who step out of line, then the international court has to prove the domestic system is inadequate before it can proceed with prosecutions. The U.S. has nothing to fear from the court and stands to gain a geo-strategic advantage by standing with other nations in common opposition to the "crime of crimes." The United States also should encourage the European Union and U.N. to set up rapid reaction forces that can move swiftly to head off genocidal campaigns. Yet both the European Union and United Nations are mired in political crisis. The European Union is unlikely to develop a common foreign policy in the next 10 years, if ever, and the U.N.'s $10 billion budget is only a fraction of the $420.7 billion U.S. military budget this year, not including spending for Iraq and Afghanistan or homeland security. The reality is that no other state even comes close to the United States in military capacity and we are just waking up to what this means for post-Cold War global security. We must be prepared to act unilaterally, probably with British support, to prevent an impending calamity. Taking on this international role requires a citizenry with an awareness of America's pre-eminent place in the world and the desire to understand the world's complexity. And we are called upon to take greater responsibility for the fate of others, certainly more than we're used to doing. Richard A. Wilson is the Gladstein Chair of Human Rights and director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. His newest book, "Human Rights in the 'War on Terror'" will be released by Cambridge University Press on Sept. 10. Photo Essay by Adam Nadel Adam Nadel's work documenting violence against civilians has been exhibited at the United Nations and The Council on Foreign Relations and won First Prize at World Press Photo in both 2003 and 2004. Nadel, formerly of Chester, is continuing his work on this project by traveling to Iraq, Vietnam and South Korea. "If My Eyes Speak: Photographs by Adam Nadel," will appear in the newly inaugurated Human Rights Gallery of the William Benton Museum of Art, through Oct. 16.

New York Times 13 Sept 2005 Meet the Fakers By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF The biggest gathering of leaders in history unfolds this week at the United Nations, as they preen and boast about how much they're helping the world's poor. In short, it may be the greatest assembly in history - of hypocrites. The fact is that with just a few exceptions, the presidents and prime ministers coming to the U.N. summit are doing a disgraceful job in helping the poor. That's one reason the world's richest 500 individuals have the same income as the world's poorest 416 million people. We Americans set a dreadful example as hosts to the summit. President Bush has been trying to wriggle away from his 2002 endorsement of the principle that rich countries should try to provide 70 cents in official development assistance for every $100 in national income. (Mr. Bush has sharply increased foreign aid from the Clinton years, but it still stood at only 16 cents in 2004 for each $100 of national income.) The Bush administration also tried to change summit documents to downplay references to the millennium development goals of overcoming poverty. Fortunately, the Bush administration backed off and now grudgingly joins the international consensus against infant mortality. It's common to hear abroad scathing criticisms of U.S. stinginess, much of it deserved. But Japan is also a cheapskate, giving only a hair more than the U.S., and Italy gives even less. The new Human Development Report 2005, recently issued by the U.N. Development Program, is blessedly undiplomatic in its willingness to point figures - at just about everybody. It notes that the U.S. and other rich countries seem unwilling to provide a total of $7 billion annually for the next decade to provide 2.6 billion people with access to clean drinking water. That investment would save 4,000 lives a day, and the cost is less than Europeans spend on perfume - or than Americans spend on cosmetic surgery. Meanwhile, the report adds, AIDS kills three million people a year and devastates countries like nothing since the Black Death in the 14th century. Yet annual world spending to fight AIDS amounts to three days of military expenditures. This U.N. summit is meant to review the millennium development goals, such as cutting child deaths around the world by two-thirds by 2015. All the goals, adopted with great fanfare five years ago, are feasible, and some countries - from Bangladesh to Indonesia, Brazil to Mongolia - are on track to meet them. Hats off to them. But most of the world appears likely to miss the goals. Two countries that should be the leaders of the developing world, China and India, are both off track and should be ashamed of their records. In India, among children 1 to 5, girls are 50 percent more likely to die than boys, meaning that each year 130,000 Indian girls are discriminated to death. Bangladesh has now overtaken India in improving child mortality, and Vietnam has overtaken China. If India had matched Bangladesh's rate of reduction in child mortality over the last decade, according to the U.N.D.P., it would have saved 732,000 children's lives this year. Likewise, China has largely ignored its poor interior, so it still loses 730,000 children each year. China has also taken diplomatic positions that hurt the world's most vulnerable populations, by supporting Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and by implicitly endorsing Sudan's genocide just as it once endorsed Pol Pot's. And African leaders? Perhaps this is naïve, but it strikes me as racist for them to have complained about brutal white rule in South Africa or Zimbabwe while excusing black rule that is even more brutal. Readers often ask if I find it depressing to visit African slums or mud-brick villages. On the contrary, it's exhilarating to see how little it takes to make a difference. Ancient scourges like river blindness and leprosy are being controlled, and a clever initiative by Bill Gates and others to promote vaccinations (the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunization) saved more than one million lives just between 2001 and 2004. That makes it maddening to see leaders posturing for the cameras at the U.N. while, as the U.N.D.P. report notes, "the promise to the world's poor is being broken." The report adds that the gap between the current trendline on child mortality and the one the leaders committed themselves to amounts to 41 million children dying before their fifth birthday over the next decade. Rather than toasting themselves, these leaders should apologize for this continuing holocaust.

news source abbreviations

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

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

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

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