Prevent Genocide International 

Global News Monitor for October 16-31, 2005
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

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ghanaweb 27 Oct 2005 African Armed Forces to adopt code of conduct ACCRA, October 27 -- A preparatory meeting to draft a West African Code of Conduct for Armed and Security Forces (WACOCAS) ended in Accra on Wednesday. The meeting attended by military officers and security experts from the sub-region focused on panel discussion on various country codes, civil society perspectives, peacekeeping and regional lessons, guiding principles and international humanitarian laws and inter-service relations. Other issues considered included relating with civilians in peace times, during conflict and peacekeeping period, implementation and dissemination of the code. Lieutenant-General Joseph Boakye Danquah, Chief of Defence Staff of Ghana, condemned the lack of power to bring to justices abusers of human rights, "sometimes the leaders of some of the most criminal rebel leaders are given juicy ministerial appointments as part of the peace deal". He therefore acknowledged the urgent need for a unified code in the light of the horrific human right abuse experiences in Liberia, Sierra Leone, La Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Dafur in the Sudan. Lt-Gen. Danquah challenged governments to collectively commit themselves to act to stop war crimes and genocide, wherever they occurred. "Each of the countries in the sub-region should share the responsibility of not only stopping such war crimes but also ensuring accountability for them as well as implementing preventive strategies to detect, stop and mitigate situations that could potentially get out of control". The CDS also called for the broadening of the code not only to what the fighters do on the battlefield but should cover areas "like code of conduct for the arms industry, arms trade, individual countries military expenditure, private militaries and so called security companies, who are actually mercenary forces". He also suggested that the code should cover communication and media practitioners whom he identified as important stakeholders, whose activities to a large extent affect the conduct of soldiers and fighters in combat. Dr Adedeji Ebo of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) outlined the draft code, which has been divided into five chapters with 33 articles. Chapter one deals with regulatory framework governing civil military relations, chapter two covers relations between the armed forces and the security forces, chapter three relations between the armed and security forces and the civilian population and chapter five armed and security forces, human rights and international humanitarian law. Dr Ebo said the code would be integrated in the training and educational programmes and taught to the armed and security forces of all Member States of the African Union. He said periodic meetings would be organised to assess its implementation at the local, national, sub-regional and regional levels. The meeting was organised by ECOWAS and the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces. The meeting paid tribute to the late General C. O. Diarra, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECOWAS who was to have given the keynote address, but unfortunately died in a Bellview Airlines plane crash in Nigeria on Saturday, October 22, 2005. Most of the delegates were with a heavy heart at the opening day of the meeting, as they stood motionless in a minute silence to honour the memory of the late accomplished military officer. Bellview flight 201, a Boeing 737 carrying 111 passengers and six crew, took off from Lagos at around 7:50 pm (1850 GMT) on Saturday on a scheduled shuttle run to Abuja. Within three minutes it lost contact with air traffic control and shortly afterwards it hit the outskirts of a village, Lissa, on the northern edge of the greater Lagos area. Everyone on board was killed and the plane completely destroyed. Some witnesses said it exploded in mid-air.


AFP 15 Oct 2005 Burundi rebels attack capital in first strike after leadership splitBUJUMBURA, Oct 15 (AFP) - At least three people were wounded when Burundi's last active rebel group fired mortars on the outskirts of the capital in its first attack since a deep split in its leadership, the army said Saturday. Fighters from the National Liberation Forces (FNL) launched shells into Mutanga district in southern Bujumbura late Friday, dashing hopes that divisions among rebel leaders that emerged this week might signal an end to hostilties, it said. “The FNL fired three 60 mm shells last night around 2100 (1900 GMT) in the direction of Mutanga that lightly injured three civilians and caused some small property damage,” army spokesman Major Adolphe Manirakiza told AFP. He said the mortars were fired from hills in neighboring Bujumbura Rural province where the FNL has been most active. The attack was the FNL's first since a splinter faction wanting to engage in peace talks with the government broke ranks with the group's hardline leadership on Monday and announced it had taken control of the movement. The split, in which former FNL deputy chief Jean-Bosco Sindayigaya ousted longtime supremo Agathon Rwasa, had raised hopes that the group was losing strength as a unified guerrilla army and that an end to the fighting might be imminent. Sindayigaya has openly agitated for the FNL to join peace talks with Burundi's new government while Rwasa has steadfastly refused to accept the legitimacy of the administration that came to power in August and rejected its peace overtures. Neither side -- whose relative strengths are unknown -- could be reached for comment on Friday's shelling. Manirakiza said the army was unaware of any change in the rebels' behaviour since the split. “We're not able to distinguish between the FNL of Rwasa or of Sindayigaya because for the moment there is no visible change on the ground,” he said. Burundi's new President Pierre Nkurunziza has given the FNL until the end of October to join peace talks, but has not specified consequences for their failure to do so. The FNL is the only one of Burundi's seven Hutu rebel groups not to have signed onto the peace process aimed at bringing a final end to 12 years of civil war. The conflict has claimed some 300,000 lives since it erupted in 1993 after the assassination of the country's first democratically elected president, a member of the Hutu majority, by officers in the minority Tutsi-dominated military.

AFP 16 Oct 2005 War, rural overpopulation stoke chronic hunger in Burundiby Esdras Ndikumana BUJUMBURA, Oct 16 (AFP) - As the tiny central African nation of Burundi slowly emerges from 12 years of bloody civil strife, chronic hunger and food shortages continue to ravage the largely rural war-weary nation. With war-sparked internal migrations leaving parts of the country overpopulated and others nearly deserted, agricultural production is overstretched and more than two million of its 7.5 million people are dependent on food aid. In a country ranked as world's third poorest, where farming accounts for 85 percent of gross domestic product, food insecurity is widespread with 68 percent of Burundians living below the minimum threshold, officials say. According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), this means that nearly 70 percent of the country are surviving on just 1,200 calories per day, well below the minimum requirement of 2,100 calories. “More alarming is that 16 percent of the population are chronically vulnerable because they only have one meal a day,” said Zlatan Milisic, the WFP country director for Burundi. High population density has exacerbated the situation, with each family only having an average of 0.6 hectares (1.5 acres) of land for farming or other agricultural uses, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). “With more than 270 people per square kilometre (0.4 square mile) in certain provinces, and others having more than 350 people the pressure on land is enormous,” said Moustafa Cassame, the FAO country chief in Burundi. For 2005, Burundi's total agricultural production is estimated at 1.7 million tonnes of cereal grains, a deficit of 350,000 tonnes “if we want to properly feed the population,” he said. Burundi's food crisis stems essentially from problems of land management and planning, the UN officials said. In addition to being among the world's most impoverished nations, Burundi is also the least urbanised with 91 percent of the population living in the countryside, according to the agriculture ministry. “The food crisis in Burundi is structural,” said Milisic. The country's new president, Pierre Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader who came to power in August under a lengthy peace process intended to finally bring an end to the war, has acknowledged the problem, as have top aides. “If we continue to build in a dispersed way, we will never develop our country,” Nkurunziza said recently as he introduced an urbanisation plan aimed at relieving the countryside of people to boost agricultural production. “The country's main challenge today is its urbanisation,” said a senior official in the agriculture ministry. “This country cannot come out of (the crisis) without more judicious land planning.” Despite a return of relative stability with the installation of a new government and attempts to solve the nation's problems, food forecasts for next year remain bleak. “Humanitarian needs have, unfortunately, not disappeared,” said Milisic. “We will launch an appeal for humanitarian aid in 2006 equivalent to the one in 2005.” Rebuilding Burundi from the rubble of war remains a huge task: resurrecting the economy and infrastructure, spurring development and silencing the guns of the last active rebel group are all priorities. But addressing the land and agriculture problems is critical. “The war we are struggling to emerge from should not be forgotten, people sought refuge abroad, others were internally displaced,” said former agriculture minster Salvator Ntihabose. “It ruined Burundi's agricultural economy.” T

IRIN 18 Oct 2005 Officials agree to repatriate "asylum seekers" [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 18 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Burundian and Rwandan government officials agreed on Monday to the eventual repatriation of some 3,225 Rwandans who have sought refuge in northern Burundi. Governors of the northern provinces of Kirundo and Ngozi, where the Rwandans are, are due to meet on 24 October to determine ways of implementing the conclusions of Monday's meeting between delegations led by Burundi's minister of interior and public security, Salvator Ntacobamaze, and Rwandan Minister of Interior Protais Musoni. However, the status of the Rwandans remains unclear, with the Burundian and Rwandan officials terming them refugees while the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, considers them to be asylum seekers. Up to 4,000 of the Rwandans first fled to Burundi between April and June but they were all repatriated after a meeting of officials from both countries. However, they have since returned to northern Burundi. A public information assistant for UNHCR in Burundi, Didier Bukuru, told IRIN on Tuesday that the agency considered the Rwandans "asylum seekers" because "until now they have not got any refugee status". He said the agency had been allowed to provide food aid to the Rwandans. A local reporter who attended the ministers' meeting on Monday in Ngozi Province said of the 3,225 Rwandans counted by Monday, 1,300 were at Gatsinda in Mwumba Commune, 30 at Mivo Commune, both communes in Ngozi; 311 at Mparamirundi in Busiga Commune and 2,600 at Rwisuri in Vumbi, in Kirundo Province. Bukuru said there was need to settle the Rwandans far from the border as required by law that camps for the displaced be at least 150 km from the common border. He said one location would be ideal to facilitate aid distribution and protection of the asylum seekers. During Monday's meeting, the Rwandan and Burundian officials also agreed on the need to control border movement to prevent armed Rwandan and Burundian rebels from hiding among the asylum seekers. Rwandan Interior Minister Protais Musoni said elements of Burundi's rebel Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) and Rwanda's Front Democratique pour la liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) had been arrested in Rwanda and that they had owned up to belonging to these groups. "They agree they collaborate and are mandated to recruit among the Rwandan asylum seekers and take them to rebel training centres in the Kibira Forest and in other training camps," he said. He said such rebels had been stealing motorcycles and livestock in Rwanda and taking them to Burundi, contributing to insecurity in the two countries. In a communiqué they issued after the meeting, the officials agreed there was no reason for Burundians and Rwandans to flee their homes as peace and security is gradually re-established in both countries. They recommended that both countries should collaborate in determining why the Rwandan asylum seekers had really fled their country. The officials also called for a joint sensitisation for a rapid return of the Burundian refugees and the Rwandan asylum seekers to their respective countries, with the help of the local administration. The officials called on local administrators to meet regularly in order to exchange information on security on the common border and ensure security. Officials from the two countries urged the international community to support "the move to boost governance, security and democracy in both countries".

IRIN 21 Oct 2005 Iteka denounces rights violations [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 21 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Burundi's human rights watchdog, Iteka, has expressed concern over increased attacks on civilians by the rebel Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) and human rights violations committed by the rebels and the country's defence forces. The government must act quickly to prosecute any element of the police and other security forces involved in "extrajudiciary executions, torture and inhuman treatment", Jean-Marie Vianney Kavumbagu, the leader of Iteka, said in a report issued on Wednesday in the capital, Bujumbura. Despite the FNL attacks, "nothing can justify violation in terms judiciary procedure committed by police in general and the national intelligence services in particular", he added. In the month of September alone, Kavumbagu said, the FNL had killed 20 civilians and the army killed 11 and arrested at least 50 others. However, the army spokesman, Maj Adolphe Manirakiza, dismissed Iteka's claims on Thursday as "groundless", saying the army had not killed any civilian. Regarding those arrested, Manirakiza said: "Arrested persons who are suspected of collaborating with the FNL are normally sent to police stations for investigations, after which files are sent to judicial institutions." Iteka said fighting between the FNL and the army had led to an increase of serious "unprecedented violations of human rights, including the rights to life and other challenges that government must face". Kavumbagu said instead of joining the negotiation table, the FNL had continued to carry out attacks in its stronghold of Bujumbura Rural Province as well in several other provinces. He said the civilian victims of the FNL had been killed using rifles or other sharp objects, "prior to being mutilated or decapitated". Iteka had also recorded incidents of torture, Kavumbagu said. "Some of the tortured people are not allowed visits by their family members and human rights organisations," he said. "The government has the obligation to protect the population and their rights despite the tension still prevailing in provinces such as Bujumbura Rural." On Thursday, Manirakiza said the people who got killed were "those found on the battlefield or those made human shields" by the rebels. "Iteka should, from now on, think twice before issuing any written or spoken statements for the good of the country," he said.

AlertNet 27 Oct 2005 Hope and fear as Burundi’s exiles come home Tens of thousands of Burundian refugees are returning home following the end of civil war. AlertNet’s Tim Large talked to some about the challenges they face. MUGANO, Burundi (AlertNet) - Truck after truck rumbles over the border at the dusty frontier town of Mugano, each crammed with Burundian refugees returning from Tanzania. Children lean out, some waving, some singing. For the 464 people in this latest repatriation convoy organised by the United Nations, it’s a bitter-sweet homecoming. Joy at leaving the crowded refugee camps in eastern Tanzania is tempered by trepidation over starting anew in their former communities – communities they fled to escape rape and massacre. “I didn’t want to come back until there had been a change of government,” said Buchumi Cezarie, 30, a mother-of-four who fled ethnic violence in the northern Giteranyi region in 1996. She was speaking at a U.N.-run transit camp in Mugano in Burundi’s northeastern Muyinga province, after registering for an identity card that will guarantee her family a three-month “starter kit” containing food, pots and pans, plastic sheeting and other supplies to help them resettle. “I hope we’ll be able to grow something to eat,” Cezarie said. “I don’t know if my old house will still be there or not.” The legacy of Burundi’s years of conflict is a country of people on the move. The tiny central African nation has been torn by sporadic bloodshed between the politically dominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority virtually since independence in 1962. In 1993, it plunged into civil war that killed 300,000 people and displaced more than a million. The United Nations estimates 430,000 Burundians are still in exile, mostly in Tanzania. But with the return of relative peace, many are keen to return. Only one rebel group remains outside the peace process, and a smooth election in August of a Hutu president at the head of an ethnically mixed government has convinced many it’s at long last safe to come home. LAND CRUNCH The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates it will organise the voluntary repatriation of about 150,000 Burundians this year, mostly from Tanzania. The challenges for returnees are enormous. They face the same problems as other Burundians, including grinding poverty, lack of clean water, malnutrition and disease. But many also come home to discover their land has been occupied by former neighbours or the government. The land problem may be the most combustible issue facing the new government formed in August by former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza. Association des Femmes Juristes (AFJ), a local NGO that provides legal advice to returnees, says about 65 percent of cases it handles in Muyinga involve land disputes. It documented almost 80 disagreements in September alone. In other parts of the country, especially in areas where thousands of Hutus fled Tutsi massacres in 1972 and returned 30-odd years later, the figures are far higher. AFJ mediator Jean-Pierre Havyarimana said it was up to the government to parcel out new land to returnees whose properties had been given to others by local authorities. In cases where neighbours had simply seen an opportunity and moved in, he said the law should be on the side of returnees. “If the government doesn’t deal with this soon, it could be explosive,” he said. “Measures are not yet in place. As repatriation accelerates, they’re going to have to get to grips with this problem.” FESTERING TENSIONS In Burundi land is everything. The nation of 7.1 million is slightly smaller than the Netherlands and has one of the world’s highest birth rates. Ninety percent of Burundians are farmers, subsisting on bananas, beans and rice. “The conflict was over power, and power means access to resources, which are extremely limited in Burundi,” said Catherine-Lune Grayson, UNHCR’s Burundi spokeswoman. Evidence of tension over resources was not hard to find on the outskirts of Muyinga town, where aid agencies like UNHCR and World Vision have been helping returnees build mud-brick houses with corrugated iron roofs. The structures are far more solid than the mud-daub huts with thatched roofs belonging to many Burundians. Idi Bihagangwa, a 60-year-old returnee, was describing how he fled massacres in the region in 1996 when a neighbour appeared at the doorway of his UNHCR-funded house, shouting angrily and making cut-throat gestures with his finger across his neck. “He’s upset at me because he doesn’t have a house,” Bihagangwa said. “If you could give everyone a house, there’d be no jealousy.” Adama Besse, head of UNHCR’s field operations in Muyinga, warned that without more help from the international community, the property issue could be the breaking of Burundi. “If the land problem is not resolved, the whole process will collapse,” she said. “The country doesn’t have the resources to do what needs to be done… Burundi’s fate depends on more aid. Everything will collapse – peace-building, development – the day the international community stops.” 'FORGOTTEN CRISIS' Burundi, the second-poorest country after Ethiopia according to the World Bank, was dependent on foreign aid before the civil war. Since then, its roads have been washed away by rains and its schools and hospitals have fallen into disrepair. The World Food Programme says 2.75 million need food aid, but it only has enough for 1.8 million. A U.N. appeal for $121 million is only about 45 percent funded. “It’s not easy to raise funds for Burundi, partly because people don’t know Burundi exists,” UNHCR’s Grayson said. “Burundi is a completely forgotten crisis.” Besse contrasted Burundi’s situation with the level of international attention given to neighbouring Rwanda to the north after the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994. “The difference between Burundi and Rwanda is that in Rwanda it took place at one time, from April to July ’94,” she said. “In Burundi, it took place from 1972 to 2000-something. So it was slow and long.” COMING BACK TO NOTHING Many of the children returning from Tanzania are unaccompanied. Some are rejoining parents who had gone on ahead to prepare for resettling their families. But others are among Burundi’s 623,000 war orphans. “Children are especially vulnerable,” said Onesphore Bangenza, a field co-ordinator with International Rescue Committee, a U.S.-based NGO that helps refugees. “They can’t work and don’t have the means to pay for medical care. They can’t pay for school. They may not have land or anywhere to live. Sometimes their families had sold the land and they come back to nothing.” Many adults find themselves in similar situations. At the Mugano transit camp, Ngomirakisa Leopold, 33, sat alone with the torn sack that held his sole possessions – a blanket, some clothes and a jerry can. As other refugees loaded up on buckets and sleeping mats, he told his story. Leopold fled bloodshed in Kwichukiro village in northern Kayanza province with his mother in 1994. They re-settled in a village in Tanzania, where his mother remarried. He said his mother and step-father subsequently died, leaving him to fend for himself. “Two days ago, the hill chief organised a meeting and told all Burundian people they had to leave by October 30 so they wouldn’t vote in elections,” he said. “I decided to leave the same day because I heard a Burundian had been murdered. “I had a pair of trousers that I sold for 400 Tanzanian shillings to get some food. I left and walked for two days to the border where I met the U.N. convoy and asked to be taken on board.” Because Leopold was not formally repatriated, he is not eligible for the three-month starter kit, but Burundian authorities at the transit camp said they would take him to Kwichukiro. “I’m going to try to find my grandfather in Kayanza,” he said. “I don’t know where he is but I think he’s alive.” Photo captions, from second-to-top: Sinzotuma Sifa, 20, stands with her two sons in front of her mud-brick house on the outskirts of Muyinga town. The house was built under a UNHCR-sponsored programme to help resettle Burundian refugees who have returned from Tanzania. REUTERS/Tim Large Idi Bihagangwa sits with his children in his house on the outskirts of Muyinga town. The family fled ethnic violence in 1996 and returned from a refugee camp in Tanzania IN 2004. ALERTNET/Tim Large A Burundian woman whose family returned from exile in Tanzania in 2004 cooks outside her house. The family had fled massacres in the area around the town of Muyinga in 1994, walking for two days to reach a refugee camp across the border. REUTERS/Tim Large Ngomirakisa Leopold, 33, sits in the Mugano transit camp for Burundian refugees returning from Tanzania. ALERTNET/Tim Large

Congo, Democratic Republic of the see Belgium

Crisis Group 19 Oct 2005 INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP - NEW BRIEFING A Congo Action Plan The Democratic Republic of the Congo will likely relapse into mass violence unless the Congolese parties and the international community take urgent measures. Reunification has been plagued by government corruption and mismanagement, failure to reform the security sector, the ongoing threat of the Rwandan Hutu insurgency FDLR based in the eastern Congo, and a weak UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) that is not adequately protecting civilians. Crisis Groups Congo Action Plan lays out a comprehensive and urgent set of actions to save the peace process and produce a successful transition to elected government by June 2006. These include: preparing for and carrying out free and fair elections; curbing state corruption; creating an integrated national army and police force; and resolving the FDLR problem.Crisis Group reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisgroup.org

BBC 19 Oct 2005 DR Congo faces renewed violence The FDLR threat in the east remains a stumbling block to unity The Democratic Republic of Congo could see a return to mass violence unless its transitional government makes urgent reforms, a report warns. The International Crisis Group report says that two years after the end of the civil war, 1,000 people are dying each day from war-related causes. Polls due next year are threatened by corruption and mismanagement among the various government factions, it says. Under a 2002 peace deal, most warring parties joined the government. Some 3m people died in DR Congo's brutal five year civil war. Disarmament "With elections already postponed for a year, security sector reform, good governance and justice... must be prerequisites for elections or the transition process will continue to crumble, and the country will descend into renewed ethnic violence," Crisis Group's Suliman Baldo says. Extensive embezzlement... makes the state itself perhaps the largest security threat to the Congolese people A Congo Action Plan Reunification is being hampered by failure to integrate the national army and disarm militia, the Brussels-based think tank says. Its report entitled A Congo Action Plan also points to the ongoing threat of the Rwandan FDLR Hutu rebels the east. These fighters should be returned to Rwanda and forcibly disarmed if they don't want to voluntarily, the report says. Other armed factions have also not been dealt with. "In northern Katanga, Mai-Mai groups have fought each other and the Congolese army, displacing over 280,000 people in the province." While Some 4,000 to 5,000 combatants in Ituri still regularly attacked the local population. Hostages released It blames a weak UN peacekeeping mission for not adequately protecting civilians and calls on the UN Security Council to authorise more troops to join the UN 19,000 peacekeepers already in the DR Congo, with a formally strengthened mandate. The main problem facing DR Congo, however, was the reluctance of former adversaries to give up power "and assets for the national good". The UN currently has 19,000 peacekeepers in DR Congo "Extensive embezzlement has resulted in inadequate and irregular payment of civil servants and soldiers, making the state itself perhaps the largest security threat to the Congolese people," the report says. So far, 60% of the estimated 28m voters have been registered for next March's polls, AFP reports. The ICG advises the Congolese government to pass key electoral laws to ensure free and fair elections and the international community to set up a robust monitoring system. Meanwhile, the UN says militiamen near the eastern town of Bukavu have freed a group of around 40 disarmament officers they had briefly held hostage. They were seized in a disarmament camp by militiamen who had been waiting for several weeks for their promised disarmament payments, a UN spokeswoman said. The UN peacekeepers went to the scene and the release of the officers came after National Commission for Disarmament officers promised the men they would be paid by Sunday.

www.africanrights.org . 20 Oct 2005 African Rights yesterday sent a letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc, to welcome and support the Security Council’s statement of 4 October 2005 which deplored the failure of the Forces démocratiques pour la liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) to disarm and repatriate their members peacefully back to Rwanda. On 31 March 2005, the FDLR, composed of Rwandese rebels based in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), declared its intention to demobilize and return its troops voluntarily to Rwanda, following negotiations facilitated by the Sant’Egidio Community in Rome. A deadline of 30 September 2005 was set by the Joint Tripartite Plus Commission comprising the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, with the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union as observers, and the United States as facilitator. In a 16-page letter, African Rights highlights the threat which the FDLR, which includes key genocide suspects within its senior military ranks and among its civilian supporters, poses to security, peace, development and co-operation in the Great Lakes region. It described their untroubled lives in eastern DRC, 11 years after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, “as an insult to the victims of the genocide and to the world community, a source of anguish and fear to the survivors of that genocide and a reminder to those working for justice in Rwanda and in the DRC of the responsibilities that lie ahead.” The letter provides detailed information, drawn from African Rights’ research, on 8 leading perpetrators of the genocide in eastern DRC, including three senior officers of the FDLR. On 20-21 October, the Joint Tripartite Plus Commission will meet in Kampala. African Rights’ letter urges the Commission to begin implementing the sanctions they had previously agreed upon in the event that the FDLR did not disarm voluntarily by 30 September. The letter also contains a range of recommendations addressed to the Security Council, the African Union, the United States Government and the European Union. African Rights, Bureau Rwanda B.P. 3836 Kigali, Rwanda Tel: 250 501007 Fax: 250 501008 Email: rights@rwanda1.com

BBC 20 Oct2 005 DR Congo asked to help fight LRA The Ugandan army has been fighting the LRA for 19 years Uganda says it wants to launch joint military operations with the Democratic Republic of Congo to attack the rebel Lord's Resistance Army. Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said the rebels' move into eastern DR Congo had brought a new dynamic to a regional problem, which needed to be solved. He said the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo should also be involved. He was speaking at a regional security conference near Kampala but there has been no response from other ministers. "We should coordinate first and then operate jointly because of our accumulated knowledge and experience with the LRA," Mr Kutesa told regional ministers. "Without our involvement, this problem will not be solved." Concern The BBC's Will Ross at the conference says the discussions by regional ministers on how to deal with the LRA will be welcomed by the international community, which had become extremely concerned about Uganda's earlier threat to send its troops into DR Congo without consulting its neighbours. The United Nations peacekeeping force is trying to disarm all the rebel groups but has so far had limited success. Officials from the United States are also attending the talks at the Ugandan resort of Munyonyo on Lake Victoria. In recent months the American government has increased its involvement in the Congolese peace process, resulting in regular meetings between the governments of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Uganda and Rwanda both sent troops into the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war of the 1990s. The LRA under Joseph Kony has been waging a war with no clear agenda for 19 years.

Congo, Republic of

Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) 14 Oct 2005 Six people killed in clash between Congolese army and Ninja militia Brazzaville/Nairobi (dpa) - Six people were killed in the southern Congolese town of Bacongo in clashes between the army and the paramilitary 'Ninja' militia, an official said in Brazzaville Friday. A Chinese trader and five law enforcement officers were killed in an incident the State-run Radio Congo described as “an altercation'' between state armed forces and the 'Ninja' militia''. It did not elaborate. The Ninja militia has been fighting the central African country's armed forces in the southern Pool region and in certain suburbs in the capital, Brazzaville.

IRIN 20 Oct 2005 Residents flee as army storms rebel stronghold [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN Frédéric Bitsangou, alias Pasteur Ntoumi, leader of the Ninjas. BRAZZAVILLE, 20 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Panic and fear spread across Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, on Wednesday as government troops exchanged heavy gunfire with "Ninja" rebels holed up in the Bacongo District of the city. As the fighting raged, residents in the southern part of the city, where Bacongo is located, fled to the safe northern parts of the city. Vehicles heading to the southern city districts were halted temporarily and the state-owned television station in Bacongo only resumed transmission on Wednesday evening. City hospital officials have reported receiving casualties. The Minister for Public Safety, Law and Order, Maj-Gen Paul Mbot, said three gendarmes, two police officers and a civilian of Chinese origin had died in the unrest. It remains unclear if they died in Wednesday's fighting or last week when the police tried to evict the Ninjas. The government ordered the army to support the police who, on 13 October, failed to evict the Ninjas from Bacongo. The security forces are trying to dislodge the so-called Ninjas, loyal to the Rev Frédéric Bitsangou, alias Pasteur Ntoumi, who illegally occupied homes in Bacongo. The district is a Bitsangou "stronghold" where in 2003 the government built him a home, in an effort to get him to end his armed rebellion. Wednesday's fighting coincided with the return on Friday of exiled Prime Minister Bernard Kolélas, who founded the Ninja militia in the 1990s. The government allowed Kolélas to return to bury his wife - after eight years of exile in Bamako, capital of Mali. In 2000, a Congolese court sentenced Kolélas to death, in absentia, for various crimes committed by his militia during a five-month civil war in 1997. However, President Sassou-Nguesso has asked that legal procedures begin to grant Kolélas amnesty.

Côte d'Ivoire

IRIN 14 Oct 2005 UN endorses plan to leave president in office beyond mandate [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © UN The UN Security Council has backed AU proposals to grant President Gbagbo another year in office NEW YORK/ ABIDJAN, 14 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The United Nations Security Council on Friday endorsed a peace plan for Cote d’Ivoire enabling President Laurent Gbagbo to remain on as head of state after his current mandate expires on 30 October. The peace blueprint, which was worked out last week at an African Union (AU) summit, has been criticised by the opposition as well as by the rebel forces in control of the northern half of the West African country. "The Security Council endorses the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the situation in Cote d’Ivoire," read the presidential statement from the UN Security Council. But the body made clear that it was withholding any commitment on a substantial increase to the 6,600-strong peacekeeping force, as requested by the AU at its Addis summit. Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa producer and once a regional beacon of peace and prosperity, has been split in two since September 2002, with the UN troops monitoring a buffer zone between the rebel north and loyalist south. The AU plan calls for President Gbagbo to remain in office “for a period not exceeding 12 months” after his term expires 30 October. That was the date when new elections were to have been held under the terms of the latest in a series of botched peace deals. But the failure of the rebels and of pro-government militia to hand in weapons beforehand has scuttled plans to hold the elections on deadline. To help steer the country until elections are held, the AU plan also calls for the appointment of a new prime minister acceptable to all parties. In a statement, the 15-member Security Council said it would support the holding of “free, fair, open, transparent and credible elections as soon as possible and no later than 30 October 2006.” On a troop increase, the statement said members of the Security Council had taken note of the request and would consider reinforcements “based on a careful study of conditions in the country and of evidence of meaningful progress toward implementation of longstanding commitments" under a 2003 peace deal. The Security Council also welcomed an upcoming visit to Cote d’Ivoire by AU leader and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and South African President Thabo Mbeki, who mediated the latest Ivorian peace deal on behalf of the AU. The visit is expected to take place in the next few days, according to South African officials. It will be followed by a trip to the West African nation by the head of the UN’s Sanctions Committee, which has threatened travel and assets freezes against individuals holding up peace. Obasanjo and Mbeki will face a hard task convincing Gbagbo’s opponents to sign on.

BBC 30 Oct 2005 Shots fired at Gbagbo protesters Protesters held a rally at a sports stadium before the trouble Riot police in Ivory Coast have fired warning shots and used tear gas to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters in the main city of Abidjan. Opposition militants were threatening to remove President Laurent Gbagbo after his failure to step down. His five-year mandate was supposed to end on Sunday. But scheduled elections have been postponed and the UN decided to keep him in power for another year. The country has been in turmoil since rebels seized the north in 2002. More than 10,000 French and UN troops patrol a barrier zone between the northern rebels - known as the New Forces - and the militias who support President Gbagbo in the south. Laurent Gbagbo says rebels must disarm before any elections The BBC's James Copnall, in the main commercial city Abidjan in the south, says the division of the country has made it impossible to hold elections to find a successor to Mr Gbagbo. Electoral rolls have not been drawn up, he says, and it was no surprise when elections were postponed. Rage Several thousand opposition supporters attended a rally in Abidjan to demand that President Gbagbo leave office. Women wearing white face paint danced round in circles while young men loudly shouted their rage at Mr Gbagbo. Riot police fired in the air and used tear gas when some demonstrators tried to march to Mr Gbagbo's residence in the city centre and set alight wooden barricades. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The leaders of the opposition's youth wing had called for calm but were unable to control their supporters, our correspondent says. Similar rallies are being held in the north. Supporters of President Gbagbo, known as the Young Patriots, have postponed a rally they were going to hold in Abidjan due to fears about clashes between the rival groups. In March last year, more than 120 opposition supporters were killed by the Ivorian armed forces as they tried to demonstrate, according to a UN report. The UN Security Council has demanded that a new prime minister acceptable to all be appointed, with reinforced powers. However, our correspondent says it is not yet clear who could fill the role, nor how he and President Gbagbo will share power.


AFP 17 Oct 2005 UN vacates nearly half its monitoring posts in Eritrea ASMARA, Oct 17 (AFP) - The UN operation monitoring the increasingly tense border between Ethiopia and Eritrea said Monday that Asmara's ban on helicopter overflights would force it to vacate nearly half its posts on Eritrean territory. The UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) said the ban had led it to conclude that it could no longer staff 18 of the smallest and most isolated of its 40 observation posts as well as one larger base it runs in Eritrea. "As a result of the continuing ban on UN helicopter flights by the Eritrean Government, (UNMEE) has carried out a review of the adverse impact of the ban on its own operational effectiveness and monitoring capability," it said. "From the assessment, it was deduced that the continuing occupation of small posts in isolated places has become untenable and operationally unviable," UNMEE said in a statement. "Out of a total of 40 posts that it has so far maintained, UNMEE has now decided to vacate 18 of them and one Team Site of military observers," it said, adding that troops from the abandoned sites would be shifted to the remaining posts. It said the decision to leave the posts, of which both Asmara and Addis Ababa had been informed, would take effect immediately. On Friday, UNMEE officials said the restrictions had reduced their monitoring capability by 55 percent and that they were no longer able to verify with certainty troop levels on the Eritrean side of the border. UNMEE has 3,293 military personnel in the border area monitoring the frontier and implementation of a 2000 peace deal that ended a bloody two-year war between the arch-rival neighbors. Since the beginning of the year, tensions along the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) frontier have steadily risen with reports of new troop deployments and security incidents raising fears of renewed conflict. Asmara has not yet given an official reason for imposing the ban earlier this month over UN objections or for new restrictions slapped on UNMEE ground patrols that limit the mission's night operations. Eritrea has repeatedly warned that a new conflict is looming because of Ethiopia's refusal to accept a binding 2002 border delineation from an international panel set up as part of the pact that ended the war.

IRIN 21 Oct 2005 Government downplays helicopter restrictions [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Corinne Archer Yemane Gebremeskel, adviser to the Eritrean president. ASMARA, 21 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Eritrea downplayed the significance of restricting UN helicopters on Thursday, describing recent remarks by the Ethiopian prime minister as duplicitous. Speaking to journalists for the first time since Eritrea grounded UN peacekeeping helicopters earlier this month, a senior government official said that recent comments by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi were offensive. Yemane Ghebremeskel, a presidential adviser in Eritrea, was referring to remarks made by Meles in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. The Ethiopian prime minister told reporters in the capital that the flight restrictions were a violation of the peace agreement signed by the two countries, adding that the UN "should take necessary measures to restore the status quo." "I find the audacity of the prime minister marvelling," said Ghebremeskel. "If he is serious, it is an extreme case of duplicity because Ethiopia and the prime minister have violated the Algiers Agreement flagrantly and repeatedly." The Algiers Agreement was signed at the end of the 1998-2000 border war between the two countries, in which an estimated 70,000 people from both sides were killed. Both nations agreed to demarcate their border as decided by an independent boundary commission. Ethiopia later rejected the commission's decision, however, and the two countries have been locked in a stalemate ever since. While the Ethiopian government has maintained repeatedly that it wants to discuss the issue, it declined an invitation to meet representatives from the boundary commission and Eritrea in London in February. Meanwhile, Eritrea refuses to negotiate an agreement that was meant to be "final and binding". Eritrea still has not explained why it imposed the helicopter restriction, which has compromised the UN's ability to cover the 1,000-km long and 25-km wide Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) running along the boundary of the two countries. The measure has forced the UN to reduce the number of peacekeeping posts along the border from 40 to 18 and redistribute its troops; brought a halt to demining activities in the area; and delayed urgent medical treatment for two UN peacekeepers that were injured in a traffic accident in the TSZ. Ghebremeskel refused to discuss the helicopter restrictions. "If anything Eritrea has shown the maximum patience, the maximum restraint so far," he said. "We feel both Ethiopia and the Security Council have violated the agreements," he added, expressing his country's frustration with the lack of border demarcation and with the international community in general. "They continue to pamper Ethiopia. They continue to pamper the prime minister in spite of his violations," he said.


Xinhua News Agency Date: 15 Oct 2005 Print E-mail Save Ethiopia beefs up military presence on Eritrea borderADDIS ABABA, Oct 15, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi admitted Saturday his country has reinforced its troops on its border with Eritrea since December as a “precautionary measure, “ the same day he offered first ever direct talks with Eritrean leader on border disputes. “We have taken measures and beefed up our defense capabilities around the border since December to prevent any miscalculation by the other side,” Meles told journalists. Earlier this month, Eritrea banned air patrols along the 1,000-kilometer temporary security zone and it did not give any reasons for the restrictions, according to Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte, spokeswoman of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). Eritrea's move increased concerns that the Red Sea state was trying to cover up troop redeployment, diplomats here said. Meles said Eritrea's actions on UN flights violated a ceasefire agreement signed by the two countries in 2000 and urged the UN Security Council to enforce it. “We are still hopeful that the other side (Eritrea) will not miscalculate,” he added. Under a 2000 peace deal ending their two-year border war, Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to accept the conclusions of an independent boundary commission on where the border should lie. The commission issued its findings in April 2002 and Eritrea fully accepted them. But the process of marking out the new boundary on the ground broke down after Ethiopia objected that the flashpoint western town of Badme had been awarded to Eritrea. The border war, which killed more than 70,000 people, began when Ethiopia accused Eritrea of invading Badme. In support of the stalled peace process, UNMEE, which now numbers about 3,000 troops and observers, has been patrolling a buffer zone separating the two countries' militaries since July 2000.

BBC 19 Oct 2005 'Arms cache' arrests in Ethiopia Ethiopian students died in May election protests Ethiopian police have arrested 34 opposition party supporters. A police commander said the Coalition for Unity and Democracy members were caught with a cache of arms in Oromia State, some 250km east of the capital. Much of the opposition has boycotted parliament, claiming Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government rigged the May general election. The boycotting MPs have had their immunity stripped. Mr Meles accuses the CUD of seeking to overthrow him. The police found 23 rifles, five pistols, three hand grenades, other firearms and 626 rounds of ammunition, the Ethiopian news agency reported. Last week, the CUD head warned that there could be a campaign to harass and jail political opponents. Several days of violence followed the 15 May poll and around 40 people were killed when police fired on crowds of protesters. The Ethiopian government angrily dismissed an assessment by European Union monitors that the elections failed to meet international standards.

www.eastandard.net 25 Oct 2005 AG is summoned over Wagalla massacre By Judy Ogutu A Nairobi court yesterday ordered Attorney-General Amos Wako to appear in court to show cause why a case by Wagalla massacre victims should proceed without his response. High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, also directed that should the AG fail to appear in person, he should swear an affidavit to show cause why the case should proceed without a replying affidavit from the State. He made the orders after it emerged that the AG had not filed a replying affidavit. Through Gitobu Imanyara and Company advocates, more than 300 plaintiffs sought the court’s direction on how to proceed. After getting AG’s word, the court shall have discharged its duties and would not be responsible if the trial proceeds in default, Ibrahim said. There was also no representation from the AG’s office yesterday. The 364 applicants are seeking a court declaration that the events that took place at the Wagalla Airstrip between February 10, 1984 and February 14, 1984 "were committed by known people serving in the Public Service". They want a court declaration compensating families of the victims. Following the directive, the court should also order that a public inquest be conducted, they argue. It should also order the District Magistrate’s Court in Wajir to open an inquest and the North Eastern provincial police boss to initiate steps necessary to conduct the inquest. Yesterday, Justice Ibrahim said the case was serious and ought to have a replying affidavit. "This is not merely a compensatory case but also to record the likely true events of the Wagalla saga in order that we all learn the truth, and if the allegations are true, how to avoid a repeat of such events in the future in this country," he said. The court, he said, was not inclined to refer the matter to the Chief Justice on whether it should be heard by more than one judge. He said he would only do so if it was clear the AG did not require to file a replying affidavit. He gave the AG 15 days to do so and fixed a hearing date for November 9, 2005.


IRIN 17 Oct 2005 "King George" squares up for election run-off with "Iron Lady" [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Claire Soares/IRIN Liberians look set to head to the ballot box again on 8 November to choose between George and Ellen MONROVIA, 17 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Soccer legend George Weah looks set to go head-to-head with former finance minister Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in a run-off to decide who will be the next president of war-battered Liberia, according to preliminary results released on Monday. With returns in from 95 percent of polling stations across the heavily forested country, Weah was in the lead with 28.8 percent of the votes and Sirleaf was trailing in second with 20.0 percent. A candidate must get 50 percent plus one vote to be declared the winner of Liberia's first presidential elections since the end of a 14-year civil war. "Looking at the numbers above... the NEC sees it prudent to begin preparations for a presidential election run-off," Frances Johnson-Morris, the head of the National Elections Commission, told reporters on Monday evening. "The run-off election will be held on November 8," she added. Almost a week after Liberians went to the polls, radios are still constantly tuned to news bulletins and residents hang around on street corners animatedly discussing the latest twists and turns and moaning about how slowly the results are coming in. Johnson-Morris said death threats had been sent by text message to her mobile phone, warning she would be killed if she did not "release the results well." Meanwhile, the political jockeying has already begun ahead of the November run-off. "We are preparing for the second round," Rudolph Johnson, Weah's running mate, told IRIN on Monday. Both camps are trying to win endorsements from some of the other 20 hopefuls who contested last Tuesday's first-round ballot. Top of the list will be former Senate leader Charles Brumskine, who is currently on 13.9 percent, and Winston Tubman, a onetime UN special envoy, who has so far captured 9.4 percent of the votes. Behind-the-scenes wrangling "We are talking to almost everyone. The message we are carrying is what's good for Liberia," said Sirleaf's campaign manager, John Bestman, in between meetings. "We are confident." Frances Johnson-Morris, head of Liberia's National Elections Commission, briefs reporters Cole Bangalu, chairman of Weah's political party, was also in an upbeat mood. "We are constructively engaging other parties to see how they can join forces with us. We are getting a very positive response. We believe the run-off will give an overwhelming result in our favour," he said. Liberians hope that the polls will cement peace and stability in this West African nation, torn apart by a brutal civil war between 1989 and 2003, which left an estimated quarter of a million people dead and forced hundreds of thousands of others to flee their homes. A run-off would give the country a choice between "King George", a roaring success on a football pitch but untested in the political arena, and veteran opposition leader Sirleaf, known as the "Iron Lady" because of her no-nonsense political style. Sirleaf, a 66-year-old grandmother, boasts a resume including stints at the World Bank and the United Nations. She says an experienced head is needed to kick-start Liberia's battered economy and use its abundant natural resources to make it the pride of West Africa. Weah, who grew up in a shantytown kicking a ball about barefoot before playing for the cream of Europe's clubs, says he understands the youth and the underprivileged. The 39-year-old believes his lack of political experience is a bonus because it means he has clean hands. As the negotiations play out behind closed doors ahead of the formal announcement of a run-off, some Liberians are cynical, saying any alliances will be more about personal gain than political values. "It would have been better if the politicians had teamed up before the first round but politicians are greedy," said 32-year-old Varney Lake, whose store in the capital, Monrovia, sells everything from shampoo to kitchen sinks. "No-one wanted to give up the chair, everyone wanted to be president so we had to choose between 22 people! And now we're going to have to vote all over again."

IRIN 18 Oct 2005 Vigilante gangs patrol streets as police force rebuilds [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Claire Soares/IRIN Vigilantes ready to head out on patrol MONROVIA, 18 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Every night Gibson Karchold and his neighbours pick up their machetes and nail-studded sticks and go out on patrol, trying to protect their homes in a run-down area of the Liberian capital, Monrovia. “Criminals come around to hijack you while you are in bed. They take your generator and then wake you up and take your mattress,” explained the 31-year-old, a construction worker by day and vigilante by night. Residents support his group, providing food and water to see them through until the watch ends just before dawn. “It’s really the police’s job,” the diminutive Liberian told IRIN. “But you could be killed before the police arrive. They are far away from where the action is.” After more than two years of peace in Liberia, worries about war have given way to concerns about crime. “You have a lot of people accustomed to violence and nothing to preoccupy their minds… and the country is awash with small arms,” said Peter Zaizay, a spokesman for the Liberian National Police. “Armed robberies have increased to some extent.” In response, vigilante gangs have sprung up around the capital and the trend is worrying those in the upper echelons of the United Nations, which has some 15,000 troops and 1,000 policemen charged with helping keep the peace in Liberia. “A troubling development is the formation of vigilante groups by some Liberians,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his most recent report on the West African nation. However, some officials on the ground in Liberia, who requested anonymity, said that the impromptu patrols might help cut the crime rate. “Hoodlums capitalise on the fact that everyone stays indoors. Now the vigilantes are out there. They know their community. It’s not a solution to the problem but they are helping,” one official said. Working by moonlight Accompanying the police on a Saturday night patrol, an IRIN correspondent saw vigilante groups working by the light of the full moon or torches in several areas of the city, which has no mains electricity and thus no street lights. “We had an armed robber round here who killed one person and wounded three others. It got so desperate we decided to keep watch to save one another,” said Francis Jallah, a telephone technician-turned vigilante in the so-called GSA neighbourhood. Down the road in Jacob’s Town, another group had cornered a suspected robber. They held him more than half an hour – the time it took police to reach the remote area, bumping down kilometres of dirt track, flooded after a heavy downpour. Even the beach shacks have barbed wire in Monrovia This suspect was handed over, unharmed, and taken to the local police station. But there have been other instances, where no such restraint has been shown. The body of Magic D, described by locals as a notorious armed robber, lay on a rubbish dump in the Fiamah neighbourhood for days after residents tired of his repeated offences and took matters into their own hands, beating him to death. “Magic fought for former president Charles Taylor during the war,” said 19-year-old Moses Maldinho, a former schoolmate. “After the war, he stole because of poverty. He wanted a cool life and didn’t want to wait.” Some say that vigilantes are proof of the lack of trust in the forces of law and order, a hang over from the civil war when officers were not only corrupt but also involved in human rights abuses. “There’s a lack of confidence in the justice system. That’s really the problem,” said police spokesman, Zaizay. “That’s why we have the community policing strategy, to increase awareness and share information.” The peace accord that brought Liberia’s civil war to an end in August 2003 called for the police force to be restructured, with the old force demobilised, and new recruits trained by the United Nations. Some way to go Two years later, around 1,600 trained police officers are on the streets of Liberia, just under half of the UN target. “Considerable progress has been made but there’s a way to go yet,” said Alan Doss, head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). “Between US $3 million and $4 million is still needed.” Some human rights experts have criticised how the new police force is being formed. “Problems in the vetting and removal of human rights abusers from the police force… and the lack of donor support to rebuild the decimated judicial infrastructure has undermined progress in establishing the rule of law,” Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, said in a recent report. The Liberian police, themselves, have also admitted to some teething problems. At the beginning of the month, six officers, including a deputy inspector, were suspended after using tear gas against their superiors to protest their pay shortly after returning from special riot training in Nigeria. And equipment is still lacking. “The guns and cutlasses that the armed robbers carry sometimes scare the police who just have batons and handcuffs,” said police spokesman Zaizay. For the past month or so, local police have been backed up on their patrols by armed UN peacekeepers, and officers say this is giving them new authority to stem the tide of crime. But police vehicles are in short supply. There are only two outside Montserrado, the county that surrounds the capital, and these are in Maryland, home of the interim president. One Liberian, whose stolen mobile phone was tracked down by police last week, was asked to pay US $30 –- an average officer’s monthly salary -- to cover the petrol the patrol car used to retrieve it. Emergency service? Police trucks are plastered with stickers urging people to call 911, but residents complain they can never get through. At a recent media briefing, a senior police officer attempted to prove that there were six lines in operation. He called the emergency number and was connected immediately, but when another person tried, a busy signal rang out and the demonstration was quickly abandoned. This doesn’t surprise mother of six and Fiamah resident, Mama Gray. She laughs when asked if she has been burgled. “Of course,” she sighs, shaking her head. Cooking utensils and water carriers were considered sufficient booty to raid her corrugated-iron roofed home. Gray, like many Liberians, is hoping that the newly-elected government will provide an alternative to crime for thousands of ex-combatants by creating jobs. Her neighbour, Saye Kehinah, voices the same hopes. “The poverty rate is so high in this country and people have no jobs,” he told IRIN. “We want that to change. We need that to change.” For him, politics and crime, are inextricably linked. He couldn’t vote in last week’s landmark presidential and parliamentary elections, the first since the end of the civil war. “My wallet was stolen the other week with my voting card inside,” he said, with an air of resignation.


BBC 25 Oct 2005 Clashes over Malawi impeachment Bingu wa Mutharika (back) has fallen out with his predecessor Bakili Muluzi (front) Supporters of Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika, angered at moves to impeach him, have attacked opposition MPs outside parliament. The police say that five vehicles belonging to MPs were destroyed after stones were thrown at them. The violence followed a demonstration by members of Mr Mutharika's party. Earlier, the High Court ruled that former President Bakili Muluzi did not have to undergo questioning about his financial dealings with foreign donors. Mr Muluzi's United Democratic Front is at the forefront of the bid to impeach Mr Mutharika, who was elected on the UDF ticket. Mr Mutharika has fallen out with his predecessor over the probe into corruption allegations during Mr Muluzi's time in office. Mr Muluzi had been summoned to testify at the Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday, to account for millions of dollars of aid money during his presidency between 1994 and 2004. Armed guards Heath Minister Heatherwick Ntaba, spokesman for Mr Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), condemned the violence outside parliament and distanced his party from it. "This was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration but was hijacked by thugs," he said. "This was not only a DPP demonstration; it had other people from other parties." Musician-turned-politician Lucius Banda said he was astonished that the police outside parliament could not prevent the violence. "Here was the most fortified place with armed guards guarding the president but they could stop these thugs," he said.


IRIN 15 Oct 2005 Tuareg ex-combatants to get promised assistance a decade after peace accord [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Edward Parsons/IRIN Financial assistance for Tuareg ex-combattants NIAMEY, 14 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Ten years after the Niger government and insurgents signed an accord to end a Tuareg rebellion, authorities have launched an economic assistance programme for more than 3,000 ex-combatants in the north – the final phase as laid out in the peace pact. Under the project, 3,160 former combatants will be granted around US $300 each in the form of micro-loans for projects in animal husbandry, the craft industry and vegetable gardening, Michele Falavigna, Niger UN Development Programme (UNDP) representative, said. The UN says the launch was held up mainly for lack of funds, along with lingering instability in the north of this mainly desert nation of about 11 million people. The US $1.8-million project is funded by France, the United States and Libya. “It is historic, that countries that have sometimes had disagreements have been able to pool their resources to consolidate peace in northern Niger,” Falavigna told IRIN from the capital, Niamey, on Thursday. The micro-credit project – to be run jointly by the government and UNDP – will be implemented in the northern Air and Azawak regions. Since the 1995 signing of the peace accord, nomad groups have occasionally claimed responsibility for attacks in the north, complaining that the government was not holding up its end of the agreement. The Tuareg rebellion began in the north in 1990, with an attack on the locality of Tchintabaraden, 800 kilometres north Niamey, and later spread to the far east of the country, where it was joined by other nomadic groups such as the Toubou. The uprising centred on social, political, and economic grievances and dissatisfaction over what rebels called inequitable economic policy and excessive centralisation of the government. The Tuareg rebels wanted a federal system that would allow them to run their own affairs in their mineral-rich areas. The government and rebels signed the peace agreement in Niamey following mediation by Algeria, Burkina Faso – which both share borders with Niger – and France. The accord stipulated in part: government decentralisation and the integration of former combatants into the defence and security forces, public service, professional training institutions, universities and secondary schools. Around 800 former combatants eventually were integrated into the public services, but the socio-economic reintegration of the largest chunk of the ex-rebels had yet to be achieved. Tuareg representatives welcomed the funds. “We rejoice over the project and hope the available resources will be increased,” Mohamed Akotey, a former chief of the rebellion and now Niger’s high commissioner for the restoration of peace, said on national radio on Wednesday. The launch of the project came a month after Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja nominated the former Tuareg rebel leader to lead the government office for the restoration of peace. UNDP’s Falavigna noted that lingering insecurity was also cause for the delay in the loan project. In the Air mountain range 1,000 kilometres northeast of Niamey, where international companies have been prospecting for oil, security forces have clashed several times over the last two years with what the government called common banditry. But the culprits claimed to be Tuareg rebels of the now-dissolved Air and Azawak Liberation Front (FLAA).


www.sunnewsonline.com20 Oct 2005 Zaki Biam massacre: Obasanjo no longer owes Tiv apology, says Daboh By ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi Thursday , October 20, 2005 • Daboh National Index National Assistant Auditor of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Godwin Daboh says the Tiv people are not waiting for any apology from President Olusegun Obasanjo over the Zaki-Biam massacre, as apology has long been tendered and accepted by the Tiv nation. He said this while reacting to a story in Daily Sun of Thursday, September 29, 2005 credited to the President/CEO of Capital Base Development Limited, Mr. Joshua Manasseh. In the interview with Daily Sun, Chief Daboh averred that the Zaki-Biam massacre is a forgotten issue, adding that, “We the Tiv people have put it behind us so that we can move forward.” No more apology The Tiv people are not waiting for any apology from President Olusegun Obasanjo because the Tiv people have settled with him long ago. In fact, when the Zaki-Biam issue happened, Obasanjo was not in Nigeria. He was far away in America. It was General T.Y Danjuma, who was the Minister of Defence and who has very close relationship with the Tiv people that was responsible for giving the operational order. All he needs to do was to get the consent of General Obasanjo. But General Obasanjo granted consent based on the report that was given to him by General T.Y Danjuma that his presidential approval was required to take immediate action to condemn the crisis that was there. Apology already tendered When General Obasanjo came back (from his trip) after the massacre, Governor Akume led a delegation of leaders of Benue State to Aso Villa to meet him. We discussed extensively what had happened in Zaki-Biam and we realised that the killing of some soldiers precipitated the action. We, the Benue leaders, who were in Aso Rock with President Obasanjo tendered an apology for the killing of the soldiers who were on active duty in the Taraba-Benue border. The president himself had apologised on behalf of the soldiers and the Federal Government. It was then we required that a judicial commission of enquiry be constituted to look into the matter, which the president did. Also, there was an interactive session in Jos, where Obasanjo looked at the whole element as a thing which affected everybody. To crown it all, in October 2001, all the leaders of PDP were in Aso Villa with Obasanjo, where we held a meeting and resolved that this matter as settled. On January 2003, President Obasanjo left his family and came to Benue. He was at the IBB square, with more than 500,000 people drawn from every Tiv local government to apologise. So, anybody raising the matter, is just trying to open up old wounds, because as far as we are concerned, it is a dead issue. We, the Tiv people voted massively for President Obasanjo in 1999 and 2003 elections because we did not have a quarrel with him. If anybody has a quarrel, he should not use the Zaki-Biam card. The Zaki-Biam card is a dead card. It was amicably resolved between us and we want to move forward. Today, the Tiv people are marginalised in federal appointments because of people like Manasseh Joshua, who will attack the president unjustly. Where other people are looking for reconciliation and forgiveness and participation, people like him give the impression that they can do without the Federal Government, which is not true. Today, no Tiv man is holding any reasonable position in the Federal Government apart from Dr. Iyorcha Ayu and Prof. Ayua, who is a Permanent Secretary. Look at the recent board appointments that were made, it is because of people like Manasseh, that we were completely margninalised. We are the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, but because of attitude of people like Joshua, that is why Tiv people are not getting anything from the Federal Government. I want to say that we the Tiv people, have buried Zaki-Biam and we don’t want to exhume a corpse that will bring back bad memories to us. We must move forward. The Germans killed more than six million Jews in the Second World War, but today, Germany and Israel are in very great harmony. Recently, they marked the 60th year of the massacre of the Jews. The Germans and the Jews all joined together to celebrate the event. We the Tiv people have put behind us the unfortunate Zaki-Biam crisis. Anybody who is trying to raise the issue now, is on his own and not speaking on behalf of the political class in Tiv land or the Tiv elites. We are no longer talking about Zaki-Biam because we have put it behind us. We the Tiv people want peace and happiness. We have forgiven President Obasanjo and all those involved in the Zaki-Biam massacre.

Rwanda See Burundi, France

washingtonpost.com The Rwandan Reconciliation By Sarel Kandell Kromer Sunday, October 16, 2005; B02 The nine Rwandan judges filed into a grassy enclosure shaded by tarps to keep out the equatorial sun. Each wore a blue, green and yellow sash that said " inyangamugayo" -- trusted person. Two prisoners were summoned from the rear. Fifty or 60 people sitting on benches facing the court stood up. The chief judge said, "We are going to remember." Then, a long silence. They were there not only to remember, but to be able to stop remembering, to find truth and maybe justice, and to rebuild their lives. This is the gacaca court (pronounced ga-cha-cha). The name means "on the grass." Throughout Rwanda's history, neighbors have settled disputes by adjourning to the gacaca to sit, discuss and mediate personal and community problems. But now these Rwandan courts are faced with trying more than 40,000 prisoners implicated in the genocide of 1994, when the members of the country's Hutu ethnic majority killed nearly 1 million minority Tutsis in a 100-day rampage. Most of the accused have been in jail for more than 10 years without trial. While the masterminds of the genocide -- those who planned, organized and incited it -- will be tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda operating in Tanzania, and others charged with murder will be tried in regular criminal courts, the many more who abetted the slaughter will go before the gacaca courts. The gacaca judges are not lawyers, but respected persons selected by the community. This is a strangely inspiring process to witness, especially for me, a retired lawyer used to the often acrimonious U.S. system. While the crimes in Rwanda are deeply disturbing, the gacaca courts, which generally meet once a week, emphasize reconciliation and deemphasize retribution -- though further punishment for those accused is still possible. There are approximately 10,000 gacaca courts, each with nine elected judges. They are how most ordinary people here are coming to terms with the past. Rwandans want, above all, to find out exactly where and how those close to them died. Without this knowledge, it is hard to move on. Genocide memorials have been erected throughout the country in the solemn style of our Vietnam Veterans Memorial, only the slates are largely blank, listing hundreds of names of the known dead but leaving space for tens of thousands of others who perished and whose names are unknown. The need to learn the names of the dead is greater than the need to punish. I was in Rwanda with my son over the summer to visit American friends. One conducts anti-violence workshops for gacaca judges for the African Great Lakes Initiative, a Quaker group. Her husband is a health adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Given my experience as a public interest lawyer, I wanted to attend a gacaca, even if I had to absorb the proceedings through someone translating Kinyarwanda in a low voice. During the session I attended one day in early August, one of the accused, a man named Nicodemus, was summoned before the bench. His accuser rose, took an oath and stated: "Nicodemus was persecuting Tutsis, hunting them. I am not sure if he killed them." He then asked the tribunal to forgive Nicodemus, as though charging him in public were its own form of revenge. A second accuser, named Bimenyimana, rose and accused Nicodemus of killing someone named Concord. A judge asked, "How do you know Concord died?" Bimenyimana answered, "I had lunch with people who said he died." The judge: "How did he die?" Accuser: "I don't know. I didn't see him again, and we were neighbors." At this point the judge read out an article of the laws of gacaca, informing the accuser that he was in danger if he was perjuring himself. At the earlier information stage of the court process, he had stated that he didn't know how certain people had died; now the judges wanted to ascertain whether he was bringing false testimony. An imposing woman in a striking brown dress with a blue and white pattern and matching headdress rose from the audience and advised the accuser Bimenyimana to tell the truth. "Other people here are neighbors of Nicodemus," she said. Although Kigali is a populous city, the neighborhood where Nicodemus lived is a small, tightly knit community within the city where everyone seems to know everyone else. To a foreigner like me, the ethnic lines that once meant life or death appeared blurred. Nicodemus was Hutu; the accuser who asked the tribunal to forgive him appeared to be Tutsi, but it wasn't obvious. Both Hutus and Tutsis sat on the tribunal; I could not tell the difference. Still other Rwandans are part Hutu and part Tutsi. To many, the Hutu/Tutsi distinction is a matter of economic or social standing rather than ethnic origins. A display in the Kigali Memorial Centre says that if a Hutu acquired 10 cows or more, he was considered a Tutsi. The Tutsi guide who took us to the Kigali memorial had invited his Hutu friend along. We stood in the peace garden of roses overlooking the city's hills. Smiling, the guide said: "I'm Tutsi. He's Hutu. Why aren't we fighting?" Both young men had been children when the genocide occurred and have grown up together. The first day my son and I spent in the country was a Saturday set aside for community service.We could have stayed inside, but we decided to join in. We were handed machetes, and walked down the dirt road to the center of Kicukiro, a sector of Kigali, together with hundreds of other people to clear land for a community center. It was surreal, given that machetes were the weapons used in much of the killing. Yet perhaps it was a metaphor -- as though ploughshares had turned to swords and back again. After two hours of clearing brush, digging boulders from the earth and, to everyone's delight, finding a stolen television hidden in the tall grasses, the community gathered under a shelter at the soccer field to discuss an important piece of news: One thousand prisoners who had been jailed without trial for 10 years were about to be returned to this community of about 8,000 people for trial before the gacaca courts. Many were already in the neighborhood, recognizable by the pink outfits prisoners must wear, working on public service projects by day and returning to prison at night. Two years earlier, during a similar program, released prisoners had attacked people who had turned them in and community members had avenged murders allegedly committed by those who had been released. How to reintegrate the prisoners more successfully was now a major concern. Moreover, many prisoners' wives had remarried and established new lives during the decade their men were jailed. The prisoners would need food, shelter and jobs. The anxieties about the prisoner release were compounded by the country's extreme poverty and crumbling infrastructure. According to my friend with USAID, approximately 90 percent of all Rwandans are unemployed or underemployed. Running water and electricity work intermittently; on every street, people line up with large yellow jerrycans to fill at public wells. People lack the most rudimentary tools -- like screwdrivers or monkey wrenches -- and many of the country's craftsmen have been murdered or jailed. There aren't many animals to help clear land for farming. No burros, no oxen pulling plows. Farmers hoe by hand. Most Rwandans subsist on about 80 percent of the daily calories needed for healthy living. The annual per capita income is $261. Children receive free education only up to grade six, and few families have the $130 it costs for each additional year of schooling. So it was no surprise when a man rose to question the mayor at the soccer field and said: "Our neighborhood was promised a paved road four years ago. Money was raised, yet the road building has not begun. Why not? Why do we have a shortage of water? Why does our electricity constantly go out?" Everyone cheered. At the gacaca another accuser was sworn in. He was the brother of Concord, who died. He said that Bimenyimana was telling the truth and that another prisoner, Ntabakunzi, was with Nicodemus when the killings occurred. A woman in a yellow outfit and headdress rose to suggest that the tribunal wait for Ntabakunzi's testimony. Another woman rose and said, "Ntabakunzi is the man who raped me." The chief judge of the tribunal asked her to return the following week to give sworn testimony. A man in the back row talked directly to Nicodemus: "If given time to speak, tell the truth. Even if Ntabakunzi is not here to testify, please tell us the truth. What happened?" That is the question that this green, hilly country is facing. Once the story has been told, the dead can rest and the survivors can get on with life. It seemed as though every family included a victim, a perpetrator or a collaborator -- sometimes all three. My friend told me that a Rwandan colleague of hers at the Friends Peace House described this scene: " 'People killed and saved people at the same time. Twelve people broke in through the roof of my home and started killing. They hacked my parents with machetes before my eyes. When someone attacked me, the person killing my parents stopped, said "no children" and got everyone to leave.' " The application form for attending gacaca asks people to explain the benefit to them and to Rwanda of their attendance. My son and I felt we had an obligation to bear witness so we could tell others about this place. In the children's room of the Kigali genocide memorial there are pictures: "David: loved football, made people laugh, wanted to be a doctor, killed by machete." Or, "Lisa, infant: favorite food: mother's milk, favorite person, mom, thrown against wall." Last week I learned from my translator that the gacaca court, after hearing further evidence, found Nicodemus guilty and sent him back to prison. Despite the stain of violence, Rwandan society appears to have strengths that could help it heal. The young woman who translated the gacaca hearings has adopted three genocide orphans and taken in a close friend who had been unfairly jailed and lost his job. And people conduct themselves with dignity. In day-to-day life, I saw no littering, no begging, no eating in public and a pride in personal appearance that defies the omnipresent dust. And in the gacaca, where it would have been understandable for anger to burst forth, there was restraint and decorum. Rwandans have a saying: "God does his work throughout the world by day, and comes home to Rwanda to sleep at night." If so, maybe Rwandans will one day be able to sleep more peacefully. Author's e-mail: sarelkromer@earthlink.net Sarel Kromer, a retired attorney, practiced public interest law in Miami and Washington. She now lives in Chevy Chase and does international volunteer work.

Hirondelle News Agency 19 Oct 2005 BIZIMUNGU EX-PRESIDENT BEGINS APPEAL OCTOBER 25TH Kigali, October 19th, 2005 (FH) - Rwanda’s first post genocide president convicted of inciting civil disobedience and embezzling state funds last year will, on October 25th, begin his appeal in the country’s high court. “The trial has been set for Tuesday next week”, said prosecution spokesperson John Bosco Mutangana. “We will now be looking to the final phase of this case”, he added. Pasteur Bizimungu, 55, was sentenced to 15 years in jail on June 7th, 2004. He was also found guilty on charges of creating a criminal gang that “intimidated and terrorized” genocide survivors and embezzlement of public funds. Bizimungu maintains that the charges are politically motivated. Prior to his arrest, the Hutu ex-president had attempted to set up a political party – a move that the authorities declared illegal. The start of his appeal was delayed by disagreements between the prosecution and defence over which court had the jurisdiction to hear the case. Judges eventually sided with the defence in ruling that the case would be heard by the High court and not a provincial court. Bizimungu resigned in 2000 after falling out with members of his government. Throughout his presidency, Bizimungu remained in the shadow of his more powerful vice-president and current president, Paul Kagame – also minister of defence at the time.

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 26 Oct 2005 New Book Accuses RPF of Shooting Down Habyarimana's Plane Arusha A former officer in the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) has claimed in a book that the ruling Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) was behind the April 6, 1994 shooting down of a plane carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira. Lieutenant Abdul Joshua Ruzibiza, a Tutsi whose family was exterminated during the genocide, makes the allegations in his new book entitled "Rwanda, l'histoire secrete" which came out October 27, 2005. It is an insider's "war diary" that traces the workings and methods of the RPA from 1990 to 2001. Ruzibiza also made the same claims in a testimony he gave to French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who has for the last few years been probing into the shooting down of the plane as well as the French crew manning it. In the book, Ruzibiza claims to have been a member of the "network commando", a group he alleges carried out the attack on the orders of General Paul Kagame, then chief of the rebel movement. The preface to the book is by Claudine Vidal, Director of research at the French-based CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique), while the postscript is by French university professor, Andre Guichaoua, who has appeared at the Arusha tribunal many times as an expert witness. Ruzibiza's book heralds two others on the Rwandan saga. The first one, expected in November is entitled Rwanda's genocide: The politics of international justice written by Kingsley Moghalu, former spokesperson of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. It will be published by Palgrave Macmillan. "Moghalu takes us behind the scenes to the political and strategic factors that shape a path-breaking war crimes tribunal and demonstrates why the trials at Arusha, like Nuremberg, Tokyo and The Hague, are more than just prosecutions of culprits, but also politics by other means", say the publishers. Another new book also expected to be released at the end of the year is by a French journalist, Pierre Péan. It deals with the French government's involvement in the Rwandan genocide.

Somalia see Sweden

BBC 19 Oct 2005 Somali anger over Swedish arrest The biggest demonstration was in the capital, Mogadishu There have been demonstrations in Somalia's capital in protest at the arrest in Sweden of a Somali colonel. Col Abdi Qeybdid was in Sweden to attend an international conference when he was detained at the weekend for alleged involvement in war crimes. Under Swedish law, its courts can try suspects for genocide committed abroad. Col Qeybdid has been appointed as Somalia's police chief by one faction of the split government based in the capital, Mogadishu. President Abdullahi Yusuf has made Jowhar, 90km north of Mogadishu, his temporary capital as he says Mogadishu is unsafe. But the speaker of parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, has set up operations in the capital, along with former Mogadishu warlords who are now members of the new government. Angry The BBC's Hassan Barise in Mogadishu says thousands of people and heavily armed militia gathered at a parade ground to protest about the arrest on Sunday. The angry crowd was then addressed by cabinet ministers. There has been serious armed confrontations, and we can say that Abdi Qeybdid was not the worst Mohamed Ibrahim Habsadeh "The government of Sweden should release [Col Qeybdid] as soon as possible and apologise for their wrong-doing," Homeland Security Minister Mohamed Qanyareh Afrah said. Sweden would not be able to deliver justice as they don't understand Somalis "and their differences", he said. Our correspondent says the Mogadishu faction accuse their opponents in Jowhar of being behind the arrest. Another speaker, Mohamed Ibrahim Habsadeh - who controls Baidoa town, said the arrest would not help reconciliation efforts. He urged the international community to understand that many Somalis had become embroiled in the last 14 years of conflict. "There has been serious armed confrontations, and we can say that Abdi Qeybdid was not the worst," he said. Col Qeybdid was a commander of troops loyal to the late warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, who fought US American peacekeepers in Mogadishu in the early 1990s. The Jowhar-based government does not recognise Col Qeybdid as Somalia's head of police and has appointed another man, Ali Madobeh, to the role. This indicates the seriousness of the political differences between the two sides, our correspondent says. Somalia has been without a functioning national government for 14 years and a transitional parliament and government, sworn in last year, has failed to end the anarchy.

www.geeskaafrika.com 21 Oct 2005 Interview Somali Lawyer Abdiwahid, The Advocacy To Restore Freedom Djibouti (HAN) October 21, 2005 - After thorough investigation on the allegations levelled against Col. Abdi Hassan Awale, the Attorney General of the Swedish government declared on Thursday the 19 of October 2005 that there was no any credible evidence on which to charge Col. Qaybdiid, therefore he was free to go. Before that Col. Qaybdiid's Barrister in law Mr Thomas Olson spent the whole day with the Swedish Attorney General and his team and together they came to the conclusion that Col. Abdi Hassan Awale was completely innocent and must be released with immediate effect. In the campaign of advocacy to restore the freedom of Col. Abdi Qaybdiid, we believe that much credit and the fame of honour should go to the Somali canadian lawyer Abdiwahid Osman Haji ( LL.B& LL.M.). Interview with a Somali lawyer Abdiwahid Osman Haji ( LL.B& LL.M.) The Horn of African Newsline Deputy Editor (HAN) and Geeska Afrika Magazine since 1985-2005 (www.geeskaafrika.com), Dr. Abdullahi Mohammed in Djibouti spoke by phone with the Somali lawyer Abdiwahid Osman Haji, who was happy to be part of Abdi Qaybdid’s International Team in Ottawa, Canada. Q: What you know about Abdi Qaybdid’s case? A: First of all, let me thank you for this opportunity to speak with you. I am just returning from Detention hearing, and am quite tired, so I hope what I say makes some sense. I know that Mr. Abdi Qaybdid was arrested in the southern Swedish city of Lund on Monday, and immediately transferred to Gothenburg. Also, I read in the press that Helene Carlsson, Secretary to the International Prosecutor in Sweden and Mats Saellstroem said that Mr. Abdi Qaybdid is suspected of genocide. Q: You’ve mentioned Genocide, please say a little more about What is Genocide, its origins and it meaning? A: I believe that the term "genocide" was coined by Dr Raphael Lemkin Polish jurist, from the ancient Greek word genos (race or tribe) and Latin cide (killing). The real meaning of the international crime of genocide is the commission of acts that are intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. The meaning of Genocide is defined in Article II of the Genocide Convention in the following terms: ''In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.'' Article III of the Genocide Convention provides that in addition to genocide, the following ancillary crimes of genocide are also punishable: ''(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;(d) Attempt to commit genocide:(e) Complicity in genocide.'' Q: What is the likely Legal Basis of the arrest of Mr. Abdi Qaybdid by Sweden authorities? A: I think that there are two possible legal bases which Helene Carlsson, Secretary to the International Prosecutor in Sweden can use in this case. First, is the Sweden law of universal jurisdiction of 1964 and second, is the four Geneva Conventions. Taking into consideration these two points any individual living in Sweden can have recourse to Sweden criminal justice if he or she is the victim genocide crimes. Q: Could you explain more to the Somali people how the Sweden government has legal authority to arrest a Somali official or a MP of Somali parliament? A: Since, genocide and torture are crimes under international law which are subject to universal jurisdiction. The government of Sweden has legal authority to arrest under the principle of universal jurisdiction ay Somali head of government or government Ministers, Ambassadors and Somali Government official who are suspected of crime against humanity. For example, the crimes against humanity committed in Somalia or any part of the world are subject to universal jurisdiction. From the time when the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg was established, this principle has been recognized under international law which had jurisdiction over crimes against humanity regardless where they had been committed. Therefore, the Sweden government and most of European and North America government have an international duty to bring any persons suspected to genocide and crimes against humanity to justice in their national courts, to send to another country or to surrender them to an international criminal court with jurisdiction over crimes against humanity. It is very important that Somali politician understand this fundamental rule of international law that neither a President of the country, Prime Minister and a former Minister or diplomatic has immunity from criminal prosecution for crimes against humanity, whether in international or national courts. The principles articulated in the Nuremberg Charter and Judgment were recognized as international law principles by the UN General Assembly in 1946 (Resolution 95 (I)). Another significant example is that during the Siad Barre regime a lot of crimes against were committed in Northern Somalia and Southern Somalia. However, the State as abstract entity did not commit these crimes but individuals or group of individuals were responsible of these crimes. So, here what the international law punished is not the State or the Ministry or its departments but individuals or decision maker persons who committed such crimes. For instance, in the Nuremberg trail against Nazi Germany Generals who carry our order of State claimed in the Trail that they were not responsible because they were carrying order. But the tribunal stated that “In the opinion of the Tribunal, [this contention] must be rejected. . . . The authors of these acts cannot shelter themselves behind their official position in order to be freed from punishment in appropriate proceedings" .” Q: How many countries have National legislation authorizing the exercise of universal jurisdiction over crimes against humanity? A: According to information available in the internet and international human rights organization such as Amnesty International, a number of states, including Chile, have enacted legislation permitting their courts to exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes or other crimes under international law, such as torture or enforced disappearances, or they make treaty obligations to try or extradite persons suspected of such crimes directly applicable as part of their national law. These states include: • Canada: Section 7 (3.71) of the Canadian Criminal Code provides for universal jurisdiction over non-Canadians found in Canada for conduct outside Canada that constitutes a crime against humanity or a war crime if the conduct would have constituted an offence in Canada had it been committed in Canada. • Denmark: Article 8 (5) of the Danish Penal Code gives the courts jurisdiction to try those reponsible for certain crimes when Denmark is bound to do so by treaty (see Marianne Holdgaard Bukh, "Prosecution before Danish Courts of Foreigners Suspected of Serious Violations of Human Rights or Humanitarian Law", 6 Eur. Rev. Pub. L. (1994), p. 339). • France: On 6 January 1998, the Cour de Cassation held in the Weceslas Munyeshyaka case that France has universal jurisdiction under the French Law 96-432 of 22 May 1996 over genocide and crimes against humanity. • Germany: Article 6 (1) of the German Penal Code provides that German criminal law applies to acts of genocide committed abroad. Article 6 (9) of the German Penal Code provides that German criminal law applies to conduct, including conduct abroad, which Germany is obliged to prosecute under a treaty to which it is a party. • Belgian courts have universal jurisdiction over violations of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocols. • Sweden courts have universal jurisdiction over violations of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocols. • Mexico: Mexican Penal Code art. 6 offers that local courts have jurisdiction to try those crimes under international treaties imposing this obligation on Mexico. • Norway: Section 12 (4) of the Norwegian Criminal Code provides that, "Unless it is otherwise specially provided or accepted in an agreement with a foreign State, Norwegian criminal law shall be applicable to acts committed: . . . (4) abroad by a foreigner when the act either" (a) constitues murder, assault and certain other crimes under Norwegian law or (b) "is a felony also punishable according to the law of the country in which it is committed, and the offender is resident in the realm or is staying therein". • Spain: Article 65 of the 1985 Judicial Power Organic Law (Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial, Ley orgánica 6/1985) and Article 23 (4) of this law gives Spanish courts jurisdiction over other offences which international treaties require Spain to prosecute, including genocide, terrorism and where treaties require Spain to prosecute such crimes • Switzerland: Article 6bis of the Code pénal suisse gives the courts universal jurisdiction over crimes committed outside the territory which Switzerland is obliged to prosecute under a treaty, such as torture. • Venezuela: The Venezuelan Penal Code (Article 4 (9)) provides that courts have jurisdiction to try and punish crimes against humanity committed abroad, by nationals or foreigners, when they are in Venezuelan territory. • Italy: Article 8 of the Italian Criminal Code provides that courts have jurisdiction to try and punish crimes against humanity committed in another country. Any Somalis heads of state and government officials are not immune from criminal prosecution for crimes against humanity can be arrested in these countries and in others that I did not included if they travel to. Q: Tell me about your opinion about this case? A: This is case is a dangerous and historical precedent for all Somali new and former politicians who are traveling around the world. It’s the allegation against Mr. Abdi Qaybdid are true is a historical precedent that will stop the culture of impunity in our country. But if the allegation are politically motivated and the accusation against Mr. Abdi Qaybdid are groundless and unsubstantiated it will set a dangerous precedent. Q: But as a Somali-international lawyer tell me your personal opinion about the evidence against Mr. Abdi Qaybdid? A: The case is a “misuse” of the universal jurisdiction law. Considering the circumstance, I assume that the accusations against Mr. Abdi Qaybdid are not real but a cover up of highly clan-based sensitive objective which Sweden will have difficulty to understand. This is dangerous precedent for some innocent politicians since some Somalis will ask why my clan leader is on trial in that country, but not the other clan leaders. Therefore, if this happen to Mr. Abdi Qaybdid it will happen to Abdullahi Yusuf, Riyale, to all Somali warlords and regional authorities and other political leaders who are participating in government summits and conference around the world. Then, will be Showtime, for every clan-Diaspora to accuse other clan leader for crime against humanity for some reasons. So the outcome will not be to achieve accountability and justice for the real Somali victims but it will revolutionize to clan race to accuse other clan and will be called the “international criminal war of Somali clan in Dispaora.” Although , I did not believe, some people think that this is not nothing more than a “political show arrest” planned by some Somali clan on behalf of some interest group in order to undermine the achievement of Somali Speaker of Parliament Hon. Sharif Hassan and justify that the leader of Mogadishu are warmongers. Q: Why you think that this case is groundless? A: According to reliable source until today: ? The Police of Sweden have no found decisive and fundamental evidence that either Mr. Abdi Qaybdid had a direct role in any massacre or genocide than video and indirect victim affidavits. ? The vagueness of the charge of genocide by Sweden Police indicates the absence of any independent witnesses. ? There is no single evidence that United Nations or the European Union have sent an investigating team to Somalia fro the last 15 years which endorsed these victims’s version of events as proof of a “crime against humanity” committed by Mr. Abdi Qaybdid or on his orders. ? There are no forensic investigations that support the victims claim. ? To date, the Police has had no success in identifying an occasion in which Mr. Abdi Qaybdid himself can be shown to have authorized or sanctioned any of the atrocities claimed, which are mostly attributed to irregular Somali militias that were not under his command. Q: As a lawyer who has some expertise in the filed of international law how could win a case like this? What is your way out on this case? A: First of all I would like to point out that I am not protecting Mr. Abdi Qaybdid for any reason and I do not know him personally nor his family. My opinion is not bias nor is political motivated. I am defense lawyer who has international law expertise. I believe that, accused persons are presumed innocent until proved guilty and the rights of the accused are on an equal footing with those of the victim. My job is to represent the interests of any accused in a courtroom and assists other persons entitled to legal assistance under national and international law in particular person like Mr. Abdi Qaybdid who is questioned by the Police where there are grounds to believe that he has have committed a crime against humanity. The Sweden Police’s aim is to protect the fundamental human rights of victims and the administration of justice but this can be only achieved if Mr. Abdi Qaybdid is giving an equal opportunity to prove or disprove allegations against him in a fair and justifiable manner. First as international lawyer and Somali expert to win this case: 1. I will review victims and witnesses and record their statements, collect evidence and conduct on-site investigations; copies of the supporting material which accompanied the indictment when arrest was executed; well as all prior statements obtained by the Prosecutor from the accused or from prosecution witnesses. 2. I will inspect any documents, photographs and tangible objects in control of the Sweden Police which are intended for use by the Police as evidence at trial or were obtained from or belonged to the accused. 3. will seek, the assistance of any State authority and individual concerned, as well as of any relevant international body including the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to prove that Mr. Abdi Qaybdid has not previous international criminal record 4. I will ask the Prosecutor to withdraw his arrest against Mr. Abdi Qaybdid until the investigation is complete and found sufficient evidences. 5. I will file an affidavit in the Sweden Court from 50 to 100-Somalis which basically saying there is a political or clan motivated conspiracy to accuse Mr. Abdi Qaybdid to genocide 6. I will file preliminary Motions at Sweden courts: a. Motion of objections based on lack of jurisdiction; b. Motion objections based on defects in the form of the arrest; c. Motion for the exclusion of evidence obtained from the victims which are not authenticated or originals or has probative value Q: Are you willing to represent Mr. Abdi Qaybdid? A: Yes, if I receive authorizations from his family members to represent him and be part of his defense team. In the special case of Mr. Abdi Qaybdid we need two local lawyers and two international lawyers which I can be one of them. Q: Are you willing to represent any Somali who accused of war crime? A: Of course, this is my field of expertise. HAN Note: If you would like to communicate and contact: Abdiwahid Osman Haji ( LL.B; LL.M) Weekes Law Office, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2H4 Tel. 613-321-2027, Fax 613-321-2023 osmansomalilawyer@rogers.com


NYT 18, 2005 Chaos Grows in Darfur Conflict as Militias Turn on Government By MARC LACEY ZAM ZAM, Sudan, Oct. 17 - The outlaws who rode into Geneina on camelback one recent afternoon represent the latest grim chapter in the desert war in western Sudan. Janjaweed militias have focused their wrath on innocent villagers for most of the two and a half years of the conflict in the Darfur region. But on Sept. 18, in a scene that aid workers described as something out of a Hollywood western, the militiamen surrounded the police station along Sudan's border with Chad, roughed up the chief and freed several of their members from jail. The fact that militias trained and armed by the government are now emboldened enough to turn their guns on the government is a sign of trouble. It was government support of the janjaweed at the outset that ignited the fighting in Darfur that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced two million villagers. The standoff in Geneina, which together with other incidents prompted the United Nations to evacuate many of its personnel, is part of an overall deterioration in Darfur. The conflict has grown even more confused and chaotic in recent months. Now, rebels fight other rebels, the ties between some janjaweed fighters and the government have frayed, and the African Union troops charged with quelling the conflict find themselves targets as well. "Darfur is no longer under control," said Eltayeb Hag Ateya, head of the Peace Studies Institute at the University of Khartoum. "It's not just the government against the rebels anymore. There's this armed group and that armed group. It's getting more complicated by the day." The war here was never a straightforward one. It was part Arab versus African, part government versus rebel, part nomad versus farmer. But two rebel forces have now grown to five or more, with some fighters from neighboring Chad adding to what one aid worker in Darfur called "a cocktail of armed actors." Some janjaweed fighters have put on government uniforms. Others maraud through the countryside taking orders from no one. With peace talks at a critical stage, the number of fighting forces jockeying for power seems to grow by the day. Zam Zam, a former village in northern Darfur that has been transformed into a sprawling camp of people on the run from war, is one place that illustrates the new Darfur. Things in Darfur can be deceptively calm at times - until hundreds of men on camelback come loping through the sand with their guns blazing. Or until rebels leap out from their cover in a surprise attack on government troops. Or until a government aircraft swoops in low. Darfur's war began when two rebel groups opened attacks on the government in early 2003, accusing it of ignoring African tribes of Darfur. The Islamist government struck back, enlisting the aid of Darfur's Arab tribes. The militias destroyed hundreds of villages throughout Darfur, raping and pillaging as they sought to root out rebels and punish sympathizers. Zam Zam, created in 2003, grew into one of Darfur's largest camps for internally displaced people. It has always been an insecure place, situated strategically near government and rebel strongholds. But something happened earlier this year that gave aid workers hope that Darfur might be changing for the better. The population of the camp, which has crept higher and higher since the fighting started, finally began to drop. In May and June, hundreds and then thousands of people in Zam Zam and other camps around Darfur began returning home to cultivate their crops, a sign that normal life was returning to this desperate place. But the hopeful signs did not last long. Just last month, after the villagers had hoed their plots and planted their vegetables and groundnuts and other crops, the militias attacked again. "They came with cars, with horses and with camels," said Ali Mohamed Fadu, a sheik from Jabein, a village that was overrun on Sept. 17 for the second time in two years. "They all had guns, and they shot at us and killed some of us." The accounts offered by villagers are remarkably similar to the ones heard at the start of the conflict, when people across Darfur were terrorized in attacks that the United States government said amounted to genocide. With villagers on the run again, the population of Zam Zam is back on the rise, with thousands of new arrivals in the past three weeks. Ismail Abduraman, 25, lost his father, who was a shopkeeper, in the recent attacks. After robbing him and shooting him, the militiamen looted his shop. In all the confusion, Mr. Abduraman became separated from 17 of his brothers and sisters. While most people in Darfur contend that the countryside is far too dangerous for them these days, Mr. Abduraman is planning to return in search of his missing family members. He plans to take a donkey along and walk seven hours to the west, across the scorching sand. "I have to go," he said. "I can't just sit here when my family is out there. My father would go, but he can't. I'm the elder now." Farther east, in Tawila, the situation is similarly grim. African villagers congregate on the south side of the main road together with some fighters from the Sudan Liberation Army, the main rebel movement in Darfur. To the north is a police station where many of the officers are former militia fighters. It is an explosive mix that has led to a series of shooting incidents in recent weeks. Terrified people from the area now huddle next to the African Union camp overlooking the town. But the African soldiers are hamstrung by their rules of engagement, their lack of equipment and their inexperience in the field. When the police recently raided Tawila, shooting at suspected rebels and burning structures in the market, African Union soldiers watched from their hilltop perch but did not intervene. It is impossible for them, however, to remain entirely on the sidelines. An African Union convoy was ambushed on Oct. 8 in the Khorabashi area in South Darfur. During an exchange of fire, four Nigerian soldiers and two civilian contractors were killed. A day later, a renegade group of rebels abducted 38 African Union soldiers in the border town of Tine, warning the African Union not to tread in its territory. The soldiers were rescued after a battle between rival factions of the Justice and Equality Movement, which is one of the rebel groups opposed to the Sudanese government in Darfur. Baba Gana Kingibe, the African Union's special representative in Sudan, said recently that there was "neither good faith nor commitment on the part of any of the parties." Perhaps the most horrifying incident in the new Darfur occurred along the Chadian border at the Aro Sharow camp. On Sept. 28, several hundred janjaweed fighters raided the camp, killing 35 people and wounding 10 more. Most attacks occur for a reason here, and this one is believed to be tied to the killing of a janjaweed leader's children days before or, in another version, the theft of hundreds of camels from Arab tribesmen by rebel fighters. If there is a hopeful sign in Darfur, it is this: Violence typically spikes in such conflicts when peace talks reach a critical phase. The negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, are in their sixth round, bogged down but not broken. The recent brutalities are seen as efforts by various fighting forces in Darfur to win a seat at the table or at least get access to some of the spoils. But with the reality on the ground so grim, the traumatized people of Darfur seem to be growing almost numb. As Mr. Abduraman set off from the relative safety of the Zam Zam camp to the lawless interior, he had no weapon, little food and no real plan. He said he left his fate to God. "If the janjaweed find me, they will kill me," he said matter-of-factly as he crouched in the sand. "I will join my father."

SUDAN: Darfur nomads face adversity in isolation [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Derk Segaar/IRIN Mahmud Mohammed Masar, leader of the Riziegat Jalul clan near Eid El Nabak, North Darfur. KABKABIYA, 19 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Still energetic at the age of 65, Mahmud Mohamed Masar guides a small herd of camels across a windswept plain near Eid El Nabak. Although life had always been difficult for his clan, it has never been as hard as in the past two years, when he lost three sons and 10 relatives. Mohamed Masar is a clan leader of the 10,000-strong Riziegat-Jalul Arab nomadic community. They had temporarily set up camp approximately 40 km east of Kabkabiya town in North Darfur, where the scattered ruins of villages bear witness to the destruction that took place in this region. As large numbers of villages were levelled or abandoned in a government-led campaign that started in 2003, the region's economy was destroyed, markets were closed and nomads were cut off from their traditional sources of food and medical assistance. "Since the war, we lost many of our people and a lot of animals. We also lost our clinics and markets," explained Mohamed Masar. Agricultural communities of African descent, such as the Fur, also fled the countryside. While these groups found a certain measure of relief from humanitarian agencies in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the main towns, most nomadic communities stayed out in the field, fending for themselves in a highly volatile and insecure environment. Due to the increasingly polarised political atmosphere, many of Darfur's residents equate Arab nomads with the notorious "Janjawid" - government-allied militiamen who have been accused of terrorising the region's non-Arab tribes. As a result, nomads - which make up an estimated 20 percent of Darfur’s 6 million population - rarely come to IDP camps to ask for assistance. Besides being reluctant to give up their lifestyle and freedom, they fear being lynched by the predominantly African IDP community. Around Kabkabiya, the majority of nomads consider themselves members of the Riziegat ethnic community - one of the larger groups of Arab pastoralists in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. The Riziegat are comprised of smaller groups or sections - the Maharia, Jalul and Aregat. Each of these sections consists of a number of clans that typically contain between 150 and 200 families, numbering between 10 and 15 people each. When the nomads are on the move, a group of families usually travels together under the direction of a clan leader. "Why has the international community been giving the Fur oil and food and clothing for three years, and nothing to us?" asked Umsabal Adam Bashir, a 35-year old Aregat woman sitting in front of her tent near Eid El Nabak and tending to four of her children. "We might be hard to find, and we are on the move, but there are many of us and we suffer." Diseases take their toll Umsabal Adam Bashir, a 35-year old woman near Eid El Nabak, North Darfur. Izzedine Zeroual, a health officer for the UN's Children's Fund (UNICEF) in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State, said that nomadic leaders claimed they had lost up to 30 percent of their community through disease and violence since the war began. He noted that between June 2004 and October 2005 in North Darfur alone outbreaks of polio, measles, whooping cough, hepatitis E, jaundice, bloody diarrhoea, as well as the most virulent form of meningitis, W-135, had been recorded. "We don't have any data on how these outbreaks affected the nomadic communities, but they didn't have access to immunisation for four years and 14 clinics in the Kabkabiya area were destroyed during the conflict. I'm sure many of them died," Zeroual said. The spread of parasites at the beginning of 2005, he added, also had depleted livestock herds. A substantial number of camels had died, as no veterinary support was available. "The most important issue now is medicines -- both for our people and our animals," urged Jalul clan leader Mohamed Masar. He estimated that around 10 percent of his clan had died since the beginning of the war, while 20 percent had lost all their animals. "Between 300 and 400 children died from diseases over the past two years -- much more than before the war," he added. "There are no clinics now and doctors don't come to our camps anymore to sell medicines." Umsabal Adam Bashir added: "Every month, two or three women die in childbirth." In a Maharia community of 7,000 people in Fagu, 30 km north of Kabkabiya, Fatima Assad reported that more than 20 women had died in childbirth in 2005. Around 70 children had succumbed to preventable diseases, such as malaria and hasba fever. The semi-nomadic Maharia lost most of their animals and became IDPs after their hometown of Gerer, 50 km north of Kutum, was destroyed during a fight between the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and government forces in June 2003. "We used to have a hospital, but it was destroyed, together with a school, a mosque and around 500 houses," explained Assad, a local teacher. An aid worker said that the problem of the Janjawid had discouraged many humanitarian agencies from operating in nomadic areas. "They don't go to these areas for security reasons and because of the reputation of the Janjawid in the region. People confuse the nomads with the Janjawid. They are considered the same -- the same entity -- but they're not," he noted. "When UNICEF started its Darfur emergency campaign in November 2003, our priority was to bring relief assistance to the IDPs who had fled their villages, had lost everything, and were stranded around the main towns," Zeroual explained. Following a measles vaccination campaign in June 2004, however, humanitarian agencies realised there was a big gap in coverage, since the areas controlled by the rebel SLM/A were inaccessible to the Sudanese health ministry. "In North Darfur, 30 percent of children under five live in SLM/A areas, so we started to establish primary healthcare facilities in areas under rebel control to bridge the gap," Zeroual said. "In what you could call the third [humanitarian assistance] phase, NGOs have brought it to our attention that the nomadic communities had no access to health services in either IDP camps or SLM/A areas. We have now started a programme that is targeting them," he added. By supporting a local nomadic NGO, El Masar, UNICEF’s first mobile clinics had been set up to provide medical assistance to pastoral communities. "It's a learning process for us, too. We have to learn their habits, their specific needs and diseases. We need to better understand them," Zeroual noted. Chronic insecurity A group of Riziegat Aregat nomads east of Kabkabiya, North Darfur. In addition to being cut off from most sources of income and support, many nomads live in constant fear of being attacked by SLM/A rebels -- called Tora Bora by the nomads -- who could mistake them for the Janjawid. "Since the beginning of the war we have been attacked more than 20 times," Umsabal Adam Bashir said. "We are afraid of the Tora Bora. They can attack us any time. We feel as if we are in prison." In Eid El Nabak, few people had been spared considerable losses over the last two years. Abdul Hamar Matar's 19-year-old daughter was killed during a raid when 26 of his cows were taken. Jajah Ahmud lost his brother and two uncles while 200 camels were stolen. Al Haq Mohamed Tahl's brother was also killed when bandits took his 55 camels. "Over 200 of our people - mostly women and children - have died [of disease] since the beginning of the war and we lost around 300 to violence," said Abdul Abasar Soror, wakir or deputy chief of the Riziegat-Aregat, whose community numbers between 7,000 and 8,000 nomads. "Ninety percent of North Darfur, especially the countryside, is controlled by the SLM/A," a local observer noted, "so there is very little freedom for nomads to move around and they are frequently being attacked." Soror indicated that there were many reasons why the SLM/A attacked nomadic communities so often: "They take our animals to feed their war and they clear us from the land so that they can control it." "They also see us as the Janjawid, as killers, rapists and people who abduct women and children," he continued. "And we are seen as supporters of the government and are therefore denied access to grazing grounds and water, which leads to fighting. "We have groups of young people who take care of the defence of our community," Soror added. "We don't depend on the government. We have our guns to protect ourselves." He stressed, however, that there was no relation between the nomadic defence groups and the Janjawid, as the latter were mere bandits who attacked farmers and nomads, alike. "The Aregat have been attacked by the Janjawid many times. They are thieves. They don't differentiate between the tribes. When they see the opportunity to steal, they will," he said. Soror did acknowledge, however, that some Aregat youth had joined the Sudanese armed forces and could have been engaged in military operations in the region. "We must move south for our camels. We will try not to come too close to the Tora Bora, but we are concerned. If we feel an area is unsafe, we come closer together and move in a big group, while giving more attention to defence," Soror explained. The local observer pointed out that nomads were often forced into a fight. "When you touch their animals, you touch them. When they get attacked, they will put up a fierce fight," he noted. "Most of us are fully nomadic," Soror added. "We move all our people, including old men, women and children. That's why we are afraid of war, because when war happens, we will lose all our family." Hoping for peace According to the local observer, any solution to the conflict in Darfur - from the nomadic perspective - has to include an agreement on designated north-south migration corridors, the opportunity for semi-nomadic groups to have some sort of homeland with basic services, and sustained reconciliation efforts to restore the trust between nomadic and farming communities. "The Fur and Zaghawa have been trying to push us off the land since 2000 by closing areas, building farms and blocking us from moving our animals from the north to the south," Mohamed Masar complained. "We just want water and grass." UNICEF doctor Zeroual found that a number of Fur agricultural communities were still living in and cultivating nomad-dominated areas around Kabkabiya. "They have known the people [the nomads] for a long time. They knew each other from previous migrations and agreed among themselves that there would be peace," Zeroual noted. The local observer acknowledged that although this was true in certain cases, it also occured that such local deals were involuntary and included the understanding that agricultural communities had to pay for their protection. "We are afraid of this tough life. We are moving all the time and there is no education for us or our children," Umsabal Adam Bashir said. Before the war the many nomadic women and children would stay in one place while the men migrated with their camels. "We would cultivate millet and share markets, schools and clinics with the Fur villages," Adam Bashir added. Mohamed Masar agreed that relations between the Jalul and the Fur had been good before the war. "When we meet in the market [of Kabkabiya], everything is normal. We talk and eat together," he explained. "But if we ask them to come back, they say they don't trust the situation. There is no peace. "We would be very happy if the Fur would return to their villages, because we miss them. We miss our cooperation," he said. "I hope that we can sit together with other tribes and no longer differentiate between Fur and Zaghawa and nomads and Africans and Arabs," the clan leader noted.

South Africa

13 October 2005, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Seizure order on SA white farm Mr Visser bought the farm in 1968 South Africa is for the first time forcing a white farmer to sell his land under a redistribution plan. The government served an expropriation order on Hannes Visser. The move came after failed talks between Mr Visser and the Land Claims Commission, set up to return to black people land they lost under apartheid. Mr Visser said he would challenge the decision in court. The government says it wants to hand over about a third of white-owned farm land by 2014. But progress has been slow, as the policy until now, has meant that both the seller and buyer have to agree on the terms, the BBC's Peter Biles in Johannesburg says. Protracted negotiations Mr Visser has the 500-hectare (1,250-acre) cattle and crop farm in Lichtenburg in North West province. South Africa's landless have been calling for swifter land reform His family bought it in 1968, but a black family has lodged a claim to the property dating back to the 1940s. Over the past two-and-a-half years, Mr Visser and the Land Claims Commission have been trying to negotiate, but failed to agree on the value of the property. The government had offered to buy the farm for $275,000 but Mr Visser says it is worth almost twice as much. Mr Visser now has 21 days to respond to the notice of expropriation. In the 11 years since the end of apartheid, less than 4% of farmland has been transferred from white to black ownership, he says.

Sudan See Canada

Reuters17 Oct 2005 Darfur rebel SLA call unity meeting to mend splitsBy Opheera McDoom KHARTOUM, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Field commanders from Darfur's main rebel group, dogged by splits that are hampering peace efforts, said on Monday they have called a unity meeting to resolve differences within the ranks. Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, head of the Sudan Liberation Army's (SLA) conference organising committee, said all SLA leaders had been invited to the Oct. 25 conference. But some on the ground were doubtful all the leadership would attend. "All our members and leaders from all over the world have been invited for the conference," he told Reuters from Darfur. Ibrahim declined to say where the conference would be held for security reasons, but sources said it was likely to be in South Darfur state. African Union-mediated peace talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja have faltered because of splits in the rebel ranks and renewed fighting on the ground, despite a ceasefire signed in April last year. Ibrahim said the conference would decide a joint policy going forward for the movement. SLA President Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur has differed with Secretary-General Minni Arcua Minnawi on key issues, including mediation and control of ground troops. Minnawi in Darfur has command of the military side of the movement while Nur has been more of a political leader acting outside the region. The two have rarely presented a united front and some field commanders said this had to change. SLA member Abdallah Idriss in South Darfur said: "We haven't seen our president for two years. We want to see him, to talk to him," he told Reuters. Minnawi is in Darfur and Nur is in Abuja at the talks. "We don't have any administration for our forces and Abdel Wahed says things we don't like and we want to know why," said one commander in Darfur. "Abdel Wahed is saying he won't come because only he can organise a conference," he said, on condition of anonymity. Ibrahim played down the differences in the leadership: "We hope that they will all come - they all have invites," he said. Non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing Khartoum of neglect and of monopolising power and wealth. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than 2 million forced from their homes during the fighting. The International Criminal Court is investigating suspected war crimes committed during the revolt. Top U.N. envoy in Sudan, Jan Pronk, said he would welcome the conference to help unite the rebels. Ibrahim said observers from the U.N., the AU, neighbouring Chad, Egypt and Libya, and the United States and Europe had been invited.

allAfrica.com NEWS October 17, 2005 Posted to the web October 17, 2005 Powell Says The World Has Not Fully Faced Darfur Genocide in Sudan By Gaddiel Baah Washington, DC Violence in the Sudanese region of Darfur continues to be "a situation that the world has not fully faced," former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday night as he was presented an award for "distinguished humanitarian service" at the annual Africare dinner in Washington, DC. "Last year, I called it what it was - genocide - and that was the correct term for what was going on," he said. "It is time now for the rebels and the government to end this tragedy and negotiate the peace." It is estimated that between 70,000 and 400,000 people have died due to violence, starvation and disease in Darfur, and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced. He called the peace accord that ended decades of civil war between the north and south in Sudan "one of the proudest moments of my career," and said the Darfur situation should not be allowed to unravel that accomplishment. The dinner, which is the largest Africa-related fund raising event held in the United States, this year celebrated the 35th anniversary of Africare, a private aid and development organization active in 26 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Past recipients of the humanitarian award, which is named for the late Bishop John T. Walker, the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington who chaired the Africare board for 15 years, include Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, James Wolfensohn, Graca Machel, Dorothy I. Height, Harry Belafonte and Bill and Melinda Gates. Last year, Africare honored Richard Lugar, Republican Senator from Indiana, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and Donald Payne from New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Africa and International Human Rights and point person on Africa for the Congressional Black Caucus. The citation accompanying the Humanitarian Service Award praised Powell for "outstanding contributions in the arena of international relations, his exhaustive efforts to facilitate world peace and his commitment to alleviating human suffering throughout the globe". Powell, who served as Secretary of State during President Bush's first term, was cited for demonstrating concern for the oppressed in Africa, including those suffering from HIV/Aids and for making Africa a U.S. foreign policy priority. In his speech, Powell said he was proud that U.S. aid to the rest of the world more than doubled between 2001 and 2005, when he was Secretary of State. He however pointed out "that the United States can do better and must do better". He congratulated Liberia for the recently held elections, comparing a violent, war-torn Monrovia of two years ago to today with "people marching peacefully to vote, no child soldiers, no guns". He expressed his satisfaction with the United States role in ousting former President Charles Taylor. The former Secretary of State, who is also a retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, said African leaders "should speak out against injustice when they see it", saying that "bad policy is bad policy" and condemning the "failed leadership" of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. "Africa needs the rule of law," he said. "It needs aid. It needs trade. It needs investment. Africa needs our help in order for it to help itself." To take full advantage of development assistance initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Account, debt relief, and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, he said: "The countries of Africa must face reality, must open up. They must end conflict, they must respect the rights of their citizens, they must practice democracy, they must believe in the rule of law. They are the countries that will prosper. Countries that don't will find themselves increasingly left behind." Paying tribute to Africare's achievements in promoting African development, Powell said: "We have our work cut out for us to make sure that the kinds of transformations that have taken place around the world take place in Africa, and at the forefront of this effort, as it has been for the past 35 years, will be Africare."

washingtontimes.com 17 Oct 2005 Editorials/Op-Ed United Nations uselessness By Nat Hentoff October 17, 2005 The chief of mission for Sudan in Washington, Ambassador Khidir Haroun Ahmed, assures the world in a Sept. 28 Op-Ed in The Washington Times that since "Every reliable report coming our of Darfur indicates that the situation has stabilized and the mortality rate has returned to pre-war levels," at last there is "the beginning of a new era in Sudan." Despite this exercise in public relations, the facts on the ground in Darfur are savagely different. On Sept. 28, the Associated Press, reporting on the increasing violence in Darfur, also directed at humanitarian operations, quoted Jan Egeland, undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator: "If it continues to be so dangerous on humanitarian work, we may not be able to sustain our operation for 2.5 million people requiring lifesaving assistance... It could all end tomorrow; it's as serious as that." (There are currently no plans for the United Nations to leave, but there is much concern that Darfur is sliding into chaos). Opponents of the Khartoum governmentperpetrate some of the violence; but the chief perpetrators are the savage Arab militia, the Janjaweed,supported by and often in company with the armed forces of the Khartoum government. The African Union, with 7,000 troops in Darfur, has been courageously trying to stabilize the continuing genocide (as George W. Bush once accurately called it). But on Oct. 1, there was a denunciation of the Sudan government by Baba Gana Kingibe, the African Union's special representative to Sudan. Mr. Kingibe told the Associated Press that "Government forces have 'resorted to violent, destructive and overwhelming use of force, not only against rebel forces, but also on innocent civilian villages.' " The Khartoum government has, of course, denied his charges, as it continually denies that it has any operational connection with the Janjaweed, who destroy villages, and, after they murder their husbands, gang rape the women. Buried in the Oct. 2 New York Times, which, aside from its invaluable columnist Nicholas Kristof, has not paid much continuing attention to Darfur, there was this Reuters report, datelined Khartoum: "The African Union accused the Sudanese government on Saturday of coordinating with Arab militias (the dread Janjaweed) in attacks on civilians in the Darfur region, and it said all sides in the conflict were violating cease-fire agreements." Also, with regard to what Khartoum calls the "new era" in Sudan, on Oct. 3, the Sudan Tribune Web site (www.sudantribune.com), with Khartoum as the dateline, disclosed: "Laurens Jolles, head of the mission for the U.N. refugee agency in Darfur, said 34 men have been killed in raids carried out by 250 to 300 Arabs against the Aro Sharow camp for displaced people in West Darfur." (Again, the murderous Janjaweed.) Meanwhile, an Oct. 3 Reuters dispatch from Khartoum emphasized, from a source in the AU, that "a summit of the 53-nation African Union scheduled to be hosted by (the government of) Sudan in January could be changed to another venue as a form of protest (of the continuing violence in Darfur) from around the continent." The African Union is so troubled that it has sent its deputy chairman, Patrick Mazimhaka, to Khartoum.SaidAU spokesman Adam Thiam to Reuters: "He is going to express the concern of the pan-African organization in the light of the recent development in Darfur and demand explanations over recent attacks on villages and refugee camps in Darfur in which 32 people were killed." (The United States supported the AU's decision to investigate the attacks.) Furthermore, as attacks on humanitarian organizations in Darfur also continue, Eric Reeves, the most authoritative continuing analyst on Darfur, pointed out on Oct. 1: "If humanitarian personnel are forced to withdraw on an emergency basis, there will be immediate and devastating consequences for the provision of food, medicine, water, shelter and the security that has derived simply from the presence of humanitarian workers. Any restarting of humanitarian operations would be extraordinarily difficult and slow-moving." On Oct. 4, during National Public Radio's "News and Notes" with Ed Gordon, Professor Nat Irvin of Wake Forest University recalled "how far we have come from last September when then-Secretary Colin Powell had given a speech about the very positive prospects for peace to actually occur in the Sudan.... now here we are faced with having to reiterate the saying of 'Never again' (as world leaders who allowed the genocide in Rwanda said so piously so late.) But Sudan's chief of mission in Washington, Khidir Haroun Ahmed, heralding Sudan's "optimistic future," charges that "some observers fail or refuse to see things as they are." Things as terrifying as they are in Darfur have once more exposed the uselessness of the United Nations in ongoing genocide and the absence of a new coalition of willing democratic nations, including the United States, to support the African Union more substantively because the AU cannot stop the killing without such help.

Reuters 3 Oct 2005 As Sudan denies Darfur attacks, AU ups pressure Monday 3 October 2005 19:45. Printer-Friendly version Send this article to a friend Destinator : (enter destinator's email address) From (enter your name) (enter your email) Oct 3, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese army on Monday rejected African Union accusations that it had coordinated attacks on civilians with Arab militia in Darfur in the past week. Baba Gana Kingibe (R), African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) chief, speaks to reporters in Khartoum, Oct 1, 2005. (AFP).But the pan-African body stepped up its diplomatic pressure by sending a top official to Khartoum to express concern. An African diplomat suggested a summit of the 53-nation AU scheduled to be hosted by Sudan in January could be changed to another venue as a form of protest from around the continent. Despite spiralling violence in recent weeks, AU mediators and delegates agreed on Monday to press ahead with Darfur peace talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Tens of thousands have been killed during the 2-1/2 year-old revolt in Sudan’s remote west and more than 2 million have fled their homes during a campaign of widespread rape, killing and burning of villages rebels blame on pro-government militias. A Sudanese army spokesman said the AU reports of coordinated attacks were based on comments from aid agency officials in Darfur and were unreliable. He also denied reports any helicopter gunships had been used in attacks in recent days. "We vigorously refute the comments from ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe," the spokesman said, reading from an army statement. There was no immediate reaction from the aid agencies that have more than 10,000 workers operating in Darfur. Kingibe, head of the AU mission monitoring a shaky ceasefire, told reporters on Saturday government helicopters had been seen flying in areas attacked. He said it "gave credence" to accusations by rebel groups of collusion between Sudanese forces and the Arab militias known as Janjaweed. "We say to the African Union, who are monitoring the region, that after Sept. 21 we have not used any helicopters at all," the army spokesman countered. "This was the last date a helicopter was used and this was during the events of Shearia." REBEL ATTACK Rebel forces attacked the government garrison town of Shearia in South Darfur last month, prompting retaliation by militias and the government in the past week. At AU headquarters in Ethiopia, spokesman Adam Thiam said it was sending deputy chairman Patrick Mazimhaka to Khartoum. "He is going to express the concern of the pan-African organisation in light of the recent development in Darfur and demand explanation over recent attacks on villages and refugee camps in Darfur in which 32 people were killed," he said. An African diplomat in Addis Ababa, who declined to be named, told Reuters the Khartoum summit was in the balance. "It is possible that many African countries, angered by the bombing of civilians sheltered at refugee camps, may ask the AU to seek another venue," he said. In his weekend comments, Kingibe said both government and rebels were breaking a ceasefire in the vast area, the size of France, despite peace talks in Abuja. The army spokesman said it was rebels who had targeted civilians in Darfur and the army was defending them. Darfur rebels accuse the central government of neglect and of monopolising wealth and power. Peace talks have been hindered by continued fighting on the ground and the International Criminal Court is investigating alleged war crimes in the region. But AU chief mediator Salim Ahmed Salim told delegates at their first face-to-face meeting in Abuja since the talks resumed on Sept. 15 that detailed negotiations on power-sharing and other issued would proceed. "The efforts will continue ...," he said. The AU has almost 6,000 forces deployed in Darfur. .

IRIN 21 Oct 2005 Annan calls for international action over Darfur conflict [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © UN UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. NAIROBI, 21 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The escalation of violence in Sudan's western region of Darfur may threaten peace negotiations in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, and the international community needs to apply concerted pressure to reach a successful outcome, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his latest report on the strife-torn region. "The frequency and intensity of the violence committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Popular Defence Forces, government-aligned tribal militia and the armed movements - including in particular the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army [SLM/A] - reached levels unseen since January 2005," Annan said in the report to the UN Security Council. "Because of the urgency of the present situation, the international community's efforts must be immediate, coordinated and determined," he said. He urged the international community to put "decisive and concerted pressure on the parties" to the conflict. The sixth round of African Union-mediated talks, which adjourned on Thursday until 21 November, were hampered by the escalation of violence in the region, divisions among the rebel leadership and deteriorating relations between Sudan and the AU. The government's record was troubling "because of the evidence that its forces triggered some of the incidents, and because there are clear indications that, in many cases, the tribal militia operated with enabling support from the government," Annan said. He added that the SLM/A also instigated a significant number of attacks and shared some responsibility for the deterioration in security. The AU also expressed its concern regarding the worsening security situation on Thursday as it renewed its mandate to monitor the ceasefire between the rebels and government forces until 20 January 2006. Five Nigerian peacekeepers were killed in an attack blamed on commanders of a dissident faction of the military wing of the SLM/A, which initially opposed the dialogue. During the closing ceremony of the Abuja peace talks AU Special Envoy and Chief Mediator Salim Ahmed Salim acknowledged that only modest progress had been made during the latest round of negotiations. In an AU statement, he reiterated his commitment to make the next round a decisive one and expressed his intention to undertake extensive consultations with all the stakeholders prior to the resumption of the negotiations in November. Although three negotiating commissions discussed power sharing, wealth sharing and security arrangements, much of the progress was made on technical and procedural points rather than substantive issues. On power sharing, the parties reached agreement on human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as on criteria and guidelines for power sharing. They also agreed upon a 10-point agenda for discussions on wealth sharing during the next round of talks. Consultations on the issue of security arrangements were informal. In a statement, the parties to the conflict - the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups, the SLM/A and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) - reaffirmed their determination to use the intervening period between the sixth and seventh round, to consult widely with their various constituencies in order to resolve internal disputes and be better prepared for the final phase of the negotiations. Abdul Waheed Al-Nur, chairman of the SLM/A, acknowledged that his rebel group had internal problems and apologised for the difficulties it had inflicted on the peace process. "We shall not bring our internal problems to the negotiating table again," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a German news agency, quoted him as saying. The parties also expressed their readiness to address the outstanding problems that had undermined the pace of the negotiations during the last round of talks. Foreign Minister Lam Akol said the next round of peace discussions would include members of the southern Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and a new joint government position, Reuters news agency reported. Akol, a southerner, was appointed as part of a new coalition government between Khartoum's ruling National Congress Party and the former rebel SPLM/A. "This is a crucial moment for Darfur and no time must be lost," Annan said. The Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 when the two main rebel groups, the SLM/A and the JEM, took up arms to fight what they called the discrimination and oppression of the region by the Sudanese government. The government is accused of unleashing militia - known as the Janjawid - on civilians in an attempt to quash the rebellion. Some 3.3 million people continue to be affected by the conflict, according to the UN, of whom 1.8 million have been internally displaced and 200,000 have fled to neighbouring Chad.

Tanzania - ICTR

AP 24 Oct2005 Alleged Head of Rwandan Genocide Testifies By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 7:56 a.m. ET ARUSHA, Tanzania (AP) -- The alleged mastermind of Rwanda's 1994 genocide began his testimony Monday at the U.N. tribunal trying those accused of leading the 100-day slaughter of 500,000 people in the central African nation. ''The accusation that I masterminded the genocide is malicious and meant to ruin my name,'' Col. Theoneste Bagosora, the 64-year-old former director of Rwanda's Ministry of Defense told the tribunal. ''I am challenging the theory that I masterminded the killings. I want the posterity to know what is the truth of the 1994 genocide.'' Bagosora and Brig. Gen. Gratien Kabiligi, Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva and Maj. Aloys Ntabakuze, all former officers in the Rwandan army being tried together, have pleaded innocent to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Bagosora has been charged separately with masterminding the massacres. The trial of the four began in April 2002. Tribunal officials hope it will reveal the military's complicity in the genocide, as well as the planning behind the slaughter. Prosecutors allege that Bagosora ran the slaughter from his office in the Ministry of Defense when he took de facto control of the army and political affairs in the central African nation after President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down as it prepared to land in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on April 6, 1994. The victims were mostly minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. The U.N. Security Council set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in November 1994. It has so far convicted 22 people and acquitted three. The tribunal has 63 genocide suspects in its custody and 25 are standing trial.

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 26 Oct 2005 Colonel Bagosora Denies Being a Member of the Akazu Arusha Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the alleged "mastermind" of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, acknowledged being on good terms with former President Juvenal Habyarimana but denied being a member of his inner circle baptised "Akazu". Bagosora was testifying at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The Prosecutor of the ICTR alleges that the Akazu was a secret group close to the president's family which wielded enormous economic and political power. He continues that the group shared an extremist Hutu ideology and that it set the events in motion that plunged the country into confusion. "If everyone who hailed from the same region as the president was a member of the Akazu, then I am a member. If all army officers who worked with Habyarimana were members, then I am one", said the former directeur de cabinet in the Rwandan ministry of defence. The former officer affirms having worked with Habyarimana throughout his career. "He was my boss. I followed his orders". "But if being a member of the Akazu means being one of his advisors, then I am not", said the star suspect at the ICTR. "If it means members of his family, I am not, if it means his friends, I would be one. If the category covers those who worked with him for many years, then I would be", he said. "The meaning of Akazu has not yet been defined. It is not known and the Prosecutor has not given that definition", he added. According to Bagosora, the president was the father of the nation whose entourage was made up of many circles to the extent that it was difficult to know at what level one was closer to him. "But I am not member of Akazu in the definition that was put to me", the accused said answering to a question from his lawyer, Raphael Constant. Bagosora has been testifying on his own behalf since Monday. He is jointly tried with three other senior officers of the Rwandan army. Their trial opened in April 2002. This project is funded by the European Community, Norway and Luxembourg.

Uganda see DR Congo

BBC 12 Oct 2005 Press split over Obote legacy Newspapers sold out in Uganda after Milton Obote's death The death in exile of the former Ugandan leader, Milton Obote, has provoked a mixture of ruefulness, cynicism and anger in the Ugandan and East African press. Some commentators see him as a flawed statesman and victim of circumstances. In Uganda itself, sharp differences over whether he was a hero or villain emerge in the letters pages of a major daily. Editorial in Uganda's independent Daily Monitor Dr Apollo Milton Obote leaves a mixed legacy. For all his blemishes, he still remains the father of the nation. It is a sad commentary on the state of politics and governance in post-independence Uganda that Obote died in exile. The culture of presidents having to be chased out of State House into exile for eventual death - think Muteesa II, Amin, Lule - is not right. Our politics as usual must stop. We have to turn the corner and bring more civility to our public life . Editorial in Uganda's pro-government New Vision Uganda can now move on - The death of Milton Obote marks the end of an era. Not only did he lead Uganda to independence but he played a huge part in shaping post-independence Uganda. Historians will judge the extent to which Obote was responsible for the chaotic politics between 1965 and 1986 but he certainly continued to cast a long shadow over Uganda until the present day. Commentator in Kenya's Standard Obote's thirst for power never waned despite coups - The curtain has finally fallen on a man who has never betrayed his ambition to rule, the passion which saw him through two coups. Just like his predecessor, Idi Amin, he goes to the grave amid accusations of misrule. Editorial in Kenya's top-selling Daily Nation Obote's the stuff of tragedy - The life, political career and even death of Dr Apollo Milton Obote at once epitomise the best and the worst in African leadership since independence in the 1960s. It is even sadder that such a man should spend his twilight years in obscure exile, still dreaming of making a comeback to power in Uganda, still pretending to lead a government-in-waiting. He joins a huge number of African Big Men who never knew when to quit. Will our leaders ever learn from history? Letter in New Vision We don't have to be sorry for anything. People are banging-on lamenting about his dying in self exile others are even apologetic like they are responsible for his death and now I hear even the parliament went in session for what? There is nothing new here Mutesa was tormented by this man and he also died in similar circumstances. Letter in New Vision Farewell Mr President sir. I am very glad that the Uganda Govt has agreed to accord a state funeral to the late President Obote. The people opposed to this must realise that the world will watch Uganda to see how we behave and laugh when we start squabbles. I have watched and seen president Obote for most of his political life. He was a true son of Uganda and of Africa. He was overthrown by the British in 1971 because he opposed the sale of arms to South Africa which would be used to kill people there. He cared deeply about his country and people all across Africa. Yes, atrocities were carried out in his name, BUT not by him. Letter in New Vision Papa, Rest in Peace. The founding father of our independence from the heavy yokes of colonialism has moved on. We all are visitors: Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, you fully lived out your commitment to freedoms, for self- dependence, for peace in and prosperity of our land, the pearl of Africa. May that spirit fully live on through all of us peace lovers and may you restfully enjoy eternal rest in peace. Letter in New Vision I also want to disagree with the position that he should receive a state burial given all suffering he caused to Ugandans, as we all recall, or most of us. My position is to oppose any suggestion of state burial for Obote, as it will be terrible and absolutely not necessary. Truth is, many Ugandans hoped that he would one day answer to charges of atrocities he committed. If we learned anything from his death, it is the necessity to prepare and move early and quickly to apprehend the likes of Obote, before they die so they can answer to crime charges. BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

BBC 18 Oct 2005 Obote's body back home in Uganda Many Ugandans were surprised when the government announced a state funeral for Obote The body of Uganda's ex-president, Milton Obote has been flown home from Zambia, where he lived for 20 years. He died last week of kidney failure aged 80. Mr Obote was president twice - in the 1960s soon after independence and again during the 1980s. On both occasions Uganda suffered terrible violence, and Mr Obote was each time overthrown by the military. Mr Obote's body will lie in state in parliament before a national memorial service on Friday and burial on Monday. The body arrived at Uganda's Entebbe airport on a chartered flight from Zambia. Civil war During his 20 years in exile in Zambia, attempts at reconciliation between Mr Obote and the current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni failed. Press split on Obote legacy The war during the 1980s between Museveni's rebel forces and the then President Milton Obote's national army left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead. But Mr Obote's death led to a change of heart by the Ugandan government. The BBC's Will Ross in Kampala says that the cabinet was reportedly split over the matter, but when the Ugandan government announced a state funeral for the former president, many Ugandans were surprised. He says that regional leaders may have played a role in persuading the Ugandan government to honour Milton Obote because of the support he offered during the 1960s to exiled South Africans fighting against white minority rule. Critics of Mr Obote hold him responsible for decades of violence in Uganda when the national army was out of control and caused widespread misery across the country. But as Ugandans prepare to bury the man who played a key role in ushering in the country's independence, they are reminded that Mr Obote is the fourth Ugandan leader to die in exile. Some argue the reconciliation has come too late in a country that since its independence in 1962 has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power from one leader to another.

BBC 21 Oct 2005 Ugandans mourn at Obote's funeral There is controversy that the day of the funeral is not a public holiday Thousands of Ugandans have turned out to mourn former President Milton Obote at his state funeral in Kampala. He led Uganda to independence from Britain in 1962 and was twice overthrown by military coups. A police band played and mourners stood as the flag-draped coffin was carried into grounds for the open-air service. He died last week aged 80, having spent the last 20 years in exile in Zambia and many Ugandans were surprised when he was granted a state funeral. My husband [should] have been given more respect as a former elected head of state Miria Obote But the BBC's Will Ross at the funeral says the day has not been declared a public holiday, a source of controversy. Mr Obote's family and party supporters along with Prime Minister Apolo Nsimbambi and other ministers were in attendance. But President Yoweri Museveni, who laid a wreath on the coffin in parliament on Thursday, was not there. When Mr Nsimbambi told the crowd that the Ugandan leader was attending to matters of national importance, many jeered. Reconciliation "My husband [should] have been given more respect as a former elected head of state. Instead, my husband has had to die far from home," Miria Obote said at the service in Kololo Airstrip, AP reports. She said she agreed with Mr Museveni's desire for reconciliation. We reviewed the turbulent history of Uganda and we saw the need for reconciliation President Museveni Press split on Obote legacy Obituary: Milton Obote "We reviewed the turbulent history of Uganda and we saw the need for reconciliation - we should not squander an opportunity," the president said on Thursday during a parliamentary session to honour the exiled leader. Attempts at reconciliation between the two men failed during Mr Obote's exile. Mr Museveni warned him against returning to the country, saying he would face prosecution for the deaths of thousands of people during the early 1980s. Mr Obote is the fourth Ugandan leader to die in exile and Mr Museveni said it was time to make other concessions. Some argue the reconciliation has come too late in a country that since its independence has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power from one leader to another. Obote himself has a mixed legacy. "He was a great man. The nation will miss him. We have gathered to see the last remains of a great man," said student Dick Kizito at the airport after the body had arrived on Tuesday. But 62-year-old Betty Nomushoke was not in mourning. "He killed so many people... I have no tears to shed ," she told AP. After the funeral, the coffin will tour several towns across Uganda before he is to be buried in his ancestral home in the north on Monday.


The Sunday Times October 23, 2005 www.timesonline.co.uk/ ‘Dust people’ starve in Zimbabwe ruins Christina Lamb, Harare SOME call them the “dust people”, others the “people with no address”. President Robert Mugabe’s government has a more graphic term: “Sniff out the rats who have sneaked back in” is the name of the latest campaign by police and soldiers against the city dwellers whose homes they demolished earlier this year but who have refused to flee. Thousands of Zimbabweans are now living like animals in the midst of rubble, crawling in and out of hovels less than 3ft high, fashioned from cardboard boxes and broken asbestos. With no means of earning a living — and with aid agencies banned by the government from helping them — they are forced to forage in rubbish for rotten vegetables or prostitute themselves for the equivalent of 10p to feed their children. A doctor who managed to get in said tuberculosis was rife. These are the victims of Operation Murambatsvina (drive out the filth), Mugabe’s so-called urban beautification campaign which, according to a damning report by the United Nations, left more than 700,000 homeless or without an income. Yet last week the United Nations flew Zimbabwe’s president on an all-expenses-paid trip to Rome to celebrate World Food Day in defiance of European Union travel sanctions. Flanked by bodyguards, he proclaimed that there was no hunger in his country and blamed its problems on George W Bush and Tony Blair, branding them international terrorists and likening them to Hitler and Mussolini. Such hypocrisy comes as no surprise to the people squatting amid piles of debris in southern Harare, who feel abandoned by the outside world. There have been similar images of devastation from this year’s hurricanes and earthquakes. But this is man-made destruction — the revenge of a president against the inhabitants of areas that dared to vote against him in one election after another. “This is the most depressing thing I have ever seen in years of working in trouble spots,” a UN official said. “It’s just all so unnecessary.” The bulldozers and axes that destroyed thousands of homes and market stalls in June and July, supposedly to clean up the cities, have left a nation teeming with homeless people. The International Crisis Group estimates Zimbabwe has between 4m and 5m internal refugees — more than a third of the population. They are the victims of Operation Murambatsvina, and workers kicked off commercial farms seized in five years of violent land grabs. Yet Mugabe refuses to allow a $30m humanitarian appeal by the UN for blankets and food. He objects to the use of the word “humanitarian”. A consignment of 6,000 blankets and 37 tons of food raised by the South African Council of Churches for the new homeless was blocked at the border by customs authorities. First they demanded duties, then they refused entry, claiming they needed proof the food was not genetically modified. Many of those who lost their homes were dumped in rural areas, putting enormous strain on villages on the edge of starvation. But others had nowhere to go. These are the people who ended up in the dust of places such as Tsiga Grounds and Ground No 5 in the Mbare district of the capital. Among the hundreds crouching in fly-ridden makeshift shelters is Zvikomborera, a 33-year-old woman with short cropped hair who is blind in one eye. A single mother with two daughters aged 5 and 13, she lost everything when armed police with dogs and bulldozers arrived at her small cabin. We met in secret because Tsiga Grounds is patrolled by a vigilante gang who beat the inhabitants and try to destroy the makeshift dwellings. Gang members appeared both times I tried to enter. “They tell us, ‘Sons of bitches, are you moles that live on the ground? Crawl back to the hole that you came from’,” Zvikomborera said. While Mugabe was enjoying Rome, Zvikomborera explained how she is forced to live. Her children scour the rubbish dump of a supermarket for rotten potatoes and tomatoes out of which she cuts any good bits. The previous day, the two girls had shared one cup of rice. Zvikomborera had nothing. Until two weeks ago they were getting food from a Buddhist organisation. Then the Department of Social Welfare summoned aid agencies, such as World Vision and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and banned them from distributing any more. “They told us there is no such thing as urban displaced people in Zimbabwe and there is no hunger in Harare,” said one aid worker. “They just want these people to die.” Like most of her fellow dust people, Zvikomborera is still astounded by what happened to her. “Before Murambatsvina we were poor but we were managing. My children were clean and went to school. I collected scrap wood from carpenters and industries and sold it for firewood. “When the police and dogs came, we lost everything. In one hour they had smashed my home, bed, wardrobe. We have nothing left but a few clothes and pots and pans. I just cried and cried. “Now we live here on the dust. We have no water. There is a tap at the bus station but they make us buy the water at Z$50,000 (£1.10) for 20 litres. Where can I get money now they have stopped us selling things? My children cannot go to school as I have no address and don’t know where I will be in two weeks. Everyone is sick and starving.” Some of her neighbours have turned to prostitution and she is terrified she will soon have little option but to follow them. In most countries people would be fighting to leave such appalling conditions. But Zvikomborera organised a petition of 200 other settlers and, backed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, has gone to court to fight for the right to stay in the dirt. “This may not be human but I have nowhere else,” she shrugged. Among those living in the filth is a tiny baby with eyes weeping yellow pus, born right there on the ground. The infant’s father, Moses, explains that when his wife went into labour last month, he ran to try to get an ambulance. But he was told: “We can’t help people who live on the ground.” At another hidden location in Harare I met a group of women, all mothers of disabled children, whose homes had been smashed in front of them. One, Mercy, explained: “When police came in the early morning and told us to get out as they would destroy our houses, I thought they would leave us as my daughter has cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair so I did not take our possessions outside. “But then they came and said, ‘We don’t care about disabled people,’ and destroyed everything. My husband is a carpenter and after they smashed the house they smashed his workshop and tools so we have no means of making a living.” The family were forced to squat outside and one night her disabled daughter, 14, was bitten by rats. “No one will let us rent a place even if we had money, as my daughter’s condition means she cries out all night,” said Mercy. She and her family have been informed that they must clear up the rubble of their demolished house or be fined. People like Mercy and Zvikomborera might have had new homes. UN agencies were enraged last month when a pilot project to resettle homeless slum-dwellers in rural areas was destroyed by one of Mugabe’s senior ministers. “It was supposed to be a bridge-building exercise with the government,” said a UN official. “The idea was to choose a place to set up a community, then replicate it all over the country, which we would fund.” After consultations with the government, 150 families were taken to Headlands, 100 miles east of Harare, and given tents, blankets and basic sanitary facilities. A ceremony was held with government ministers. Two weeks later Unicef officials found that all the people had disappeared and the settlement had been destroyed by police and dogs on the orders of Didymus Mutasa, the minister for security. Local villagers say the resettled people were not from the right tribe. Now, with rains due this week, people all over the country are squatting on ground that will soon turn to mud. During 10 days of travelling across the country — working discreetly because the penalty for reporting without permission is two years’ imprisonment — I met a family in Marondera, east of Harare, living in their neighbour’s chicken coop next to the pile of rubble where their house once stood. In Gwanda, in the southwest, 60 families were dumped outside the mayor’s office two weeks ago. “People here are starving already,” said TZ Mnkandla, the mayor. “What kind of government dumps its people around the country under the cover of night?” The government has announced a rebuilding programme but critics say the numbers projected are vastly inadequate and the new houses are going to supporters of the ruling party, Zanu-PF. Tose Wesley Sansole, mayor of the tourist resort of Victoria Falls, said that while 6,000 homes had been destroyed, the government has promised to build only 300. So far, just 20 have materialised. “I just feel helpless,” he said. There is little doubt now that the real reason for Operation Murambatsvina was to avert any risk of an uprising in the cities after rigged parliamentary elections earlier this year. This, after all, is a country that until five years ago not only fed itself but exported food. Justice for Agriculture, a commercial farmers’ lobby group, predicts that this year Zimbabwe will produce enough food for only one month — some 200,000 tons against a minimum requirement of 1.8m. Only about 200 commercial farms are still operating, compared with 4,500 five years ago when “war veterans” were starting to seize white-owned land. Once-fertile fields now lie scorched or weed-ridden. If there was any doubt that Mugabe is willing to see his people starve, The Sunday Times has learnt from a company hired to rid food stores of weevils that there are WFP stocks all over the country, a year’s supply of grain and 1,000 tons of corn soya blend to make fortified porridge. Mugabe refuses to let this be distributed because he wants to retain control of the food supply. Some has been left to rot and last month more than 300 tons of bran was destroyed in Bulawayo and Harare because Mugabe believed it was genetically modified. Asked in an interview earlier this month about the hunger, Mugabe replied in Marie Antoinette vein: “Let them eat potatoes. We have plenty of potatoes.” But with the prices of basic foods spiralling out of control, it is getting harder to feed everyone. The cheapest loaf costs 62p, a daunting sum in a country where civil servants earn £15 a week. This is way below the £45 a week that the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says an average family needs. Experts are calling Zimbabwe the fastest-shrinking economy in the world. The latest report from the UN Development Programme says it has seen the sharpest drop in quality of life of any country not at war. The quality of life is worse than in Mongolia and Equatorial Guinea, it says. Deepening poverty and widespread HIV/Aids have reduced life expectancy to 36.9 years. The worsening economic situation could have dangerous ramifications. A third of the 40,000-strong army has been sent home on hunger leave. Augustine Chihuri, the police commissioner, told a parliamentary commission last week that his force had 1,500 vehicles instead of the 7,000 it needs and was getting petrol only “in drips and drops”. Apart from the lack of fuel, which is available only on the black market at £2.20 a litre, Harare is beset by water shortages and power cuts. To the government’s embarrassment, foreign delegates attending a tourism conference last weekend went without water for two days at the Sheraton hotel. In the southern town of Masvingo, people said you could often smell the hospital from miles away because so many bodies are piled up and nobody can afford fuel to collect them from the mortuary. As if the country were going backwards in time, the government has recommissioned its steam trains and in some areas ambulances are being pulled by donkeys. The joke visitors hear is: “What did Zimbabwe have before candles? Electricity.” Yet while the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans say they have never been so poor, the elite are enjoying undreamt of wealth. Only minutes from Zvikomborera’s hovel on Tsiga Grounds, I counted two brand-new lime green Volkswagen Beetle cabriolets and several shiny new Mercedes-Benzes. Many of Mugabe’s cronies have launched lucrative schemes. All Zimbabweans with vehicles have been ordered to buy new numberplates by the end of this year, for instance. The only numberplate factory in the country is owned by Solomon Mujuru, the former army chief and husband of Mugabe’s vice-president, Joyce Mujuru. Government officials are also reaping dividends from access to US dollars at an official rate a quarter of the market rate — and to fuel at a quarter of the black market price. One official explained. “I get 100 litres of fuel at Z$23,000. I sell it on the black market for Z$100,000 a litre. I then use the money I made to buy US dollars at the official rate of Z$26,000. I sell those dollars on the market for Z$105,000. What is it you say? Quids in!” But the government is running out of friends. Even China and South Africa are tiring of bailing Mugabe out. Traditional sources of foreign exchange — tobacco and tourism — have been destroyed and mining products such as gold are increasingly being smuggled out of the country, leaving the regime to resort to theft. Seven banks have been closed and their assets seized. Fearing expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government made a surprise payment of £68m last month, allegedly after raiding the foreign currency accounts of a number of big companies. This left those companies unable to buy imports and some have been forced to close. So concerned is the IMF that it is sending a mission to investigate the source of the funds. It may all be coming to an end. A leaked internal police report warned last week that worsening economic hardships were fast eroding the patience of long-suffering Zimbabweans. The report revealed that the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which comprises the police, the Central Intelligence Organisation and the army, has drawn up a list of 55 political and civic leaders it regards as the “most dangerous individuals”, who must be kept under surveillance to ensure they do not organise an uprising. Edmore Veterai, the police representative on the JOC, wrote: “We must not fool ourselves by believing that the situation is normal on the ground because we risk being caught unawares. People have grown impatient with the government, which they accuse of causing their problems and doing nothing to alleviate them and they will do anything to remove it from power.”


BBC 27 October 2005 Americas hold indigenous summit Indigenous people have a strong presence in Ecuador Aboriginal groups from the Americas have begun talks in Argentina on ways of working together to step up pressure for the recognition of their rights. The two-day 2nd Indigenous Summit in Buenos Aires is sponsored by Canada. The head of the Organisation of Indigenous Peoples in Argentina, Victor Capitan, told the BBC that many communities share the same demands. "Their land has been taken away and they can't manage their resources," said Mr Capitan. "All this has driven indigenous people further into poverty." He added that the loss of land had forced many aborigines to migrate for jobs, mostly from rural areas to the margins of cities and shanty towns. Their land has been taken away and they can't manage their resources Victor Capitan Organisation of Indigenous Peoples in Argentina Representatives at the summit, including the powerful National Indian Confederation of Ecuador, are discussing ways of opening spaces for their participation, fighting discrimination and tackling poverty. They are expected to prepare a final document on the situation of the indigenous peoples in the continent, which will be circulated during the Summit of the Americas. This forum of the Organisation of American States (OAS) starts on 4 November in the Argentine city of Mar del Plata. Indigenous groups also expect to send a delegation there to press for their demands. Divided However, a number of aboriginal organisations announced they would not attend the meeting in Buenos Aires and would stage a parallel summit because they disagree with Canada's sponsorship. They said they did not want to get involved in a meeting backed by a developed country that had not done enough to improve the situation of aboriginal communities. Few have access to education The way in which provincial authorities in Canada share land and natural resources with indigenous groups is an ongoing issue. Canada - which also sponsored the first summit - says it has strongly advocated aboriginal rights in many international organisations. There are an estimated 250 million indigenous people in the world, according to the United Nations. In the Americas, they have a strong presence in Mexico, Central America, Brazil and the Andean countries. http://www.fondoindigena.net/


October 23, 2005 Candidate Gives Bolivian Coca Farmers Hope By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 3:29 p.m. ET ASUNTA, Bolivia (AP) -- The coca farmers on these steep mountain slopes have long felt their livelihood and Indian identity threatened by U.S.-backed efforts to uproot the crop that makes cocaine. Now they are pinning their hopes on one of their own -- an Indian coca farmer who is the front-runner for Bolivia's presidency. Evo Morales promises that if elected Dec. 4, he will decriminalize all coca farming. That would mean an end to a decade-old crop eradication program that has led to clashes between farmers and soldiers in which dozens have died. He would also be Bolivia's first Indian president, and his leftist politics -- he's a close friend of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- would move yet another Latin American government leftward, following the paths of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. A Morales victory may worry Washington, as well as many governments in Europe, Bolivian cocaine's chief market. But the ''cocaleros,'' as coca farmers are known, are delighted at the prospect. ''Many Indians are very hopeful that these elections can change history,'' said Issaes Alvarez, a 23-year-old cocalero and town councilor in Asunta, in a coca-growing region northeast of La Paz, the capital. ''If the eradication continues there will be a massacre, there will be death, there will be violations of human rights.'' Indians are the majority in this nation of 8.5 million, and for centuries, those in the Andean highlands have chewed the coca leaf to stave off hunger pangs and work up energy, used it in religious ceremonies and boiled it into medicinal tea. It's sold legally in supermarkets throughout Bolivia and Peru, and is served as tea in cafes. But coca is also the main ingredient of cocaine, and the Bolivian and U.S. governments are convinced that a growing amount is being turned into drugs. Bolivia, the world's No. 3 coca power after Colombia and Peru, produced up to 118 tons of cocaine last year, up 35 percent from 2003, according to the latest U.N. World Drug Report. Morales' family is one of many who migrated from Bolivia's poor western highlands, where it struggled along by herding llamas and growing potatoes. In the tropical Chapare region, in southeast Bolivia, Morales began growing coca, became a trade union official and, in 1993, president of the cocalero organization. He still operates a coca farm. Chapare is his power base, and it was here that he led the often violent clashes with government forces over coca eradication. He was elected to Congress in 1997 and narrowly lost the presidential race to Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in 2002. He was a key figure in protests that brought down Sanchez de Lozada in 2003 and his successor, Carlos Mesa, in June. Opinion polls give him a slight edge over conservative former President Jorge Quiroga. During the last election, then U.S. Ambassador Manuel Rocha criticized Morales, only to see him shoot up in the polls. Morales jokingly called Rocha his ''campaign chief.'' This time Washington has kept silent about the election, but Morales has said plenty about Washington. ''Thanks to coca, we've made it through the endless suffering caused by the white man's infamous war on drugs,'' he wrote on his Web site. But meanwhile, the laborious work of pulling out plants by hand continues. Last year, troops uprooted 20,800 acres in Chapare -- 83 percent of the total. Los Yungas, about 300 miles away, is the only region where growing is legal. The government lets cocaleros farm 29,600 acres, but the U.N. Illicit Crop Monitoring Program estimates that an additional 13,000 acres are planted. The hillsides of Asunta, for example, are an endless patchwork of illegal green coca bushes. Now the government is eyeing los Yungas too. Next month it will begin paying some farmers to destroy their plants and encourage them to switch crops voluntarily. Although authorities promise there'll be no uprooting by force, tempers are running high. After the army enlarged a checkpoint to track illegal drugs out of los Yungas, cocaleros threatened a blockade, fearing eradication was coming. Farmers say alternative crops such as coffee and bananas are harder to grow and transport, and fetch a lower price. They are staking their hopes on Morales -- and their future on coca. ''We're not going to let up. We'll keep fighting no matter what the consequences, because there's no other product that sustains us like coca,'' said Asunta farmer Juan Condori. ''It's the only crop that supports the whole family.''


Reuters 19 Oct 2005 Canada arrests Rwandan for suspected genocide TORONTO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Canadian police arrested a Rwandan man who is living in Toronto on Wednesday, accusing him of crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, a police statement said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Desire Munyaneza, 39, was the first person to be charged under Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, in force since 2000. He will face seven charges, including two counts of genocide, two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes. Police said the investigation took five years and included "exhaustive" interviews with witnesses in Rwanda, Europe and Canada. In 1994, extremists from Rwanda's Hutu majority hacked and shot to death 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. Canada's supreme court ruled this summer that another Rwandan, Leon Mugesera, should be deported from Canada, after the Canadian government argued that he had committed a crime against humanity in a speech inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis, who he referred to as cockroaches and said should be exterminated. The government described Mugesera as a war criminal who was complicit in the genocide.

www.theglobeandmail.com 27 Oct 2005 Dallaire's wife joins fight to help Rwanda On Halloween, trick-or-treating children will collect coins for the shattered country By INGRID PERITZ Thursday, October 27, 2005 Page A12 MONTREAL -- The names Rwanda and Dallaire go hand in hand in the minds of most Canadians. Rwanda is the country whose name has become synonymous with modern-day genocide. Roméo Dallaire is the Canadian general who fought helplessly to stop it. The two names teamed up again yesterday -- but this time it was Elizabeth Dallaire, the retired general's wife, who was speaking out on behalf of the tiny, tragic African nation. Mrs. Dallaire, who watched from afar as her husband led the doomed United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda in 1994, stepped out from the shadows to speak publicly about the country her husband fought to protect. She did it with an audience she is comfortable with: children. Advertisements The former kindergarten teacher visited a Montreal grade school to promote Unicef's annual Halloween campaign. On Monday night, when Canadian children go trick-or-treating, they'll also collect dimes and quarters in their orange Unicef boxes, coins that will help rebuild the shattered nation of Rwanda. The money will not only help buy desks and blackboards, but also improve drinking water, build new schools and train teachers. "Children here know that Oct. 31 is Halloween, but they don't realize that in that part of the world, a child will never see a candy," Mrs. Dallaire, a representative for Unicef in Quebec, said in an interview. "The children here can provide something to other children." Canadians have been collecting coins in their orange Unicef boxes at Halloween for 50 years, but this is the first time the organization is targeting a specific project - education - in a specific country. Schools in Rwanda are filled with children orphaned by the 1994 genocide and by AIDS. By default, many have become their families' main breadwinner. So Unicef wants to build schools near the children's communities to enable them to keep working to support their families. Only half of Rwanda's children attend school. Mrs. Dallaire visited Rwanda for the first time in 2004, when her husband made an agonizing return on the 10th anniversary of the genocide. By the time she landed, she had already formed a strong image of the country, thanks to a photograph that Mr. Dallaire had given her of a schoolroom. It showed a simple room situated on a hilltop north of Kigali, with a blackboard made of soot and children sitting on rocks instead of chairs. The photograph was taken in 1994. Within the year, many of the children were dead or orphaned. "God knows where those children are," said Mrs. Dallaire, who has three children with her husband of 29 years. The general and his small contingent of blue berets saved the lives of 25,000 people in Rwanda, but his UN mission was forced to stand helplessly aside as Tutsis were set upon by Hutu extremists. Within the space of 100 days, 800,000 people were slaughtered. "I've always felt a connection with all those people who were killed," said Mrs. Dallaire, who lives in Quebec City and is a long-time volunteer with Unicef. "They were being killed and nobody responded. Now, I have the chance to do something. "I hope that a lot of children [in Canada] will realize that what they're doing at Halloween is important. Sometimes, you should forget yourself and remember others."

AP 29 Oct 2005 Human rights groups ask appeals court to give genocide victims relief By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer October 29, 2005, 11:30 AM EDT NEW YORK -- For the people of Sudan, a case slowly moving through the courts holds great potential _ a lawsuit that claims a Canadian energy company aided in genocide in its pursuit of oil in the violence-wracked African nation. But winning relief in a court half a world away will depend on how many people will be able to join in the lawsuit. A federal judge recently limited the scope of the 2001 lawsuit brought by the Presbyterian Church of Sudan against Calgary-based Talisman Energy in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by refusing to grant class-action status. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will decide by the end of this year whether to consider the class-action issue before the case goes to trial in January 2007. The plaintiffs say class-action status is crucial to set the stage for a potential large payout to Sudanese victims and to set a precedent for U.S. courts to aid suffering people worldwide who cannot find relief in their own courts. Without it, "thousands of victims will be effectively denied any opportunity to pursue legal redress for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes," said Beth Van Schaack, assistant professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law. She submitted court papers on behalf of human rights groups and activists asking the appeals court to hear the issue. The lawsuit alleges that Talisman, Canada's biggest independent oil and gas exploration and production company, joined the Sudanese government in ethnic cleansing, killings, war crimes, property confiscation, enslavement, kidnapping and rape. The company adamantly denies the allegations. Last month, Judge Denise Cote ruled that the case cannot proceed as a class action because issues concerning individual plaintiffs were distinct and could not be decided as a class. Van Schaack said victims of genocide are left with nowhere else to turn if U.S. courts force them to seek justice in the country where they are oppressed. In a telephone interview, Van Schaack said winning class-action status for the case might in the future "force companies to think twice before they let the host government provide security or workers who might be subject to forced labor." Among groups Van Schaack represents in the case are the Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit organization that has litigated significant international human rights cases for 25 years, and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School which conducts research for international tribunals. Carey R. D'Avino, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in court papers that denial of class certification "may sound the `death knell' for 95 percent of class members," or tens of thousands of people. "This bell tolls most chillingly for all human rights victims against whom the district court's published decision, albeit unintentionally, imposes a new and unjustified procedural barrier." In court papers filed before Cote ruled, lawyers for Talisman urged her not to certify a class. "The truth is that a class action proceeding in a United States court is the wrong mechanism to untangle the human tragedy of a decades-long civil war in Sudan," the lawyers wrote. Talisman also said a suggestion by plaintiffs that tens of thousands of class members could travel to Kenya for videotaped depositions was impractical. The company in court documents said the plaintiffs "falsely assert" that Talisman upgraded airstrips at two locations for "security" purposes when they actually had "nothing to do with accommodating military activity." "Plaintiffs similarly paint a grossly misleading portrait that the government of Sudan's use of the airstrips for offensive purposes was routine, and that Talisman Energy knew and gave its approval for the government of Sudan to carry out attacks on civilians," the company said.


BBC 18 Oct 2005 Pinochet undergoes medical exam Efforts to try Pinochet on human rights charges have so far failed Chile's former military ruler, Augusto Pinochet, is undergoing new medical tests to determine whether he can stand trial for human rights abuses. The Supreme Court wants to determine whether he is fit to be tried over the disappearance of dozens of dissidents. In September, he was stripped of his immunity from prosecution in relation to the case. It deals with the disappearance of 119 leftists during the Chilean regime's "Operation Colombo" in 1973. General Pinochet was ordered to undergo blood, neurological and psychological tests. Efforts to try him on human rights charges have so far failed. In two previous cases, the Supreme Court has lifted General Pinochet's immunity from prosecution but later found him unfit to stand trial on medical grounds. Critics accuse the 89-year-old, who suffers from diabetes, heart problems and mild dementia linked to minor strokes, of exaggerating his health problems to avoid standing trial. More than 3,000 people died in political violence during his 1973-1990 regime, an official inquiry has concluded.

BBC 19 Oct 2005 Court strips Pinochet of immunity Efforts to try Pinochet on human rights charges have so far failed Chile's former military ruler, Augusto Pinochet, has been stripped of his immunity from prosecution over tax fraud charges. The ruling, by Chile's Supreme Court, is in connection with an investigation into bank accounts held by General Pinochet overseas. The charges include tax evasion, filing a false tax return and using false passports to open accounts abroad. The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Santiago Court of Appeals. In September, Gen Pinochet, who is 89 years old, was stripped of his immunity from prosecution in relation to the disappearance of dozens of dissidents during "Operation Colombo" in 1973. He is currently undergoing new medical tests to determine whether he can stand trial for human rights abuses in relation to this case. Efforts to try Gen Pinochet on human rights charges have so far failed. In previous cases, the Supreme Court has lifted Gen Pinochet's immunity from prosecution but later found him unfit to stand trial on medical grounds. More than 3,000 people died in political violence during his 1973-1990 regime, an official inquiry has concluded.


washingtonpost.com 23 Oct 2005 Lifeline to a Devastated Guatemala Immigrants in Virginia Provide Decisive Aid to Parents in Stricken Area By Steve Hendrix and Pamela Constable Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, October 23, 2005; A01 SANTIAGO ATITLAN, Guatemala -- When landslides smothered his village earlier this month, burying dozens of flimsy houses and hundreds of people under mounds of mud, Jose Mogollon, 70, and his wife, Antonieta, were safely tucked away in a strong, eight-room house in this nearby town on the edge of Lake Atitlan. The elderly couple, a retired janitor and cook, are far from wealthy. But when disaster struck, they had a distinct advantage over many of their neighbors. Their grown children, scattered from Fairfax to California and Canada, had built them a second home, farther from the steep volcanic slopes that surround the village of Panabaj. For families across Central America, transfers of cash from children abroad can mean the difference between poverty and plenty. But when a calamity occurs, such as the torrential rains and mudslides that devastated regions of Guatemala in the wake of Hurricane Stan, believed to have killed at least 1,500 people, a personal link to the north can mean the difference between comfortably recovering and barely surviving. In the case of the Mogollon family, the first days after the devastating mudslides were far more harrowing for their children overseas, thousands of miles away with no means of knowing whether their parents had survived. "For three days, we had no news of them at all," said Amanda Mogollon, 42, who lives in a neatly decorated brick house in Fairfax with her brother, Luis, 37, another sister and their children. "We were desperate. We called and called. The highways were closed, the bridges were falling. There was no communication at all." After a week, phone service was restored and Jose and Antonieta's phone rang at 3 a.m. It was Luis. Antonieta told him that their old wooden house in Panabaj had been spared, but that many friends had lost their homes in the avalanche of mud and debris and several had been killed. She told him that drinking water and supplies were scarce in town, and their funds were running low. Luis, who owns a floor installation business, wired $200 to his parents the next day. Across the metropolitan Washington region, home to an estimated 60,000 Guatemalan immigrants, many others rushed to help. Some, like the Mogollons, had relatives directly affected by the crisis, but most were moved by an equally strong bond of concern for their homeland at a time of need. The U.S.-Guatemala Chamber of Commerce, which represents dozens of small-business owners in the Washington region, raised $65,000. Three Spanish-language radio stations here held fund-raising marathons the previous two weekends, broadcasting live from Hispanic groceries and clubs. Other local groups, including the Guatemalan Fraternity and Pueblo a Pueblo, raised more money for medical aid and emergency supplies. "We have very few people from Atitlan, not many from the affected areas, but people were very generous -- not only Guatemalans, but Salvadorans and others," said Marco Sanchez, president of the chamber and owner of tax preparation and Internet design businesses in Adams Morgan. He said the cash was being flown to a bank in Guatemala, accompanied by volunteers to make sure it arrived safely. Jack Page, an American physician who was working this week in Santiago Atitlan, said that "anybody who has family working in the United States is helped enormously when something like this happens." "Even in good times, Santiago has a 50 percent unemployment rate," he said. "Now it's even worse, and it makes whatever help they can get from the States more critical." Guatemalans working abroad, both legally and illegally, send more than $2 billion back to their families each year, according to the Guatemalan government. The amount is now the second-largest source of national revenue after tourism, having surpassed traditional exports of coffee, sugar and bananas. In the days after the hurricane, long lines formed at banks in Santiago, as wire transfers poured in. "After the catastrophe, the amount of money coming in went up very fast," said Betty Esquevina, the manager of a bank branch in Santiago, where cash arrives regularly from Western Union agencies in Virginia, Texas and California. "Before, we would pay four or five Western Union checks a day. Now I'm paying 10 to 15 a day." For the Mogollon family, as for many Central Americans, the lifeline to the United States was attached 15 years ago, amid the turmoil of civil war. Guatemala was then ruled by a military government, and its forces were waging a brutal campaign in the country's highlands against a tenacious revolutionary guerrilla movement. Several hundred thousand people were killed before peace was declared in 1996. For years, the Santiago Atitlan area -- a beautiful region of lakes and volcanoes popular with American tourists and bohemian expatriates -- as well as dozens of impoverished villages inhabited by indigenous Mayans were spared from violence. The army occupied much of the immediate area surrounding Santiago Atitlan, about 45 miles west over twisting mountain roads from the capital, Guatemala City, and soldiers even married local women, the Mogollon family recounted. But by 1990, the war had arrived here. There were clashes between students and paramilitary groups, and 13 Mayan villagers were killed in an army massacre in Panabaj. The Mogollons lived only a few blocks from the site of the killings. Luis, then 22 and a student, said he ran into problems with the army and decided to flee the country. He crossed Mexico and entered the United States illegally, as thousands of other Central Americans were doing. But unlike most, he said, he was able to obtain political asylum and become a legal resident. After taking a series of low-wage jobs, he saved enough money to start a flooring business -- and start sending money home. Now Luis employs 10 men to lay linoleum in school cafeterias and other public buildings. His two sisters, who followed him to Virginia, share his suburban split-level house, which was decorated this week with an elaborate Halloween display of pumpkins, ghosts and witches. "I went back to see my old village in 1998," Luis said, shaking his head at the memory. "A lot of the old customs have changed. Most people don't wear tipica any more, they wear pants and dresses," he said, referring to traditional indigenous costumes. "They used to farm corn and beans, but they are going into business and growing avocadoes for export. They used to speak only Tzutujil, but now they are even learning foreign languages." Luis' parents said they were frightened and sad when he left Panabaj. For an entire week, they worried while he traveled north with a coyote, or smuggling guide, to lead him across the U.S. border. They knew how dangerous the journey was, they recounted, because others had disappeared along the way. But this week, as they sat in the parlor of the sturdy cinderblock house built with money sent by Luis and his siblings, the couple beamed with pride. The room, rarely used except when relatives visit from abroad, was decorated with plush furniture and cedar woodwork that gave off a pleasant scent. The walls were hung with framed certificates, showing that their seven children had all graduated from high school. Antonieta, a retired cook, said she had pushed them to finish their educations, even though they often had to work after class, sewing tipica to sell to tourists. The front door was open, and a shaft of sunlight stretched across the shiny tile floor. Outside, the streets were caked with hardened mud and people were lined up for free tetanus shots. "They say it will be three or four months before we can return to our own house. We are lucky we are able to live here until then," said Jose, who worked as a janitor in the local hospital for most of his adult life and is more comfortable speaking Tzutujil than Spanish. His monthly pension is $40, but Luis sends them $100 a month and his brothers add to that sum. When the storm hit, the extra cash Luis wired was a huge help, they said. With roads blocked, the water system in ruins and no supplies reaching town, rations ran low and prices soared. One neighbor said the price of a five-gallon jug of purified water increased from $2 to $14. Some former residents living abroad were able to bring far more substantial aid. One Guatemalan man who had left 20 years ago for Canada arrived with a team of paramedics, local health officials said. They helped dispense medicine and spent hours operating a portable water filter in the town plaza. "People were lining up hundreds deep to get clean water," Page said. "It was this man's tie to the area that brought them here." The medical help was especially welcome, he added, because the only local hospital was filled with by mud. After being closed for 15 years because of the civil war, it was refurbished by Pueblo a Pueblo, the Washington-based aid group, and just reopened in April. The storm dumped several tons of mud in the lobby and destroyed the road to the clinic. Corpses washed up near the front door. Hospital officials said they did not know whether the building could be used again, but that that even in badly damaged areas such as Panabaj, local residents were keen to return. "This is a very proud, very traditional community. They love their town," said Lyn Dickey, an American photographer who is treasurer of the hospital foundation. She said one reason more residents were going north now was so their parents could remain behind and be part of the indigenous culture. "Having a son in the States makes that possible," she said. But the greatest source of relief overseas children provide is putting their families on sounder economic and physical footing before disaster strikes. Maria del Carmen, 33, a neighbor of the Mogollons in Santiago, said the $200 her brothers send home each month enabled her father to build a second story on their house and pay for her tuition as a nursing student, a new refrigerator and a huge TV set in the living room. "What they send makes a big difference to us," she said. "We haven't had to sell anything, and we have a safe place to live."


La Jornada 29 Sep 2005 www.jornada.unam.mx Critican que Fox haya retrasado tres meses la firma Ratificación del Estatuto de Roma, exigen ONG Alertan sobre el riesgo de que ceda a presiones de EU ANGELES CRUZ MARTINEZ Ya pasaron tres meses desde que el Senado aprobó el Estatuto de Roma de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) sin que el gobierno federal ratifique ante Naciones Unidas su adhesión a ese instrumento, el más importante de defensa de los derechos humanos, declararon representantes de la Coalición Mexicana por ese tribunal. En conferencia de prensa advirtieron sobre el riesgo de que el presidente Vicente Fox se deje presionar por el gobierno de Estados Unidos para firmar un acuerdo bilateral de inmunidad que restrinja la acción de la Corte. "Es sabido que el presidente estadunidense, George W. Bush, está en contra de las actividades de la CPI, y debido a que es un órgano que no puede controlar, promovió dos leyes que lo autorizan a restringir la asistencia militar y no militar a los países miembros de la Corte que rechacen la firma del acuerdo bilateral de inmunidad con Estados Unidos. "Aunque existen excepciones en la aplicación de ambas leyes, este mecanismo le ha funcionado a Bush para establecer los acuerdos bilaterales con al menos 100 naciones, según ha informado él mismo", señalaron. Paulina Vega, coordinadora para América Latina y el Caribe de la coalición por la CPI, expuso que la tardanza de Fox en firmar el documento aprobado por el Senado "es extraña", porque en diferentes ocasiones acusó a los legisladores del retraso. Ahora, luego de un proceso camaral de cinco años, el Presidente se ha demorado tres meses sólo en firmar el documento. Irma Pérez-Gil, de Amnistía Internacional, comentó que desde la entrada en vigor del Estatuto de Roma, el primero de julio de 2002, ha sido ratificado por 99 países, y resaltó la importancia de que México se sume a esa lista y envíe el mensaje de que aquí nunca más se cometerán crímenes contra la humanidad, como los ocurridos en el pasado, y para los cuales habrá que seguir buscando mecanismos que conduzcan a su esclarecimiento y la sanción de los responsables. Recordó que el Estatuto de Roma no tiene efectos retroactivos, y en cada país miembro su vigencia empieza dos meses después de la ratificación, aunque considera la posibilidad de que su entrada en vigor ocurra siete años después de la adhesión. "Para el caso de México -dijo- queremos que todo se dé sin ninguna condición ni declaraciones interpretativas." Aunque el secretario de Relaciones Exteriores, Luis Ernesto Derbez, ha señalado su rechazo a los acuerdos bilaterales con Estados Unidos, "es claro que la presión existe por las leyes mencionadas y por los acuerdos no concluidos con Washington en materia de migración, por ejemplo", indicó Pérez-Gil. La CPI surgió con la finalidad de garantizar la existencia de un tribunal internacional que intervenga en la investigación y enjuiciamiento de presuntos responsables de genocidio, crímenes de guerra o de lesa humanidad que, por falta de capacidad o voluntad, no sean sancionados en los países donde tengan lugar. Las organizaciones también solicitaron al gobierno que se inicie el diseño de la legislación para garantizar que la CPI sea un complemento efectivo de los tribunales nacionales y que las autoridades mexicanas estén preparadas jurídicamente para cooperar de forma plena con ella. De la misma manera, exhortaron al gobierno a adherirse lo antes posible al Acuerdo de Privilegios e Inmunidades.

El Universal 29 Oct 2005 www.eluniversal.com.mx Mexico 100th nation to ratify [the ICC]] The United States has threatened to cut off aid to fight narco-traffickers if Mexico doesn't give U.S. citizens special status. El Universal October 29, 2005 Despite pressure from the United States, Mexico became the world's 100th nation to ratify the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday. Mexico's Ambassador to the United Nations Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo ratified the treaty in a ceremony at U.N. headquarters in New York. Congress had voted in May to adopt the treaty, allowing Mexicans accused of crimes against humanity to be tried in The Hague. The United States has opposed the ICC, saying the court could be used for politically motivated persecution of U.S. troops. Washington has warned Mexico that if it ratifies the ICC, US11.5 million in U.S. funding will be cut from aid destined to helping the justice system deal with drug trafficking, according to human rights groups. The amount is equal to almost 40 percent of the economic aid Mexico receives from the United States. Although other nations in the same position as Mexico have signed an immunity agreement with the United States that would only turn over U.S. nationals to the ICC with U.S. permission, Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said emphatically this week that Mexico would not sign such an accord. He said Mexico was prepared to lose the aid rather than give the United States special status. Eleven other Latin American nations who have refused to sign the immunity agreement have had their aid cut. The ratification process has taken more than four years. In 2000, former President Ernesto Zedillo signed the treaty, but it wasn't until 2002 that Congress modified the Constitution to give the ICC jurisdiction in Mexico. In 2004, two thirds of federal lawmakers and state assemblies voted to enact the constitutional change.

United States

washingtonpost.com References To Hitler in Kilgore Ad Criticized Some Jewish Leaders Want Spot Withdrawn By Michael D. Shear Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, October 15, 2005; B01 RICHMOND, Oct. 14 -- Adolf Hitler became a central character in the Virginia governor's race this week as Republican Jerry W. Kilgore's campaign used the Nazi leader's name in an emotional ad on the death penalty, prompting an outcry Friday from some Jewish leaders. One day after the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, the Anti-Defamation League condemned Kilgore for using Holocaust imagery to advance his political agenda. Kilgore's ad accuses Democrat Timothy M. Kaine of not supporting the death penalty, even for Hitler, who died in his Berlin bunker in 1945. "Such references are inappropriate and insensitive, and, as part of a discussion of the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Virginia, trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust," wrote David Friedman, a regional director for the group. The use of Hitler's name and the reaction to it threatened to blunt what political observers said may have been Kilgore's most effective assault to date on Kaine's record. Kilgore aides stood by the ad again Friday. They said the comment about Hitler was taken from a recent interview Kaine gave to the Richmond Times-Dispatch and represents the views of Stanley Rosenbluth, the father of a murder victim, who is himself Jewish. "The sentiments uttered by Mr. Rosenbluth were his own," said Kilgore spokesman J. Tucker Martin. "He's entitled to share that experience and to let people know how he feels. Neither that ad, nor [Kaine's] anti-death-penalty record, are going away." Kilgore also recruited U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.), a member of the House leadership who is Jewish, to counter the criticism. He said he was not offended by the use of Hitler's name. "There's a real difference here in the use of Adolf Hitler," Cantor said. "Mr. Rosenbluth was trying to illustrate that Tim Kaine's views are so extreme, he wouldn't put the ultimate killer to death." Holocaust references have become almost off-limits in American politics as Jewish leaders have begun to pounce on what they say are cynical attempts to capitalize on the emotional power of the genocide. U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) was chastised for accusing Senate Republicans of acting like Nazis. Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan was taken to task for comparing the Terri Schiavo case to the killings at Auschwitz. And in Virginia, state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) was reprimanded for comparing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to the Holocaust. "It's so irresponsible to use that kind of imagery, in many ways it becomes meaningless," Friedman said in an interview. "It really obscures and confuses rather than helps." In Kilgore's ad, Rosenbluth talks about the murder of his son and daughter-in-law in 1993 and Kaine's participation in the killer's death penalty appeal. Rosenbluth says: "Tim Kaine says that Adolf Hitler doesn't qualify for the death penalty. This was the worst mass murder in modern times." Kaine has said that his Catholic religion leads him to personally oppose the death penalty but that as governor he would uphold state law. The ADL reaction was echoed by other Jewish leaders in a conference call Friday organized by the Kaine campaign. Rabbi Jack Moline of Alexandria and Tommy Baer, the former president of B'nai B'rith, demanded that Kilgore apologize and withdraw the ad. "I find it demeaning and morally repugnant. It trivializes the entire period of the Holocaust," Baer told reporters. Moline, whose daughter is a paid staff member for the Kaine campaign, called it "blasphemy" and said Kilgore owes "an apology to the Jewish people." Moline and Baer said the reaction from Jewish leaders to the ad was delayed because it was released the day before Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar and a day that Jews typically do not work. Martin accused Kaine of organizing the conference call Friday to distract from what he knows is an effective campaign ad. "He's trying to do anything to take the focus off his record as an anti-death-penalty activist," Martin said.

New York Times 16 Oct 2005 Schoolyard Bully Diplomacy By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF NIAMEY, Niger - [...] Sadly, we're bullying Niger and dozens of other poor countries and cutting off some aid to many of them because of their support for the International Criminal Court. About 50 of the countries that support the International Criminal Court are unwilling or unable to give the U.S. the "bilateral immunity agreement" that Washington demands to prevent Americans from being prosecuted. Niger, for example, has determined that its Constitution does not allow it to grant the immunity agreement. So the Bush administration is cutting off certain military aid and "economic support funds" to a couple of dozen of these governments, mostly in Latin America and Africa. The main result has been to undermine our friends and confirm every prejudice that people abroad have about Americans as schoolyard bullies. "This is blackmail!" declared The Sunday Nation in an editorial in Kenya. And The Daily Nation quoted a member of Kenya's Parliament, Paul Muite, as saying: "They can keep their dollars as long as they [do not] respect our dignity. It is not only Americans who can train our military personnel, and it is time we started looking at the European Union, China, South Africa or even Japan for such training." In Jordan, one house of Parliament has tried to block the immunity agreement, although the final outcome is uncertain. Nigeria's Parliament is now considering rescinding its immunity arrangement, as a way to poke the bully in the eye. "Absolutely no one is going to make me cower," Ecuador's president, Alfredo Palacio, declared in June, affirming his refusal to sign an immunity agreement with the U.S. Osama bin Laden must be thrilled at the way we have managed to antagonize our traditional friends and give comfort to our enemies. [...]But I also think that the Bush administration is delusional in its terror of the court. The terms of the court make it very unlikely that it is ever going to hound American officials or military officers. And while we have little to fear from the court, we have plenty to worry about if we continue to antagonize the rest of the world. Frankly, the Bush administration's campaign to bully poor countries over the court is cultivating more ill will toward the U.S. than extremist madrassas ever could have. [...] These [threatened] economic support funds include humanitarian programs for health care, wheelchair distribution and AIDS education, as well as money for overseas anti-drug and anti-terror programs that are for our own benefit. The American military has already complained to Congress that the sanctions have cut links between U.S. officers and their Latin American counterparts, creating an opportunity for China to fill the gap. It looks like the ideologues, in Congress and the Bush administration, who backed this legislation are already hurting America more than the International Criminal Court ever could. And aside from the damage to our own image and alliances, we're taking the children of countries like Niger hostage by threatening: Unless you give us an immunity agreement, those kids will die. Come on, President Bush! Is that really what your administration stands for?

Austin American-Statesman (subscription), TX 16 Oct 2005 www.statesman.com African Americans urged to rise up against 'criminal neglect' of Katrina response Federal government's handling of hurricane becomes focus of Millions More Movement. By Mike Saccone WASHINGTON BUREAU Sunday, October 16, 2005 WASHINGTON -- Thousands of black Americans celebrating Saturday's 10th anniversary of the Million Man March were urged to rise up and confront the "criminal neglect" of the government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina. "I firmly believe that if the people on those rooftops had blond hair and blue eyes and pale skin, something would have been done in a more timely manner," Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said to thunderous applause and cheers. Farrakhan, the organizer of Saturday's Millions More Movement, spoke on the National Mall to a crowd far smaller than the one a decade ago. Neither Farrakhan nor police would offer a crowd estimate, but Associated Press photos showed that the gathering was significantly smaller than that of 1995, when Boston University researchers estimated that from 600,000 to 1 million people participated. "This is more than a moment in time," Farrakhan said. "For no matter how many came . . . the meaning of this day will be determined by what we do tomorrow to create a movement, a real movement among our people." The Million Man March was intended only for black men and urged them to take responsibility for improving their lives and communities. But organizers of Saturday's march asked women, Latinos, Native Americans, gays and other minorities to attend and to build on the principles of the original gathering. Black leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston; and the Rev. Al Sharpton railed against the federal government's slow response to Katrina. In a recent Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, President Bush received only a 2 percent approval rating from black Americans, many of whom believe that race played a role in the response. "We need millions more to act and react to what we saw" along the Gulf Coast, Jackson said. Those "images were burned into our con- sciousness." Sharpton said the federal government had not done enough to protect victims, many of them poor, from flooding in New Orleans. "Broken levees are weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Toledo Blade, OH 16 Oct 2005 toledoblade.com TOLEDO Nazi visit ignites violence; 60 arrested as crowds rampage BLADE STAFF It started with neo-Nazis, mushroomed into a riot, and left behind a community shaken and wounded. With violence not seen in Toledo since the race riots of the 1960s, crowds sometimes numbering more than 500 yesterday threw rocks, bottles, and bricks at law enforcement officials. Police responded with clouds of tear gas and wooden “knee-knocker” pellets. At its ugliest, looters struck at least four businesses, including Jim and Lou’s bar at 3032 Mulberry St., which they set on fire. There were assaults on bystanders and vandalism with damages in the tens of thousands of dollars, including attacks on emergency and media vehicles. Police said overtime costs could easily exceed $100,000. Police arrested at least 60 people — 43 adults and 17 juveniles — primarily for aggravated rioting, assault, and vandalism. Some were gang members, police and Mayor Jack Ford said. One police officer was treated for a head injury after she was hit in the head with a stone. A firefighter paramedic was also treated. Numerous other officers sustained minor injuries when struck by objects. There were no official reports of injuries to citizens, but some people were overcome by tear gas and at least two Blade photographers were assaulted. The city’s image also took a beating, as news helicopters circled overhead and images of looting and burning in Toledo were broadcast across the country. Police Chief Mike Navarre didn’t mince words last night about what happened in his city. “You have cars burning and stores being looted and disregard for law enforcement where they can’t do their job without taking rocks and bottles,” he said. “Officers are going to the hospital because they’re getting their heads hit with a rock. I’d call that a riot.” The area around Central and Mulberry near Woodward High School erupted into violence after crowds in the predominantly black neighborhood were angry about a planned neo-Nazi march. Even though police canceled the march by the National Socialist Movement before it began, it wasn’t enough to stop the violence. The Nazi march, scheduled to start at about noon, was canceled before it started due to the violence. By the time it was over yesterday — and authorities are still nervous about more violence — parts of North Toledo were strewn with shattered glass, broken bricks, and a city left wondering how it all happened. “It’s a sad day for Toledo,” said Joe Walter, city safety director. Last night, police said the situation had calmed down, but the violence and its aftershocks had already rippled through the city. Mr. Ford instituted an 8 p.m. curfew last night, and said there would also be an 8 p.m. curfew tonight. Early warning signs After a morning news conference yesterday, Chief Navarre drove around the area where the Nazis were to march. The neighborhood was quiet, and the proliferation of “Erase the Hate” signs that had bloomed on many of the small front lawns of this working-class neighborhood were noticeable. But soon, traffic on the police radio channels picked up. Shortly after 10 a.m., when a dispatcher reported that gang members wearing colors were gathering along Stickney, Central, and Ketcham avenues, Chief Navarre began to worry. “This is not going to be pretty,” he predicted. “I’m starting to get a pretty bad feeling.” Residents in the neighborhood had even earlier signs of trouble. Ramon Perez, a Lagrange Village Council member, said he was canvassing the neighborhood for days before the planned march. “Even Friday night, at Bronson and Stickney, that’s all we were hearing: ‘We’re taking this place down.’” Though police had feared there could be violence — they initially brought in 150 extra officers — they expected any trouble would be between the Nazi marchers and protesters. And initially, that appeared to be a possibility. Around 11 a.m. yesterday, about 15 Nazis had gathered next to the east side of Woodward High School, holding signs and chanting things like “white pride, not hate.” They carried homemade signs, such as, “White People Unite! Fight For Your Race. A crowd of about 300 counter-protesters across the street from them also shouted: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this Nazi hate has got to go.” Their signs included, “Black and White Unite” and “No Racists in Toledo. John Haynes, 22, a black North Toledo resident wearing a Dallas Cowboys football jersey, said the Nazis were “crazy for coming down here and starting all this.” A member of the National Socialist Movement confronts protesters on Stickney Avenue on the grounds of Woodward High School in Toledo. ( THE BLADE/ALLAN DETRICH ) Zoom As he watched them from across the street, he observed that “they’re lucky there’s a lot of police around, or they’d get hurt. There ain’t no problem here” between the races. The National Socialist Movement, who call themselves “America’s Nazi Party,” said they came to Toledo because of “black criminal behavior,” according to Bill White, a spokesman from the group who lives in Roanoke, Va. He said the spark for their visit was a dispute between a white North Toledo man and black North Toledo woman who are neighbors. Signs of violence By 11:15 a.m., police had already reported rocks flying. Along Stickney Avenue, as mounted patrol officers pushed back the crowd off the sidewalk, angry residents screamed at passing police. “Which side are you on?” shrieked one woman. “I don’t see you pushing any Nazis back!” “There are a lot of angry people right now, and we have to deal with that,” Chief Navarre said as he huddled with his officers trying to plan the police strategy. Lucas County Sheriff James Telb, whose deputies assisted in security yesterday, stood near Chief Navarre listening to reports coming in of tear gas being fired and crowds throwing rocks. Asked why police released the route of the parade to the general public yesterday morning, Chief Navarre said neighbors in the area had requested it so they would know if the march affected their streets. As it was, he added, the route was a moot point because the Nazis never marched. By noon, the Nazis were pretty much out of the picture. Police canceled the march after reports began to trickle in of violence breaking out along the planned march route. The chief declared: “It’s over. It’s done. Get ‘em back in their cars and get them the heck outta here.” “They accomplished what they wanted,” Sheriff Telb said of the Nazi group. “They got chaos.” ‘We need help’ A large group of people gathered at East Central Avenue and Mulberry Street to await marchers just before noon, but the crowd quickly grew restless and dangerous as they pelted cars with rocks and yelled at passing motorists. Sometime around noon, a harrowing voice boomed through the police radio. “We need help! We need help!” an officer said repeatedly. A crowd that gathered at East Central and Mulberry threw rocks, two of which shattered the windshield of the cruiser. That intersection quickly became ground zero for the mob that took over that section of town. Numerous vehicles were showered with bricks, stones, and just about any object people could find. Some took large, broken stones and threw them against the edge of the curb to break it into more stones so others could throw them at police and others. Police fired back with pepper spray, mace, and wooden bullets. People scattered from the intersection, only to quickly gather back. By midafternoon Chief Navarre said 60 percent of the city’s entire police force, or roughly 400 officers, were on duty in the area. “I just came here to watch,” said Mick Juhasz, 33, who said he lives in East Toledo. “They don’t need to [shoot at us.]” One of the police command units was pelted with rocks at the intersection, shattering the windshield and windows and officers drove away. The same thing happened to a Lucas County Life Squad that tried to make its way through East Central. The crowd moved to the American Petroleum convenience store about 2 p.m. Store owner Sukhdue Singh Khalsa said looters broke windows and security bars, turned over the ice machine ,and started stealing items from the store. He said his vehicle was turned over and damaged. Demonstrators pelt a Toledo Police sport utility vehicle with rocks at Mulberry Street and Central Avenue in Toledo. ( THE BLADE/ALLAN DETRICH ) Zoom “We were very busy and after 2 o’clock, more than 500 people came and started throwing rocks,” said Mr. Khalsa, who said he wasn’t there but had two employees working. “They took cigarettes, cash, and a lot of things.” Mr. Khalsa later walked through his store with trash and damaged food items thrown all around. The windows were all broken out and glass littered the floor. Negotiations fail At around 2:30 p.m., Mayor Ford, Mr Walter, Toledo Fire Chief Mike Bell, and the Rev. Mansour Bey, associate pastor of First Church of God, approached a crowd of about 600 people at the intersection of Mulberry and Central in an attempt to calm the crowd. It didn’t work. Using a megaphone to make themselves heard over the shouts from the crowd, Mr. Ford and Mr. Bell tried to explain that the Nazis had left hours ago. “I’ve sat here, and for the last couple of hours, we have tore up our own neighborhood ... The Nazis are gone,” Mr. Bell shouted. “Why were they allowed to be here? That’s what I want to know,” screamed back one man. Many members of the crowd yelled that the Nazis should never have been able to march in the first place. Mayor Ford said he heard one person in the crowd say to him: “I ought to shoot you.” As the officials talked with the crowd, looters just across the intersection broke into Jim and Lou’s Bar and began stealing merchandise. At one point, Mr. Bell appeared to be successful in negotiating. He approached a crowd of police officers gathered a couple of blocks away and announced that the crowd “said they’d disperse if the police left.” He returned to the intersection, but someone had set Jim and Lou’s bar on fire. Walking back toward the police, Chief Bell just shook his head. “No negotiating. We’re done,” he said. “They set the building on fire.” Unable to kick a side door of the bar open, one rioter had used a gun to shoot the lock open. The stairway inside led to the upstairs apartment. Rioters started throwing furniture and appliances and book shelves from the apartment’s windows before setting it on fire. They chanted and waved their hands outside as the blaze roared through the upstairs apartment. “This is stupid,” said O’Shai Crenshaw, 27, who lives on St. John Avenue. “Why burn this building? That building isn’t [owned by] the police or the Nazis. This doesn’t make any sense.” Police began to move toward Central and Mulberry, firing tear gas, and pushing the crowd back and making arrests. Sir Boston, 53, of Central Avenue, pleaded with police not to let firefighters down to that intersection just yet. “Don’t let them go down there. They’ll brick em,” Mr. Boston said. He warned them that five gangs had taken control of the intersection. A Zoom “This is crazy,” he said as he saw police move in along Mulberry. Firefighters followed close behind, many in bullet-proof vests. Mr. Boston was arrested as part of the mass sweep moments later, despite trying to provide on-street intelligence to officers. Police said they had no time to determine whether he was innocent and whether he should have been released from custody. Steve Marshall, the nephew of Jim and Lou’s Bar owner Louis Ratajski, said he has not heard from his uncle since the fire. He said watching his uncle’s bar burn down on national television made his blood boil. “Yeah, I’m angry,” Mr. Marshall said later. “You lost a half-century of history in that bar for some silliness. I don’t blame the administration or the police. I blame the parents. I don’t want to hear about the schools or anything. I want to know where were the fathers and where were the mothers to let their kids run amok.” What’s next At 4 p.m., after police had broken up most of the crowds, Toledo police Lt. Frank Ramirez stood in the intersection of Central and Mulberry surrounded by shattered bricks, stones, and glass. “It was just a mob,” he said. “Obviously the unexpected happened.” Chief Navarre echoed that. “Hindsight’s always 20/20,” he said at a news conference later. “There are some things that we would have done different. We wouldn’t have allowed that group to go into a neighborhood ... The march in that neighborhood was a bad idea. I mean, the march never took place. We couldn’t have let it take place. These people would have been eaten alive.” Mr. Navarre added a thought that many throughout the city will no doubt be thinking today: “We’ve got community relations we’re going to have to mend,” he said. David Lewis, 35, a Wal-Mart employee who has been living on Bronson since 1979, said frustrations have been mounting for years because of a lack of city services in North Toledo. “My question is: What do we do tomorrow?” he asked. “The source of the problem is you have not put something in the neighborhood to help kids. Nobody’s addressing the real situation.” “The community’s got to heal,” Chief Navarre said. “There’s a lot of unrest, there’s a lot of anger among young people living in that neighborhood,” he said. “... The community leaders have to step-up, the ministers, the people who live in the neighborhood. They have to meet with these young people, the ones who were out there voicing all this rage and anger and find out what this is all about. It’s got to be more than just a rally.” Mayor Ford took a little different perspective. “I don’t think it’s going to have a lasting impact,” he said of the day’s events. “No one was killed. I don’t believe anyone was seriously injured. There was a crowd-control issue. There was milling around. After talking with them, and them deciding to desist, we had the place cleared. It was done. There were some arrests made. And that’s the way it should have been handled.” This story was written and reported by Blade Staff Writer Luke Shockman with reporting by Kim Bates, Joshua Boak, Erica Blake, Roberta de Boer, Dale Emch, Tom Henry, Clyde Hughes, Andre Monroe, Mike Sigov, Tom Troy, and Mark Zaborney.

Violence in Toledo: What happened, when it happened 8:45 a.m.: Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre talks with about 40 counter-demonstrators in a parking lot of Manhattan Plaza in North Toledo, about five blocks from the site of a planned neo-Nazi march. “You can pretty much go where you want,” the chief tells the protesters. “Just try not to obstruct anybody. It’s too nice a day to end up in jail.” 9:40 a.m.: Chief Navarre drives around the neighborhood and everything is quiet, with “Erase the Hate” signs displayed on many front lawns. 10:05 a.m.: A police dispatcher reports gang members wearing colors gathering along Stickney, Central, and Ketcham avenues. “This is not going to be pretty,” Chief Navarre predicts. “I’m starting to get a pretty bad feeling.” 11 a.m.: About a dozen neo-Nazis in uniform gather at the east side of Woodward High School yelling, “White pride, not hate” and racial insults. Across the street, a growing crowd of people yells back as they held signs like “No Nazi Hate” and “Fight Racism, Down With Nazis.” Police were stationed near the neo-Nazis to protect them from the crowd. 11:20 a.m.: A line of about 40 more Toledo police officers makes its way to the neo-Nazis to surround them in preparation for the march. 11:25 a.m.: Some police officers begin arming themselves with plastic shields. 11:35 a.m.: Protesters throw rocks at the neo-Nazis and mounted police patrols. Police make the first arrest involving the protest. 11:45 a.m.: After surrounding the neo-Nazis, numbering about 15, police and the marchers walk to Woodrow Wilson Park, where a wall of police stands between the neo-Nazis and members of the media gathered for a press conference. 11:50 a.m.: Bill White, a spokesman for the National Socialist Movement — which calls itself “America’s Nazi Party” — complains that police are preventing 40 more of his members from joining them. Police say those members arrived late, after the area was secured. 11:55 a.m.: The first of countless tear gas canisters are fired by police at crowds along Mulberry. Mobs swarm Bronson Avenue, throwing bricks and rocks through windows and hitting several people. John Szych runs into a back room of his house and emerges with a handgun. He fires six warning shots. “You want more?” he yells. 11:57 a.m.: As angry crowds along Stickney begin throwing bricks and rocks at vehicles, police decide to cancel the march out of fear that the situation could get out of control. Screaming “censorship” and making the Nazi salute, the neo-Nazis eventually agree to get into their cars and drive away. 12:20 p.m.: The neo-Nazis are gone from the North Toledo area by now, but violence begins to intensify. Crowds of several hundred people begin gathering at the intersection of Central and Mulberry. 12:25 p.m.: The Central and Mulberry mobs begin throwing rocks. Police respond by launching tear gas canisters. 12:30 p.m.: An endless stream of vehicles, including a local TV truck, is pelted with bricks and rocks by mobs. At least one Toledo police sport utility vehicle is seen driving through the neighborhood with its windshield and other windows smashed. 12:35 p.m.: The standoff between police and rioters intensifies on Mulberry. Thirty or more vehicles have their windows smashed by rioters at Central and Mulberry. 12:40 p.m.: Police yell through megaphones, asking the crowd to disperse or face arrest. 1:15 p.m.: Chief Navarre declares the “worst is over” and praises his officers’ restraint. 1:30 p.m.: More tear gas is fired at the crowd along Mulberry near Central. Police, stationed at the intersection of Streicher Street and Mulberry, begin yelling to one another that the crowd is getting ready to rush them. They move several patrol cars back to prevent them from getting their windows smashed. “Stay together! Don’t get separated!” police yell to each other. 1:35 p.m.: An ambulance is pelted by a barrage of rocks and bricks, and the windshield is smashed. 2 p.m.: Looters break windows and steal items at American Petroleum convenience store at Stickney Avenue and East Central. Police again launch tear gas at the crowd at Central and Mulberry. 2:15 p.m.: Mayor Jack Ford arrives at Mulberry near Wilson Park. Mayor Ford, Fire Chief Mike Bell, and the Rev. Mansour Bey from the First Church of God in Toledo walk down Mulberry toward Central. Mr. Ford, his head down, tells a reporter that he hopes to disperse the crowd without more violence erupting. With a megaphone, Chief Bell tries to talk to the crowd, numbering about 300 to 400. “Listen up! The Nazis have been gone two hours!” Mayor Ford also tries to talk to the crowd through the megaphone, explaining that the neo-Nazi group had a constitutional right to march. The crowd is angered by that explanation. Mayor Ford at times hands the bullhorn to a reputed gang leader, who tries to calm people down while the mob is screaming at the mayor and others. 2:50 p.m.: Looters break into Jim & Lou’s Bar, at 3032 Mulberry, steal liquor, destroy an upstairs apartment, and set it on fire. 2:55 p.m.: Looters emerge from a building, believed to be a bar, at Central and Mulberry, only 20 yards from where Mayor Ford, Chief Bell, and Mr. Bey are addressing the crowd. Shots are heard. Reports quickly circulate through the crowd that looters discovered guns in the establishment. Mayor Ford, Chief Bell, and Mr. Bey begin walking back on Mulberry toward Woodrow Wilson Park, shaking their heads in disgust and acknowledging their frustration. 3 p.m.: Chief Bell heads back to the police command post. “They said they’d disperse if the police left,” he explains, then heads back toward the crowd at Mulberry and Central. 3:15 p.m.: Smoke can be seen pouring from the looted bar. Chief Bell walks back to the police. “No negotiating. We’re done,” he says. Police begin to move in to secure the area so that fire trucks can get to the building. 3:20 p.m.: Two fire trucks arrive behind police crews on Mulberry near Streicher. Many of the firefighters are wearing bulletproof vests. A black man, Sir Boston, 53, of Central Avenue, runs toward the police officers and pleads with them not to let the fire trucks in for their own safety just yet. He warns that five gangs have control of the Central and Mulberry intersection, and that firefighters are sure to be assaulted if they attempt to put out the blaze. Police move in, anyway, now determined to disperse the crowd with tear gas and a show of force.

AP 17 Oct 2005 Steps to avert riots failed Calls for calm, delayed release of neo-Nazis' parade route weren't enough to prevent mob violence that led to 114 arrests in Toledo By John Seewer Associated Press October 17, 2005 TOLEDO, Ohio -- In the days leading up to a white supremacist march, ministers pleaded with residents to stay calm, and community leaders organized peace rallies. Authorities even delayed releasing the route so protesters wouldn't know where the group planned to march. It wasn't enough to stop an angry mob that included gang members from looting and burning a neighborhood bar, smashing the windows of a gas station and hurling rocks and bottles at police Saturday. Twelve officers were injured, one suffering a concussion when a brick flew through her cruiser window. In all, 114 people were arrested on charges including assault, vandalism, failure to disperse and overnight curfew violations. "We knew during the preparation that it was going to be a tremendous challenge," Police Chief Mike Navarre said Sunday. "Anyone who would accuse us of being underprepared I would take exception with that." Much of the anger boiled over because people were upset that city leaders were going to let the supremacists walk through the neighborhood and shout insults, residents and authorities said. "You can't allow people to come challenge a whole city and not think they weren't going to strike back," said Kenneth Allen, 47, who watched the violence begin near his home. Authorities said there was little they could do to stop the group because they did not apply for a parade permit and instead planned to walk along sidewalks. "They do have a right to walk on the Toledo sidewalks," said Mayor Jack Ford, who at one point confronted leaders of the mob and tried to settle them down. If the neo-Nazi group tries to come back, Ford said he would seek a court order to stop them. Navarre said the riots escalated because members of the National Socialist Movement took their protest to the neighborhood, which is predominantly black, instead of a neutral place. "If this march had occurred in downtown Toledo, we wouldn't have had the unrest," he said. The neo-Nazi group, known as "America's Nazi Party," said they came to the city because of a dispute between neighbors, one white and the other black. The crowds were eventually dispersed by police in riot gear after about four hours, and the mayor declared a state of emergency that remained in effect through the weekend.

www.gallatinnewsexaminer.com 17 Oct 2005 Crisis in Darfur region of Sudan can't be ignored, Fisk audience hears By JEANNINE F. HUNTER Staff Writer Inside the national Holocaust museum, there is an inscription that reads "You are witnesses." Taken from the book of Isaiah, it is a reminder that the Nazi killing of millions in Europe during World War II did occur, Jerry Fowler, director of the Committee on Conscience for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said yesterday at Fisk University. "It is also a challenge, a challenge to each of us not only to be witnesses of the injustices of yesterday but of the injustices of today," Fowler said inside Fisk Memorial Chapel, where hundreds gathered yesterday for a community forum on Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been murdered and raped and close to 2 million have been displaced since 2003. Darfur is in the western region of Sudan, a nation in East Africa. Sponsoring the community forum was a group called Tennesseans Against Genocide, a Nashville-based coalition of academic, religious and civic organizations and individuals formed to educate the community about the crisis in Sudan. Participants such as Sudanese who relocated to the Midstate gave firsthand accounts and described local, national and international responses. Other participants included Fisk University President Hazel O'Leary, the Rev. Ed Sanders of Nashville's Metropolitan Interdenominational Church Dr. Daniel Schafer of Belmont University and Dr. Mahgoub of Tennessee State University. Fowler, whose office guides the museum's genocide prevention efforts, charged that the Sudan crisis cannot be ignored and recalled how during World War II different heads of state and religious leaders were aware of the Nazi killings but did not initially intervene. "Today, it (Sudan) is a place where people are being destroyed," Fowler said, adding that they are being "murdered for who they are, because of their identity, their appearance and, in some instances, their faith." Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, a Washington-based nonprofit advocacy organization, said ignorance about Africa and African affairs has contributed to a slow, global response to the conflict between ongoing Arab-dominated government-supported military and black Africans. The crisis, which Congress declared a genocide in 2004, was classified not as genocide but as widespread atrocities punishable by an international war crimes tribunal, according to a United Nations commission report in February. How to respond is complicated because of the debate about whether to classify it as a genocide, Booker said. "Genocide is not just against a targeted group of people but against all of society and it is all of society's responsibility to eradicate it," he said, adding that marginalizing victims and making them seem "deserving of the killings and subhuman fuels the genocide and influences the inaction of other nations."

www.house.gov/wolf 17 Oct 2005 Sudan For Immediate Release: October 17, 2005 WOLF CRITICAL OF LOBBYIST REPRESENTING GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN Washington, D.C. - Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today released the statement below concerning the Government of Sudan’s hiring of a Washington lobbyist. It is being inserted in the Congressional Record. Wolf, who is the chairman on the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has been to Sudan five times, most recently in June 2004. A copy of his report detailing his trip to Darfur can be found by clicking here. Extensions of Remarks The Honorable Frank R. Wolf of Virginia October 17, 2005 Sudan Hires Washington Lobbyist Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, here we go again. First it was Patton, Boggs trying to polish the image of Saudi Arabia. Then we had Akin, Gump trying to assist China in buying a U.S. oil company. Now comes the shocking news that a Washington lobby shop has landed the Government of the Republic of Sudan as a client. Where will the lobbying wheel of fortune stop next? The Government of Sudan has hired Mr. Robert J. Cabelly, managing director, C/R International, to lobby on its behalf. How can an American company use such bad judgment and represent a country whose leaders are suspected of organizing and arming militias to commit genocide? And why did the United States State Department sign-off on such a plan? While shocking to some, it may not be all that surprising for anyone familiar with Mr. Cabelly’s history. After working at the State Department for more than a decade where he developed hundreds of contacts in Africa, Mr. Cabelly went on to found C/R International. This international consulting firm received $6 million from Angola from 1996 to 2002 in order to successfully defeat a series of bills for an international oil embargo, according to a Harper’s magazine article from March 2004. “While [Mr. Cabelly’s firm] served Angola, the government’s troops beat and raped civilians, and killed suspected rebel sympathizers,” wrote Harpers’ magazine. On August 12 of this year, Mr. Cabelly filed with the Foreign Agents Registration Unit at the Department of Justice, reporting a contract with the Government of the Republic of Sudan for $530,000 per year. The contract lists the agreed representation by Mr. Cabally for the Government of Sudan as providing “public relations, government relations and strategic counsel as they would relate to implementing the North-South peace agreement, cooperating in the war on terrorism, and addressing other issues....” But make no mistake, Sudan is hiring this firm to help counteract the ongoing worldwide campaign against the government’s policy in the Darfur region of the country. This American company is taking money to wage a lobbying war against the hundreds of organizations and more than 130 million Americans who have voiced their concern about the situation in Sudan. While coalition groups work every day to call the world’s attention to the regime in Khartoum and its condoning of the action of a violent militia which is raping and killing innocent women, men and children and pillaging villages in Darfur, they might be surprised to learn that one of the Government of Sudan’s contract employees in working against it right here in Washington. Just last week there were new reports that the violence in Darfur is growing worse. The Sudan government has not reined in the janjaweed militia. There is no question about what is occurring in Sudan. Last year the United States clearly stated that genocide is occurring in Darfur. This Congress passed a resolution affirming it. President Bush has called the actions in Darfur as genocide on repeated occasions. The United Nations has referred the case to an international tribunal to investigate war crimes. I have been involved on Sudan issues for over 15 years. I have traveled to Sudan five times since 1989 with my most recent trip last summer to Darfur. I talked with women who had been raped and families whose members had been murdered. I saw emaciated children, dying from hunger and disease. I have seen with my own eyes bombed schools in Yei and horrific scenes of devastation inflicted upon the people of Sudan by government forces. The war between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army claimed the lives of over two million people and has left the country in despair. Although the fighting is over in the South and a Comprehensive Peace Agreement awaits implementation, death and destruction at the hands of the government and its proxy militia in Darfur continues unabated. The United State government and the United States Congress stands united with the people of Sudan and any lobbyist who walks these halls on behalf of the Government of Sudan is not welcome. The Sudan regime should be spending its money reining in the Janjaweed, and turning over criminals to the International Criminal Court, not hiring lobbyists to try to improve their image. We are all aware of the actions of the Government of Sudan and no amount of lobbying will change that.

www.house.gov/wolf For Immediate Release: October 20, 2005 WOLF: WAIVER TO REPRESENT SUDAN SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED Washington, D.C. - Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today released a letter criticizing the State Department for granting a waiver to allow a former employee to represent the Government of Sudan. American companies are barred from doing business with Sudan under Executive Order 13067. In the letter, addressed to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Wolf wrote that by granting the waiver the “State Department has surrendered truth to pragmatism” and notes that just this week the Bush Administration asked the United Nations Security Council to consider expanding sanctions against Sudan given Khartoum’s failure to crack down on the janjaweed militia responsible for the violence in Darfur, western Sudan. Wolf, the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the State Department, has asked Rice to reconsider the decision to grant the waiver. He also is circulating a letter among his colleagues asking them not to meet with the Sudan lobbyist. Wolf is the chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus and has been to Sudan five times, including last summer when he traveled to Darfur. To view a copy of his report detailing his trip click here. A copy of Wolf’s letter to Rice is below: October 19, 2005 The Honorable Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State 2201 C St NW Ste 7276 Washington DC 20520 Dear Secretary Rice: I was deeply disturbed to learn yesterday that the Government of Sudan has hired Mr. Robert Cabelly, managing director, C/R International, to lobby on its behalf. How can an American company exercise such bad judgment - choosing to represent a government suspected of perpetrating genocide by organizing and arming militias? But as troubling as this development may be, it comes as no surprise. Increasingly this town has appeared up for grabs to the highest bidder, with well reputed lobbying shops representing the interests of some of the world’s most unsavory governments, among them major human rights abusers. But while some are driven largely by profit motives, I would have hoped for more from the American government. Which is why I was so struck by the revelation that the U.S. State Department granted the waiver necessary to permit the genocidal government of Sudan to obtain representation. In doing so, the State Department surrendered truth to pragmatism. And this at the same time that the administration asked the United Nations Security Council to consider expanding sanctions against Sudan given Khartoum’s failure to crack down on the janjaweed. During your visit to Sudan this past summer, you experienced but a hint of the Sudanese government’s disregard for universally accepted standards of treatment when as foreign guests members of your staff and the press pool were roughed up by Sudanese authorities. But the extent of their wrongs is far more severe as has been declared by the very administration you serve. My heart breaks when I recall the two young rape victims we interviewed during my last trip to Darfur. Their story is one that bears telling, not that of their oppressors, a pariah regime. I would welcome your comments on this decision and the possibility of seeing it reversed. Also, I have enclosed a statement I placed in the Congressional Record regarding this matter. Best wishes. Sincerely, Frank R. Wolf Member of Congress P.S. Keep in mind that 2.1 million Sudanese were killed in the North/South conflict and slavery flourished in Sudan.

washingtonpost.com 18 Oct 2005 The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have Prenatal testing is making your right to abort a disabled child more like "your duty" to abort a disabled child. By Patricia E. Bauer Tuesday, October 18, 2005; A25 SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- If it's unacceptable for William Bennett to link abortion even conversationally with a whole class of people (and, of course, it is), why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities? I have struggled with this question almost since our daughter Margaret was born, since she opened her big blue eyes and we got our first inkling that there was a full-fledged person behind them. Whenever I am out with Margaret, I'm conscious that she represents a group whose ranks are shrinking because of the wide availability of prenatal testing and abortion. I don't know how many pregnancies are terminated because of prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome, but some studies estimate 80 to 90 percent. Imagine. As Margaret bounces through life, especially out here in the land of the perfect body, I see the way people look at her: curious, surprised, sometimes wary, occasionally disapproving or alarmed. I know that most women of childbearing age that we may encounter have judged her and her cohort, and have found their lives to be not worth living. To them, Margaret falls into the category of avoidable human suffering. At best, a tragic mistake. At worst, a living embodiment of the pro-life movement. Less than human. A drain on society. That someone I love is regarded this way is unspeakably painful to me. This view is probably particularly pronounced here in blue-state California, but I keep finding it everywhere, from academia on down. At a dinner party not long ago, I was seated next to the director of an Ivy League ethics program. In answer to another guest's question, he said he believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to undergo prenatal testing and to terminate their pregnancy to avoid bringing forth a child with a disability, because it was immoral to subject a child to the kind of suffering he or she would have to endure. (When I started to pipe up about our family's experience, he smiled politely and turned to the lady on his left.) Margaret does not view her life as unremitting human suffering (although she is angry that I haven't bought her an iPod). She's consumed with more important things, like the performance of the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and the dance she's going to this weekend. Oh sure, she wishes she could learn faster and had better math skills. So do I. But it doesn't ruin our day, much less our lives. It's the negative social attitudes that cause us to suffer. Many young women, upon meeting us, have asked whether I had "the test." I interpret the question as a get-home-free card. If I say no, they figure, that means I'm a victim of circumstance, and therefore not implicitly repudiating the decision they may make to abort if they think there are disabilities involved. If yes, then it means I'm a right-wing antiabortion nut whose choices aren't relevant to their lives. Either way, they win. In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same. Margaret's old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. On the west side of L.A., they aren't being born anymore, he says. The irony is that we live in a time when medical advances are profoundly changing what it means to live with disabilities. Years ago, people with Down syndrome often were housed in institutions. Many were in poor health, had limited self-care and social skills, couldn't read, and died young. It was thought that all their problems were unavoidable, caused by their genetic anomaly. Now it seems clear that these people were limited at least as much by institutionalization, low expectations, lack of education and poor health care as by their DNA. Today people with Down syndrome are living much longer and healthier lives than they did even 20 years ago. Buoyed by the educational reforms of the past quarter-century, they are increasingly finishing high school, living more independently and holding jobs. That's the rational pitch; here's the emotional one. Margaret is a person and a member of our family. She has my husband's eyes, my hair and my mother-in-law's sense of humor. We love and admire her because of who she is -- feisty and zesty and full of life -- not in spite of it. She enriches our lives. If we might not have chosen to welcome her into our family, given the choice, then that is a statement more about our ignorance than about her inherent worth. What I don't understand is how we as a society can tacitly write off a whole group of people as having no value. I'd like to think that it's time to put that particular piece of baggage on the table and talk about it, but I'm not optimistic. People want what they want: a perfect baby, a perfect life. To which I say: Good luck. Or maybe, dream on. And here's one more piece of un-discussable baggage: This question is a small but nonetheless significant part of what's driving the abortion discussion in this country. I have to think that there are many pro-choicers who, while paying obeisance to the rights of people with disabilities, want at the same time to preserve their right to ensure that no one with disabilities will be born into their own families. The abortion debate is not just about a woman's right to choose whether to have a baby; it's also about a woman's right to choose which baby she wants to have. The writer is a former Post reporter and bureau chief. Her daughter, Margaret, is a student in the post-secondary program at the Riverview School in East Sandwich, Mass., from which Margaret received her high school diploma in 2004. She also takes classes at Cape Cod Community College.

businesswire.com 19 Oct 2005 Timberland and Don Cheadle Partner to Raise Visibility of Crisis in Darfur; Limited Edition Boot, Hangtag and T-Shirt Designed by Actor and Boot Company to Drive Awareness and Donations STRATHAM, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 19, 2005--Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle and The Timberland Company, today announced the creation of a limited edition "Save Darfur" boot to raise awareness of the crisis and inspire civic and political action to help stop the genocide. The black leather boot, designed by Cheadle, includes a picture of Africa and the words "Stomp Out Genocide" on the boot's sole. One hundred pairs of the limited edition boots were distributed to humanitarian activists, policy makers, journalists and entertainment professionals, who have raised awareness of and championed change in Darfur. Timberland has also designed "Save Darfur" t-shirts and boot hangtags to inspire consumers and generate funds to help create change in the Sudan. "We are inspired and led by Don's passion to strengthen our global community and bring hope and humanity to the children and families of Darfur. We are honored to join him to raise our voice to build awareness and encourage peace," said Jeffrey Swartz, President and CEO of The Timberland Company. "We are not policy makers, politicians or activists - and so we proceed respectfully, sensitively and humbly - but within our rights and obligation as citizens of this planet." Available only at Timberland(R) retail and online (www.timberland.com), "Save Darfur" t-shirts and hangtags will be sold for $24 and $5 respectively with one hundred percent of the profits going to AmeriCares. AmeriCares, a longstanding partner of Timberland, is a global leader of humanitarian relief providing life-saving aid in the Sudan. The program also highlights the leadership efforts of the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of over 100 organizations united in support of Darfur. Sudan, suffering what some have called the world's worst humanitarian crisis, remains one of the most troubled places on earth. A symptom of civil war, armed bandits called Janjaweed permeate the region resulting in an atmosphere where rape, violence and the burning of entire villages are commonplace. Since February 2003, 2.5 million Sudanese have been displaced from their homes and 400,000 people have died. Seeking relief in neighboring camps, the 200,000 refugees in Chad lack adequate food, sanitation and health care. Don Cheadle, widely regarded as one of America's finest film actors, took up the cause of Darfur after portraying Paul Rusesabagina, the heroic survivor of a similar genocide, in the acclaimed film "Hotel Rwanda." Because of his activism, Cheadle was asked by a congressional delegation to accompany their fact-finding mission to Darfur in January 2005. He has dedicated himself to build the peace in Darfur through his active leadership in partnership with the Save Darfur Coalition. "It's shocking to see the kind of devastation that occurred there and to know it's still going on," said Cheadle. "I am working with Timberland -- a company I respect and whose pursuit of social justice I admire -- to inspire others to help bring a halt to these atrocities." To learn more about AmeriCares' relief efforts in Sudan, or to make a contribution to support these efforts, log onto americares.org or call 1-800-486-HELP (4357). For a daily monitor of news and opportunities to affect change, please visit www.savedarfur.org. About Timberland Timberland (NYSE: TBL) is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland(R) products are sold worldwide through leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland(R) retail stores. Timberland's dedication to making quality products is matched by the company's commitment to "doing well and doing good" - forging powerful partnerships among employees, consumers and service partners to transform the communities in which they live and work. To learn more about Timberland, please visit www.timberland.com.

NYT 21 Oct 2005 Former Powell Aide Says Bush Policy Is Run by 'Cabal' By BRIAN KNOWLTON WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 - Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff has offered a remarkably blunt criticism of the administration he served, saying that foreign policy had been usurped by a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal," and that President Bush has made the country more vulnerable, not less, to future crises. The comments came in a speech Wednesday by Lawrence Wilkerson, who worked for Mr. Powell at the State Department from 2001 to early 2005. Speaking to the New America Foundation, an independent public-policy institute in Washington, Mr. Wilkerson suggested that secrecy, arrogance and internal feuding had taken a heavy toll in the Bush administration, skewing its policies and undercutting its ability to handle crises. "I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita - and I could go on back," he said. "We haven't done very well on anything like that in a long time." Mr. Wilkerson suggested that the dysfunction within the administration was so grave that "if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that will take you back to the Declaration of Independence." Mr. Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and former director of the Marine Corps War College, said that in his years in or close to government, he had seen its national security apparatus twisted in many ways. But what he saw in Mr. Bush's first term "was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberration, bastardizations" and "perturbations." "What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues," he said. The former aide referred to Mr. Bush as someone who "is not versed in international relations, and not too much interested in them, either." He was far more admiring of the president's father, whom he called "one of the finest presidents we've ever had." Mr. Wilkerson has long been considered a close confidant of Mr. Powell, but their relationship has apparently grown strained at times - including over the question of unconventional weapons in Iraq - and the former colonel said Mr. Powell did not approve of his latest public criticisms.

carolinajournal.com 21 Oct 2005 Carolina Journal Exclusives Activist: Exterminate White People Black - Raleigh activist says on C-SPAN By Jon Sanders October 21, 2005 RALEIGH — A Raleigh activist and bookstore owner told a panel at Howard University Law School on Oct. 14 that the solution to many of the problems faced by black people is the extermination of “white people off the face of the planet.” Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught Africana Studies 241 in the Spring 2005 semester at North Carolina State University, also said this needs to be done “because white people want to kill us.” Addressing a panel on “Hurricane Katrina Media Coverage,” broadcast in its entirety on C-SPAN, Kambon told the audience that white people “have retina scans, they have what they call racial profiling, DNA banks, and they’re monitoring our people to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea. And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.” Kambon’s solution received slight applause in the room, to which he responded, “I don’t care whether you clap or not, but I’m saying to you that we need to solve this problem because they are going to kill us.” The course Kambon taught at NCSU in the spring of 2005, Africana Studies (AFS) 241, is listed in NCSU's Registrations and Records as "Introduction to African-American Studies II," a three-credit-hour course described as “Second in a two semester sequence in the interdisciplinary study of sub-Saharan Africa, its arts, culture, and people, and the African-American experience.” A visiting professor at NCSU since 2003, Kambon has also taught AFS 240 at the university. AFS 240 is “African Civilization,” described as: “An interdisciplinary study of centers of African civilization from antiquity to the 1960s. Such centers include ancient Egypt, Nubia, Axum, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Kilwa, Malinda, Sofola, Zinzibar and Monomotapa.” A spokesman for NCSU told Carolina Journal that the school currently has no listing of Kambon as a professor. As of this writing, however, Kambon is listed on the faculty web page for Africana Studies as affiliated faculty. Prior to his call for genocide against white people, Kambon, who owns Blacknificent Books in Raleigh, told the panel that “we are at war.” He said that white people had set up an "international plantation" for blacks, which made “every white person on earth a plantation master.” He said that, “You’re either supporting white people in their process of death, or you're for African liberation.” He stressed one point in particular. “White people want to kill us. I want you to understand that. They want to kill you,” he said. “They want to kill you because that is part of their plan.” Kambon closed his remarks by urging participants and C-SPAN viewers to "get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem, and the problem on the planet is white people." Before teaching at NCSU, Kambon was a professor of education at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, a historically black institution. He was given a Citizen's Award in 1999 by the Triangle’s left-wing newspaper, The Independent Weekly. Ironically, Kambon is also an opponent of the death penalty. Excerpts of Kambon's address may be heard online at the John Locke Foundation's blog site The Locker Room. The full remarks may be found at C-SPAN online (www.cspan.com) by searching the recent programs for "Black Media Forum on Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media." Jon Sanders is research editor for the John Locke Foundation and contributing editor at CJ. Contributing Editor Shannon Blosser also contributed to this report.

News & Observer, NC 22 Oct 2005 www.newsobserver.com 'Exterminate white people' Ex-NCSU instructor sounds off Staff File Photo by Scott Sharpe Kambon's remarks at Howard, the talk of the blogs Friday, have been roundly criticized. By TIM SIMMONS, Staff Writer Political Web sites throughout the country are crackling this week in response to statements by a former instructor at N.C. State University, who said blacks must "exterminate white people off the face of the planet." Kamau Kambon, an author who taught in NCSU's Africana Studies program as recently as last spring, made the comments Oct. 14 during a conference at Howard University in Washington. The conference was televised nationally by C-SPAN, and bloggers picked up on the comments immediately. But it wasn't until Thursday that his links to NCSU were discussed directly in The Locker Room, a site run by the John Locke Foundation of Raleigh. NCSU Provost Larry Nielsen, who oversees academic programs at the university, said Friday that Kambon taught there occasionally between the spring of 2001 and the spring of 2005. Video Go to c-span.org/watch, click on Hurricane Aftermath, then click on Black Media Forum on Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media. The program is about four hours long. Kambon made his appearance at about 3:33, and spoke for about 10 minutes. The strongest remarks came just before the 3:41 mark. WHAT KAMBON SAID 'And then finally I want to say that we need one idea, and we're not thinking about a solution to the problem. ... And the one idea is: How are we going to exterminate white people, because that, in my estimation, is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem. [A few in the audience applaud tepidly.] Now I don't care whether you clap or not, but I'm saying to you that we need to solve this problem, because they are going to kill us.' "This type of speech is counter to any reasoned discussion on the issue of race relations and is absolutely unacceptable in the N.C. State community," Nielsen said. Kambon, who owns a store in Raleigh called Blacknificent Books, said he was aware of the controversy but wouldn't comment on it. The conference at Howard was organized to discuss mainstream media coverage of racial issues after Hurricane Katrina. But Kambon's comments had little to do with that topic. He started by saying, "I'm gonna go out of bounds." He then explained how he grew up in Brooklyn and eventually began to wonder why so many of his African-American friends were dying. He concluded that the reason was systematic oppression by a society designed and run by whites. He talked about the role of blacks in "an international plantation" and suggested that "white people want to kill you." His address lasted about 10 minutes, and he saved his most scathing remarks for last. "We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem. ... So we just have to just set up our own system and stop playing and get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem, and the problem on the planet is white people." Kambon was challenged immediately by Lawrence Guyot, a respected civil rights leader and speaker at the conference. He warned the relatively small crowd that African-Americans cannot work toward full freedom with "racial fanaticism." Opio Sokoni, a filmmaker and broadcaster from Vancouver, Wash., who helped organize the event, also distanced himself from Kambon's remarks. "The people at that conference do not support the extermination of white people," Sokoni said Friday in a telephone interview. "That is ridiculous. You can't back up a statement like that. It is immoral. Even the most radical people don't talk like that." Sokoni said he has apologized to officials at Howard University who "were not at all pleased with this." NCSU officials refused to discuss why Kambon was hired, citing personnel laws. Kambon has made clear in his writings, which include the book "Subtle Suicide," that he thinks American society systematically oppresses blacks. In that regard, his views are shared by many prominent authors and academics. But most academics and civil rights leaders argue that the surest path to black progress is by working together in a positive way, said Craig C. Brookins, director of Africana Studies at NCSU. Kambon's remarks came just over two weeks after William Bennett, the former U.S. secretary of education, created a stir when he said on his radio show that "if you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett added that such an idea would be "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do." The message boards were buzzing again as Kambon's comments were circulated, including a suggestion that Kambon and Bennett be locked in a room together to resolve their differences. In his blog entry on The Locker Room, Jon Sanders posted excerpts of Kambon's remarks and a link showing his previous affiliation to NCSU. But in a phone interview Friday, Sanders said he did not intend to pursue the issue much further. "I thought it was serious because these were comments that were broadcast nationally by someone who at the time I thought might be teaching at a nationally known university," Sanders said. "I'm glad to see he is not. So I thought it was serious, although I don't know how seriously people will take him."

Black Media Forum on Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media On the eve of the Million Man March 10th anniversary, activist and radio personality Joe Madison joins a forum on the image of Blacks in American media. Black writers and media professionals discuss media coverage of race during Hurricane Katrina. The event takes place at the Howard Univ. School of Law, in Washington, DC. 10/14/2005: WASHINGTON, DC: 4 hr. : C-SPAN http://www.c-span.org/search/basic.asp?ResultStart=1&ResultCount=10&BasicQueryText=black+mainstream

United States Department of State (Washington, DC) 25 Oct 2005 Sudan Focus of New Caucus in US House of Representatives By Jim Fisher-Thompson Washington, DC A measure of the growing importance of Africa to American policymakers is the newly established House of Representatives Caucus on Sudan. The body of like-minded lawmakers joins more than 180 other caucuses in Congress focusing on timely issues such as law enforcement, medical technology, the Internet, hunger and foreign affairs. Representative Frank Wolf (Republican of Virginia), who helped establish the Sudan Caucus along with Representatives Donald Payne (Democrat of New Jersey), Michael Capuano (Democrat of Massachusetts) and Tom Tancredo (Republican of Colorado), spoke to the Washington File October 19, the day of the bipartisan group's first meeting. The mission of the caucus, Wolf said during a phone interview, is "to serve as a forum for members to discuss and advance U.S. policy toward Sudan." "Sudan needs a high level of attention," the congressman explained, "especially now after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA]," which ended 20 years of fighting between the North and the South, and because of "continuing violence in Darfur." (Wolf accompanied former Secretary of State Colin Powell to the signing of the CPA in Sudan January 9.) (See related article.) "It's important that we don't lose focus on what's taking place in the CPA arrangement, to make sure it lasts. â-oe That means supporting the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed in southern Sudan and strengthening the AU [African Union] force in Darfur," Wolf added. As for efforts in Sudan by the Bush administration, Wolf said: "Personally, I think the president has done a pretty incredible job on Sudan itself. From what I know of the work the president and Secretary Powell did on the CPA, I was ready to nominate both of them [for a Nobel Peace Prize]." In addition to President Bush's attention to Sudan, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in July visited Khartoum and the Abu Shouk Camp in Al Fashar, Sudan, where she demanded that the Sudanese government reduce violence against women in refugee camps. (See related article.) Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick has made several trips to Sudan as well. (See related article.) Since 2003, the U.S. government has committed $1.9 billion in humanitarian and development aid to Sudan. In 2005, more than $500 million in humanitarian aid was allotted to Darfur and refugee camps in neighboring Chad, with a further $204 million in food and disaster assistance requested for the next year. As for Darfur, whose refugee camps he has visited several times, Wolf said: "It's about as bad as life can possibly be. A lot of the violence has stopped because many villages have been burned," with refugees spilling into camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad. At a reception following the first caucus meeting, Tancredo became emotional, saying: "I make you a promise: All of our days are filled with hundreds of issues â-oe but this issue of Sudan will not be pushed aside." A major role for the caucus, Tancredo added, will be to exert pressure to keep the CPA on track and end the violence in Darfur. On October 4, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack issued a statement saying all "parties must immediately stop all violence in Darfur, abide by the cease-fire they signed in N'Djamena, Chad, and adhere to United Nations Security Council resolutions and the terms of the humanitarian and security protocols they signed earlier in Abuja, Nigeria." (See related article.) Despite the recent spate of natural disasters that have struck America, causing billions of dollars' worth of damage, Wolf believes the American public will continue to support current levels of humanitarian and development aid to Africa. "I know it's important to the administration and to a lot of the members of Congress," he said. "I know for a fact that the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa [International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations], Chris Smith [Republican of New Jersey], is very committed to Africa. Chris was in Darfur not that long ago. He's [very enthusiastic] and really cares about these issues," Wolf said. "So, I don't sense that Africans are going to be forgotten about. I think there will still be a great interest in Africa in the Congress." (The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

washingtonpost.com 26 Oct 2005 Lobbyist to Put In a Good Word for Sudan By Al Kamen Wednesday, October 26, 2005; A17 As they say in Washington, "If you've got a phone -- and a half-million or so bucks -- you've got a lobbyist." So the government of Sudan, which has been getting just dreadful press in recent years -- having your troops and their militia allies committing genocide often upsets people -- has hired a Washington lobbyist to help out. Robert Cabelly , a former State Department hand who worked in the Bush I and Clinton administrations on African issues, and his firm have a contract worth $530,000 a year, not including transportation expenses, to represent the murderous regime. This did not sit well with Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who has been spearheading the drive in Congress to stop the slaughter in the Darfur region. Wolf took to the House floor last week to condemn the agreement -- "Where will the lobbying wheel of fortune stop next?" he asked -- and to blast the State Department for waiving sanctions on doing business with Sudan so Cabelly could get the contract. President Bill Clinton issued the executive order imposing the sanctions. Congress last year passed a resolution regarding genocide in Sudan, and President Bush has repeatedly labeled the actions in Darfur as genocide. The United Nations is investigating. Wolf wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice , saying that "increasingly this town has appeared up for grabs to the highest bidder, with well-reputed lobbying shops representing the interests of some of the world's most unsavory governments." But "I would have hoped for more from the American government." The State Department, asked about Wolf's letter, issued a response saying that "we believed that Robert Cabelly, in advising the Sudanese Government, would provide a perspective on U.S. concerns and policy that would be useful in advancing the peace process and resolving the crisis in Darfur." But Wolf has yet to receive a response from Rice. "I would hope and expect they will reverse" the waiver, he told us, adding that "nobody would have represented the Soviet Union during the days of Ronald Reagan ." The Los Angeles Times reported in the spring that the head of Sudanese intelligence was secretly flown here in April for meetings with U.S. officials about terrorism. (Sudan, an official state sponsor of terrorism, according to the State Department, knows a lot about these things.) So the Sudanese should surely have an adequate "perspective on U.S. concerns and policy." What part of G-E-N-O-C-I-D-E don't they get?

The New Republic 27 Oct 2005 www.tnr.com AMERICA'S SUDAN STRATEGY HAS CHANGED--FOR THE WORSE. All Quiet by Eric Reeves Only at TNR Online | Post date 10.27.05 Early in his first term, after reading a memo outlining American acquiescence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, President Bush jotted in the margin, "Not on my watch." Bush seemed to be making a promise to himself that, should he ever need to, he would act to prevent genocide in Africa. But now genocide is taking place in Africa on Bush's watch, and the president has done little to stop it. Worse, in the last six months the administration's stance towards the genocidal Sudanese government seems to have shifted towards one of appeasement--at a time when the situation in Darfur grows more dire by the day...

Boston Globe 28 Oct 2005 Suit challenges how Armenian genocide is taught Plaintiffs see state guidelines as censorship By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff | October 28, 2005 A high school senior and two teachers have become unlikely allies with a group of Turkish Americans in a federal lawsuit against the Massachusetts Department of Education over its curriculum on the Armenian genocide. The student and teachers said yesterday that they don't necessarily agree with a small group of historians who contend that the slaughter of more than a million Armenians by Turks during World War I wasn't genocide. The case is about censorship, they say, and what they see as state education officials buckling to political pressure and deliberately omitting opposing viewpoints from its course materials about one of the worst massacres in world history. ''I think history teachers have a responsibility to teach students many perspectives of historical events, particularly events that are controversial today," said Ted Griswold, a Lincoln-Sudbury High School senior, who joined the Assembly of Turkish American Associations as a plaintiff in the suit filed Wednesday in US District Court in Boston. The suit alleges that the Department of Education, its commissioner, David P. Driscoll, and board chairman James A. Peyser, violated the civil rights of free speech and due process by eliminating material from the curriculum that challenged whether the massacre was a genocide. The Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill in 1998 that required the Department of Education to create guidelines for a high school curriculum on genocide and human rights issues, including the Holocaust, the Irish potato famine, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the Armenian genocide. But after initially including dissenting views from Turkish groups and historians, education officials removed those materials from the curriculum when they received a letter of protest from the bill's sponsor, Senator Steven A. Tolman, a Brighton Democrat. ''The historical fact is that genocide happened; over a million Armenians were slaughtered," said Tolman, citing reports in 1915 from the US ambassador in Turkey that Armenians were being exterminated. ''We should not even open the door for any such discussion or attempt to insinuate that it did not take place." Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll, who is also named in the suit, said yesterday that Tolman pointed out that the law clearly referred to the ''Armenian genocide," and therefore it would be wrong to include material that suggested it wasn't genocide. ''These people who object to calling it a genocide need to go to the Legislature," said Driscoll. ''We're just following a directive as a state agency." Driscoll said teachers aren't prohibited from including dissenting viewpoints from other groups, or the Turkish government, if they want to expand on the guidelines provided by the state. But Bill Schechter, a plaintiff in the suit who teaches American history at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, said, ''If they are sending out guides, they should be helpful, thorough, and balanced, where balance is required. Why is the state declaring there is no controversy when there is?" Those sentiments were echoed by the other teacher who joined in the lawsuit, Lawrence Aaronson, who teaches a constitutional law course at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School. Aaronson said students need to know multiple perspectives when learning history so they can sort out the truth. Anthony Barsamian, chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America, a Washington-based, nonprofit, advocacy organization, said there is an established historical record about the genocide and the suit is ''clearly an affront to all who have ancestors who suffered and were victims of Armenian genocide." But Boston lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate, who filed the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, said the American government hasn't taken a position on whether it was a genocide, and the United Nations has never voted on the issue. ''Given the fact this is a controversy in which reasonable scholars disagree, I want to see the Legislature . . . keep their hands off school curriculums and let professional educators decide how to teach these subjects," Silverglate said.


Afghanistan see The Netherlands

BBC 17 Oct 2005 'Taleban' kill two Afghan clerics Two pro-government clerics have been killed in separate attacks by suspected Taleban militants in Afghanistan, government officials say. Mohammad Gul was shot dead near a mosque in Lashkargah, Helmand, and Noor Ahmed Jan was killed in Ghaziabad district of the eastern Kunar province. This brings to three the number of religious figures killed in three days. About 5,000 people protested on Sunday in Khost, urging the government to protect religious scholars. QUICK GUIDE Afghanistan Mohammad Gul - a member of a clerics' council known as Shura-e Ulema - was shot dead as he walked home from a mosque in Lashkargah, the provincial capital of Helmand, a provincial official said. No one has claimed the killings, but the government blamed them on the Taleban. 'Political killing' It is a political killing. The Taleban did it. It is their work Gen Abdul Gafar Kunar police chief Hours later militants attacked the home of Noor Ahmad Jan, head of the clerics' council in Kunar, local police chief Gen Abdul Ghafar said. Locals in the area who knew Mawlavi Noor Ahmed Jan told the BBC that the cleric was very critical of the Taleban. "He used to tell people that what Taleban did was against the spirit of Islam," one resident, Amin Jan, said. Another person who knew the cleric, Abdul Satar, said that Noor Ahmad Jan had allegedly received a threat some days ago warning him that he would be killed if he did not stop talking against the Taleban. "It is a political killing. The Taleban did it. It is their work," Gen Abdul Ghafar told the BBC. Murdered cleric The BBC's Andrew North in Kabul says to be a religious leader in Afghanistan who backs President Hamid Karzai has become ever more dangerous. He says what now appears to be a systematic campaign began in May, when a prominent religious leader and government supporter was shot dead in the southern city of Kandahar. Twenty people were killed and 40 injured when a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in the city, where mourners had gathered for a service for a cleric murdered earlier in the week. The Taliban said they carried out the attack. Since then they have been blamed for the killings of another seven clerics around Afghanistan regarded as being pro-government. The reasoning is simple, observers say - the Taliban regard any cleric who backs the government as one of the most potent threats to their campaign to re-establish their brand of religious rule. A pro-government cleric, Mawlavi Ahmed Khan, was killed on Friday in Tanai district of Khost province. His funeral brought thousands of supporters onto the streets of his home city demanding his killers be brought to justice. More than 1,200 people have been killed in the upsurge of violence in Afghanistan this year.

IRIN 18 Oct 2005 Rights body warns of warlords' success in elections KABUL, 18 October (IRIN) - More than half the candidates elected last month to Afghanistan's lower house of parliament and provincial councils are believed to have links to armed groups, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has warned. "More than 80 percent of winning candidates in provinces and more than 60 percent in the capital Kabul have links to armed groups," AIHRC deputy chairman Ahmad Fahim Hakim said on Monday, adding some were notorious warlords. Horia Mosadiq, country director for the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC), said one of the main reasons for the low voter turnout was the presence of candidates linked to illegal armed groups. "Infiltration of candidates being linked to [these] groups to the parliament would hurt the process of democratisation in the war-ravaged country," she added. Electoral law barred anyone with links to armed groups seeking election, but activists claim that with nearly 2,800 candidates, many warlords involved in the bloodshed of the past quarter-century slipped through a UN-backed review. Local analyst Qasim Akhgar said the presence of warlords in the legislature would disappoint many people seeking an arms-free society after more than two decades of war and destruction. "If warlords infiltrate the parliament, the parliament would lose the support of people … and it will decelerate the process of democracy," he warned. Grant Kippen, chairman of the Electoral Complaint Commission (ECC), said: "It is the responsibility of any individual organisation to provide us with evidence indicating the links of candidates to illegal arms groups," noting the ECC could still disqualify candidates. "Disqualification of candidates depends on the quality of the evidence," he said. Of the country's 12.5 million registered voters, about 6.8 million Afghans took part in the 18 September polls to elect a national legislature and 34 provincial councils for a five-year term. Almost 5,800 candidates contested the elections, including more than 2,700 for the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga (lower house) and more than 3,000 for 420 seats in the provincial councils. Results had been finalised for Nimroz and Farah provinces, with others expected to be completed by the end of October, according to electoral officials. Meanwhile, at least 50 electoral staff have been sacked for alleged fraud offences, following accusations of irregularities that sparked demonstrations in cities across the country. Hundreds rallied on Sunday in several areas, including the southern city of Kandahar. According to electoral officials, about 680 ballot boxes, containing about three percent of total votes, were taken out of the counting process because of the fraud allegations. The elections for the Wolesi Jirga and provincial councils were the first in the war-ravaged country in more than three decades and a key step in the transition to democracy mapped out after the hard-line Taliban regime was ousted in late 2001.

AP 18 Oct 2005 Former governor who oversaw destruction of ancient Buddhas is elected to Afghan parliament By AMIR SHAH | Associated Press October 18, 2005 KABUL, Afghanistan - A former regional governor who oversaw the destruction of two giant 1,500-year-old Buddha statues during the Taliban's reign has been elected to parliament, election organizers announced Tuesday as the results from two provinces were finalized. In the latest fighting, meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition forces killed four police after mistaking them for militants during an operation in southern Afghanistan, a top government official said Tuesday. The coalition said it could not confirm the incident and was investigating. The Taliban disregarded worldwide protests in March 2001 and used dynamite and artillery to blow up the fifth-century Buddha statues, famed for their size and location along the ancient Silk Road linking Europe and Central Asia. The Taliban considered them idolatrous and anti-Muslim. At the time, Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi was the Taliban's governor of Bamiyan province where the statues are located. After U.S.-led forces ousted the fundamentalist regime in late 2001, he fled to the country's north and was never detained unlike other Taliban officials. On Sept. 18, he stood as an election candidate in neighboring Samangan province and won, according to results on the Web site of the U.N.-Afghan election organizers. Election law didn't bar former Taliban officials from taking part in the race. Speaking to The Associated Press, Mohammadi said he should not be held responsible for the Buddhas destruction. "It was not my decision. It was foreigners like Chechans and Arabs with the Taliban who made the decision. They were crazy people," he said in a telephone interview. "Even though I was governor, I had no power." Samangan province is also home to some artifacts, including Buddhist stupas and the remains of a 1,000-year-old monastery, and Mohammadi said, "I will do everything I can to protect them." Though provisional results have been published for several regions, only four provinces have been finalized, including Samangan and nearby Kapisa province Tuesday. Also declared winners in those areas were three former warlords who are suspected still to have ties to armed groups. Human rights officials say that at least half of the winners are regional strongmen linked to armed groups, raising fears of more violence. In the latest bloodshed to wrack the country, U.S.-led coalition troops opened fire at police in Kandahar province's Maywand district late Monday after spotting the officers firing their weapons into the air and mistaking them for Taliban rebels, Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid said. It was not immediately clear why the police were firing into the air. U.S. military spokeswoman Sgt. Marina Evans said investigators were looking into the shooting but that she could not confirm it involved coalition forces. Meanwhile, a bomb exploded on a main road in the south and killed an Afghan guard working for an American security company and wounded two others, Khalid said. Fighting has escalated in Afghanistan in the past half year, leaving more than 1,400 people dead and raising fears for the country's nascent democracy. ___ On the Net: Joint Election Management Board: http://www.jemb.org

BBC 20 Oct 2005 US probe into 'Taleban burnings' The US military says it will investigate claims that US soldiers publicly burnt the bodies of two Taleban fighters in Afghanistan. It comes after an Australian TV station broadcast footage of what appear to be US soldiers burning the bodies. The footage shows other troops apparently taunting residents of a nearby village, which they believed to be harbouring the Taleban. The act of burning corpses is a violation of Islamic tradition. The US military has condemned the alleged acts, saying they will be "aggressively investigated". QUICK GUIDE Afghanistan "This alleged action is repugnant to our common values, is contrary to our commands-approved tactical operating procedures, and is not sanctioned by this command," spokesman Maj Gen Jason Kamiya said. 'Cowardly dogs' The footage was shot in the village of Gonbaz outside Kandahar by Australian cameraman Stephen DuPont, who was embedded with a US unit, for SBS's Dateline programme. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies - this just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be Troops' alleged message It shows a group of five soldiers standing on a rocky ledge, watching two burning corpses with arms and legs outstretched. Islamic tradition states that bodies should be washed, prayed over, wrapped in white cloth and buried within 24 hours. The soldiers initially said they were burning the bodies for hygiene reasons. The TV report also suggests that the incident could be in violation of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of enemy remains, which states that the dead should be honourably interred. Later footage showed two soldiers reading from a notebook messages which they said had already been broadcast to villagers. "Attention Taleban you are cowardly dogs," the message reads. "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing West and burnt. "You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the ladyboys we always believed you to be."


www.smh.com.au 17 Oct 2005 Steps towards hope through great sadness Grief and yet ... dancers in Fagaala, a work about Rwanda. Photo: John Donegan October 17, 2005 Few choreographers would take on genocide as a topic, writes Robin Usher. All of Africa appears as a basket case to many people, a never-ending victim of wars, famine and corruption that needs the leadership of such people as Bono and Bob Geldof to save it from itself. But this infuriates the Senegalese choreographer, Germaine Acogny, who believes that Africans have to take responsibility for their own problems. "As a woman and an artist, I have taken on this role to fight against these things," she said. She is in Australia with her dance company, Jant-Bi, and their latest work, Fagaala, which is about the Rwandan genocide 11 years ago (it means "genocide" in Senegalese). "Dance can go everywhere and movement can shock people into thinking about these terrible things," she says. Acogny is widely acclaimed in Europe, where she has twice been awarded French honours, including being made chevalier in the country's order of merit. She has danced solo around the world, including at the 1992 Sydney Festival, and worked in Paris for four years until 2000. She acknowledges the Rwandan genocide is a depressing topic, but says nothing is all black and white. "A new order can be created through hope, love and forgiveness." She is furious at the media coverage of Africa, which she says concentrates exclusively on negative issues, when there are so many good things to report about the continent. "I strongly believe that if only one television station decided to broadcast positive news that would change the world," she says. "People would have their spirits uplifted, which would make things better everywhere." She thought about Fagaala for four years after reading a book about the slaughter of 500,000 people in Rwanda in 1994. But the project only came together after she met Japanese choreographer and Butoh student Kota Yamazaki in Tokyo in 2002. The two collaborated at Acogny's base on the west African coast to create the work, which premiered in Senegal and then transferred to California for more development in early 2003. Acogny and her husband, Helmut Vogt, who is also Jant-Bi's manager, set up a dance school using mostly their own funds in Senegal. The school brings students together from across Africa to study and exchange skills. But she accepts that non-Africans can play a role when it comes to aid. Proceeds from Saturday night's performance of Fagaala will go to help relocate some of the 200,000 refugees who have fled the violence in Darfur in Sudan. Compagnie Jant-Bi's production of Fagaala opens at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday.

Tenterfield Star, Australia 20 Oct 2005 Story of Bluff Rock massacre now in a book The hidden local history of an 1844 massacre of Aborigines re-emerges in a new book being launched in Sydney tomorrow. At Bluff Rock, 10km south of Tenterfield, a group of whites was reported to have thrown local tribespeople to their death in retaliation for the murder of a shepherd. In Bluff Rock, Autobiography of a Massacre, University of Technology, Sydney academic Dr Katrina Schlunke tackles the evidence of the fatal encounter between the Indigenous people and the white settlers. Dr Schlunke, who grew up in the New England region, also examines the hotly contested debate about the history of violence and resistance in colonial Australia. Dr Schlunke is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies within the Writing and Cultural Studies program in the UTS Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


IANS 27 Oct 2005 Bangladesh can't forget 1971 genocide: Hasina Thursday October 27 2005 00:00 IST IANS DHAKA: Bangladesh would not forget the genocide and brutality perpetrated by the Pakistan Army in 1971 though such acts could be forgiven, senior opposition leader Sheikh Hasina said here on Wednesday. Former Prime Minister Hasina, who heads the Awami League, the largest opposition party, made the remarks when Pakistan's new high commissioner Alamgir Babar called on her at her residence here. "We can forgive (Pakistan), but we cannot forget the genocide and brutal repression carried out in 1971," Hasina was quoted as saying by Awami League leader Kazi Jafarullah. "History can never be changed...we did not forget the atrocities," she reportedly said to Babar. Bangladesh, once a part of Pakistan, seceded after a nine-month war of liberation in 1971 in which some three million people were killed. The war began March 25, 1971 after the Pakistan Army launched a crackdown on unarmed Bengali-speaking civilians in Dhaka and ended Dec 16 the same year. Pakistani troops were then accused of massacring thousands of people across Bangladesh. Jafarullah told reporters that Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf had regretted the 1971 genocide during a visit to Dhaka in 2002. Babar was quoted as saying that there was widespread criticism of the genocide and repression within Pakistan. "But we want to move forward by forgetting the past," he said. Hasina and Babar also discussed terrorism, particularly the emergence of Islamic extremism, besides political, economic and social issues related to the two countries. Babar informed Hasina about the drive launched in Pakistan against terrorist groups and thanked the Bangladeshi leader for her condolence message to the Pakistan government after the deadly Oct 8 earthquake that claimed thousands of lives.


September 30, 2005 Aiding and Abetting: New Book Probes International Complicity with the KR "Getting Away With Genocide" Reviewed by Michelle Vachon The book "Getting Away with Genocide? Elusive Justice and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal" (2004) can be best described as a history of foreign intervention that thwarted what could have been the first trial held under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. Authors Tom Fawthrop and Helen Jarvis explain how issues, which had nothing to do with the Cambodians who died due to the Pol Pot administration, led Western and Asean governments to side with the Khmer Rouge and delay the trial. As a result, the trial agreement between Cambodia and the UN would not be signed until 25 years after Pol Pot's flight to Thailand, they say. Fawthrop is a British journalist who has been covering Southeast Asia since 1979. Jarvis was a consultant for the US-funded genocide research project that created the Documentation Center of Cambodia, from 1995 to 2001. She has been an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who chairs the trial's government taskforce, since 1999. "Getting Away with Genocide" does not refer to ex-Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea or Khieu Samphan who live freely in Cambodia while preparations for the trial are underway—with no start date set. Rather, the book focuses on the foreign governments who supported them for more than a decade. The book also stays out of Cambodian politics, hardly mentioning the reasons why the Cambodian government may have wanted to delay the trial and, if held, would want to keep a firm control over the proceeding. Regarding the number of Khmer Rouge leaders to take to court, the authors say only a handful should be tried, for reasons of "national reconciliation" and the need to let thousands of former Khmer Rouge soldiers peacefully reintegrate into Cambodian society. In contract, the details given on the involvement of foreign nations with the Khmer Rouge shows did those nations, as well as some Cambodians, would have good reasons to want their actions forgotten. After the Vietnamese army invaded and drove the Khmer Rouge to the Thai border in 1979, Cambodia once again became a pawn in the superpowers' latest game, Fawthrop and Jarvis say. In those last years of the Cold War between the Soviet and Western blocks, the US strived to strengthen its budding relations with China, even if that meant supporting the Khmer Rouge whose atrocities were coming to light, the authors say. For the US, this amounted to continuing its war against Vietnam while it was now in control of Cambodia, and pleasing the Chinese who had backed the Khmer Rowe all along. As a result the Khmer Rouge ended up representing Cambodia as its legitimate government at the UN; operated in Thailand with the protection and assistance of the Thai military; received some training from the British elite military force SAS; and received $1 billion in aid from China during the 1980s, the authors say. As Cambodians' accounts accumulated of torture and killings by the Khmer Rouge during their 1975-1979 regime, human rights and anti-war organizations attempted to change their governments' position on Cambodia, and get a trial under the yet-untried UN Genocide Convention, but to no avail, say Fawthrop and Jarvis. The US wanted Vietnam brought to its knees and the war in Cambodia was one of the tools. In 1979, the refugee section of the US Embassy in Bangkok was headed by Colonel Michael Eiland of the US Defence Intelligence Agency, say the authors. Eiland was a veteran of covert operations in Cambodia in the late 1960s, and his main mission was to get information from Cambodian refugees in Thai camps. Thai military Unit 838 escorted and protected Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge leaders on their soil, keeping the press at bay, say the authors. During those years, the Thai military developed a close relationship with the Khmer Rouge, which endured throughout the 1990s. They were partners in the lucrative gem and logging trades Fawthrop and Jarvis say. In 1988, Thailand elected its first civilian government, and Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan went about changing the political climate in the region, according to the authors. Also at the time, the Soviet Union was being dismantled, and the era of Glasnost (openness) was about to make the Cold War stances obsolete, they say. In spite of foreign pressure, then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk who headed the anti-Vietnamese coalition, and Prime Minister Hun Sen met in France in December 1987. This led to the 1991 Paris Agreement, which included the Khmer Rouge. In the first months of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, it was considered impolite to use the "G-word"—so as not to embarrass the Khmer Rouge with talks of genocide, say Fawthrop and Jarvis. But the Khmer Rouge soon broke the terms of the agreement took up arms and occupied sections of Cambodia's northwest. It was only in April 1997 that the saga of false starts, blunders and crises began that would end with the signature of the UN-Cambodian trial agreement on June 6,2003, the authors say. Ratification by National Assembly took place on Oct 4, 2004—after the CPP and Funcinpec's agreement had put an end to the political stalemate created after the 2003 national elections, and after a constitutional amendment on the death penalty. The authors detailed account of events describes the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York as descending on Phnom Penh with a trial proposal the Cambodian government was expected to adopt. UN Human Rights representative Thomas Hammarberg had led the Cambodians to believe that UN experts would work with them to draft plans for the trial. This had prompted Co-Prime Ministers Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh to send a request for assistance on June 21, 1997. With Hun Sen's ouster of Prince Ranariddh in the factional fighting of July 1997 and the turf war that erupted between the UN Human Rights and Legal Affairs offices over the handling of the trial, it was only in July 1999 that the UN Office of Legal Affairs submitted to the UN Security Council a proposal written in New York with no consultation with the Cambodians. Ouch Borith, the Cambodian representative to the UN, got his copy on August 4, after The New York Times leaked the details at the end of July, Fawthrop and Jarvis say. The climate of mutual mistrust and, at time, open hostility between the Cambodian government and Hans Corell, the UN chief of Legal Affairs, would never really dissipate. Those years of negotiations produced a formula with which three Cambodian and two foreign judges would try crimes under Cambodian and international law. This "Cambodian model" has since inspired new approaches for tribunals on crimes against humanity and genocide in Sierra Leone and East Timor, the authors say. The formula requires a super majority of four judges to make a decision, making it necessary to always have at least one international judge agree with Cambodian judges. Still, international and Cambodian human-rights organizations have denounced this Cambodian model as allowing too much Cambodian government control over the proceedings, Fawthrop and Jarvis say. Considering the weakness of the Cambodian judicial system—which is marked by its political allegiance to Hun Sen's government—and the climate of impunity in the country, this is understandable, they say. But the critics neglect one important fact, which is that an international trial would have been impossible since China would have vetoed the proposal at the UN Security Council, they say. With this formula—which is a bargain at an estimated $50 million to $60 million compared with the $1 billion that the Rwanda International Tribunal has so far cost—it will take place in Cambodia, an important factor in the country's healing process, Fawthrop and Jarvis say. In a biography section on Khmer Rouge leaders who may be prosecuted, the authors point out that Ieng Sary's pardon applies only to genocide, which is only one of the crimes that will be prosecuted. The book is a well-researched history of the trial, including a chapter on the Khmer Rouge tribunal held by the Vietnamese in 1979 complete with a description of its accomplishments and failings. However, in their attempt to counterbalance foreign and domestic criticisms of the CPP government regarding the history of the trial process, at times the authors sketch a reality that neglects the complex issues intertwined in the turbulent history of the last three decades: Bitter civil war; a 10-year foreign occupation; and the reintegration of the Khmer Rouge at every level of society, which includes senior government officials. For instance, they mention that the CPP campaigned on the genocide issue and won a majority in the 2003 general elections, and add that much of Cambodians' loyalty toward the CPP is due to that party's role in liberating the country from the Khmer Rouge in alliance with the Vietnamese in 1979. This history leaves out a great deal of factors, such as the elaborate party machine and political system the CPP has perfected over its 25 years in power. The authors' determination—and uneasy task—to highlight historical facts they feel have been ignored made them adopt and editorial tone—more opinions than impartial facts—when they describe the situation in Cambodia in 1979, and the work accomplished by the Vietnamese in the 1980s to rebuild the country. Written in a way that makes it accessible to a large audience, Fawthrop and Jarvis' book is full of fascinating data peppering the text, such as the fact that the Sam Rainsy candidate for Pailin in the 2003 elections was Ven Dara, the niece of jailed Khmer Rouge leader Ta Mok. The CPP candidate who won the election is Y Chhien, a former rebel general in charge of the Pailin zone. "Getting Away with Genocide?" was published by London-based Pluto Press. It is expected to be available in Cambodia later this month.


BBC 25 Oct 2005 India court acquits 108 over riot The attack on the train in Godhra sparked widespread violence More than 100 people have been acquitted over the killing of two Muslims during religious violence in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002. The two Muslims were killed in their house during a mob attack, despite a police presence. Violence broke out after an attack, allegedly by a Muslim mob, on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims in Godhra town. Some 60 Hindu passengers died. More than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, died in the rioting that ensued. The two Muslims were accompanied by police officials when they returned to collect belongings from one of their homes, which had earlier been burnt down, in March 2002. They were killed by a mob who attacked the premises. Widespread criticism Some 113 people were accused of carrying out the attack, although only 108 people were arrested in connection with it. The 108 people were acquitted by the court in Baroda for lack of evidence. Lawyers who went through the judgement say the court has indicted the police for not being able to prevent the killings and for subsequent lapses in investigation, the BBC's Rajeev Khanna reports from Ahmedabad. The attack on the Sabarmati Express, which was carrying Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, in February 2002, sparked some of the worst religious riots seen in India since partition. The BJP state government in Gujarat received widespread criticism for the manner in which the situation was handled.

BBC 25 Oct 2005 India riot politician surrenders By Ram Dutt Tripathi BBC News, Lucknow The clashes broke out after a religious dispute A local legislator, charged for inciting religious riots in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, has surrendered in court. Mukhtar Ansari is wanted by police in connection with recent Hindu-Muslim clashes on in the state's Mau district. Separately, a curfew that has been in place in Mau since the riots, was relaxed for a few hours on Tuesday. Eight people were killed and 36 others seriously injured in the riots. Mr Ansari - who represents Mau in the state legislative assembly - surrendered in a court in his home town of Gazipur. He has been sent to judicial custody by the judge. Complaint withdrawn Mr Ansari's surrender came after the state's Governor, TV Rajeswar, ordered the police to arrest him, following his visit to the riot-hit district of Mau. Although an independent legislator, Mr Ansari is known to be a supporter of the state government led by chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Violence broke out in Mau following a dispute during the Hindu festival of Dussera early this month. Hindu and Muslim mobs attacked each other with sharp weapons and several shops were burnt. The brother of one of the victims filed a police complaint against Mukhtar Ansari alleging that he incited the rioters. But he withdrew the complaint soon after. Blot The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that he withdrew the complaint under pressure from the state government. The riots in Mau are being seen as a setback for the state's chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mr Yadav has himself described the violence as a blot on his two-year term. Following the riots he ordered an inquiry and replaced several senior police and civil officials for not controlling the clashes. But this has failed to pacify the opposition which is demanding dismissal of the state government.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com 25 Oct 2005 Fear of massacre drives Hindus out of homes Aarti Tikoo Singh [ Tuesday, October 25, 2005 01:28:57 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ] JAMMU: Terrorist camps may have been destroyed in the October 8 killer quake, but terror seems to continue unabated in Jammu and Kashmir, with Hindus fleeing for their lives after being warned that they would be massacred. At least 31 Hindus fled from Khah village in Rajouri district on Sunday night following threats from terrorists, sources said. A group of terrorists headed by Special Police Officer-turned-terrorist Ayub reportedly barged into Ravinder Singh’s house in Khah village and on gunpoint looted Rs 50,000 from him. But Village Defence Committee member Rattan came to Ravinder’s rescue, fired some shots at them, forcing the terrorists to flee. While the terrorists were running away, they shouted that they would be back and would kill the villagers to set an example. Sources said the terrorists threatened the villagers by saying that they would be massacred like a dozen Hindus in Budhal area on October 10. The massacre of Hindus had come as a shock following reports that a majority of terrorist camps and launchpads had been destroyed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. In fact, terrorists have intensified their attacks across Jammu and Kashmir following the quake, claiming several victims including state education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone. Villagers in Jammu region had been lulled into a false sense of security following the quake but the Budhal incident forced 47 Hindus to migrate to safer areas of Rajouri. The new threat has triggered panic in the village, forcing seven families comprising 31 members to flee. But DIG Rajouri-Poonch V K Singh said a dozen men and three women of the Hindu minority community had approached him few days ago and reported that they were feeling vulnerable in Khah village. "They weren’t specific about any other threats. Since the area is inaccessible, I offered to provide more weapons to volunteers of VDC. We have already sent weapons to the local SHO. Villagers were supposed to pick their weapons from SHO. But as such we have no report that they have fled to the town," he said.

BBC 29 Oct 2005 Deadly blasts hit Indian capital The area was full of shoppers Enlarge Image More than 50 people are dead and scores wounded in a series of suspected bomb blasts in India's capital, Delhi. Two near-simultaneous blasts took place in markets in central and south Delhi, crowded with people shopping ahead of religious festivals next week. The third blast occurred in the area of Govindpuri which is in the southern part of the city. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed "terrorists" for the blasts and said he would not tolerate militant violence. No-one has yet admitted carrying out the explosions. Pakistan condemnation Officials say more than 50 people are confirmed dead. At least 80 more are being treated in hospital, 10 of whom are in critical condition. The blasts left a scene of widespread devastation In pictures Most of those killed died in the blast at the southern Sarojini Nagar market, they say. A number also reportedly died in the first explosion, minutes before, in the crowded central neighbourhood of Paharganj, an area close to Delhi's main railway station and popular with Western backpackers. Some reports say the Govindpuri blast was a bus bomb and that three people died, although this could not be confirmed. Prime Minister Singh cut short his visit to the north-east to return to Delhi, urging people to remain calm. HAVE YOUR SAY It is particularly tragic that this has happened just days before Diwali Steven Bake, London, UK Send us your comments Chaos and confusion In a brief televised address, he said: "These are dastardly acts of terrorism. We are resolute in our commitment to fighting terrorism in all forms." India's home ministry has convened an emergency meeting of security and intelligence officials and all major markets in the city have been ordered to close. India's long-term rival Pakistan condemned the explosions. Its foreign ministry said in a statement: "Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Delhi, which have resulted in the loss of a number of innocent lives. "The attack in a crowded market place is a criminal act of terrorism." 'Ordinary shoppers' Many shops were damaged in the market blasts. "The blast was so powerful, my house shook," Kiran Mohan, a photo editor who lives about 200m (650 ft) away from Sarojini market, told Associated Press. Babu Lal Khandelwal, a shop owner in Paharganj, said: "There was black smoke everywhere. When the smoke cleared and I could see, there were people bloody and people lying in the street." Sarojini Nagar shopkeeper, Bansi Lal, said: "There were two foreigners who were on fire and they were begging me to help them. But I was in a daze. I could not help them." The BBC's Paul Danahar, who was at the site of the blast in Sarojini Nagar, says the scene was one of carnage and confusion. Most of the people affected were ordinary people out shopping in the festival season, he says. Both the Hindu festival of lights known as Diwali and the Muslim festival of Eid fall next week. In May one person died and 49 were wounded by bombs at two Delhi cinemas - an attack blamed on Sikh militants.


DPA 18 Oct 2005 Indonesia prepares to withdraw 6,000 troops from AcehJakarta (dpa) - Indonesia's military will begin withdrawing 6,000 more soldiers from Aceh this week to complete the second phase of a landmark peace accord to end nearly 30 years of conflict with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a spokesman said Monday. Aceh military spokesman Erie Soetiko said some 650 military troops would leave Aceh province on Tuesday, the same day former GAM rebels will have ended three days of surrendering weapons. In the second phase of decommissioning, the rebels have handed in 235 weapons with some 50 of them being disqualified for not meeting agreed upon criteria. Soetiko said the troop withdrawal, a total of 10 battalions, or around 6,000 soldiers, would be completed by October 24. Aceh military commander Major General Supiadin A.S. said that although GAM failed to meet the weapons target, the rebels had fulfilled their promise. The handing in of weapons and the military pullout is seen as a test of the Finnish-mediated peace agreement which could pave the way to ending nearly three decades armed conflict that has killed 15,000 people, mostly civilians in Aceh, about 1,750 kilometres northwest of Jakarta. The peace deal was signed on August 15 in Helsinki after the rebels agreed to drop their demand for full independence. A 226-strong unarmed monitoring mission from the European Union and the Southeast Asian countries have the task of ensuring parties stick to the peace accord. Earlier peace talks have failed, but both sides agreed to return to the negotiating table after the December 26 tsunami which destroyed large swathes of Aceh, leaving more than 167,000 people dead or missing. In the first round of decommissioning of weapons in September, GAM handed in some 240 arms, while Indonesia pulled out 1,500 policemen and around 6,500 soldiers from Aceh. Under the peace agreement, GAM needs to surrender 840 weapons to peace monitors by year-end during four phases. Indonesia, which had more than 30,000 soldiers and 15,000 policemen in Aceh before the truce, is required to trim its forces to no more than 14,700 soldiers and 9,100 police.

BBC 20 Oct2005 Bali bombers 'do not want pardon' Police are still on the hunt for those involved in the latest attacks Three Indonesians sentenced to death for the 2002 Bali bombings will not seek presidential pardons, prosecutors have said. Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra reportedly told prosecutors they were "ready to be executed anytime soon". Indonesia is continuing to take measures to combat militancy, after a second Bali attack earlier this month. On Thursday, the government announced plans to step up the surveillance of Islamic boarding schools. Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said only one or two schools in the country were actually expounding extremism, but these had to be investigated and controlled. Mr Kalla said that almost all those who were suspected of being behind recent terrorist attacks in Indonesia were thought to have studied in such schools. Protesters' anger Until Thursday, the three men sentenced to death for the 2002 Bali attacks - which killed more than 200 people - had refused to say whether they planned to seek a presidential pardon. But after angry protesters surrounded Bali's jail last week to demand their death sentences be quickly carried out, officials are said to have asked for a definite decision. Protesters have been demanding the bombers' immediate execution Under Indonesian law, a person cannot be executed until all legal avenues have been exhausted. Prosecutors said the three men turned down the chance to ask for a pardon. "They all refused to seek grace - they said that grace should only be sought from Allah, and not from an earthly institution," said Djoko Susilo, the head of the district prosecutor's office in Cilacap, near where the men are being held. Mr Susilo said the men's families would now be asked whether they planned to seek pardons on their behalves. Public calls for a rapid execution of the three convicted bombes have mounted since the second attack on Bali, on 1 October - in which three suicide bombers killed 20 people. Police are continuing the hunt for those behind these latest bombings. According to the AFP news agency, two more people were arrested on Tuesday in North Sulawesi, under the country's anti-terrorism laws, but it is not clear if they are believed to be directly involved in the attacks. So far five people have been detained since the attacks - one of whom has since been released. Officials suspect the masterminds behind the attacks are Malaysians Noordin Mohammad Top and Azahari Husin, thought to be leading members of the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI). Both men are still at large.

BBC 24 Oct 2005 Indonesia steps up Aceh pullout Some 12,000 Indonesian troops have left Aceh since September Indonesia has withdrawn a further 2,500 troops from Aceh province as part of a peace deal with separatist rebels. The move - which takes the total number of soldiers to have left the province since September to 12,000 - is the second of four planned withdrawals. In return, the rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (Gam) have agreed to hand in all their weapons by the end of 2005. Aceh has been the scene of conflict for almost 30 years, but the early signs for the new peace deal are encouraging. KEY POINTS OF THE ACCORD Gam gives up all 840 of its weapons in four stages Government matches that by withdrawing some 24,000 troops in four stages Disarmament and withdrawal to be complete by 31 December 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 In Monday's withdrawal, two battalions and four companies left aboard three navy ships from Krueng Geukeuh port in northern Aceh, military spokesman Eri Soediko told the AFP news agency. The soldiers' bags had been searched the previous day for contraband including marijuana, widely cultivated in the province, he said. The government is to pull out about 20,000 troops in total, with the remainder leaving once the rebels' disarmament process is complete. Gam has already handed over about half its arsenal of 840 declared weapons. The Indonesian military to withdraw all its non-local troops - about 24,000 in total. This will leave 14,700 soldiers and 9,100 police still in the province. Under the peace deal, which was formally signed in August, Gam agreed to give up its goal of a separate state, in return for local political representation. Aceh bore the brunt of the Indian Ocean tsunami and the disaster prompted the two sides to return to talks.

VOA 13 OCT 2005 International Crisis Group Says Indonesia Must Weaken Islamic Militants By Nancy-Amelia Collins Jakarta 13 October 2005 Balinese students shout slogans during an antiterrorism demonstration in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Oct. 10, 2005 A new report by a leading conflict-resolution organization says studying the workings of Indonesia's militant Islamic groups at the local level can help weaken them nationwide. The International Crisis Group's new report looks at two conflict areas in eastern Indonesia: the Poso district of Sulawesi Island, and the eastern Maluku Islands. Both areas have experienced bitter fighting between Christians and Muslims, and Islamic militants have traveled to both regions from other parts of Indonesia to join in the fighting. The report takes two violent incidents in Indonesia last May - the bombing of a market in Poso and the execution of paramilitary police in the Malukus - as case studies in how Indonesia's Islamic militant networks are formed and operate. The report says the attack on a paramilitary outpost in Ceram, a city in the Malukus, shows how a disparate group of men from different militant groups came together to form a team and launch the attack. It says one of the groups might have been Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terrorist network linked to al-Qaida. The group is believed to be behind this month's bombing on the resort island of Bali, which killed 20 people, and also the attack on Bali in 2002 that claimed more than 200 lives. Sidney Jones, the International Crisis Group's Southeast Asia Project Director, says studying how the local groups work can help to fight Muslim extremism around the country. "I think if there is specific attention to these particular groups, not only do you help reduce the violence in these conflict areas themselves, but you also remove a dangerous element of nationwide mujahedin networks," she said. One of the militants convicted in the 2004 bombing outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta is Iwan Darmawan, also known as Rois. Ms. Jones notes that Rois had previously been involved in the troubles in Poso. "Well we certainly know, for example, that Rois, who was just sentenced to death for the embassy bombing in Jakarta in September last year, was someone who spent several months in Poso, both fighting and training other people. And Poso was where we believe he came into direct contact with J.I., making possible the partnership that led to the embassy bombing," said Ms. Jones. The report recommends vocational training for former militants, and exploring the possibility of community development programs that would include members of militant networks, both Muslim and Christian.

www.christiantoday.com Indonesian Christians Face Persecution during Street Worship Christians in Indonesia continue to face persecution as fears of escalating violence remain following the recent wave of forced church closures. Posted: Tuesday, October 25 , 2005, 14:47 (GMT) Christians in Indonesia continue to face persecution as fears of escalating violence remain following the recent wave of forced church closures. Last Sunday, Christians in Jatimulya, East Bekasi, in West Java were attacked by hundreds of Islamic extremists in West Java as they worship in the streets. The incident began when the Christians found a group of approximately 300 radical Muslims laying down their prayer mats and conducting an Islamic worship service on the street that the Christians had previous held worship since their church closures five week ago. According to the Barnabas Fund, the Christians proceeded to move to another street to worship but the extremists approached them and began to mock and insult them, demanding that they disband. In its report, the Barnabas Funds noted that "a female church leader was pushed and shoved until she fell into a drain.” Meanwhile, the police who were on duty “stood by and watched the mob while a few even joined in the attack,” the persecution watchdog group added. The victims of last week’s persecution, consisting of members from three different churches, had been forced to worship on the streets due to closure of their churches – a growing trend in West Java. The Mayor of Jatimulya ordered the closure of the three churches five weeks prior to the incident while a radical Muslim group called the Alliance Against Apostasy enforced the closure, according to the Barnabas Fund. Despite the protection of freedom of religion included in the constitution of Indonesia, church buildings have been closing at an alarming rate and Christians have been prohibited from holding house church services and thus forced to gather on streets each Sunday for worship. Some reports indicate that up to 30 churches are being closed each month. In Jakarta, police collected information on 18 churches which are soon expected to close. In Malang city, 24 churches are under the threat of church closure. Although no one was seriously injured in the incident on Oct. 16, Christians in West Java fear that the violence will escalate in the near future. In Poso, Sulawesi, where there have been three assassinations in the past two weeks, churches in Poso and Paulu were placed under police guard during the weekend of Oct. 15-16. Michelle Vu Christian Today Correspondent

AP 27 OCt 2005 U.S. warns citizens against travel to Indonesia, citing possible terror attacks By: ROBIN McDOWELL - Associated Press JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The United States warned its citizens Thursday to avoid nonessential travel to Indonesia, saying a suicide bombing on Bali island earlier this month showed that terrorists were still active. "The possibility remains that terrorists will carry out additional attacks in Bali, Jakarta or other areas of Indonesia in the near future," the U.S. Embassy said, adding that it had received reports Americans could be targeted. The last time Washington issued such a terror alert for Indonesia was in May. The warning came hours before Jakarta Police chief Maj. Gen. Firman Gani disclosed at least 18 sites in the capital are potential targets of bomb attacks ahead of and during next week's celebration of the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. "Police posts will be set up at malls, railway stations, airports, shopping centers and other places," Firman said. He did not identify the places by name. The world's most populous Muslim nation has been hit by deadly terrorist attacks every year since 2002, when twin nightclub bombings on Bali killed 202 mostly foreign tourists. The Oct. 1 suicide bombings on the same island targeting three crowded restaurants killed 20 people and wounded more than 100. Also Thursday, a bomb exploded on a minibus in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi, injuring one person, said Maj. Sambas Kurniawan, a police chief in the town of Parigi. He said 11 people were in the bus, which was traveling from the predominantly Muslim provincial capital of Palu to the largely Christian town of Tentana. The bomb was a low-intensity device that was apparently placed under one of van's seats, he said. Central Sulawesi was the scene of a bloody war between Christians and Muslims in 2001-02 that killed around 1,000 people from both communities. In May, an attack at Tentana Market in Poso killed 22 people. The fresh U.S. warning said Americans who do visit Indonesia should "be aware of their surroundings at all times, and vary their routes and times in carrying out daily activities." Terrorists could target places frequented by Westerners, including hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, places of worship and schools, the warning said. The Bali bombings and the 2003 and 2004 blasts at the Marriott hotel and the Australian Embassy, both in Jakarta, have been blamed on the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

www.antara.co.id 29 20:53 Three Poso High-School Students Murdered Savagely Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Police have begun to investigate the grisly death of three local high-school girl students whose decapitated bodies were found in one street and their severed heads elsewhere in Poso on Saturday monring. Clad in girl-scout uniforms, the bodies of Teresia Morangki, Ida Lambunga and Alfitha Poliwo also showed deep knife wounds suggesting they had become victim of a sadistic killer, It was believed the three students of Poso Christian Senior High-school were attacked while they were on their way to their school located about nine km from their homes. Their headless bodies were found at Jalan Romboyo in Bukit Bambu village but the heads of two of them were recovered in Lege subdistrict, about 100 meters from the local police station or about 10 km from the crime scene, and the third head in Kasiguncu village or some 20 km from the crime scene. All the remains of the the three victims have been evacuated to the POso General Hospital and police were still scouring the crime scene to find as many pieces of evidence as possible.(*)

BBC 30 Oct 2005 Alert after Indonesia beheadings Hundreds of police have been ordered into an area of central Indonesia after three schoolgirls were beheaded and another badly injured by attackers. The teenagers were walking to their Christian school near the town of Poso, in Sulawesi province, when their unidentified assailants struck. Provincial and district officials have urged residents not to be provoked by the attack. The area has a long history of violence between Muslims and Christians. 'Sadistic and inhuman' The girl who survived Saturday's attack is reported to be in a stable condition and has been moved from Poso to a police hospital in the provincial capital of Palu. She is reported to have told police that there were six machete-wielding attackers, who were dressed in black and wore masks. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the attack as "sadistic and inhuman". Reports of the killings were featured across the front pages of many Indonesian newspapers on Sunday. Truce Central Sulawesi and Poso in particular was the scene of bitter fighting between Muslims and Christians in 2001 and 2002. Flashpoints: Sulawesi More than 1,000 people were killed before a government-brokered truce. Although the violence has been subdued, it has never gone away completely. A bomb in May in the nearby town of Tentena, which is predominantly Christian, killed 22 people and injured more than 30.

Code: ZE05103004 Date: 2005-10-30 Papal Sympathy for "Barbarous Killing" of 3 Girls Indonesians Murdered While on Their Way to School VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed his sympathy to the families of three Indonesian girls who were decapitated Saturday while on their way to school. Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls issued a statement today to express the Pope's grief as soon as "he learned of the barbarous killing." According to the spokesman, "The Holy Father has asked the bishop of Manado, Monsignor Joseph Theodorus Suwatan, to present his heartfelt sympathy to the victims' families and to the diocesan community, assuring them that he raises fervent prayers to the Lord for the return of peace among those peoples." Bishop Suwatan, 65, told the Missionary Service News Agency: "We are faced with a strategy of terror that wants to shock the population and make them feel insecure, precisely when relations between the Christian and Muslim communities have already been pacified." The students of a Christian school were decapitated in the village of Poso, in the central region of the island of Sulawesi, scene of a conflict in 2000-2001 between Muslims and Christians that left about 1,000 dead. A fourth girl, who was able to flee, told police that two men wearing helmets attacked the girls with large machetes. According to Bishop Suwatan, the situation has been normalizing in recent years, despite periodic outbreaks of violence. Among these were the attacks on Protestant churches in December 2004, and the May 28 bombings in the mostly Christian city of Tentena, which killed 22. "Many are convinced," said the bishop, "that behind this violence is someone foreign to the local communities, wishing to stir hatred." .


www.irna.ir 19 Oct 2005 Daily: Students to depict "World without Zionism" Tehran Oct 19, IRNA Iran-Students-Painting The Union of Islamic Students Associations and Iran's House of Cartoons are jointly sponsoring a global competition on caricature, painting and graphic design under the main theme of "A World without Zionism," a morning English-language daily said on Wednesday. Students between the ages of 7 and 18 can submit their art works to the organizing committee of the competition at this address: Tehran, P.O. Box 5745-774, or e-mail them to info@zionot.ir by November 21, Tehran Times announced. The competition will also focus on the themes "A World without America," "A Mirage Named Zionism," "The Wishes of a Palestinian Student," and "The Intifada," noted the paper. The daily went on to say that the international invitation to artists is posted in Persian, Arabic and English at the website of Iran Photographers' House. In addition, 13 selected cartoons by students from China, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Brazil, Iran and the United States on the theme "Palestine and the Occupier Zionist Regime" are on view at the site, according to Tehran Times.

www.irna.ir 26 Oct 2005 Ahmadinejad: Supporters of Israel will face wrath of Islamic ummah Tehran, Oct 26, IRNA Ahmadinejad-Palestine-Remarks President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned countries or leaders who have taken measures to acknowledge the Zionist regime under pressure or due to lack of sound understanding that they will be confronted with the wrath of the Islamic ummah and will forever be disgraced. Speaking at a conference dubbed "World without Zionism" here Wednesday which was attended by thousands of students, he said any country which acknowledges the Zionist regime will actually be acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world. He further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away. Ahmadinejad referred to the Zionist regime's recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a "trick," saying Gaza is part of Palestinian territory and the withdrawal was meant to make Islamic states acknowledge the Zionist regime of Israel. Pointing to the evil attempts of the US and Israel to saw discord among warring forces in Palestine and other parts of the Islamic world, the president said such attempts were aimed at forcing some Islamic countries to acknowledge the existence of Israel.

AP 26 Oct 2005 Iranian Leader: Israel Will Be Destroyed - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 (10-26) 04:20 PDT TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it. "There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called "The World without Zionism." "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad said. Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel. "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August. Ahmadinejad referred to Israel's recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a "trick," saying Gaza is part of the Palestinian territories and the withdrawal was meant to make Islamic states acknowledge Israel.

AP 18 Oct 2005 Iran Wants Saddam Charged for 1980-88 War By ALI AKBAR DAREINI The Associated Press Tuesday, October 18, 2005; 9:58 AM TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran has asked the court trying Saddam Hussein for war crimes to charge the former Iraqi dictator with crimes from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, including the alleged use of chemical weapons, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Tuesday. Jamal Karimirad said the petition was filed through diplomatic channels Tuesday to the Baghdad court where Saddam goes on trial Wednesday. "The invasion of Iran in 1980 was definitely one of the crimes committed by Saddam. We want the court to investigate the charges brought by Iranian people," Karimirad told a press conference. The charges in this case have not yet been specifically spelled out, but are expected to be laid out on the first day. The case centers on the role of Saddam and his seven co-defendants in a 1982 massacre of 143 people in Dujail, a mainly Shiite Muslim town north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt. So far, Saddam has not been charged with actions against Iran during the 1980-88 war. Iran wants the court to include Saddam's invasion of Iran in the list of charges, Karimirad said. In 1991, the United Nations recognized Iraq as the aggressor in the 1980-88 war, which left more than 1 million dead on both sides. After Saddam's overthrow in 2003, Iraqi officials acknowledged that Iraq had initiated the war with Tehran. Karimirad said Saddam was a war criminal who should be brought to justice for using chemical weapons against Iranians, including civilians, in Sardasht, western Iran. Karimirad said the Sardasht attack was similar to Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Halabja. "There is sufficient evidence to prove Saddam violated international treaties," Karimirad said.

Kuwait News Agency, Kuwait 27 Oct 2005 www.kuna.net.kw Iran condemned for its remarks about Israel LONDON, Oct 27 (KUNA) -- Britain was Thursday protesting to the Iranian charge d'affaires in London over "sickening" comments made by the president of Iran calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map", the British Foreign Office said. The deadly suicide bombing which killed at least five people in Israel yesterday served to illustrate the "horrible reality" of the violence being praised by hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Foreign Office warned. A Foreign Office spokesman said the president's comments would also heighten concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions. The president came to power last August and replaced Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who tried to improve relations with the West. The Foreign Office spokesman said "Ahmadinejad's comments are deeply disturbing and sickening". He said the bombing in Israel had shown "the horrible reality of the violence he is praising". "Saying Iran wants to wipe Israel from the map will only heighten concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions", the spokesman added. Israels deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom Zvi Rav-Ner warned that Iran is becoming a "real source of instability for the peace of the world". He told BBC domestic radio "From 1945, when the UN was established, no leader of a state has called for genocide and wiping off of another member state of the UN. That is unheard of". Rav-Ner was asked whether he wanted Iran expelled from the UN. He replied "This is a clear contravention and breach of the UN Charter and it should be dealt with by the international community". Pressed on whether Iran should be expelled, he answered "Might be, might be, there is no room for a country to be a member of the UN which is calling clearly for the destruction of another member state, for genocide, wiping off of the whole people, the whole civilian population". Rav-Ner stressed that his country is taking the comments seriously.

UN News Centre 28 Oct 2005 Security Council condemns Iranian president's remarks on Israel Council President Amb. Motoc 28 October 2005 – Members of the United Nations Security Council today condemned remarks against Israel made earlier this week by Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. President Ahmadinejad reportedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map in comments that drew immediate criticism from Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday. In a statement to the press today on the Council's behalf, the current President of the 15-member body, Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc of Romania, supported the views of the Secretary-General, who had noted that under the UN Charter, "all members have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."

NYT 30 Oct 2005 Text of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Speech This is a translation, by Nazila Fathi in The New York Times Tehran bureau, of the October 26 speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to an Islamic Student Associations conference on "The World Without Zionism." The conference was held in Tehran, at the Interior Ministry. The text of the speech was posted online, in Persian, by the Iranian Student News Agency (www.isnagency.com). Bracketed explanatory material is from Ms. Fathi. I thank God that I have had the opportunity to participate in the event today …. We need to examine the true origins of the issue of Palestine: is it a fight between a group of Muslims and non-Jews? Is it a fight between Judaism and other religions? Is it the fight of one country with another country? Is it the fight of one country with the Arab world? Is it a fight over the land of Palestine? I guess the answer to all these questions is ‘no.’ The establishment of the occupying regime of Qods [Jerusalem]was a major move by the world oppressor [ the United States] against the Islamic world. The situation has changed in this historical struggle. Sometimes the Muslims have won and moved forward and the world oppressor was forced to withdraw. Unfortunately, the Islamic world has been withdrawing in the past 300 years. I do not want to examine the reasons for this, but only to review the history. The Islamic world lost its last defenses in the past 100 years and the world oppressor established the occupying regime. Therefore the struggle in Palestine today is the major front of the struggle of the Islamic world with the world oppressor and its fate will decide the destiny of the struggles of the past several hundred years. The Palestinian nation represents the Islamic nation [Umma] against a system of oppression, and thank God, the Palestinian nation adopted Islamic behavior in an Islamic environment in their struggle and so we have witnessed their progress and success. I need to thank you for choosing this valuable title for the conference. Many who are disappointed in the struggle between the Islamic world and the infidels have tried to spread the blame. They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let’s take a step back. We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran’s government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed. When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible. All the corrupt governments were in support of the regime when Imam Khomeini started his movement. All the Western and Eastern countries supported the regime even after the massacre of September 7 [1978] and said the removal of the regime was not possible. But our people resisted and it is 27 years now that we have survived without a regime dependant on the United States. The tyranny of the East and the West over the world must should end, but weak people who can see only what lies in front of them cannot believe this. Who could believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we have seen its fall during our lives and it collapsed in such a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes. Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world. But we must be aware of tricks. For over 50 years the world oppressor tried to give legitimacy to the occupying regime and it has taken measures in this direction to stabilize it. About 27 or 28 years ago they took a major step and unfortunately one of the leading countries made a mistake which we hope will correct it.[an apparent reference to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel]. Recently they [the Israelis] tried a new trick. They want to show the evacuation from the Gaza strip, which was imposed on them by Palestinians, as a final victory for the Palestinians and end the issue of Palestine with the excuse of establishing a Palestinian government next to themselves. Today, they want to involve Palestinians with mischief and trick them into fighting with one another over political positions so that they would drop the issue of Palestine. They want to convince some of the Islamic countries that, since they evacuated the Gaza strip with good intentions, the legitimacy of their corrupt regime should be recognized. I hope Palestinian groups and people are aware of this trick. The issue of Palestine is not over at all. It will be over the day a Palestinian government, which belongs to the Palestinian people, comes to power; the day that all refugees return to their homes; a democratic government elected by the people comes to power. Of course those who have come from far away to plunder this land have no right to choose for this nation. I hope the Palestinian people will remain alert and aware in the same way that they have continued their struggle in the past ten years. If we get through this brief period successfully, the path of eliminating the occupying regime will be easy and down-hill. I warn all leaders of the Islamic world that they should be aware of this trick. Anyone who recognizes this regime because of the pressure of the World oppressor, or because of naiveté or selfishness, will be eternally disgraced and will burn in the fury of the Islamic nations. Those who are sitting in closed rooms cannot decide for the Islamic nation and cannot allow this historical enemy to exist in the heart of the Islamic world.

BBC 30 Oct 2005 Arab press torn on Ahmadinejad call The Iranian president's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has received a sympathetic ear in some Arabic papers, which say it was a justified device to focus attention on the Palestinians' plight. Others however believe the remarks were ill-advised and counter-productive. An Iranian paper accuses Arab governments of turning a blind eye to the "real enemy of Islam". Commentary in UK-based Al-Hayat The 'elimination of Israel' stems from the same frame of mind as the Israeli strategic aim of 'eliminating Palestine'... which Israel accomplishes on a daily basis through organised killings... Whatever people think about the Iranian stance, the fact remains that highlighting 'indifference to Zionist crimes' is legitimate and true. Editorial in Saudi Al-Jazeera Whenever there is any initiative to condemn the Zionist entity, the big powers of the world move to protect this criminal country whose tanks, planes and aggression claim victims on a daily basis... Last week, Israel launched more than 30 air raids on Gaza alone, where many were martyred. This was not enough for Security Council members to consult on the continued massacres. The council did not however hesitate when Iran called for Israel to be wiped off the world map. Editorial in Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah Is Israel the terrorist or Iran? The fury of Western capitals, and Moscow in particular, against the Iranian president's remarks on Israel indicates that these capitals perceive the world with an Israeli eye... They have allied themselves with a terrorist state that has spread wars and calamities in the Middle East... These capitals want nothing but for the terrorist and deadly Israel to stay, so that the people in the Middle East can go to hell! Editorial in Egypt's Al-Ahram It is most likely that the Iranian president was not thinking when he made these statements, or perhaps he was imagining that he was still in his fanatical days of youth and not yet president of Iran. Unfortunately, the situation is now different... If the Iranian president feels concerned about the Palestinian lands, then it is best for him to withdraw from the three islands of the Emirates that Iran has occupied for over ten years. It is best for him to stop interfering in Iraq's internal affairs. It is also best for him to know that the ordinary Arab knows very well that such fanatical statements will only spell disaster. Commentary in London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat After the Arabs and Muslims failed to eliminate Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to try his luck by announcing his desire to wipe Israel off the map... There are only two ways for the Iranian president to wipe Israel off the map. The first is to mobilise the Iranian army and deploy it against Israel. This requires the agreement of Arab governments... which have signed up to a proposal of peace with Israel creating two states... As for the second alternative, it is to develop a nuclear weapon and use it to hit Israel. This raises another problem. The nuclear weapon is not a smart weapon. It kills everyone. Editorial in Jordan's Al-Ra'y No-one knows whether the Iranian president's remarks on Israel on 'wiping Israel off the map' were merely a slip of the tongue or simply deliberate. Whatever the case, Ahmadinejad's remarks have caused an additional problem for Iran... in the light of [Israeli deputy prime minister] Shimon Peres' demand that the UN secretary-general and the Security Council revoke Iran's membership in the world body. Editorial in Iranian Jomhuri-ye-Eslami Arab countries are trying to forget the existence of a cancerous tumour in the heart of the World of Islam and are closing their eyes to this real enemy of Muslims... The Islamic Republic of Iran and any other country that enjoys sovereignty should do their best to launch an Islamic anti-Zionist movement against Israel. BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


washingtonpost.com 16 Oct 2005 Report: Tariq Aziz to Testify Vs. Saddam The Associated Press Sunday, October 16, 2005; 8:38 AM LONDON -- Iraq's former deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, has agreed to testify against Saddam Hussein in his upcoming trial, a British newspaper reported Sunday. Aziz's lawyer, however, dismissed the claim. The Sunday Telegraph reported that, in return for his cooperation, Aziz could be freed from prison soon after the end of Saddam's trial, which starts Wednesday. The paper attributed the information to unidentified U.S. officials and Aziz's lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref. But Aref told The Associated Press the report was "completely groundless." "What I told the British newspaper is that during a questioning session, Tariq Aziz was asked about who in Iraq took sovereign decisions like declaring war, suppressing a revolt or a civil mutiny," Aref said. "Tariq Aziz's answer was that sovereign and political decisions were in the hands of Saddam and he had nothing to do with them." Aziz has not been charged with any offense but is being investigated for his role in Saddam's regime. He has been jailed since surrendering in April 2003. The upcoming trial focuses on the role of Saddam and seven allies in a 1982 massacre in Dujail, Iraq, a heavily Shiite town 50 miles north of Baghdad. About 150 people were executed and up to 1,500 others imprisoned and tortured after Shiite militants there failed to assassinate Saddam, a Sunni. ___ Associated Press reporter Lee Keath in Baghdad, Iraq, contributed to this report.

The Sunday Times October 16, 2005 www.timesonline.co.uk Families relive hell of Saddam massacre Bob Graham and Hala Jaber, Baghdad THE man in the dock will be Saddam Hussein but Ali Rahee Karim, a former Iraqi tank commander, knows that he should really be standing alongside his former president. Karim’s tank rolled into the Kurdish town of Halabja on the monstrous day 17 years ago when Saddam’s army used poison gas against a civilian population. The Iraqi officer followed his orders without questioning them. His tank fired round after round of 125mm shells carrying warheads filled with mustard gas and nerve agents. The assault killed more than 5,000 Kurds, many of them elderly women and children. Karim is happy that after months of chaotic preparation Saddam’s trial is finally due to begin this week. But he knows that no verdict from a special court in Baghdad will ease his own shame over the attack. “I cannot forget,” said Karim, weeping often as he recalled his role in the Halabja slaughter. “I believe I should be punished and so should all of the officers who were there.” Karim’s ambivalence about the trial is shared by many Iraqis. Will it serve, as Washington hopes, as a boost for the rule of law and a blow to the insurgency? Or will it deepen old wounds, increase sectarian tension and fuel more bloodshed? In short, will it help to heal Iraq or push it over the brink? America has poured at least $75m into a legal effort to secure a watertight conviction of Saddam on charges of crimes against humanity. Although the trial is officially Iraqi organised and led — and the court comprises five Iraqi judges — nobody in Baghdad doubts that the process might have collapsed months ago without Washington’s legal guidance. As part of their preparation for a confrontation that may last eight months, Iraqi judges and lawyers received training in international criminal law from US, British and other experts. Mock trials were held in London and US lawyers held strategy sessions for prosecutors. The proceedings are likely to begin with a request for adjournment from Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam’s chief Iraqi lawyer. The defence has already petitioned for postponement to allow Saddam access to a wider range of international lawyers — including Anthony Scrivener, one of Britain’s best known QCs who has been asked to represent him — and to provide more time to prepare. One member of Saddam’s defence team said last week that the tribunal’s refusal to grant a postponement was a breach of Iraq’s laws, given that the defence was not notified of the trial’s start date until September 25. “The tribunal was not ready when the government declared that the trial will start on October 19,” said Abdul Haq al-Ani, a British-based lawyer, who claimed at least 45 days’ notice should have been given. “Instead of showing independence and transparency, the tribunal adhered to a political decision. Is this a show or a trial?” The first charge — one of nine that Saddam is expected eventually to face — involves the massacre of 143 people in the Shi’ite village of Dujail, north of Baghdad, in July 1982. The massacre was allegedly carried out as a reprisal for a failed assassination attempt against Saddam. Although the incident pales by comparison with Halabja, war crime investigators quickly compiled a file of evidence on the Dujail killings that they believe is unassailable. Prosecutors are hoping for a quick conviction on the first charge to reassure the public before what may prove a longer battle over some of the other allegations. Saddam’s lawyers have said little so far about how they intend to mount his defence. “When the time comes in court for us to make our case we will make it,” said al-Ani. “We have solid submissions to make.” US experts expect the defence to begin by challenging the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the court and its right to try a former head of state. Other Iraqis share concern that the proceedings are more about politics than justice. Many leaders of Iraq’s Sunni minority are convinced that the decision to start the trial only days after the latest constitutional referendum is primarily aimed at placating Shi’ites and Kurds ahead of parliamentary elections due on December 15. The trial is almost certain to unfold against a backdrop of insurgent attacks. While Washington and its partners in the Iraqi government believe that a public trial would damage the insurgents’ morale, other experts argue that the opposite is equally likely — that rows in court may encourage renewed revolt. For those like Karim who are trapped between old and new regimes, no early salvation is in sight. Investigators believe it will take at least two months to complete the prosecution case on Halabja, which is expected to follow the Dujail charge. Part of the Halabja file is the confession of Karim, who surrendered to coalition troops in 2003. He was told that if he made a detailed statement about what took place at Halabja he would be spared prosecution. More than any other single outrage, the March 1988 attack on Halabja, which is close to the Iranian border, came to symbolise Saddam’s ruthless regime. It was repeatedly used by President George W Bush and Tony Blair as they argued for military action against Iraq. “Sometimes I try to convince myself I was following orders,” said Karim. “But in my heart I know the truth. I gave the orders for the other tanks to fire on Halabja and to keep firing when we knew we were killing ordinary people.” Although he had been told that Iranian troops were hiding in Halabja — and that clearing the area with chemical weapons was a “direct order” from the president — he had spent two days watching the town through binoculars and had seen no sign of occupation. When one of Saddam’s generals ordered him into action, Karim said: “I knew there were only old men, women and children. We had not seen Iranian soldiers but I did not have the courage to speak.” Saddam’s lawyers are expected to seize on evidence like this to blame underlings for what took place. They will argue that Saddam was fighting a war against Iranian aggressors and never intended that his men should kill Iraqi civilians. However Saddam’s trial is resolved, Karim knows that he will never forgive either himself or his former president for what he now calls “the biggest mistake of my life”. Dictator's plea Saddam Hussein last night urged Americans to press President George Bush to restore him to power and withdraw US forces from the country, writes Hala Jaber. In comments passed to The Sunday Times by Khalil al-Dulaimi, his lawyer, Saddam said the American and Iraqi people were friends. “The US launched military aggression against Iraq under several pretexts, occupied it and ousted its legal leadership by force, changed its laws and razed towns and villages from its map,” he said. “The US then admitted none of the pretexts used, such as weapons of mass destruction, actually existed. “I advise the American people to pressure their president into withdrawing their troops and to restore the legal leadership."

IRIN 16 Oct 2005 Iraq: High turnout in largely peaceful referendum on new constitution [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BAGHDAD, 16 October (IRIN) - Iraqis voted in large numbers in relatively peaceful conditions on a new constitution designed to usher in an era of peace and democracy. Officials of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) estimated on Sunday that 69 percent of Iraq's 15.5 million registered voters had turned out to vote 'yes' or 'no' to the new constitution in Saturday's referendum. That was a dramatic improvement on the 58 percent turnout in last January's parliamentary election, which was largely boycotted by Iraq's large Sunni Arab minority. Those who voted on Saturday defied calls for a boycott by many leaders of the Sunni Arab community, which is largely hostile to the new charter, and threats by Islamist insurgents to attack polling stations. "We can say that the referendum was a success, whatever the outcome," said Adel Hendawi, a senior official of the electoral commission. "An impressive turnout was recorded in many provinces of the country, including those which have been plagued by fighting in recent months." Ibrahim Khalid, a professor of political science, agreed. "I saw this referendum as a new and important exercise for Iraqis who for the first time had the possibility to choose their own rights. Whatever the final result, the process was free and fair," he said. Sunnis Arabs controlled the levers of power in Iraq under ousted president Saddam Hussein. Many of them feared their community would be sidelined by the new constitution, which grants autonomy to the Shia Muslim majority in southern Iraq and ethnic Kurds in the north. Until this week, their community leaders had been solidly opposed to the document. However, following last minute changes to the text of the draft constitution, it won the support of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the largest political groups representing Sunni Arabs. IECI officials said there had been a higher than expected turnout in two of the three provinces of Iraq where Sunnis form the majority of the population: Salaheddin and Nineveh. However, there was a relatively low turnout in the Sunni-dominated western province of Anbar, where US forces launched two pre-referendum offensives against Islamist insurgents in early October. Insurgent attacks failed to disrupt voting The level of violence on polling day was much lower than during January's parliamentary election. Only four people were reported killed in insurgent attacks across the country, compared to more than 40 during the previous poll. "We reported 47 attacks on voting centres and against our troops and Iraqi troops, but we can consider that this was a lot less than in the January elections when 347 attacks took place," said Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan, a spokesman for the 150,000 US troops stationed in Iraq. First results from the referendum were expected on Sunday, but IECI officials and international observers said it would probably take several days for the full picture to emerge. Many war-weary Iraqis appear to have voted for the new constitution, even if they did not fully understand it or agree with the new federal structure which it imposes on Iraq. "I voted today with happiness and patriotism in my heart, "said Hussein al-Ala'a, a 45-year-old teacher, who strolled on foot to his local polling station in Baghdad, accompanied by his wife and three children. "I am tired of seeing innocent people dying every day and children suffering from disease and growing hungry due to constant fighting everywhere," he said. "Perhaps for many people this constitution means the introduction of bad laws, but it is better than what we are living through now and at least we will have a reference point for our rights and regulations," Ala'a said. However, Lina al-Kubaissy, 32, said she had voted against the new constitution, believing that approval of the charter would simply extend the US military presence in Iraq and intensify the violent backlash which it has provoked since US-led forces invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 2003. Like many other Sunni Arabs in the Sunni stronghold of Fallujah, 60 km west of Baghdad, she also disliked many of provisions of the new constitution. "I voted 'no' against the draft constitution because it means a setback for women's rights and the partition of my country into small pieces, al -Kubaissy said. "Worse still, the country will be unequally divided, with some getting more and others less," she added, alluding to the fact that most of Iraq's oil comes from the Shia south and Kurdish north. Despite threats by the Islamist insurgents to disrupt the referendum vote, preliminary estimates by the IECI showed that around 5,700 of the 6,000 planned polling stations throughout Iraq had managed to open. Carina Perelli, the head of a UN observer team monitoring the referendum, declined to comment on the outcome, saying it would take between two and four days for the full results to come in. But UN Secretary General Kofi Annan praised the courage of those who had turned out to vote. "For the second time this year, the people of Iraq have braved difficult conditions and the threat of violence to exercise their vote," Annan's official spokesman said in a statement. The referendum had provided "an important opportunity for the Iraqi people to express their political views," he added. Even if the new constitution is approved, as expected, by a majority of voters, it can still be blocked by a two thirds "no" vote in three of Iraq's 18 provinces. This provision was introduced to give Sunni Arabs the possibility of defeating the new constitution, even though the only account for 15 to 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million population. Whatever the final result, one positive consequence of the referendum is that it has promoted a free and civilized debate among all Iraqis about the direction their country should take in the future. "I made a bet with a friend that the constitution will be approved," said Salah Obeidi, a 24-year-old medical student. "I'm Shia and he is Sunni, but the important thing is that we can discuss the issue openly between us without fearing that we will get into trouble for doing so," he added. The vote on the new constitution took place three years to the day after a referendum organized by Saddam Hussein on 15 October 2002 to decide whether he should remain in power for a further seven years According to the official result of that poll, Saddam Hussein's continued leadership of the nation was endorsed by a 100 percent yes vote. The authoritarian leader was deposed by a US-led invasion in April 2003 after ruling Iraq with an iron hand for 24 years. He was captured eight months later and will go on trial for war crimes in Baghdad on 19 October. The first sample charge against Saddam Hussein is responsibility for the murder of 143 Shia civilians from the village of Dujail north of Baghdad in 1982. These people were executed after a brief show trial in reprisal for an assassination attempt against the then head of state. A further 1,500 inhabitants of the village were imprisoned for several years without charge.

AP 17 Oct 2005 Civilians Killed in U.S. Bombing Monday October 17, 2005 3:31 PM AP Photo BAG105 By THOMAS WAGNER Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. warplanes and helicopters bombed two western villages, killing an estimated 70 militants near a site where five American soldiers died in a weekend roadside blast, the military said Monday. Residents said at least 39 of the dead were civilians. Sunday's violence near the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi came a day after Iraq voted on a landmark constitution that many Sunnis opposed. As officials continued counting millions of paper ballots Monday, the charter seemed assured of passage. A foreign election observer with access to information on nationwide election returns confirmed that apparent outcome in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission would announce the official results, which could be released Wednesday. A sandstorm Monday could delay the counting - and the final results - into later in the week. Elections officials resumed work in Baghdad, but were still only counting ballots from the capital area. Ballots from the provinces still have to be flown in, but the sandstorm grounded air traffic into Baghdad. The acceptance of the constitution would be a major step in setting up a democratic government that could lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Sunday that violence will continue, even if the constitution is adopted. She said support for the insurgency would eventually wane as the country moves toward democracy. On Saturday, a roadside bomb killed five U.S. soldiers in a vehicle in the Al-Bu Ubaid village on the eastern outskirts of Ramadi. On Sunday, a group of about two dozen Iraqis gathered around the wreckage; they were hit by U.S. airstrikes, the military and witnesses said. The military said the crowd was setting another roadside bomb when F-15 warplanes hit them, killing about 20 people it described as ``terrorists.'' But several residents and one local leader said they were civilians gathering to gawk at and take pieces of the wreckage, as often occurs after an American vehicle is hit. Tribal leader Chiad Saad said the airstrike killed 25 civilians, and several others said the same thing, although they refused to give their names out of fear for their safety. The other deaths occurred in the nearby village of Al-Bu Faraj. The military said a group of gunmen opened fire on a Cobra attack helicopter that spotted their position. The Cobra returned fire, killing about 10. The men ran into a nearby house, where gunmen were seen unloading weapons before an F/A-18 warplane bombed the building, killing 40 insurgents, the military said. Witnesses said at least 14 of the dead were civilians. After a man was wounded in an airstrike, he was brought into a nearby building that was struck by warplanes, said the witnesses, who refused to give their names out of fear for their safety. An Iraqi journalist reporting for The Associated Press said he later saw the 14 bodies and the damaged building. Associated Press Television News video from the scene showed the victims included at least two children and one woman. Witnesses said seven other children were among the dead. APTN also showed two children among the wounded at Ramadi General Hospital. Few voted in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, during Saturday's referendum - either out of fear of militants' reprisals or out of rejection of the new constitution. A U.S. Marine was also killed by a bomb Saturday in Saqlawiyah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, the military said. The weekend's U.S. military fatalities brought to at least 1,976 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the war began in 2003, according to an AP count. On Monday, a drive-by shooting killed two policemen in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, and a suicide bomber attacked a funeral for a sheik in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding one, police said. The violence raised to 535 the number of people who died in insurgent attacks across Iraq in the last three weeks. The constitution seemed assured of passage after initial results showed minority Sunnis had fallen short in an effort to veto it at the polls. Many Sunnis fear the new decentralized government will deprive them of their fair share of the country's vast oil wealth by creating virtually independent mini-states of Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south, while leaving Sunnis isolated in central and western Iraq. Opponents failed to secure the necessary two-thirds ``no'' vote in any three of Iraqi's 18 provinces, according to counts that local officials provided to the AP. In the crucial central provinces with mixed ethnic and religious populations, enough Shiites and Kurds voted to stymie the Sunni bid to reject the constitution. The Sunni ``no'' campaign appeared to have made the two-thirds threshold in Anbar province, the vast western Sunni heartland where Ramadi is the capital, and in Salahuddin, where Sunnis hold a large majority and as many as 90 percent of voters cast ballots. But in two other provinces where Sunni Arabs have only slim majorities - Ninevah and Diyala - the ``yes'' vote apparently won out. Sunni leaders responded angrily, some of them saying they suspected fraud and accusing American officials and the Shiite parties that dominate the government. While a strong Sunni turnout suggested a desire among many to participate in Iraq's new political system, there were fears that anger at being ruled under a constitution they oppose could push some into supporting the Sunni-led insurgency. If the constitution indeed passed, the first full-term parliament since Saddam Hussein's fall in 2003 will install a new government by Dec. 31 following Dec. 15 elections. If the charter failed, the parliament will be temporary, tasked with drawing up a new draft constitution. ``If the constitution was passed, the attacks will definitely rise against the occupation forces, and the security situation is going to be worse,'' said Sheik Abdul-Salam al-Kubaisi, a prominent cleric with the influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, which government officials accuse of links to the insurgency. Washington was hoping it would pass so Iraqis can form a legitimate, representative government, tame the insurgency, and enable the 150,000 U.S. troops to begin withdrawing. Provinces in the south, where most of Iraq's Shiite majority are concentrated, racked up big ``yes'' votes - more than 90 percent in most places. Results were not yet available from Kurdistan, but the Kurdish community strongly supports the charter. Still, despite a call by their top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to support the charter, Shiite participation in the south was far lower than in January's parliamentary elections, when more than 80 percent of Shiite voters celebrated as they went to the polls to mark their new dominance of the country. Between 54 percent and 58 percent of voters showed up Saturday in most of the south, according to U.N. elections chief Carina Perelli. The drop could reflect a belief that the constitution's victory was assured, or be a sign of discontent. The Sunni turnout stood in contrast to January's elections, which they boycotted because they believed the political process was unfair. That move left them with a minuscule presence in parliament.

IRIN 18 Oct 2005 Women and children killed in US air strikes on Ramadi, doctor says [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BAGHDAD, 18 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Two days of US air attacks against insurgents in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi have caused heavy casualties among the city’s civilian population, a doctor and a senior Iraqi government official in Ramadi said. “We have received the bodies of 38 people in our hospital and among them were four children and five women,” Ahmed al-Kubaissy, a senior doctor at Ramadi hospital, said on Monday night. “The relatives said they had been killed by air attacks in their homes and in the street.” Al-Kubaissy said his hospital had also treated 42 people injured in the air strikes on Ramadi, a stronghold of the Islamist insurgents, 110 km west of Baghdad. A senior Iraqi government official in the city, said three houses had been totally destroyed in the air attacks on Sunday and Monday and 14 dead civilians had been found inside them. A further 12 civilians had been critically injured in the same air strikes, he added. “I wish I could tell you everything I know, but I cannot,” said the angry official, who asked that his name be withheld for security reasons. “What I can say is that it was a cowardly action and that if any insurgents have been killed, many more civilians have been buried with them over the past two days.” The US armed forces said in a statement that jet bombers and helicopter gunships had killed about 70 suspected militants in the attacks on Ramadi, a stronghold of Iraq’s Sunni Arab community, which is bitterly opposed to the US-led military occupation of the country. A US military spokesman played down independent reports of heavy civilian casualties in the air raids, but did not deny them outright. “There are no civilian casualties that we are aware of,” Lt Col Steven Boylan, a spokesman for the US-led Coalition forces in Iraq, told IRIN on Tuesday. The US military statement said at least 20 suspected militants were killed when a US Air Force F-15 jet bombed a group of men suspected of burying a roadside bomb on Sunday, but Reuters quoted an Iraqi police officer in Ramadi as saying that those who died in that incident included children as young as 11. Muhammad Rubaye, a 54 year-old resident of the city, told IRIN that two of his close relatives had been killed in a separate air strike on the city. “I lost my sister and my nephew,” he said. “They were near a US humvee which had been attacked by insurgents when US airplanes attacked them. They have killed innocent people and are not willing to admit that this was an irresponsible action.” Iraqi officials in Ramadi said more than 1,700 families had fled from the city since US air and ground forces began a big push against insurgents there last week. Some of these displaced people were camped in deserted areas about 10 km away, while others had fled to stay with relatives in Baghdad, they added. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said it was preparing to send a convoy with medical supplies and food parcels to Ramadi. Doctor al-Kubaissy at Ramadi hospital said he had run out of painkillers, but more casualties kept on arriving. The US offensive was the third to be launched against the armed militants in Iraq’s western Anbar province this month. Earlier operations before the 15 October referendum on Iraq’s new constitution, had targeted the towns of al-Qaim and Haditha, further upstream in the Euphrates river valley.

Reuters 19 Oct 2005 Kurd is chief judge in Saddam trial Date: 19/10/05 The judge who will preside over the trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity was named by US officials, shortly before the trial opened, as Rizgar Mohammed Amin. Amin, an ethnic Kurd in his late 40s from the northern city of Sulaimaniya, had previously confirmed his role privately to reporters. He was named in an information sheet handed to reporters at the courtroom by US officials. Four other judges will sit alongside him. Iraq's Kurds were oppressed for decades during Saddam's rule, and the toppled Iraqi leader is expected to face charges of genocide against the Kurds in a later trial. At Wednesday's hearing, Saddam will be represented by two lawyers, according to the seating chart; it named them as Khalil al-Dulaimi, who has spoken publicly before and says he will seek an adjournment at Wednesday's first hearing, and Khamees Hameed al-Ubaidi. Saddam was expected to be seated directly in front of the five-member panel of judges, with Barzan al-Tikriti, one of his half-brothers, Taha Yassin Ramadan, the former vice president, and Awad al-Bandar, a judge whose court passed death sentences on some of the alleged victims in the case. The men will be in one of three railed pens in the well of the court, with another occupied by four other men accused for their alleged roles in killing more than 140 men from the Shi'ite village of Dujail after a failed assassination attempt on Saddam in 1982. The court document described these four as Abdullah al-Roweed, ranking member of the Baath Party, Mizher al-Roweed, civil servant, Ali Dayih Ali, civil servant and Mohammed Azzawi Ali, farmer. A third pen will be left empty, according to the plan provided to reporters.

BBC 19 Oct 2005 Saddam defiant at start of trial Continuous coverage Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has made an outspoken attack on the judicial process as his trial for crimes against humanity began. He and seven associates are charged with ordering the killing of 143 Shia men in 1982 in Dujail. He refused to confirm his identity, and questioned the validity of the trial and the presiding judge's fitness. The televised trial is being heard in the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. TV pictures showed Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants being led into pens in the courtroom. Who are you? What does this court want? Saddam Hussein The former leader was wearing a dark suit with an open-necked shirt and carrying an old copy of the Koran. As he was being led in by two guards, he gestured with his hand to slow them down. Asked to confirm his name by chief judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, Saddam refused and asked: "Who are you? What does this court want?" He then asked the judge: "Have you ever been a judge before?" Saddam Hussein's co-accused are Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother who was his intelligence chief; former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan; Awad Hamed al-Bandar, a former chief judge; and Dujail Baath party officials Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid, Ali Daeem Ali, Mohammed Azawi Ali and Mizher Abdullah Rawed. Hundreds of people were arrested, some were executed Charge sheet against Saddam, Iraqi Special Tribunal The trial - in the marble building that once served as the National Command Headquarters of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party - began more than two hours later than expected. Ahead of its start, two mortars landed in the Green Zone, without causing casualties or damage. Saddam Hussein's followers had called for attacks to mark the trial's start. The courtroom is ringed with three-metre-high (10-foot) blast walls and US and Iraqi troops. Public excluded The trial is being presided over by five judges, with Mr Amin in overall charge. HAVE YOUR SAY As a rule of justice and fairness, Saddam Hussein should be granted a fair trial Arthur Yap, Singapore Send us your comments A small number of observers and journalists are in the courtroom, but the public has been excluded. The case is the first of many expected to be brought against the former Iraqi leader, who is 68. It concerns the rounding up and execution of 143 men in Dujail, a Shia village north of Baghdad, following an attempt there on Saddam Hussein's life. Court officials say the case was chosen because it was the easiest and quickest case to compile. The charge carries the death penalty, though Saddam Hussein and his associates have the right to appeal if they are found guilty. More charges Prosecution lawyers are also expected to bring charges concerning the gassing of 5,000 people in the Kurdish village of Halabja in March 1988, and the suppression of a Shia revolt following the first Gulf War. SADDAM'S CO-ACCUSED Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former intelligence chief Taha Yassin Ramadan, former vice-president Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid, Dujail Baath party official Ali Daeem Ali, Dujail Baath party official Mohammed Azawi Ali, Dujail Baath party official Mizher Abdullah Rawed, Dujail Baath party official Iran said on Tuesday it had asked the court to charge the former Iraqi leader over the use of chemical weapons in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Saddam Hussein's lawyers are expected to challenge the court's right to conduct the trial. "We will dispute the legitimacy of the court as we've been doing every day. We will claim it is unconstitutional and not competent to try the legitimate president of Iraq," Mr Dulaimi said. Mr Dulaimi added that he would be looking for an adjournment of at least three months, to allow him more time to prepare the defence case. Human rights groups, too, have expressed concerns. A Human Rights Watch report says the Iraqi Special Tribunal "runs the risk of violating international standards for fair trials". Amnesty International has sent three delegates to Baghdad to ensure Saddam Hussein receives a fair trial, and to oppose the death penalty if he is found guilty. But the United States said it expected the trial - the first time an Arab leader has been tried for crimes against his own people - to meet "basic international standards". Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 after the American-led invasion of Iraq.

washingtonpost.com 19 Oct 2005 A List of Defendants in Saddam Trial By The Associated Press The Associated Press Wednesday, October 19, 2005; 7:13 AM -- A list of defendants in trial that started Wednesday concerning the 1982 massacre of nearly 150 Shiites in Dujail, Iraq: _Saddam Hussein: Undisputed ruler of Iraq from 1979 until ouster in April 2003 after U.S.-led invasion. Captured Dec. 14, 2003. Failed assassination attempt on Saddam in Dujail allegedly triggered bloody reprisal at heart of trial. _Barazan Ibrahim: Intelligence chief at time of Dujail killings and Saddam's half brother. Managed Saddam's Swiss bank accounts in Geneva 1988-1995. Captured April 17, 2003. _Taha Yassin Ramadan: Former bank clerk and longtime Saddam aide who was Iraq's vice president from 1991. Captured Aug. 19, 2003. _Awad Hamed al-Bandar: Head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, which issued death sentences against 143 Dujail residents, including relatives of those accused in assassination attempt. _Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid: Baath Party official in Dujail region, believed responsible for Dujail arrests. _Ali Dayim Ali: Baath official in Dujail region. _Mohammed Azawi Ali: Baath official in Dujail region. _Mizhar Abdullah Ruwayyid: Baath official in Dujail and son of fellow defendant Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid.

IRIN 19 Oct 2005 Saddam Hussein goes on trial, but some still support him [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © BAGHDAD, 19 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Deposed president Saddam Hussein went on trial on Wednesday for causing the death of hundreds of thousands of his fellow Iraqis during 24 years of brutal rule. But some of Saddam’s supporters in Iraq’s Sunni Arab community demonstrated in the streets to demand that the US-led forces which invaded the country two years ago be put in the dock instead. Saddam appeared before a specially constituted court of five judges to answer a first charge that he had ordered the killing of more than 140 men in the small town of Dujail, 60 km north of Baghdad in 1982. They were rounded up and executed shortly after armed men fired on Saddam’s motorcade as he passed through Dujail. Just the first of many charges However, prosecutors said this was just a first sample charge against Saddam and seven of his top henchmen who appeared in court alongside him. They said Saddam would subsequently face additional charges. These included ordering the use of poison gas against villages suspected of supporting Kurdish separatist guerillas in northern Iraq in 1988 and brutally suppressing a Shi'ite Muslim uprising against his rule in southern Iraq in 1991. New York-based Human Rights Watch said Saddam, who ruled Iraq with an iron fist, had been responsible for the deaths of “several hundred thousand people” during his time in power. The bodies of many of them were found in mass graves shortly after his overthrow in April 2003. Legal experts said Iraqi state prosecutors chose to begin with Dujail case because it was easy to compile in terms of evidence. If found guilty as charged, Saddam and his co-defendants will face a mandatory death penalty. Throughout the day, Saddam, dressed in a dark suit and carrying a copy of the Quran, remained defiant. He rejected the court’s authority to try him and refused to even confirm his name, proclaiming that he was still President of Iraq. "I preserve my constitutional rights as the President of Iraq. I do not recognise the body that has authorised you and I don't recognise this aggression," he said. “Who are you? What does this court want?” the 68-year-old former president demanded of chief judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin. Milions of people all over Iraq were glued to TV sets watching live the start of a trial that many of them had longed for. Mixed emotions “I hope he faces the worst penalty for what he did to the Iraqis. The death penalty is not enough. He needs to feel the same pain as thousands of others felt in this country. It is a happy and glorious day,” said Shams Ali, who lost two sons in the killings at Dujail. International human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International expressed satisfaction that Saddam was finally being called to account for the rivers of blood that flowed under his regime, but voiced concerns over the fairness of his trail and the political neutrality of the court. In particular, they are worried about the degree of proof necessary to secure a conviction and are concerned that there is no legal mechanism for commuting the sentences of any defendant convicted on charges which carry the death penalty. “Amnesty International considers the trial as an important first step towards bringing justice and reparation for victims of abuses committed during Saddam Hussein regime, but we insist that the death penalty is not the solution for the problem,” Nicole Choueiry, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International said in London. HRW has also voiced concern that Saddam’s international team of lawyers will be unable to mount its defence case “in conditions equal to those enjoyed by the prosecution’ and that the judges may show political bias. “We have grave concerns that the court will not ensure fair trials,” said Richard Dicker, director of the HRW International Justice Programme, who is leading a team of HRW observers at the trial. “To ensure justice and its own legitimacy, the court must fix these deficiencies,” he said. Saddam and the seven other former senior officials of his regime are being tried by a specially established Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, under a mixture of Iraqi and international law. The trial is taking place in a marble palace in Baghdad’s top security Green Zone, which once served as Saddam’s military command centre. As it started, several demonstrations in support of Saddam took place on the streets of the capital and in the former president’s home town of Tikrit, 175 km north of Baghdad. Dozens of residents took to the streets in Tikrit, shouting “Saddam is innocent and the trial is unfair.” “I cannot believe that I Saddam is on a trial,” said 62-year-old Mariam Kubeissy, 62, one of his supporters in Baghdad. “He is strong enough to overcome this and the Americans. God bless him protect him from the death penalty,” she said with tears in her eyes. However, leaders of the US-backed government in Iraq said the trial marked a key step in the country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. “This marks the end of the days of terror in Iraq and we waited years for this day which should be well remembered by all Iraqis due to the suffering we passed through all these years,” said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi. Prosecution officials said at the end of the opening session that the trial had been adjourned until 28 November.

washingtonpost.com 19 Oct 2005 Justice in Baghdad By Anne Applebaum Wednesday, October 19, 2005; A21 "We are able to do away with domestic tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of their own people only when we make all men answerable to the law." -- Justice Robert Jackson, in his opening statement for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials in 1945. The rhetoric was soaring, the goals were grand, the ideals were large. And yet, by the standards of modern human rights and international law, the International Military Tribunal that tried and sentenced the Nazi leadership in Nuremberg should have been a failure. From the start, the trials were clearly "victor's justice." Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union created the court with no real German or other "international" involvement. They called their ground rules a charter, not a law, to duck the question of the court's dubious legality. The list of defendants, limited to 20, was hardly comprehensive. At one point, Soviet prosecutors accused the Nazis of massacring some 20,000 Polish officers in 1940, a crime their government knew perfectly well the Soviet Union itself had carried out. Yet Nuremberg was, in retrospect, a huge success, and as the trial of Saddam Hussein begins today in Baghdad, it is worth remembering why. If it achieved nothing else, Nuremberg laid out for the German people, and for the world, the true nature of the Nazi system. Auschwitz survivors and SS officers presented testimony. Senior Nazis were subjected to cross-examination. The prosecutors produced documents, newsreels of liberated concentration camps and films of atrocities made by the Nazis themselves. There were hangings at the end, as well as acquittals. But it mattered more that the story of the Third Reich had been told, memorably and eloquently. Because it is taking place during an insurgency, and because it is run by Iraqis, not outsiders, the Iraqi Special Tribunal that will try Hussein and his henchmen is potentially weaker, and more easily manipulated, than the Nuremberg court. From the beginning, some Iraqi politicians have wanted to use the trial to launch a political attack on the Sunni Baathists, while others want to get the whole thing over with quickly, precisely to protect some of the Sunni community. Inexplicably, the U.S. military still controls the captured files of Hussein's government, still restricts Iraqi access to them and will also restrict who has access to the courtroom itself. Even Iraqis involved in the tribunal worry about the inexperience of the Iraqi judges and prosecutors, some of whom say privately that they are still afraid of Hussein, even sitting across from him in a courtroom. Partly because of all that, and partly because they didn't much like the invasion of Iraq in the first place, the international human rights groups that are normally enthusiastic about trials of dictators are squeamish about this one. Human Rights Watch has said that the tribunal has an "inappropriate standard of proof," and it worries that the accused will not have adequate defense. The International Center for Transitional Justice complains of the "legal, administrative and procedural" issues that have not been resolved, quite apart from the political issues. There is a lot of high-minded grumbling about the death penalty that will, presumably, be the end result. And yet -- if the court is able to compile a true record of events, if the judges are able to present authentic witnesses, and if tribunal spokesmen are able to communicate their findings to the Iraqi and international press, none of that matters. The fact that the court is starting with a smaller incident, the 1982 massacre of more than 140 Shiite men in the village of Dujail, is a good sign: The investigators do have witnesses, there is documentary evidence, and the story of Dujail is easier to tell than that of more complicated crimes, such as Hussein's genocide campaign against the Kurds or the Shiites of the south. Far from rushing or politicizing the trial, today's hearings will probably be followed by a delay, so more evidence can be gathered. In the end, it is by the quality of that evidence, and the clarity with which it is conveyed, that this trial should be judged. The result is irrelevant: Quite frankly, it doesn't matter whether Saddam Hussein is drawn and quartered, exiled to Pyongyang, or left to rot in a Baghdad prison. No punishment could make up for the thousands he killed, or for the terror he inflicted on his country. But if his Sunni countrymen learn what he did to Shiites and Kurds, if the Shiites and Kurds learn what he did to Sunnis, if Iraqis come to realize that his system of totalitarian terror damaged them all, and if others in the Middle East learn that dictatorships can be overthrown, then the trial will have served its purpose. That, and not an arbitrary standard of international law, is how the success of this unusual tribunal should be measured.

NYT October 20, 2005 Tyrant or Fallen Hero? Iraqis Watch the Trial on TV, With Emotions Running High By EDWARD WONG BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 19 - From the very start of the trial, from the moment Saddam Hussein refused to tell the judge his name, Hiba Raad said she knew that she was watching the same man who had ruled over Iraq for decades with muscular authority. "He's a hero, he's a tough leader," Ms. Raad, 20, an education student at Mustansiriya Univerisity, said as she reclined in black pants and a T-shirt on a sofa in her living room. "If he came back, I'm sure he'd provide us with security." In her home in the Sunni Arab neighborhood of Adhamiya, Ms. Raad had just finished watching the opening session of the trial on an Arab network with her parents and sister. They continued staring, transfixed. The grandmother, Samira alBayati, shuffled into the room. "I felt sorry," she said. "I almost cried. Every country in the world has terrorism. All the presidents of this region torture their people. Why, of all the countries, do they come after us?" So went some of the talk on Wednesday afternoon as millions of Iraqis spent hours gazing at the stern, wrinkled visage of the leader they once feared, loathed and lionized. It was nothing less than a national spectacle. Viewpoints varied widely, some calling it a tawdry display of victor's justice, others a long-awaited, if somewhat unsatisfactory, accounting for sins too numerous to list. The opinions generally divided along ethnic and sectarian lines, with many Sunni Arabs expressing some sympathy for Mr. Hussein, one of their own, and long-persecuted Shiites and Kurds barely containing their hatred. Everyone, though, seemed to take notice of Mr. Hussein's fierce disposition and his unwillingness to bend to his captors. In Tikrit, his hometown, scores of protesters waved Iraqi flags and photos of Mr. Hussein, chanting, "You're still the son of Iraq." In Baghdad, in the Shiite slum Sadr City, crowds called for a swift, though preferably painful, execution. "This is divine justice," said Shakir Majeed, 38, an appliance repairman fiddling with an electric generator in his shop to keep the television going. "The proper sentence for him is execution, but this method of trying him is not encouraging. His crimes are many, and the court shouldn't spend time hearing him out. The court should judge him at the first session without listening to his defense." Mr. Majeed added, " We'd like him to be tried the same way he tried his victims." Mr. Hussein's display of unalloyed confidence, the willpower that may have propelled him to the ranks of the modern world's most feared dictators, disturbed many people. "The judge dealt with Saddam as a regular man, not as a criminal," said Akil Jawad, 20, a tailor in Sadr City trying to mend a shirt with a sewing machine while watching the trial. "We suffered a lot under him. And I don't feel optimistic about the trial, because Saddam smiles a lot and feels confident in his answers." Ali Abbas, an air conditioner repairman, also in Sadr City, suggested bypassing the trial. "There's no need for Saddam to be judged, because he's been indicted already," Mr. Abbas, 28, said. "We don't want him to be executed. I'd rather that he be beaten by shoes. Execution would be mercy for him." To be flailed with the soles of shoes is one of the ultimate humiliations in the Arab world. Many Iraqis hoped to see Mr. Hussein suffer such disgrace. But they came away disappointed - Mr. Hussein remained defiant until the very end of the session, when he scuffled with a guard. "It's a historical farce, not a historical trial," said Furad Saadadeen, 35, a resident of the embattled northern city of Mosul. "Saddam doesn't deserve anything but execution - and his government, too." Elsewhere in Mosul, a city where the insurgency has strong support, some rationalized the killings during Mr. Hussein's rule. As for the mass executions in the Shiite village of Dujail, for which Mr. Hussein is being tried, some residents argued, hadn't the people there tried to assassinate Mr. Hussein? In the case of Halabja, where 5,000 Kurds were killed by chemical weapons, wasn't he protecting Iraq from an unholy Iranian-Kurdish alliance? "Saddam doesn't deserve all this," said Ahmad Muhammad, 31, a taxi driver. "In Halabja there was an entire Iranian army inside our land, and who helped them enter? The traitors. What should he have done other than kill the traitors and our enemies?" The same support could be found in the deserts of western Iraq, the rebel heartland, and even on the streets of Mansour, an upscale neighborhood in western Baghdad. "I watched some of the trial and I was upset, because his rule was better than what we have today," Qusay Muhammad, 24, said as he sold tea from a sidewalk booth. "I don't mean to say I love Saddam. I'm just making a comparison between the old regime and the government today." In the south, dominated by Shiites, the attitude was markedly different. Mr. Hussein's forces swept through that region in 1991 and killed at least 100,000 Shiites at the end of the Persian Gulf war. That, along with the mass killings of Kurds in the late 1980's, is likely to form the basis for the next set of charges brought against Mr. Hussein. "I had four sons executed by Saddam," said a 64-year-old woman in the Shiite holy city of Karbala who gave her name as Umm Mahdi. "When he's executed I'll finally hold their funerals." Reporting for this article was contributed by Khalid Hassan, Khalid alAnsary and Sahar Najib from Baghdad and by Iraqi employees of The New York Times, whose names are withheld for security reasons, from Mosul and Karbala.

BBC 24 Oct 2005 Ill Saddam witness gives evidence Judge Amin said Mr Sheikh was a main witness in the trial A former Iraqi security officer who is seriously ill has become the first witness to testify in the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Waddah al-Sheikh gave a statement in hospital on Sunday about the killing of 143 people in Dujail in 1982. Court officials said they did not want to risk waiting until the trial resumed in November to get his testimony. Meanwhile, two people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack near an Iraqi police patrol in Baghdad on Monday. Main witness Court officials "have recorded the testimony of this individual," a court source told news agency AFP. "His words were recorded and written down on paper." Mr Sheikh, who was working for Iraq's main intelligence agency at the time of the massacre, is considered one of the main witnesses in the trial. He is suffering from cancer and there are fears that he may not have long to live. Saddam Hussein is charged with the killing of more than 140 men in the mostly Shia town of Dujail after a failed assassination attempt against him. The former Iraqi leader and seven other defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial was suspended until 28 November after several prosecution witnesses failed to turn up for the opening day on 19 October. Monday's car bomb attack occurred in the capital's north-eastern district of Shaab, where insurgents had kidnapped and murdered one of Saddam Hussein's defence lawyers last week. Elsewhere, police announced on Monday the discovery of the bodies of 12 labourers, all Iraqis. Police believe they were shot dead and their foreman kidnapped in a town south of Baghdad on Sunday.

BBC 24 Oct 2005 Saddam's strategy for martyrdom By John Simpson BBC world affairs editor Saddam Hussein sat in the dock last Wednesday in the building which once housed the national and international headquarters of his Baath Party in Baghdad, looked up at the senior judge on the bench, and paused for a beat or two before answering his question. Saddam Hussein faces possible execution if found guilty "I've said what I have to say, and I'm innocent," he answered. A plea of not guilty to the charges of ordering the massacre of 143 men in the town of Dujail in 1982 was entered. But what was Saddam saying? That none of the crimes with which he has been accused were really committed by him? That his underlings carried them out without his orders or knowledge? Surely not. The prosecution has - or said in court that it had - a document from Saddam's officials requesting permission to carry out the executions. It is countersigned in Saddam's characteristic red ink with the word in Arabic meaning "I accept". According to government officials in Baghdad, the prosecution has a similar document which links Saddam with the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988. Unless, at the end of the Dujail case, the Iraqi government decides it has sufficient grounds to execute Saddam for that alone, a trial for the Halabja massacre will follow. And there could be a couple more after that, perhaps relating to the invasions of Iran in 1980 and of Kuwait in 1990. Come-back Even without the evidence of the documents, it is unthinkable in a system as ferociously controlled as Saddam Hussein's Iraq that senior or junior officers might have done any of these things on their own authority. Saddam must know that the only way this process will end is with his execution - unless, of course, his lawyers can string it out until the point where he would be too old to be executed. We should not automatically assume that he wants to be martyred. When he was discovered in his cleverly concealed foxhole near the town of Tikrit, he did not use his gun to die in a blaze of glory. Something much bigger probably underlies his plea of not guilty: the sense that, even if he was responsible for ordering the Dujail massacre, he was innocent of doing anything wrong Instead, he put his hands up and told the American soldiers who found him that he wanted to negotiate. Perhaps he believes that the resistance movement can force the Americans and their few remaining allies to leave Iraq, and that he can make a come-back. You and I might find the idea of a come-back unlikely. But if you are all alone in your cell with no one except a few GIs and a box of some strange American breakfast cereal for company, it is not always easy to see things as they really are. So maybe he is merely playing for time, hoping the lawyers will carry on arguing until something comes up. Ferocious rule But something much bigger probably underlies his plea of not guilty - the sense that, even if he was responsible for ordering the Dujail massacre, he was innocent of doing anything wrong. Saddam Hussein's notion of governing a restless, difficult country like Iraq was that it could only be done with ferocity. In that he was no different from the presidents and kings before him; no different either from the British, who had the mandate from the League of Nations to run Iraq after 1920, and who used some ferocious tactics to try to protect their rule. They took over, full of the conviction that as the most powerful military nation on earth, with the best political system in human history, the Iraqis would be delighted to be ruled by them. Within six months the British were negotiating a way out, and after twelve years (imperial powers hate to seem to be cutting and running) they gave up the mandate and left. Unlikely hero Whether history will repeat itself now, we will have to wait and see. Like the British, like the kings, like coup-leader General Qassem and the rest, Saddam believed he had a right to govern Iraq by force. When his ambassador in London was called into the Foreign Office in 1988 to receive a formal complaint about the use of chemical weapons at Halabja, where five thousand men, women and children died, his answer was simple: "But they're our people." In other words, Saddam could do what he liked with them. Saddam may also face trial for murders in Halabja in 1988 It is a simple enough justification. If the job of keeping Iraq together required it, Saddam believed, then any amount of force was justified. He did not kill people merely because he was blood-thirsty; in fact, unlike his unspeakable son Uday, Saddam seemed to gain no particular pleasure from having people tortured and murdered. It was simply something that had to be done. Saddam may have a longer-term ambition, other than simply keeping on existing - to turn himself into a martyr. He and his lawyers will argue again and again that the US and Britain had no right to march into Iraq and overturn its government, no matter how much they might have disliked it. Hundreds of millions of people around the world, including plenty who live in nasty dictatorships, will agree. That really would be a strange outcome - for the worst tyrant of recent times to emerge from all of this as a hero. http://www.iraq-ist.org/

washingtonpost.com 24 Oct 2005 Enemy Body Counts Revived U.S. Is Citing Tolls to Show Success in Iraq By Bradley Graham Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, October 24, 2005; A01 Eager to demonstrate success in Iraq, the U.S. military has abandoned its previous refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites such numbers periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations. The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has apparently come without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership. Military spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad said they knew of no written directive detailing the circumstances under which such figures should be released or the steps that should be taken to ensure accuracy. Instead, they described an ad hoc process that has emerged over the past year, with authority to issue death tolls pushed out to the field and down to the level of division staffs. So far, the releases have tended to be associated either with major attacks that netted significant numbers of enemy fighters or with lengthy operations that have spanned days or weeks. On Saturday, for instance, the U.S. military reported 20 insurgents killed and one captured in raids on five houses suspected of sheltering foreign fighters in a town near the Syrian border. Six days earlier, the 2nd Marine Division issued a statement saying an estimated 70 suspected insurgents had died in the Ramadi area as a result of three separate airstrikes by fighter jets and helicopters. That Oct. 16 statement reflected some of the pitfalls associated with releasing such statistics. The number was immediately challenged by witnesses, who said many of those killed were not insurgents but civilians, including women and children. Privately, several uniformed military and civilian defense officials expressed concern that the pendulum may have swung too far, with body counts now creeping into too many news releases from Iraq and Afghanistan. They also questioned the effectiveness of citing such figures in conflicts where the enemy has shown itself capable of rapidly replacing dead fighters and where commanders acknowledge great uncertainty about the total size of the enemy force. Nevertheless, no formal review of the practice has been ordered, according to spokesmen at the Pentagon and in Baghdad. Several senior officers and Pentagon officials involved in shaping communications strategies argued that the occasional release of body counts has important value, particularly when used to convey the scale of individual operations. "Specific numbers are used to periodically provide context and help frame particular engagements," said Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, director of communications for the U.S. military command in Baghdad. He added, however, that there is no plan "to issue such numbers on a regular basis to score progress." During the Vietnam War, enemy body counts became a regular feature in military statements intended to demonstrate progress. But the statistics ended up proving poor indicators of the war's course. Pressure on U.S. units to produce high death tolls led to inflated tallies, which tore at Pentagon credibility. "In Vietnam, we were pursuing a strategy of attrition, so body counts became the measure of performance for military units," said Conrad C. Crane, director of the military history institute at the U.S. Army War College. "But the numbers got so wrapped up with career aspirations that they were sometimes falsified." The Vietnam experience led U.S. commanders to shun issuing enemy death tallies in later conflicts, through the initial stages of the Iraq war. "We don't do body counts on other people," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in November 2003, when asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether the number of enemy dead exceeded the U.S. toll. That policy appeared to shift with the assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in November, an operation considered crucial at the time to denying safe havens to enemy fighters. U.S. military officials reported 1,200 to 1,600 enemy fighters killed, although reporters on the scene noted far fewer corpses were found by Marines after the fighting. A surge in enemy activity this year has generated a corresponding increase in offensives by U.S. and Iraqi forces -- and a rise in the number of U.S. military statements containing numbers of enemy killed. High-ranking commanders also have contributed to the trend. In January, Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. officer in Iraq, said U.S. and Iraqi forces had killed or captured 15,000 people last year. In May, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentioned the killing of 250 of insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi's "closest lieutenants" as evidence of progress in Iraq. The Pentagon says its policy is still to try to avoid publicizing enemy body counts. But the U.S. military command in Baghdad does keep a running tally of enemy dead that is classified, and field commanders now have authority to release death tolls for isolated engagements in the interest, officials said, of countering enemy propaganda and conveying the size and presumed effectiveness of some U.S. military operations. "For a discrete operation, it's a metric that can help convey magnitude and context," said Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman. The release of such figures also can serve to boost the morale of U.S. forces and bolster confidence "that their plans and weapons work effectively," said Marine Lt. Col. David Lapan, spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, which operates in western Iraq. Lapan said in an e-mail message that no "threshold" exists for deciding when to release an enemy death toll, adding that such decisions are made "on a case-by-case basis." He indicated that the numbers are frequently derived from advance estimates of how many enemy fighters are at a targeted site, which explains why the death counts can sometimes get released so soon after an attack. Lapan said improvements in surveillance and targeting techniques allow for "greater certainty about the numbers of casualties we inflict in some situations." In the case of the disputed Oct. 16 tally in Ramadi, Lapan stood by the figure of 70 enemy dead, saying the Marines "had information from a variety of sources that gave us confidence in the number of enemy fighters killed in the engagements." Still, defense specialists such as Crane cautioned that enemy body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan are prone to inaccuracy and are of questionable significance. The murky nature of the conflicts, they said, make it difficult to know at times who is an insurgent, a criminal or an innocent civilian. "There still are problems in identifying who is who, just as there were in Vietnam," Crane said.

NYT 26 Oct 2005 Rising Civilian Toll Is the Iraq War's Silent, Sinister Pulse By SABRINA TAVERNISE BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 25 - The scene was grimly familiar. Three car bombs exploding in rapid succession sent plumes of smoke into the evening sky. The targets were foreign reporters and contractors inside two hotels here. But the victims, as is often the case, were Iraqis. The war here has claimed about 2,000 American service members, but in the cold calculus of the killing, far more Iraqis have been left dead. The figures vary widely, with Iraqi and American officials reluctant to release even the most incomplete of tallies. In one count, compiled by Iraq Body Count, a United States-based nonprofit group that tracks the civilian deaths using news media reports, the total of Iraqi dead since the American-led invasion is 26,690 to 30,051. Anthony H. Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, a nonprofit research group, who has analyzed statistics of American deaths in Iraq, called the group's count "the best guesstimate in town," but warned that the figures were far from complete. The bombings on Monday, which took place near the Palestine and Sheraton Hotels in central Baghdad, added at least 10 people to the tally, the Interior Ministry said. They were coordinated for maximum damage, exploding just after sunset, when Iraqis were breaking their daily fast for Ramadan. The second bomb, carried in a Jeep Cherokee, killed the largest number of people, including a 19-year-old named Beshir, whose mother wandered aimlessly through the wreckage on Monday night, searching for his body. "He told me he would leave this dangerous area," said the woman, who was crying and speaking to other women. "Death took him from me before he fulfilled his promise." The United States military said last week that sweeps it had conducted with Iraqi troops throughout Iraq had trimmed the number of suicide attacks sharply, with 22 attacks in October, compared with 58 in June, not including the blasts on Monday. But the drop in suicide attacks comes amid an overall rise in violence and a shift in the nature of the killing. Shortly after the invasion, insurgent attacks were aimed almost exclusively at American troops, but as the months passed, Iraqis - civilians, police officers and soldiers - have suffered far greater losses, as insurgents, seeking maximum effect, focus attacks on the softest targets. The attack on Monday night was the sixth in Wisam Salah's neighborhood, in Firdos Square near the hotels. On Tuesday evening, Mr. Salah, who is Beshir's cousin, was on the street near his home clearing rubble and hanging a door back on its hinges. He spoke angrily about foreigners. They make the area more dangerous for Iraqis, he said. "They want us as armor for their bodies," he said, his face hard. "They are responsible for this." An offer of canned beans, rice and sugar from American troops on Tuesday afternoon felt particularly insulting. "Are they making fun of us?" he said, angrily. "Will this bring back those we lost?" Civilians do appear to be dying at a faster pace. Mr. Cordesman found in a recent analysis of American figures that more than 60 Iraqis were killed daily this year, up from 40 last year. Adult males make up 82 percent of all Iraqis killed since the American invasion, according to a study released by Iraq Body Count in July. Children account for about 10 percent of the total and women about 8 percent, according to the study. Mr. Salah saw Beshir an hour before his death. His cousin was smiling - he had just been given a computer. Beshir worked in a lawyer's office serving tea to the clients. A strange exchange took place between residents and one of the suicide bombers. He was driving slowly toward the Sadeer Hotel, and residents waved at him to stop to save him from nervous hotel guards, said Haidar Abed, a laborer. The bomber looked at them and nodded slightly. Moments later, he detonated his payload, Mr. Abed said. Among those killed were Iraqi soldiers and at least one police officer. The Iraqi Army and police forces have also suffered significant losses. According to Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count, a Web site that tracks coalition forces' deaths and keeps tabs on deaths among Iraqi security forces through news media reports, 2,150 Iraqi soldiers, commandos and police officers have been killed in attacks so far this year, compared to 1,300 before 2005. In Mr. Salah's neighborhood, a car mechanic was killed. A family of four was killed just as they parked their blue Volkswagen to go to a nearby restaurant, a hotel guard said. The sounds of scraping and sweeping filled the quiet of the morning between the two hotels where the bombs had exploded the day before. Cleaners made some macabre finds. A human thigh - most likely that of the bomber who was driving a cement mixer - was nestled near a patch of pink flowers. A foot, dirty with soot and oil, lay on the asphalt near the truck chassis. The man's hands were handcuffed to the steering wheel, said a hotel guard who saw them. "We are used to this," said Mr. Salah's mother, standing in her kitchen with no glass in the windows. Her 15-year-old son was seriously wounded in the blast. In the Agriculture Ministry near Mr. Salah's house, the clock stopped at 5:35, the time of the blast. Mr. Abed stretched a long coil of barbed wire across his street at sunset on Tuesday evening. Qais Mizher and Khalid al-Ansary contributed reporting from Baghdad for this article.

washingtonpost.com 27 Oct 2005 In a Reclaimed Village, Kurds' Future Unclear Charter Leaves Some Outside Regional Boundary By Jackie Spinner Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 27, 2005; A20 QARA-HNJEER, Iraq -- For more than 20 years, the Iraqi army knew this village as Rabie, the Arabic word for spring. Soldiers occupied the simple cinder-block houses that Kurdish residents had built on the rolling brown hills on either side of the highway that connects Kirkuk with Chamchamal in northern Iraq. Rabie was a no-man's land of guns, mines, tanks and troops on the front line of a territorial battle between Saddam Hussein's army and the ethnic Kurds the soldiers were sent to chase. Because Qara-Hnjeer was used as a military outpost, its physical structures avoided the wholesale razing that Hussein's forces inflicted on other Kurdish communities. Now, 23 years after the Iraqi troops moved in, residents have returned, reclaiming the village and its original Kurdish name, which means "black fig." Almost all of the 20,047 registered voters in Qara-Hnjeer and the surrounding area voted on Oct. 15 in the referendum on a draft constitution, according to estimates from the local committee of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the dominant political party in the region. Of those who cast ballots, 99.5 percent voted in favor of the constitution, said Sabah Sharif, a representative of the Qara-Hnjeer PUK committee. "We never had an opportunity to have a constitution, so the people came to vote for it," Sharif said. "It's a result of our struggle. It's a result of our suffering in this land." The constitution formally recognizes the existence of the Kurdish region of Iraq and allows for a Kurdish constitution that can override the central government in disputed claims of power. Iraqi officials announced Tuesday that voters had approved the national charter. People here view the document as a significant milestone for the Kurdish population as a whole, which was persecuted by Hussein and has long sought recognition of its unique ethnic identity. But that is little solace for the Kurdish villagers of Qara-Hnjeer. Under the constitution, Qara-Hnjeer will remain outside of the Kurdish-controlled region, still answering to a government in Baghdad that many people deeply distrust. "If the city is in the hands of the Arabs, we'll all be killed," said Abdurahaman Abdulfadah, 85, who lives on a sewage-fouled dirt road in the village center. Naimal Ibrahim, 41, interrupted his father, explaining that sometimes the elder man speaks his mind too much. "We don't believe in Arabs," Ibrahim said. "We don't trust Arabs. We will only have our rights if we are governed by Kurdish leaders." Compared to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk seven miles to the north, which also lies outside the zone, Qara-Hnjeer is strategically unimportant these days to either Iraq or the Kurdish region. It is just a small spot on the map, impoverished, with no running water or electricity. Few people expect the government in Baghdad to help. "We don't have services," Abdulfadah said, as his sons and grandchildren gathered around the small, dirty mattress where he rested while selling sodas and snacks from a small shack next to his house. "We don't have anyone. Nobody looks after us. We don't know if there is a government or not." The trouble started in 1982, when local people first saw Iraqi soldiers marching over the hills on their way to claim Qara-Hnjeer. Everyone in the town fled or disappeared. Ramadhan Mohammad was 15 when he left with his family and neighbors in a caravan of mules. They stopped to rest in another village. One of the families turned back. Mohammad and his family stayed put. "The mules and donkeys came back with their goods, but no people," Mohammad said of his neighbors who returned to Qara-Hnjeer. "Nobody knows where they went. They disappeared." Over the next six years, the Iraqi government destroyed 70 villages in the area around Qara-Hnjeer. Thousands of people were killed and thousands more simply disappeared, said Sharif, the PUK representative. "Saddam regarded us as infidels," he said. "We were Muslims, but he destroyed us. There was nothing left." The Kurds of Qara-Hnjeer who survived the assault stayed away for the next two decades, becoming wandering refugees of Hussein's campaign of ethnic cleansing. Many fled to Iran, returning only in 2003 after U.S. forces invaded and the Iraqi army retreated to Kirkuk. Shokor Ali Kasim, 89, and his wife and children came back to find that Iraqi troops had booby-trapped their house with 18 artillery shells. The U.S. military cleared the residence, which the Iraqis had also stripped down to its shell. "Only the walls remained," said Amina Abdulqadir, 32, Kasim's daughter-in-law. "There was nothing left. No windows, no doors. Even the ceiling was destroyed. They took the wires, the iron." Kasim said his family voted for the constitution, in hopes of a better life, but that they were unsure who will make it happen. "Our hope is in the constitution, but we have more hopes in the United States," he said. "If there is no America, this constitution will fail." Like a lot of Kurds, Kasim and his family see U.S. forces not as occupiers but as liberators who protected Kurdish territory from Hussein starting in 1991, allowing it to develop as a semi-autonomous, democratic region. "When we were voting," Kasim said, "we believed that we belonged to Kurdistan. Even if we are affiliated to the center, to Baghdad, we will demand to be attached to Kurdistan." His 20-year-old son, Rebwar Shokor, agreed. "Why not forcefully? Let's go," he said. "No," his mother said. "We have suffered enough. We don't want that to happen." Under the constitution, residents of the disputed Kirkuk territory, which includes Qara-Hnjeer, will get to decide by referendum whether to remain under the control of the Iraqi central government or become part of the Kurdish-controlled region. The constitution stipulates that a vote on the issue must take place by Dec. 31, 2007. On the day after the referendum, Sharif and other party leaders gathered at the PUK headquarters to congratulate one another on the successful turnout. Iraqi security forces had once occupied the building, and the very room where they now sat had been used to torture and hang villagers, the men said. Asked how they knew this, Luqman Aziz Karim, the head of the Qara-Hnjeer City Council, looked up. He had been staring at his clasped hands. "I was beaten here," he said softly. "We are satisfied for now," he said. "We have given up some of our rights to vote for this constitution. We want the process to succeed, and the Iraqi government should be very grateful. We support the constitution now because in the future we hope to get our rights. This is a Kurdish region." Special correspondent Sarok Abdulla Ahmed contributed to this report.

AP 31 Oct 2005 DoD estimates 26,000 Iraqi casualties Associated Press In a rare look at how the Defense Department tracks non-U.S. casualties in the war in Iraq, the Pentagon is estimating that 26,000 Iraqis have been killed or wounded by insurgents since Jan. 1, 2004. The Pentagon, in response to questions from congressional staffers, provided daily casualty estimates — those killed and wounded — over six time periods, the most recent period ending Sept. 16 of this year. Applying those daily estimates to the number of days in each period results in nearly 26,000, a total not included in the Pentagon report to Congress. In the most recent period, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 16, an estimated 64 Iraqis became casualties each day, the report indicated. The rate increased in four of the last five periods. “It’s a kind of a snapshot,” Pentagon spokesman Greg Hicks said Saturday. “The Defense Department doesn’t maintain a comprehensive or authoritative count of Iraqi casualties.” The Pentagon provided the estimates in a bar graph in a 44-page security and stability report to Congress on Oct. 13, its second quarterly report, mandated by lawmakers. Hicks said the estimates were gathered from initial incident reports by subordinate units of coalition forces and are not meant to be taken as comprehensive. The graph indicated that the average daily casualty rates for Iraqis since January 2004 were approximately: •26: Jan. 1-March 31, 2004. •30: April 1-June 28, 2004. •40: June 29-Nov. 26, 2004. •51: Nov. 27, 2004-Feb. 11, 2005. •49: Feb. 12-Aug. 28, 2005. •64: Aug. 29-Sept. 16, 2005. A recent Associated Press count found that at least 3,870 Iraqis have died in the last six months. A U.S. military spokesman told the AP last week that as many as 30,000 Iraqis may have died during the war, which began with the U.S. invasion in March 2003. The AP count found that two-thirds of those killed were civilians and one-third were security personnel. More than 2,000 U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq have died since the war began.


Haaretz 17 Oct 2005 IDF imposes restrictions in West Bank after attacks By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Staff, and The Associated Press The government has decided on a series of restricting measures on the West Bank Palestinian population in response to Sunday's drive-by shootings attack where three Israeli civilians were killed and six were wounded. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is currently staying at his Sycamore Ranch, spoke with senior defense officials by telephone Sunday night to discuss Israel's response and decided to reimpose various restrictions on Palestinian traffic in the West Bank that had recently been lifted. The Israel Defense Forces will resume its encirclement of Hebron and Bethlehem, reinstate dismantled checkpoints around Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah and forbid private Palestinian cars to travel certain roads. Advertisement Israel also suspended security talks with the Palestinian Authority in protest. A security source slammed the PA as having no leadership, saying Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is working in a vacuum and that no force can make him fight terror, Israel Radio reported. The suspension of contacts is temporary, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. "In Israel, we have no desire to return to a reality of daily attacks against Israeli civilians," Regev said. "We want to send a very strong and sharp message to the Palestinians, and the temporary suspension of talks is that message." The IDF will also restrict the traffic of private Palestinian cars on the Route 60 section between Adam Square in the Samaria and the Tapuah junction, as well as the road between Hebron and Jerusalem. In addition, the IDF will beef up its forces in the southern West Bank and continue its large-scale arrest operations. It will also fortify some of the hitchhiking posts along major West Bank roads to protect hitchhikers from drive-by shootings such as Sunday's. Nevertheless, IDF officers warned, additional attacks on the roads are possible. Government officials said they feared that Sunday's attacks represent the start of an effort by terrorist organizations to make the West Bank the focus of the violence, now that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, which used to play this role. One source speculated that the attacks might also be part of the terrorist organizations' efforts to drum up support among the Palestinian public in the run-up to this winter's parliamentary elections. Most Palestinians, he explained, view attacks within the West Bank as more legitimate than attacks within Israel. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for both attacks in two separate phone calls to news agencies in the territories. However, the IDF is skeptical of these claims, and officers speculated that Hamas was behind at least the first, more lethal, attack. Colonel Nitzan Alon, commander of the IDF's Etzion (Bethlehem) Brigade, noted that a significant portion of the attacks in the West Bank in recent months have been perpetrated by Hamas, but the organization has avoided taking responsibility, since it still officially claims to be adhering to the "lull" in the violence. In some of these cases, Fatah-affiliated groups have claimed responsibility in its stead, often in the hopes that Hezbollah will then pay them for the attacks..

www.thejewishpress.com 17 Oct 2005 Remembering For The Future Genocide Then And Now Posted 10/17/2005 By Louis Rene Beres First Of Two Parts Memory is indispensable to justice. But it is also necessary for the prevention of future crimes. In addition, justice and future crime prevention are intimately intertwined, as each expectation draws deeply and authoritatively from the other. Now, the end of World War II in Europe is only a receding memory, but there are distressingly obvious instances of justice denied. Even more disturbing is the undeniable fact that another genocide is currently being planned against "The Jews." It is true, of course, that this new genocide will be directed against the entire state of the Jews — Israel, the individual Jew in macrocosm — but the annihilatory motives are exactly the same. Moreover, under binding international law, war and genocide are not mutually exclusive. An Arab/Islamic war to "liquidate the Zionist entity" would be jurisprudentially indistinguishable from what happened to our people before and during the Second World War. Let us be frank. Genocide now has a plausible future as well as an accursed and indelible past. More than 60 years after Europe`s blessed liberation, the State of Israel has become the individual Jew writ large, and mass murder is plainly the explicit objective of various Arab/Islamic states and movements. The goal of these nations and organizations is indisputably identical to that of the Third Reich. Even by the strict legal standard established at the 1948 Genocide Convention, their openly-stated policies and carefully-codified doctrines qualify, unambiguously, as fully intended crimes against humanity. In the eyes of all the world, including those states that the UN Charter calls the "civilized nations" (yes, this term is actually found at Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice), Israel is the "New Jew." Whatever passions and hatreds were directed against flesh-and-blood Jewish individuals in the past can now be focused upon those Jews bound together in an institutionalized "entity." To translate a well-founded French expression, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Since 1948, altogether unhidden plans for extermination of the Jewish State have been animated by age-old fanatical hatreds. Among pertinent elements of the Arab/Islamic world, issues of land and politics remain a mere pretext for orchestrated convulsions of outrage. These enemies of Israel do not read Clausewitz; they are far more comfortable with Mein Kampf. They do not really "think" about Israel; they erupt. In substance, these issues of territory and "negotiations" are always peripheral. For these elements, war and terror against Israel are now little more than a newer and considerably more efficient means to commit Holocaust-era crimes. Should Iran or any Arab state or movement be permitted to acquire nuclear or even certain biological weapons, the probable result to Israel might well be another Jewish genocide. Here it is especially regrettable that Prime Minister Sharon`s "disengagement" will do absolutely nothing to blunt Palestinian hatreds. Rather, this latest Jewish surrender will substantially hasten a new wave of Palestinian crimes against humanity. Let us consider more precisely the nuclear threat of genocide. Beginning in 1938, small groups of predominantly Jewish scientists from Central Europe living in the United States began to express informed fears that Nazi Germany could build nuclear weapons. About two years after Albert Einstein transmitted these critical apprehensions to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his now-famous letter of August 1939, the United States launched the Manhattan Project. In part, this effort was the result of a perceived danger by Jewish émigrés of an incontestably existential threat to then widely dispersed European Jewish communities. Today it is the responsibility of all "civilized nations" to recognize another existential danger, this time to the ingathered Jewish population of the State of Israel. Should it face the prospect of a nuclear Iran, or of any Arab state or movement with atomic or even certain biological weapons, Israel would have no rational choice but to act preemptively. This is exacty what Prime Minister Menachem Begin did on June 7, 1981, when Israel`s "Operation Opera" successfully destroyed Iraq`s Osiraq nuclear reactor. This operation, best described under international law as a permissible act of "anticipatory self-defense," was an expressed application of the "Begin Doctrine." This doctrine clearly affirmed Israel`s policy to deny certain weapons of mass destruction to particular enemy states. It was drawn directly from Prime Minister Begin`s awareness that the developing nuclear threat then facing Israel was merely a new form of a previous slaughter. (To be continued) Copyright © The Jewish Press. All rights reserved. LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Chair of "Project Daniel," a small private group advising the Prime Minister of Israel on nuclear security issues. Born in Switzerland at the end of World War II, his Austrian-Jewish grandparents were murdered at the SS-killing grounds in Riga, Latvia. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

www.thejewishpress.com 24 Oct 2005 Remembering For The Future Genocide Then And Now Posted 10/24/2005 By Louis Rene Beres Second Of Two Parts It is essential today, when Israel is under intense American pressure to turn a blind eye to Iranian and possibly other regional efforts at nuclearization, that the Begin Doctrine be reinvigorated and declared. Now, just as during the Second World War, Jews face the threat of mass murder because of atomic weapons. Now, however, the danger is not that these weapons will be used by a genocidal state against other states to acquire physical custody over Jewish bodies; rather, it is directed against that single state which was expressly created for the eternal protection of these bodies. In certain respects at least, the nuclear danger to Jews is even greater today than during World War II; that is, it looms even more menacingly over those Jews who live in Israel. Logistically, with the concentration of more than five million Jews within a state that is half the size of Lake Michigan, genocide has now become a much simpler operational task. In an unspeakable irony the Zionist solution to what Herzl called the "Jewish Problem" could soon make much easier what Hitler called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Recently, as UN-member states convened self-righteously in New York to re-examine the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty of 1970, Israel came under predictable pressure to dismantle and renounce its still undeclared nuclear weapons capacity. In the name of "fairness," dozens of countries, including virtually all Arab/Islamic states and many others, insistently demanded that Washington push Israel to accept a regional "nuclear weapon free-zone." Any future Israeli move to comply with such sinister pressure would effectively assure Israel`s apocalyptic disappearance. In this connection, it must be noted that calls for Israel`s unilateral nuclear disarmament have come not only from enemy states and peoples, but also from some of Israel`s own university professors. In a Fall 2003 article in the distinguished American journal International Security (Harvard), Tel-Aviv University Professor Zeev Maoz called for Israel to disband its nuclear weapons program and join with Arab states in the region to create a "nuclear weapons-free zone." (My own rejoinder to this curious article was published in the Summer 2004 issue of the same journal.) International law is not a suicide pact. From the standpoint of criminal intent, Israel cannot possibly be compared to various Arab and certain other Islamic states, whose only undeniable rationale for weapons of mass destruction vis-à-vis Israel is manifest aggression and total war. It is incontestably certain that Israel`s nuclear weapons exist only for national survival and self-protection, and that these weapons — which have never been flaunted, brandished or even acknowledged — would be used only in reprisal and only for this reason. Further, the use of nuclear weapons for national survival could be permissible in certain specific residual circumstances that were announced and identified by the International Court of Justice on July 8, 1996. In that Advisory Opinion ("The Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons"), the Court ruled as follows: "The threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law. However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake." Faced with the newest form of organized Jewish extinction, Israel`s leaders must soon remind the world that the "Begin Doctrine" is still entirely consistent with the established right of anticipatory self- defense under international law. Following such an appropriate jurisprudential reminder, it must make prompt tactical preparations to prevent a looming Jewish genocide by implementing a number of established military means, including comprehensive plans for the preemptive destruction of various enemy WMD targets and infrastructures. Other coordinated and corollary Israeli efforts must be directed at particular regime targets, ranging from pertinent national leadership elites to those individual scientists in different parts of the globe who now fashion or prepare to fashion biological and nuclear weapons for exclusively genocidal purposes. This proposed killing of enemy scientists making mega-weapons for dangerous regimes is assuredly not unprecedented practice by Israeli or American operatives, nor is it by any means a prima facie violation of international law. Similar Israeli/American tactics of "targeted killings" must remain in place against certain terrorist leaders, and should quickly be extended and expanded to any such leaders with documented plans to create nuclear or certain biological weapons of mass destruction. During World War II, a number of Arab leaders went directly to Berlin to meet with Hitler. There, they enthusiastically offered their own armed forces to extend the European annihilation of Jews to portions of the Islamic Middle East. At that time the Allies did everything possible to prevent the wartime nuclearization of Germany and, very successfully, at least for that moment, to create an atomic monopoly for the United States. Today, aware that it cannot possibly permit a single Arab state or movement, or Iran, to ever acquire authentic weapons of mass destruction, Israel must prepare to do whatever is needed to prevent another Jewish genocide. This is now a genuinely sacred obligation, not only to Israel`s currently imperiled population, but also to the memory of those murdered Six Million who now sleep in the dust. Today, as before, justice and the prevention of new crimes are two sides of the same coin. Copyright © The Jewish Press. All rights reserved. LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Chair of "Project Daniel," a small private group advising the Prime Minister of Israel on nuclear security issues. Born in Switzerland at the end of World War II, his Austrian-Jewish grandparents were murdered at the SS-killing grounds in Riga, Latvia. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Jewish extremists pray in al-Aqsa yard GAZA, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Jewish extremists entered Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, Wednesday escorted by Israeli police, Palestinian sources said. Al-Aqsa Institution for Muslim Holy Places said some 50 orthodox Jews from a group calling itself the Temple Mount Guardians performed religious rituals inside the mosque's yard. The Jews entered the mosque compound following an Israeli high court decision, giving Jews the right to perform religious ceremonies there between 7 and 9 a.m. It is the first time in 30 years such permission has been granted to Jews, a statement by the institution said.

Palestinian scholars seek end to truce GAZA, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Islamic Scholars Association Saturday called for an end to the truce between the Palestinian factions and Israel. In a statement, the association urged the factions and the Palestinian Authority to renege on its commitment to the truce with Israel as a response to the storming of Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque by Jewish extremists. On Wednesday, a group of 50 Jewish settlers stormed the compound of al-Aqsa, Islam's third holiest shrine, and held religious rituals there under tight Israeli security and after an Israeli court allowed them to do so. The head of the association, Sheikh Hamed al-Bitawi, said in a statement the Jewish event in the mosque's compound was "very dangerous and threatens the re-occupation of al-Aqsa and its division." He said that preventing thousands of Muslim worshippers from reaching the mosque was an Israeli violation, blaming the Israeli government for the "desecration of holy shrines by Jewish extremists." Al-Bitawi criticized the Arab and Muslim countries for failing to condemn the latest Jewish move and urged them to defend the holy shrine. The Islamic Hamas movement earlier this week accused the Israeli government of allowing settlers to "desecrate" al-Aqsa, warning the Palestinian uprising might re-erupt "in the face of cowardly conspiracies."

weekly.ahram.org.eg 20 - 26 October 2005 Issue No. 765 A turn for the worse From the West Bank, Khaled Amayreh describes the ongoing ordeals the Palestinians continue to suffer Israel has resorted to the most draconian measures of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in alleged retaliation for the killing of three Israeli settlers by suspected Palestinian guerrillas on Sunday. The settlers, who came from two colonies south of Hebron, were killed in an ambush by armed men travelling in a speeding car on a key intersection seven kilometres south of Bethlehem. The killing of the settlers was preceded by the assassination of Islamic Jihad activist Nihad Abu Ghanem, aged 27, in Jenin by an Israeli "death squad". Another bystander was also injured by Israeli fire. Initially, an anonymous caller phoning a Western news agency in Gaza City claimed that the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades carried out the attack as a reprisal for the recent killing by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) of more than 10 Palestinians in the Gaza strip and the northern West Bank. However, a spokesman for the Brigades in the West Bank later denied any involvement in the incident. An Israeli army source quoted by the Haaretz daily said that it was more likely that a "Hamas cell", not Fatah, carried out the ambush in retaliation for the killing of several Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip in September. For its part, Hamas has said it remains committed to the de facto ceasefire reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) earlier this year. Meanwhile, the IOF have closed off all roads and routes linking the central West Bank with Hebron in the south. Palestinian taxi and bus drivers told Al-Ahram Weekly that even unpaved mountainous paths were closed by army bulldozers, forcing thousands of students, teachers and civil servants to stay away from their institutions and places of work. Moreover, Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz has issued orders barring Palestinian private cars from travelling on intercity roads throughout the West Bank. This draconian measure is expected to further strangle the nearly decimated Palestinian economy, paralysed by five years of Israeli repression and blockade. "We will change the policy of how they [the Palestinians] use the roads. We will demand that they use public transport rather than private cars," said an Israeli military source. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers in the central and northern West Bank have resumed their assaults and acts of vandalism against Palestinian olive harvesters and villagers. The olive-harvesting season in the West Bank has just started and many olive growers dread settler violence which has, over the past few years, killed several Palestinians. Palestinian sources reported on Monday that Jewish settlers from the colony of Illan Moreh east of Nablus set fire to Palestinian olive groves. Similarly, settlers in the old city of Hebron set fire to Palestinian businesses, causing substantial damage. In southern Hebron, armed Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds and their flocks this week, killing and injuring a number of sheep. The assaults occurred in an area where settlers routinely carry out hostile acts against Palestinian villagers, such as poisoning their grazing land and polluting their water sources. Meanwhile, the IOF continued to round up Palestinian political activists and community leaders, ostensibly to disrupt the upcoming Palestinian elections. Palestinian sources said on Monday that as many as 60 activists and professionals were detained in the Hebron and Jenin regions during the past few days. Among the detainees was Khadr Sondok, professor of Islamic Studies at An-Najah University, who was "picked up" while returning home from college on Sunday. An Israeli army spokesman routinely describes the detainees as "militants and potential terrorists". However, it is abundantly clear that the vast bulk of the detainees have absolutely nothing to do with any anti-occupation activities and that their incarceration was politically motivated. Most of the estimated 700 Palestinians detained in the past few weeks are political activists affiliated or associated with Hamas, and many are considered potential candidates for the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections, scheduled for 27 January. Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, have said they will seek to disrupt Palestinian elections if Hamas is allowed to take part in the polls. The PA rejected "Israel's brash interference" in the elections, arguing that Israeli actions would only strengthen Hamas and weaken Fatah as Palestinian voters usually identify with whichever group was most targeted and persecuted by Israel. The latest harsh measures are likely to further undermine PA President Mahmoud Abbas's image and stature among many Palestinians. Ever since his rise to power, his standing among his people has been linked with and dependent on his ability to alleviate Israeli measures against his people. Abbas condemned the killing of the three settlers, but Israel wanted him to do more -- regardless of his utter powerlessness in the West Bank where the IOF is the only force with any real power. It is not yet clear whether Sharon is really interested in "strengthening" Abbas or in shattering him altogether. Israeli unilateral measures -- including the continued confiscation of large swathes of Palestinian land, especially in the Jerusalem region, and the effective ghettoising of Palestinian population centres as a result of the continued construction of the Apartheid Wall -- are leaving the PA powerless and completely exposed. This week even the Americans -- Israel's guardians and allies -- appealed to Sharon to ease up on the Palestinians and to refrain from taking actions that would weaken the "moderate elements" in the Palestinian camp. In a message delivered privately to the Israeli government by Lieutenant General William Ward, the US security envoy in the region, the State Department said that Israel should "take steps to ease the daily plight of the Palestinian people". It is doubtful, however, that the Sharon-Shalom-Mofaz trio will heed the American message as the government is coming under a rabid onslaught from right-wing hawks who have demanded even more stringent actions against the Palestinians. These hawks have by no means forgiven Sharon for implementing the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and are now likely to seek to create every conceivable obstacle to prevent Sharon from making any further changes. But by pushing Sharon so hard towards further tormenting Palestinian civilians, the far-right extremists who control at least a fourth of Israeli parliament seats, could guarantee that the fragile ceasefire -- so far observed by Palestinian resistance groups including Hamas -- will end. This in turn would guarantee that no Palestinian elections take place, at least until Israel starts to view Palestine as a real negotiating partner, not a vanquished supplicant whose main role is to repress its people and carry out Israeli orders and dictates.

www.worldnetdaily.com 16 Oct 2005 Hal Lindsey: Jerusalem mufti incites Armageddon The most volatile issue in the world today is Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This is clearly predicted in Bible prophecy for the last days. Virtually all of the predicted signs that herald the imminent return of Jesus Christ are already fulfilled. But chief among these signs is the accelerating conflict over ownership of the Temple Mount. The Hebrew prophets predicted that a conflict over Jerusalem between Israel and the surrounding nations, which are all Muslim today, would be a great burden to the whole world. The prophet Zechariah predicted that this conflict would ignite the last war of this present world (Zechariah 12:2-3). In the light of this, what the Muslim mufti of Jerusalem recently announced is of utmost importance. According to the Jerusalem Post, Sheikh Ikrema Sabri declared in last Friday's sermon in the Al Aqsa mosque, "The Temple Mount belongs only to the Muslims, who will not allow anyone to interfere in their internal affairs, including the Israeli authorities. The Israeli government and Jerusalem municipality have been attempting for years to establish new facts on the ground in the Haram al Sharif (Temple Mount) with the aim of taking control of it." To those familiar with Bible prophecy, these words are like throwing a match into a gasoline reservoir. These words could actually set the stage for Armageddon. For decades there had been a relative calm concerning the Temple Mount. When Israel re-captured old Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in June of 1967, they were respectful of the Muslim holy sites. In fact, the conquering general, Moshe Dayan, turned over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Jordanian authorities who had traditionally kept watch over the site. He only specified that all religions should have equal access to their holy places and their religious rights unhindered. This was made a matter of Israeli law governing Jerusalem. This all began to change into increasing conflict when Yasser Arafat appointed Palestinian Sheikh Sabri as grand mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Temple Mount guardians called the Waqf. He has incited violence from the beginning of his appointment. But this latest announcement is something that has brought Islam into direct conflict with Israeli rights that go back 3,000 years in history. From the time that King Solomon built the First Temple, the site has been the heart and soul of Judaism. For at least the last nine years, the Muslims have illegally tried to remove all archeological evidence of a historical Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. Since the Palestinian authority took over the Temple Mount, they have illegally changed the status of the Temple Mount. According to the Jerusalem Post, "In 1996, Palestinian Islamic clerics changed the accepted status quo that had been preserved for generations and converted two ancient underground Second Temple period structures into a new large mosque. Both structures, known as Solomon's Stables and the Eastern Hulda Gate passageway, were never mosques before. The new mosque extends over an area of 1.5 acres and has become the largest mosque in Israel, able to accommodate 10,000 people." The intentions of the Waqf are clear: They plan to make the whole Temple Mount into a mosque so that a worldwide Jihad can be declared if anyone seeks to share the site. They are defying both Jewish and Christian rights to this area. They totally discount Biblical history concerning Jewish and Christian rights to Jerusalem. God predicted through Moses that Israel would be destroyed and dispersed twice in its history (Deuteronomy 28). But Moses and other prophets predicted that they would twice be restored. After the second restoration, Israel will build the Third Temple just before the Messiah, Jesus, comes to set up God's kingdom on earth. Jesus himself predicted the event that will touch off the final war. It will be the placing of an ultimate sacrilege in the holiest place of the Temple. This is technically called in prophecy the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15 & 21-22). For this "abomination" to happen, there has to be a Jewish temple rebuilt on its ancient site. Since the Muslims have now elevated Jerusalem to be a holy site equal to Mecca – and since the Israelis have a religious passion for Jerusalem that predates the Muslim claims by at least 2,300 years – a catastrophic conflict is guaranteed. If you want to know what time it is on God's prophetic clock, keep your eyes on the Temple Mount. The timetable for all of these events to take place was significantly advanced by the mufti's declaration and actions. -- Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily..

USA TODAY 11 Oct 2005 Professors' history project opens new chapter for Israeli, Palestinian students By Martin Patience, USA TODAY JERUSALEM — The year 1948 resonates with Israelis just as 1776 does with Americans — as the year their nation was born in blood during a war for independence against all odds. For Palestinians, 1948 means something very different. It marks the defeat of the Arab armies, the failure of Palestinians to establish their own state and the beginning of exile. It was the year 750,000 Palestinians became refugees in neighboring Arab countries — the start of a period they call "The Catastrophe," or al-Nakba in Arabic. The battle lines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict extend to the classroom, where the two sides' versions of their shared history diverge sharply. Now, two university professors aim to change the way the conflict is taught by exposing Palestinian students to Israeli history lessons and Israeli students to the Palestinian version of history. The project is the work of Dan Bar-On, a social psychology professor at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba, a city in southern Israel, and Sami Adwan, an education professor at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. Together with teams of Israeli and Palestinian historians, they devised a series of booklets that set the competing versions of history side-by-side on the same pages for students. The professors say the project is an effort to bridge the chasm between the two peoples. "The way a conflict or history is taught in the classroom can either support that conflict or (support) co-existence," Adwan says. "The project aims to break down the stereotypes and build nuanced understandings." Says Bar-On: "What we're talking about is the disarming of history, where the teaching of history no longer feeds the conflict." Young audience Aimed at 15- and 16-year-olds, the five-year project produced three booklets, distributed in seven Israeli schools and seven schools attended by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs. The first booklet was published in 2002 in Hebrew, Arabic and English. It covers events in 1948 as well as the Balfour Declaration in 1917, when occupying Britain declared its support for a "Jewish homeland" in what was then known as Palestine. Israeli history holds that the declaration was the "first time any country expressed support for Zionism" — the creation of a Jewish state in modern-day Israel. To Palestinians, the idea of a Jewish state in their midst was one concocted by foreign powers and first expressed by Napoleon in 1799. The professors' booklet also shows differences over the first Palestinian uprising, which lasted from 1987 to 1993. Palestinian history states as fact that the violence began after an Israeli truck driver "deliberately crashed into an Arab car," killing four Palestinians. Israeli history injects doubt by saying, "the Palestinians claimed ..." Sonia Nour, 45, a Palestinian history teacher at the Talitha Kumi High School in Beit Jala, a West Bank town, says the project opens the eyes of her students. "The children are not aware of the other side," she says, "and we provide them with that information. We need to clear the road for them and teach them how to study in an open and democratic manner." Nour says she has had problems with some parents who don't believe their children should learn Israel's version of events. Shai Meizlemann, 35, an Israeli history teacher at Democratic High School in Kfar Saba, close to Tel Aviv, says the project touches on issues that are contentious. "Teenagers are often highly emotional, particularly when it comes to teaching the conflict," he says. "But teaching history involves being rational and looking at the other side — and the project encourages this." The second booklet, out this year, deals with the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel calls the war a pre-emptive strike; Palestinians describe it as a war of aggression by Israel. Intense debate Bar-On and Adwan say writing the booklets was often emotional. "One man's hero was another man's terrorist," Adwan says. He recalls the intense debate about treatment of the Oslo peace accords signed by Israel and the Palestinians in 1993. "Palestinians saw it as the starting point of ending the conflict, whereas Israelis saw it as the creation of peace," he says. The history project has produced controversy in the classroom, Bar-On says. Palestinian students complained about having to look at the Star of David on Israel's flag, so reprints of the first booklet removed pictures of both flags. By griping, the Palestinian students "sacrificed their own flag," Adwan says. "We need to listen to one another," says Ahmed Mahmoud, 17, a Palestinian at Rashidiya High School in East Jerusalem. The third booklet of the series, to go to classrooms next year, will look at more recent events, such as the second Palestinian uprising that began in 2000. Israel blames the Palestinians for the start of the violence, attacking Israeli citizens and failing to live up to the Oslo accords. The Palestinians say the uprising grew out of Israel's continued expansion of West Bank settlements, seizure of Palestinians' land and limits on their travel and mobility. Bar-On says the two professors have tried to avoid attracting the attention of the Israeli and Palestinian education ministries. But eventually they hope the ministries will approve the comparative histories for use in national curricula. Both ministries refused comment. Bar-On and Adwan say they've become close friends through their collaboration. The events covered in the booklets are deeply personal for both, they say. For Bar-On, losing a friend in the Six-Day War made him think about the plight of the Palestinians. For Adwan, once jailed for being a member of a political group declared illegal by Israel, an encounter with a respectful Israeli prison guard made him realize that "they weren't all the same."


BBC 17 Oct 2005 Japan PM visits Yasukuni shrine This is Koizumi's fifth visit to the shrine since taking office in 2001 Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has visited a controversial war shrine in central Tokyo for the fifth time since taking office in 2001. The Yasukuni war shrine is seen by Japan's neighbours as a symbol of the country's World War II militarism. Both China and South Korea voiced their anger at the visit, which they said would further strain relations. Yasukuni honours Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted as criminals by a 1948 war tribunal. "Koizumi must shoulder the historical responsibility for damaging Sino-Japanese relations," the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Wang Yi, said. YASUKUNI SHRINE Built in 1869 to honour victims of the Boshin Civil War Now venerates the souls of 2.5m of Japan's war dead Those enshrined include 14 Class A war criminals Japan's controversial shrine Mr Wang added the visit was a "serious provocation" because it coincided with the "glorious return" of China's second manned space flight, the Shenzhou VI, to earth. South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon for his part branded Mr Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni shrine "the biggest stumbling block to South Korea-Japan relations". "We strongly protest the visit to Yasukuni shrine despite our request and strongly urge that it is not repeated," he told the Japanese ambassador to Seoul, Oshima Shotaro, in front of reporters. "It is not excessive to say that Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni shrine have been the biggest stumbling block to South Korea-Japan relations," he added. Recent ruling The BBC's Chris Hogg, in Tokyo says this was in some ways an unusual visit. Mr Koizumi turned up in a grey business suit, and did not change into traditional robes as he has on some occasions in the past. He also did not enter the main hall of the shrine as he has in previous years, but prayed before it like any other worshipper. Two weeks ago, a court in Osaka ruled that Mr Koizumi's visits to the shine violate the constitution, because they contravene the separation of state and religion. But Mr Koizumi insists he is going as a private citizen and only wants to honour the millions of Japanese killed in the war and pray for peace. The Japanese prime minister had previously visited the shrine four times since taking office in 2001. He was last seen there in January 2004, but after his recent re-election many were expecting a new visit.


BBC 24 Oct 2005 Kyrgyzstan protests pressure PM Most protesters are relatives of supporters of the slain lawmaker Hundreds of protesters have rallied for a third day in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Felix Kulov. They say he is indirectly responsible for the death of an MP who was shot by inmates as he visited a jail last week. The demonstrators, who have set up traditional felt tents in front of parliament, are led by the victim's brother, Ruspek Akmatbayev. Popular protests drove President Askar Akayev from power in March. Parliament was due to discuss the murder in an emergency session on Monday, but failed to reach a quorum. "If the parliament does not vote to dismiss Kulov tomorrow, we will demand that it be dissolved," AFP news agency quoted Mr Akmatbayev as saying. KYRGYZ VIOLENCE 20 October: MP Tynchbek Akmatbayev and two aides shot dead during prison visit 22 September: MP and businessman Bayaman Erkinbayev shot dead 13 June: Security guards open fire on protesters in Osh, injuring at least seven 10 June: MP Jyrgalbek Surabaldiyev shot dead in Bishkek 1 June: Hundreds eject protesters from Supreme Court which they had held for more than a month He has accused the prime minister of having ties to a criminal detained in the prison. The prime minister denies this. Mr Akmatbayev himself is accused of involvement in the murder of a top anti-corruption official. He is awaiting trial. The BBC's Ian MacWilliam says the protest is a sign of unresolved political tensions in a country that has become very difficult to govern since President Akayev was ousted. The circumstances surrounding the prison shooting are still not clear. According to a government report, the MP was armed when he entered Moldavanovka prison about 25km (15 miles) outside the capital. Mr Akmatbayev and his entourage had gone to inspect living conditions at the prison following a wave of protests by inmates. Some reports say he had been rude to some of them, and this might have sparked a violent reaction. Tynychbek Akmatbayev is the third MP to be killed since March. Two other deputies were shot dead in killings that may have been related to business rivalries. Kyrgyzstan has witnessed several violent incidents since the overthrow of President Akayev.

22 September 2005, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Gunmen kill Kyrgyzstan politician The controversial businessman had been attacked in April Gunmen in Kyrgyzstan have killed an MP who was a driving force behind the protests in March which led to the overthrow of President Askar Akayev. Bayaman Erkinbayev was shot in the neck and chest as he arrived by car at his home in the capital, Bishkek. Mr Erkinbayev, 38, was a wealthy businessman in southern Kyrgyzstan, where the anti-Akayev protests began. He is the second parliamentary deputy to be killed since the popular uprising earlier this year. The country has seen continuing political instability since then. RECENT TROUBLES 22 September: Politician and businessman Bayaman Erkinbayev shot dead 13 June: Security guards open fire on protesters in Osh, injuring at least seven 10 June: Politician Jyrgalbek Surabaldiyev shot dead in Bishkek 1 June: Hundreds eject protesters from Supreme Court which they had held for more than a month According to a BBC correspondent in the region, Mr Erkinbayev was a former wrestler who owned a number of shops and hotels around the southern town of Osh. He was widely rumoured to be associated with the criminal world, our correspondent says. In recent months, Mr Erkinbayev had been involved in a murky and sometimes violent dispute over control of a lucrative regional market, one of the largest in the unstable Ferghana Valley region around Osh. In April, he escaped what he termed an attempt on his life, when he was shot and wounded in the face in Bishkek. It is unclear whether the motivation for that attack was political - at the time, he had announced plans to run for president - or linked to his business interests. In June, security guards in Osh opened fire on hundreds of protesters demonstrating against Mr Erkinbayev, whom they said has a heavy influence on small businesses in the region. It was the biggest public protest since Mr Akayev was driven into exile. Kurmanbek Bakiev was elected president in July.

20 October 2005, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version MP killed in Kyrgyz jail unrest Tynchbek Akmatbayev was said to be in prison to inspect conditions A member of Kyrgyzstan's parliament and at least two others have been killed by inmates during a prison visit. Tynchbek Akmatbayev was shot dead after being taken hostage during a visit to Moldavanovka prison, about 25km (15 miles) outside the capital, Bishkek. The others who died are said to have been members of his entourage. The head of the prisons service, Imatulla Polotov, was critically injured. The killings come after two days of unrest at nearby Novopokrovka prison. Inmates there have been protesting about bad food, damp accommodation, inadequate clothing and a lack of hot water. Mr Akmatbayev, a prominent MP, was chairman of a parliamentary committee on security and policing. He had been involved in negotiations with prisoners at Novopokrovka, about 20km (12 miles) east of Bishkek, where inmates were said to have forced prison officers outside the building. Beaten He and his entourage were in the tuberculosis hospital attached to Moldavanovka prison on a visit to assess living conditions when they were taken hostage. "Akmatbayev was shot dead," said Sergei Sidorov, spokesman for the sentencing board. Mr Polotov was severely beaten but survived. Prime Minister Felix Kulov is reported to have gone to the prison and successfully negotiated the release of Mr Akmatbayev's body. A prison official told a news agency that the guards had vacated the prison, leaving it in full control of the approximately 450 inmates. He could not say how the prisoners acquired weapons. An official said the situation at the other prison in Novopokrovka was now calm. Kyrgyzstan has witnessed several violent incidents since the overthrow of ex-President Askar Akayev in March.


BBC 21 Oct 2005 Indonesia seizes explosives haul Police have been on high alert since this month's Bali attack Indonesian police say they have seized a large quantity of explosives and bomb making material being smuggled from Malaysia. Three women and a man have been arrested, said the police chief of East Kalimantan, Djoshua Sitompul. Mr Sitompul told the BBC that most of the 175kg of explosives seized had already been made into bombs which were ready to detonate. Police have been on high alert since a deadly attack in Bali on 1 October. Mr Sitompul said the suspects came from Pare Pare in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and had been to Tawau in eastern Malaysia. They were seized in Nunukan, in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan. "We are still investigating this case to determine whether the four suspects have links with previous bombings including Bali," he said. He said four other suspects escaped and are still at large. As well as the explosives, police also found 1000m of explosives fuse and 900 detonators. Mr Sitompul said that police were also searching for a man he identified only by his initials AM, whom he described as "the owner of those explosive materials", according to the Associated Press. Indonesian police are still searching for the masterminds of a suicide attack on the holiday island of Bali earlier this month which killed 20 people. They have taken in several people for questioning but have yet to press charges against anyone.

New Zealand

BBC 18 Oct 2005 NZ foreign minister criticised Ms Clark may have had little choice about appointing Mr Peters The controversial appointment of New Zealand's new foreign minister has been criticised both at home and abroad. Winston Peters, head of the New Zealand First Party, has been appointed to the position despite making a series of outspoken comments against immigration. Opposition National Party leader Don Brash said the decision to give the job to Mr Peters would do "huge damage for our international reputation". The Australian newspaper described the appointment as a "bad joke". Sydney's Daily Telegraph described Mr Peters as a "diplomatic nightmare", and other commentators said that by choosing Mr Peters as the foreign affairs minister, New Zealand was sending a negative message to its Asian neighbours. Mr Peters has made many outspoken remarks against immigration, particularly from Asia. Early in this year's election campaign, he warned against the "militant underbelly" of the small Muslim community in New Zealand. In 2002 he said the country was at risk because of an influx "of people whose views are formed by alien cultures and rigid religious practices". But on Tuesday he said that no foreign leader had ever questioned his views on immigration. "I've been to China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and a whole host of other countries. Never did one leader or commentator ever [raise] that issue with me," he is quoted as telling national radio. Despite the criticism of Mr Peter's appointment, Ms Clark defended her decision, saying that as a senior member of parliament, "he certainly has the authority and stature to be the minister of foreign affairs, and that is the decision we have reached". But analysts say she may have been left with little choice but to appoint him to the post, amid fierce horse-trading necessary to secure her an overall majority in parliament. 'Similar views' Ms Clark's Labour Party won 50 of the 121 seats in parliament in the tightly fought 17 September elections. As a result of negotiations with minor parties, she finally announced on Monday that she had made a deal with three other parties - the Progressive Party, the United Future Party and New Zealand First - to form a coalition. Mr Peters, as head of New Zealand First, was named minister of foreign affairs. He will be responsible for foreign policy but will not handle refugee and trade issues, Ms Clark was quoted as saying on Monday. He will also not be a member of the Cabinet, where most of his policy decisions will have to be approved. Despite his criticism of Labour's immigration policies, Mr Peters' party has echoed Labour's anti-nuclear stance and its refusal to commit troops to the US-led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan. "His views on foreign policy are very similar to those of Labour," Ms Clark insisted on Monday. www.nzfirst.org.nz


www.dailytimes.com.pk October 27, 2005 Police wants joint team to probe Ahmedi massacre By Anjum Herald Gill LAHORE: The Punjab police on Wednesday requested the Home Department to set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the October 7 attack on an Ahmedi worship place in Mandi Bahauddin. The team, which would include officers from the Punjab Police, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), would be tasked with hunting down the four gunmen that opened fire on a congregation of Ahmedis in the Moong village, near Mandi Bahauddin, killing eight and injuring 19 people, including children and elderly people. In a letter to all district police officers (DPOs), Inspector General of Police Ziaul Hassan admitted that the attack indicated that some aspects of the police’s security arrangements were still weak. In the letter, the IG had drawn the DPOs’ attention to a circular issued on September 23, detailing security measures for worship places in particular. The IG directed all Deputy Inspector Generals and DPOs to ensure foolproof security arrangements to prevent such incidents in the future. In the wake of the killings, the Punjab government had put all law-enforcement agencies on high alert. Home Department officials said that the Punjab government was committed to providing security and protection to all its citizens. Police arrested 20 activists from different sectarian groups after the attack and according to a news item, two special investigation teams, one each from the from Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and the Islamabad IB, reached Mandi Bahauddin to investigate the attack. Gujranwala DPO Zafar Abbas Luk said that he suspected the involvement of foreign elements in the Mong killing. According to the instructions, places of worship, including mosques, imambargahs and churches etc would be categorised into two categories, depending on the sensitivity of the worship place.

Sri Lanka

BBC 25 Oct 2005 Sri Lanka accused on riot report By Upasana Bhat BBC News, Delhi The camp was destroyed after the attack Sri Lanka must publish an official report into the massacre of 27 young Tamils, a human rights group has urged. The Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights says it has seen the report, which was commissioned by President Kumaratunga but never released. The group says police knew locals were about to attack a detention centre housing the Tamil youths five years ago, but did nothing to stop them. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court acquitted all accused in the case. Sri Lankan Justice Minister John Senaviratna said police officers accused in the case had been acquitted following trials. He said the matter was in the hands of the president. Teenage suspects The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) says disciplinary action should be initiated against eight police officers, following the massacre at Bundarawela in central Sri Lanka in October 2000. It says the report by Justice PHK Kulatilaka, who led the commission of inquiry into the killings, accuses the police of "indefensible inaction and attitudes at the time of the incident". As well as the 27 who died, 14 others were seriously injured in the attack, which brought international condemnation. Local residents assaulted the inmates with clubs and knives after reports they had taken a security guard hostage. Some victims were said to have been burned alive. Many of those who died were teenage Tamil Tiger rebel suspects. 'Organised massacre' The director of ACHR, Suhas Chakma, said the delay in releasing the report into the attack was because the presidential commission of inquiry "clearly indicated that it was an organised massacre". The President has not made the report public yet He claimed police officials were involved in it and evidence was destroyed by the prosecution. It would therefore be difficult for the government to exonerate all the accused and at the same time have a report indicting policemen, the prosecution and the criminal investigation department, Mr Chakma says. According to the ACHR, Justice Kulatilaka said the police knew about the impending attack as the crowd gathered to attack the camp. It also says that the report found that "no meaningful steps" had been taken by the police to prevent the mob from getting into the centre. Earlier this year, the US-based Human Rights Watch said the case showed crimes committed against alleged Tamil Tiger members were not being addressed. The Tamil Tigers have fought a two-decade armed campaign for autonomy in the north and east. It is estimated that more than 60,000 people have died so far.


IRIN 17 Oct 2005 Bridging the gap between Muslims and Christians [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © Tom Spender/IRIN Father Paolo Dall'Oglio searches for common ground between Christians and Muslims DEIR DAR MUSA, 17 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio has been trying for 22 years to foster better understanding between Syria’s Christian minority and the country’s Muslim majority. "Some Christians now feel persecuted by the Arabs," the Italian priest told IRIN at his base in Deir Dar Musa monastery, perched among rocky crags in the sun-bleached mountains north of Damascus. "They feel the attraction of the West and many emigrate. They have a tendency to copy the West in some aspects of life, “he added. But Dall’Oglio, who studies the Koran and says mass in Arabic, said that drawing closer to Europe and North America was not the solution . “This creates a larger gap in local society because many Muslims react against this Westernism,” he said. "Many Muslim Arabs feel very bad about what they see as the aggression of the West – its cultural and financial pressure and its strategic power. So there's a situation of tension." At Deir Dar Musa, a fortress-like building that clings to a rocky outcrop in sun-bleached mountains overlooking the Syrian desert, Father Dall’Oglio and his colleagues in the religious Community of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, are trying to bridge this gap. The monastery says mass in Arabic and its church has carpets, like a mosque, for the congregation to sit on, instead of the wooden pews characteristic of most Roman Catholic churches . The monks study and pray from the Quran and the monastery regularly hosts and participates in interfaith meetings. "We don't think the solution is to close ourselves off," said Dall'Oglio. "Instead the most important thing is to build a place of meeting. We build bridges through a meeting in which Christians do not just communicate with Muslims but also vice versa." Christian insecurity Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria’s 18 million population , but the secular Ba'athist government of Bashar al-Assad ensures they are well represented in government and have access to jobs. The fact that President Assad himself is from the Alawite Muslim group, another religious minority, provides some reassurance for Syrians Christians. The overwhelming majority of the country’s population are Sunni Muslims. Professor Joshua Landis, who works at the University of Oklahoma's Department of International Studies and lives in Syria, says Christians feel more insecure than other minorities in Syria because they are thinly spread throughout the country. They do not have a regional stronghold where they are in the majority. Landis says many Syrian Christians to fear that they would lose out if the government, dominated by the Ba’ath party since 1963, were to hold free and fair multi-party elections that might bring Islamic radicals to power. "Christians are one of the more affluent groups and are largely concentrated in the cities,” Landis said. “They don't have a region in which they are the majority, which would guarantee them representation in elections. And they don't believe that Muslims would necessarily vote for a Christian candidate.” However, Georgette Atiya, 55, a prominent Christian intellectual who ran unsuccessfully for parliament as an independent candidate two years ago, says this is not necessarily the case. “I am a Christian woman yet I got a large number of votes from the Muslim quarter of Meedan in Damascus during the parliamentary election in 2003,” she pointed out. Atiya, a well-known writer and publisher, said she planned to have a second go at getting into parliament in the 2007 elections. “Syrian Christians are not like Lebanese Christians who have political parties, militias and cantons. I am running a publishing house without raising any concern that I am Christian,” she said. Landis maintains that Syrian Christians benefit from having an Alawite president, since Assad often turns to Syria’s minority groups for support in face of the occasionally restive Sunni majority. Tension beneath the surface And he warns that any deterioration in the country’s economic situation could fuel Muslim resentment against the generally affluent Christian minority. "On the surface people are getting along fine here," he added. "But if Syria does badly economically, the divides in its society will fester and we will see more of what happened in Qadmous in July." Landis was referring to clashes between Alawites and Ismailis, who belong to two separate strands of Shia Islam in a provincial town in west-central Syria. Several Ismaili stores were burned in the disturbances. Despite these concerns, many Syrian Christians say they get along fine with their Muslim neighbours. Take Abu Fadi, who runs a liquor store in the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Bab Touma in Damascus. "I have been running this shop for four years and haven’t run into any problems because I am selling alcohol,” he said.” Even in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan I keep working.” Fadi says the fact that Christians in Syria are not segregated in separate districts, the way they are in Lebanon, helps promote a sense of unity in the country. “In Syria we don’t have separate quarters. Even in Bab Touma, a Christian majority area, there are Muslims who live here. We don’t feel we are a minority.” Fadi said. “We are Syrians first and Christians second." Mixing it up But Dima Fayyad, a 25-year-old nun at Deir Mar Musa, is concerned that despite this superficial harmony, Muslims and Christians do not mix socially a great deal socially because in Syria most socialising is done through the family. "Actually Christians and Muslims don't know too much about each other – everyone is generally happy just dealing with their own religion," she said. "We have this catch of the family religion. The religion we are born in is our context and we have to stay in the family’s (religious) community." Nizar Mansour, a 15-year-old Christian who attends a private school in Damascus, says he has friends from both communities. But occasionally he and his Christian friends do feel isolated from their Muslim classmates. “We can tell that someone is Muslim or Christian when the Christians leave the class during a lesson on Islam – I would prefer it if all religious education in schools was cancelled,” Nizar said. He admits that he is uneasy discussing religion with his friends and prefers to avoid the topic. ”I don’t discuss with my friends about the difference between Islam and Christianity because if the sheikhs and the bishops can’t find a common background for dialogue, how can my friends and I?” he asked. Mixed marriages between Christians and Muslims are generally discouraged by families on both sides of the religious divide and often ead to social tension. Attiya , the writer and publisher, recalled that the first time she really felt like a Christian was “when I fell in love with a Muslim boy.” The same problem is now looming in Nizar Mansour ‘s family. His 20-year-old brother Fadi is studying at a university in northern Lebanon, where his girlfriend is a Syrian Sunni Muslim. “I spend all my time with her and wish to get married to her, but our society and our two families will oppose our marriage,” Fadi said. “According to (the rules of) our society it is banned for Christians and Muslims marry.” He isn’t optimistic that things will work out. “I would want to take my children to church and she wishes to take them to a mosque,” Fadi said. “I feel it will be impossible for us to get married.” Muslims feel rejected Many Muslims in Syria accuse local Christians of keeping too much to themselves and of looking down on their Islamic neighbours. Ramiz Sammeir, a 29-year-old student at Damascus University, comes from the predominantly Christian town of Jdeide Artoz, 10 km west of the capital. There, he complains, he is made to feel an unwelcome outsider. ”In the town, if any Christian girl knows that I am a Muslim she refuses to talk to me,” Sammeir said. “If any Muslim woman wearing a hijab [headscarf] comes to visit my family, our neighbours will suddenly be very nosey and ask about the woman who came to visit us,” he added. “Muslims and Christians should respect each other and live in a complete co-existence – this is a Muslim majority country.” Sammeir said he used to pay his Christian friends a special visit at Christmas and Easter. But they never paid him a return visit on Muslim holy days such as Eid al Addah or Eid al Fitr, so now he doesn’t bother going to see them any more. The young man said his family now feels so ill at ease in Jdeide Artoz, that they are thinking of selling up and moving to a Muslim neighbourhood. Most young Syrians – Christians and Muslims – insist however that there is real solidarity between the country's different communities. Back at Deir Mar Musa, Father Dall’Oglio and his colleagues are trying to chip away at the walls of mistrust by finding common ground between the two religions. "We have a relationship of friendship and love with Christians – we are all one people in this country," said Ahmed Ismail, a 25-year-old man from an entirely Muslim village who was visiting the 1,500 year-old monastery with a group of friends and family . It was the first that any of them had been to a Christian religious site. But Ismail and his party were among a steady stream of Syrians of all religious backgrounds visiting Deir Dar Musa, which Dall'Oglio has been restoring since 1991. "It's true," Ismail said. "Both sides need to know more about each other."

washingtonpost.com 22 Oct 2005 Syria Feels Heat Over U.N. Report Middle East Is Captivated By Findings in Hariri Killing By Anthony Shadid Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, October 22, 2005; A01 DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 21 -- A day after its release, a U.N. report that implicated senior Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri escalated pressure on the already beleaguered government here and ignited renewed demands that Lebanon's pro-Syrian president step down. The publication of the report on the deaths of Hariri and 22 other people in a car bombing in Beirut on Feb. 14 unleashed a reaction seldom seen in the Middle East. The 54-page document was read in its entirety on al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite television network; other stations broadcast hours of coverage Friday on the report and its fallout. To many people here, its publication marked a turning point in Middle East politics, signaling a looming confrontation with an uncertain outcome. "This is simply the beginning," said Farid El-Khazen, a Lebanese lawmaker and political scientist. "There is little room for maneuver left for the Syrians now. They have to cooperate fully to save themselves from more isolation or they opt for rejection of the report, claiming it is all political. Syria doesn't have a middle-ground option." In Damascus, some Syrian government supporters were unusually open in expressing fear about the repercussions of the inquiry, which President Bush cited Friday in calling on the U.N. Security Council to take action. "The government is rather cornered. Essentially, what the government can do is very limited," said Georges Jabbour, a Syrian legislator and former presidential adviser. "I am not quite optimistic." The report stopped short of directly blaming President Bashar Assad or members of his inner circle, where his relatives occupy the most sensitive posts. But it bluntly said that the investigation's leads pointed directly at involvement by Syrian security officials in the assassination and insisted that Syria clarify unresolved questions. The report said Syria's longtime foreign minister, Farouk Charaa, lied in a letter to investigators. It also cited one witness as implicating Assad's powerful brother-in-law, Asef Shawkat. Another claim that Shawkat, Assad's brother Maher and other senior officials played a role in planning the assassination was deleted from the final report. With a mix of anger and trepidation, Syrian officials condemned the findings, although their response was muted on the Muslim Sabbath. Most hewed to a common line: that the investigation relied on often unnamed witnesses of questionable character, that the report was tailored to meet U.S. objections to Syrian policy and that its findings would never hold up in a court of law. The information minister, Mehdi Dakhlallah, called the investigation "a political statement." "It is impossible that a fair court would accept a report like this, relying as it does on mere talk," he said in a news release. The most immediate fallout was growing pressure in Lebanon for the resignation of the country's pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud. The president rebuffed demands that he step down in August after four Lebanese generals were arrested on suspicion of participating in the assassination. The U.N. investigation, led by the German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, found that Lahoud received a phone call minutes before the blast from the brother of a prominent member of a pro-Syrian group, who in turn called one of the country's generals. Lahoud's office said it categorically denied receiving such a call. In a signal Lahoud has no intention of resigning, the statement by his office said the charge was part of a months-long campaign against him "and the national responsibilities he shoulders and will continue to do so at this delicate stage in Lebanon's history." It was an altogether different mood Friday night at the tomb of Hariri, under the shadow of a sprawling, Ottoman-style, blue-domed mosque in downtown Beirut, where hundreds of Lebanese gathered to mark the report's release. Some prayed by the grave. Others, carrying Lebanese flags, called loudly for Lahoud to resign. "There is no god but God, and Syria is the enemy of God," some shouted in a chant that usually names Israel or the United States. "What should happen next is exactly what's happening. People should express themselves," said Reina Sarkis, a 34-year-old therapist. She wore a white T-shirt on which she had scrawled in black, "I love Mehlis," a reference to the U.N. investigator. To many in Lebanon, Lahoud's stubbornness has left the country's politics in a frustrating limbo. On one side are the forces behind the protests this spring that helped force the end of Syria's 29-year military presence. These forces, while divided, now command a majority in parliament. On the other side are Lahoud and the still formidable influence that Syria wields through some Lebanese factions and parts of Lebanon's intelligence apparatus. "This president now, he has to resign. We don't have a president of the republic. We have someone who is implicated by a conflict," said Melhem Chaoul, an analyst at Lebanese University. "We need stability, and with him, we don't have stability." In Lebanon's often Byzantine politics, Lahoud can still draw on factions and institutions that are reluctant to see him go, each for its own reason. Lebanon's most powerful Shiite Muslim movement, Hezbollah, has backed his tenure, as have followers of Michel Aoun, a civil war-era prime minister and member of parliament who is popular among Lebanon's Maronite Christians. The Mehlis report had become a virtual national obsession in Lebanon, after rumors swirled for weeks over its possible conclusions. The day it was released, a disc jockey at Radio Liban played "What a Wonderful World.". The response was far more muted in Damascus, where the media have paid scant attention to the investigation. "When was the report released?" asked Majed Natour, a baker kneading dough sprinkled with pistachios at a pastry shop. Like many people in the city, he was dismissive of the investigation. When told of its findings, he shook his head: It was yet another ploy to benefit Israel, whose interests he said were promoted in the region by the aggressive actions of the United States. "That's my opinion," the 25-year-old said. "Syria is the only country that will say no to them." Former president Hafez Assad, who died in 2000 after 30 years in power, pursued a skillful foreign policy that gave Syria a political role often exceeding its military or economic might. Tensions flared with the United States, but Syria often delivered just enough. Under Assad's less seasoned son, the country has found itself perhaps more isolated than at any time in its modern history. The United States has demanded a comprehensive shift in policy -- including cutting support to Hezbollah and radical Palestinian factions and closure of the Iraqi border to infiltration by foreign fighters. Syrian officials point to concrete steps they have taken on the border to arrest would-be insurgents and say the United States has done little on the sections of the Iraqi frontier it controls. The European Union has delayed signing a trade agreement, a decision Syrians attribute to U.S. pressure. The U.S. ambassador was withdrawn after Hariri's assassination, and visits by senior European officials are rare. The government itself appears divided between those who believe they can wait the Bush administration out and others who believe only wholesale engagement can break the sense of siege. "Of course, we know really what matters to the United States is Iraq," said Jabbour, the Syrian legislator. "So is there a Syrian-American deal on Iraq? Would Syria help the United States pacify Iraq? "I don't know." Special correspondent Alia Ibrahim in Beirut contributed to this report.

BBC 26 Oct 2005 Russia opposes UN action on Syria Syrians took to the streets to show their anger at the UN report Moscow says it will block any UN effort to impose sanctions on Damascus over its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri. The UN Security Council is considering a plan - drafted by France, the US and UK - to threaten Syria with sanctions. Russia, a long-term ally of Syria and a permanent Security Council member, has the power to veto any draft resolution. Syria has rejected a UN report that accuses it of plotting Hariri's death and blocking an investigation into it. Its ambassador to the UN said the team led by German investigator Detlev Mehlis was guilty of bias and some countries were fanning "the flames of hatred against Syria". 'Gaps in the inquiry' Speaking on a visit to Israel, a spokesman for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow "opposes sanctions against Syria". KEY UN FINDINGS Assassins had considerable resources and capabilities Evidence suggests both Syria and Lebanon were involved Crime was prepared over several months Hariri's movements and itineraries were monitored Highly unlikely Syrian or Lebanese intelligence were not aware of assassination plot"Russia will be doing everything necessary to prevent attempts to impose sanctions against Syria," he said. The draft UN resolution proposed by France, the UK and US urges Syria to arrest any of its nationals seen by UN investigators as suspects in the Hariri assassination. The document says that the UN Security Council intends to consider "further measures", including possible sanctions, if Syria does not fully co-operate with the inquiry. These sanctions are not spelled out, the BBC's Susannah Price at the UN headquarters in New York says. The draft would also impose an asset freeze and travel ban on anyone considered a suspect in the UN inquiry. It also says that Mr Mehlis and his team should be allowed to "interview Syrian officials or other individuals" described as "relevant to the inquiry". The US and France submitted the resolution hours after Mr Mehlis briefed the 15-member body on his report, which implicated Syrian officials in the assassination of Mr Hariri. I don't believe that there was enough information to support any of the implications made Rasha, Egyptian/Syrian in USA Hariri report: Your views Mr Mehlis also called for greater Syrian co-operation to help "fill in the gaps" about the crime. The Lebanese authorities have already arrested four high-level Lebanese generals based on the UN commission's recommendations and another suspect with links to a pro-Syrian group. Our correspondent adds that Mr Mehlis has refused to say whether the brother or brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar Assad - named by a witness in an earlier unpublished report - were suspects.

washingtonpost.com 20 Oct 2005 Syrian President Orders Probe Into Hariri Killing By Anthony Shadid Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, October 30, 2005; A18 DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 29 -- President Bashar Assad issued an order Saturday for a government committee to investigate any Syrian involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in a car bombing in the Lebanese capital on Feb. 14, the Syrian news agency reported. The move was the latest effort by the Syrian government to appear conciliatory before a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, expected to take place Monday. A resolution, backed by the United States, Britain and France, would threaten sanctions unless Syria fully cooperates with the U.N. investigation into the car bombing, which killed 22 others beside Hariri. A Syrian investigation was among the recommendations issued last week by Detlev Mehlis, the German prosecutor heading the U.N. inquiry. The Syrian leadership was said to be caught off guard by the scope of the report, which concludes that senior officials here and in Lebanon almost certainly had a hand in Hariri's assassination. They expected the report to acknowledge what they thought was their cooperation in the investigation and have complained that they have almost no channels of communication with the United States to try to resolve the crisis. "They don't want to talk to us, so what can we do?" one senior official said. Assad ordered the establishment of a judicial committee "to question Syrian civilians and military personnel on all matters relating to the mission of the U.N. investigation commission," the official SANA news agency reported. The decree said the Syrian committee would cooperate with Lebanese investigators and Mehlis's inquiry, which is now set to conclude by Dec. 15. Syria has denied any role in the assassination, but the order suggested that the government was acknowledging at least the possibility of Syrian involvement.


AP 16 Oct 2005 Suspected Insurgents Kill 11 in Thailand Suspected Separatists Kill Buddhist Monk, 2 Temple Boys, 2 Policemen, 6 Others in Thailand The Associated Press BANGKOK, Thailand - About 20 suspected Muslim separatists stormed a monastery, hacked an elderly Buddhist monk to death and fatally shot two temple boys Sunday in southern Thailand, police said. Two policemen and six other people were killed in separate incidents across Thailand's three southernmost provinces, where more than 1,000 people have been killed since a centurylong struggle for an independent state reignited in 2004. Buddhist temples in the region are typically well-guarded by soldiers and local volunteers, but eight guards left the temple in Pattani province two weeks ago because of a funding shortage, police Maj. Narucha Suwallapa said. "The insurgents are very cruel. They killed the monk, the temple boys, and set fire to the monks' living quarters," Narucha said. Four monks escaped the attack unhurt, he said. Two large statues at the temple were decapitated, according to a report by the state-run Thai News Agency. Most Thais are Buddhists, but Muslims are a majority in the country's far south and often complain of being treated like second-class citizens. The spurt of violence came as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra returned Sunday from an official trip to Europe. Thaksin, whose government has failed to make headway in curbing the insurgency despite a heavy increase in military forces in the area, said Saturday he would travel to the south soon after his return. He has made frequent trips recently to the restive province in an effort to boost the morale of security forces and shore up public confidence. Thai officials have said they believe insurgent attacks on Buddhist monks and civilians are intended to make non-Muslim residents so fearful they will move out of the region. Attacks on teachers at government schools have prompted many educators to request transfers. Two policemen in Yala province were killed Sunday evening as they returned to their station after guarding a railway line. Gunmen in a pickup truck shot and killed the officers as they rode their motorcycles, said police Col. Sophone Phansomthong. In earlier incidents, suspected Muslim separatists shot and killed six government supporters, including two Muslims who served as volunteer guards for the government, said regional police spokesman Col. Komkuan Kampira.

The Nation (Bangkok) 17 Oct 2005 nationmultimedia.com PATTANI TEMPLE MURDERS: Monk and two teenagers slain Published on October 17, 2005 Officials say attack was deliberate attempt to deepen the religious divide. An attack on a Buddhist temple in Pattani in the early hours of yesterday is being interpreted by senior officials and local residents as an attempt to deepen the religious divide between Muslims and Buddhists in the restive deep South. An elderly monk was hacked to death, two temple boys were shot dead and the temple was set ablaze during the attack. About 20 suspected insurgents stormed into the Promprasith temple in Pattani’s Panare district at about 1.45am. They sprayed rifle fire at two monks’ dwellings. Two temple boys, Narong Kham-ong, 17, and Sathaporn Suwannarat, 15, who were asleep inside the buildings, died in the hail of gunfire. Many others narrowly escaped by jumping out of windows. Pra Keow Kusalo, 76, who came out of his living quarters to see what was happening after being woken by the gunfire, was slashed about the neck until he was dead, police said. His body was found burnt near his dwelling. A monk who asked not to be named said he believed the armed group crept up on the rear of the temple as nobody heard the sound of vehicles before the attack. The insurgent group looted the temple and partly damaged the two dwellings, a Buddhist sanctuary and two motorcycles during a 15-minute rampage, police said. Two giant figures in front of the temple’s sanctuary were smashed. Senior officials including Defence Minister Thamarak Isarangura, Army Commander General Sothi Bounyaratkalin and Fourth Army Region Commander Lt-General Kwan-chart Klaharn visited the temple yesterday morning to inspect the scene. Kwanchart said it was regrettable to see such an incident directed against Buddhists. The militants chose the area in Panare district as they knew Muslims and Buddhists had lived there in harmony and peace for a long time, he said. Thamarak said he suspected the militants were using drugs because their behaviour was so brutal. A local resident who identified himself only as Chai said most people living near the temple were Buddhists, but they had never had any conflict with their Muslim neighbours. “I suppose the militants might be outsiders who want to create a rift between Buddhists and Muslims,” he said. The attack against the Buddhist temple and monks was not the first of its kind since violence erupted in the predominantly Muslim region at the beginning of last year. In March last year three Buddhist monks were slashed to death in separated attacks, but the incidents were not regarded as part of the regional conflict. However, yesterday’s brutality is being regarded as part of the violence that has killed more than 1,000 people over the past 20 months. In separate incidents yesterday two men, Santi Puyprom and Suk Theskamnerd, were shot dead in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district by gunmen riding a motorbike. Santi was shot in the head and body and died at the scene while Suk, who was also hit in the head, died on the way to hospital. In Yala province, two policemen were shot and killed while returning from guard duty at a railway station in Raman district. They were Sgt-Major Samreung Jit-aram and Sergeant Nitiphon Longkhao. Their firearms were stolen, police said.

DPA (in Bangkok Post, Thailand) - Oct 17, 2005 Tak Bai massacre leaves deep wounds in Thailand's deep South FEATURE By Peter Janssen, dpa Narathiwat, Thailand (dpa) - For the villagers of Ban Jaroh, the Tak Bai massacre of 85 Thai Moslems on October 25 last year is neither forgotten nor forgiven. "I feel I am no longer a Thai because of this incident," said Fatima, whose 21 year-old-son was among the 78 men who suffocated to death on army trucks as they were taken from Tak Bai town to Pattani army camp a year ago. Another seven men were gunned down in Tak Bai, 800 kilometres south of Bangkok, where they had gathered to protest the imprisonment at the local jail of five militia men on charges of handing their guns over to separatists. Many of the Tak Bai victims had simply gone to the town out of curiosity or to buy food for breaking their Ramadan fast that night, according to the testimony of their relatives in nearby Ban Jaroh. Zainab, a Ban Jaroh matron who lost four nephews at Tak Bai, stopped at the town on the way to the Thai-Malaysian border, when she was caught up in the melee. Soldiers were called into Tak Bai on the morning of October 25, 2004, to quell what was deemed as an unruly mob. In the afternoon, as curious onlookers swelled to 2,000 people, soldiers sprayed them with water hoses and tear gas, forcing them to flee to a canal. "When we came back some men were angry at the military and started throwing rocks at them," recalled Zainab. At around 3 p.m. the military opened fire on the crowd with live ammo, killing six people. A seventh body was found in the canal. They then forced the men to strip off their shirts and tied their hands behind their backs, and threw them into the back of army trucks, stacked five bodies high, for a sweltering 120 kilometre ride to Pattani. "I am still angry," said Sorilah, another Ban Jaroh mother who lost a son. "I will never forget Tak Bai because my son hadn't done anything wrong." Four days after the incident, which became world news largely because of video footage taken of the crackdown by Malaysian journalists, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a national televised appearance in which he promised an independent investigation and expressed "regrets" for the deaths, although he stopped short of making an apology. But what is remembered best in Ban Jaroh are his initial reactions to the incident, which showed a remarkable insensitivity to the deep South's majority Moslem population. Nearly 87 per cent of the 2 million people in Thailand's three southernmost provinces - Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala - are Moslem, making the region an anomaly in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. "When I saw Thaksin talking about Tak Bai on TV I was very angry with his words," said Zainab. "Like when he said the people were drunk and they died because of starvation because of Ramadan." Ramadan is the holy month for Moslems worldwide when the devout observe a dawn to dusk fast, while consumption of alcohol is, of course, strictly forbidden. To its credit, the Thai government did provide 300,000 baht (7,320 dollars) to the Tak Bai victims' families, and although Thaksin did not make an outright apology, Narathiwat Governor Pracha Terat did. "The people were not satisfied with what Thaksin said but they were satisfied with the Governor of Narathiwat," said Abdul Rahman Abdul Samad, Chairman of the Islamic Council of Narathiwat. "The governor's apology softened the hearts of the affected families, gave respect to the people and automatically acknowledged that the authorities had made mistakes," said Abdul Rahman. While the compensation and local level apologies have assuaged some of the anger among Tak Bai survivors, the fact remains that no army officer or government official went to jail for the incident. On the other hand, 58 Thai Moslems suspected to agitating the crowd remain in police custody, nearly a year after the event, although none have been proven guilty. Longtime residents in the deep South now point to Tak Bai as the turning point for the explosion of mistrust of all government officials that now characterizes the three provinces, especially for the populist policies of Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) Party. "In fact, the people here used to like Thaksin's policies, like boosting rubber prices and even his modernization policies were accepted here," said Abdul Rahman. "But because of the lack of that one word - apology - people have turned against him. That is why the Thai Rak Thai was defeated in the election. People would not elect TRT because of Tak Bai." The TRT, which won 377 of the 500 contested seats in the February 6, 2005, election, it tellingly lost all but one seat in Thailand's 14 southern provinces. Most observers say it will take years, if not decades, to restore the people's trust. "Before Tak Bai the people here participated in government development projects," said Zainab. "Now we're not interested in government projects anymore."

BBC 27 Oct 2005 Six dead in south Thailand raids Security is heavy in Thailand's southern provinces At least six people have died in a wave of co-ordinated attacks in southern Thailand, which officials blamed on suspected Muslim militants. The attackers took dozens of weapons from the homes of village chiefs and defence volunteers in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani. Among the dead were two village chiefs and two militants, officials said. Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in the south since 2004, in violence blamed on a separatist insurgency. The government blames Muslim separatists - seeking independence from the majority-Buddhist north - for the violence. VIOLENCE-HIT SOUTH Home to most of Thailand's 4% Muslim minority Muslim rebels fought the government up to the mid-80s Suspected militants have upped attacks since 2004, targeting Buddhists Security forces' response criticised by rights groups Thailand's restive south However, local people have been angered by the security forces' often brutal suppression of the unrest. The latest attacks took place on Wednesday evening, when many locals were attending prayers at mosques, local officials said. A number of village defence volunteers were reportedly injured and their guns taken. The Thai government has been training and arming civilians in the south to defend their communities. But the volunteers have become a target of the alleged militants, who appear to be warning locals against co-operating with Thai authorities. Police have launched a manhunt for those involved in the latest raids. A reward of 20,000 Baht ($490) has been offered by local officials for the return of any of the stolen weapons, the Associated Press news agency reported. The raids came a day after the first anniversary of the death of 85 Muslim protesters, mainly from suffocation, while in army custody, following violence at a rally in the south.


BBC 19 Oct 2005 Uzbek 'inciter' shown confessing By Ian MacWilliam BBC Central Asia correspondent The 15 defendants have all given long accounts of their alleged crime The court trying 15 alleged Muslim extremists for starting an uprising in Uzbekistan has been shown a video of the alleged ringleader confessing. The presiding judge said the court wanted to call Akram Yuldashev to give evidence in person. But he has had tuberculosis for the past two years and cannot leave a prison hospital in Tashkent. Instead, the prosecution showed a video of Mr Yuldashev being interrogated in July after the violence in Andijan. In the 30-minute video Mr Yuldashev explained how he gave orders to his followers from prison by mobile phone, telling them to organise a prison breakout to free a group of businessmen on trial for religious extremism. Mr Yuldashev was the inspiration behind a popular group of pious Muslims in Andijan who set up businesses and did charity work. He is serving a 17-year jail sentence for alleged religious extremism. A former employee of the Uzbek interior ministry has told the BBC that confessions in Uzbekistan are often forced by beatings or the use of drugs. The interior ministry denies this. Meanwhile, the leader of an opposition group, Sunshine Uzbekistan, has written an open letter to the Uzbek parliament calling on deputies to begin talks with them. The letter says the violence in Andijan was only possible because of the explosive political and economic situation. It says people no longer believe the government of President Islam Karimov, which was engaged in what it called "an hysterical search for enemies".

www.pressgazette.co.uk 20 Oct 2005 Uzbekistan bans journalist who recorded evidence of massacre Published: Thursday, October 20, 2005 By Caitlin Pike BBC World Service journalist Jenny Norton, who recorded the only audio evidence of the Andijan massacre in Uzbekistan on 13 May, has been banned from returning to the country. The Uzbek government has accused her of being one of the foreign journalists they allege assisted Islamic extremists to stage a coup resulting in the killings in Andijan. But Norton, who was named personally by Uzbekistan's prosecutor general in a government trial of those charged following the protest, claims the Uzbek authorities are falsely portraying the massacre of hundreds of demonstrators as an uprising against the government. Norton, now World Service planning editor for Eurasia, described her sadness that the journalists she knew in Uzbekistan had suffered such severe intimidation from the authorities that they too were forced to flee the country and were seeking political asylum. She said press freedom was non-existent inUzbekistan and the government news service portrayed a "parallel reality". Recounting the events in Andijan, Norton told Press Gazette: "I was in Andijan up until the afternoon before the unrest happened, reporting on a long-running protest outside the local court where a group of businessmen were on trial accused of being Islamic extremists. Many of the people I spoke to were caught up in the violence the following day. Some of them died. Some of them are still on the run." On the day of the shootings in Andijan, Norton was in Tashkent. She received a call at midnight telling her there had been an attack on the local prison. She and her colleagues sat in the BBC office for the next 18 hours talking to people on the phone and trying to work out what was happening. "We were able to record and relay back to London the voices of people involved in the mass demos on the town's central square, some of those occupying the town hall, the rising ten-sion as helicopters circled overhead, and then, as the storming of the building began, the sounds of heavy gunfire, people shouting and screaming, and, worst of all, the sound of terrified people saying their last prayers. This was the only audio available on the day, and remains, I think, the only recording ofwhat actually happened." Norton went back to Andijan with a BBC team a week later. "We found a city in fear and were eventually thrown out after we tried to get to a cemetery where a local gravedigger told us that victims of the shootings on the central square were being buried in mass graves," she said. Norton conducted interviews in both English and Russian for radio and TV before, during and after the events of 13 May. "The Russian stuff especially put me on the Uzbek authorities' radar screen," she said. "In the months since, I've been dealing with the consequences for our office and staff in Tashkent. We've been under constant attack in the media in Uzbekistan. Our office is barely able to function. Seven BBC employees, including the World Service correspondent, have had to leave the country because of threats and intimidation by the authorities. Two have been granted political refugee status by the UNHCR. Five of us have been named personally by the prosecutor general during the course of the trial. People's lives have been completely turned upside down."

Guardian UK 26 Oct 2005 The bullet holes and bloodstains are gone, but for Uzbeks life is even worse Repression on a huge scale follows massacre of at least 500 protesters Nick Paton Walsh in Andijan Wednesday October 26, 2005 The Guardian Plaster covers up the bullet holes in the walls of Andijan, a city whitewashed into denial. Builders clamber around buildings, hastily repairing blast damage. Residents talk in code on the phone; the less cautious sometimes disappear. Thick-set men in sunglasses band together on street corners, their silver saloons conspicuously tailing outsiders. The veneer of normality, here in the authoritarian state of Uzbekistan, is brittle. Ola picks at her ice cream in one of Andijan's pristine parks and says: "Everyone here has amnesia. Didn't you know?" In the centre, the tranquil Bobur Square yields no suggestion that five months ago it was, in the words of witnesses, awash with blood. Here troops shot dead at least 500 people protesting in support of 23 local businessmen charged with "extremism" but freed in a jailbreak. The troops walked among the wounded, finishing them off with a single shot to the head, before hoarding their corpses in a nearby school. But while locals say between 1,500 and 2,000 people died on the square, the regime of President Islam Karimov insists that only 187 criminals were killed. They have tried to recast the massacre as a measured response to a coup by Islamists, a version of events repeated daily in the Uzbek supreme court in the capital, Tashkent. In the court, 15 of the 23 businessmen are on trial for terrorism and may be executed. They have said they opened fire first, that the US embassy helped finance their attack, and the foreign media, including the BBC, advised them. Officials have testified that the militants refused an offer of safe passage, battered their captives and began shooting each other. State TV has replayed confessions from similarly repentant "organisers". This Orwellian conceit lapsed only once when a woman said troops had shot at people waving white flags. Makhbuba Zakirova, 33, who was interrupted by the judge, said: "Even Hitler did not do it that way." The charade is shattered behind the closed doors of Andijan's homes. Survivors and relatives told the Guardian, the first western newspaper to gain access to Andijan since the massacre, of months of repression, arrest, and torture. Hundreds of survivors have been forced into confessing their "military involvement" to bolster the state's case. Disappeared Many are in jail, up to 200 awaiting trial; others have disappeared from hospital. One police officer said 300 people had been arrested in Andijan since the massacre; Human Rights Watch suggests up to 4,200 have at some point been detained in the surrounding region. Knock on doors in a street in Andijan and it is clear the repression that hit the town of 450,000 after May 13 may eclipse the horrors of the massacre itself. Udgarbek, 16, sits on a bed in his mother's courtyard. On May 13 he was shot twice in the back. The first cut just past his upper spinal cord. The second is lodged in his lower back. He walks stiffly as if his back and thighs were strapped to a plank; urine stains his trousers, his nerve endings still damaged. That day, he was left for dead near Bobur Square. Soldiers dragged him into the grounds of a school where he lay among hundreds of corpses. He saw nine injured people die before they put him on a bus to hospital at dawn. There, the security services visited him. "They beat me on the legs and the soles of my feet to make me sign a confession saying I was sniper," he said. "They yelled at me: 'Where are your guns and your friends?' But I refused, fearing what they would do to me if I confessed." After 26 days, he was discharged. But at home convalescing and unable to walk, he was still seen as a threat. "They came again in June and took me to the regional police station," he said. "They did not beat me that time, but fingerprinted, photographed and filmed me." Many did not return home from hospital. Saidkhan Saidhojayev, 27, left home excitedly on the morning of May 13. The businessmen had been busted out of prison. The local government building had been taken over. The town's life would start anew. The president was coming to negotiate and so Mr Saidhojayev dressed in his best white shirt and trousers. By 8pm, he was staggering home after being shot in the left arm. He did not enter his mother's house, but lay outside on a pile of gravel until 11pm, when friends took him to hospital. There his infected arm was cut off. Three days later he was moved by the police and has not been seen again. No return On the same day, Anvar Todjihanov,a father of four, was taken from hospital. His wife declined to be interviewed but told friends how her husband, 36, who was shot in the back on Bobur Square, had lost 10kg (22lb) in weight and is "on the borders of death" in jail. Plain-clothed security men, who last searched her flat 15 days ago, have told her to get a job as Mr Todjihanov won't be returning. The authorities' reputation has heightened the anguish. The US state department says Uzbek police use "torture as a routine investigation technique". Methods include crushing limbs, electric shocks, raping relatives before the accused, sexual abuse with a broken bottle, and in one case the boiling to death of a suspect. Others have been arrested by the National Security Service, as "hostages" to persuade relatives to give themselves up. Shurat Nuridinov, 24 and a student, was jailed for terrorism on May 26. His father Avas said the case was probably aimed at forcing his relative, one of the businessmen, Burkhoni Nuridinov, to return to Uzbekistan. Burkhoni is one of 400 Uzbeks who fled to Europe and gained asylum. A human rights activist, Saidjahon Zainabitdinov, who spoke out about the death toll, was arrested on the Uzbek border after taking a wounded protester to Kyrgyzstan. He has been charged with criminal defamation and distributing leaflets that threaten national security. "We don't know where he's being held," said his son, Ilhom. "I doubt they'll release him. His lawyer says he's already confessed and asked for the president's forgiveness." Ilhom was beaten up days after meeting the Guardian, a human rights worker said. The crackdown has continued across Uzbekistan, as Mr Karimov hurries to ensure that any repeat of Andijan will not be as well publicised. Two weeks after the massacre, in the town of Jizzakh, a human rights worker was attacked at home by 70 people who gave him 24 hours to leave town. "They were all state employees," Bakhtiyor Khamraev said. "They hit me over the head with a stick. For 50 minutes they screamed: 'You are an American spy, a terrorist. You have sold yourself.'" The next day they came back, but Mr Khamraev was with a US researcher from Human Rights Watch. The threat of publicity caused the crowd to flee, he said. Since then telephone calls have threatened his family, warning: "We will kill you. No foreigner can help you."


NYT 22 oct 2005 Beliefs Historians and Scholars Produce New Picture of Witches and Witch Hunts, but Questions Remain By PETER STEINFELS It is the season of witches - cute little costumed ones crying "trick or treat" and full-grown adult ones laying claim to Halloween and recounting tales of medieval and early modern persecution. In a search for historical roots and moral legitimacy, some feminists and many adherents of neopagan or goddess-centered religious movements like Wicca have elaborated a founding mythology in which witches and witch hunts have a central role. Witches, they claim, were folk healers, spiritual guides and the underground survivors of a pre-Christian matriarchal cult. By the hundreds of thousands, even the millions, they were the victims of a ruthless campaign that church authorities waged throughout the Middle Ages and early modern centuries to stamp out this rival, pagan religion. Robin Briggs, an Oxford historian, is only one of many contemporary scholars rejecting this account. What unites most "common assumptions" about witches, witchcraft and witch hunts, Mr. Briggs writes in "Witches & Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft" (Viking Penguin, 1996), is "one very marked feature," namely "that they are hopelessly wrong." Over the last two decades or so, he and other historians, along with scholars in anthropology and psychology, have produced quite a different picture, although one leaving many questions unanswered. Were the Middle Ages the prime period of burning witches, and church authorities the prime persecutors? That is an impression inherited from 19th-century Romantic and nationalist writers like the German folklorist Jacob Grimm and the French historian Jules Michelet. Filtering dubious sources, including in Michelet's case some that had actually been forged, through their political agendas, they portrayed witches as personifications of popular resistance to political and religious authorities. In fact, medieval Christianity was divided about witchcraft. Belief in magical or supernatural powers that could be manipulated for either good or evil was ubiquitous then, as it has been throughout human history and still is in many cultures. But medieval Europe was torn between that belief and theological arguments that such powers were illusory. Thus witches were persecuted in the Middle Ages, as they were in other periods, including pre-Christian antiquity; and they were sometimes executed. Persecution, however, was relatively spotty, and penalties were often lenient. Only toward the end of the Middle Ages and especially in the century after the Reformation (1550-1650) did Europe experience eruptions of systematic witch hunting. Yet even to speak of "Europe" is misleading. Ireland, for example, saw scarcely any executions. Nor did Portugal, and neither - apart from local outbreaks in the Basque region - did Spain. Paradoxically, one reason for the restraint in the latter two countries was the Inquisition. In the course of its preoccupation with other scapegoats like Jews and Muslims, it had developed rules of evidence that meant most accusations and even confessions of witchcraft were dismissed as delusions. The multitude of German-speaking states and territories took the most victims, both in absolute numbers and percentages of population. Also high ranking were Switzerland, the Low Countries under Spanish rule (by secular authorities rather than the Inquisition), Bohemia, Poland, Scotland and Scandinavia. As this list shows, persecution was the work of both Catholics and Protestants. In fact, panics about witchcraft often broke out in areas of high tension between them. Were witch hunts the work of secular and religious authorities repressing grass-roots religious dissent? In some instances, yes. But the more common pattern was the opposite. Witch crazes were grass-roots phenomena that broke out more readily where the authorities were weak. About 80 percent of the victims of these witch hunts were women, especially the poor, the aged and the widowed. Women, it should be noted, were also prominent among the accusers and the witnesses; sometimes trials revealed deadly competition: one midwife or woman convinced of her spiritual powers trying to do in a rival practitioner. But clearly, patriarchy and misogyny were major factors. Yet patriarchy and misogyny were no less present in areas where witch crazes never occurred; and in areas like Scandinavia, the Balkans, the Baltic countries and Russia, high percentages of the accused were men. "Accused witches were young, old, male, female, child, adult, poor, rich," writes Diarmaid MacCulloch in "The Reformation," a comprehensive history published by Penguin last year. One can assume, of course, that the rich, the male and the female with a husband surely had much better chances of defending themselves. And, finally, how many victims were there? "For witchcraft and sorcery between 1400 and 1800, all in all, we estimate something like 50,000 legal death penalties," writes Wolfgang Behringer in "Witches and Witch-Hunts" (Polity, 2004). He estimates that perhaps twice as many received other penalties, "like banishment, fines or church penance." Other recent estimates range from 40,000 to 100,000 executions over those early modern centuries. These remain appalling numbers, even when put in the context of the far greater numbers killed in religious wars and the fact that resort to capital punishment was at one of its high points in European history. No one should underestimate the cruelty these numbers represent. "Witchfinders," Malcolm Gaskill's full-blooded account, just published by Harvard University Press, of the most notorious witch hunt in English history, makes that clear in engrossing detail. But contemporary historians bridle at the huge numbers that have become part of the witch hunt mythology-and the implicit or explicit comparisons to the Nazi campaign of genocide. Professor Behringer traced the estimate of nine million victims back to wild projections made by an 18th-century anticlerical from 20 files of witch trials. The figure worked its way into 19th-century texts, was taken up by Protestant polemicists during the anti-Catholic Kulturkampf in Germany, then adopted by the early 20th-century German neopagan movement and, eventually, by anti-Christian Nazi propagandists. In the United States, the nine million figure appeared in the 1978 book "Gyn/Ecology" by the influential feminist theoretician Mary Daly, who picked it up from a 19th-century American feminist, Matilda Gage. Do such unfounded myths do anyone any good? Certainly many feminists, including some identifying themselves as neopagans, agree with contemporary historians about the answer: No.


AZG Armenian Daily #189, 20/10/2005 TIME PRINTS FULL-PAGE LETTER TO RECTIFY TURKISH DVD FLAP TIME magazine came a step closer this week to properly address a major dispute with Armenians worldwide over its distribution of a Turkish DVD denying the Armenian Genocide. In its June 6, 2005 issue, the European edition of TIME ran a four-page ad placed by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce promoting tourism in Turkey. As part of that paid ad, the magazine included a DVD insert that had a 70-minute segment that denied and distorted the facts of the Armenian Genocide. This highly offensive material, hidden behind a couple of benign segments on tourism in the DVD, was disseminated to half a million TIME subscribers in a dozen European countries. Initially, the editors of TIME did not seem to realize the grave error they had committed by becoming accomplices to Turkish denialists. They dismissed Armenian complaints about this hateful and hurtful Turkish DVD by simply stating that TIME did "not endorse the views of any organization or government." However, when the Switzerland-Armenia Association wrote a letter threatening to sue TIME for violating a Swiss law against the denial of crimes against humanity and genocide, the magazine’s managing editor, James Kelly, wrote back stating that no one at TIME had "adequately reviewed" the offensive segment of the Turkish DVD. He apologized profusely and repeatedly to the Armenian community and to all its readers. Mr. Kelly said that the DVD presented a distorted view of history that did not meet the magazine’s "standards for fairness and accuracy." He added: "We would not have distributed [the DVD] had we been aware of the content." The Swiss-Armenian group, however, was not satisfied with this response. They wrote back pointing out that the magazine had not addressed the issue of redressing the damage caused by the malicious Turkish DVD to the descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Meanwhile, five French organizations hired an attorney in order to pursue their legal rights under French laws that call for the protection of "human dignity." Mémoire 2000, the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCOAF), the Armenian National Committee of France (CDCA), J’Accuse, and the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among Peoples (MRAP) wrote a lengthy joint letter of complaint that was published on a whole page in the October 17 issue of TIME’s European edition. The French organizations requested that TIME distribute free of charge an objective DVD on the Armenian Genocide and donate the income from the Turkish ad to non-profit organizations that advocate the truth about the Armenian Genocide. In an "Editor’s note" published along with the letter, TIME restated the apology that it had expressed earlier to the Switzerland-Armenia Association. The note added that TIME was publishing this letter "pursuant to French law (‘droit de réponse’)" [right of reply]. The ANC of France (CDCA) stated in a press release that by printing the letter and expressing its apology, TIME had partially acknowledged its error. This right of reply "is the initial result of a common and long-term initiative by the associations fighting against racism, anti-Semitism and for the defense of the memory of the Armenian people" said Harout Mardirossian, Chairman of CDCA. "If TIME magazine thinks that this right of reply settles all accounts, it is sadly mistaken. TIME magazine’s response does not redress the terrible suffering of those who saw this sordid tool of denialist propaganda. Taking into account the most heinous content of this DVD, our demands for redress go far beyond this simple right of reply and we intend to attain them," said Mardirossian. The Chairman of CDCA reiterated the demand of the five organizations for the magazine to disseminate free of charge to its European subscribers an objective DVD on the Armenian Genocide, and to have TIME donate the revenues from the Turkish ad to non-profit organizations that advocate the truth about the Armenian and all other genocides. By acknowledging its error, apologizing for it and publishing a full-page letter, TIME magazine has begun to take responsibility for the pain and suffering it has caused to Armenians worldwide. TIME’s executives and the representatives of French and Swiss organizations now have to sit down together and consider the proper ways to undo the damage caused by the Turkish DVD. As has been suggested previously, one such way would be for TIME to disseminate to its readers an accurate DVD on the Armenian Genocide. Another possible step would be for the magazine to donate the revenues from the Turkish DVD to non-profit organizations. It would be wrong for TIME to profit from tainted funds belonging to revisionists and denialists of genocide! By Harut Sassounian; Publisher, The California Courier


NYT 21 Oct 2005 MOVIE REVIEW | 'CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH' The Horrors of Belgium's Congo By MANOHLA DARGIS A latecomer to colonialism, King Leopold II of Belgium searched the world for a satellite to call his very own, finally finding his prey in the Congo region of Africa. Hiding his greed behind the twinned fictions of charity and philanthropy, the king entered the Congo with the help of the explorer Henry Morton Stanley and quickly strong-armed tribal chiefs into signing away their future. Soon after, representatives from Europe and the United States delivered the region - renamed the Congo Free State, later Zaire and now the Democratic Republic of Congo - into Leopold's rapacious care. The ghastly story of Leopold's reign of terror in Africa during the late 19th- and early-20th centuries forms the subject of the documentary "Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death," from the British filmmaker Peter Bate. Heavily loaded with information - including numbing accounts of countless atrocities - the film weaves together contemporary documentary material, archival photographs, talking-head interviews and, problematically, theatrical re-enactments featuring actors dressed in period costume. Although too compressed by half, the film manages to recreate what, at one point, the hectoring narrator will call an "archaeology of repression." The scope of that repression is staggering. For Leopold, having a colony was the way to greatness and nothing would stand in the way of that greatness - or profits from the rubber trade: not morality, not decency, not God. Under his command, his soldiers engaged in what would now probably fall under the definition of genocide. In one of the documentary's most chilling moments, an actor coolly reads an excerpt from a diary kept by an officer under Leopold's command: "Village set on fire. Dinner then return." And there is the matter of mutilation: the king's soldiers, in a bid to stave off waste, were ordered to bring back a severed native hand for each cartridge they fired. The hands were later smoked and preserved. Word of the Congo's misery eventually leaked into Europe and the king's evil was made public. Crowds booed his funeral cortege and another depressing chapter in African history seemed to close, though not for long. The narrator states that the statues of Leopold scattered throughout Belgium are "monuments to a nation's denial." This may be true, but the same could be said of most if not all such statues throughout the world. As the director of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium said matter-of-factly, "King Leopold also was a man of vision; you can strongly disagree with his vision, but he did have a vision." And then he adds, without a suggestion of irony that, of course, the Congo also brought "huge benefits." Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death Opens today in Manhattan. Written and directed by Peter Bate; produced by Paul Pauwels; narrated by Nick Fraser (in English, with subtitled French and Flemish dialogue); released by ArtMattan Productions. At the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village. Running time: 84 minutes. This film is not rated.


October 16, 2005 Bosnia Grave Yields 482 Srebrenica Victims By REUTERS Filed at 9:13 a.m. ET SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Forensic experts said on Sunday they had unearthed the remains of 482 Muslim victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre from the third biggest mass grave found so far in the Balkan country. ``We found eight complete and 474 incomplete bodies,'' Murat Hurtic, the head of the regional commission for missing persons, told Reuters by telephone from the site. His team completed the exhumations from the fifth and the biggest mass grave found in the village of Liplje after one month of work. The remains will now be taken for identification by DNA analysis. Hurtic said he believed the five Liplje graves together contained the bodies of about 800 to 1,000 Muslims who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces at the eastern Petkovci dam after fleeing Srebrenica in July 1995. The Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by their wartime chief Ratko Mladic, slaughtered about 8,000 Muslims men and boys after taking over the former U.N. ``safe zone'' of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. In the days that followed, they intercepted thousands of men and boys fleeing the eastern enclave, killed them en masse and buried them at hidden places in what is seen as Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two. The bodies were later moved to so-called ``secondary graves'' and bulldozed to hide traces of the crime. ``That's why the remains were so mingled and only a few skulls had been found,'' Hurtic said. The U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted Mladic and Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide over Srebrenica and the 1992-95 Sarajevo siege, in which about 12,000 people had been killed. Both men are still at large. Dozens of mass graves containing the remains of the Srebrenica victims have been found in eastern Bosnia over the past nine years. Over 2,000 have been identified until now.

BBC 18 Oct 2005 New Karadzic poetry book launched Mr Karadzic has been on the run since 1996 A new book of poetry by the former Bosnian Serb leader and fugitive war crimes suspect, Radovan Karadzic, has been launched in Serbia. Mr Karadzic's publisher told AP news agency the poems had been completed in the past few months, but refused to say how they came into his possession. They describe mountains, thick green forests, rivers and wild animals. Mr Karadzic is accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the persecution of non-Serbs in Bosnia. He has been on the run for eight years and is thought to be hiding somewhere in the former Yugoslavia after evading several attempts by Nato-led peacekeepers to catch him. The new book, Under the Left Breast of the Century, was launched in Pozarevac, the home town of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who is currently standing trial for war crimes in The Hague. Mr Karadzic, a psychiatrist until he became leader of the Bosnian Serbs in the early 1990s, wrote poetry and stories as a hobby and some of his work has been republished since he disappeared.


www.angolapress-angop.ao 18 Oct 2005 French judge to investigate Rwandan genocide Paris, France, 10/18 - Justice Brigitte Raynaud from Paris court is expected to visit Rwanda to inquire into accusations levelled against the French army`s role in the African state`s 1994 genocide, judicial sources said in Paris Monday. In Rwanda, Reynaud is expected to hear six Tutsi women who lodged a complaint in France against French troops. Encouraged by the French civil society, the six women in February lodged a complaint to the military court for "complicity in crimes against humanity" and "complicity in genocide." A weeklong "citizen" investigation organised in Paris by Survie NGO gathered stories by 1994 genocide survivors, saying that the French troops witnessed the massacres but did not intervene. Other reports accused the troops of being present at roadblocks set up by Hutu extremist militiamen, who perpetrated massacres of Tutsis with machetes. During her visit to Rwanda, Reynaud will try and gather material and accounts likely to support the complaints lodged by the six Rwandan survivors of the genocide. Between 800,000 and one million Rwandans were killed during the genocide 11 years ago as the international community looked the other way.


DPA 17 Oct 2005 German UN judge criticizes Saddam Hussein trial 17 October 2005 THE HAGUE - A United Nations judge has criticized the trial of former dictator Saddam Hussein by an Iraqi special court, saying Monday it would have been better to task an international court with the case. Wolfgang Schomburg, a German who sits on U.N. tribunals trying war crimes in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, said the Iraqi court, advised as it was by U.S. lawyers, had some features of "victors' justice". In an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Schomburg said the world could have set up a special court for Saddam. "Since the United States does not cooperate with the permanent court of international criminal justice in The Hague, a tribunal supported by the international community as a whole would have had to be set up, as happened with Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone." Schomburg said there had been an advance in law since the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders following the Second World War towards an international criminal jurisdiction, but the Saddam trial inverted this progress. The Nuremberg trials were conducted by the Allies and later faced criticism from some legal scholars who said the victors should not have made themselves the arbiters of justice. Schomburg added that fair proceedings and discovery of the truth about the past in the trials of Saddam and associates was barely possible in Iraq's atmosphere of violence and inter-ethnic tension. "Under pressure and lacking the necessary distance from the case, even the most benevolent judge would find it hard to reach a fair verdict," he said. Schomburg, an expert on international criminal law, also criticized what he called the "arbitrary" time span for offences triable by the Iraqi court. It has jurisdiction over events between 1968 and the start of May 2003. He added that Saddam had not been indicted at all for the most serious offences he is suspected of, but only for crimes that were minor by comparison. If he were to be prematurely sentenced to death for those, which could not be ruled out, "the larger context will never be investigated". Schomburg said a thorough inquiry by the courts into genocide and war crimes was often beneficial to political reconciliation in a nation. This had been demonstrated by the U.N. tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda. "Why should a transformation of the people's attitudes not be possible in Iraq as well?" he said. "We ought not to abandon our hope for the inseparable trio of truth, justice and peace, even in Iraq."

AP 26 Oct 2005 Four Arabs Convicted in German Plot By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 10:27 a.m. ET DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) -- A court Wednesday convicted four Arab men of plotting to attack Jewish targets in Germany and found three of them guilty of being members of a terrorist organization. Mohamed Abu Dhess, Ashraf al-Dagma and Ismail Shalabi were given sentences ranging from six to eight years in prison for their roles in planning the attacks and for forming a terrorist cell of al-Tawhid in Germany. A fourth man, Djamel Mustafa, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in plotting the attacks and for supporting a terrorist organization. Al-Tawhid is a radical Palestinian network believed to be linked to al-Qaida and headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who also leads al-Qaida in Iraq. All three had rejected the charges against them. ''I never planned attacks against Jewish, Israeli or any other targets in Germany,'' al-Dagma told the court last week. When the judge read out the sentences Wednesday, the men protested loudly. Al-Dagma stormed out of the courtroom into the hallway and security guards excluded him from the rest of the proceedings. Much of the prosecution's case against the four was built around testimony from Shadi Abdellah, who was arrested at the same time as the others in April 2002 and confessed to plotting to attack Jewish targets, saying the group discussed Berlin's Jewish Museum and a Jewish-owned club or bar in Duesseldorf. Judge Ottmar Breidling was sharply critical of German immigration authorities, saying that Abdellah and Abu Dhess had been able to use false names and life histories to get permission to live in Germany and receive social assistance. ''Both al-Tawhid cases need not have happened if immigration law had been conscientiously applied,'' Breidling said. Abdellah admitted being part of the al-Tawhid group, saying he befriended al-Zarqawi in 2000 while in Afghanistan to undergo al-Qaida paramilitary training. He also said he served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden. Abdellah told authorities the Duesseldorf-based cell operated largely apart from its parent group and chose its own targets and arranged for its own explosives and weapons. In exchange for his testimony at this and two other German terror trials, Abdellah was given a reduced sentence of four years and was released in November after serving about half his time. He was also put in Germany's witness protection program.

hartfordadvocate.com 27 Oct 2005 Faith-Based Opposition Echoes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Alan Bisbort - October 27, 2005 PHOTO FROM WWW.UIUC.EDU What would Bonhoeffer do? The World This Week It's safe to say that few epochs in world history posed a greater moral dilemma for people of faith than the Nazi Reich from 1933 to 1945. That both the Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany chose to accommodate Adolf Hitler -- despite widespread reports and firsthand knowledge by 1934 that Jews, gypsies and other "undesirables" were being deported and killed -- will continue to be a source of shame and pain as long as human history is recorded. These churches did not simply remain silent; they actively participated in the charade; Protestants formed a state-sanctioned Reichs Church and Catholics signed a pact that forbade them to oppose the Nazi regime. One person of faith who stood up to Hitler inside Germany was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Director of "The Confessing Church," an offshoot of Lutheranism, Bonhoeffer put his head inside the lion's mouth. That is, he actively opposed Hitler on his own turf, even working with the conspiracy that made three attempts on the Fuhrer's life. How brave was Bonhoeffer? Two days after Hitler was named chancellor in January 1933, Bonhoeffer preached a sermon on national radio calling Hitler a "misleader" and saying that, by making an idol of himself, Hitler "mocks God." Bonhoeffer was, thus, a marked man from the very birth of the Nazi Reich. That he continued working to resist Hitler, traveled extensively out of the country as an emissary for the resistance movement and avoided arrest by the Gestapo until 1943, was a testament to his own faith. Indeed it was faith more than anything else that drove him. He did not do it just to save Jews and gypsies. He did it to save the church, any church. He answered the question: What is a Christian church, or any organized religious entity, that picks and chooses its times to live the teachings of its spiritual leader? His answer was this: It is a social unit, a wing of the state machine, but it is not a church. And yet, how strange it is that a "Christian" who opposed genocide, torture and murder would be considered "extraordinary." Where, one asks now, were other people of faith? Where were the millions of people who called themselves "Christian," inside and outside Germany, when the Holocaust was getting started? To be fair, there were others who joined Bonhoeffer in his lonely opposition, some of whom died alongside him on the gallows in April 1945. But not that many, certainly not enough to make so-called Christians proud of their response back then. Our present political impasse is, of course, not comparable to the Nazi epoch. Nonetheless, after watching Bonhoeffer , Martin Doblmeier's 2003 documentary film, and reading some of Bonhoeffer's letters from prison, one can't help but hear the echoes of his voice in our time. Where, for example, were America's leaders of faith during the run up to the war in Iraq? Did I imagine this, or were such men of the cloth as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson the loudest cheerleaders for a Middle East "crusade"? Was Ann Coulter really allowed to say that Muslims should be forcibly converted to Christianity or killed? I certainly didn't imagine the disgraceful performance of the pious Elie Wiesel, allegedly a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, at a Connecticut Forum event two days before the war officially began. I was there when, on the Bushnell stage, Wiesel applauded George W. Bush's pending preemptive Blitzkrieg. We haven't heard a peep from Mr. Peace Prize since, as the deaths of Iraqi civilians have reached six figures. It seems like everyone is speaking out against the Iraq war now. You can't shut them up. But is it churlish to ask: Where were you when a truly "Christian" opposition would have mattered most? Few people can make the sacrifices that Bonhoeffer made. I know I couldn't; I'm as weak as yesterday's leftover coffee. Still, I do think the least that regular Christian churchgoers can do would be to ask their spiritual leaders to reflect on the war, the lies on which it was based, and the "Christian" cloak worn by the warmongers. The killing is still being done in our name, even if the popularity of war has waned. The life and example of Bonhoeffer holds lessons for all people in times of political disaster. This is especially so for Christians who profess to "live in Christ" and "in their times." Bonhoeffer showed that it is possible to do both. Not just possible, but necessary. End of sermon. Go in peace.


www.expatica.com 14 Oct 2005 Afghan war criminals jailed in Holland A court in The Hague sentenced two former high-ranking members of the Afghan Army to nine and 12 years in jail for war crimes. Habibullah Jalalzoy, 58, and Hesamuddin Hesam, 57, worked for Khad-e-Nezami, the feared intelligence service of the Communist regime in Afghanistan. They were found guilty of torturing opponents of regime from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The men fled when the communists were overthrown and they managed to get asylum under false pretences in the Netherlands.


AFP 16 Oct 2005 Death toll in southern Russia clashes climbs to 137 MOSCOW, Oct 16 (AFP) - Two days of street battles between security forces and rebel fighters in the southern Russian Caucasus city of Nalchik left 33 government troops dead, Russia's interior minister, Rachid Nurgalyev, said Sunday, raising the total death toll to 137. “In all, the security forces lost 33 members,” said Nurgaliev in an interview on the Russian television channel Prevyi Kanal, up from the previously reported 24 deaths. The raids by gunmen on Nalchik, the capital of the Caucasian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, which sparked the battles with police, also killed 92 suspected members of an Islamist rebel group and 12 civilians. An Internet website used regularly by Chechen rebels said the raids were carried out by the “Yarmuk Jamaat of Kabardino-Balkaria” which it identified as a local branch of the armed forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the name used by Chechen separatist fighters for Chechnya. Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday branded the raids a “terrorist act” and praised the response by security agencies.

BBC 17 Oct 2005 Basayev claims Russian city raid The normally peaceful city of Nalchik echoed to gunfire last week Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has claimed last week's attack on the Russian city of Nalchik and blamed heavy militant losses on a leak. In a statement carried by a Chechen rebel website, he said Moscow had beefed up forces in Nalchik after details leaked out before the raid. He said 41 fighters had died along with 140 members of the security forces. Russia reports killing 91 attackers and capturing 36 while 33 members of its own forces and 12 civilians also died. QUICK GUIDE The Chechen conflict Thursday's violence in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria region of the North Caucasus, only ended the following day when Russian forces killed or captured militants trapped inside the city. 'High losses' According to Russia's Defence Minister, Sergei Ivanov, militants posing as civilians had launched their attack from inside the city. CLAIMED BY BASAYEV 13 October 2005: Militant raid on Nalchik leaves at least 86 dead 3 Sep 2004: At least 320 hostages die when Beslan school siege comes to bloody end 31 Aug: Suicide bomber kills 10 outside Moscow metro station 24 Aug: Suspected suicide bombers destroy two airliners shortly after they leave the same Moscow airport, killing 89 This is in contrast to past operations like last year's attack on a school in Beslan, when fighters arrived in lorries. In his statement on the Kavkaz Center website, which was couched in Islamic terms, Shamil Basayev said that 217 "mujahideen" had attacked Nalchik, targeting police stations and military installations as well as the airport. "I had general, operational command," he said, adding that the attack was led on the ground by a commander codenamed Seyfullakh from the Caucasus Front - one of six "fronts" designated by Chechen rebels for fighting Russia. "Our losses were high because five days before the operation there was a serious leak of information and the infidels brought in an extra 1,000 special forces troops," Basayev said. Among the militants killed was an Ingush commander called Ilyas Gorchkhanov, he added. Basayev, who claimed the attack on the Beslan school last year as well as a string of other deadly raids, said the Nalchik operation had been a "great success because our dead are in Paradise and theirs in Hell".

BBC 20 Oct 2005 Russian army cleared over Beslan Beslan recently marked the first anniversary of the tragedy Russian forces who used flame-throwers during the Beslan school siege last year will not face charges, a top Russian prosecutor has said. Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov was sent to the southern region by President Vladimir Putin last month to investigate the tragedy. Some of the victims' relatives say most died because of the firepower used in the Russian assault on the school. The hostage-taking raid by gunmen led to the deaths of 331 people. So far, the trial of the allegedly sole surviving hostage-taker and a separate parliamentary inquiry - both ongoing - have failed to explain the chain of events during the three-day siege of School Number One in September, 2004. Cover up claims Speaking in North Ossetia, Mr Kolesnikov said: "The actions of the military personnel were justified, and there are no grounds to open a criminal investigation." Putin promised Beslan mothers "an objective" inquiry He also said the latest investigations had disproved claims that the militants hid weapons in the school beforehand and that the school principal collaborated with the hostage-takers. Mr Kolesnikov and his team have been questioning a number of high-ranking officials in connection with the siege. Relatives of the victims have accused Russia's top officials of bungling the rescue operation and of trying to cover up negligence on the part of the security forces. Mr Putin's decision to launch a new inquiry into the tragedy came after his Kremlin talks with the Beslan Mothers' Committee last year. Mr Putin promised an "objective investigation" and sent a new team of prosecutors to Beslan. Suspicion The Beslan Mothers' Committee claims that Russian flamethrowers, tanks and grenades had been used on the building while hostages had still been inside. Under pressure from the victims' relatives, another Russian Deputy Prosecutor General, Nikolai Shepel, admitted earlier this year that troops did use flame-throwers, following initial denials by the military. Many in Beslan view the new inquiry with deep suspicion as the new group represents the same organisation that has been investigating the tragedy for the last 12 months, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says. Separately, the parliamentary commission looking into the actions of Russian officials during the siege has interviewed hundreds of witnesses but is yet to publish its findings.


AP 15 Oct 2005 'Dr. Death' Reportedly Located in Spain The Associated Press Saturday, October 15, 2005; 3:55 PM JERUSALEM -- A Nazi war criminal notorious for sadistic experiments that killed hundreds of prisoners during World War II has been tracked to Spain, according to media reports Saturday. Spanish police said they had not yet found the man. The German weekly Der Spiegel said Spanish investigators believe the 91-year-old suspect, Aribert Heim, has been in Spain recently. During the war, Heim earned the nickname "Dr. Death" for experimenting on inmates at the Buchanwald and Mauthausen camps. His research included performing surgery without anesthesia and injecting prisoners with gasoline, poison and lethal drugs to see how much their bodies could take before dying, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said. Heim has been a fugitive since he was charged by German authorities in 1962 with killing hundreds of concentration inmates in Germany and Austria with lethal injections. He is thought to have evaded capture in Germany, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil and Spain. Spanish police said they had not found Heim during searches after receiving indications that he was living in the northeastern province of Girona. "We haven't detained anyone with that name," said Joan Lopez, a police spokesman in Girona. "All we know is that he may have been in the area of Palafrugell recently." Efraim Zuroff, Israel director of the Nazi watchdog Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the search for Heim intensified a year and a half ago when the German government discovered a bank account in his name and set up a task force to find him. It was not clear if Heim was still in Spain, he said. "There's some speculation that he might have escaped to other countries," Zuroff said. Der Spiegel said Spain was suspected as a possible hiding place for Heim as long ago as the mid-1980s and there had been increasing indications in recent weeks that he might have until recently lived somewhere near Denia on the Mediterranean coast. Although Heim never completed medical training after studying at the University of Vienna, after the war he worked as a doctor in southern Germany until he was indicted. German authorities have offered a $159,000 reward for his arrest and the Wiesenthal Center $12,200.

Basque news and Information Channel 14 Oct 2005 www.eitb24.com Cuban dissidents ask Spain to indict Castro on genocide charges The court must now decide whether it will consider the petition, but the request is almost certainly doomed because Castro is still in power and thus enjoys immunity from prosecution. Cuban dissidents on Friday asked a Spanish court to indict President Fidel Castro on charges of genocide and other offences, resorting to a Spanish doctrine that allows criminal charges in human rights cases even if the offence is alleged to have been committed abroad. The suit was filed at the National Court by a dissident group called the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba. Besides genocide, it accuses Castro of crimes against humanity, torture and terrorism. The court must now decide whether it will consider the petition, but the request is almost certainly doomed because Castro is still in power and thus enjoys immunity from prosecution. The Spanish doctrine applies only to ex-leaders who have no longer have such protection. The suit was presented to coincide with an Iberoamerican summit in the Spanish city of Salamanca, to which Castro was invited. In the suit, the foundation asked the court to arrest Castro if he turned up at the summit or, if not, to issue an international arrest order. Castro not attend the meeting Cuba announced late Thursday that Castro would not attend the meeting as he had to coordinate aid to hurricane victims in Central America and the earthquake victims in Pakistan. When asked for reaction to the suit, Cuban officials at the summit referred only to comments made earlier in the day by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque regarding the likelihood of a court petition similar to one that led to the arrest in London of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998. "We dismiss that argument totally," Perez Roque told Spain's Antena 3 television. "It's impossible to compare these two people. On one side we're talking about a bloody and corrupt dictator and on the other we're talking about a revolutionary leader who raises support and sympathy even in Spain." "Besides, no one in the world is capable of arresting Fidel just like that," he added. Too ill to stand trial In 1998, Spain's National Court embraced the principle of so-called international jurisdiction, becoming part of a growing body of international law that allows courts in one country to judge human rights crimes allegedly committed in another. After months of house arrest, Britain refused to extradite Pinochet to Spain, saying he was too ill to stand trial. But earlier this year, Spanish judges sentenced a former Argentine military officer, Adolfo Scilingo, to a total of 640 years in prison for crimes against humanity during his country's so-called 'dirty war' against leftist dissent. Another Argentine, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, is also being held in Spain on similar charges. His trial is expected to start in the next few weeks.


BBC 22 Oct 2005 Vote triggers Mladic speculation Mr Stankovic did the autopsy when Gen Mladic's daughter killed herself A retired general with links to war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic has been appointed the new defence minister for Serbia and Montenegro. Zoran Stankovic, 50, a former head of Belgrade military hospital, was voted in by parliament with a large majority. He replaces Prvoslav Davinic, who resigned amid claims he misused funds. Mr Stankovic's appointment has prompted media speculation he may negotiate Gen Mladic's surrender. He met the top UN war crimes prosecutor last month. Mr Stankovic, a pathologist, says he developed a "special relationship" with Gen Mladic after carrying out an autopsy on his daughter when she killed herself in 1994. However, he said he had not seen the former Bosnian Serb army commander for six years and did not know his current whereabouts. 'Not realistic' Speaking to Belgrade TV channel B92 shortly after his appointment, Mr Stankovic said he would ensure Serbia's security forces kept up their hunt for Gen Mladic. But, he added: "It is not realistic to think that a defence minister will run after Mladic through the mountains." He said he had met prosecutor Carla del Ponte to hear what the UN war crimes tribunal wanted from the army. Several officers are on trial in the Hague over crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. Gen Mladic, on the run since 1995, is accused of orchestrating the killing of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica - the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II. Ms del Ponte has urged the Serbian authorities to arrest him by mid-December to face charges of genocide. The tribunal believes Gen Mladic is being hidden within Serbia's borders by hardliners in the military. Mr Stankovic was the choice of Serbia for the post of defence minister for Serbia and Montenegro. The union retains a common army and council of ministers. Mr Davinic resigned after he was accused of ordering more than double the amount of military equipment needed in a $300m (£164m) private deal.

Serbia - Kosovo

AFP 16 Oct 2005 Print E-mail Save Kosovo unemployment a 'time bomb': analysts warnby Ismet Hajdari PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro, Oct 16 (AFP) - Unemployment afflicts more than half of Kosovo's workforce, a situation that observers warn could spark unrest and disrupt the province's status talks due to start by the year's end. “The massive unemployment in Kosovo is a social bomb that may explode at any moment,” said Naim Gashi, an analyst with the University for Business and Technology. In the absence of reliable statistics, Kosovo's labour ministry says the province's unemployment rate is 57 percent for a working population of a million people. But according to other estimates the figure is closer to 60 percent, or even worse for its youths at 70 percent. “I'm happy if someone hires me for a day to do the most difficult work possible. I'm am happy if I get more than 100 euros (120 dollars) a month,” said Zahir Sallaku, 38. Each day Sallaku waits with other jobless locals at a main road intersection in the provincial capital Pristina in the hope of being hired temporarily for 10-15 euros a day -- the only income for his five-member family. “Kosovo has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Europe,” said Joachim Ruecker, a top economic official from the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The United Nations and NATO have administered Kosovo since a 78-day bombing campaign by the military alliance ended a crackdown by Serbian forces against separatist Albanians in June 1999. The economic problems since have included the closure of industrial factories and diminishing agricultural production, adding to the underlying ethnic tensions that remain between Serbs and Albanians. Such frictions led to the March 2004 anti-Serb riots that left 19 people dead and more than 900 others, including multinational peacekeepers, injured in the deadliest violence in Kosovo since the end of the war. According to a recent World Bank report, about 37 percent of Kosovo's population lives below the poverty line on the equivalent of 1.42 euros a day. Another 15 percent was in extreme poverty on about 93 euro cents a day. The economic problems and the dangers they pose on the ground in Kosovo also represent a threat to the province's future status talks, which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan recently said must begin by the end of the year. The technically Serbian province's ethnic Albanians, who make up more than 90 percent of the population, are seeking independence. Belgrade has offered Pristina “more than autonomy” but remains strongly opposed to independence. “I often return home with empty pockets. My young children don't understand the words 'there is no money'. They demand everything possible,” said Sallaku, adding the situation causes him to cry. People lay the blame for the poor economic situation with their local leaders. “Kosovo authorities are more preoccupied with their expensive luxury cars than with the problem of unemployment, which is focused on only during election campaigns,” said the analyst Gashi. “It is our politicians' fault. I wonder what they would do if the unemployed woke up (because) it might just happen,” added Sallaku.

Sweden see Somalia

www.news24.com 17 Oct 2005 Genocide suspect held in Sweden 17/10/2005 11:08 - (SA) Stockholm - A 57-year-old Somali man was arrested in Sweden on Monday suspected of genocide in Somalia, said police. "The man was arrested in (the southern Swedish city of) Lund and immediately transferred to Gothenburg," on the southwestern coast, said a police spokesperson in Lund. Police declined to disclose any other information but in its online edition, tabloid Aftonbladet identified the man as Abdi Qeybdiid, the right-hand man to late Somali warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid in the 1990s.

BBC 20 Oct 2005 Sweden frees Somali police chief Thousands of Somalis protested at Col Qeybdid's arrest A Somali colonel has been released from custody in Sweden due to insufficient evidence linking him to genocide, reports the AP news agency. Col Abdi Qeybdid was arrested after being accused of involvement in attacks on US forces in the 1990s. Under Swedish law, its courts can try suspects for genocide committed abroad. Col Qeybdid has been appointed as Somalia's police chief by the faction of the split government based in the capital, Mogadishu. But President Abdullahi Yusuf, based in the town of Jowhar 90km north of Mogadishu, has appointed Ali Madobeh, as its chief of police. Video "I am free," Col Qeybdid was quoted as saying by Swedish news agency TT as he left the court building. The court was shown a video allegedly showing him involved in the interrogation and execution of two young men in 1991. His lawyer Thomas Olsson said the video had been heavily edited and was "completely meaningless". On Sunday, thousands of people demonstrated in Mogadishu to protest at his arrest. The Mogadishu faction accuse their opponents in Jowhar of being behind the arrest. Col Qeybdid was a commander of troops loyal to the late warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, who fought US American peacekeepers in Mogadishu in the early 1990s. Somalia has been without a functioning national government for 14 years and a transitional parliament and government, sworn in last year, has failed to end the anarchy.


Guardian UK 17 Oct 2005 Novelist denies 'genocide' claim Agencies in Ankara Pamuk, a best-selling Turkish novelist facing trial for speaking out about the 1915 mass killings of Armenians, moved at the weekend to soften his controversial remarks, insisting that he did not describe the episode as genocide. Pamuk could face up to three years in prison for reportedly telling a Swiss newspaper that "30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it". But on Saturday night, he went on CNN-Turk television to say: "I did not say, we Turks killed this many Armenians. I did not use the word 'genocide'." Armenians say that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, which Armenia and several other countries recognise as a genocide. Turkey denies the genocide claim, saying that the death toll is inflated and that Armenians were killed in civil unrest as the Ottoman empire collapsed. Asked about the numbers of deaths he referred to in his newspaper interview, Pamuk said that they were "spontaneous remarks". His comments on the Kurds were no less controversial, referring to Turkey's 20-year conflict with Kurdish guerrillas seeking autonomy, branded a terrorist group by the US and EU. "There are martyred Turkish soldiers among those 30,000 to 35,000 killed people. Let's express our respect to them," Pamuk said, complaining that he had become a victim of a "defamation campaign". The case could embarrass Turkey as it seeks to demonstrate to Europe that its laws and practices are capable of meeting European standards. The EU has said it will be watching when the case starts on December 16. Pamuk's books, which include the internationally acclaimed Snow and My Name is Red, have been translated into more than 20 languages and the novelist has received many international awards.

www.turkishpress.com 19 Oct 2005 Film To Be Shot Against So-called Genocide Allegations Published: 10/19/2005 Latest wire from AFP More World News ISTANBUL - Turkish and Spanish film companies will shoot a film named ''Ayak Izleri'' (Footprints) to disprove so-called Armenian genocide allegations by historical realities, said Vedat Sen, the owner of B&V Production MED moviemaking company and the director of the film. Holding a press conference in Turkish metropolis of Istanbul today, Sen said, ''the film will start to be shot in two months, and be finished in 4-5 months. It will be shown in Turkey next year, and in other countries later.'' On the other hand, Leon Hekim, the representative of Spanish filmmaking company Max Corporation in Turkey, said that Europe was assuming an unfair and prejudiced attitude against Turkey. Noting that the Ottoman Empire had always protected the Armenian society, Hekim said that they would explain all these realities in their film.

NYT 23 Oct 2005 In Turkey, the Novelist as Lightning Rod By STEPHEN KINZER ISTANBUL — AFTER years of waiting, Turkey was invited this month to begin discussions that may lead to membership in a very exclusive club: the European Union. The stakes are high for Turkey and possibly even for relations between the Western and Islamic worlds. A legal fight between a Turkish prosecutor and the country's leading novelist, Orhan Pamuk, however, has complicated the talks. Mr. Pamuk, who was scheduled to receive the Frankfurt Book Fair's prestigious peace prize Saturday, has been charged with making a statement that "explicitly insults" the Turkish state, a crime that carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. The alleged insult was Mr. Pamuk's statement to a Swiss newspaper in February that "30,000 Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands." He was referring to the civil that raged in Kurdish regions of Turkey in the 1980's and 1990's, and to the massacre of Armenians as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing during World War I. Most of the world considers this to have been a case of genocide, but Turkish leaders reject that label. The prosecution of Mr. Pamuk is intensely embarrassing to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others who are eager to show Europeans that Turkey, long a conservative society dominated by the military, now embraces human rights and free speech. "Our E.U. prospects will most likely be adversely affected by this lawsuit," Mehmet Ali Birand, one of Turkey's best-known journalists, warned in a recent column. "Anti-Turkish campaigners won't let it go. They will use it as fodder for one resolution after another. This will tarnish Turkey's already negative image." Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party, suggested in an interview on Thursday that he disapproved of the indictment. "These are not good things," he said. "Free expression is guaranteed in Turkey. If a prosecutor opens a file, it doesn't mean the case is decided. Judges will decide." Even a decade ago, it was considered taboo, and was often illegal, to express unorthodox views on sensitive matters like religion, ethnic rights and the fate of Ottoman Armenians. But Turkish society is now racing toward European-style democracy, and the new openness here alarms diehard defenders of the old order, known collectively here as "Deep State." It is these old-line nationalists, said Mr. Pamuk in his sunny, book-cluttered studio overlooking the Bosporus, who are using his indictment as a desperate attempt to keep Turkey from modernizing. "It's a scandal, a shame," Mr. Pamuk said of his indictment. He described laws like the one under which he is being prosecuted as "hidden hammers that prosecutors want to keep in the drawer so they can hit whenever they want." Their purpose, he said, is to prevent Turks from speaking out on sensitive subjects. When such issues are brought up, he said, the debate is "exaggerated, because taboos are still legally protected here." He added: "When people comment about political Islam or the army's role in politics or what happened to Ottoman Armenians or the way Turkey should treat its Kurds, unfortunately the comment does not appear neatly on the letters page of the newspaper." Mr. Pamuk said he did not believe that the prime minister, who is leading Turkey's campaign to join the European Union, was behind his indictment. But he did suggest that Mr. Erdogan helped create the climate that made it possible. "I blame him for his weakness and lack of determination," Mr. Pamuk said. "At the beginning of this year we had a wave of nationalist incidents and attacks on the E.U. project, including some by members of his own party. He did not look the problem in the eye and draw a clear line between anti-E.U. nationalism and the attitude of tolerance. He tried to avoid the subject." Mr. Pamuk, 53, is not fundamentally a political figure, but he is a stubbornly independent one. In 1999 he refused an offer from the government to become a "State Artist," and he has criticized the government's policies on free speech, minority rights and other matters. After the international success of his recent books, including "Snow" and "Istanbul: Memoir of a City," Mr. Pamuk has become to many here and abroad a symbol of Turkey's Westernizing ambitions. Last year, for example, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a member of the European Parliament and a former French student leader, told The Guardian, the British daily, that Mr. Pamuk "was one of the intellectuals who made me understand the importance of Turkey joining the European Union. It is so important for democrats in that country. Orhan is not only one of the most important modern writers in Europe, he is one of the examples of the possible modernity of Turkey." While Mr. Pamuk encourages Turkey's democratization and strongly supports its campaign to join the European Union, however, he also reveres its age-old traditions. "I have always believed Turkey should be proud of its two spirits, and not try to impose one above the other," he said. "My novels are a combination of experimental, modern innovations that come from the West, and the traditionalism of Persian epics, Sufi allegories and 19th-century Ottoman poetry. We should enjoy the fact the we have these two spirits, and combine them to create something new and rich, something that has never been done before." Mr. Pamuk said that recent turns of opinion in Europe, reflected by votes against the proposed European constitution in France and the Netherlands, complicate Turkey's prospects for union membership but do not necessarily doom them. "The French and Dutch referendums showed that voters in E.U. nations are more and more nervous about this enlargement process," he said. "It means taking Turkish Muslims and treating them as brothers. They don't want to do that. Unfortunately, there is a lot of anti-Turkish resentment. And in Turkey, which is getting more nationalistic, people see this and react against it. It makes Turkey's prospects of joining seem harder and harder. "The E.U. with Turkey is a good project, but both sides still need to be convinced. If we reach the criteria for human rights, democracy and business ethics, then we can join the E.U. with our mustaches and water pipes."

'I stand by my words. And even more, I stand by my right to say them...' When the acclaimed Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk recalled his country's mass killing of Armenians, he was forced to flee abroad. As he prepares to accept a peace award in Frankfurt, he tells Maureen Freely why he had to break his nation's biggest taboo Sunday October 23, 2005 The Observer Five years ago, Orhan Pamuk wrote a novel about a poet who is snared in a political intrigue from which there is no escape. Nine months ago, Turkey's most famous novelist was pulled into just such an intrigue. It began with an off-the-cuff remark in an interview with a Swiss newspaper. While discussing curbs on freedom of expression in Turkey, Pamuk said that 'a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in this country and I'm the only one who dares to talk about it'. He was soon to be reminded why. Although most of the world acknowledges the genocide as historical fact, the official Turkish line has been that 'only' a few hundred thousand died during the internecine conflicts of the First World War. To suggest otherwise - or even to use the word genocide - is to insult the nation's founding myth and therefore Turkey's honour. So the day after his interview appeared, the Turkish press launched a fierce attack on Pamuk, branding him a traitor, accusing him of having used the virtually illegal word genocide (although he had not) and inviting 'civil society' to 'silence' him. Following several death threats, he went into hiding abroad. He returned to Turkey late last spring, hoping it had all blown over. It had not. Last August, an Istanbul public prosecutor charged him with the 'public denigration of Turkish identity'. The trial is set for 16 December. If convicted, Pamuk faces three years in prison. When the story broke in early September, it made headlines all over the world, with writers, politicians, academics and human rights groups joining the writers' organisation PEN to condemn the prosecution. The governments of Europe were aghast, with the case raising serious questions about Turkey's attempt to join the EU. As his translator, I was only too aware that this was a bitterly ironic twist for Pamuk, who has long been a supporter of Turkey in Europe and European-style social democracy in Turkey. Like many of his friends, I suspected that his prosecution was the work of nationalists in the judiciary who want neither. Thanks to another law, Pamuk was obliged to keep his own views on the matter private. He faces an even longer prison sentence if he talks about his case before it comes to trial. Meanwhile, all of Turkey is arguing about the Armenians. Last month a group of Turkish scholars broke 90 years of official silence, braving court orders, death threats and fierce condemnation in the right-wing press to hold a conference in Istanbul. For the first time, Turks dared to ask Turks what happened to the Ottoman Armenians. This had a huge impact on public opinion. Although many maintain that the genocide was a fiction created by the nation's enemies, it is at least no longer dangerous to question the official line. It was in this context that Pamuk decided a week ago to give his first interview on Turkish television since his life became a novel. It provoked strong and varied responses, with many applauding his defiance and others wishing he had been more defiant still. In one right-wing newspaper, selected quotes were rearranged to suggest that Pamuk had retracted his original statement, although in fact he reiterated it. In some reports, there was also the suggestion that he had softened his statement in the hope it might lead the authorities to drop his case. A similarly worded article that had no byline found its way into the Guardian and other newspapers across Europe last Monday. And so the noose tightens. What to do? Speak out and risk a longer sentence? Or stay silent and let parties unknown feed the world lies? When I met Pamuk yesterday in Frankfurt, where he is to be awarded the German Peace Prize, he was in no doubt the time had come to speak out - about the Armenians, about the law under which he has been charged, about curbs on free expression in Turkey and, last but not least, about his case. 'It goes without saying that I stand by my words,' he told me. 'And even more, I stand by my right to say them.' He went on to point out that the right to free speech was guaranteed by the Turkish constitution and that more and more people in Turkey were keen to exercise that right. 'I am very encouraged by this conference. I'm very grateful to courageous scholars such as Halil Berktay, Murat Belge and Taner Akcam who have been researching this subject thoroughly and honestly for so many years and who spoke the unsayable truth. Most of all, I'm pleased that the taboo - what happened to the Ottoman Armenians - is beginning to crack.' It was, he warned, going to be a long and painful process. 'We are confronted with an immense human tragedy and immense human suffering we did not learn about at school. So it is a fragile subject.' Which brings us to the word genocide. It is, he reminded me, a contentious subject even among the Turkish historians who believe there was planned and systematic slaughter. Those whose primary aim is to educate the Turkish public point out that to use the word is to shut down any possibility of a national debate. 'I said loud and clear that one million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey, and I stand by that. For me, these are scholarly issues,' said Pamuk. 'I am a novelist. I address human suffering and pain and it is obvious, even in Turkey, that there was an immense hidden pain which we now have to face.' He went on to remind me that the biggest obstacle right now was Article 301. This is a new law and how it found its way into Turkey's new and supposedly EU-friendly penal code is a subject of heated speculation. Earlier this month, Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was tried under the same article by the same public prosecutor who brought the case against Pamuk. He was found guilty and given a suspended sentence. 'Dink is the most prominent representative of Istanbul's Armenians and after his case and mine it is obvious that if we are going to enjoy freedom of expression in Turkey, Article 301 should be reconsidered,' said Pamuk. 'This law and another law about "general national interests" were put into the new penal code as secret guns. They were not displayed to the international community but nicely kept in a drawer, ready for action in case they decided to hit someone in the head. These laws should be changed, and changed fast, before the EU and the international community puts pressure on Turkey to do so. We have to learn to reform before others warn us.' But what has Pamuk himself learned from the last nine months? 'In the beginning I felt very isolated,' he admitted. 'But I've seen so many people back me, in Turkey and in the international community. I am flattered and honoured to be the focus of all this concern. It is thanks to their support that I can defend freedom of speech.' This, he said, was the burning issue in Turkey, and it was, and would continue to be, a subject dear to his heart. In his speech today he will be arguing that the novelist's most important political act is the imaginative exploration of the 'other', the 'stranger', the 'enemy who resides in all our minds'. Politics in the art of the novel is the author's identification with the downtrodden and the marginalised. The Kurd in Turkey and the Turk in Germany. And the prize? 'I hope it is not just a political gesture but also a celebration of my years of humble and devoted service to the novel. I have been writing novels for 30 years, like a clerk. Though, unfortunately, not in the last month. I hope I can return to my desk soon.' But Pamuk is not looking for a pardon: 'I'm going to face this case.' In this regard, at least, he hopes to part ways with Kar, the poet in his novel Snow. Pulled into a political intrigue and feeling 'trapped on all sides', Kar's response was to try to run away. 'He was an unhappy person who was forced to be cynical,' Pamuk said. 'But I am a happier person. I embrace the responsibility that has fallen on me and will pursue this to the end.' Pamuk: a life in writing Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul on 7 June 1952 and, apart from two years in New York, he has spent his life in the same district of the city and now lives in the building where he was brought up. His first novel to appear in English was called The White Castle, about an Ottoman astrologer who buys a Venetian astronomer as a slave. His novel My Name is Red, set in the 16th century, tells of murder and artistic intrigues among the Islamic miniaturists in the Ottoman court. Its success, by Turkish standards, was astronomic and his publishers opened a court action against a newspaper which refused to believe published sales figures of 100,000 copies. The book sold half as many again. His sveventh and most critically acclaimed novel is Snow. It deals with what happens in the margins of the Western world.The Canadian author Margaret Atwood called Snow 'an engrossing feat of tale-spinning and essential reading for our times'. His books have been burned at a nationalist demonstration, and his photograph was shredded at a rally. Hürriyet, Turkey's largest newspaper, called Pamuk an 'abject creature'.

www.kurdishinfo.com 7 Oct 2005 Erol Onderoglu:Journalist Guilty of 'Insulting Turkishness' Bianet /7 October 2005 /-Hrant Dink, the editor of the Istanbul based Armenian language weekly newspaper Agos, has been sentenced to suspended 6 months imprisonment for "insulting Turkishness" in a series of articles he wrote on Armenian identity. Hrant Dink, who was charged with "insulting Turkishness" in an article on Armenian identity published in the weekly newspaper Agos, has been sentenced to a 6-month term in prison, but the penalty has been suspended. Dink was also one of the organizers of the conference on Ottoman Armenians that was recently held in Istanbul. The newspaper's general coordinator Karin Karakasli, who was charged along with Dink, was acquitted on the grounds that she was exempt under a provision of the Press Law. The journalists' lawyer, Fetiye Cetin, told Bianet that they are appealing the court's decision. The decision hearing took place today (7 October 2005) at the Second Criminal Court in Sisli, and was attended by the journalists, their lawyers, and other supporters. The prosecutor, Muhittin Ayata, argued that Dink's article had been written with the intent to criticize and humiliate Turkish national identity. The court suspended the sentence on the grounds that Dink had no previous convictions and on the condition that he does not repeat the offense. The suit was filed against Dink and Karakasli on 16 April 2004 for a series of articles starting in February 2004 that criticized diaspora Armenians for focusing on the history of Turkish crimes against Armenians and not doing enough for the needs of Armenians in the present. Reporters Without Borders, PEN International, and other civil society groups have criticized the lawsuit.

www.armenialiberty.org 7 Oct 2005 Armenian Journalist Gets Six Months For 'Insulting Turkish Identity' (AFP, AP) - An Istanbul court on Friday sentenced Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink to a six-month suspended sentence for "insult to the Turkish national identity." Both Dink and his lawyer, Fethiye Cetin, and said they would appeal the decision. Dink, editor of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, was on trial for a February 2004 article calling on Armenians to "turn to the new blood of independent Armenia, which alone can free them of the burden of the Diaspora." In the article, which dealt with the collective memory of the Armenian massacres of 1915-1917 under the Ottoman Empire, Dink also called on Armenians to symbolically reject "the adulterated part of their Turkish blood." The court said Dink's article "was not an expression of opinion with the aim of criticizing, but was intended to be insulting and offensive," the semiofficial Anatolia news agency said. "Our client has done absolutely nothing wrong," Cetin told AFP, but said she would not comment further without seeing the minutes of the hearing. Dink, who did not attend the hearing, told AFP that he would appeal "to the full extent of the law." "If the sentence is confirmed, it will mean I have insulted these people (the Turks) and it would be great dishonor for me to live on the same street, in the same neighborhood, in the same country as them," he said. "Such a thing would be impossible for me... If I cannot explain to this (Turkish) society that I had no such intentions, I'll leave the country, I'll go away." Armenians have long demanded that Turkey and other nations recognize the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks at the beginning of the 20th century as genocide. In the past, Turks could be prosecuted for agreeing, and a clause in the new penal code allows prosecutors to interpret statements harmful to Turkish identity as a crime. The EU has asked Turkey to change the clause or risk endangering its EU bid. Turkey officially opened EU membership negotiations early Tuesday, but its bid is opposed by a majority of Europeans. Dink, speaking in Turkish, told the Associated Press that the sentence was an attempt to silence him. "But I will not be silent," he said. "As long as I live here, I will go on telling the truth, just as I always have." Dink said he would bring the case to Turkey's Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. "If it is a day or six months or six years it is unacceptable to me," he said. "If I am unable to come up with a positive result, it will be honorable for me to leave this country." Dink is also facing charges for remarks he made at a human rights conference in 2002 criticizing Turkey's national anthem and an oath taken by Turkish schoolchildren each day in which they say, "Happy is the one who says, 'I am a Turk."' Dink said then that he did not feel like a Turk, but like an Armenian who is a citizen of Turkey. He also objected at the time to a line in the national anthem that says "smile upon my heroic race," saying the emphasis on race was a form of discrimination. Dink will go to trial for those comments in February. Award-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk has been indicted under the same accusation as Dink for saying in an interview with a Swiss magazine that "one million Armenians were killed in Turkey." His trial opens on December 17. In a meeting in Ankara Thursday, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Ollie Rehn urged Turkey to amend the law on national identity in the penal code and said the EU would be watching Pamuk's trial closely. The cases highlight the challenges still facing Turkey as it tries to enact reforms to harmonize with EU norms. The government has promised to lift restrictions on freedom of expression, and has also committed to improving its treatment of minorities under its agreement with the EU.

See Resources on the Armenian Genocide on this website


en.for-ua.com 27 October 2005 The President of Ukraine congratulates Boris Oliynyk the famous Ukrainian poet At the literary evening dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Borys Oliynyk, President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko decorated him with the Order of State, conferring the Hero of Ukraine title on this prominent poet and public figure. Oliynyk was decorated for “his self-denying service to Ukraine, great contribution to preservation of the national and spiritual culture and the role he played to promote Ukraine internationally.” Victor Yushchenko personally congratulated Oliynyk at the Ukraina Art Palace. “You are a great poet, a wise person, a friend and a master of the nation. Today, along with many Ukrainians, I would like to thank you for your poetry,” he said. The Head of State thanked him for serving Ukraine and the nation. “Ukraine has not perished yet, having such sons as Borys Oliynyk,” he added. “You have conquered the literary Parnassus and the political Olympus. I am deeply convinced that in the past fifteen years there has not been any political event at which you did not speak as a citizen or a poet.” Yushchenko noted that Oliynyk’s public statements always concerned pressing and socially disturbing issues. The Head of State stressed that he had been particularly impressed by Oliynyk’s speech on the 1932-33 Genocide Famine, which he delivered a few years ago at Verkhovna Rada. “I am sure millions of Ukrainians remember your speech. That was a courageous deed,” he said. Speaking about the Orange Revolution, the President also stressed that Oliynyk’s appearance in Kiev’s Independence Square, the Maydan, was “a deed of a poet and a patriot

United Kingdom

BBC 22 Oct 2005 'Call it a day', loyalists urged Loyalists are being urged to follow the IRA move on arms Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has told his party conference the IRA has been defeated and it is time for loyalists to put their arms beyond use. In his first address to the conference as UUP leader Sir Reg said the IRA had been exhausted by years of failure in its bid to get unionists to bend. He said it was now time for loyalist paramilitaries to "call it a day" and put weapons beyond use. Sir Reg promised to help those who took that step. "Begin the job of decommissioning the fire power that has brought so much misery," he urged loyalists. "The republican edifice you swore to tear down is severely weakened. "Northern Ireland is moving on apace and loyalist paramilitaries need to recognise that they no longer have any reason to maintain their structures." The Ulster Unionist leader criticised the IRA's failure to enagage in more transparent decommissioning, but said he welcomed the fact weapons were put beyond use "lock, stock and most of the barrels". Last month, General de Chastelain, the head of the arms decommissioning body, said the IRA had now put all its arms beyond use. Sir Reg addressed his first party conference as leader The general said he was satisfied the IRA had given up all its weapons, and said he hoped loyalists would as well. Loyalists are said to have an "on-off" relationship with the general. Sir Reg told the conference that the DUP should not be allowed to take credit for gains won by the Ulster Unionists. He also attacked those who "peddled the lie" that the peace process had been all pain for unionists and only gain for republicans. He accused DUP leader Ian Paisley of "leaving a bad legacy of division within unionism". Such infighting was counter-productive, he added. The conference re-elected Lord Rogan as UUP president. He defeated the former South Belfast MP Martin Smyth by 309 votes to 118 votes. The UUP also elected a new team of party officers. The successful candidates were Basil McCrea, May Steele, the former MLA Joan Carson and the Young Unionists Peter Bowles and Kenny Donaldson. The former Royal Irish Regiment officer, Colonel Tim Collins, is to speak at the conference about the disbandment of the regiment's home battalions later.


BBC 19 Oct 2005 The 'bird flu' that killed 40 million Spanish flu patients crowd an emergency hospital in Kansas Health officials warn that millions could die in a flu pandemic. It would not be the first time. The Spanish flu virus that swept the world in 1918-19 is considered one of the most deadly diseases in history. In March 1918 an army cook reported to the infirmary at Fort Riley, Kansas, with a temperature of 39.5 C. Within two days a further 521 men had been taken sick, in what is thought to have been one of the first recorded outbreaks of what came to be known as Spanish flu. Striking a world already devastated by war, such early warning signs were largely missed and the influenza went on to kill 40 million in a matter of months. Scientists now believe the virus came from birds and that it bore similarities to the avian flu at the centre of the current scare. 'Explosive' outbreaks After travelling back and forth between the US and Europe with troops, who were among the worst affected, the virus soon reached Africa and Asia. August brought the second wave of the virus, with "explosive" outbreaks in France, Sierra Leone and the US and a 10-fold increase in deaths, says the World Health Organization. The virus quickly spread, with few communities untouched and between 25% and 30% of the world population infected. So unfamiliar was Spanish flu that many doctors suspected an outbreak of meningitis, or even a return of the Black Death. "The disease had features that were not seen before and, fortunately, have not been seen since," says the WHO. Unlike most deaths from influenza, the majority of victims were neither the young or old, but those between 15 and 35. As many as 99% were under 65. It is only a matter of a few hours until death comes, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate Army doctor 1918 killer flu 'came from birds' Many deaths were from pneumonia caused by secondary infections, but others died from a haemorrhaging of the lungs. Other symptoms included a blue tinge to the skin. One doctor at a US Army camp near Boston wrote in September 1918 that men coming in with what appeared to be ordinary influenza quickly worsened. "It is only a matter of a few hours until death comes, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," says the letter, obtained by Stanford University. "It is horrible. One can stand it to see one, two or twenty men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies sort of gets on your nerves." Sneezing In many countries schools were closed, public gatherings banned and people encouraged to wear masks. SPANISH FLU DEATHS 1918-19 India - 10 to 17 million Sub-Saharan Africa - 1.5 to 2 million US - 500,000 to 675,000 France - 400,000 UK - 250,000 All figures estimates In some cases those caught sneezing or coughing unprotected in public were fined or imprisoned and one US town outlawed shaking hands. The efforts failed - as did the widespread practices of quarantine and isolation. In India more than 10 million died, while up to two million were killed in sub-Saharan Africa. Some estimates suggest that in Spain up to eight million people were infected, the country's papers' in-depth coverage of the outbreak prompting the "Spanish flu" name. But like other pandemics, the outbreak ended as quickly as it started. By the time it reached Australia in early 1919, the virus had taken on a milder form and while there were still deaths, the worst was over.

washingtonpost.com 16 Oct 2005 Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance By Mike Musgrove Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 16, 2005; F01 Parents who worry that video games are teaching kids to settle conflicts with blasters and bloodshed can take heart: A new generation of video games wants to save the world through peace and democracy. A team at Carnegie Mellon University is working on an educational computer game that explores the Mideast conflict -- you win by negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This spring, the United Nations' World Food Programme released an online game in which players must figure out how to feed thousands of people on a fictitious island. This weekend, the University of Southern California is kicking off a competition to develop a game that promotes international goodwill toward the United States, a kind of Voice of America for the gamer set. And lest anyone think only professors and policy wonks are involved, a unit of MTV this week announced a contest to come up with a video game that fights genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Internet-based computer games, in which players create characters in a virtual world and interact to solve problems or win battles, are branching out from fantasy into serious social issues. Academics recognize their power as a new form of mass entertainment, and activists hope to tap into their enormous worldwide popularity to reach a new generation used to interacting through computers. "It's been kind of a surprise for us. It just took off," said Jennifer Parmelee, a spokeswoman for the U.N.'s food program. So popular was the U.N.'s game, titled Food Force, Yahoo had to step in as a Web host for the game when swarms of Internet users converged on http://www.food-force.com/ and accidentally knocked it off-line. The game, which Parmelee said was initially regarded with skepticism within the U.N., has been downloaded 2 million times since its launch. Stephen Friedman, general manager of an MTV channel shown on college campuses, said he thinks his network's contest could help spread awareness of Darfur to young people who are interested in games but who don't follow world events. "Activism needs to be rethought and reinvented with each generation," he said. "This is a generation that lives online -- what better way to have an effect?" The network is promising a $50,000 prize to the student or team of students that comes up with the best idea. Carnegie Mellon's project, called PeaceMaker, is led by an Israeli citizen named Asi Burak, who has sought input from both sides of the conflict for the game his team is building. In it, players take a role as an Israeli or Palestinian leader charged with bringing peace to the region. Use too much military force and the region falls into violence -- but give too many concessions quickly and a leader risks assassination. "We want to prove that video games can be serious and deal with meaningful issues," said Burak, who will be lecturing about it at the Serious Games conference in Washington next month, a get-together dedicated to introducing game makers to potential clients interested in educational games. Edward Castronova, a professor at the University of Indiana who has written a book about the dynamics of virtual worlds, said he wishes the State Department would invest in an immersive online game that would appeal to teenagers across the globe -- a game in which players could participate in an online world governed by democratic principles. "It would just have one feature," he said, " live democracy. See what it's like when issues get resolved through peaceful voting and transition of power. "Games give you the opportunity to live a culture and I think that is dramatically more powerful and persuasive than a million leaflets or 60,000 Peace Corps volunteers." A State Department official said the agency doesn't have plans to make such an investment. "We are not generally a source of funding for experimental technology," said Jeremy Curtin, senior adviser to the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. "But we are very interested in what the private sector is doing in terms of creative use of technologies." USC professors Joshua Fouts and Douglas Thomas, the organizers of that school's contest, have discussed the project with State Department officials and hope to get a policymaker on their judging panel. The contest winner will be announced on the eve of a video game industry conference in Los Angeles next year. The two said their contest was inspired by playing and exploring the virtual world of an online game called Star Wars Galaxies, which lets players around the world log on and participate in the universe of the "Star Wars" movies. They found that many players from other countries had a negative view of Americans, an impression that sometimes became more positive as they played cooperatively with players based in the United States. "It's a virtual exchange program," said Fouts, who worked at Voice of America for six years before becoming the director of USC's Center on Public Diplomacy. The biggest challenge for programmers entering the contest might be one that policymakers and activists have never had to think about: The game will have to be fun. After all, the loftiest and most educational game in the world won't have much positive result if nobody plays it. David Tucker, a computer science major at the University of Maryland who hopes to land a job in game design, said he didn't know whether he'd want to play such a game or not. "I guess it would depend on the quality of the game," he said. "I know I have played games that don't have violence but are enjoyable." After a short pause, he added, "I can't think of any at the moment." "If you write a boring book and people stop on page two, it has no impact," said Jesse H. Ausubel, a director at the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, which provided $125,000 in funds to sponsor USC's contest. Is democracy "fun"? Castronova thinks aspiring game designers should have more than enough to work with for such a project. "You could look at the U.S. Constitution as a big game," he said. "We've been playing it for 200 years. And we love it."

AP 18 Oct 2005 Study says conflicts, genocide in decline World terrorism is reported to rise By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press | October 18, 2005 UNITED NATIONS -- A study issued yesterday paints a surprising picture of war and peace in the 21st century: Armed conflicts have declined by more than 40 percent since 1992, and genocide and human rights abuses have plummeted around the world. The only form of political violence that appears to be getting worse is international terrorism -- a serious threat that nonetheless kills extraordinarily few people per year compared with wars, it said. The first Human Security Report, financed by five governments, said the end of the Cold War and breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989-91 was the most important factor in the decline in armed conflicts: It ended the East-West ideological battle, stopped the flow of money to proxy wars in the developing world, and most importantly allowed the United Nations for the first time to begin to play the role its founders intended. ''Over the past dozen years, the global security climate has changed in dramatic, positive, but largely unheralded ways," the report said. ''Civil wars, genocides and international crises have all declined sharply." Professor Andrew Mack, who directed the three-year study, said there has been a shift away from the huge wars of the 1950s, '60s and '70s where million-strong armies faced one another with conventional weapons. ''The average war today tends to be very small, low intensity conflict, fought with ill-trained troops, small arms, and light weapons, often very brutal, with lots of civilians killed -- but the absolute numbers of people being killed are . . . much, much smaller than they were before," he said. Armed conflicts have not only declined by more than 40 percent since 1992, but the deadliest conflicts with over 1,000 battle deaths dropped even more dramatically -- by 80 percent. The number of international crises, often harbingers of war, fell by more than 70 percent between 1981 and 2001, the report said. Notwithstanding the genocides in Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in 1995, mass killings because of religion, ethnicity or political beliefs plummeted by 80 percent between the 1988 high point and 2001, it said. The report also traced other positive changes back to the post-World War II era. ''The average number of battle-deaths per conflict per year -- the best measure of the deadliness of warfare -- has been falling dramatically but unevenly since the 1950s," it said. In 1950, the worst year, the average war killed 37,000 people directly, Mack said. ''By 2002, it was 600 -- an extraordinary change." The postwar period also saw the longest period of peace between the major powers in hundreds of years, and attempted military coups have been in decline for 40 years, the study found. Mack, who directs the Human Security Center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said the report relies on new data from the Conflict Data Program at Sweden's Uppsala University and other sources. He said its statistics were probably the best available but added that decent data on wars and conflicts remained hard to obtain. ''We would never be confident about a single figure," he said. ''What we can be confident about is trends." See http://www.humansecurityreport.info/ and http://www.humansecuritycentre.org/

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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