Prevent Genocide International 

News Monitor for December 2002
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

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IRIN 3 Dec 2002 Government, main rebel group sign ceasefire deal ARUSHA, 3 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - After two days of tough negotiations and several alleged breakdowns of the talks, held in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the Burundian government signed a ceasefire accord with the main faction of the country's largest rebel group on Tuesday. The deal between the transitional government and Pierre Nkurunziza's faction of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD) ended the 19th regional summit on Burundi. The rivals appear to have compromised over the outstanding military and political issues that had blocked the talks and threatened the entire peace process. After signing the accord, Burundian President Pierre Buyoya and Nkurunziza reaffirmed their commitment to see the agreement to end the war that began in 1993 implemented fully. Details of the agreement are still sketchy. However, a Ugandan diplomat close to the talks said that the accord - the first that the South African talks facilitators have secured with a significant Hutu rebel faction - provided for the government army and the CNDD-FDD to retain their arms while the new national army was being established. Once done - split in equal proportions between Tutsis and Hutus at all levels - then disarmament of the remaining forces could go ahead. However, analysts expressed surprise at this arrangement. "Buyoya can never agree to the disarmament of the army," an analyst in Bujumbura told IRIN. "The army is the most volatile issue, and if he compromises, the situation is such that there is likely to be a coup." The communiqué released at the end of the summit, which also outlined the political aspects of the accord, said the CNDD-FDD would "take part in the power-sharing arrangements of the transitional government" and "will become a political party under a new law governing political parties". Many of the details of these political aspects are yet to be agreed on by the two parties. As a result, some observers are disappointed that more was not done to resolve the issues at the summit, rather than leaving them for later. At one stage on Monday, after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had congratulated all the parties and just as the initial signing ceremony was about to begin, the CNDD-FDD demanded to re-examine the ceasefire document. Then, claiming that a clause had been removed without its consent, it called for a rewrite. Museveni closed the summit, calling for an end to the "endless" and "unprincipled" wars in Africa, and saying that the onus of ending the resultant suffering was on both the peoples of the countries involved and the continent as a whole. Despite the optimism prompted by the attainment of the ceasefire accord, observers have said there could still be problems with its implementation, because the signatories reached agreement only in response to "enormous pressure". "Arusha was similar - people ended up feeling that they had to sign, because of the pressure and the need to look good. The result is that people don't believe in what they sign," one observer said. The ceasefire deal, which the talks facilitator, Deputy President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, called "another victory for Africa", was accompanied by stern warnings of sanctions against Agathon Rwasa's Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu-Force nationale de liberation, the remaining Hutu (Palipehutu-FNL) rebel group yet to join the peace process. At the previous summit in October, Palipehutu-FNL was given 30 days to sign a ceasefire. Instead, it stepped up the fighting. "I appeal to Palipehutu-FNL to stop what they are doing," Museveni said on Tuesday. "The region will not tolerate it. We are now on the verge of putting sanctions on the Palipehutu-FNL. They will be robust sanctions that will convince them not to cause trouble."

Central African Republic

IRIN 5 Dec 2002 First contingent of intervention force arrives BANGUI, 5 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The first contingent of the regional Central African Economic and Monetary Community Force (CEMAC) arrived in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital, Bangui, on Wednesday. "Yesterday about 90 Gabonese soldiers came and many more are expected today," Xavier Sylvestre Yangongo, the CAR's junior minister of defence told IRIN on Thursday. The mandate of the CEMAC force - headed by Gen Barthelemy Ratanga of Gabon - is to protect CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse. The force will replace the 200-man Libyan contingent that has been protecting Patasse since the abortive coup by former President Andre Kolingba in May 2001. The troops would also occupy strategic sites in Bangui, and monitor the border between the CAR and Chad, Yangongo added. France trained and equipped the CEMAC troops in its Gabonese (Libreville) military base, and is transporting them to the CAR. China has offered 100 million francs CFA (US $153,853) worth of military equipment, and both the US and the EU have also promised to contribute. The force, which will comprise a total of 350 soldiers from Gabon, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Mali, will be stationed in a former French military base near Bangui's international airport.

AFP 6 Dec 2002 Rebels firmly entrenched in the Central African Republic by Pierre Ausseill BOSSANGOA, CAR, Dec 6 (AFP) - Well-armed rebels, though thwarted in a coup bid against President Ange-Felix Patasse in October, have since gained control of much of the Central African Republic (CAR). An AFP correspondent travelling in the area found rebel forces in control of towns and villages within 40 kilometres (25 miles) of the capital Bangui, and in areas between the city and Sido on the border with Chad. Two weeks ago, the rebels seized the administrative district of Bossangoa, the home ground of former armed forces chief General Francois Bozize, who appears to have become a rebel after Patasse sacked him in November last year. Bozize claimed responsibility for a bloody bid to oust the head of state on October 25, which led to heavy fighting in northern Bangui for a week until the rebels were driven out by presidential troops and their foreign allies. Officers commanding different rebel units gather sometimes in Bossangoa, in the heart of the impoverished landlocked country's cotton-growing region, and discuss front-line news and tactics at a hostelry in the town centre. It was from Bossangoa that the rebels late last month attacked Bossembele, a strategic town controlling the road west towards Cameroon, before they were beaten back. At Bossembele, they fought heavily armed Libyan troops, backed by two ultra-light aircraft, and troops of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), a rebel force which holds part of the northern Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebel troops said they had never fought any battles with soldiers of the regular CAR army. Such was the state of affairs on Friday after more than 100 soldiers from Gabon arrived in Bangui, the first contingent in a regional peacekeeping force being deployed to ensure Patasse's security and secure the north. Patasse's request to MLC leader Jean-Pierre Bemba for help putting down the October coup bid angered both the opposition and some of his backers, notably because MLC rebels swiftly set about looting the capital they had liberated. On October 30, Bozize's supporters left Bangui, which had seen the fiercest fighting in a series of attacks on Patasse since he first took office in 1993, and they argued they feared for the lives of civilians. The government then claimed that the rebels had been routed and said the country was under its control right up to the border with Chad, where Bozize had first fled with armed supporters on being sacked. "We were chased for 48 hours by the loyalists, on the defensive," a rebel lieutenant who did not give his name told AFP. "But then, we got to Damara, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) north of Bangui, and we took the town." Days after that, rebel units headed down the road to within 40 kilometres of the capital, in spite of attacks by Libyan aircraft. A forward position held by rebels lies around there. "We're face to face, we can see them," one rebel soldier said. With Damara secured, other rebel forces headed east towards Sibut, a town controlling road access to Sudan. And then they moved northwards, taking Dekoa, the Kaga Bandoro and Batangafo districts, and Kabo, close to Chad. Kabo had been the base for pro-Patasse forces led by Colonel Abdoulaye Miskine, who was put in charge of securing the north in December last year and is accused by Chad of being a former south Chadian rebel. Patasse's government, in turn, accuses Chad of directly backing Bozize, whose supporters said they had driven Miskine's forces out of Kabo before moving against Bangui. Not a single government soldier, gendarme or police officer was to be seen on the road from Sido to Bossangoa, while the local authorities seemed to have vanished into thin air. Leaders in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community decided early in October, before the latest trouble began, to deploy peacekeeping troops in a force to total some 350 men. Gabon's contingent will be joined by soldiers from Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Mali.


IRIN 6 Dec 2002 Ex-President Hissene Habre's immunity waived ABIDJAN, 6 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday hailed the waiver of ex-President Hissene Habre's immunity by the Chadian government, saying it would pave way for his prosecution in Belgium. It also opens the way for his indictment and extradition from Senegal where he lives in exile, HRW said in a news release. "This waiver is a clear green light for Habre's prosecution," Reed Brody of HRW, which helped the Chadian victims file the case against Habre said. "We are one step closer to the day when Habre will have to answer in a court of law for his terrible crimes." In a letter to the Belgian judge investigating the charges against Habre, Chad's Justice Minister Djimnain Koudj-Gaou wrote: "Hissene Habre cannot claim to enjoy any form of immunity from the Chadian authorities". The document dated 7 October, 2002, was given to HRW on Friday and the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), which immediately made it public. In February and March, the Belgian judge, Daniel Fransen, visited Chad with a police team to investigate the charges against Habre. The judge visited Habre-era prisons and mass grave sites and interviewed victims as well as many of Habre’s collaborators, HRW said. The investigation has since been put on hold, however, as Belgian courts, restricted the scope of the anti-atrocity to cases in which the accused is already indicted in Belgium. The Belgian parliament is now considering two laws to overturn those decisions and restore the law’s longer reach, it added. Meanwhile Chadian activists hailed the waiver, HRW said. "For the first time, the Chadian government has committed itself to bring about justice and fighting impunity," it quoted Dobian Assingar, president of the Chadian League for Human Rights and vice-president of the FIDH, as saying. "We welcome this stand, but we will remain vigilant to see how this plays out." Habre, labeled an "African Pinochet", was indicted in Senegal two years ago on charges of torture and crimes against humanity before the Senegalese courts ruled that he could not be tried there. Chadian victims then filed charges against him in Belgium. The president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, has said that he would extradite Habre to Belgium if a request were made, HRW said. More information on the cases against Hissene Habre can be found at http://www.hrw.org/justice/habre/

Cote d’Ivoire

BBC 30 Nov 2002 Ivory Coast: Who are the rebels? There are now at least three groups of rebels By Paul Welsh BBC West Africa correspondent Perhaps the only thing now clear about Ivory Coast's war is that it is confused. Until now, what began here on 19 September has been called a mutiny, an uprising or a failed coup; it is taking on all the characteristics of a classic West African fight. We took up arms because they killed Robert Guei - I am fighting to avenge the general Felix Doh, MPIGO There are chilling similarities with the beginnings of the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone when new rebel groups sprang from the bush with alarming suddenness and regularity. There are now three rebel groups under arms in the country: The Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI) - which was the first to take up arms against the government The Movement for Justice and Peace The Ivorian Popular Movement of the Great West Attacks marked arrival The two new groups took advantage of a break in the ceasefire between the Ivory Coast Government and the MPCI to announce their arrival with attacks on cities in the west of the country. The city of Danane, 20 kilometres from the Liberian border, was the first to fall to the new rebels on 28 November - both of the largely unknown groups claim to have been responsible for its capture. The Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP) then took Man, the main city of the region, 70 kilometres further towards the centre of the country. Guei was killed as the uprising began On 30 November, the Ivorian Popular Movement for the Great West (MPIGO) moved further south and attacked Toulepleu. The region where they are fighting is by the Liberian border in the tribal homeland of the former military ruler General Robert Guei. The general was killed in mysterious circumstances on the first day of the original uprising in September. He had been accused of being behind the unrest; he had seized power in a coup in December 1999 and later lost it to the current President, Laurent Gbagbo, in elections. Both the MJP and the MPIGO say they are fighting to avenge General Guei's death and that they want President Gbagbo out of power. Family affair The MPIGO appears to be led by one of the late general's sons. A man who gave his name as Felix Doh telephoned the French news agency AFP saying he represented the MPIGO. "My men have taken Danane, are going all the way to San Pedro" he said, speaking of the second biggest port in Ivory Coast. "We took up arms because they killed Robert Guei. I am fighting to avenge the general." The Reuters news agency was contacted by a man representing the MJP who said he wanted the head of Laurent Gbagbo and that "we are going to go all the way to Abidjan," the main city of Ivory Coast and capital in all but name. Some of those fighting for the two new rebel groups came over the border from Liberia to fight. According to people in the newly taken areas, others have accents which suggest they are from Sierra Leone. The two countries have both suffered from long, vicious and inter-related wars involving numerous rebel movements. The rebels from both countries and from Guinea have supported and provoked each other's conflicts. The United Nations has just extended sanctions against Liberia because of the role it played in supporting rebels in Sierra Leone during the bloody conflict there. Stable neighbour collapses Ivory Coast had traditionally been the stable neighbour, now it looks in danger of being added to a sad list. Some rebels are more disciplined than others The idea that many of the fighters are linked to previous conflicts is supported by the difference between their behaviour and the way the original rebel force, the MPCI, is conducting itself. There are reports from Danane and Man of drug-taking and looting among the rebels there. They are said to be scruffy and undisciplined. Those who have held the northern half of the country since September are the opposite. They are not angels. I have seen some under the influence of drink or drugs, and they have carried out summary executions, but they are famously said to pay for everything they consume and there is an air of discipline among their number. It is the MPCI who have signed a truce with the government and who have entered into peace talks in the nearby country of Togo. Threatened demobilisation They began as a group of around 700 soldiers who took up arms against their own country because they were about to be demobilised against their wishes. They had been brought into the army by General Guei when he was in power and some had fought in the first coup. Some rebels have called for Gbagbo's head The mutineers, as they were, finished the first day of fighting in control of the northern half of the country but they were forced out of Abidjan and the south. Since then, they have been joined by others, including ex-soldiers who had been living abroad. Their movement slowly changed, adopted the name MPCI, and made more definite demands. They want President Gbagbo to step down and for there to be elections within six months, open to all Ivorians. Previously, leading opposition politicians have been refused the right to stand and a controversial new Ivorian identity card is likely to prevent many people - most of them opponents of the government - from voting The government says the MPCI is supported and directed from abroad, with the backing of a foreign country. No evidence has been offered to support the claims, but it is clear that the rebels are getting funds from somewhere. What is much more clear is that the new, more shady, groups do have links across the borders.

BBC 1 Dec 2002 Ivorian troops shell rebel-held town An evacuee worries about her father, left behind in Man Government forces have attacked the rebel-held town of Man in western Ivory Coast just hours after French troops evacuated foreigners from the area. President Laurent Gbagbo's forces first secured the airport in Man after the French moved out, then attacked the town itself. "The objective is to take the town before nightfall," said a military spokesman. A Canadian missionary in Man quoted by Reuters news agency said there had been "a heavy bombardment" and "lots of stray bullets". He said 150 people were sheltering at the Catholic Mission there. Evacuees from Man said the rebels were looting and firing into homes, terrorising the population, the BBC's Paul Welsh reports. Convoys of heavily armed troops headed towards Man on Sunday from Duekoue, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the town, and pickups were also seen carrying some white mercenaries towards the fighting, Reuters reported. Man and nearby Danane fell on Thursday to two previously unknown opposition groups who say they are not linked to the original rebel movement which sparked the anti-government revolt. Evacuation French troops recaptured Man airport on Saturday and evacuated 40 French nationals and another 120 foreigners - half of them Lebanese - from Man and Danane. Ex-military ruler Robert Guei was killed in September It was the first time the French soldiers had been drawn into combat since being sent to protect French citizens and other foreigners in the former colony. The intervention and evacuation - in which at least five guerrillas were killed - apparently angered the new rebel movements who call themselves the Movement for Justice and Peace and the Ivorian Popular Movement for the Great West. But residents fleeing Man said they were certain that the rebel groups there also included members of the main Patriotic Movement of Ivory Coast and fighters from war-ravaged Liberia across the border. One evacuee, Raj Angebat, told the BBC that the rebels were "going from house to house, taking cellphones, televisions, killing the dogs". Earlier, Gato Guillaume Prospere - a man calling himself a rebel commander - called the BBC to issue a warning to the French forces. The rebels started the Ivorian uprising 10 weeks ago "If France continues to attack our positions, they will raise the spectre of Rwanda here," he said. "They have no right to attack us and we will react." The rebel groups - who now control the mainly Muslim north of Ivory Coast - have moved the battle lines further south by attacking Toulepleu. The new rebels are from the Yacouba tribe and say they want to avenge the death of Ivory Coast's former military ruler General Robert Guei, who was killed on the first day of the uprising in September. But President Gbagbo has promised to end rebel control of all Ivorian areas and drive his opponents out of the country. The United Nations refugee agency says there are 47,000 displaced people in the area now controlled or being fought for by the rebels and a further 25,000 elsewhere in the country.

AP 1 Dec 2002 France Moves Foreigners From City in Ivory Coast By Clar Ni Chonghaile Associated Press Sunday, December 1, 2002; Page A32 ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Nov. 30 -- French troops evacuated foreigners today from a rebel-held city in western Ivory Coast as loyalist troops headed toward the area with orders to oust the insurgents. Eighty-three of 160 foreigners seeking to leave the city of Man were flown south to Abidjan, the commercial capital of this former French colony. The others were expected to follow on a second plane during the night, said Lt. Col. Ange-Antoine Leccia, spokesman for the French force. It was not known if any Americans were among the evacuees, half of whom are thought to be French citizens. Earlier, French soldiers fought gun battles with the rebels in Man -- a city of 135,000 people northwest of Abidjan -- while trying to secure the airport for the evacuation. One French soldier was wounded and at least five rebels were killed, Leccia said. Ivory Coast, the world's leading cocoa producer, has been divided three ways as a two-month rebel uprising evolves into a multi-front war in the former French colony. The government holds the south, including Abidjan. The rebels who launched the Sept. 19 uprising control the north, and the new insurgents claim the west. French forces evacuated hundreds of French, American and other foreigners from rebel-held towns in the north at the start of the uprising. The French troops are also monitoring a cease-fire agreed to by the northern rebels and the army on Oct. 17, but which has crumbled in recent days. Rebels calling themselves the Ivorian Popular Movement for the Greater West now hold two towns in the mountainous west -- Man, the center of a cocoa-producing area, and Danane, 40 miles farther west. Residents of the two cities described the rebels as young men dressed in a mix of military fatigues, black jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops. Some rode scooters and others had commandeered cars, the residents said, but there seemed to be little discipline among them. Peace talks in nearby Togo seemed on the brink of collapse after West African mediators rejected the latest rebel proposals. The increasingly acrimonious discussions have stalled on rebel demands that President Laurent Gbagbo step down -- a demand Ivorian authorities refuse to meet. The conflict has fanned tensions between northern and southern groups. The northern rebels say they oppose discrimination against mainly Muslim northern tribes by Christian and animist southern groups that have traditionally dominated the government.

IRIN 4 Dec 2002 Preparing for peace amid war ABIDJAN, 4 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Ensuring that the fight between loyalist forces and insurgents in Cote d’Ivoire does not degenerate into civil conflict pitting communities against each other is the task a section of Ivorian civil society has set itself. “You have to prepare for the postwar period while the war is going on, and that’s what we’re doing,” Honore Guie, spokesman of the Collectif de la Societe Civile pour la Paix (Civil Society Collective for Peace) told IRIN. “We are preparing people’s minds for the postwar period so that they do not try to seek revenge after the war.” The Collectif, launched on 29 October, includes the local chapters of two international organisations that promote democracy - the Groupe d'etude et de recherche sur la Democratie et le Developpement social en Afrique (GERDDES-CI) and Association internationale pour la democratie (AID-CI). Its other members are Buddhist, Christian and Muslim leaders, and country's two main human rights organisations - the Ligue ivoirienne des droits de l'homme (LIDHO) and Movement ivoirien des droits de l'homme (MIDH). Its work is supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Belgium, Canada, the European Commission, the UN Development Programme and the UN Children’s Fund. The more than 16 million inhabitants of the West African country have been affected in various ways by an insurgency that began on 19 September. The civil society groups’ decision to come together was motivated by the realisation that things could get much worse "if nothing decisive is done now to stop the beginnings of ethnic or religious clashes observed in certain areas of the country" as they said during the launch of the Collectif. During a pilot phase that ended in mid-November, the Collectif sent teams to Abidjan neighbourhoods and 10 of the country’s 58 departments, where they met administrative officials, ethnic, religious and political leaders, as well as representatives of women, young people and foreign communities. Follow-up committees made up of community representatives were formed with a view to pursuing the sensitisation so as to avoid ethnic or religious conflicts. "We still have 48 departments to visit," Guie told IRIN. "But these departments include some that are located in the zone that is in the hands of the insurgents. While it was easy for us to go to the areas controlled by loyalist forces with the support of the government, we haven't yet found the necessary security conditions that can allow us to go to the north. "However, we are trying to obtain those conditions through the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS - which is mediating between Cote d'Ivoire's government and rebels] and the UN system so that we can also reach all departments located in the territory occupied by the insurgents". One of the main challenges faced by the peace advocates is fear. In some areas, this prevented some political parties from responding to the invitations the teams sent out to prospective interlocutors. Fear has also conditioned the way communities view each other. "All ethnic communities are afraid," Guie said. Communities in the part of the country under the control of loyalist forces are afraid of the insurgents and communities who supposedly back the insurgents. Communities from the north of the country living in southern localities are afraid of being assimilated to the insurgents, and they are also afraid of being attacked by other communities." This fear, he said, was being kept up by individuals who have spreading rumours. In at least one case in October, level heads from two communities in the centre of the country were able to prevent rumours that one community was preparing to attack another from giving rise to clashes. Clashes have also occurred just after the insurgents took a town or just after its recapture by loyalist forces, Guie said. In some cases, the insecurity Cote d'Ivoire is now experiencing has added to existing tensions as in the southwest, where the sensitive issue of land ownership has given rise to periodic conflicts. These conflicts have opposed indigenous people and farmers from other Ivorian regions in some cases. In others they have pitted indigenes against migrants from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso. Such conflicts have sometimes caused massive displacement. In 1999, about 12,000 Burkinabe were displaced from an area near Tabou in the southwest. In 2000, other Burkinabe were displaced from Grand-Bereby, just east of Tabou. Guie admits his group has its work cut out. However, it does not pretend to be able to resolve such deep-rooted problems. "In the first analysis we are trying to calm everyone, to try to get people to live together pending a reduction in the tension," he says. "Once the tension is reduced, once the war is over, we think in-depth issues such as the land problem can be discussed calmly, with contributions from everyone. "Since we've seen now what war is, I think many concessions are going to be made on all sides so that we don't go through war again, a war that has traumatised everyone."

IRIN 5 Dec 2002 AU concerned at persistence of crisis ABIDJAN, 5 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The African Union has expressed grave concern at the persistence of the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire and the armed incidents which have recently taken place in the western part of the country. In a communiqué issued on Wednesday from its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the AU urged the Ivorian government and the rebel Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) to extend full cooperation to mediation efforts in order to speed up the negotiation process. This, the AU said, should be done with regard for the respect of constitutional legality, unity and territorial integrity of the country, the communiqué issued after the 87th ordinary session of the central organ of the mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution at ambassadorial level, said. Commending the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the mediation by the Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema and other regional efforts, the AU expressed support for the establishment of a liaison office in Cote d'Ivoire's commercial capital, Abidjan, to ensure closer monitoring of the situation. It appealed for funding for the ECOWAS to facilitate rapid deployment of a peacekeeping force in the country. It also welcomed the dispatch to Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Ghana of a delegation from the AU commission on refugees and displaced persons to assess the humanitarian impact of the crisis and to examine the modalities of AU assistance to the affected populations. Meanwhile, a west African summit that was scheduled to take place in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on 7 December has been postponed, news organisations reported on Thursday. The summit was to examine the modalities for the deployment of an ECOWAS peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire. The force was to replace the French troops who have been monitoring a ceasefire signed on 17 October by MPCI and accepted the government. Radio France International (RFI) reported that the new rebel group - Movement for Peace and Justice (MPJ) - had captured Koro, a town about 20 km north of Touba in western Cote d'Ivoire. Koro, in sugar-producing zone, was captured on Wednesday. While in the western town of Man, which the government said it had retaken from MPJ rebels early this week, BBC quoted eyewitnesses as saying bodies were littered on the streets. "I'm traumatized... There are bodies everywhere," Frenchman Carlos Fardom was quoted by the Associated Press as saying after fleeing the town on Wednesday. "Some people don't want to go out, because the bodies in the streets are decomposing, and it smells bad," a young man called Ndri said. The crisis which had started as a mutiny on 19 September and saw the country divided in two with the south in the government's hand and the north in the hands of MPCI, took a new twist on 28 November with the emergence of two new rebel groups MPJ and Ivorian Populaire Movement of the Great West (MPIGO) who captured four towns in the west.

IRIN 6 Dec 20002 ICRC urges respect for humanitarian law © ICRC ABIDJAN, 6 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday urged parties in the Ivorian conflict to comply with the rules of the international humanitarian law. In a news release, ICRC reminded all those bearing weapons of their obligation to respect in particular, the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols and to spare civilians and their property. It said furthermore that all those taking direct part in the hostilities, included wounded and captured combatants who were no longer able to defend themselves, must be treated with humanity and without discrimination. To execute such people without a fair trial, to loot civilian property or to hinder humanitarian action in any way were serious violations of humanitarian law, it noted. In the meantime, the organisation in collaboration with the Ivoirian Red Cross are providing emergency medical care for wounded soldiers and civilians in the western town of Man. In the other western towns of Toulepleu and Danane the National Society volunteers were also treating victims of the recent fighting and emergency medical supplies have been dispatched to Daloa military hospital also in the west, where soldiers wounded at the front are brought, it added. The World Food Programme has received a contribution of US $400,000 from the government of Switzerland to support its air operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, a WFP news release said on Friday. "The US $400,000 Swiss donation in West Africa comes at a time when needs in the region have become acute increasingly urgent," WFP Regional Director Manuel Aranda da Silva said. "Should WFP be forced to cut back these air operations, the ability of WFP as well as other UN agencies and NGOs {non-governmental organizations] to serve the region would be severely hampered," he added. The continuing crisis in Liberia, as well as the civil unrest in Cote d'Ivoire makes WFP's air operation vital - not only for passenger transport but also for the rapid delivery of emergency food rations, medical supplies and security evacuations, the agency stated. The Swiss contribution enables WFP to pursue air operations up to the end of February 2003. Meanwhile, French troops monitoring the ceasefire signed on 17 October by rebels of the Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) and accepted by the government said on Friday they had discovered a mass grave western area of Pelezi some 70 km from Daloa, news organisations reported. French army spokesman Ange-Antoine Leccia told Reuters that the grave was 30 metres long by two metres wide. Legs were protruding from the earth. "We do not know how many bodies are there, who killed these people, or when," he said. "It is not our mission to exhume the bodies and we are simply reporting what we have found," he added. The crisis Cote d'Ivoire started as a mutiny on 19 September and saw the country divided in two with the south in the government's hand and the north in the hands of MPCI. It however took a new twist on 28 November with the emergence of two new rebel groups MPJ and Ivorian Populaire Movement of the Great West (MPIGO) which captured four towns in the west.

AFP 6 Dec 2002 French troops discover mass grave in conflict-torn Ivory Coast ABIDJAN, Dec 6 (AFP) - French troops Friday reported the discovery of a mass grave in the west of divided Ivory Coast amid a government offensive against rebels and a call by the African Union for intensified efforts to end the deepening 11-week conflict. French troops policing a tattered ceasefire found the grave on Thursday in an area named Monoko-Zohi, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the key town of Daloa, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ange-Antoine Leccia told AFP. It was "a mound 30 metres (yards) long and two metres high from which bodies protruded," he said. "We do not know who the people are who were killed. Nor do we know how, why or by whom." The grave is near Pelezi, which the rebels from the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI) claimed government troops bombarded on Wednesday night, killing 12 civilians and wounding a similar number. Leccia said a villager who had led the French soldiers to the grave "also pointed out a well nearby where, according to him, there could be more bodies." The Ivorian army on Friday immediately denied responsibility. Lieutenant-Colonel Jules Yao Yao, the spokesman for the Ivorian army's chief of staff, said the grave was in a village "under rebel control". "The republican forces have nothing to do with this affair. These killings can only be the work of the insurgents, whose methods are known to all," he said. In October, residents of Daloa accused members of the Ivorian security forces of kidnapping and killing dozens of people in the town, a major cocoa-growing centre. They alleged that the victims had been ethnic Dioulas and were killed on suspicion of supporting the rebels, many of whom belong to the same tribe. The Ivory Coast army meanwhile said Friday it was continuing an offensive against two new rebel movements who took up arms last week. Spokesman Jules Yao Yao said the army was conducting mopping up operations at Man, the main town in the mountainous west where it has been trying to rout rebels since Sunday. "The cleaning up operations and the consolidation of republican forces positions is still continuing in this town and the region. Life has returned to normal in this area," he said. Man, Danane, Toulepleu and Touba, all near the Liberian border, fell to the new rebel groups last week. The army and rebels have for days made contradictory claims about who was winning the battle for Man. Yao Yao said "wider operations to flush out .... rebels from the Eighteen Mountains region" were going on successfully, adding that according to a "provisionary toll" two soldiers had been killed and 12 wounded in the fighting while "several had been killed on the side of the enemy". He said security forces would from Friday impose even stricter war-time measures in the country, where a curfew has been in place for 11 weeks. Police would step up their searches in residential areas and would have permission to shoot without warning at anybody they considered suspicious, he said. The African Union (AU), in a communique sent on Friday to AFP in Addis Ababa, meanwhile stressed "the need for the region to strengthen its cohesion and its unity of action" in the handling of the Ivorian crisis. The AU Central Organ for Conflict Management -- akin to the United Nations' Security Council -- "urged the leaders of the region to intensify their efforts at promoting confidence and understanding, in order to facilitate peace." West African mediators managed to broker a ceasefire in October but the truce was shattered last week. Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema, a regional heavyweight, also initiated peace talks which have been deadlocked. Regional peace efforts have recently been marred by complaints from Senegal, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, that it had been sidelined in efforts to end the Ivorian crisis.

BBC 7 Dec 2002 'Foreigners' in Ivory Coast mass grave The army claims to have retaken the western town of Man A mass grave found in the western village of Monoko-Zohi in Ivory Coast on Thursday contained bodies of immigrants, representatives of the local community say. The leader of the village's Burkinabe` community, Ibrahima Ouedraogo, said the grave held 120 men. Mr Ouedraogo said the men had been killed by Ivory Coast soldiers, and buried by villagers when the soldiers left two days later. French soldiers found the grave following fierce fighting between government soldiers and rebel groups. The French have not investigated who was behind the massacre. The government denies any responsibility, saying the rebels are to blame - the village is in rebel-held territory. Ivory Coast used to be West Africa's richest country but 11 weeks after an army mutiny, some diplomats fear that it could descend into the anarchy and massive blood-letting of civil wars in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The conflict could also draw in several neighbouring countries, which have many thousands of citizens in Ivory Coast or which are accused of backing one or other sides. Weeks of talks mediated by West African diplomats have failed to find a political solution to the crisis, which escalated last week when two new rebel groups emerged in the west of the country. Massacre The mass grave was found in territory held by the rebel Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI) 70km north-west of the key cocoa-trading town of Daloa, which is now in loyalist hands. Mr Ouedraogo said Ivorian army troops arrived in the village, travelling in six trucks with Ivorian military markings. The victims had been killed by "men in uniform," who were "aided by some villagers". The rebels are recruiting young Ivorians He said soldiers had accused merchants of feeding the rebels before going from house to house rounding up and killing men, at times working from a list of names. The bodies were found protruding from a mound which was 30 metres wide and two metres high, said a spokesman for the French forces in Ivory Coast, Lieutenant Colonel Ange-Antoine Leccia. The MPCI dominates the largely Muslim north of the country, while troops loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo retain control of the mainly Christian south. MPCI regional commander Zacharias Kone blamed the killings on the government, which attacked earlier this week. Mr Gbagbo has blamed the rebels for the mass killing. "The president has been informed and he is profoundly shocked by this macabre discovery. This can only be a crime committed by the rebellion," his spokesman Alain Toussaint said. Corpses everywhere People have been fleeing the fighting in Man, one of four towns captured last weekend by new rebel groups the Movement for Justice and Peace and the Ivorian Popular Movement for the Great West. Eyewitnesses fleeing Man, which the army said they recaptured earlier this week, report that the streets are littered with bodies. People are fleeing Ivory Coast for Liberia "There were hundreds of dead... Everywhere we went was piled with corpses," said philosophy teacher Julien Adeko Achi, adding that the bodies had fallen "like dead chickens ahead of a New Year feast". They say they are fighting to avenge the death of former military ruler, Robert Guei, who was killed in the first days of the rebellion in late September. The United Nations human rights commissioner, Sergio Vieira de Mello, has warned both sides in the conflict that they would be brought to trial by the International Criminal Court for any serious crimes committed during the fighting.

AP 7 Dec 2002 120 Civilians Killed in Ivory Coast By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 9:38 p.m. ET MONOKO-ZOHI, Ivory Coast (AP) -- Terrorized villagers on Saturday showed the burnt shops and covered corpses from what appeared to be the worst bloodletting of Ivory Coast's three-month war -- a massacre of 120 unarmed civilians by government soldiers, survivors claimed. Revelations of the mass grave at the central village of Monoko-Zohi came amid reports of heavy fighting in western Ivory Coast. Rebels and locals said Saturday that insurgents had taken another town, Blolekin, while pushing east into the heart of Ivory Coast, said Maj. Frederic Thomazo, part of a 1,000-strong French contingent in the former French colony. Meanwhile, the government called for a ``general mobilization'' Saturday, urging all Ivorians between the ages of 20 to 26 ``who have decided to go to the front to defend the republic'' to sign up with the army. ``In order to finish with these aggressors and free our country, I want to appeal solemnly for a general mobilization of Ivorians beneath the flag,'' Defense Minister Bertin Kadet said on state television. Tensions heightened further over emerging allegations of the massacre at Monoko-Zohi. Ivory Coast's army and government strongly denied wrongdoing, insisting Saturday that the dead were not civilians but rebels killed in combat. However, insurgents denied having their militia in the village of Monoko-Zohi and surviving villagers said the massacre victims were merchants and African guest workers on the region's lush cocoa and coffee fields. Villagers said the killing in Monoko-Zohi started when six marked Ivory Coast military trucks arrived Nov. 27 carrying uniformed Ivory Coast soldiers. Soldiers accused the villagers of feeding rebels and then went house-to-house in the hamlet with a list of names, survivors alleged. ``We heard the shooting -- we panicked, and we all ran,'' said Kamousse, a merchant who was showing a customer a radio when the soldiers arrived. ``But my brother stayed in the house. He said, 'Maybe it's just someone shooting into the air.' Afterward, they took him behind the house to the latrine and shot him,'' Kamousse said. French troops, who are in Ivory Coast to enforce a now-shattered cease-fire, first reported the mass grave Friday. The Associated Press viewed the scene Saturday. Monoko-Zohi is about 70 miles northwest of the government-held city of Daloa. A spokesman for President Laurent Gbagbo invited international human rights experts and doctors to the site. He also said rebels dug a mass grave near the rebel-held central city of Bouake. ``The French army and the special correspondents of Western media know of the existence of a mass grave near Bouake where the bodies of around 100 soldiers and their families were buried after they were taken and executed by the rebels,'' spokesman Toussaint Alain said. A nearly 3-month-old rebellion has torn the once prosperous West African nation into three parts. Rebels hold the north and are struggling now to hold the west and move east against a fierce government offensive. Fierce fighting continued Saturday with the reported rebel capture of the town of Blolekin. The reported advance put the rebels about 60 miles further east of the Liberian border. Civilians at a village east of Blolekin were said to be fleeing Saturday, escaping a feared showdown there between advancing rebel and government forces. In government territory Saturday, AP journalists saw pickup trucks full of Ivorian soldiers and white mercenaries -- some in black balaclavas to hide their faces -- rushing west to the offensive. Young village men and a vastly increased number of rebels roamed the insurgent region with weapons that included Uzis, AK-47s and an anti-aircraft gun. At Monoko-Zohi, bloody gore marked the scene of the alleged massacre. Limbs stuck out of a mass grave 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. Over two days, Nov. 27-28, soldiers shot some victims where they found them and gathered others for mass executions, said Ibrahima Ouedraogo, a surviving village elder. Survivors said loyalist forces killed some by slitting their throats. Villagers insisted they had no doubt the killers were government soldiers. ``We know their uniforms,'' said Adiriara Ouedraogo, a female worker from Burkina Faso who fled after the killings. Ivory Coast authorities initially said rebels must have been responsible for the killings. On Saturday, an army spokesman indicated loyalist forces were responsible, but said the dead were rebel combatants, not civilians. ``Look, this is very simple,'' spokesman Lt. Col. Jules Yao Yao said by telephone. ``The victims were rebels who were killed in combat. They then gathered the bodies, and buried them together. It's as simple as that.'' The French military says the village is on the rebel side of an Oct. 17 cease-fire line. However, a rebel commander claimed Saturday that rebels had no fighters in the hamlet before the shooting and fighters moved in only after villagers came to tell them of the killings and ask for help. ``At that point we didn't even know this area. It wasn't our territory,'' commander Zacharia Kone said at the village. Gbagbo took office in 2000 elections meant to restore democratic rule. The coup-installed military government tried to steal the vote, however, and violence aborted the election. A people's revolt put Gbagbo in power. Rebels, including hundreds of disgruntled former army officers, are demanding Gbagbo resign and make way for new elections. They launched their uprising with a failed Sept. 19 coup attempt.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Reuters 4 Dec 2002 UN approves thousands more peacekeepers in Congo By Irwin Arieff UNITED NATIONS, Dec 4 - The U.N. Security Council cleared the way on Wednesday for nearly 3,200 additional peacekeepers to be sent into the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo as the central African country's long civil war grinds down. A resolution approved unanimously by the 15-nation council raised the U.N. troop ceiling in the vast and mineral-rich nation to 8,700 from the current 5,537 in an effort to advance the peace process -- which has been moving forward at a glacial pace -- into its final phase. In that phase, rebel and foreign soldiers who have been fighting in the four-year civil war would be disarmed and sent home to be re-integrated into civilian life. The vote on the resolution was delayed by a day when the United States tried to add language to the text that would have kept U.S. peacekeepers in Congo from the reach of the International Criminal Court. There are currently no U.S. peacekeeping soldiers in Congo and Washington dropped the effort after other council members refused to go along. The new court was set up to pursue atrocities like genocide, war crimes and gross human rights abuses. But U.S. President George W. Bush has rejected it, arguing it could be used by a malicious prosecutor to ensnare U.S. peacekeepers or other officials through politically motivated law suits. The Congo war has drawn in five neighboring countries and numerous rebel groups and more than 2 million people have died, most of them from hunger and disease. TROOP WITHDRAWALS LEAVE VACUUM Government and rebel representatives have been holding talks in the South African capital of Pretoria since Nov. 15 on a power-sharing transitional government, so far without an agreement. Peace efforts have been boosted by recent withdrawals of thousands of foreign troops who fought on either side and were accused by the United Nations of using the war to loot Congo's vast mineral wealth. But the withdrawals have also had the unfortunate side effect of stoking instability by creating power vacuums in some areas that the United Nations and Congo's government in government have been unable to fill. Kinshasa's authority does not extend to huge parts of the country and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo has been too thinly stretched to do much more than monitor the front line stretching across the lawless jungles of eastern Congo. There are currently about 4,200 U.N. peacekeeping soldiers in Congo, well below the authorized ceiling. Many of the newly authorized troops would be sent to the east, in phases, to help keep order and assist in the process of disarming foreign troops and sending them home. The council resolution welcomed recent moves by Angola, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe to withdraw their troops and called on all armed groups in the conflict to support the U.N. peacekeepers in the demobilization work. The resolution also expressed concern over a recent surge in ethnically targeted violence in Ituri province in the northeastern corner of Congo near its border with Uganda, and authorized U.N. troops to be sent to the area, if needed. U.N. officials and Amnesty International have warned of a possible ethnic blood bath in the area like the 1994 genocide in nearby Rwanda, in which 800,000 people were massacred.

Human rights activist assassinated © IRIN NAIROBI, 4 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - A human rights activist, along with his wife and young child, have been assassinated in their home close to Uvira in South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ndaheba Rusagara, president of the Committee for Mediation and Defence in Sange, Uvira territory, was killed on 30 November by heavily armed men in uniform, a partner organisation, Hiers of Justice, reported on Tuesday. Two other children seriously wounded in the attack were now in Uvira's general hospital, it said. A similar incident occurred in November 2001, when Djuma Pili Rumanya, also a member of CMD and Heirs of Justice, was killed in Uvira. Ndaheba's name had been added to the "long list" of human rights activists killed for their work in the DRC, the organisation said. Heirs for Justice has called for an independent inquiry into the killings.

IRIN 5 Dec 2002 MONUC substantially reinforced DRC President Joseph Kabila and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan NAIROBI, 5 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The strength of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) is to be expanded to a total of 8,700 military personnel and have its presence extended eastwards. The UN reported on Wednesday that the Security Council had unanimously adopted a resolution agreeing to a "new concept" of operations for MONUC which included a shift of emphasis eastwards, and a significant strengthening of its military capacity through the creation of a "forward force" of two robust task forces based in Kindu and Kisangani. The mission would provide security at sites allocated for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process, assist in the destruction of impounded weapons and munitions, and continue to monitor the withdrawal of foreign troops from the DRC. In addition, riverine units would be used to support the reopening of the Congo river to commercial traffic, the UN said. MONUC currently has a force of 4,309 uniformed personnel, comprising 455 military observers, 3,803 troops and 51 civilian police. These are supported by 549 international and 636 local civilian personnel. In a separate development, during talks on Tuesday with the head of MONUC, Amos Namanga Ngongi, rebel leader Thomas Lubanga pledged security for humanitarian workers in the Ituri District of northeastern DRC. "Mr Lubanga [leader of the Union des patriotes congolais] reacted positively and promised to provide security guarantees for the NGOs working in the region," Hamadoun Toure, the MONUC spokesman, said. He added that in order to defuse tensions in the region, a UN humanitarian coordinator would also be appointed in Bunia. The Security Council has called upon all parties to cooperate in the establishment of the Ituri Pacification Commission and requested UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to increase MONUC's presence in the area.


East African Standard (Nairobi) 6 Dec 2002 OPINION What is Orengo's Message to Voters? Nairobi The future of Kenya as a nation, writes Prof Okoth Okombo, lies not in rekindling ethnic prejudices and suspicions, but in securing the future through patriotic exuberance. In Kenya, as elsewhere, multi-ethnic nationalism is a delicate political formation. So delicate that it often stretches to the limit our resources for patriotism. Our hope always is that those who get the privilege of occupying positions of leadership will have inexhaustible reservoirs of such rescues. At the minimum, that is what we expect of our presidential candidates. To my mind, and I believe, in the perception of most Kenyans, that Social Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr James Aggrey Orengo, is the extreme opposite (lovers of Greek would say the antithesis) of Mr Dickson Kihika Kimani. Indeed, few Kenyans would tolerate hearing the two names mentioned in the same breath. If nothing else, such perceptions explain why I could not believe my eyes when last Sunday, I read in the Sunday papers that Mr Orengo - that firebrand nationalist of the Muungano wa Mageuzi fame - is now anchoring his presidential campaign on despicable Luo-Kikuyu ethnic prejudices. That is something I would laugh off without a second thought if it came from Kimani, a latter day patriarch seeking to establish a family-based political hegemony in his sphere of influence. When Orengo was busy trying to cultivate a sense of nationalism in the student politics of the mid-1970s at the University of Nairobi, Kimani was busy championing the narrowest of Kikuyu interests in the then acrimonious politics of the Kenyatta succession. Since those days, Orengo's public comportment has always been that of a nationalist. It is that nationalist facade which makes the Luo forgive Orengo when he teams up with Dr Apollo Njonjo -a veritable Kikuyu man - to haunt Prof Anyang' Nyong'o - a Luo- from Orengo's not so distant neighbourhood, out of the SDP establishment. According to the Sunday Standard of December 1, Njonjo is "Orengo's main man" in the SDP presidential campaign. That, in itself, is a laudable nationalist gesture. So, how does the SDP presidential candidate expect the Luo to understand his message when he contradicts his nationalist reputation and attempts to outdo Kihika Kimani in the retrogressive discourse of ethnic jingoism? Are we to laugh it off in the same manner that we normally laugh off the antics of Mr Kimani? Is Mr Orengo aware of the stressful extent to which he is stretching his credibility among the Luo, ready to forget the past to secure the future for Kenya? Probably not, but he would find it pretty hard to re-invent himself Let us get to the basics: The main theme of the civic education given to the Kenyan voters in their preparation for participation in the recently suffocated constitutional review process was making informed choices. The relevant question in this regard is: What constitutes legitimate Luo interest in the current election politics? Top of the agenda is joblessness and the pathetically low levels of income in that part of Nyanza. These twin tragedies are easily relatable to such economic evils as the exploitative practices in the fishing industry, the bullying of the sugar industry, and the killing of the textile industry. Another factor, which both derives from and further feeds Luo poverty is the shocking drop in educational standards, thanks to the poor state of schools and absence essential facilities. Moreover, like other Kenyans, the Luo have a legitimate interest in power sharing and securing enough democratic space to pursue their occupational and social objectives without undue political interference. Indeed, the list of legitimate interests in the current election politics could be extended to include, for example, the poor condition of roads in Nyanza and the need to guarantee safety from Kanu's vengeance. But the long and short of it is that such interest cannot be served by rekindling inter-ethnic hostilities as Orengo's presidential campaign is doing. The Luo have had nearly four decades to protect against the wrongs done to them by the perpetrators of such hostilities. This long protest has not been without socio-economic costs. It is now time for the Luo to join other Kenyans in reconstructing our nation and deriving the corresponding benefits as Kenyan citizens who deserve to get from their country no less than anyone else. Leaders who claim a Luo constituency must make concrete proposals about how they intend to engineer this revivalist spirit in the community. They must fire the community's imagination with ideas on how they may improve their low standards of living, not just with ethnic prejudices packaged in insincere political demagoguery. Let me emphasise that handling the challenges of ethnic diversity in a young nation such as Kenya is a daunting task. Since independence, our ethnic tensions have had regrettable consequences. But we must also remember that each of the few achievements we cherish in this country, like the re-introduction of multi-party politics, is attributable to those moments in our history when we have put aside our inter-ethnic hostilities and acted as one people. What Kenya is experiencing now calls for such action. This is certainly not the time for cheap, manipulative politics. Our salvation, not only in Luo Nyanza, but everywhere in Kenya lies in our ability to weaponise the voter's card. The writer is a professor of linguistics at University of Nairobi


Ravalomanana set to triumph in legislative elections © IRIN An election victory would consolidate President Marc Ravalomanana's power JOHANNESBURG, 5 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Madagascar goes to the polls on 15 December, almost exactly a year since disputed presidential elections which plunged the island into a violent power struggle. The much-anticipated legislative elections are expected to legitimise Marc Ravalomanana's presidency and pave the way for further economic reconstruction. The election is in line with demands by the international community and the African Union (AU) that fresh polls be held before the end of the year. This was part of a set of resolutions to defuse the stand-off between ex-president Didier Ratsiraka, who refused to accept his election defeat by Ravalomanana, who eventually declared himself president - a move endorsed by the country's highest court. Although 40 parties are vying for 160 seats in the Malagasy National Assembly, analysts predict the elections would probably develop into a power struggle between Ravalomanana's newly founded party Tiako i Madagasikara (I love Madagascar), and the traditional ruling AREMA party. "It goes without saying that Ravalomanana's party will be victorious in the election. But this is not to say that AREMA has no support. While in Antananarivo [the capital], it is unlikely that AREMA will get any support, in Tamatave [a Ratsiraka stronghold], there are groups of supporters who have been resistant to Ravalomanana's changes. But people want change and that is what the results will probably show," Jean Erick Rakotoaresoa, a law professor at the University of Antananarivo told IRIN. Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said preparations for the poll were on track. "In some of the more remote areas we had to deliver ballot boxes by helicopters and small planes but these are the usual logistical considerations in a country such as this. All of the six provinces have received the ballot boxes and papers and they have distributed it to the local authorities. We are happy with the progress so far," chief technical advisor to the IEC, Jose Astorkia, said. Following his defeat in July, Ratsiraka fled to France leaving the once powerful AREMA party leadership in disarray. Recently, its secretariat called for a delay of the poll, saying it needed more time to regroup. Moreover, the party suggested the setting up of a national reconciliation forum prior to the holding of the election. But with Ravalomanana having already received widespread support for his interim administration, both locally and internationally, the government was not inclined to compromise. Since early last month a European Union (EU) observer mission has been monitoring preparations for the elections. But the AU, which has been reluctant to endorse Ravalomanana's presidency, has yet to respond to an invitation to be part of the international observer mission. Ravalomanana, a self-made millionaire and former mayor of Antananarivo, has vowed to reduce widespread poverty and improve the living standards of the country's almost 15 million people.


Guardian UK 1 Dec 2002 Why Is Nigerian Islam So Radical? By MATT STEINGLASS DJENNE, Mali — LIKE Nigeria, which recently exploded in religious violence after trying to hold the Miss World pageant, this ancient Islamic city has done battle with the Western beauty industry. In 1988, when an Italian television crew taped a provocative fashion show at Djenne's fabled mud-walled Great Mosque, the residents were outraged. But unlike Nigeria, Mali did not erupt. Djenne closed the mosque to non-Muslims, and that was the end of the matter. Sokode, a Muslim city in Togo, 500 miles southeast of here, was host in August to a round of the Miss Togo contest, swimsuits and all. But there was no protest. "We had 23 contestants, including a number of Muslim girls, and everything went just fine," said Kossivi Tanla, the contest's legal adviser. There are a half-dozen Muslim countries in West Africa. Several others are, like Nigeria, split between a Christian south and a Muslim north. But only Nigeria struggles with a strong radical Islamist movement, and only Nigeria has Shariah, the strict rule of law based on the Koran, in certain states. While northern Muslims and southern Christians are at war in Ivory Coast, the conflict is exclusively ethnic and nationalist: southerners stigmatize northerners as non-Ivoirian immigrants and shut them out of politics. In Nigeria, on the other hand, when Isioma Daniel, a journalist, said in a newspaper article that Muhammad might have married a Miss World contestant, Muslims vandalized churches and attacked Christians. More than 200 people died in the riots. What makes Nigeria so different? History, for one. "Nigeria is very unusual in that it has a recent history of Shariah rule," said David Westerlund, an expert in religious history at Uppsala University in Sweden. In the early 19th century, Usman dan Fodio led a jihad across northern Nigeria, creating a theocratic caliphate in the far northern city of Sokoto. The British took over northern Nigeria in 1900, keeping the Sokoto dynasty as part of their system of indirect rule, but banning punishments like amputation and stoning. By the mid-20th century, northern Nigeria was the only region outside the Arabian peninsula where Islamic criminal law was fully enforced. After independence in 1960, Nigeria's new secular constitution declared that criminal law was now a matter for the secular courts; Islamic courts were limited to family law. But Nigeria experienced a series of military coups and became increasingly lawless. By the late 1970's, Muslim students, inspired by the Iranian revolution, were demanding a return to Islamic law. Democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999, and Shariah became a popular campaign issue in the north; it has so far been instituted in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states. "The introduction of Shariah has a lot to do with the democratic process," said Frieder Ludwig, an associate professor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, who studies Muslim-Christian relations in Nigeria. "The northern Muslims are trying to redefine their identity." Nigeria has a federal system, inherited from the British, which allows northern states to elect pro-Shariah governors, who could never win a national contest. In contrast, most of Muslim West Africa was colonized by the French, who left behind centralized governments that appointed local governors. That means no regional campaigns, and fewer chances for candidates to barnstorm for Islamic law. In Nigeria, most national leaders, whether military or elected, have been Muslims, reassuring the north that the economically stronger south would not run roughshod over them. But since 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, has been in power. Meanwhile, the Christian population is rising in the north. "Some of the governors of Middle Belt states are now charismatic Christians," Mr. Ludwig said. "So in a way Shariah can be regarded as a movement of Muslims who feel themselves deprived of power." But none of this entirely explains why Nigeria is so different from, say, Ghana. Ghana, too, was colonized by the British; it has a powerful evangelical Christian movement, a Muslim north and a new democratic government. Yet there has been little religious violence, and no pressure to impose Islamic law. "I can't remember anything in the history of this country where Muslims and Christians have clashed," said Kassim Larry, a Muslim community organizer in Accra, the capital of Ghana. As for beauty contests, he added, there are a lot of them. "Just this morning I heard something on the radio, a contest for 18-year-old girls who have to be virgins," Mr. Larry said. "Muslims don't believe in women exposing their bodies, but Ghana is a secular country. It's a tolerant place." Ultimately, the reason Nigeria exploded while the rest of West Africa slumbered may simply be that everything in Nigeria is exaggerated. Its population of 130 million outnumbers that of the rest of West Africa combined. Its oil has made a few families staggeringly wealthy, while a vast majority are among Africa's poorest. Nigerians have a boisterous and critical free press. But that was what led to a fatwa, calling for the death of Isioma Daniel. Nigeria's papers are already moderating their tone. "We have to be very, very careful in what we write, especially about Shariah," said Jahman Anikulapo, managing editor of The Guardian, a Lagos newspaper. "The whole place is under a spell. Anything could happen."

IRIN 4 Dec 2002 Electoral body registers 22 new parties LAGOS, 4 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Nigeria’s electoral body said on Tuesday it had registered 22 new political parties, bringing to 28 the number to contest next year’s general elections. Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC), Abel Guobadia, told a news conference in the capital Abuja that three out of 25 parties that had applied for registration failed to meet the revised guidelines issued by the body. "The commission wishes to congratulate the new political parties for their success, and further wishes them good fortune," Guobadia said. INEC had called for fresh applications last month from political parties seeking registration after the Supreme Court had overruled as unconstitutional several conditions used by the body to deny the 25 parties registration in June. All the five political parties that took legal action against INEC were registered in the latest exercise. With the registration of the parties, the coming general elections will be contested by the highest number of political parties ever since Nigeria adopted the presidential system of government in 1979. Only three political parties, the ruling People’s Democratic Party and the opposition All Nigeria People’s Party and Alliance for Democracy, were registered for the 1999 vote that ended more than 15 years of military rule in Africa’s most populous country. Three new political parties, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, the United Nigeria People’s Party and the National Democratic Party, were granted registration by INEC in June. Most of the new parties approved by the body on Tuesday are left-leaning. Among them is the National Conscience Party, led by radical lawyer Gani Fawehinmi, who had led the legal action against INEC and the Green Party, Nigeria’s first environmentalist political party.

IRIN 6 Dec 2002 Christians won’t turn cheek for Muslims, says bishop LAGOS, 6 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Sunday Mbang, said on Thursday Christians will in future retaliate for any acts of violence carried out by Muslim militants against their churches or members. Mbang, who is also the bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, said President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government failed to give Christians adequate protection during the sectarian violence that erupted last month in the northern city of Kaduna over the country’s hosting of the Miss World pageant. More than 200 people were killed in four days of violence following Muslim fury at a Thisday newspaper article that suggested prophet Mohammed would have approved of the beauty contest and may have chose one the contestants for a wife. CAN is the umbrella organisation of all Christian denominations in Nigeria. "Nigerian Christians are completely disgusted with the seemingly insatiable desire by some misguided Muslim brothers to take lives and property at the slightest excuse," he said. "We no longer want to turn the other cheek." Mbang said Christians will no longer "fold our arms while our brethren in any part of the country" are being attacked and killed. The CAN position reflects a hardening of positions in the two main religious groups in the country of 120 million. The authorities in the pro-Muslim Zamfara State had declared a fatwa or death edict on Isioma Daniel, the Thisday reporter whose wrote the controversial article. Nigeria has suffered spells of religious violence claiming thousands of lives since 12 states in the country’s predominantly Islamic north began to adopt the strict Shari’ah legal code in the past two years. Most Christians and non-Muslims, who are dominant in southern Nigeria, view the new legal codes as attempts at Islamisation of the whole country.

This Day (Lagos) 7 Dec 2002 Aniagolu National Decries Decay, Political Killings Ahamefula Ogbu Enugu Former Supreme Court Justice, Mr. Justice Anthony Aniagolu yesterday lamented the deteriorating state of the Nigerian nation and widespread killings in the country and wondered why there was general lack in the midst of abundant resources. Aniagolu who was Chairman at the second lecture series in memory of late Ugwu Sunday Ugwu who is alleged to be the first victim of political assassination in Enugu State, further deplored the lack of value on human life in the country which has manifested in widespread killings. Nigeria Competition Bill Your Comments Requested "It is only in Nigeria that the Attorney-General of the Federa-tion in the person of Chief Bola Ige would be assassinated and nothing happens. It is also only in Enugu State that people are killed in these numbers and nothing happens. My brother, is this what we had in mind about democracy,? he asked. He called on the electorate to stand up and protect their rights as well as demand for service from leaders as the mandate they exercise reserves in the voters. "It is our duty to make democracy work here. We cannot sit and watch the will of the majority put aside by a few. You cannot afford to see a country endowed with all manner of resources being run in a despicable manner. "You must stand up to be counted as God created you to be something. No water, no electricity yet we pride ourselves in Nigeria to be the greatest in West Africa. Go home and spread the news of what we should do and what is going to happen about the change of government in Nigeria and Enugu State come 2003", he said. In paper, African Sense of Sacredness of life, the Vicar General of Enugu Catholic Diocese, Professor Obioke who was the guest lecturer wondered where the belief of politicians started to wear off. "They no longer attach importance to life which they now take with impunity. Professor Ike was represented by Reverend Father Evans Offor who drew the attention of those who take life to bible injunctions in Exodus 20, "Thou Shall not kill". "It is certain that life means little to the politicians. Our brand of politics has no respect for life, we are talking about Sunday Ugwu but who killed him and why was he killed," he querried. He lamented that the same lack of value for life led to the death of 14 worshippers at Adora-tion Ground on March 7, 2002 and wondered why people keep silent in the face of such sad events.


IRIN 28 Nov 2002 Negotiating parties to visit United States NAIROBI, 28 Nov 2002 (IRIN) - Sudanese warring parties are expected to visit the United States in mid-December at the invitation of President George W. Bush's government, according to official sources. Muhammad Ahmad Dirdeiry, charge d'affaires at the Sudanese embassy in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, told IRIN that a number of representatives of both the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army, had been invited to attend a "brief" meeting in the US, and both sides had accepted. They would brief US government officials on the progress of the latest round of peace talks held under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which this month wound up in Machakos, Kenya, according to Dirdeiry. During the talks, which ended on 18 November, the parties agreed on a broad set of principles, which included the extension of a countrywide ceasefire and humanitarian access to vulnerable populations in disputed regions of southern Sudan. The parties however failed to reach a deal on key wealth- and power-sharing proposals. The talks are expected to resume in January, but a date has yet to be set. Observers view the US invitation as part of its role as a key player in the Sudanese peace process, and in which Washington is expected to push the parties towards a comprehensive ceasefire. However, State Department officials declined to give details regarding those who would represent the Sudanese parties or the Bush administration during the meeting, but said US diplomats would take part along with American technical experts on the issue of the Machakos talks, Voice of America reported. Dirdeiry however said no negotiations would take place during the trip. "This is not about negotiations. We are right on track in the talks. There is no need of opening another forum. IGAD is the best forum. The two days can't solve the remaining difficult issues in the talks," he said. "But we feel this will give us the opportunity to explain to the United States that we are engaged in peace-making in Sudan," he said. The US officially joined the Sudanese peace process in 2001 when it appointed Senator John Danforth as its special envoy to Sudan. Danforth negotiated a successful truce and humanitarian access in the Nuba Mountains region, which had suffered severe humanitarian crises as a result of the war.

IRIN 2 Dec 2002 33 killed in refugee camp violence ADDIS ABABA, 2 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - At least 33 Sudanese refugees have been shot dead in violent clashes at a refugee camp in western Ethiopia, humanitarian organisations said on Monday. The refugees, who fled fighting in their own country, were killed after fighting broke out at Fugnido refugee camp in Gambella on the border with Sudan. According to aid organisations and the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the majority of the victims are believed women and children. “UNHCR were the first to reach the scene of the massacre with Ethiopian soldiers," a senior UN source told IRIN. “They counted 33 bodies including 18 women. One woman was six months pregnant.” UNHCR said it would be holding an investigation into the shootings which occurred on the evening of 27 November. Senior humanitarian sources blamed the violence on a bitter dispute between the Anuak and Dinka tribes over who runs the camp administration. Reports say the shooting was sparked by an official of the refugee camp committee – an Anuak - who opened fire indiscriminately on a group of refugees. Fugnido is the largest camp for Sudanese refugees, providing food and shelter for some 28,700 people. Half of its population are Nuers, a third Anuaks and around 11 percent Dinkas. UNHCR and World Food Programme (WFP) staff have been evacuated from the camp to Gambella town for their safety. The situation is still reported to be tense. “Emergency talks being held to try and resolve the crisis and see that those responsible are brought to justice,” humanitarian sources said. Camp officials are also looking at separating the refugees to prevent future rival ethnic clashes. Ethnic tension has been escalating recently, although fighting has traditionally been between the Anuak and Nuer tribes. The Gambella region is one of the remotest in Ethiopia. There are currently some 81,000 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia – many of whom have fled years of civil war at home.

IRIN 4 Dec 2002 Sides accuse each other of supporting LRA NAIROBI, 4 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Sudan's warring parties have accused each other of arming and supporting the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an insurgent group which is waging war against the Ugandan government from hideouts inside Sudan. On Monday, the Sudanese government said it had information that the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was supplying weapons to the LRA, Uganda's independent 'Monitor' newspaper reported. "SPLA is actually providing LRA with arms. This is not an allegation. We have evidence. We are compiling the information and a report will be out very soon," the paper quoted Sirajudin Hamid, the Sudanese ambassador to Uganda, as saying. However, the SPLM denied the accusations. "That is preposterous," spokesman George Garang told IRIN on Wednesday. "What people know is that it is Sudan which is arming, harbouring and supplying assistance to the LRA." He reiterated earlier SPLM/A claims that the LRA had helped Sudanese forces to recapture Torit, a key southern garrison town, which fell to the rebels on 1 September. The latest accusations follow the extension of a military protocol signed in March between Sudan and Uganda, which allows the Ugandan army to hunt down the LRA in southern Sudan. The Ugandan authorities have said they are looking into the allegations. "We have a mechanism in place. We will use official channels to handle these suspicions," Shaban Bantariza, the Ugandan army spokesman, told IRIN on Wednesday. He said the SPLM/A was trying to antagonise Kampala and Khartoum because it was unhappy with the latest extension of the military protocol. "The latest protocol says we are not to harbour support for SPLM/A," Bantariza said. "I think the SPLM/A is trying to antagonise us along with Sudan, just to give the impression that we are having an alliance with the wrong people."


IRIN 4 Dec 2002 Special report on hopes for reconciliation under Gacaca court system Billboard in Kigali calls people to take part in the Gacaca courts. KIGALI, - The Rwandan government, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the elite of the capital, Kigali, are at pains to stress the importance of reconciliation, the steps being taken to achieve it and the progress in this direction eight years since the 1994 genocide. One of the key components of that ongoing progress, they say, is the Gacaca court system. The grass-roots "courts" - 673 of which began opening across the country on 25 November to be followed by a further 8,258 in March 2003 - aim to expedite the trials of those accused of genocide crimes, to reveal the truth about what happened, to put an end to the culture of impunity in Rwanda, and to reconcile the Rwandan people and strengthen ties between them, says the government. In the absence of a functional justice system able to cope with the challenge of judging over 100,000 prisoners - a year after the genocide Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that only 36 judges, and three prosecutors with formal legal training, were available - and little money or support from outside to mobilise and strengthen that system, Gacaca revives traditional and affordable means of resolving conflicts based on pre-colonial Rwandan culture. A grass-roots countrywide sensitisation campaign, as well as radio, television, and billboards, inform the public to attend the courts, and that telling the truth and asking for forgiveness will significantly reduce their prison sentences. Less obvious to the observer, however, and more difficult to obtain information about, is the intimidation and fear that accompany the "telling of the truth". In Kigali alone, an investigation was under way into the deaths of "about 20" people believed to have been killed to prevent them from giving evidence in the Gacaca courts, Jean Paul Mugiraneza, a lawyer working with the Rwandan Institut de recherche et de dialogue pour la paix (IRDP), told IRIN. "There is a great risk, there is no strategy to protect witnesses," he said. "It is even worse outside Kigali, where there are more threats. The accused there far outnumber the victims," Naasson Munyandamutsa, Rwanda's only psychiatrist, said. The head of the National Human Rights Commission, Deogratias Kayumba, told IRIN that in general the Gacaca pilot phase (from June to October) had gone "very well", but acknowledged that witnesses had been bribed or threatened to keep quiet. "More dangerous than those two [threats and bribes] are some politicians at high levels who teach the population to say nothing [so as] to protect the accused, and as a means of propaganda," he said. "Some people have a nostalgia to turn back, using all means, even a civil war," he added. Overcrowded prisons How much Gacaca - which has an expected lifespan of four to five years - will contribute to the process of reconciliation remains, for the time being, uncertain. Most analysts agree that inhumane conditions in prisons (also a drain on the government's limited resources) will be improved by reducing the sentences of those who confess. A 25-year sentence, for example, could be reduced to between 12 and 15 years following a confession, John Nkubana, an employee of the Ministry of Justice whose task is to sensitise Kigali residents to Gacaca law, told IRIN. In a country where overcrowding in some detention sites is such that four inmates can occupy every single square metre of floor space in open courtyards, and six every square metre in dormitory buildings that surround the courtyards (HRW 1995), this would be considered welcome progress. Many prisoners who were arrested solely on the basis of denunciation and have never been brought to trial, or who have spent seven years in detention for minor crimes such as stealing, will be freed. Many others who have so far escaped justice will be imprisoned for the first time, as prisoners who have confessed accuse their accomplices. "Prisoners are also reporting on friends [who are free]. Prisoners will increase, not decrease," Mussa Fazil Harelimana, commissioner and Gacaca adviser to the Supreme Court, said. Other stated aims of the courts remain more uncertain, however, and depend on the extent to which judges (many of whom are poor and unpaid), witnesses, and those collecting and documenting the evidence abuse the system. With widespread poverty, poor security infrastructure, low levels of education (in 2002, the UN estimated that only 66.8 percent of those aged 15 years and above were literate), and little guidance from a weak civil society and a church that was heavily implicated in the genocide, Gacaca is open to manipulation. Divided society Humanitarian workers said Rwandan society remained "extremely closed", "suspicious", and highly traumatised, and lacked the vital financial resources needed for counselling and re-educating both the survivors and perpetrators of the genocide. "People still live in apprehension," Maxwell Nkole, the acting head of investigations at the Kigali office of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, said: "Certain sectors of Rwandan society continue to believe that the divisions continue. The hate message is still implanted, and it takes time and a lot of effort to pluck it out." Alternative to international justice While the Gacaca system is widely recognised as being flawed and a contravention of the "norms" of international justice systems, for many Rwandans it represents a great hope, as a participatory system, which forces people to tell the truth and to face up to their past. At least people have to sit together, discuss what happened and try to find solutions, said Peace Uwineza of the IRDP. "The traditional system hasn't offered us anything better," she added. Nkole said that the potential of Gacaca to bring about reconciliation and forgiveness was greater than the complicated international system of justice. "People are more inclined towards compensation for losses, they want to see that, they do not see the value of criminal justice," he said. He added that the rigorous standards applied in the international system, which included exhuming bodies, giving minute details, and being cross-examined for days on end, were foreign to most ordinary Rwandans. The threatening of witnesses giving evidence at the ICTR was also a "recurring problem," he said. Gacaca in prison Since 1999 an informal gacaca system has been operating in many of Rwanda's prisons and places of detention, at the order of the minister for justice. In 1998, Kigali's central prison started its own informal gacaca system, the prison director, Antoine Rutayisire, told IRIN. Of the 4,272 genocide cases (including 636 women), 1,401 had already confessed to their crimes, he said. Mwamina, a nurse who coordinates Gacaca in the women's section of Kigali prison, said the hope was that when Gacaca began and many people started attending the courts, they would confess and ask for forgiveness. She had admitted her role in the genocide and was waiting for a Gacaca court to hear her case. "My role was to show the people doing the killing where they [eight of the victims] were hiding," she said. Asked what she would do when she when she returned to her home in the Kanombe Prefecture of Kigali, she said she expected to be on good terms with her neighbours. "I will ask them to forgive me and explain what happened, and I hope they will understand," she said. "Once I am at home I will have to obey and respect these people." Reshaping thinking Many key questions will remain unanswered for some time. Will ordinary Rwandans feel that justice will have been carried out through Gacaca? Will they participate in the courts? Will people misuse the system to exact revenge? What will happen when thousands of ex-prisoners return to their villages to reclaim their land? Will survivors feel safe enough to openly accuse their neighbours? "How can you expect deeply traumatised people, without any support systems in place to help them, to forgive?" one humanitarian worker said. Even if the government is prepared to reduce sentences to ease pressure in the prison population, uncertainty remains about the public's willingness to forgive. Yet many Rwandans - who will finally find out who killed their families, and where they were buried - remain optimistic. "We are obliged to reconcile because we are neighbours," Consolata Mukanyiligira of the Association of Genocide Widows, Avega, said. Others say that without sustained poverty reduction, and help from the international community to achieve this, the divisions in Rwandan society that led to the genocide will remain. "People want food on their tables, and to send their children to school," a humanitarian worker said. The government is developing its policy on a reparation fund for genocide survivors (to replace the Fond d'Appui Rescapes de Genocide, FARG, which supports families of survivors). The government also introduced a poverty reduction strategy in July 2002, and is developing a policy on land, which was one of "the main causes of conflict" in Rwanda, the director of the Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development, Annie Kairaba, said. But with little money to negotiate with, real progress will be hard to achieve without outside aid. "I have hope, especially if there is a genuine effort towards poverty reduction. But if the economy doesn't improve, reconciliation will be very difficult," she said.

Sierra Leone

Reuters 2 Dec 2002 War Court Judges for Sierra Leone Take Their Oaths By REUTERS FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Dec. 2 — The eight judges making up a United Nations special tribunal to try those accused of responsibility for war crimes in Sierra Leone's civil war were sworn in here today, witnesses said. About 50,000 people were killed and many more wounded in the decade-long war, which was marked by atrocities against civilians — mass killings, rape and mutilation — inflicted mainly by Revolutionary United Front rebels and fighters of a former military junta. Advertisement The special court was set up in January just as the conflict in the country was declared ended after a United Nations peacekeeping force disarmed more than 47,000 fighters. The eight judges — three Westerners, two Sierra Leoneans and three other Africans — will probably try about 20 people. With the swearing-in of the judges, "the special court is now fully constituted," Behrooz Sadry, the United Nations' acting special representative in the country, said at the oath-taking ceremony. "You, as judges of the special court for Sierra Leone, offer hope to future generations not only in this country but also in the rest of the world that no more deeds which offend the conscience of humankind will go unpunished," he said. The trial is expected to start next year, but political analysts say it is likely to rekindle political animosities in the country. The Revolutionary United Front leader, Foday Sankoh, who is already in jail, is expected to be among those facing prosecution, as is Johnny Paul Koroma, who led a military government after a coup ousted President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Mr. Kabbah was restored to power a year later by a regional force. Mr. Koroma, who won a big share of the military vote in May in a presidential election won by Mr. Kabbah, did not attend the swearing-in ceremony. The court's foreign judges are from Britain, Canada, Austria, Nigeria, Gambia and Cameroon. The chief prosecutor is an American Army lawyer.

IRIN 2 Dec 2002 Special court judges sworn-in No Children to go before the Special Court ABIDJAN, 2 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Eight judges for Sierra Leone's Special Court were sworn-in on Monday in the capital, Freetown, marking the establishment of the world's newest international criminal justice body, a statement from the court said. They were immediately expected to elect a president of the court. "The Court is now fully constituted," Behrooz Sadry, Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General said after witnessing the swearing-in. The ceremony, he added, was a "first step on the path to combating impunity and addressing accountability for the serious crimes committed in Sierra Leone that have shocked the conscience of mankind." The judges included three Trial judges, two appointed by the UN and one by the government of Sierra Leone. The other five are Appeals judges, three appointed by the UN and two by the government. Those sworn-in were Judge Emmanuel O. Ayoola (Nigeria), Judge Pierre Boutet (Canada), Judge Benjamin M. Itoe (Cameroon), Judge Hassan B. Jallow (The Gambia), Judge George Gelaga King and Judge Rosolu John Bankole Thompson (Sierra Leone) Judge Geoffrey Robertson (England) and Judge Renate Winter (Austria). Each pledged to serve the court "honestly, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously". After signing a solemn declaration, each shook hands with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The Court was created through an agreement between the UN and the government of Sierra Leone earlier this year. It is more streamlined than the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia with three years to fulfill its mandate, the statement said. It added that work had commenced in Freetown on the building of the court and detention facility. In July, the Registrar of the Court Robin Vincent began setting up temporary offices. Prosecutor David Crane and his team of investigators and lawyers also started preparing their cases.

South Africa

IRIN 2 Dec 2002 Potential for conflict over land Land, a burning issue in KwaZulu-Natal DURBAN, 2 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - The pending settlement of a land dispute case in northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) could become an example for the rest of South Africa, which, like its neighbour Zimbabwe, is faced with a need to conduct land reform. Unlike its northern neighbour, South Africa's land reform programme has not been marked by violence and disrespect for the rule of law. However, a number of land invasions have occurred over the past few years outside of the government's programme. In the tiny rural area of Nonoti, about 100-km north of the coastal city of Durban, a land dispute case is being finalised that could have implications for land reform in South Africa. In the late 1980's Nonoti consisted mainly of a number of small-scale sugarcane farmers, many of whose families had been living on and working their land since the 19th century. However, since 1989 many of them have fled their homes and abandoned their farm land due to land invasions. But the seemingly intractable dispute over land rights may yet be solved through negotiations between land owners, illegal occupiers and the government. With KZN being a former hotbed of political violence - mostly before, during and the years immediately after South Africa's first democratic election in 1994 - the potential for further violence over land was worrying, said Mary de Haas of the Natal Violence Monitor. A Monitor report on patterns of violence in KZN, covering the period May to September 2002, noted that: "Orchestrated land invasions have been occurring in a number of areas of this province for several years. The threat of further invasions loomed large in Kranskop [a rural area of the province] following the killing of an alleged poacher in August ... "Following this incident, members of the amaNgcolosi Tribal Authority, which borders on commercial farming land and a conservancy area in which the shooting occurred, alleged various abuses by farmers (including the confiscation of livestock), called for the removal of whites and 'whoever came with sugarcane' (an apparent allusion to Indian farmers in the area)." The report said other farmers targeted for attack during the period included farmers of Indian heritage in the Verulam/Hazelmere area, "where attacks have reportedly increased dramatically this year ... a number have fled their farms in fear of their lives". BACKGROUND TO DISPUTE A representative of the small-scale farmers affected by land invasions, Naren Harikrishna, vice chair of the Darnall Farmers Association, outlined the background to the dispute. Although Harikrishna was not affected by land invasions, his association decided to assist the Nonoti farmers when it became clear a solution needed to be negotiated. "It [land invasions] began in about 1989. There was a black [African] family living on their own property and one of them decided he was going to sell plots to outsiders for a few Rands, that is how it started," Harikrishna said. As more and more people came to the area to settle, there was greater demand for land. "Sugarcane is easily destroyed by fire and they started burning the cane off the land and started building houses on farmers' land. It spread, from one farm to the other. These were poor, small farmers. Not guys who could afford security and legal costs to get squatters evicted. The affected farmers eventually, in about 1990, got together and formed a committee and they got a court order to evict the illegal occupants on their land. "But the order was not carried out [by authorities]. In one section the army did evict illegal occupants but two weeks later they [squatters] were back and were setting up shacks again," Harikrishna added. There were at least two incidents in which farmers homes were razed by arsonists. Violence and threats forced many to flee and give up their homes and land. About 20 small-scale farmers were left with nothing. THE DISPLACED De Haas said land invasions had "been going on for over 10 years, they have been targeting small-scale sugar farmers ... hoping nobody would notice". She said political violence was a major factor driving invasions. "It's linked to violence in other areas, [violence] has forced people to flee," she said. In Nonoti the displaced have become the displacers. Harikrishna told IRIN that many of the people who had illegally occupied farmers' land were themselves forced to flee their home areas. "People have come from everywhere, from the Transkei, Zululand, Durban, all over the place. A lot of people were displaced because of political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Violence in their home areas forced them to move, they were looking for a safe haven. Also, many have never owned land in all their lives, so they see there's an opportunity to own land and they move in," he said. Their occupation of land has in turn forced others to flee. "The affected farmers have moved into cities and into other spheres of industry as their land cannot sustain them any longer. Many depend on relatives and friends. They were small farmers, each had between 10 and 20 hectares of land. Homes have been burnt down, crops were destroyed during the illegal occupations. The farmers had to abandon their land," Harikrishna noted. NO FACILITIES The people illegally occupying farm land have virtually no facilities. But the local municipality cannot provide infrastructure services without the permission of the land-owners, which was not forthcoming. "The council can only put in infrastructure with the land-owners permission, but how can the land-owners give consent for illegal occupation of their land?" said Harikrishna. "The squatters on the land have no infrastructure, no water provision, no electricity, no roads, no plumbing, no refuse removal - no facilities at all. "In all, about 600 hectares of crop land has been occupied illegally and there are about three treadle pumps to serve about 1,000 households averaging five people per home, that's about 5,000 people. In the mornings you see a long line of people queuing for water," he added. MOVING TOWARD A SETTLEMENT About six months ago the affected farmers began negotiating with the department of land affairs. "We have now got to the point where the affected farmers have decided to sell the land to the department, so they will get compensation, and the land will be given to the municipality so that they can go and put in infrastructure. "All the necessary documentation, title deeds etc., have been given to the department of land affairs. The department will appoint an evaluator to value the properties and we are hoping that by the end of March [2003] this whole [thing] will be sorted out. Payments would be made and the land would be given to the municipality," Harikrishna said. Khathe Nzimande, chief planner for the regional programme in the provincial department of land affairs, told IRIN that it seemed a resolution was near. "Previously we had a problem in that owners did not want to sign agreements and a lot of occupiers coming onto the land. Up until the intervention of the Darnall Farmers Association that is, now there seems to be a resolution. Most of the land owners have submitted their land availability agreements ... evaluation money has been approved and we'll be meeting with the community [occupying the land] very soon to discuss the transfer of the land to the municipality," he said. It appeared that there were reservations within the community occupying the land over the transfer of the land to the municipality and not to them. "In most cases we only transfer land to the municipality once the municipality has indicated there will be housing development [on the property], but in this case they have not [indicated such]. But they have assured us that once there's a final settlement they will plan for development. At this meeting we will talk to the people [about the municipalities' plans]," Nzimande explained. There has also been an official land claim lodged, but the regional land claims commission has given the department the go-ahead to proceed with its settlement. Should the official land claim succeed, there may have to be a renegotiation, Nzimande said. Either way, the department hoped the issue would be sorted out before the end of the financial year. A SUCCESS STORY? "We hope that this will be a success story, where the problems are solved, to a large extent, by the communities themselves. What we did was we formed two committees. A committee of affected landowners and a committee headed by a local councillor with representatives of the people living on the land. "We sat down and talked, and now there's a solution in sight," said Harikrishna.


Internews (Arusha) 28 Nov 2002 ICTR/Military Trial: Witness Gives Detailed Account of the Planning of Genocide By Mary Kimani Arusha A prosecution witness in the so-called "Military Trial" today gave judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) a detailed account of meetings and activities through which the 1994 genocide was planned and executed. The witness -- identified only as "ZF" -- began his testimony yesterday partly in closed session, to protect his identity, and partly in open court. Although ZF's identity and profession has not been disclosed to the public, he has said in court that he worked in military intelligence circles in Gisenyi Province, northwestern Rwanda. ZF listed names of former military officers, governors and mayors who met at the Biroto military camp in Gisenyi, saying these people at times met under the leadership of alleged genocide mastermind Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, one of the four defendants in the trial. Among the people ZF named are those currently indicted by the ICTR as well as the other defendants in the trial. ZF is testifying against Bagosora, Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi and Major Aloys Ntabakuze. The four allegedly masterminded the 1994 Rwandan genocide through their control in the military. They have denied charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The witness told the court that after these meetings, weapons were distributed to 'Interahamwe' and 'Impuzamugambi' militia groups. The Interahamwe was the youth wing of the Movement of the Republic for National Development (MRND) party and the Impuzamugambi was allied to the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) party. "In 1993, they received portable [Motorola] transmitters to be able to communicate between them and the lieutenant who was in charge of them, as well as Anatole Nsengiyumva, the operations commander," the witness claimed. According to ZF, those who took part in the Biroto meetings were members of informal groups known as the Zero Network, Les Dragons (the dragons), Abakozi (Kinyarwanda for leaders) and L'escadrons de la mort (death squads). Although these terms have previously been mentioned before the ICTR, ZF is the first witness to explain them comprehensively. "The Zero Network was a communication network. The death squads were a group of well-trained people who executed the decisions of this network. The dragons were a few people who were the masterminds of these activities and who were behind all anti-enemy activities, it was a secret group, a closely knit group. The Abakozi were the same as the dragons. The terms were synonymous," ZF explained. According to the witness, one of the first meetings by these groups was held in 1992. ZF testified that he later overheard two of the participants, Leon Mugesera and a man named Habyabere talking about the decisions taken during that meeting. "They were speaking about the extermination of the Tutsis. They said they had to put into action what had just been said in the meeting. The main subject was what they had to do to stop the extermination of the Hutu by the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) and the only way to do this was to exterminate the Tutsi," ZF said. Mugesera and Habyabere later went to Kayove commune in Gisenyi, ZF claimed, where they called a meeting with the local mayors. "They spoke to them about the decisions that had been taken at the meeting and in the following days there were problems There was an uprising against Tutsis, their houses were burned down and some of them were killed," ZF alleged. The witness also gave details of an extensive radio network communication through which orders were given to soldiers and members of the militia. According to ZF, Nsengiyumva, who was in charge of military intelligence in Gisenyi in 1993 and 1994, was responsible for the orders given to militia. The witness claimed that many militiamen often went to the military camp to see Nsengiyumva. "After Nsengiyumva came to Gisenyi, the militia came to the military camp often yes orders were given through these networks, which is why the militia had been given these transmitters. They were Motorolas. Through them they could be given orders by the lieutenant who was in charge of coordinating the activities of the militia the lieutenant got his orders from the chief of operations who was Nsengiyumva," ZF told the court. Elaborating further on the role of the militia, ZF said the Rwandan forces relied on them to cover the areas where "the military had no presence." He added that plainclothes soldiers trained the militiamen trained in Bigogwe camp. ZF said there was a radio station at the Gisenyi camp that was not used by ordinary military communication traffic but used exclusively by the Zero Network. "Only they [the Zero Network members] knew how to use it and how it operated. It was operated by the dragons and it was located in the home of the commander [of the Gisenyi military camp]," ZF said. Nsengiyumva was chief of military intelligence and commander of military operations in Gisenyi between 1993 and 1994.Bagosora served as director of cabinet in the ministry of defense during the violence. Kabiligi was chief of military operations in the Rwandan army during the genocide and Ntabakuze was commander of the para-commando battalion of the Rwandan army in 1994. The trial continues before Trial Chamber III of the ICTR, comprising Judges Lloyd Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia and Andresia Vaz of Senegal.

Internews (Arusha) 5 Dec 2002 Military Trial Adjourned By Jane Some Arusha Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today adjourned the so-called "Military Trial," for four defendants, indefinitely, cutting short the testimony of the second prosecution witness. Announcing the adjournment, Judge Lloyd Williams (presiding) told the parties that they would be informed of the trial's resumption date "in due course." The adjournment came after three defense attorneys completed their cross-examination of the witness, identified only as "ZF." The fourth attorney will cross-examine ZF when the trial resumes. The first prosecution witness was Alison Des Forges, a human rights activist, who testified as an expert. Des Forges concluded her testimony on 26 November. The trial is for four former senior Rwandan military officers: Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, 61; Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, 52; Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi, 51; and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, 48. All four have denied charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Jean Degli of Togo/France, lead counsel for Kabiligi, today questioned ZF's allegation that four Rwandan associations -- the Zero Network, the Amasasu, the Alliance and the Abakozi -- were clandestine organizations formed to undertake anti-Tutsi activities. The witness has linked the four defendants to these organizations. When asked to explain how he knew of these groups' activities if they were secret organizations, ZF responded that a Lieutenant named Bizimuremye told him about the groups' activities and membership. According to the prosecution, Bagosora, 61, masterminded the genocide. He allegedly assumed 'de facto' control of military and political affairs in Rwanda following the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana on 6 April 1994. He served as director of cabinet in the ministry of defense during the April-June 1994 violence Nsengiyumva, 52, was chief of military intelligence and commander of military operations in Gisenyi Province between 1993 and 1994. The other defendants in this case are Gratien Kabiligi, 51; and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, 48. Kabiligi served as chief of military operations in the Rwandan army during the genocide, and Ntabakuze was commander of the para- commando battalion of the Rwandan army in 1994. The trial is held before Trial Chamber III of the ICTR, comprising Judges Lloyd Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia and Andresia Vaz of Senegal.



Globe and Mail (Toronto) 6 Dec 2002 Canadians remember Montreal massacre Alois Cruz places flowers on behalf of the student's union at the memorial for the fourteen victims of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal Friday. It was 13 years ago today that gunman Marc Lepine killed fourteen female students at the school before taking his own life. Photo: Ryan Remiorz/CP Canadian Press Montreal — Funding for the gun registry may have been frozen but the federal government remains committed to the firearms tracking system, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said Friday. Mr. Cauchon made the comments after attending a solemn ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the Dec. 6, 1989, shooting rampage at the Ecole polytechnique that left 14 women dead. "The fact that we don't have the extra money will have an impact on the department, but we've decided to freeze essentially all the major spending as regards the registration system," Mr. Cauchon said. "But we have to make sure that the system that is up and running at this point in time will keep proceeding with its duty." The gun registry, part of changes to federal firearms laws sparked by the Ecole polytechnique killings, came under fire earlier this week by auditor-general Sheila Fraser, who described it as a mismanaged boondoggle. Some people have since called for it to be scrapped. Mr. Cauchon joined Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and other dignitaries at the ceremony that took place in a park near the university. It was one of many commemorations that took place across Canada on Friday. While the need to control guns was a theme at the event attended by Cauchon, domestic violence was the focus of another rally earlier in the day. Officials of the Quebec Federation of Women said during a march that violence against women has not decreased significantly in the 13 years since a gunman stalked the halls of the University of Montreal's engineering school and killed 14 females. The women's group said the provincial government should spend $2.5-million a year for the next 10 years to end violence against women. Federation president Vivian Barbot said it's unacceptable the government doesn't spend as much on campaigns to help end violence against women as it does on anti-smoking or anti-drunk driving efforts. "It says that 51 per cent of the population is not important enough," said Ms. Barbot. In Ottawa, MPs observed a moment's silence and flags flew at half-mast over federal government buildings. Canadian Alliance MP Diane Ablonczy told the Commons the anniversary marks not just the memory of the horrific murders by Marc Lepine at Ecole polytechnique. Ms. Ablonczy said it also should remind people of their collective responsibility to protect the innocent and vulnerable. She said the ugly echoes of violence against women sound in the lives of those who loved them. In Halifax, Cathy Love of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia told an anti-violence ceremony that it is a constant struggle to find enough dollars to fund programs for women. Ms. Love said Byrony House, a transition house in Halifax, has trouble maintaining staff and building maintenance. The lack of government fundings leaves the centre "in a position of having to fundraise over a $150,000 a year just to maintain core services," she said. But Jane Purves, education minister in Nova Scotia, said the province has limited dollars. "Whether it's in health care, whether education, people in groups want more help from the province . . . but the government with its limited dollars has to spread the help around," she said. "It can't meet all the demands." In Montreal, Ms. Barbot said that despite the tributes, statistics still painted a bleak picture for women. She said that 13 years after Mr. Lepine's murderous rampage, one in eight Quebec women is still a victim of domestic violence. She also pointed out the number of victims of domestic violence had increased by 20 per cent between 1997 and 2000.

Herald Nova Scotia 6 Dec 2002 Peacekeeper, educator to be honoured By Mary Ellen MacIntyre Antigonish - St. Francis Xavier University will bestow an honorary degree on a soldier whose dignity and compassion in the face of genocide won him the admiration of millions. Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian peacekeeper who drew the attention of the United Nations and the world to the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994, will receive a doctor of laws on Saturday, during fall convocation ceremonies.


BBC 1 Dec 2002 Colombia right-wing truce takes force The army has put the AUC under pressure A unilateral and indefinite ceasefire declared by Colombia's largest right-wing paramilitary group, the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), has come into force. Two other paramilitary groups have pledged to join the ceasefire, bringing the number of guerrillas who will lay down their arms to 12,000. The AUC says it is now ready to take up dialogue with the government, but it is likely to be difficult for President Alvaro Uribe's administration to meet all their demands. The BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Medellin says the AUC's great enemy, the left-wing rebels, are likely to take advantage of the ceasefire to conquer parts of the country controlled by the right-wingers, leaving peace still a long way off. Brutal faction The AUC is now hoping to demobilise its 10,500 members, but wants the government to pay them until the process is complete, allowing the group to move away from the drugs trade it relies on for cash. The paramilitaries also want an amnesty and for imprisoned militia men - many serving sentences for murder, kidnapping and drugs trafficking - to be freed. Uribe: Ceasefire essential before negotiations President Uribe has been under particular pressure to rein in the AUC - described by our correspondent as probably the most brutal faction in Colombia's civil war. Bankrolled by landowners - including drugs barons - the AUC was set up in 1997 to eradicate Marxist guerrillas and carried out numerous massacres and assassinations. The group murdered thousands of people in cold blood as it targeted left-wing leaders and sympathisers. Secret talks Our correspondent says the AUC has been hit hard by the security forces and guerrilla enemies and now wants political recognition. The Colombian Government confirmed on Monday that it had been holding secret talks with the AUC. The government's peace commissioner, Luis Carlos Restrepo, met AUC leaders following mediation by Catholic bishops. Mr Uribe's government has said that although it is open to talks with any armed group a ceasefire is a firm condition for negotiations to end the country's bloody 38-year conflict.

AFP 1 Dec 2002 - Ceasefire by rightwing paramilitaries goes into force in Colombia BOGOTA, Dec 1 (AFP) - A unilateral ceasefire declared by Colombia's paramilitary groups officially went into effect early Sunday, with some 12,000 rightwing fighters laying down their arms and agreeing to peace talks with the government. The ceasefire was decreed Friday by the extreme right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) in an open letter to President Alvaro Uribe "in the belief that the government will reciprocate in relation to our troops, other members and sympathizers," said a communique signed by paramilitary official Carlos Castano and other leaders. Leader of the roughly 10,500 paramilitaries said in the letter that they were "ready to meet the government for talks" with the mediation of the Roman Catholic Church, the Organization of American States, and the international community. Two other dissident paramilitary groups on Saturday also agreed to join the open-ended ceasefire, adding another 1,500 fighters those who had laid down their arms. In all some 12,000 combatants have agreed to the ceasefire, representing about 95 percent of paramilitaries. The move came as the result of an olive branch extended last Monday by the government which, for the first time reached out to the paramilitary armies in an effort to initiate peace talks. Uribe has confirmed that there has been contact between the paramilitaries and government peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo. The paramilitary groups grew in the 1990s as land owners, many of them drug lords, became frustrated with a wave of extortion and kidnapping carried out by leftwing rebels, including the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) -- the hemisphere's oldest and largest rebel group,with 16,500 troops. The FARC had no reaction to recent events Saturday and no official talks have been announced between with the government. Meanwhile, representatives with the 4,500-strong ELN met Saturday with government officials in Havana to discuss peace. The Colombian government and the ELN said in a joint statement issued here Saturday that they would continue with a third round of peace talks in Cuba. The two sides "will pursue talks behind closed doors," at their "third exploratory meeting" in Havana, said the statement, signed by Restrepo and ELN spokesman Ramiro Vargas. Armed conflict in Colombia has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 1964, with an average of 3,000 kidnappings of civilians a year and as many as 2.7 million driven from their homes by violence.

NYT 5 Dec 2002 Powell Says U.S. Will Increase Military Aid for Colombia By STEVEN R. WEISMAN BOGOTÁ, Colombia, Dec. 4 - Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said today that the United States would increase military assistance to Colombia, asserting that its war on leftist guerrillas and rightist paramilitary groups - and on their narcotics trafficking - was part of the Bush administration's campaign against terrorism. The aid, more than $500 million a year, would be used for drug eradication, support for military and police forces and renewal of support for Colombian narcotics-interception flights that rely on intelligence from American spy planes. Such flights were suspended last year after a plane carrying missionaries was shot down over Peru. The new aid will put Colombia roughly on a par with Afghanistan and Pakistan as a recipient of American military and antidrug assistance, administration officials said. In a one-day trip to this Andean capital city, Secretary Powell met with Colombia's new president, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who was elected last summer after pledging a crackdown on violent groups that rely on drug money for support. Mr. Uribe is also pressing for a more aggressive campaign of eradicating coca fields than his predecessors. After more than three decades of civil war, various antigovernment groups engaged in the drug trade control most of Colombia's vast expanse of mountains and farm valleys. But rights groups have accused the Colombian military of fighting those forces with too much reliance on rightist military squads organized by landlords. "We are firmly committed to President Uribe and his new national security strategy," Secretary Powell said. "We are going to work with our Congress to provide additional funding for Colombia." In all, the United States has spent $1.8 billion on antinarcotics measures and military and law enforcement aid to Colombia since 2000. The administration is asking Congress for $537 million in the current fiscal year, up from $411 million last year, according to the ambassador to Colombia, Anne W. Patterson. In a reflection of the American economic interests here, the requested sum includes nearly $100 million to help secure a 500-mile oil pipeline in eastern Colombia that transports 100,000 barrels a day for Occidental Petroleum of Los Angeles. Guerrilla groups have repeatedly attacked the pipeline. Next year, the United States will have 60 of its own Special Operations forces and intelligence operatives to help train Colombian forces to guard the pipeline, Ambassador Patterson said. Secretary Powell, saying he would seek even more money in the next fiscal year, expressed satisfaction with his visit, which included a tour of narcotics eradication equipment at a military airport here. He said it had given him "ammunition" to persuade skeptics not only in Congress but also within the administration's budget office. "I am very impressed by what I have seen," he said after his tour. Addressing the issue of terrorism within Colombia, the secretary said it no longer made sense to insist on separating it from the battle against narcotics, because they were linked as threats to democracy. Asked if he worried that America's involvement in Colombia might lead to a Vietnam-like quagmire, the secretary, who fought in Vietnam, said there was no comparison. "I don't see this in Vietnam terms," he said, adding that Colombia's antigovernment groups should not be "romanticized" as "some sort of charming freedom fighters." He did add, however, that the helicopters being supplied by the United States were "remarkably familiar." The secretary's visit, though brief, carried symbolism for a region increasingly beset by instability and eager for attention from the United States, which is seen here as preoccupied by its efforts against terrorism elsewhere. Indeed, Secretary Powell was supposed to have visited Colombia last year, but his visit was canceled because of the Sept. 11 attacks. Another visit was canceled earlier this year. Colombia's importance for the administration is underscored by its holding of the presidency of the United Nations Security Council, where Washington has sought its support for the campaign against Iraq. Secretary Powell said, however, that he had been unable to persuade Mr. Uribe to exempt Americans serving in Colombia from any human rights prosecutions by the International Criminal Court. The Bush administration, which has refused to join the court, has sought such exemptions from countries where Americans are serving.

United States

Buffalo News 1 Dec 2002 Bosnian refugee family grateful to be in America By TOM ERNST s The Music family, from left in front, are the father, Sejdalija; son Mehmedalija;, and mother, Sadika; in back are sons Senid and Mujo. Their furniture is donated or flea market specials, and much of their clothing came from the Salvation Army. But then again, no one has burned down their house or shot at them lately, so life is good. Sejdalija Music, wife Sadika and their three sons, ages 21, 16 and 6, are political refugees and survivors of the ethnic cleansing campaign carried out in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. Three of Sadika's brothers were murdered by Serbs, and Sejdalija lost one brother. Their son Mujo, the 16-year-old, has a scar on his face he said came from the bullet of a Serb sniper rifle. During the genocide campaign, their house in the town of Srebrenica was burned down to make sure they wouldn't try to come back to it, the family said through a translator. After six years in a United Nations refugee camp, they arrived in Buffalo in August with little more than the clothes on their backs, according to Peg Overdorf, executive director of the Valley Community Association, which is helping the family. "America good," Sejdalija said, and his wife gestured proudly to the U.S. flag on the wall of their apartment. "Here, there is everything. There is nothing in Bosnia," he said. Still, things are tough. With his limited English, Sejdalija has not been able to find work, though he has experience installing foundations and as a painter. The adults take English lessons at the International Institute, but it's slower for them than for the children, who are immersed in English in school and at the community center, Overdorf said. Sadika has health problems, believed to stem from some poor care she received in Bosnia. Overdorf thinks they are still recovering from the horrors they witnessed. A fireworks display seemed to scare them, she related.

NYT 1 Dec 2002 Emmett Till's Long Shadow By RICK BRAGG MONEY, Miss. — THE mechanical cotton pickers do not pick them clean, like human hands used to do. The fields in and around this corner of north Mississippi look ragged and half-combed, scraps of white blowing in the wind from leaning, shredded stalks. Thin blacktop cuts between fields and swamp and islands of trees, some of the roads linking up with other seemingly pointless routes that go nowhere in particular, others just petering out into dirt roads that vanish into the weeds a few miles on. In the middle of it all, a country store stands in ruin, its roof caved in and its interior a jumble of rotted timbers. Sunlight dapples its glass-littered floor, and vines, dying now with the onset of fall, twist up its sides. But the white-washed red-brick walls stand straight and solid. Even decay, here, seems to be a half-finished job. It was in this store, 47 years ago, that a 14-year-old black youth visiting from Chicago was said to have whistled at a white woman working behind the counter, an act that would elicit his death. A few days later, in that August of 1955, two men forced their way into a shack where the boy was staying with relatives and took him. A few days after that, the boy's body was found in the Tallahatchie River. The two white men would be arrested and tried but never convicted, never punished. Others rumored to be part of the crime would grow old, anonymous. Outside this place, the story of a murdered boy named Emmett Till would shame the nation and become a ghost tale to caution black children about the worst of human nature in a time when racial prejudice was justification for almost anything, even the murder of a boy who was said to have whistled at a woman in a store. But here along the lonely blacktop, both black people and white people will say that they remember, yes, but not a lot, that most of the people associated with the crime are dust and bones, that they would just as soon not speak about it. Here, like the roads that go no place special and the leftover cotton and that store that refuses to fall down under the weight of time, the story of Emmett Till is just one more half-done thing. HUNDREDS of miles away, in a kitchen in Chicago, an old woman of long memory defies her doctor and prepares a feast for her 81st birthday. For Mamie Till Mobley, Emmett's mother, the table will be set with turkey, beef roast, oyster dressing, gravy, mixed greens, collards, cabbage, macaroni and cheese, string beans and rutabagas. She is not a woman, her friends say, who leaves anything half done. "We will have sweet potato pie," she said. It is not the way a woman who has given up on living celebrates her birthday. Mrs. Mobley enjoys living, because on every day she lives she reminds the world of the sweetness of her son, of the wrongfulness of his murder and of the God who took him for a reason. "He wanted to be a motorcycle policeman," she said, but God made him a martyr. Now, perhaps as much as in any time since she chose to open his casket to the world so people could see the cruelty done to him, "it looks like Emmett is surfacing once again," Mrs. Mobley said. She is writing a book, along with Chris Benson, a Chicago lawyer and writer who grew up with the specter of Emmett's death, on the case and the legacy of her son. And she is the emotional anchor of a new documentary, "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till," a film by Keith Beauchamp, who, like Mr. Benson, is haunted by an image of the murdered boy in an open coffin. "Of the thousands of lynchings that occurred since Reconstruction, the one name everybody remembers is Emmett Till," said Mr. Benson. "It burned the race problem into our consciousness, the first international coverage, the first real media event of the modern civil rights movement. And no one ever had to pay." Some state officials in Mississippi have even said that the new attention being shown to the case, as well as new information about the involvement of others in the murder brought out in the documentary, could lead to a reopening of the long-cold investigation. Roy Bryant, the store owner and the husband of the woman behind the counter, and J. W. Milam, his friend, were the primary suspects, and they admitted — in a magazine interview that they later said was untrue — that they had abducted and killed Emmett. They are both dead. BUT there may have been others — one witness said it was a caravan of cars that came after Emmett, not a single one — and Mrs. Mobley would like to see all the rats run out from under the bed. But even in years when it seemed there would never be any more justice for her son than what he got in Mississippi, she kept his memory alive with words, at talks and speeches and discussions. For her, this is just the latest round in a fight that has lasted more than half her long life, and will last for quite some time to come. "At first, I just wanted to go in a hole and hide my face from the world," she said, thinking back to the day she knew her son was dead. But she soon learned that would not work, so she started to talk. In time, it became almost an evangelism. "It gives me a chance to get out what is clogged up inside, because if I don't talk, it stays in and worries me," she said. "If I can let it go, even though I cry sometimes, I have some relief." She has counseled thousands of children in poor neighborhoods, from hazardous lives. "The Lord told me, `I have taken one, but I shall give you thousands in these troubled times,' " she said. In her mind, her son was not merely the victim of an inhuman act by men, but a sacrifice. It is not something she has wrapped around the raw place in her memory over time, but something she knew from the start. "I really have no idea what I would have done if I had not believed in God and called on him for his help," she said. "I know when his presence filled my room. He told me that Emmett was not mine, that he was his, that I should have been thankful to have had him, that he was down here to do a job and he had done it well. "God sent his son so that men might have a choice between eternal life and eternal damnation. My son Emmett came so that men might have peace and freedom here on earth." In the written history of the crime, it is more base than that. Some people said Emmett wolf-whistled at the woman behind the counter, after telling some friends that black men could be friendly with white women up north. But Mrs. Mobley doubts that. If her theory about what happened is true, then the killing is even more monstrous than ever believed. "At age 5, he came down with polio," Mrs. Mobley said of her son. "He would go out and play every day, and at night he would burn up with fever. The doctor told my mother to quarantine the house." He recovered, but "he hesitated in his speech, and then he developed a full stutter," she continued. "We wanted him to be able to express himself and not take all day doing it. I started teaching him various speeches, like the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution. And when he would stutter, I would just say, `Just whistle,' because the whistling relieves the tension." She believes he was just tongue-tied as he came out of the store after buying a piece of bubble gum, and he whistled, and a few days later Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam beat him to death for it. The key point made by Mr. Beauchamp in his documentary is that Mr. Bryant and Mr. Milam "did not act alone," he said. "More people were involved in the murder: three other white men and four black men." An even deeper horror is that the black men, he believes, were forced to participate — that they were so frightened of their employers that they would even stand by as a black youth was murdered. Mr. Beauchamp's research produced one man who said he witnessed this, though he was not involved in the murder itself. It is this witness who could lead investigators to other suspects, some of them still alive, Mr. Beauchamp said. "I heard this story as a child," he said. "But it is deeper than I ever thought." It is terrifying for the people who grew up with the story of Emmett Till to believe that it is darker still. "It haunts," said Mr. Benson, Mrs. Mobley's co-author. As a child, growing up in the North, it was a puzzling thing. "To realize that there were people very bad out there who could hurt us, for things that seemed not important? The story was told as a cautionary. `This is out there, and you have to be careful.' " Mrs. Mobley said: "I have not spent one minute hating. Once, I had a dream I was walking alone across a bridge, a long, long bridge, and I looked down and the waters were real black, and the waters were troubled, and they were moving, cresting." Even though she could not see them, she knew her son's killers were down in that water. "And the Spirit said, `I have suspended you high above.' "

AP 1 Dec 2002 'Fightin' Whites' spoof raises $100,000 By ROBERT WELLER Associated Press DENVER - What started out as an attempt to shame a local high school into dropping a mascot name viewed as racist has raised at least $100,000 for scholarships for Indian college students. The effort began last winter when a group of Indian students at the University of Northern Colorado asked officials at nearby Eaton High School to change the school's mascot from "Fighting Reds" because the name was offensive. When the school refused, members of the UNC intramural basketball team, made up of Indians and whites, decided to get even. They named themselves the "Fightin' Whites" and began wearing T-shirts bearing the name. After getting national media attention they began selling the shirts, which also bear the slogan "Everythang's going to be all white," from their Web site. More than 15,000 shirts and hats have been sold, raising at least $100,000. "It's actually kind of an amazing thing that happened there in Colorado. Not only did they raise the level of debate but they also turned it around and raised money for Native American scholarships," said Charlene Teters, vice president of the American Indian Movement's National Coalition on Race in Sports and Media. "There have been posters before that made fun of teams, but nothing has been this successful," said Teters, a member of the Spokane Nation. She estimates that about 3,000 professional and amateur team names are offensive. "You have to understand that these names and symbols have a history in the same way 'boy' has a history with African Americans. That is the connection people don't get. First you take a people and commit genocide against them, then you turn them into a stereotype," she said. Jeff VanIwarden, a team member who helped manage the T-shirt campaign, said the amount of money available for scholarships will depend on whether an application for tax exempt status is accepted. A $10,000 endowment has already been set up for one scholarship at UNC starting next year. The money collected could have been used to help campaign against the use of Indian names as mascots, but most of the team members felt more would be gained by helping Indian students, he said. VanIwarden said he wasn't worried that the T-shirts might "be a form of white pride." "We can't regulate who does or does not buy them. We do have their money," he said. On the Web: Fightin' Whites: http://www.fightingwhites.org American Indian Movement: http://www.aimovement.org/

International Herald Tribune 5 Dec 2002 www.iht.com Stop calling Islam the enemy William Pfaff IHT Thursday, December 5, 2002 Totalitarian thinking PARIS A part of the neoconservative intelligentsia in Washington is trying to turn the Bush administration's "war against terrorism" into a war against Muslim civilization and the Islamic religion. Such influential figures as Eliot Cohen of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Kenneth Adelman of the Defense Department advisory policy board, a former Reagan administration official, criticize President George W. Bush for his efforts to assure Muslims that his war is against terrorism, not against their religion. The Bush critics say Islam itself is America's enemy because Islamic religion and civilization are intolerant, hostile to Western values, proselytizing, expansionist and violent. Their implicit argument is that Islam was hostile to the West before Israel came into existence, hence that the Israel-Palestine conflict has nothing to do with Islam's crisis with the West. This is a novel argument likely to leave many unconvinced. A segment of the evangelical Protestant community in the United States adds to this an assertion that Islam is "evil." That is the view of the clergyman who was part of the Bush inauguration in 2001. Cohen, Adelman and their fellows in the U.S. policy community have yet to explain what they mean about war against Islamic civilization - against the second largest religious community on earth, with more than a billion adherents on six continents. One would have thought that President Bush already has his hands full with Iraq and Al Qaeda. These intellectuals have fallen into Samuel Huntington's pernicious fallacy that civilizations, which are cultural phenomena, can be treated as if they were responsible political entities. They identify the members of Islamic civilization not in terms of their actions but in terms of what they are. One can legitimately go to war against Iraq and Iraqis because of what the Baghdad government does, since Iraq's citizens have to accept responsibility for their government, even if it is a despotism. The same can be said about Iranians, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, Indonesians, Pakistanis - and Americans. The American people bear an ultimate responsibility for what their government does even if citizens individually oppose those actions. However, neither Muslims nor Americans deserve to die because they are the product of their civilizations, whether those civilizations are admirable or not. To think otherwise is totalitarian thinking. It is the equivalent of racist thinking. The enemy is an enemy not because of what he or she does but because of what he or she is. The Muslim is the enemy - man, woman and child - because of his or her cultural and religious identification. Germans six decades ago were called on by their leaders to make war on Jews because Jews were Jews. They were the alleged racial inferiors and enemies of Germans. What these Jews actually did or who they were was a matter of indifference. Jews collectively were identified as Germany's enemies and were to be eliminated. Communists during the same period were being told to exterminate aristocrats, "kulaks" (wealthy peasants), shopkeepers and professionals, capitalists, "deviationist" party members and eventually Jews as well. The murder of all these was justified because they were "class enemies." To call this totalitarian thinking is a grave accusation, heavily charged with the weight of the genocidal experience of the 20th century. In this case it is justified. Adelman, Cohen and those who agree with them are putting a culture, which has no responsible political existence, in the place of identifiable and responsible political actors: governments, leaders, individuals. To do this disregards political responsibility and announces historical fatality. If wars are cultural and religious, they have no solutions. They are unnegotiable and unresolvable. If the Muslim is an enemy of America and Europe because he is a Muslim, and Westerners are his mortal enemies because of who they are, all have lost control over their futures. But all this is simply untrue. Today's clashes between America and elements of Islamic society reflect a power struggle inside Islamic society between fundamentalists and others; between obscurantists and progressives; between traditionalists and political fanatics. Identifiable Muslim groups and governments are in conflict with the government of the United States over the future of Israel and the Palestinians, the control of oil and American power and presence in Arabia, the Gulf and now Central Asia. These clashes between Muslims and Americans are important, dangerous and potentially even more violent than they have already become. They are not a war of religion, and it is deeply irresponsible to try to turn them into one.

WP 7 Dec 2002 Lott Decried For Part Of Salute to Thurmond - GOP Senate Leader Hails Colleague's Run As Segregationist By Thomas B. Edsall Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, December 7, 2002; Page A06 Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi has provoked criticism by saying the United States would have been better off if then-segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948. Speaking Thursday at a 100th birthday party and retirement celebration for Sen. Thurmond (R-S.C.) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Lott said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." Thurmond, then governor of South Carolina, was the presidential nominee of the breakaway Dixiecrat Party in 1948. He carried Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and his home state. He declared during his campaign against Democrat Harry S. Truman, who supported civil rights legislation, and Republican Thomas Dewey: "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches." On July 17, 1948, delegates from 13 southern states gathered in Birmingham to nominate Thurmond and adopt a platform that said in part, "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race." Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leader of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, said yesterday he was stunned by Lott's comments, which were broadcast live by C-SPAN. "I could not believe he was saying what he said," Lewis said. In 1948, he said, Thurmond "was one of the best-known segregationists. Is Lott saying the country should have voted to continue segregation, for segregated schools, 'white' and 'colored' restrooms? . . . That is what Strom Thurmond stood for in 1948." William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said "Oh, God," when he learned of Lott's comments. "It's ludicrous. He should remember it's the party of Lincoln," referring to Lott's role as Republican leader of the Senate, which the GOP will control when the new Congress convenes next month. Lott's office played down the significance of the senator's remarks. Spokesman Ron Bonjean issued a two-sentence statement: "Senator Lott's remarks were intended to pay tribute to a remarkable man who led a remarkable life. To read anything more into these comments is wrong." Bonjean declined to explain what Lott meant when he said the country would not have had "all these problems" if the rest of the nation had followed Mississippi's lead and elected Thurmond in 1948. Lott's comments came in the middle of Thursday's celebration for Thurmond, Congress's oldest and longest-serving member. Lott followed at the lectern former Senate majority leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan). Initially Lott made jokes about Dole and then became serious when discussing how Mississippi voted in 1948. The gathering, which included many Thurmond family members and past and present staffers, applauded Lott when he said "we're proud" of the 1948 vote. But when he said "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years" if Thurmond had won, there was an audible gasp and general silence. In 1998 and 1999, Lott was criticized after disclosures that he had been a speaker at meetings of the Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization formed to succeed the segregationist white Citizens' Councils of the 1960s. In a 1992 speech in Greenwood, Miss., Lott told CCC members: "The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction, and our children will be the beneficiaries." Asked to comment on Lott's remarks at the Thurmond celebration, Gordon Baum, CEO of the Council of Conservative Citizens, said "God bless Trent Lott."



Xinhua 1 Dec 2002 11 killed in clash in western Afghan province KABUL, Dec 1, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- At least 11 people were killed in western Afghanistan's Herat province in ethnic fighting, Kabul local news reported on Sunday. Radio Liberty said that the fighting continued from Saturday night to Sunday between the Tajik ethnic governor Ismail Khan and Pushtun warlord Amanullah Khan in Sindand district of western province Herat. The local commander, Amanullah Khan, charged that Ismail Khan's forces attacked his forces in the area of his responsibility with tanks and heavy artillery and 11 soldiers from his side were killed in fighting during the night. Although the majority of population in Herat province is Tajiks, Pushtun is the majority in Sindand district. The fighting occurred several days before the first anniversary of Bonn Agreement in which all of the ethnic leaders and delegates expressed their hope to stop ethnic conflicts in the province and to take part in reconstruction.


Courier-Mail AU 5 Dec 2002 Our war crimes suspects By Sean Parnell December 05, 2002 NINE Australians have been identified as suspected Nazi collaborators and now face the prospect of a war crimes trial in Lithuania nearly 60 years after the end of World War II. Australian Federal Police have tracked down the elderly men – suspected of genocide, murder and torture – and given the Lithuanian Government a dossier on their lives in Australia. Lithuanian Prosecutor-General Antanas Klimavicius sent Canberra a list of 22 former Lithuanian citizens believed to have lived in Australia. Mr Klimavicius, in a letter dated September 5 last year, said the men were suspected of being involved, or allowing, the murder and torture of civilians during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and neighbouring countries. On August 20 this year, the Attorney-General's department informed Mr Klimavicius that nine of the suspects lived in Australia "at known addresses". Three had lived in Australia but could not be located, one apparently returned to Lithuania in 1994, six had lived in Australia but since died, while there was no record of the other three suspects ever living in Australia. The Courier-Mail has obtained a letter to Mr Klimavicius from Michael Manning of the department's international crime branch, who said five suspects were still being hunted by the AFP. Mr Manning supplied death certificates and also gave details of those known to be living in Australia, promising to remain in touch with Mr Klimavicius. The dossier will not be made public because of privacy concerns. The investigation comes only a year after the death in Melbourne of Konrads Kalejs, 88, whom Latvian authorities had sought to extradite for alleged war crimes in World War II. Attorney-General Daryl Williams said yesterday that no extradition request had been lodged for any of the nine suspects and Lithuanian authorities indicated they did not have enough evidence to lay charges. The original list was supplied to the Lithuanian government by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which claimed the men served in auxiliary police battalions and local police units known to have committed war crimes. The centre's Israel director, Dr Efraim Zuroff, said last night it would be "absolutely outrageous and totally incomprehensible" if the matter were allowed to rest. "You would assume that if we proved that these people served in units that were involved in these terrible crimes, and the Australian Government proved nine of these people still lived in Australia, then the Lithuanian government would carry out an investigation at Australia's urging," Dr Zuroff said. He said ageing Nazi collaborators should not be allowed to die unpunished. "I very much admire Prime Minister Howard, I think he is doing a very important job in the fight against terror," he said. "But I say very simply: let's show the world you can't get away with mass murder and invest a little effort in investigating the murders of 60 years ago. That would send a message to Al-Qaeda that we won't let old murderers or new murderers rest." Dr Zuroff wants the names of the nine suspects to continue the centre's investigation.

AAP 5 Dec 2002 Nazi-hunters warn terrorists Nazi hunting organisation, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, has called on the Australian government to publicly name nine suspected Lithuanian war criminals living in Australia. Keeping on the trail of suspected Nazi criminals was an important message to terrorists that governments would hunt them for as long as necessary, the centre said. Attorney-General Daryl Williams told federal parliament that federal police had tracked down the elderly men, who are suspected of genocide, murder and torture, and given the Lithuanian government a dossier on their lives in Australia. He said no extradition request had been lodged for any of the nine suspects and Lithuanian authorities indicated they did not have enough evidence to lay charges. He said the dossier would not be made public because of privacy concerns. Wiesenthal Centre director Efraim Zuroff said he had written to Mr Williams and Justice Minister Senator Chris Ellison appealing for disclosure of the names to help further research. That research could, in turn, help secure prosecution, he said. "We urge you to inform us of the identities of the said suspects so that we can focus our research efforts on these individuals and hopefully facilitate their being held accountable for their crimes," Dr Zuroff said in the letter. "Given the obvious difficulties in pursuing such cases, we would welcome your prompt response to this request." Dr Zuroff said the centre, in May this year, sent a list of 22 Lithuanian Nazi suspects who emigrated to Australia shortly after World War II. The list had been compiled by centre researchers in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Jerusalem. "I want to make clear that we fully identify and support the manifold efforts currently being made by the Australian government to combat Islamic terror and we do not want the government to in any way diminish its activities in this field," he said. "At the same time, we reiterate the importance of bringing Nazi murderers to justice and want to point out that such efforts send an important message to today's terrorists from al-Qaeda. "That is, that Australia will continue to pursue the perpetrators of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and fundamentalist terror as long as necessary."


BBC 7 Dec 2002 Bhutan moves towards democracy -The king wants to become a "constitutional" monarch By Subir Bhaumik BBC The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is set to emerge as a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy on top. The first draft of a new constitution is ready for "extensive deliberation" before it is adopted with necessary changes. We must know whether we are ready for multi-party democracy or not Sonam Tobgye, Chief Justice The national assembly, largely symbolic so far, will debate the draft but the salient features of the constitution will be circulated to grassroots bodies for a "thorough debate". Officials working on the draft for the constitution say King Jigme Singye Wangchuk is keen that Bhutan should evolve as a parliamentary democracy, but efforts are being made to adopt the model that best suits the Bhutanese people. The Constitution Drafting Committee has 39 members and is chaired by the chief justice of Bhutan's Supreme Court. Power transfer "The process is now in full steam and the king wants a transition sooner than later," said Dechen Tsering, another member of the drafting committee. Bhutan's absolute monarchy dates back to 1907, when Jigme Singye's great grandfather Ugyen Wangchuk was formally anointed the first king of Bhutan with British support and patronage. Jigme Singye, a soccer fanatic who was educated in India and Britain, was enthroned in 1972 . Thirty years later, King Jigme Singye wants to remain a mere "constitutional monarch" . "He wants real power to go to his people. Bhutan is ideally suited for grassroots democracy because the population is small," said Dawa Tshering, a former foreign minister who now heads a think-tank. The draft constitution outlines a structure of representative democracy that begins with the village councils at the grassroots and ends with the National Assembly and the cabinet at the top. Concerns But the focal point of the debate now is whether Bhutan should have multi-party democracy or not. "This is the crux of the problem. We must know whether we are ready for multi-party democracy or not. The pros and cons have to be weighed very carefully," says Sonam Tobgye, Chief Justice of the Bhutanese Supreme Court and chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. Some experts argue that Bhutan's changes can only be cosmetic, and that real power and initiative will always remain with the palace. How can there be genuine democracy if they exclude thousands of our people who were forcibly ousted from the kingdom Ratan Gazmere, refugee leader Indian professor AC Sinha, an author of several books on Bhutan, said: "The entire process of the so-called change is piloted by the king. "There is no political culture or education in Bhutan.People still do what men in authority signal them to do." But Brian Shaw , a Hong Kong based Bhutan-watcher, said: "Gradual change is what Bhutan needs and any attempt to rush things could mean trouble." Mr Shaw, who has attended nearly every single session of the Bhutanese National Assembly, says debates there have become more lively, and representatives are beginning to speak out more vociferously. Uncertainty Gautam Basu, author of a book on Bhutan, says it is a matter of intense debate whether a small country like Bhutan needs a federal structure in the form of a district council, or whether it would be enough to have a National Assembly and the village councils. Bhutanese refugees face an uncertain future Citizenship laws are another area of fierce controversy. The election process, however, may not be difficult to evolve as in October this year, Bhutan held elections for 201 village headmen through secret ballot. That could be now be adopted for electing representatives to the National Assembly. But if there are to be elections before the Nepalis ousted from the kingdom are repatriated, tens of thousands of them would become non-citizens because their names would surely not be on the electoral rolls. "How can there be genuine democracy if they exclude thousands of our people who were forcibly ousted from the kingdom?" asked Bhutanese refugee leader Ratan Gazmere. With such contentious issues around, the experiment of democracy in Bhutan will be fraught with uncertainty.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1 Dec 2002 (AEDT) Former Khmer Rouge call for truth commission Surviving Khmer Rouge leaders have urged the United Nations not to put them on trial for genocide and instead set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission capable of detailing how two million people perished under the regime. Former prime minister Khieu Samphan said that he and other senior leaders would be prepared to give evidence on the internal workings of the highly secretive ultra-Maoist regime, headed by Brother Number One Pol Pot, if a South Africa-style truth commission was set up. A UN-sponsored trial risked "retaliation" if he and other leaders were put in the dock for crimes against humanity allegedly committed between 1975 and 1979. "At a trial, people would not understand," he said from his home in a remote forest clearing 10 kilometres west of Pailin, on the Thai border. "And we can't afford a defence and therefore we won't get a fair trial." Khieu Samphan, speaking ahead of a vote in the UN General Assembly which was expected to bolster efforts for a Khmer Rouge trial, said a Truth and Reconciliation Commission similar to South Africa's post-apartheid inquiry would be fair way to proceed. "And there would be no retaliation," he added. Old guard Khmer Rouge leaders maintain they still have some support among hardliners who would avenge any convictions.


Radio Free Asia 5 Dec 2002 TIBETANS WERE DENIED LAWYERS IN BOMB TRIAL Chinese Judge Says Men Confessed to Bombings WASHINGTON, Dec. 5-A Tibetan activist and an influential Tibetan monk sentenced to death this week in connection with a series of bombings in western China were denied access to lawyers during their trial, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports. The monk, Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche, 52, "shouted [after his sentencing] that the trial was unfair and the charges against him and his assistant, Lobsang Dhondup, were untrue," a close relative of one of the men told RFA’s Tibetan service. "He shouted that he should be put to death immediately rather than having his death sentence suspended for two years." "Three times in court, Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche shouted 'Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama,'" said the relative, who asked not to be named. "He was immediately gagged with a brush and forced out of the court. The whole court was in shock, and they could not proceed for a long time." On Monday, a court in China’s western Sichuan Province handed down death sentences to both men in connection with a series of bombings blamed on supporters of Tibetan independence. Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche’s sentence was suspended for two years, however. Death sentences in China are usually carried out, while suspended death sentences often are commuted to long prison terms. Sichuan Province borders Tibet and has a community of ethnic Tibetans. It was unclear whether the men were tried together or separately. Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche was denied visitors following his arrest on April 7, 2002, the relative said. "If he could tell us that he did it and not to worry, we would be at peace. But they never allowed us to meet him," the relative said. He added that Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche had always discouraged law-breaking. "He would always tell us not to steal, hunt, or smoke, and to follow the rules of the government. If we do not follow the rules, we will suffer ultimately, [he said]." "Only two of Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche’s family members were allowed to attend the trial," the relative said. "No lawyers were allowed since the accused were labeled 'reactionary and anti-government.'" Separately, one of several judges who decided the case told RFA that the monk had confessed to five of six explosions with which he was charged. He failed to indicate whether Lobsang Dhondup, 28, had also confessed. "It could be the view of some sections of the public that he is a great generous Rimpoche, but he accepted his responsibility in five of the six explosions," Director Zhao, head of the Kardze [Ganzi] Judiciary, said in an interview. "Their names were linked to all these explosions, and there were no other suspects." "He claims himself as a reincarnate lama recognized by Dalai Lama, but he had no letter to prove his claim," Zhao said. "He had also sent many letters [advocating] the independence of Tibet. He drafted them, Lobsang Dhondup copied them, and the originals were burnt." According to the Tibetan Information Network in London, Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche studied in India in the 1980s with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. "When he came back from abroad, he said that he did not like Lithang Monastery [a major monastery in Sichuan] worshipping Shugden," he said, referring to the wrathful Buddhist deity. "He said it is the order of Dalai Lama that Shugden is not helpful for Tibet and should be destroyed. But Lithang Monastery rejected this." Zhao cited numerous bomb blasts between 1998 and 2002: two at the home of Lithang Kyabgon Rimpoche, the chief abbot of Lithang Monastery, three in the city of Dartsedo [Kangding, Sichuan], one in front of a major government building, and one outside a police station. "In [the last] explosion, an old man was killed. All these bombs were works of [Lobsang Dhondup] and all the expenses were paid by [Tenzin Deleg Rimpoche]," he said. "Another explosion took place this year at the Tianfu market square in Chengdu...12 persons were wounded. Lobsang Dhondup was arrested at the place of explosion," Zhou said. The Dalai Lama's Tibetan government-in-exile has demanded that both sentences be reversed. It said the two men had been denied fair trials and the sentences should be thrown out. Militants opposed to Chinese control of Tibet have carried out at least eight similar bomb attacks in the Himalayan region since the mid-1990s. Communist troops marched into the region in 1950, and Beijing says it has been part of China for centuries. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly urged Tibetans to avoid violence in opposing Chinese rule. But some Tibetans have pushed for militant action, and Chinese authorities have accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding pro-independence violence. RFA broadcasts news and information to Asian listeners who lack regular access to full and balanced reporting in their domestic media. Through its broadcasts and call-in programs, RFA aims to fill a critical gap in the lives of people across Asia. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest standards of journalism and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. www.rfa.org

AFP 8 Dec 2002 Film poster on Nanjing massacre draws flak BEIJING - Posters advertising a movie about the Nanjing Massacre carried out by Japanese troops have sparked a public outcry in the city in eastern China where the massacre happened, state media said yesterday. A large headline on the posters outside movie theatres boasted: 'The first movie exposing Chinese women being raped and killed,' the Nanjing Morning Post said. The movie, called 'May, August,' depicts what is known as the 'Rape of Nanjing' in which China estimates 300,000 people were killed when Japanese troops captured the city in 1937 during the Sino-Japanese war. People who saw the movie said the movie was actually 'very touching' and the scenes of massacre and rape were artistically filmed, the report said. But many were offended by the headline which they said used insensitive words and sensationalism just to lure people to watch the movie and make money, it said. In Shanghai, where the movie was shown last month, residents also reacted strongly against the advertisements, with one cinema being forced to switch to another movie after strong criticism, the report said. 'It's not right in any way. ... Using a movie to expose history is a good thing, but using these stark-naked words to advertise and publicise is definitely harmful to Nanjing people,' a Nanjing resident surnamed Li told the Post. This month marks the 65th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, where hundreds of thousands of Chinese were killed in the city over many weeks after Japan, convinced it had won the war against China, let its soldiers loose on the city.

East Timor

AFP 27 Nov 2002 Bishop Belo resigns November 27 2002 East Timor's Nobel peace prize-winning Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, a symbol of resistance during the years of Indonesian occupation, said he was resigning as bishop. Bishop Belo said in a statement he has asked Pope John Paul II to accept his resignation after 19 years because of health reasons. A Vatican spokesman announced in Rome that the Pope has accepted the resignation. Bishop Belo's communique, written in Portuguese, confirmed local press reports and comments by the bishop at a recent mass. He is one of two bishops in the country which became independent last May after 31 months of UN stewardship, 24 years of brutal Indonesian occupation and four centuries of Portuguese colonial rule. Bishop Belo could not be reached to elaborate on his statement. Yesterday's Timor Post newspaper, published before the resignation announcement, quoted him as saying he needs rest and medical treatment for one or two years. Bishop Belo, stationed in Dili since 1983, received the Nobel peace prize in 1996 together with the current foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta for their struggle for independence from Indonesian rule. The bishop was one of the very few people within East Timor who risked speaking out against human rights abuses during Indonesia's occupation. At a mass on the waterfront grounds of his residence last Sunday, Bishop Belo told worshippers that the long years of conflict have left him with high blood pressure and vulnerable to a stroke. Bishop Belo's house, now rebuilt, was destroyed in September 1999 during the violence instigated by Indonesian security forces and their militia proxies in retaliation for East Timor's overwhelming vote for independence in a referendum that year. At least 1000 people died in violence before and after the vote. Agio Pereira, chief of staff to President Xanana Gusmao, said Mr Gusmao had been told of the resignation. Mr Pereira said Mr Gusmao has "the greatest admiration" for Bishop Belo, a personal friend who "in the most tumultuous years played a vital role in the liberation of East Timor." In the newspaper, Bishop Belo said he returned to Dili from Portugal earlier this month against the advice of officials in Rome and of his doctor, who asked him to rest and seek treatment first. "However, I came back because there was a lot of work that needed my attention," he said. According to the article, he will return to Portugal and continue his treatment in March or April next year. "When I return I will continue to work with you in Timor Lorosae (East Timor)," he said, while clearly stating that he would no longer be bishop. "I will not leave East Timor. I will remain here together with you." The Portuguese weekly Expresso, citing unnamed sources close to the bishop, said this month that Bishop Belo had disagreements with the Vatican over its plans to reorganise the Catholic church in the country. Expresso said the Vatican intends to set up a third diocese in the tiny territory to complement the ones in Dili and Baucau but did not tell Bishop Belo of its plans.

UN News Service 6 Dec 2002 Timor-Leste: Reporting calm in Dili, UN plans to probe recent violence The senior United Nations envoy to Timor-Leste today reported that calm has been restored to the country's capital, Dili, following Wednesday's incidents in which at least two Timorese were killed and another three seriously injured. The Special Representative of Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, indicated that the UN mission in the country, known as UNMISET, would "thoroughly investigate" the violence in parallel with the Timor-Leste Government, and would conduct autopsies on the two deceased to determine the exact cause of death. The envoy - who met yesterday with Timor-Leste President Xanana Gusmão and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to assess the security situation and review the necessary corrective measures - commented that the incident appeared to be "part of a planned attack against selected targets throughout Dili." Mr. Sharma said that UNMISET is committed to discharging its mandate of helping to develop and strengthen the Timor-Leste Police Service.


BBC 25 Nov 2002 Eyewitness: Anger in Jammu At least 50 people were injured in the siege By Binoo Joshi BBC reporter in Jammu There is tension and confusion in the city of Jammu where a raid by suspected militants left 14 people dead. An indefinite curfew is still in force, searches are continuing and life is still far from normal as local residents come to terms with the shock and horror of the bloody battle between the militants and the security forces. At this rate I think we have to brace ourselves for much worse Jammu resident "The terrorist was hurling grenades from a black bag as he forced his way inside", said Sanjay Sharma, a junior priest in the Raghunath Temple in the Kashmir winter capital. "He was hiding behind a pillar of the temple as he fired from his gun," Mr Sharma said. There was a fierce gunbattle for more than two hours before security forces finally killed the militant. Two others were also killed. Demonstration "We were lying injured on the floor of the temple praying to God as the gunbattle went on," Sheela Devi, who suffered gunshot wounds, told the BBC. Nearly 50 people were injured in the shoot-out. The chief minister is under pressure There was no electricity in the area at the time of the incident, and people say the darkness seemed to help the militants carry out the attack. Angry crowds held demonstrations outside the temple and the Medical College Hospital, where many of the injured were treated. Protesters blamed the new government of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for encouraging militancy with its "soft policy" under which 26 militants were released earlier this month. "For the last three days we have had three major incidents in the state. What is the government doing about it?" asked Sunil Sharma, a local businessman. Under fire The temple area has been sealed off "This government lacks a concrete action plan. At this rate I think we have to brace ourselves for much worse," said another man. Mr Sayeed's political rivals, too, launched attacks on his government. The leader of the opposition National Conference, Omar Abdullah, said: "The so-called healing touch policy of the mufti government has boosted the confidence of the militants." He accused Mr Sayeed of having "no clear policy on fighting terrorism", but stressed he did not think the temple attack was the work of militants released under the government's initiative.

BBC 1 Dec 2002 India warns of more temple raids - Last week's raid at a Jammu temple killed 14 The Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, says his government has information that militants are planning more attacks on Indian temples. "More temples can be targeted. We have information in this regard. But we will not be frightened and will fight terrorism and win the war against it," Mr Vajpayee said on a visit to Solan district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Mr Vajpayee vowed to fight terrorism Mr Vajpayee said militants were "targeting places of worship to foment religious sentiments and communal violence". He said the militants would not succeed in their aim of creating fear among the people by attacking places of worship. Mr Vajpayee referred to attacks on Hindu temples in Jammu and on pilgrims heading for the Hindu shrine of Amarnath in Indian-administered Kashmir. In a raid on Jammu's Reghunath temple by militants last week 14 people including two militants were killed. In September, two militants attacked a temple in the western state of Gujarat, killing 30 civilians. Pakistan summit Mr Vajpayee accused Pakistan of trying to disrupt India's progress but said "We know how to deal with it". There is no point in discussing Kashmir at the summit Atal Bihari Vajpayee He warned that he would not attend a regional South Asian summit in Pakistan next month unless cross-border incursions by militants in Kashmir were stopped. "I can consider going to the SAARC summit early next year provided infiltration and cross-border terrorism stops completely in Kashmir," he said. But he added that Kashmir "is not a SAARC issue and so there is no point in discussing Kashmir at the summit". The seven-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is due to meet in Islamabad. The BBC's Asit Jolly in Chandigarh says while at one level Mr Vajpayee's comments reaffirm India's position on international terrorism, they are also significant in the light of state assembly elections in the western state of Gujarat due later this month. The polls in Gujarat are critical to the political future prospects of Mr Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Gujarat has been hit by a spate of communal rioting in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Unofficial reports put the death toll at 2,000. Criticism The state government headed by the BJP was strongly criticised for not doing enough to control the rioting. Opposition parties have frequently accused the BJP of trying to return to power on a Hindu wave. But Mr Vajpayee said he had advised his party not to make the train attack in Godhra an issue in the state polls. In its election manifesto released in Ahmedabad on Sunday the BJP made no mention of any efforts to control communal violence in the state. It did however, promise to throw out militants from the border state and conduct a study on the system of education in Muslim religious schools, or madrassas.

Times of India 30 Nov 2002 Godhra train burning was spontaneous: Report MUMBAI: The burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express on February 27 was a spontaneous act, says the report of the eight-member Concerned Citizens Tribunal that was released here on Friday. Headed by retired supreme court judge V R Krishna Iyer, the tribunal spent a fortnight in Gujarat in May recording 2,094 statements from 16 districts. The report says that the coach was set on fire from inside but the origin of the fire remains mysterious. According to retired high court judge Hosbet Suresh, who released the report along with retired supreme court judge P B Sawant, the forensic reports later corroborated the tribunal's conclusion on the fire beginning from inside the compartment. "The forensic report says that around 60 litres of inflammable liquid had to be poured into the coach," says the tribunal report. The report says that coach S-6 was targeted because some kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya misbehaved with tea vendors and local women. Later, answering questions, Justice Sawant reiterated that the post-Godhra incidents in Gujarat were not riots but genocide. Asked whether the term genocide could be used for the deaths of 1,000-odd persons,Mr Sawant said, "The numbers do not matter in a genocide. What matters is that the killings were state sponsored, state facilitated and state assisted." Asked whether it would be possible to prosecute caretaker Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in an international court, Justice Sawant replied in the negative. "That's because India has no law against genocide," he said. The former SC judge said the panel which looked in the Gujarat violence had recommended the setting up of a National Crimes Tribunal to deal with such instances as the existing judicial system was incapable of dealing with them. Answering another question, Justice Hosbet Suresh said reports such as this were the response of civil society to an occurrence and that it was for the citizens and government to take the issue to its logical end. Justice Hosbet Suresh said that he along with some concerned citizens had brought out a similar report, 'People's Verdict', after the post-Babri riots in Mumbai in 1992-'93. The Justice Srikrishna commission set up by the state government to inquire into the riots arrived at the same conclusions, he said. The former judge cited several instances where governments or courts had taken cognizance of inquiry reports prepared by citizens' organisations. The report of the tribunal was released in Ahmedabad on November 21 and in Delhi on the next day. The Citizens for Peace and Justice hopes to release the report in the other metros and cities shortly.

Times of India 1 Dec 2002 Gujarat carnage a genocide, says NCP PATNA: The NCP national general secretary, Jagannath Mishra, charged here on Saturday that the Gujarat carnage was a systematically-planned genocide, executed by the state, and not a communal riot. He said that the Citizen’s Tribunal has — in its two-volume report — based this finding on evidence and not just on the basis of statements of the survivors and their kin. The tribunal has concluded that there is enough evidence to establish that a decision was taken at the highest level in the state government in Gujarat "to use the attack on the Sabarmati Express at Godhra for a 72-hour massacre of Muslims", he said. The tribunal has recommended enactment of a law for prevention and punishment for genocide-like crimes in compliance with the International Genocide Convention, to which India is also a signatory, Mishra added. He alleged that as per the tribunal report, "the genocide was planned with military precision at a meeting held in Lunawada, in which two ministers were present". Later, the plan was disseminated to 50 leaders of BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. Meanwhile, a left coordination committee meeting held at the office of CPM here opined that in Gujarat, VHP and BJP had sponsored the carnage, stigmatising the secular image of the country. The leaders of the CPI, the CPM, SUCI and the Forward Bloc attended the meeting. They included Jalaluddin Ansari, Sarvoday Sharma, Vijaykant Thakur, Sarangdhar Paswan, Arun Kumar Singh and Ram Prasad. Amriteshwar Chakravarti presided over meeting.

Asian Age 6 Dec 2002 Hate-mongers take religion hostage in India By Angana Chatterji The contradictions between Hinduism and Hindutva must be emphasized. Hinduism is an ancient religion. Hindutva is the utilization of Hinduism to foment a supremacist movement. Hindutva, like other extremist movements, uses terror to dominate Majoritarian communalism and religious intolerance holds captive human rights in South Asia. Shared commitments to democracy and civil liberties do not yet connect us as nations. It is, instead, repressive forces of religious nationalism and cultural intolerance that incapacitate nation building in the region. In Pakistan, draconian blasphemy laws persecute minorities and appease Islamic fundamentalists. In Sri Lanka, inequities of religion and ethnicity haunt Sinhalese, Tamil Hindus and Muslims. In Bangladesh, enduring conflicts brutalize minority Hindus and Christians. In India, the fascistic ascent of Hindutva ravages society. Tolerance and inclusion is the sine qua non of Indian democracy. Hindu extremists contend that national commitments to secular religious tolerance have been a tactic for undermining the truth of India as a pure, glorious and exclusively Hindu tradition and culture. This truth demands an unquestioning commitment to India as a Hindu nation. The Hindutva, Hindu supremacist, movement uses the vehicle of the state to cement Hindu religious majoritarianism into the foundation of a national culture. Such enterprise rewards the dominant community and is intolerant of minority groups and faiths. Hindutva understands itself as secular, in that it is not based on faith, but the conversion of faith into culture. It declares tolerance for minority faiths to be pseudo-secularism. It undermines the cultural and religious profusion that is central to conceiving the nation, and asserting the separation of religion and state. The contradictions between Hinduism and Hindutva must be emphasized. Hinduism is an ancient religion. Hindutva is the utilization of Hinduism to foment a supremacist movement. Hindutva, like other extremist movements, uses terror to dominate. Dissenting Hindus are perceived as threats to the unity of the nation. Hindutva is supported by organizations that fund raise abroad. The India Development Relief Fund (IDRF) is one such registered charity in the Untied States that sustains the Sangh Parivar, the network of Hindutva organizations. IDRF was established in 1989, ostensibly to fundraise for organizations in India that assist in development and tribal well-being. IDRF has emphatically maintained that it has no connections with the Sangh Parivar. A scrutiny of financial records, and the profile, actions and associations of the organization disclose instead IDRF’s intimate connections to the Parivar. The Parivar uses religion as a nationalistic weapon to empower the Hindutva movement. IDRF, through its relationship with the Sangh, fortifies the hatred and violence that divides India. The use of force is not restricted to Hindu extremists. The Indian State is vigilant in policing and repressing oppositional activities, especially those of minority communities. The Government of India introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, a security law that empowers the state to torture and detain political opponents, revoke civil liberties, and suppress actions it deems threatening to the nation. Yet the national government tolerated the Sangh Parivar’s crimes in Gujarat this year. The Citizens Tribunal on Gujarat has held the Sangh Parivar co-responsible for the orchestrated post-Godhra massacre of Muslims. It must be incumbent on IDRF to prove that it is not in support of such depravity. In a climate where Hindutva is sanctioned and vindicated by an increasing army of henchmen and the state, it is imperative that citizens speak out against the collaboration between government and Parivar organizations in the promulgation of terror. Citizens initiatives must demand accountability of international groups that finance the apparatus of Hindutva. It is deceptive for IDRF to claim on its website that it raises money to “serve economically and socially disadvantaged people irrespective of caste, sect, region or religion,” and utilize such funds in a sectarian manner. IDRF has raised about 5.5 million dollars during the past decade. Nearly 69 percent of IDRF’s funds go to organizations in adivasi (tribal) and rural areas. A large segment is allocated for educational projects of Hinduization, the disintegration of adivasi (and other non Hindu) cultures through their incorporation into Hindutva. Sewa Bharti, an associate of the Sangh, funded by IDRF, organized a Hindu Sangam in Madhya Pradesh in January 2002. The Citizens Tribunal has charged that such efforts facilitated the mobilization of adivasis against other minorities in Gujarat. Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad and Vivekananda Kendra, funded by IDRF, were both held complicit in the communalization of adivasis. The sporadic participation of Hinduized adivasi and Dalit communities in the brutalization of Muslims was a sad and unexpected distinction of the recent violence in Gujarat. Divide and conquer, effectively realized. IDRF has been conspicuously silent about Gujarat, Godhra and after, and did not raise funds in support of the victims. Development is critical to India’s empowerment. It cannot be undertaken by organizations that promote hate. IDRF allocates 80 percent of its funds to Sangh Parivar organizations and those affiliated or controlled by them. Of the 67 IDRF affiliate organizations, 52 are associated with the Sangh. Secular freedoms confirm the right to proselytize, but do not permit the use of religion or culture to cultivate hate. IDRF does not directly orchestrate campaigns of violence. IDRF’s funding to Sangh organizations aids the spread of the ideology and practice of Hindutva. Such activity produces the very conditions for social violence that are detrimental to India’s national interest. The practice of conscience, not of genocide, must determine who belongs to a nation. India is made most vulnerable by the Hindutva movement’s xenophobic commitments to tear apart the promises of history. In Gujarat, a fetus of an unborn Muslim, carved from a pregnant woman’s stomach, was tossed in the air. Triumphant annihilation, reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Tomorrow as a day of justice and peace is made impossible. The state of the nation demands sustained interventions in dissent of religious extremism. It is irrelevant to claim innocence. Until we prevent rape, horror, and unnecessary death in the name of nation building, history will find us complicit. Amidst the complex desires that fuel India’s becoming, habitual contempt for minorities must not power our future. Nor must we allow religion to be held captive to violent nationalist agendas.

Times of India 6 Dec 2002 Godhra can't be forgotten: Togadia GODHRA: While VHP leader Pravin Togadia reiterates that Godhra cannot be forgotten, the saffron brigade here has ensured that the Sabarmati carnage does not blot out of public memory. A week before the state goes to the polls, posters, depicting the burning coach and Ram Sevaks who died in the incident, have surfaced here. The posters have appeared almost overnight in both Hindu and Muslimdominated areas on both sides of the Mesri river. Besides prominent landmarks, they have been pasted on autorickshaws and buses, staircases of shopping complexes and in one instance on a wall bang outside a police station! The posters show the burning S-6 coach surrounded by passport-size photos of the victims of the carnage. A line at the bottom reads, "Ram sevako ne shradhanjali, etle sau taka matdan (Pay your tribute to these Ram Sevaks by ensuring 100 per cent voting)"— Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The attacks on religious places find prominence with one poster showing the Akshardham and Raghunath temples along with the burnt train. The slogans read, "Har yuvak bane Shivaji, jehad no javab -- Hindu Rashtra, Mara gam ne Godhra nahi banwa dou, mara Gujarat ne Kashmir nahi banwa dau. (Every youth should aspire to be like Shivaji, the answer to jehad is Hindu Rashtra, don't turn my village into another Godhra, don't turn my Gujarat into another Kashmir)." These posters have put the BJP candidate from Godhra, Haresh Bhatt, in a tricky situation as some of them have appeared right below his own posters in the city. Bhatt vehemently denies a hand in the incident. "I'm with the BJP now and fighting on its ticket. I'm in no way associated with all this. There has been an attempt to malign my image by pasting these posters next to mine," he told TNN. Meanwhile, the posters have left Godhra's residents rattled. Shafiq Ahmed, who owns a cycle repair shop on Civil Road that virtually demarcates Hindu and Muslimdominated areas, is apprehensive about both December 6 and 12. "Though my shop is near a Muslim-dominated area, I feel unsafe. I decided to send my family to Surat as I smelt trouble as soon as these posters came up on my wall. They may have done it intentionally as they know the shop is owned by a Muslim," he said. "The posters could not have come up at a more inappropriate time as Friday will mark the 10th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition," said Jagnesh Bhatt, an autorickshaw driver, who found a poster pasted on his vehicle. "I wonder why they are doing this. I've already lost two rickshaws during the riots," he added. Panchmahals collector Manoj Aggarwal said punitive measures would be taken against those responsible. "The posters have appeared overnight. Earlier, we had pulled down posters showing the same images. The nodal officer has already been notified," said Aggarwal. "We are trying our best to identify the culprits," said Panchmahals SP Narsimha Komar.

India Express 6 Dec 2002 Protests mark Dec 6 anniversary in Capital Express News Service New Delhi, December 6: THERE were angry outbursts against the Babri Masjid demolition on its 10th anniversary today. While Leftist organisations were protesting against the event, the Shiv Sena went about sloganeering for a temple. The CPI (ML)-New Democracy today raised slogans across the road of Jantar Mantar protesting the Babri demolition. ‘‘Let’s not be bothered by them, they are trying to distract us. Comrades, don’t stop,’’ said Aparna, general secretary of the Delhi Committee. While she said this, a line of trucks with Shiv Sainiks passed by, shouting and passing comments. And amid the rhetoric, there was a suggestion from one of the Leftist speakers too. ‘‘Let us ask the BJP to demolish all the desired structures in winters. It is so pleasant to sit on dharnas in the sun,’’ said N.K. Bhattacharya, retired Delhi University professor and member of Janhastakshep. ‘‘The same political forces which destroyed the Babri Masjid have now torn apart the communal fabric of Gujarat by communal violence and genocide,’’ said Poonam, general secretary of an organisation called Pragatisheel. She added that the way women are treated today needs to be checked immediately. ‘‘Even the violence in Gujarat was largely sexual attacks and the murders of women,’’ she said. Others present in the rally were Pankaj Singh, poet and member of Janhastakshep, Aminesh, secretary, IFTU and the president of Naujawan Bharat Sabha Mrignak. The participants demanded that the Uttar Pradesh government should issue a ‘‘corrected notification for the Lucknow special court for the urgent action against the guilty in the Ayodhya case’’. Also, various other NGOs and individuals today organised a number of cultural programmes. Like members of Aman Ekta Manch, an NGO which marched in a candlelight procession to Feroz Shah Kotla maidan. The programme included music by Vidya Rao, Kajal Ghosh, Dhruv Sarangi, students of Lady Shri Ram College, Kirori Mal College and Jawaharlal Nehru University. There were painting competition and kite-flying for children that went throughout the day and the kites were specially brought in from Kasai Ki Chalil in Ahmedabad.

TIME December 9, 2002/ Vol. 160 No. 22 Modi's Law For India, Narendra Modi's election bid is a referendum on the politics of hate BY ALEX PERRY/GODHRA To twist his nation's soul, Narendra Modi is first conquering its heart. He's halfway through another 20-hour day on his "Journey of Pride" across the western state of Gujarat, India's industrial powerhouse, and as everywhere, Modi is being mobbed. After a brief speech, he flops, sweating and exhausted, back into the passenger seat of his election campaign bus. The crowd won't leave him alone, however. They reach in through the windows of the bus, heaping armfuls of orange marigold garlands and heady rose petals onto his legs. But his supporters—fervent Hindus all—aren't taken with Modi because he is promising them lower taxes or better schools or more hospitals. Instead, Modi is appealing to a deeper core, calling on his supporters to ignite a fanatical faith in themselves and in the man they believe can lead them to national nirvana. As he surveys the hundreds jostling for one glimpse of him, one brush of his neat beard, even Modi is impressed. "Look at these people," he remarks to a reporter. "They all want to touch me, hold me. It's more than anything I could have dreamed of." And more than anything India's founding fathers could have imagined. To understand India's politics today, and the highly combustible relationship between its Hindu majority and Muslim minority, you need to study, above all, the one man currently dominating one state. It was here, in the small Gujarati town of Godhra on Feb. 27 this year, that Chief Minister Modi was handed his mission statement when a mob set fire to a train, which resulted in 58 Hindu pilgrims being burned to death, sparking the worst religious riots the nation had seen for a decade. In the days and weeks that followed, Hindus armed with swords and barbed tridents rampaged through Gujarat. As Modi's police force stood by, they torched Muslim shops, raped Muslim women, beheaded and disemboweled Muslim men, even cut an unborn child from the womb of one Muslim mother. According to human-rights groups, Hindus killed more than 2,000 Muslims and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes. Now, back in Godhra where it all began almost 10 months ago, the 52-year-old Modi is well aware that his enraptured audience of thousands, packing markets and hanging from lampposts and rooftops, is sprinkled with these same looters, rapists and murderers. "Why are so many of you here?" he bellows. "Because the fire that burns in my heart is the same as the fire in yours." For anyone missing Modi's meaning, an overcome teenager in the front spells it out. "Kill the Muslim motherf_____s," she screams. Even the proudest patriot will admit that India's boast of being a bastion of live-and-let-live harmony has always been something of a lie. Muslim frustration at discrimination and Hindu resentment of governmental assistance to minorities explode every few years in violence. But as the March riots raged on for weeks in Gujarat, they provoked particular alarm. While human-rights groups demanded Modi be tried for genocide, Hindu political parties, cultural groups and hordes of street demonstrators celebrated him as India's great defender. From a political nobody, Modi was catapulted into the international limelight as the white-haired, bespectacled figurehead of Indian intolerance, a national Hindu hero. In headlines and debate, he instantly eclipsed all other leaders, even the Prime Minister from his own Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, or BJP), the moderate but aging Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Faltering from a lackluster record as head of the national coalition government in New Delhi, and from a series of local poll defeats that has left it ruling just three of India's 28 states, the BJP rejected calls for the Chief Minister's dismissal and instead announced snap state elections to capitalize on his winning notoriety. "He speaks directly to the people," glows BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley. "He has become a folk hero." Now the Dec. 12 ballot in Gujarat pits Modi against Shankersinh Vaghela, the candidate of the avowedly secular Congress Party. But the true choice is between two visions of India: imperfect but inclusive harmony, or strident, angry segregation. Both the BJP and Congress say their strategies for the 2004 general elections will be based on what some 50 million Gujaratis decide. For the BJP, it is a test of whether hate politics work and, as hard-liners see it, whether the party is being extreme enough. And for Congress, the result will determine if its platform of tolerance still has electoral merit. But with opinion polls hinting at a narrow Modi victory, supporters and detractors alike predict the Gujarati Chief Minister can only rise further within the BJP, perhaps to national government. On the campaign trail, Modi's message is that India, Hindus and Gujarat are all under attack. The persecutors? Terrorists, criminals, all Pakistanis (and President Pervez Musharraf in particular, whom Modi declares to be his true electoral opponent), Osama bin Laden, intellectuals, the media, "pseudo secularists," communists and cow killers. He reserves particular venom for Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated Premier Rajiv Gandhi. Her entire party sees the world through "Italian glasses," he declares to loud laughs. But it's an odd slight for a man who himself looks out from behind a pair of frameless Bulgaris from Milan. As the bus bounces over potholes into Gujarat's flat, dusty plains, you begin to wonder how much of his own rhetoric Modi truly believes. All talk of Pakistan, terrorism and Hindus under threat vanishes in private. He sidesteps questions about official favoritism toward Muslims, a leading right-wing complaint. After vilifying madrasahs, Muslim lowlifes and the "Muslim-loving" Congress in his speeches, he even insists religion is not an electoral issue and plays down the violence that fueled his rise, declaring 98% of Gujarat unaffected. Perhaps most tellingly, though he speaks directly to the mob from the bus roof, he tries to shrink away from it, almost embarrassed, once he's back in the bus. "It's true, they are there, the Muslim haters," he says, "but I welcome anyone who votes for the BJP. You can't blame me for that." Even if Modi is just acting the part of a Hindu fanatic, there's no doubt he is riding—and stoking—Hindu nationalism for political gain. The danger is that once Modi and the BJP hard-liners mount the tiger of hate politics, they cannot get off or, worse, cannot control it. BJP insiders admit that without any significant achievements for Modi to point to, either in Gujarat or across the country, his one hope lies in terrifying and cajoling Hindus into voting for the party that vows to jealously protect them, and them alone. Says childhood friend Jasud Pathan, a Muslim and a BJP organizer: "His job is to save the BJP, to save the government. And the only way to do that is to say these things about Muslims." Modi grew up in Vadnagar, a small town of 40,000 in the semiarid scrub about 200 kilometers from the Pakistani border. In many ways Vadnagar, like much of the rest of Gujarat, encapsulates the best of India. It is prosperous and progressive, a place where parents bring up their children as vegetarians and teetotalers and dreaming of being managers in the state's western industrial belt. In its bazaar, Hindus and Muslims mix freely as neighbors and friends. There is little here to nurture hate in a young Hindu. But the people of Vadnagar remember two things about their most famous son. His startling abilities as an actor, taking lead roles in school plays and once writing and performing a one-man show. And his almost fanatical devotion, from the age of five, to the BJP's parent organization, the secretive Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers Party, or RSS). Modi's 86-year-old mother Hiraben recalls that her son couldn't wait for the moment each day when he could change into his RSS cadet uniform of khaki shorts, white shirt and black cap and snap out smart salutes to a saffron flag. "He'd get up at 4 a.m., say his prayers and do the exercises the RSS had shown him," she says. It was this same focus that would see him leave Vadnagar at 17 to study politics in Gujarat's main city, Ahmadabad, returning only once—just for a day—30 years later. Embracing the spartan life of the devotee, he left his family and took nothing with him, not even his wife, Jashodaben, to whom he had been married as a child. At university, Modi quickly joined the RSS's student wing. At the time, the RSS and its fledgling political wing the BJP were on the fringe of India's political scene. By 1984, the BJP had only two seats in Parliament. All that changed in the late 1980s with the advent of Indian TV's first big hit show, Ramayana. The serialization of the legend of the god-king Rama set new lows for wooden acting and dismal special effects—and surprised everyone when it became a smash. Modi, by then a BJP press officer, wasn't the only one who noticed. Party leaders Vajpayee and his hard-line No. 2 Lal Krishna Advani (now Deputy Prime Minister) saw an opportunity to put on a show of their own. They took one myth, that Rama had been born on the site of a once glorious temple at Ayodhya in northern India, and turned it into a rallying cry for all Hindu patriots. One of the cornerstones of the Hindu nation, read the press releases Modi distributed, had been lost when 16th century Islamic Mughal conquerors built a mosque over the temple's ruins. The demolition of the mosque and the restoration of the temple was henceforth the core concern of virtually every Indian. A nationalist tide of wounded pride swept India. Tension between Hindus and Muslims soared. RSS membership hit 4.5 million, and the BJP burst onto center stage. In December 1992, in a spectacular demonstration of religious fervor, a crowd of Hindu demonstrators broke down fences protecting the mosque, climbed onto its three domes and, within hours, tore it apart brick by brick. It was a lasting lesson in the power of political theater. In the event the BJP loses in Gujarat, many observers reckon that the national government will suffer a heavy and perhaps fatal blow. ("I give them only three months," says a prominent Gujarati industrialist.) Advani in particular, as Modi's champion, is expected to stand or fall with his protEgE. And for Vajpayee, a loss, for which he would be blamed by hard-liners irked by his moderating restraints, would be as bad as a win, for which these same hard-liners would take the credit. But for the country, the consequences of an upset could be little short of disastrous. With obvious mischief, Pravin Togadia, the firebrand international head of the s's religious arm, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, or VHP), warns that what little control the BJP, or even he, exercises over the Hindu mob would evaporate if Modi were to lose on Dec. 12. "It will mean people are no longer prepared to defend themselves against Islam democratically," he states. "The masses will take the law into their own hands; there will be civil war." As the mascot of the far right, Modi benefits greatly from such political blackmail. "This is the start of something," he says, gazing out at the crowds swarming around his campaign bus. "You can't ignore this. It's beyond a dream. This will sweep all India." But as he speaks, you can't tell if Narendra Modi really believes this. It could be just another act. With reporting by Sankarshan Thakur/New Delhi


Jakarta Post 28 Nov 2002 E. Timor militia leader sentenced to 10 years in jail Moch. N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta The ad hoc human rights court sentenced the former pro-Jakarta militia leader Eurico Guterres to 10 years in jail on Wednesday for his role in a massacre in East Timor three years ago, making him the second person of East Timorese origin to have been convicted in the landmark trial here. The verdict quickly sparked anger from Eurico, who questioned the fairness of the human rights trial for failing to punish military and police officers for their involvement in the atrocities that marked the territory's breakaway from the republic after 23 years of occupation. "It is unfair that a civilian like me must serve 10 years in jail, but all the military and police officers were acquitted even though they were responsible for the violence," a dejected Eurico said. "What I did was to try to maintain the unity of Indonesia, but now I have to go to jail." Eurico, however, does not have to start serving his jail term right away as the judges did not order his immediate imprisonment, despite the fact that they had convicted him of committing an extraordinary crime. The desolate ex-militia figure demanded that former president B.J. Habibie and former Armed Forces commander Gen. (ret) Wiranto be brought to justice for their crucial roles in the widespread destruction and violence prior to and after the referendum that resulted in East Timor's independence. Eurico said he was considering an appeal to the High Court. The verdict against Eurico has given rise to widespread suspicions that civilians are being scapegoated for the 1999 chaos in the former Indonesian province, while military and police officers are being allowed to escape scot-free. Prior to the start of Eurico's trial, former East Timor governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares was sentenced to three years in jail. A total of 18 defendants have been or will be brought before the human rights tribunal. Eurico's sentence is still below the minimum sentence of 11 years in jail stipulated in Law No. 26/2000 on human rights tribunals, the legal basis for the trial. "We find him guilty of having allowed his followers to murder and torture people in the house of Manuel Viegas Carrascalao on April 17, 1999, in Dili, where 12 people were killed and three others injured," presiding judge Herman Heller Hutapea pronounced. Herman said that prior to the massacre, Eurico had delivered a speech to militia members during a ceremony broadcast by a local radio station ordering them to kill Manuel and his family. Manuel was one of the East Timorese leaders who supported independence for East Timor. "His speech fired up the militiamen and they responded by screaming "kill, kill, kill", and even fired shots into the air," Herman said. "As the militia's leader, Eurico should have realized that he could control and stop his followers from attacking Manuel's house, but he didn't do so." The court, however, said that the former East Timor military commander, Brig. Gen. Tono Suratman, and other government officials who attended the ceremony, must also be held responsible for the attack. "Tono ignored a report from Manuel that his house would be attacked by pro-Jakarta militiamen. He did not take any action until the incident occurred," he said. "Government officials attending the ceremony were also unwilling to use their powers to prevent the attack". Over 1,000 are believed to been killed during the widespread violence and some 250,000 people were forced to flee to East Nusa Tenggara after the referendum Human rights activists have called for an international tribunal to try the suspects, claiming that the ad hoc court had failed to provide justice for the victims of the atrocities. But observers have expressed pessimism that such an international tribunal for East Timor would materialize due to weak support from permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, including the U.S., Russia and China.

Jakarta Post 30 Nov 2002 RI defers signing ICC Statute, JAKARTA: Indonesia will not ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) until after the country has reformed the current judicial system, a senior official said. Eddy Setiabudi, an official at the directorate of security and regional affairs of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that ICC was only an alternative after the existing judicial system was no longer independent or effective. "We will ratify it after countries that have ratified it implement the Rome Statute. Besides, big countries like the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, and India have not ratified the Statute," he said in a discussion. ICC, which came into effect on July 1, 2002, has international jurisdiction over gross violations of human rights such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. Some women activists said in the discussion that the ratification of the Statute could break the culture of impunity that often allowed violations to go unpunished.

NYT 1 Dec 2002 Indonesian Human Rights Court Acquits 4 in East Timor Killings By JANE PERLEZ AKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 30 — An Indonesian human rights court has acquitted four former security officials, including two army officers, on charges of crimes against humanity during the bloodshed that engulfed East Timor three years ago. The court's decision on Friday means that 10 Indonesian security officials who have been tried so far for crimes against humanity in the former Indonesian territory have been acquitted. The Bush administration had pressed Indonesia for convictions that would hold the military accountable for the blood bath in East Timor before and after a United Nations-sponsored referendum on independence in August 1999. Estimates put the number of civilians killed at more than 1,000. Administration officials have said that the United States will not resume full military ties — including the supply of weaponry — to Indonesia until the armed forces show some progress toward reform. But the Pentagon, eager to reinstate ties with the Indonesian military as part of the United States' campaign against terrorism, has persuaded Congress to approve funds to train selected Indonesian officers in the coming years. Initial financing of $400,000 for training under the International Military and Training program is expected to pass its final hurdle when Congress returns. Three of the acquittals announced on Friday by the presiding judge, Cicut Sutiarso, involved men charged with failing to prevent pro-Indonesian militias from attacking a church in the town of Liquica on April 6, 1999, and killing at least 22 people. The men were a soldier, Lt. Col. Asep Kuswani; a police officer, Lt. Col. Adios Salova; and the district leader, Leonita Martins. A fourth man, Lt. Col. Endar Priyanto, was the army chief in East Timor's capital, Dili, when militiamen attacked the house of a prominent independence leader, killing 12 civilians. He was charged with failing to stop the massacre. The Indonesian government convened the human rights court under pressure from Western powers. But the prosecution has proved to be staffed by weak lawyers, and the judges appear to be unschooled in their duties, human rights advocates say. The acquittals were "shocking" but "not surprising," said Sidney Jones, a human rights specialist who is the director of the International Crisis Group here. "It looks increasingly as though a deal was done between the prosecutor and the army to ensure that all officers were acquitted." Six more individuals, some of them senior military figures, are awaiting trial on charges connected with East Timor. The senior commander at the time of the violence, General Wiranto, and the head of military intelligence during the United Nations referendum, Zacky Anwar Makarim, have not been charged. Two civilians have been found guilty of charges related to the East Timor violence. Both of them are from East Timor. United Nations investigators and an Indonesian human rights commission found that the militia violence in East Timor was planned, supported and directed by the Indonesian military in an effort to prevent independence for the territory. East Timor was declared independent on May 20. The first United States ambassador to East Timor, Grover Joseph Rees 3rd, who was the chief counsel to the House International Relations Committee, is scheduled to be sworn in on Monday.

AFP 1 Dec 2002 Violence claims at least six more killed in Indonesia's restive Aceh BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Dec 1 (AFP) - At least six people, including two soldiers and a separatist rebel, were killed in the latest violence to hit Indonesia's restive province of Aceh, the military and the rebels said Sunday. Three civilians were shot dead by soldiers searching for rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Manyang Baroh, in the North Aceh district, early on Sunday, the local GAM spokesman Teungku Jamaica said. Jamaica said that the three victims, who were arrested at their respective home and shot dead in front of the village mosque, were "civilians who had nothing to do with the GAM." An Aceh military spokesman, Colonel Firdays Komarno said that he has not received report of such incident. Komarno also said one soldier and one rebel were killed during a shootout in Seulimun, in the Aceh Besar district, on Saturday. The shootout followed an ambush on a 10-men military patrol, he said. He also said that rebels took the dead soldier's rifle while troops seized the rifle of the dead rebel. The local GAM spokesman Teungku Mukhsalmina confirmed that one rebel was killed in the incident. Komarno said that one soldier drowned while crossing a river in Lamno, West Aceh district. He was part of a team hunting down rebels who were crossing the river on a canoe when it suddenly overturned in the middle of the river. But the local GAM spokesman, Abu Hurairah, said that reports he had received said four soldiers had died in the incident. The violence took place a few days before the 26th anniversary of the GAM on December 4 and a scheduled signing of a peace pact between government and rebel representatives to end the long conflict on December 9. Komaro said that some 1,400 soldiers on Sunday entered their 33rd day of siege of a marshy area in Cot Trieng, North Aceh district, where several GAM leaders and troops were believed to be holding out. The siege has been tightened and the rebels are now confined to a two square kilometers area. Rights activists have said that since the conflict began in 1976, more than 10,000 people have been killed, some 1,200 of them in 2002 alone.

Jakarta Post 2 Dec 2002 No hope of punishment military, police in rights cases Moch. N. Kurniawan, The , Jakarta Human rights activists see no hope that the ad hoc human rights court will uphold justice and punish military and police officers for their alleged involvement in the 1999 East Timor violence. Ifdhal Kasim of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam) said on Saturday that judges and prosecutors had seemingly perceived officers as "their colleagues, who carry out duties to safeguard territorial unity, thus they must be protected." "With such a view, no wonder prosecutors demanded minimum sentences for the officers and seemed uninterested in calling victims as witnesses, while judges had no courage, so just acquit the officers," he said. "Judges and prosecutors must start thinking that the officers who are tried in the rights court are those who misused their power to commit human rights abuses." Ori Rahman, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), agreed with Ifdhal, saying there was no improvement in performance from judges and prosecutors handling human rights cases. "Their performances are very poor. Prosecutors still fail to present key witnesses, while judges have not upheld justice," he said. "This court can't be expected to run properly anymore." Ifdhal and Ori were commenting on the acquittal of a number of military and police officers of charges on crimes against humanity in East Timor. Ten of the total 18 defendants have already been cleared by the human rights court. Nine of them are military and police officers. So far only two civilians of East Timorese origin -- former East Timor governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares and militia leader Eurico Guterres -- were found guilty of human rights violations by the court. Even so, they both received below the minimum sentence. Solahuddin Wahid of the National Commission on human rights (Komnas HAM) also expressed skepticism about the court because it only sentenced two East Timorese civilians, but acquitted Indonesian military and police officers. "Why only East Timorese. Are they the most responsible ones?" Solahuddin said. Ifdhal said the government must share responsibility for the acquittal of a number of military and police officers from charges of human rights abuses in East Timor in 1999. Since the beginning, he said, the government was reluctant to bring officers to the court as none of the high-ranking officers, believed to be responsible for the chaos, were among those who were even named as defendants. The government, through the Attorney General's Office, also failed to bring strong witnesses to the trial, which made it easy for the judges to acquit the officers. Ifdhal also said that unknowledgeable and poorly trained judges and prosecutors made for very poor performance. "The judges and prosecutors are not even given appropriate literature to learn about other human rights cases in other countries, although the information is very important to help them to take action. "So only the creative prosecutors or judges, who will spend extra time and money to get the information can understand human rights," he said. According to him, the relative decrease in international pressure on the ad hoc court amid the war on terrorism also gave a certain amount of leeway to the judges in acquitting the defendants. "Although it's unlikely, we hope that the United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights will declare disappointment over the Indonesian ad hoc court," he said The UN Commission on Human Rights was instrumental in forcing Indonesia to establish the ad hoc human rights court to try those behind the carnage in East Timor. Some human rights groups estimated that around 1,000 people were killed in East Timor before, during and after the East Timor self-determination ballot in August 1999. The carnage was believed to be conducted by pro-Indonesia militias, which were supported by elements in the Indonesian military. The U.S. government then penalized the Indonesian Military for the carnage by imposing an embargo on weapon sales to Indonesia. The U.S. has lifted the embargo on the sales of non-lethal equipment to TNI, but still maintains the embargo on other items including officer training. The trials are a one of several necessary requirements of the Leahy Law and must be satisfied before the U.S. can restore full military ties with Indonesia.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) 2 Dec 2002 Blast in Indonesia's restive Poso district An explosion shook a government building in the main town of Indonesia's restive Poso district on Sulawesi island, but police say no one was hurt. Local police say the blast, believed to have been caused by a home-made bomb, slightly damaged the office of a state social welfare group in Poso town. They say the blast shattered several windows and part of the ceiling. There has been intermittent violence between Muslims and Christians in the Poso district for more than two years. Between 500 and one-thousand people were killed and tens of thousands made homeless before a peace deal went into force last December.

Jakarta Post 3 Dec 2002 Police release the names of 163 Bali blast victims A'an Suryana and I Wayan Juniartha, Jakarta/Denpasar With the police making significant headway in the investigation of the Bali bombing of Oct. 12, Indonesia released on Monday the names of the victims killed in the tragedy. However, the list is not complete, as 22 bodies have yet to be identified. "Police investigators are still conducting DNA tests to identify the other 22 bodies," the spokesman for the Bali bomb blast inquiry team, Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang, said from his office here. A total of 163 bodies have been identified out of the 185 victims who died in Bali from the blasts that ripped through Paddy's Cafe and the Sari Club in Kuta, with Indonesians accounting for the third highest number of victims, after Australia and Britain. Another six people died after they were evacuated to Australia. Of the identified victims, 78 were Australian, 22 were Britons and 17 were Indonesian, according to the list of victims' names released by the National Police. There were also six Swedes, six Germans, four French, seven Americans, four New Zealanders, two Dutch, two Japanese, three Danish, two South Koreans, two Swiss, one Italian, one Ecuadorian, one Taiwanese, one Canadian, one South African, one Brazilian, one Greek and one Portuguese. The bodies were recovered days after the strong blasts toppled the two buildings. The blasts also injured more than 320 others, with some continuing to receive medical treatment in Bali or overseas. A couple families had more than one member listed among the dead. They were South Korean Marissa Lee Keon, 14, and her mother Lynette Patricia Keon, 45, and Australians Jane Roselyn Corteen and Jenny Norma Corteen, both 39. Of the identified victims, 110 were male and the rest were female. The oldest victim was Robert James Marshal, a 68-year-old Australian, while the youngest was Marissa Lee Keon. Australia, which had the most victims in the tragedy, sent its police (AFP) to assist the National Police in investigating the bombing. The joint inquiry team has achieved significant progress with the arrest of Amrozi and Imam Samudra, who are so far the two main suspects in the incident. Australian authorities recently raided the homes of several Indonesians living in that country who were suspected of having links with the terrorist network. Australian Prime Minister John Howard has also made a statement, asking the UN to allow attacks on terrorists making Southeast Asian countries their base. Regarding the investigation of Imam Samudra, Aritonang said that the suspect was questioned on Monday at the National Police Headquarters over his alleged role in a series of bombings in Jakarta. The interrogation is expected to reveal a connection between the Bali bombing and a string of bombings, which rocked Jakarta in 2000 and 2001. Samudra is expected to be immediately taken to Bali for further interrogation, including a reenactment of the crime. Separately in Denpasar, Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Budi Setyawan said that some 1,100 police personnel would be deployed to maintain security in anticipation of the suspects' interrogation and their trial. According to the two-star general, the deployment of the officers was needed to handle any problems that may arise during the police investigation or the trial. He said the police had prepared a cell for Samudra and several officers would escort the two suspects. The police are still seeking the mastermind behind the attack and those who are behind the series of bomb blasts in the country, including the Bali bombing.

Jakarta Post 4 Dec 2002 Indonesia gains int'l support to rebuild Aceh Fabiola Desy Unidjaja, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta International donors and funding agencies Tuesday expressed support for a peaceful solution to the Aceh conflict and pledged to send a team to assess the needs of post-war reconstruction in the province as soon as Jakarta and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) sign a peace deal. In a press statement issued after a one-day Aceh conference in Tokyo, the donors also agreed to prepare substantial funds to rebuild the province as quickly as possible. "Shortly after the signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement, a multi-agency mission will visit Aceh to carry out a preliminary assessment of needs," the statement said. Jakarta and GAM are expected to sign a landmark peace accord in Geneva, Switzerland on Dec. 9 in a bid to end violence that has claimed more than 10,000, mainly civilian, lives since GAM launched its independence struggle in 1976. Countries participating in the conference included Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Qatar, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and Britain. The European Commission (EC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Henry Dunant Centre also took part. No particular amount was mentioned in the statement, but donors agreed to finalize the financing arrangements in the coming weeks. The financial support would cover short-term humanitarian assistance, support for demobilization of combatants, quick impact community-driven investments, improved health and education facilities and long-term infrastructure provision. Participating parties also appointed the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) as the coordinator of the donors to ensure that any assistance goes to the people of Aceh as quickly as possible. Accountability and transparency for the effective usage of the funds was also cited as important points, with participation from civil society and local communities a must. "Humanitarian aid and other resources needed to be provided quickly to local communities so citizens could reap the "peace dividends," World Bank country director for Indonesia Andrew Speer told reporters, as quoted by AFP. The participants noted the implementation of special autonomy in the province had provided significant revenue sharing. They, however, reiterated the peace agreement would not be sustainable without concrete action towards air and democratic elections in Aceh in 2004. Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said after the meeting that the direct election would be conducted when real peace emerged. "When we think that the real peace can be brought into Aceh, when we are sure the people enjoy security and when we are ready to go to the local political election then we will go through that process," he was quoted by AFP as saying. "But we are not going to be electing a governor or a regional leader until we put everything in place." The meeting was initiated by Japan, the United States, the European Union (EU) and the World Bank. It was held in the eve of GAM's 26th anniversary that could hamper the signing of the coming peace deal, should GAM and the Indonesian Military (TNI) engage in clashes over the celebration. GAM decided not to attend the conference because it felt it had been given insufficient time to prepare, Yutaka Iimura, Japan's ambassador to Indonesia, said.

Jakarta Post 5 Dec 2002 Banda Aceh quiet as GAM celebrates anniversary Ibnu Mat Noor and Nani Farida, The Jakarta Post, Kuala Simpang/Bireuen Banda Aceh was largely deserted on Wednesday, with most public transport off the streets, as the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) celebrated its 26th independence anniversary. The situation in the capital, home to about 370,000 people, was generally quiet, with many shops closed. Only a small number of people were seen at traditional markets and shopping centers. Banda Aceh's inter-city bus terminal was also deserted Wednesday. Police personnel offered help by operating dozens of buses for the public. Soldiers and police patrolled the outskirts of the city in trucks. Sigli and most other towns in Pidie district and Lhokseumawe in North Aceh were also reportedly near-deserted on Wednesday morning. GAM, which has been fighting for an independent Aceh, celebrated its 26th independence anniversary on Wednesday, despite warnings and attack threats by the Indonesian military (TNI) and police. Government and GAM representatives are due to meet in Geneva next Monday to sign a deal to end the bloody war. International mediators from the Henry Dunant Centre say they are confident the signing will go ahead. At least 28 GAM flags were hoisted in Aceh Besar regency Tuesday night, but security forces quickly lowered and burned them on Wednesday morning. In Tamiang, East Aceh, GAM fighters held a flag-raising ceremony at 8 a.m. under tight security. Around one thousand GAM fighters were deployed to secure the location. Tamiang GAM commander Tengku Syamsuddin bin Mahmud Saleh said the tight security was normal. "Just to make sure that Dec. 4 is not a bloodshed day, but a day of commemoration of Aceh's independence. We have been commemorating that day since 1976," Syamsuddin told The Jakarta Post here. A speech by self-exiled GAM leader Tengku Muhammad Hasan di Tiro was read out by GAM spokesman Tengku Fauzillah during the ceremony. In his speech, Tiro urged the people of Aceh to ignore all threats from TNI and Jakarta. "We have fought this war for 26 years today. If needed, we will go on fighting until our noble goal is achieved," Tiro said. Soon after the commemoration, a gunfight between TNI and GAM rebels broke out. There were no reports of casualties in the encounter. GAM fighters in Bireuen regency, North Aceh, commemorated the movement's anniversary on Tuesday, apparently to avoid armed contact with TNI. Some 300 rebels in full battle gear attended the ceremony. GAM field commander Muzakkir Manaf was conspicuously absent from the celebrations without explanations. "Muzakkir Manaf is unable to attend (the ceremony)," said GAM spokesman Sofyan Dawood who led the ceremony. Sofyan denied speculation that Muzakkir's absence related to the military siege at Cot Trieng, North Aceh. Meanwhile, two explosions rocked locations in east Banda Aceh on Tuesday night causing tension among local people. Earlier, a police Mobile Brigade barracks in Jeulingke, 4 kilometers east of Banda Aceh, was destroyed by fire. No casualties were reported.

BBC 8 Dec 2002 End to Aceh conflict in sight About 10,000 people have died in Aceh since 1976 By the BBC's Fiona Werge The Indonesian Government and separatist rebels in the province of Aceh are set to conclude a peace deal that will end one of the longest armed conflicts in the world. The two sides are scheduled to sign an agreement in Geneva on Monday that calls for an immediate end to violence and sets out plans for elections for an autonomous government in Aceh in 2004. If the breakthrough agreement goes through, it will give the rebels of the Free Aceh Movement most of what they have been fighting for in a war that has lasted more than 26 years. But while the northern province would be allowed to hold its own elections in 2004, it would not be given independence, until now one of the rebels' key demands. US pressure More than 10,000 people, mainly civilians, have died in violence in Aceh since 1976. The Indonesian Government has many reasons to want to hold on to it. The province is the biggest producer of natural gas in the country and Jakarta fears that independence would lead to the entire nation falling apart along ethnic and religious lines. European negotiators have worked for two years to bring about a peace deal. But the Indonesian Government has also been under pressure from Washington. The US administration wants Indonesia free to concentrate on the war against terrorism.

Iraq (see Denmark and Kuwait)

www.kurdmedia.com 4 Dec 2002 Statement by the Iraqi women delegation after their meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair 04/12/2002 AIJ London, December 02, 2002 Ladies and Gentlemen, We have just had an interesting and moving meeting with your prime minister, the Right Honourable Tony Blair. We would like to thank him for taking the time to meet us and for his sincere interest. Mr Blair met with a representative delegation of Iraqi women to discuss the particular plight of women in Saddam’s brutal tyranny. Each of the women has her own distinct story to tell, each has suffered personal loss and cruelty at the hands of the Iraqi regime. In Saddam’s Iraq women are regarded as especially vulnerable pressure points, victims who can be used to influence other victims. They are pressured, harassed, abused, raped, tortured and gassed both for their own resistance to the regime and as a means of controlling their families. The public beheading of women, as recently courageously investigated by the International Alliance for Justice and also by Sam Kylie of the BBC, is but one of many special forms of abuse reserved for women. As the UN inspectors roam Iraq to find the hidden weapons of mass destruction, it is a shame that they are not also investigating human rights. UN resolution 688, which ended the Gulf War, specifically calls for an end to the oppression of the Iraqi people. Along with hidden weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has hidden torture chambers and prisons that were never opened in the fake prison amnesty in October. The UN should be sending investigators to find the mass graves, to ask about the as many as 200,000 Iraqis who are "missing", Iraqis last seen under arrest or in one of Saddam’s detention centres but of whom there is, years later, no trace. Let us not forget that Saddam is himself a weapon of mass destruction. We therefore have asked the British government to ensure that UN resolution 688 be fully enforced and that a UN commission be created to examine human rights in Iraq, with a view to an indictment of major figures in the Iraqi regime for murder, genocide and crimes against humanity. We often hear that Iraqis are divided by religion, culture, language and region. Yet these differences are of no importance to this delegation of women, who represent all Iraqi communities and are united in both their suffering and their desire to see an end to the suffering. We urge you not to forget what the people of Iraq have been forced to go through by Saddam and his cronies, not to forget that he is ultimately responsible for all of the ills inflicted upon Iraq since he and the Ba’ath party came to power. Thank you for your attention and, above all, thank you to the people of Britain for their support.

KurdishMedia.com 5 Dec 2002 US warns Turkey over Iraqi Kurds 05/12/2002 - By Bryar Mariwani London (KurdishMedia.com) 05 December 2002: The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported today that the US Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, has warned the Turkish government of any unnecessary military action taken against the Iraqi Kurds. Turkey fears the breakaway of Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan and form an independent Kurdish state. The US defence secretary regarded the Kurds as US allies saying, "Turkish intervention in northern Iraq should be co-ordinated with Washington and the Iraqi Kurds, who could be a crucial US ally against Baghdad in an event of war. Turkey has threatened the Kurds with military action in case of the establishment of a Kurdish state after a possible US war against Iraq.

NYT 6 Dec 2002 Repulsing Attack by Islamic Militants, Iraqi Kurds Tell of Atrocities By C. J. CHIVERS, BASHARAT, Iraq, Dec. 5 — An Islamic militant group with reported links to Al Qaeda has withdrawn today from areas it briefly seized from the Kurdish autonomous government, Kurdish military and government officials said. It left behind stories of battlefield atrocities and grief along the narrow front. The repulsed group, Ansar al-Islam, or Supporters of Islam, operates in a tiny portion of the Kurdish enclave near Iraq's northeastern border with Iran. On the other side of the Kurdish fortifications near here, its militants have created a miniature version of the Taliban's Afghanistan, with an estimated 650 extremist fighters maintaining a rigid Islamic society among about 8,000 civilians, according to unverifiable Kurdish accounts. Kurdish officials say that from this base militants plan raids and terrorist attacks with the support of Al Qaeda. The group, which formed late in 2001 in opposition to the autonomous and largely secular government in the Kurdish enclave, is mostly composed of Kurds. But Kurdish leaders here say that about 150 of its members, mostly Arabs, trained in Qaeda-sponsored camps in Afghanistan, and that Osama bin Laden's network has an interest in its success. "This is a group that Al Qaeda set up here as an alternative base of operations in the Middle East," said a senior Kurdish official familiar with the intelligence collected on Ansar. "It is certain from various sources that this was to be an alternative base to Afghanistan." The official declined to be identified. Although this oft-repeated assertion has not been publicly confirmed by Western officials, Ansar al-Islam's bold assault on Kurdish defenses, begun before sunrise Wednesday by nearly a third of its fighters, offered a detailed look at the tactics and apparent savagery of a rearguard enemy whom American soldiers might face if they enter northern Iraq. The battle was fought for two small hilltops that in the course of 12 hours changed hands twice. It was no high-technology affair. The surviving soldiers described an old-fashioned fight, with light weapons and at intimate range, within the distance that men can throw hand-grenades and shout curses back and forth. It left more than 50 Kurdish infantrymen dead. The autonomous Kurdish government in the northern part of Iraq said as many as half of the dead among its soldiers were executed when they ran out of ammunition and surrendered, or after being wounded and overrun. Interviews with the soldiers themselves suggest that the official assessment of the brutality could well be accurate. There was also a religious and social significance in the attack that did not escape its victims' notice. The militants, shouting the name of God as they advanced, rushed the Kurdish barricades on the day before the Muslim holy festival of Id al-Fitr, which in the West would be like an ambush on Christmas Eve. At border-area mosques that had been preparing for a day of feast and joy, people gathered instead to grieve at funerals. Nor was sorrow confined to worship halls; if the militants had aimed to disrupt life in Kurdish-held Iraq, they succeeded. "My brother is gone!" wailed one fighter at a post along the road traversing the contested zone. "My brother is gone!" he cried again, reaching skyward. Inside a military command post a few minutes later, a worried father who had traveled to the front asked a group of senior officers if his son had survived. "We're not sure," one said. "Please, have some tea and wait." Later, an official said the officers already knew the elderly man's son was among the dead. To preserve the dignity of the bereaved, the official said, they would tell him in a quiet way, away from the crowd and the dignitaries sitting nearby. Kurdish lines at the Ansar front are anchored near Halabja, a village resting in a level basin beneath the snow-capped Zagros Mountains, which continue into Iran. Kurdish control ends at a valley just behind the village. Squarely in front of the valley's mouth are two small hills, Drozna and Tapa Qura, where Kurds had built forward defenses. Each hill offers unobstructed observation and fields of fire, and a chance to control the valley's entrance. Kurdish military policy toward Ansar al-Islam has essentially been one of containment. Early Wednesday, the Islamic militants tried to break out. They showed signs of tactical cunning, striking when Kurdish officers were certain enough of a holiday lull that they had sent about 1,000 of the region's 3,500 troops home on leave. They also showed a degree of field competence, spending the night quietly infiltrating the lowlands, creeping into positions beneath the hills about 4 a.m. An hour earlier, the garrisons, which had kept many soldiers up on watch, had decreased their guards. An officer on Tapa Qura, named Sarkawt Fayaq, said he fell asleep just before Ansar's first rush at 4:20. A grenade struck his building. He woke and looked outside. Bearded fighters were storming from several directions, under the protection of supporting machine gun and mortar fire. "We all ran to the barricades and started shooting at them, but I was hit with a bullet in my left hand and I fell down," he said. "I stood up and they hit me with another bullet in the shoulder. Then a grenade was thrown at me, and something hit my head." Within hours Ansar controlled the two hills. Kurdish reinforcements were able to push the Ansar fighters back and reclaim the hills before nightfall Wednesday, and by this morning Kurds had rushed in about 2,000 more soldiers, bringing their local troop strength to about 4,500. With their convoys filling the roads, a lull was apparent this morning. Ansar had pulled back. But as Kurdish soldiers searched the field they found 53 dead soldiers, with at least 30 wounded. Accounts of brutality circulated quickly. One bloodied soldier after another described fighting for the first hours, then running out of ammunition and crawling away from the battle to hide in farming ditches and wait for reinforcements. Those who could not fight or hide faced hideous fates. One soldier, Dyary Mohammad, 18, said he was hiding in a small creek near Drozna when a comrade named Saman surrendered to five militants. Saman begged for his life. "He was screaming, `in the name of Allah, don't kill me,' " he said. "They took a jerrycan of benzene from a Land Rover, and poured it on him and set him on fire. After leaving him to roll on the ground for a while they shot him with a bullet." Kurdish commanders estimated that Ansar lost 10 to 15 men, but cautioned that these numbers might not be reliable because Ansar was thought to have carried away many of its casualties. There was also some sense that Ansar, after a few hours of success, had suffered a setback of its own. Barham Salih, a leader of the Kurds' eastern zone, said that among the Ansar dead was Mullah Abdullah Khalifani, the deputy commander of the group's military wing. His account could not be independently confirmed.


Jerusalem Post 2 Dec 2002 Katsav hosts traditional Ramadan feast for Israeli Arab leaders By GREER FAY CASHMAN President Moshe Katsav hosted some 70 Israeli Arab leaders, including MKs, mayors, and heads of local councils, at a Id al-Fitr feast on Sunday after sunset, when Muslims break their Ramadan fast. It was the first time that a president has made such a gesture, according to Kamal Mansour, Katsav's adviser on minorities. Katsav did not shy away from using the feast to address the heavy issues, such as the element of Israeli Arab society who actively support Palestinian terrorism. Jews and Arabs must work together to nip this trend in the bud, he told the gathering. "If you don't stop it now, you will lose the power to do so in the future," he warned. Katsav said that he did not object to Israel's Arabs advocating a Palestinian state but he strenuously condemned the participation of Israeli Arabs in terrorism. Katsav was also critical of those Arab states that provide funding for terrorism. "Whoever supports terrorism, doesn't want a Palestinian state," he said. "Whoever supports the ongoing bloodshed is preventing the creation of a Palestinian state." Shawki Hatif, head of the Arab Coordinating Council, echoed Katsav's plea for an end to bloodshed. "Every day we are burying people on both sides," he said. "We have to raise our voices against this madness." He also lamented that as a direct outcome of the violence, Israeli Arabs have been marked as enemies. "With the creation of the state, this community decided to throw in its lot in with Israel," he said. "The question is whether Israel accepts us." MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe commended Katsav's courage for inviting Arabs leaders at this time to come and break their fast and said that it was something that should have happened a long time ago.

Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2002 Halevy: Palestinians condemning terror out of fear for nat'l movement By Daniel Sobelman Ephraim Halevy, chairman of the National Security Council and the former Mossad chief, said Monday that senior Palestinian leaders who have started to condemn acts of terror against Israel are doing so out of a genuine fear for the fate of the Palestinian national movement, which could be eradicated due to its support for terrorism. "These are the voices of sober people who correctly read the regional and international political map, and fear that if the Palestinians continue with terrorism there is a real danger the national Palestinian movement will be wiped out," Halevy told the third annual Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center conference on national security. He said those Palestinians "are speaking out of genuine concern for the fate of the Palestinians in the regional and international reality unfolding before their eyes." Admitting that they are "not contributing to Israel's national security balance out of empathy for the Zionist movement," Halevy said that "alongside the rage and bereavement in Israel" resulting from terrorism, "there are sprouting signs of Palestinian recognition that the price they are paying and will pay for their crimes will be unbearable if they don't hurry to change direction. These sprouts did not grow on their own." Halevy devoted a major portion of his keynote address to Thursday's events, saying that the attempt to down an Israeli civilian aircraft in Kenya was "a major escalation that cannot be ignored... the working assumption is that if a mega-terrorist incident succeeds, it will at once change a long series of rules of behavior. The essence of the threat is essentially genocide, the destruction of the state, and destruction of its foundations. Against such a threat, Israel has a broad range of capabilities that it is preferable not to reveal prematurely... presumably, international opinion will understand, accept and internalize the change in the rules and the levels of action." Halevy also issued a warning - to Israel itself - regarding relations with the United States. "Never have the interests and goals of the two countries been so close; therefore, Israel has never needed to examine its international policies with so much consideration of the needs and interests of the United States." He said that "if the United States succeeds [in Iraq], as many of us hope, there will be far-reaching changes in the Middle East." The end result will be "undoubtedly favorable for Israel." He added that there might be "deviations" that harm Israel as well. Halevy said that every country will have to make its views known regarding the war against terrorism. "Those who are neutral are not neutral," he said, explaining that those who "do not back up their rhetoric against terror with deeds will be stained as supporting terror."

Jerusalem Post 2 Dec 2002 Halevy: Mega-terror has changed everything By GREER FAY CASHMAN Mega-terrorism and global jihad have changed the rules of the game in the balance of national and international security, said Ephraim Halevy, immediate past head of the Mossad and current chief of the National Security Council, at Monday's opening of the third annual Herzliya Conference. "A successful terrorist mega-attack would instantly change a long series of rules of conduct and behavior," he said. Last Thursday's attack on an Arkia plane in Kenya would have constituted such a "terrorist mega-attack" if the missiles had hit their target and would have changed the country's policy on self-defense, Halevy said. There are a broad range of responses to the threat of mega-terrorism, he said, and Israel has many of the capabilities needed, though it would not be appropriate to make them public. A mega-terror attack against Israel, like downing a civilian aircraft, would "create an international dynamic that would open options that up to now were unacceptable to public opinion,"Halevy said. Halevy did not spell out the type of action Israel would take, but implied that retaliation would be far harsher than anything that has been done up to now. Even so, he said, "it can be assumed that the international community would understand, accept and internalize the changes in the rules of the game and fields of activity." With Iranian and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction aimed at Israel, it is in the country's interest that the American operation in Iraq prove successful, he said. There has never been such a synthesis of interests between Israel and the US as there is today, he said. Israel and Russia also have common interests, he said. Whereas the USSR was the key economic and military supporter of Israel's enemies, today Russia, even though it still provides military aid to Syria and Iraq, has come a long way in fighting global jihad. As to the Palestinian conflict, Halevy said that the Palestinian voices against the violence and the suicide bombings, "are not the voices of the righteous but the voices of realists," who can see that if the current situation continues, it will imperil Palestinian ambitions. "The crisis in Palestinian leadership did not happen by itself," he said. Israel has paid a very high toll in human life, Halevy said, and it will be no source of comfort to those who have lost loved ones that the price paid by the Palestinians will be much greater if they do not put a new responsible, pragmatic, and trustworthy leadership in place. "The intifada is one of the most salient factors in the collapse of the economy," he said. An unemployment rate of 10.5 percent caused him to recommend setting up an emergency task force of all economic sectors. Halevy expressed regret that the efficiency and accomplishment of the defense establishment has not been emulated by civilian leaders, even though some of them made the transition from military to civilian leadership. Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday that the world must take concerted action against world terrorist groups and the regimes that support them, and it must also cooperate in fitting civilian aircraft with defensive capabilities. Because the devices are expensive, Netanyahu said in a CNN interview, "if they are organized, manufactured and distributed by a consortium of countries, you can bring down the cost significantly. Some of it could be passed to the passengers." Netanyahu said this must be done urgently, because "once planes start falling from the sky, we're going to live in a very different world."

Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2002 Arab MKs demand probe in police killing By MATTHEW GUTMAN Advertisement Arab-Israeli MKs are demanding that Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau launch a commission of inquiry into the death of an Arab-Israeli who was killed under what some are calling suspicious circumstances by police officers in the North on Wednesday night. The Justice Ministry's police investigations unit is questioning the police officers who shot and killed Sabri Amara, 29, of Kafr Kana in the Lower Galilee, after he ran over a police officer at the nearby Beit Rimon junction. It was the second time in recent months that a Kafr Kana resident was killed by "trigger-happy" policemen, MK Abdul Malik Dehamshe said. Police were deployed at the junction to track down rioters who had on several occasions thrown firebombs in the Nazareth area. At one point five detectives noticed two vehicles parked about 500 meters away at the edge of a forest. The cars seemed suspicious, and the detectives decided to question their drivers. The officers stopped one car, but when an officer approached the other, the driver failed to heed his demand to stop and apparently hit him, crushing his pelvis and legs. The other officers immediately drew their weapons and, according to the police, fired in the air. At this point, it appeared that the car had either stalled or gotten stuck with the policeman's body trapped underneath it. Police then fired at the car, killing Amara, the driver, and wounding a passenger. Both the passenger and the injured officer were taken to Poriya Hospital. A large number of area residents demonstrated Thursday at the scene of the shooting. Amara's funeral was quiet, despite security officials' concern that the anger of the mourners could spark a riot. Amara had been released Sunday after serving a year in prison for drug dealing.

AP 6 Dec 2002 Israeli Army Kills 10 in Gaza Refugee Camp - Two U.N. Workers Among Victims as Israel Tries to Arrest Militant By Jamie Tarabay Associated Press Writer Friday, December 6, 2002; 10:01 AM BUREIJ CAMP, Gaza Strip –– Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships hunted a fugitive militant in a crowded refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early Friday, setting off chaotic gunbattles that killed 10 Palestinians, including two U.N. workers. Men called through mosque loudspeakers for people join the battle against Israeli soldiers, who entered the camp just after midnight. Fighters who had been celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid el-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, poured into the dark streets. Gunbattles raged for three hours in the Bureij camp. It was unclear how many of the dead were fighters. The military said a helicopter fired a missile into a street, killing five armed men from the violent Islamic Hamas movement. The camp mayor, Kamal Baghdadi, originally said a tank shell hit a building, killing seven people. Ahmed Rabah, a doctor at the Al-Aqsa hospital in the nearby village of Deir el Balah, said nine people were killed and 11 were wounded. An official at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City said a tenth person, a woman, died of injuries. The U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said two of its staff members were among the dead: Osama Hassan Tahrawi, a 31-year-old school attendant, who was killed along with two of his brothers by a missile; and the woman who died from shrapnel injuries, Ahlam Riziq Kandil, a 31-year-old elementary school teacher. Hassan Safi, 49, said he was in his home 300 yards away when an explosion rocked the neighborhood. He said he thought the blast was from a tank shell. "I rushed with my sons to the place, which was all destroyed," Safi said. "I myself took out two people. The helicopter was firing with machine guns at us, making it difficult to move." During the incursion, witnesses said troops surrounded the home of Jamal Ismail, a suicide bomber who blew himself up along with another man in an explosives-packed boat off the Gaza coast last month, wounding four Israeli soldiers in a nearby navy patrol. The Israeli army called the camp "a base for hardcore terror groups" of the militant Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee. Brig. Gen. Israel Ziv said the operation targeted Aiman Shasniyeh, a local leader for the Popular Resistance Committee, who the military believes was behind a bomb attack on a heavily armored Merkava-3 tank that killed three soldiers in March. Troops failed to find Shasniyeh but blew up his house. Soldiers arrested one of his brothers, along with another man wanted by Israeli intelligence, Ziv said. It was Israel's second strike this week in Gaza targeting militants allegedly involved in attacks on tanks that have killed seven Israeli soldiers this year. On Wednesday, Israeli helicopters blasted a Palestinian government guardhouse in Gaza City with missiles, killing Mustafa Sabah, 35. According to sources in the Popular Resistance Committee, Sabah masterminded the attacks on the tanks and helped invent the powerful roadside bombs used. Troops approaching Shasniyeh's house came under withering gunfire from nearby homes and on the street in what turned into a close-quarters gunbattle in the camp's narrow alleyways, said army spokeswoman, Capt. Sharon Feingold. One soldier was lightly wounded by gunfire, she said. Helicopter gunships fired machine guns from above. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was outraged by the attack. "Every day there is a new massacre," he told reporters outside of his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "Every day there is destruction. Every day there is more damage. Every day there are more arrests and every day there are more assassinations." An aide to Arafat, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said the Palestinians would call on the United Nations Security Council to hold a special session on the violence and to consider sending international observers to the region. Thousands turned out for funerals held at noon prayers Friday for those killed. The bodies, wrapped in white cloth or blankets, were carried through crowded streets in open coffins painted with the Palestinian flag. Armed militants wearing fatigues and ski masks fired automatic weapons into the air. The deaths of the two U.N. staff members followed the shooting of U.N. aid worker Iain Hook two weeks ago by Israeli soldiers – the first senior U.N. official to be killed during the current conflict. Israel said the soldiers mistook a cell phone he was holding as a weapon during a battle between the soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp. In the West Bank and Gaza, UNRWA operates about 260 schools and about 50 clinics serving more than 1.5 million registered refugees and employing about 10,000 Palestinians. A White House document obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, in effect, blames the Palestinians for Mideast violence now moving into a third year, charging that the Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the PLO have not taken steps to stop militants. The failure to stop militants has thrown into question the Palestinian Authority's acceptance of Israel, the 12-page report says. Still, President Bush has decided not to impose sanctions, which could have included the downgrading or closing of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. A memorandum that prefaces the report, dated Nov. 29 and signed by Bush, waives sanctions, saying they would be against U.S. security interests and that the United States "must maintain contacts with all sides." The memorandum was made public in Washington on Monday, but the remainder of the report was not. It was obtained by the AP in Jerusalem. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat told the AP that he had seen excerpts of the document. He called it "unfair and unacceptable." The Palestinians blame Israel's military crackdown for fueling the violence. They also say Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have decimated the Palestinian security forces and left them unable to stop militants.

Japan (see China)

Xinhuanet 7 Dec 2002 Photo exhibition in Japan to commemorate Nanjing Massacre OSAKA, Dec. 6, 2002 (Xinhuanet) -- Japanese view photos in an exhibition, called "Nanjing, Forgotten Memories", in Osaka, Japan, Dec. 6, 2002, one week before the 65th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese invading troops. Some 150 photos and testimonies were provided by veterans of the Japanese troops invading China. The exhibition, organized by overseas Chinese and non-governmental organizations in Japan, will be held across Japan. During the Nanjing Massacre, the Japanese invading troops killed at least 300,000 people.

Japan Times 2 Dec 2002 Progressive historian Ienaga dies Textbook author fought for full WWII accounting for decades Saburo Ienaga, a historian known for his legal battles against government certification of history textbooks, died Friday night at a Tokyo hospital, it was learned Sunday. He was 89. Saburo Ienaga The cause of death was not immediately known. Ienaga became politically active when a progressive high school textbook he penned was rejected by the then Education Ministry in 1953. His book contained descriptions of Japan's World War II-era war crimes. He filed the first of three suits in 1965 against the Education Ministry, arguing that textbook screening was unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of expression and education. He was finally awarded damages in 1997, after a 32-year legal battle. In his first suit, he sought compensation for mental distress caused by government demands for alterations for approval of his textbook. In 1967, he filed a second suit seeking the reversal of the 1966 rejection of his application for approval of the textbook. Ienaga lost both suits, with the courts upholding the textbook-review system as constitutional. But when the Tokyo District Court ruled on the second case in 1970, it said the review system was illegal and censorial because ideological and philosophical considerations arose during the approval process. In 1975, the Tokyo High Court dismissed an appeal by the Education Ministry against the ruling on the second case. The Supreme Court, however, later overturned this judgment and ordered a retrial, leading the high court to rule against Ienaga in 1989. Ienaga filed a third suit in 1984 over the deletion of a description in his history textbook about the Japanese Imperial Army's notorious Biological Warfare Unit 731, which conducted experiments on live prisoners in northeastern China during the war. In 1997, Ienaga earned a partial victory in the third case when the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal for the textbook screeners to urge Ienaga to delete the description about Unit 731. The state was ordered to pay the scholar 400,000 yen in damages. But the Supreme Court ruled the textbook-screening system itself was constitutional, upholding a Tokyo High Court decision in 1993 and rejecting Ienaga's argument that it was tantamount to censorship. Ienaga said after the top court's ruling that he had done all he could. "It is difficult to change reality, but I believe I have helped open a hole to let in the fresh air." Ienaga retired as a professor at the Tokyo University of Education in 1977. He was also professor emeritus at the now-defunct Tokyo University of Education -- predecessor of the University of Tsukuba -- and served as a professor at Tokyo's Chuo University until 1984.

Asahi Shimbun 3 Dec 2002 Ienaga put spotlight on textbooks By SHOTARO TAKAHASHI, The The crusader for the truth never compromised. Historian Saburo Ienaga was an uncompromising man who devoted his life to study and the fight against government censorship. Ienaga, who died on Friday at age 89, fought a series of court battles that opened the public's eyes to the closed-door textbook screening system and greatly aided the liberalization and transparency of the process. His father died when Ienaga was young and he took up his studies in earnest shortly after. Ienaga always kept his most valued book nearby. Tatsukichi Minobe's ``Kempo Satsuyo (Outline of the Constitution)'' served as an inspiration to Ienaga and was the foundation of his beliefs. Minobe was a scholar of constitutional law in the early 20th century and was known as a champion of democratic constitutionalism. Though detractors charged that his writings were subversive, Minobe never compromised. The same can be said for Ienaga. After World War II, the Allied occupation forces prohibited Japanese history education. Ienaga contributed to a government-issued textbook in which the mystical explanations surrounding the origins of the imperial family that had been forwarded in pre-war texts were omitted for the first time. A high school history text he wrote on his own described atrocities committed by Japanese troops during the war. When the text was submitted to the then Education Ministry in 1962, it was rejected. A censored version was approved in 1963. That was a call to arms for Ienaga and he began what would become a prolonged battle against government censorship. In 1965 Ienaga filed a lawsuit, claiming that the censorship violated the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of education and expression. The court ruled against him. In 1967 he filed a second lawsuit, contesting another ministry rejection of his textbook, the year before. Both times the court ruled that the Education Ministry's screening process was constitutional. Finally, in 1997, the Supreme Court awarded Ienaga a partial victory on an 1984 suit, ruling that it was illegal for the textbook screeners to censor passages describing some of the actions of the Japanese Imperial Army's Biological Warfare Unit 731, which conducted experiments on live prisoners in northeastern China.

Times of London 6 Dec 2002 Obituary: Saburo Ienaga Historian who waged a long and courageous battle against the censors over the representation of Japan's militaristic past THE MOST famous and controversial Japanese historian of his generation, Saburo Ienaga devoted more than 30 years of his life to an epochal battle against the Japanese Ministry of Education. He did so in an endeavour to atone for what he publicly regretted as his shameful failure, in the earlier part of his career as a teacher, to resist the military indoctrination of his nation’s youth in the dark years during and after the Second World War. His long, determined and courageous campaign against censorship, and his own historical works on the origins and conduct of Japan’s long war against China and the Western democracies, spanning 1931-1945, won him a substantial reputation in the West. Saburo Ienaga was born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in 1913. In 1937, at the age of 24, he graduated with a degree in Japanese history and the history of Japanese ideology from Tokyo Imperial University, as his country embarked upon a war in China which was to lead Japan and the imperial institutions which defined its character to the brink of annihilation. It was his vocation to be a teacher, and as the war in China began to widen into the great Pacific conflict in December 1941, he taught at a high school in Niigata, before becoming an instructor at Tokyo Normal School (a teacher training college). Throughout these years, which reshaped his nation and which through defeat were to mortgage Japan’s future to alien occupying forces, Ienaga purveyed his country’s war propaganda and mythologies to students willing to sacrifice everything to the service of an Emperor directly descended from the Sun Goddess. Ienaga won a Japan Academy Prize in 1948 and in the following year became a full professor of history as Tokyo Normal School was transformed into the Tokyo University of Education. In due course that in turn became the present-day Tsukuba University in 1973. He continued to teach there until 1977 and then became that university’s best-known professor emeritus. From 1977, when he retired from full-time teaching at Tsukuba, he was a professor of history at Chuo University, where he taught and continued to write on a variety of subjects until 1984. Author of nearly 100 works on everything from ancient history to contemporary affairs, Saburo Ienaga had particular strengths in Japanese intellectual, cultural and legal history. One of his first publications was An Investigation into Modern Japanese Thought, published by the University of Tokyo Press in 1953. Another was a work boldly entitled Progenitors of the Idea of Revolution, published in 1955. Students of Japan are in his debt for his Japanese Cultural History; Historical Study on the Independence of the Judiciary, and Historical Context of the Constitution. Other books of which he was especially proud were major works on Tatsukichi Minobe and Hajime Tanabe. Relatively few of his works were translated and published in English during his lifetime, but the first of these, History of Japan, published in Tokyo for the Japan Travel Bureau in 1953, went through many further editions. This was widely regarded as an excellent history covering general aspects of national life from ancient times through all historical periods into modern times. It lauded the story of Japan’s transition from a feudal to modern society, chronicled the efforts made to improve Japan’s international position, the promotion of a modern spirit and culture, faced the cataclysm of the war and rejoiced in the rebirth of Japan following the Allied Occupation. Two of his volumes in the Heibonsha Survey of Japanese Art series, Painting in the Yamato Style (1974) and Japanese Art: A Cultural Appreciation (1979) which also appeared in English, have become treasured as collectors’ items in their own right. The work for which he will be best remembered, however, is The Pacific War, 1931-1945: A Critical Perspective on Japan’s Role in World War II, which he finished on the thirtieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident that began the last great war between China and Japan. It had its origins in a series of four public lectures that he had developed in 1965 under the auspices of the Shiso no Kagaku Kenkyukai (Research Association for Scientific Thought). The completed work was inflected by his early and strong opposition to what he described as America’s “brutal, aggressive war in Vietnam”. He felt it was morally and legally wrong for Japan to offer its support for the American actions. In his characteristically uncompromising and blunt words he declared: “Japan shares responsibility, as a partner in crime with the United States, in the illegal war against the Vietnamese people.” His view that the silken thread of historical events connected the events of the 1930s with the unfolding tragedy of the Vietnam War a generation later explains a great deal about him and helps to place his most famous book into its historical context. The book first appeared in a Japanese edition in 1968 and, not before the end of the Vietnam conflict, in an American English translation by Frank Baldwin in 1978; it was published in Britain and Commonwealth countries in September of the following year as Japan’s Last War: World War II and the Japanese, 1931-1945. Ienaga’s battle with the Japanese Ministry of Education had begun when he strongly objected to advice received by his publishers that certain passages in a high school text on the Pacific War should be toned down and that other issues should be raised in the interests of balance. He thought the advice wrong in its facts and in principle. The first two cases were brought in the Tokyo District Court in 1965 and 1967. The first took 27 years before the Supreme Court settled the case in the ministry’s favour in 1993. The second case also went as far as the Supreme Court and was lost in 1989 after a struggle that had lasted 22 years. The third case was filed in 1984 in respect to other draft textbooks that Ienaga had written between 1980 and 1983. In 1989 the District Court ruled against most of his arguments. The Court of Appeal, however, decided that three of the eight screening comments by the ministry’s censors were contrary to law. Those included points bearing upon Ienaga’s description of the Nanking Massacre, including references to the widespread occurrences of rape there. Ienaga then appealed to the Supreme Court one last time for a definitive decision on the remaining five screening comments. This led famously to a final victory by Ienaga in 1997 as the Supreme Court ruled on a split decision that the Ministry of Education had acted illegally when it had removed from one of his textbooks a description of the Japanese Army’s biological warfare experiments in northern China which had led to the death of 3,000 human subjects. Throughout these proceedings, it was Ienaga’s position that atavistic right-wing censorship had deliberately sought to obscure essential truths about Japan’s militaristic past, crimes against peace and systematic grave breaches of international humanitarian law that had disgraced his nation’s reputation for more than half a century, and the memories of which had blighted Japan’s relations with other countries since 1945. That the textbooks at the heart of this dispute were flawed and uneven can scarcely be denied, but Ienaga’s greatest achievement was that his struggle against Japanese textbook screening led successive Japanese governments to relax their grip on the way Japan’s interaction with other countries in the first half of the 20th century has been presented in Japanese history books. Other Japanese authors, much encouraged by Ienaga’s example, have taken up where he left off. Ienaga’s determined court battles attracted much foreign admiration and support, notably from groups seeking recognition and redress for a variety of claims connected with the murder and maltreatment of Chinese civilians in Nanking and elsewhere; the maltreatment of Korean comfort women; the fate of convicted Korean war criminals who fell into Allied hands after the war; and British, American and other prisoner of war groups who are now mourning his loss. In Japan, however, his personal and moral courage were more widely admired than what seemed in its domestic context to be a left-leaning political stance. His campaign made him the victim of physical violence and there were numerous threats against his life. In Ienaga’s last years, he recognised and was evidently flattered to find that he had become an historical figure of importance himself. In March 2001 he published Japan’s Past, Japan’s Future: One Historian’s Odyssey in an Asian Voices collection, a volume ably translated into English by his friend and admirer Richard H. Minear. Ienaga’s approach was in fact far more nuanced than many of his admirers and detractors recognised. He was as critical of the role and policies pursued by other nations during the first half of the 20th century as he was of those pursued by and on behalf of Japan. He excoriated the cynicism and criminality of the imperial expansion of the Western empires in East Asia that preceded and prompted the Japanese to reply in kind. He was rightly unimpressed by arguments that nations should be judged according to their present course of conduct rather than according to the consequences of previous systematic barbarism. He looked at the British East India Company’s Opium Wars in China, which laid the foundations for great British trading houses in East Asia, with the same loathing that he had for Japanese militarists and opportunists who largely financed Japanese conquests and colo- nial policies out of profits from trafficking in opium and other “white drugs” during the 1930s. There were many in neighbouring countries and in the West who lauded Ienaga’s forthright criticism of the widespread use of “comfort women” to provide sexual services for Japanese troops in conditions that amounted to slavery; or his outrage over the contract manual labourers forced to work for pitiful wages in inhuman conditions without sufficient food, shelter or medical care to sustain life, in a degrading and brutal system administered by or on behalf of the Japanese Army or major Japanese industrial enterprises. Few of his many admirers, however, paid much attention to his views on the Boxer Rebellion, the Siberian Intervention, the Chinese civil wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War or President George W. Bush’s dedication to an unending, proactive, preventative “war against terrorism” that recognises the validity of no higher international law. In his last years a strong campaign was made to nominate Saburo Ienaga for a Nobel Peace prize, supported by hundreds of prominent scholars at home and overseas, by Takako Doi, leader of the Social Democratic Party in the House of Representatives of the National Diet, by a number of members of the European Parliament, the Canadian Parliament and by assorted members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. Saburo Ienaga, Japanese historian, was born on September 3, 1913. He died on November 29, 2002, aged 89.

NYT 8 Dec 2002 Saburo Ienaga, Who Insisted Japan Disclose Atrocities, Dies at 89 By PAUL LEWIS Saburo Ienaga, the renegade Japanese historian who for more than 30 years fought his government's efforts to suppress details of Japan's wartime atrocities from school history books, with only partial success, died on Dec. 1 in Tokyo. He was 89. Mr. Ienaga's most important victory over a Japanese bureaucracy intent on sanitizing the history presented to schoolchildren came in 1997, when Japan's Supreme Court ruled that the Ministry of Education had acted illegally when it removed references in one of his textbooks to how Chinese prisoners of war were used as guinea pigs in bacteriological experiments during World War II. Professor Ienaga described how Japan's now infamous germ warfare group, called Unit 731, operated on its victims without anesthetics and infected them with serious diseases to determine how long it would take them to die. "I think I have been motivated by guilt, nothing else," Mr. Ienaga told an interviewer nine years ago, as he moved around his cluttered house. "Although I was opposed to the war, I did nothing to resist," he said, recalling his younger days, when his health kept him out of the military. "So it can be said that my battle is one of resistance that came later." It was a battle that he usually lost in court, but often won on the airwaves. Because lawsuits are relatively rare in Japan, Mr. Ienaga's endless battles with the Ministry of Education were especially conspicuous. Whenever he emerged from the courthouse, usually wearing a somewhat crumpled hat, reporters and photographers surrounded him. He used his defeats to propel examples of historical whitewashing onto the front pages of Japanese newspapers. One infuriated education minister, when asked about Mr. Ienaga, argued that he was not a respected historian. "The first and most important thing for him was that he wanted to maintain his belief, his interpretation of the law," the minister, Mayumi Moriyama, said in 1993. "And his interpretation is not a popular one," she added. Mr. Ienaga succeeded precisely because he did not care whether he was alienated from the Japanese mainstream. "I did not start this thinking I could win," he said. But he added, "Even if I couldn't win in court, in the court of history, I think I have been victorious." He succeeded in forcing the government to commission a new generation of textbooks, and to make public the changes it forced on publishers. But in 1993 the Supreme Court ruled that the government was well within its rights when it forced Mr. Ienaga to delete uncomfortable details about the Japanese invasions of Korea and Manchuria, and the rapes and killings that accompanied its occupation of East and Southeast Asia. Mr. Ienaga was the frequent subject of death threats. Right-wing activists were outraged by his more than 40 books, relatively few of which were translated into English. Last year a number of mainly American and Canadian politicians and academics nominated Mr. Ienaga for the Nobel Peace Prize. As a result of his campaign, his nominators said, Japanese school textbooks were "significantly improved in the late 1980's and early 1990's." Born in Aichi Prefecture in 1913, Saburo Ienaga graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1937 and worked as a schoolteacher in Niigata during the war. He subsequently became a professor at Tokyo University of Education and at Chuo University. In his old age, he said, he came to appreciate the power of "gaiatsu," or foreign pressure, to bring about change in Japan. "Unfortunately, the Japanese government is very weak against any pressure from foreign countries, but very strong against any criticism from its own people," he once said. "So no matter what you do in Japan itself, nothing changes." Whenever the outcry comes from the United States, or China, or South Korea, he said, the government proclaims its willingness to change. "Of course," he concluded, "they don't feel it."

NYT 8 Dec 2002 Japanese Wage Peace With Talks and Money, Pleasing Asians By JAMES BROOKE TOKYO, Dec. 7 — With war clouds gathering over Iraq, Japanese diplomats worked overtime this week to promote their nation as a superpower of peace. While welcoming the prime minister of Sri Lanka, Japanese officials agreed to sponsor a worldwide donor conference here next spring to help a 10-month cease-fire in that country grow into a lasting peace. With the president of the Philippines in town, Japan announced $12 million in grants to Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim region plagued by separatism and radicalism. Turning to Indonesia, Japan served as the host for an aid conference here to support a peace pact that is to be signed Monday between Jakarta and rebels in northern Aceh Province. "The yen is mightier than the sword," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines said here of her country's leading provider of foreign aid. "Japan's aid is important as a vital weapon for ensuring regional stability and security." Meeting reporters at a different site, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka echoed similar thoughts. "This cease-fire was possible because Japan is meeting the humanitarian needs of the people in the north," he said, referring to an area long dominated by Tamil separatists. Noting that Japan is his nation's largest source of foreign aid, he added, "The cease-fire had to come with development, and this is where Japan has come in." Tokyo's peace diplomacy is in overdrive partly because it aims to promote stability in lands neighboring sea lanes vital for Japan's oil imports. It also is active because Japan knows that if the day comes when Washington counts noses for an allied attack on Iraq, Japan's Constitution will keep its armed forces in a supporting role, at most. "In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, we thought the most important thing we could do would be peace consolidation," said Hatsuhisa Takashima, a Foreign Ministry spokesman. "Japan is not allowed to become a military power because of the Constitution, so the government of Japan decided to make its country a humanitarian power, a civil power." In recent years, peace projects have included serving as the host for an international aid project for Afghanistan last winter and becoming the largest aid donor to Cambodia and the new nation of East Timor. While the news media in Southeast Asia are transfixed by the rise of China, the region's leaders know that Japan remains the foreign aid superpower there. "The major player today in our region is Japan, because Japan is more than one-half of the economy of the region today," President Arroyo said during her four-day visit here this week. Reviewing the $422 million in loans, grants and technical aid that Japan gave to Sri Lanka last year, Seiichiro Otsuka, Japan's ambassador there, noted, "China's assistance program to Sri Lanka is still very marginal." While Japan's aid is increasingly focused on resolving the region's civil wars, its overall aid program is being undermined by a stagnant economy and an aging population that wants a greater share of government spending for its own needs. Last year, Japan cut its foreign aid by 10.3 percent. Emboldened by a muted domestic outcry, Finance Ministry officials launched a trial balloon on Friday, telling reporters that they planned to cut next year's foreign aid budget by 8 percent.


BBC 7 Dec 2002 Kuwaitis urged to expel 'infidels' - Saddam's address was read by his information minister Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has appealed to the Kuwaiti people to support Baghdad against what he called infidel forces. We apologise to God for any deed that angered him in the past, which we might not have known of and is blamed on us, and on this basis we also apologise to you Saddam Hussein In a televised address read by Information Minister Mohamed Said Sahaf, the Iraqi leader said both Iraq and Kuwait had been victims of the Gulf War in 1991. But he accused the leadership of Kuwait of conspiring "hand in hand" with those who were preparing to attack Iraq, and urged Kuwaitis to join the fight against this. Saddam Hussein also apologised to the Kuwaitis for what he termed acts that had caused anger in the past, saying he wanted to set the record straight about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. "We apologise to God for any deed that angered him in the past, which we might not have known of and is blamed on us, and on this basis we also apologise to you." He said he was only trying to do for the Kuwaitis what he was doing for his own people. "Brother, what we wish for you is the same as we endeavour to do for your brothers in Iraq; namely, for you to live free without foreigners controlling your destiny, will, decisions, wealth, present and future. "And for you to work as free people and believers in a way that would serve your people and nation." Jihad calls Referring to the presence of the US troops, President Hussein said Kuwait was under "direct foreign military occupation" and called on Kuwaitis to join efforts to expel them. Saddam Hussein urged Kuwaitis to "cleanse the nation from shame" "Why will not the faithful, the devoted and the holy warriors in Kuwait meet with their counterparts in Iraq under the blanket of their creator, instead of under the blanket of London or Washington and the Zionist entity, to discuss their matters on top of which is the jihad against the occupation of infidel armies." He went on to praise "devout youth who carry arms against the occupier" - in an apparent reference to militants who recently attacked US troops in Kuwait. The Iraqi president said such a holy war would enable them to "cleanse the nation from shame" and relieve it of the "harm done to the people of Kuwait and Iraq".


BBC 25 December, 2002, 08:37 GMT India's Christians: Roots and disputes Christians are a minority but celebrations are big By Charles Haviland BBC correspondent in southern India Christians are a tiny minority in India - less than 3% of the population. But in the southern, coastal state of Kerala, they number around 20%. It is ironic that, while some parts of India are torn by violence between faiths, this ancient and unique stream of Christianity should be turning in on itself with a vengeance Christians have lived and worshipped in Kerala for some 2,000 years but the last century has been marked by a bitter feud within the Church which has led to factional fighting. Kranganor, on the coast of Kerala, is the cradle of Christianity in India where according to legend, St Thomas, or Doubting Thomas - one of the 12 apostles of Jesus - first came ashore in AD 52. "This is the place where he landed, imparting the message of Jesus," says Father JB Putor, keeper of the shrine to Thomas. Deep roots St Thomas' Christian community was augmented in the fourth century by refugees from east Syria - now Iraq. All Kerala Christians who trace their ancestry to these times call themselves Syrian Christians. Some have become Catholic or Protestant in their outlook, others are Orthodox. The melody played at the Holy Communion at the Orthodox Syrian Church of Cheriapoli, in central Kerala, is of ancient Syria. So is the language used in some of the prayers - Syriac, very close to what Jesus himself spoke. One of the congregation, Matthew Kurian, told me he was deeply attached to this link with the early Church. "We are keeping the Syriac language as a basis. "And Syriac is an important thing for us. There are many other Christians here - Latin Catholics, Roman Catholics. So we are proudly saying we are Syrian Christians," he said. Hindu architecture The Syrian Christians have always fitted in well with their Indian surroundings. Many Church buildings strongly resemble Hindu temples including a carved teak porch, added to the old building at Cheriapoli. "This porch is very like the Hindu temples in India. It is like work found in Kathmandu, in Nepal. It is actually made by Hindu carpenters," Mathew told me. Kerala Christians are hoping for a peaceful Christmas "In Kerala, we have to keep some more customs of the Hindus. Because almost all the people here are Hindus, and we are the minority people," he said. The Orthodox Church in Kerala has excellent ties with Hindus and Muslims. But the Church itself is split by a bitter feud between those still loyal to the Syria-based Patriarch and those who in 1912, under a local bishop, declared autonomy and set up their own spiritual leader. Ninety years later, Father Joseph Corespiscopa, an 86-year-old priest from the faction loyal to the Patriarch, still cannot accept what that bishop did. "He violated every principle of the Church. And so he was called an outcast. And his followers are called outcasts," said Father Joseph. Divisions The split remains deep. Not only are the two sides at loggerheads over spiritual authority - recent disputes over ownership of Church buildings and property have caused factional violence, even deaths. Father KM George, Principal of the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kerala, comes from the autonomous faction of the Church. "It's very tragic. None of us endorses such violence in our Church. We are ashamed of it. And I still hope reconciliation is possible, because in Kerala we are the same community. We're the same family," he says. It is ironic that, while some parts of India are torn by violence between faiths, this ancient and unique stream of Christianity should be turning in on itself with a vengeance. Ordinary congregations are simply praying that a spirit of reconciliation can prevail this Christmas.


The Nation (Thailand) 6 Dec 2002 EDITORIAL: The end of an era for Burma The death of General Ne Win, Burma's former military dictator, is something of an anticlimax after he spent 26 years bringing the country - once Asia's rice bowl - to its knees and turning himself and the military junta into the most despised rulers in the world. To many, it would have been better for Burma had the general, who retired before the bloody riots in 1988 that left thousands dead but still pulled the strings of the junta almost to the very end, died 10 years ago. The country might have been a far better place today - at the very least it would not have lost several generations of students. It's unlikely his death will change the balance of power in Rangoon but it could galvanise the ruling junta into speeding up reforms and expedite dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. Age is fast catching up with the ruling generals, especially those once part of the Ne Win clique, and as they too fade from the scene there could well be changes in store. The once flamboyant and short-tempered general died yesterday under house arrest. In recent times he had faced the same fate as other dictators as his clout began to wane along with his health. His numerous trips abroad for expensive medical treatment began to leave a power vacuum that eventually resulted in an internal coup against him and his family. Upon his death, the "Old Man", as he was generally called in Burma, was a sorry and reclusive eccentric - totally discredited and under house arrest along with his relatives. Ne Win's struggle alongside the famous "30 Comrades", led by Suu Kyi's father General Aung San, for independence from the British that they won in 1948, became sullied when he launched into an era of authoritarianism after a bloodless coup in 1962. Perhaps those who now have the power to change the course of Burma for the better will be able to think rationally and forget the idiosyncrasies that marked Ne Win's reign. History will remember Ne Win for many things, including his deep belief in numerology that prompted him to issue 45 and 90 kyat bank notes because the numbers were divisible by his lucky number nine. It will remember his obstinacy and suspension of the constitution; reducing Burma to least-developed-nation status; allowing real power to rest with Lt-General Khin Nyunt, head of the military intelligence; hyper-inflation; reduced foreign investment; erratic power supplies; destruction of the tourism industry; collapsed property prices; and a worthless currency. Then there was his nationalisation policy that dispossessed Indians who owned 62 per cent of the land in Burma. About 150,000 of them fled the country. But most of all he will be remembered for the shocking record of human-rights abuses and attempted genocide of ethnic minorities. Ne Win stepped down as president in 1981 and was replaced by U San Yu, but remained leader of the ruling party. A wave of student demonstrations broke out in Rangoon in 1987, followed by workers' riots in the spring of 1988. Hundreds died, and in mid-1988, San Yu, Ne Win and the new president, Brig-General Sein Lwin were forced to resign after the killing of 3,000 unarmed demonstrators. A mass pro-democracy movement swept the nation and the more reformist Maung Maung became president, promising free multiparty elections. But General Saw Maung staged a military coup in September 1988, reimposed martial law and transferred power to a 19-member state law and order council, with Ne Win in control behind the scenes. With the "Old Man's" passing and some signs that the junta is becoming more amenable, this could be Burma's wake-up call.

Sri Lanka

BBC 5 Dec 2002, Sri Lanka peace breakthrough The two sides have both made concessions Sri Lanka's Government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to share power in a federal system, to end 19 years of civil war on the island. The joint declaration came at the end of four days of peace talks in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. Both parties have made an unprecedented historic decision - our struggle was based on the concept of self-determination Rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham The Norwegian Government, which is mediating in the talks, said the two sides had agreed on "internal self-determination based on a federal model within a united Sri Lanka". Under Thursday's deal, minority Tamils would have autonomy in the largely Tamil-speaking north and east of the island. Chief government negotiator GL Peiris said the agreement was "irreversible". "It is a commitment to peace," he said. "There is not going to be war." Anton Balasingham, the chief rebel negotiator, described developments as historic. Security forces may be united Both sides have come closer to a possible political solution after the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said last week he would settle for less than outright secession. Meanwhile, Japan has agreed to host an international aid donors conference next May or June to raise vital funds with which to rebuild Sri Lanka's war-devastated areas. Constitution Despite doubts about the handling of the peace process, the opposition party of President Chandrika Kumaratunga welcomed Thursday's deal, too. A senior presidential aide said the party supported devolution within a federal framework - the president herself had recommended it in the past. At the moment we have no interest in dissolving parliament Anura Bandarinaike, presidential adviser Neither government nor rebels had expected to get as far as agreeing on such a core political issue at this stage, the BBC's Lars Bevanger in Oslo says. But he adds that parliament must approve any change to the constitution, requiring a two-thirds majority the government does not have. It must also deal with a quirk in the constitution which allows the president to dissolve parliament a year into its term. That anniversary was reached on Thursday. The president's supporters, however, say early elections are a "last resort". "At the moment we have no interest in dissolving parliament," Anura Bandaranaike, her brother and chief adviser, told reporters. Rebuilding Why should we believe them this time? - I lost everything Tamil refugee More than 60,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka between 1983, when war began, and the signing of a ceasefire in February this year. People yearn for peace, and for the island's shattered economy and infrastructure to be rebuilt. Shariya Wanigasekara, a teacher from the Sinhalese community, says the whole atmosphere has changed because of the peace process. "It is a feeling of security away from the fear of bombs exploding everywhere," he told the Associated Press. Neelan Sathyaseelan, a Tamil forced to flee his home, was more sceptical whether the government could ensure lasting peace. "Why should we believe them this time? I lost everything. My land is now full of mines," he said.

NYT 6 Dec 2002 Sri Lanka to Explore a New Government By AMY WALDMAN In a development that seems to put even more distance between Sri Lanka and the war that has killed 64,000 of its people, negotiators for its government and Tamil rebels agreed yesterday to explore a federal model for the country. The announcement — essentially a statement of intent — appears to end the two-decade quest by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam, or L.T.T.E., one of the world's most ruthless guerrilla groups, for a separate state. "This federal model will be within a united Sri Lanka," the Tigers' lead negotiator, Anton Balasingham, said, calling it "an unprecedented historic decision." The Tigers had indicated that they would be willing to accept regional autonomy at the first round of peace talks in September. Last week, their leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, said that the minority Tamils were willing to accept "substantial regional autonomy," although he also indicated that if such autonomy were not forthcoming, the Tigers would again push for secession and an independent state. A statement released yesterday at the end of four days of peace talks in Oslo, Norway, read: "Responding to a proposal by the leadership of the LTTE, the parties agreed to explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking peoples, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka." The next step will be to find the appropriate model for the country. Rohan Edrisinha, director of the Center for Policy Alternatives, a nonprofit institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, said the relationship between Canada and Quebec, which has maintained its own language and to an extent its own legal system, was the most likely model. He said the result would most likely be an "asymmetrical federalism," in which greater powers would be given to the northern and eastern regions controlled by the Tigers. He called the announcement, coming just nine months after a cease-fire went into effect, "quite a significant development," and an unexpected one. "I'm quite surprised," he said. Still, there is considerable work to be done. Sri Lanka, which is home to 18 million people, about three-fourths of them Sinhalese, has a unitary Constitution. Changing to a federal structure will require amending the Constitution with a two-thirds majority, which the ruling United National Front government does not have. The amendment would then have to be put to a referendum. Any settlement would also have to guarantee constitutional protections to the minorities, whether ethnic, as in the country's Muslim population, or political, meaning Tamils who dissent from the Tiger viewpoint. The statement yesterday also said that the Tigers "will accept the right of political groups to carry out political work, including in the Jaffna peninsula and the islands, provided that they are unarmed, as stipulated by the Cease-fire Agreement." To some, the timing of the announcement was significant. It came on the first anniversary of the taking of power by the United National Front government, led by Ranil Wickremesinghe. As of midnight last night, the country's president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, who has had strained relations with Mr. Wickremesinghe, has the right to dismiss Parliament. But Mr. Edrisinha said it was unlikely Ms. Kumaratunga would dismiss the government now. "If she were to dissolve Parliament she would be seen as undermining the peace process. She's very sensitive about international opinion." This round of peace talks, the third, also achieved some other, smaller breakthroughs. The Tigers agreed to ensure that the writ of its courts and police force — in existence since around 1994 — would not extend into government-controlled areas. Following on Mr. Balasingham's assurance in the previous round of talks that the Tigers were no longer recruiting children as soldiers, the negotiators also agreed in the statement "that children belong with their families or other custodians and not in the workplace, whether civilian or military." They said that the Tigers would devise a plan with the United Nations Children's Fund aimed at "restoring normalcy to the lives of children."


IRIN 27 Nov 2002 Amnesty raises concern after assassination bid ISLAMABAD, 27 Nov 2002 (IRIN) - Amnesty International has called on Ashgabat for justice, not revenge, following an alleged plot to assassinate Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov earlier this week. The country has a poor human rights and the watchdog group is concerned of a possible crackdown. "At times of heightened tensions it is particularly vital that governments abide by their commitments under international human rights law," Anna Sunder-Plassman, a Central Asia researcher for Amnesty, told IRIN on Wednesday from London. "Now that the international community is closely watching the government's response to Monday's events, it is Turkmenistan's opportunity to show that it takes its obligations under international human rights law seriously." Sunder-Plassman's comments follow an attack on the presidential motorcade on Monday in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat in which Niyazov escaped unharmed. The President, however, has publicly implicated exiled opposition figures Saparmurad Yklymov, the former deputy agriculture minister; Boris Shikhmradov, the former foreign minister; Khudayberdy Orazov, the former head of Turkmenistan's central bank; and Nurmukhamed Khanamov, ex-ambassador to Turkey in the assassination attempt. In a statement on Tuesday, Amnesty said it had received worrying reports that many people had been detained. While government sources say 16 people have been detained, unofficial sources say the number is more than a hundred. The group is concerned that the government's response might lead to a new clampdown on dissent in this landlocked country of five million. Concerned over their possible fates, Sunder-Plassman said there were indications that many of them may have been targeted solely because of their family relations with exiled opposition activists. "Our fear about their safety is heightened by the fact that currently very little is known about their whereabouts and how they are being treated," she explained, urging the Turkmen authorities to ensure that all detainees were granted prompt access to legal counsel of their choice throughout the investigation, that they were not tortured or ill-treated and that, if they were not charged with a recognisable criminal offence, they were released. Monday's events, however, are unusual in this tightly controlled state. "No dissent can be voiced without repercussions; all media outlets are strictly state-controlled, no human rights groups can openly function within the country and political and civil liberties are extremely restricted," the activist maintained, adding: "Saparmurad Niyazov has cultivated a personality cult that has reached absurd proportions." The Central Asian state became independent following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then Niyazov, who according to Amnesty has exercised a monopoly on power as both head of state and head of government, has dominated it. The rights group argues that the government is intolerant of dissent, restricting political and civil liberties and retaining tight control of the media. Numerous members and supporters of opposition groups are reportedly barred from leaving or entering the country. Clandestine mass dissemination of anti-government leaflets was reported from Ashgabat and the northern city of Dashoguz in August and October respectively. According to Sunder-Plassman, following the events of 11 September, the Central Asian states, including Turkmenistan, have developed close ties with the US-led coalition. "There are strong indications that western criticism of the human rights records of the Central Asian states has become less vocal due to the strategic importance of these countries," she said. "Governments in many cases appear to priortise cooperation with Central Asia on security and anti-terrorism measures over protection of human rights."



RFE/RL 27 Nov 2002 U.S. IMPOSES TRAVEL BAN ON BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT The United States on 26 November banned Alyaksandr Lukashenka from entering the country, Reuters reported. "The United States imposes this extraordinary measure in view of the continuing erosion of human rights and democratic principles in Belarus, specifically the forced shutdown of the Advisory and Monitoring Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe based in Minsk," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Lynn Cassel said. The ban also extends to seven other high-ranking Belarusian officials and is identical to the visa ban 14 EU members imposed on 19 November (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 November 2002). Cassel added the United States will monitor the situation in Belarus in deciding how long the visa ban should continue. "I have thus far not visited the United States to discuss bilateral relations, and I think I can do without [such a visit] this time as well," Lukashenka said on 27 November.

RFE/RL 27 Nov 2002 JEWISH LEADER SLAMS BELARUSIAN LEGISLATOR FOR REMARKS ON SYNAGOGUES Yakov Goodman, head of the U.S.-based World Association of Belarusian Jewry, called "unprecedented" a Belarusian legislator's recent remarks in response to his colleagues' appeal for protection for former Jewish synagogues in Belarus, Belapan reported. Seventy-five members of the Chamber of Representatives had signed an appeal urging President Lukashenka to halt development projects at the sites of two former synagogues in Minsk. Commenting on the appeal, Syarhey Kastsyan, deputy chairman of the Chamber of Representatives' Committee for Foreign Affairs, told "Belorusskaya gazeta" on 25 November he opposes attempts to "turn Belarus into a springboard for Zionism." "Moscow has been turned into a springboard for Zionism," Kastsyan said. "America is an absolutely Zionistic-fascist state, and now they want to do this to Belarus. That is why I do not give a damn about these synagogues. I do not care about them just as Ariel Sharon does not care about mosques or Palestinian children. If a mosque or a synagogue stands in the way of the city development plan, I believe it is OK to bulldoze it."

Bosnia (see Netherlands)

AP 1 Dec 2002 Karadzic's Support Thrives in E. Bosnia By ANTHONY DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer December 01, 2002 Email this story. CELEBICI, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - Wiping plum brandy from his chin with a calloused hand, Slavko Brkovic says he doesn't know where Radovan Karadzic is. But if the accused Bosnian Serb war criminal were to call for it, Brokovic would be honored to follow him back into battle. Seven years after the end of the Bosnian war, the telegenic Bosnian Serb leader with the wavy gray hair is eluding a manhunt by allegedly slipping in and out of isolated mountain villages like Celebici with the connivance of Serbs who still revere him. Behind a broken windowpane in the village grocery hangs Karadzic's now fading picture with a warning in English, presumably for the benefit of the tens of thousands of international peacekeepers on his trail: "Don't touch him!" Villagers make no secret of their support for Karadzic, indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal for genocide against Bosnian Muslims. But none acknowledges seeing him since the end of the 1992-1995 war, and some claim they wouldn't even recognize him. "There is no Serb who would give information that could lead to his arrest," said Brkovic, 56, a carpenter and head of this farming community of around 600. "If Radovan appeared at my door tomorrow we would have coffee. I would save him and follow him to the fight." Across the table, a toothless policeman nips from a shot glass as he pores over the credentials of a visiting reporter and takes notes. Westerners are greeted with suspicion, and Bosnians of other ethnic groups - Muslims and Croats - don't dare to enter town. Hundreds of square miles of deep gorges, hidden caves and densely wooded peaks could provide easy shelter for Karadzic, even if authorities knew his rough location. The rugged area 50 miles southeast of Sarajevo hid Nazi collaborators after World War II, and has been called Bosnia's Tora Bora, after the mountain refuge of al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan. Acting on tip-offs, NATO-led forces raided Celebici twice this year. But in the latest operation, in August, helicopters and the engines of heavy vehicles struggling up the single potholed mountain road gave the hunters away. And even if Karadzic had been here, the international forces may have met fierce resistance. Stanica Saric, 49, said foreign troops kicked in her door. "They offered to pay for the damage, but I refused," she said from behind her garden fence. "They were looking for Radovan," but if she saw him, she "would carry him to the woods and hide him." During the war, Karadzic's efforts to link the Bosnian Serbs with other Serbs of Yugoslavia in a single nation won him nearly mythical status in this Serb stronghold. Thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed, tortured or driven out in an ethnic cleansing campaign during his wartime leadership that left 200,000 people dead and around 40,000 missing. Karadzic has been on the run since he was indicted in 1995 along with his top general, Ratko Mladic. Karadzic, 57, a psychiatrist and author, reportedly visits his daughter Sonja, son Sasa, and wife Ljiljana in the wartime Serb Bosnian stronghold Pale. Karadzic's publisher, Miroslav Toholj, rereleased a 1984 book of Serbian-language poetry for children in July, at which time a close aide described him as "well and busy." A run of 1,500 copies was distributed to bookstores in Serb-dominated areas of the former Yugoslavia. Two more books are due in 2003, a collection of political articles and another of letters written during the war. Karadzic's book "My Defense" has a chapter on The Hague war crimes tribunal in which he writes: "My plea at The Hague would be an accusation rather than a defense." Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, based in the Netherlands, have publicly indicted 79 people for alleged war crimes, most of them Serbs. It also has issued secret arrest warrants. Prosecutors say they hope Karadzic will be captured by this spring, but skeptics say there is simply no political will to arrest him and risk an uprising that could revive ethnic tensions. "He tried to unify the Serb people and to create a prosperous country," said 40-year-old Stjepan Gevtovic of Celebici. "No one is individually guilty. It is collective. We are all Radovan," he said. Despite severe poverty and unemployment, a $5 million reward for Karadzic's head apparently isn't enough to tempt his supporters in the Serb-controlled half of Bosnia known as Republika Srpska. "The sympathetic population makes things more difficult," said prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann. "The use of classical military means such as helicopters and men in uniforms makes it easy for him to escape. They need to use more discreet methods."


NYT 3 Dec 2002 Croatia Protects a General Charged With War Crimes By DANIEL SIMPSON LICKI CITLUK, Croatia — Nine years after Croatian tanks and artillery chased Djuro Pjevac and his neighbors out of this remote village, it remains a ghost town, reminiscent of countless others across the Balkans. Mr. Pjevac, a 78-year-old Croatian Serb, has since returned to the rubble of a homestead he spent 50 years building, camping out in a makeshift hut the size of a small automobile. But the community he used to live in has been wiped out. In September 1993, Croatian forces set fire to every one of Licki Citluk's few dozen houses. Their former occupants, members of a Serb minority that was persecuted during World War II as well in the fighting that tore apart Yugoslavia in the 1990's, have no plans to return. "Only a nostalgic person would come back," Mr. Pjevac said. "Look at the mess. A lot of people were killed here, some of them in their beds." After the military action here, United Nations peacekeepers accused the Croatian Army of killing Serbian civilians in cold blood. But almost a decade passed without anyone being held accountable. The United Nations war crimes tribunal has now charged Croatia's wartime chief of staff, Gen. Janko Bobetko, with crimes against humanity and demanded he be extradited to stand trial in The Hague, where a genocide case against the former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic is already being heard. But Croatia is refusing to hand over General Bobetko, setting off a dispute that highlights its problems in coming to terms with acts committed from 1991 to 1995, when it fought for independence against rebel Croatian Serbs backed by Serbia and the Yugoslav Army. "The Croats thought The Hague was a tribunal for Serbs, and they're shocked to find that's not the case," said Zarko Puhovski, president of a human rights committee. "The right-wing radicals here are sadly right in saying that no general from a winning army has ever been indicted for war crimes." The country has reappraised the last decade since the death in 1999 of President Franjo Tudjman, the onetime Communist general who secured its independence. Nonetheless, the indictment of General Bobetko, an 83-year-old diabetic with serious heart problems who is said by doctors to be critically ill, has touched a raw nerve. Despite warnings that Croatia's hopes of eventually joining the European Union will be dashed unless it hands the general over, Prime Minister Ivica Racan has so far refused, fearing a nationalist backlash that could bring down his reformist government. The diplomatic quarrel has also raised questions about the tribunal's insensitivity to how it is perceived in the Balkans, where its actions stir fierce passions and most people close their ears to evidence against members of their ethnic group. The wording of the indictment against General Bobetko has angered many Croats, who believe it questions the legitimacy of an operation to stop Serbian artillery in an area known as the Medak Pocket from shelling nearby Croatian towns. "Janko Bobetko, acting individually and/or in concert with others, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of persecutions of Serb civilians of the Medak Pocket on racial, political or religious grounds," the indictment says. Such language, a standard formulation applied to similar cases, troubles Croats. It implies that their leaders actually planned the same sort of "ethnic cleansing" operations that Mr. Milosevic is accused of sanctioning. Although it remains unclear whether this was true in Licki Citluk, there is little doubt that something terrible happened. "Approximately 164 homes and 148 barns and outbuildings, being a majority of buildings in the villages within the Medak Pocket, were destroyed, mostly by fire and explosives, after the Croatian forces had taken effective control," the indictment adds. "At least 100 Serbs including 29 local Serb civilians were unlawfully killed." Any indictment would be challenged here, but one that casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Croats' fight against the Serbs, and points the finger at an ailing old man, is particularly inflammatory. A week after General Bobetko was indicted, he was made an honorary citizen of Gospic, a town known for its strong Croatian nationalism. Gospic was under Serbian artillery fire during the Croatian war, but local Serbs were also killed by Croats. Such evidence of the general's popularity has worried Mr. Racan, whose government has a narrow majority in Parliament over a resurgent nationalist-led opposition. Many political experts here worry that the sudden pressure from outside to face up to the past is backfiring. "The international community needs a normal and stable Croatia," said Slaven Letica, the author of several books on Croatian nationalism. "Indictments such as this, with the terrible public relations from The Hague that accompanies it, just make the Croatian situation worse and the West more unpopular." That said, diplomats credit The Hague's influence with bringing about two war-crimes trials here. In one, Gen. Mirko Norac is accused of crimes committed in Gospic in 1991. In the other, eight men are accused of atrocities in a military prison in Split in 1992. Although a majority of Croats surveyed by pollsters acknowledge that some soldiers committed war crimes in the fight for independence, they seem to be struggling to understand the principle of "command responsibility" under which General Bobetko is indicted. As commander of the armed forces, his failure to prosecute any subordinates who may have committed crimes in the Medak Pocket means he could be found guilty. Many experts believe that General Bobetko has fallen victim to the need to bring a high-ranking Croat to The Hague after Ante Gotovina, the last general to be indicted, went into hiding. But such protests do not impress the tribunal, whose chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, says there are no grounds for Mr. Racan to appeal against the indictment. Hoping to stave off international sanctions, Croatia is trying to delay a decision without actually refusing to fulfill its obligation to cooperate. General Bobetko, who says he would rather die than go to The Hague, may yet be able to use his fading health to avoid a trial. "The government is not stupid; they know they cannot challenge the indictment," said Mr. Letica, the author of books on Croatian nationalism. "Their only hope is to drag this dispute out until Bobetko dies." As winter approaches in Licki Citluk, Djuro Pjevac is unimpressed. "Someone ordered this," he said, stoking the wood stove that heats his musty one-room shack and doubles as a bread oven. "They should get what they deserve."


Copenhagen Post 5 Dec 2002 Iraqi attack on General Although Nizar Khazraji, the former Iraqi Army General who is still under house arrest in Sorø, has often been touted by various sources as a possible successor to Saddam Hussein, a leading Iraqi intellectual, Professor Munther al-Fadhal, who teaches at the International College of Law in London, claims that Khazraji is not the 'leadership figure' that people in Iraq are looking for. According to Professor al-Fadhal, the ex-General has 'terrible acts' on his conscience and Denmark should be encouraged to proceed with efforts to prosecute him for war crimes. 'We hope and trust that Denmark takes the matter seriously, said the professor. 'We're talking about genocide and atrocious war-crimes. Denmark has a duty to humanity.' Khazraji, who is suspected of participating in the disappearance of between 100,000 and 200,000 Kurds in the years 1984-88, was ordered to remain under house arrest in Sorø by three High Court judges last week, who had ruled that there is 'reason to believe' that he has committed war crimes.


NYT 4 Dec 2002 Nobel Hero Insists Hungary Face Its Past By ALAN RIDING, BERLIN — It was coincidental, yet in many ways appropriate, that Imre Kertesz was in Berlin on Oct. 10 when he learned that he had won this year's Nobel literature prize. He had lived off translating German classics during the final 15 years of Communist rule in his native Hungary. After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, it was also in Germany that he first won recognition as a novelist. And since then, he has felt more at home in Berlin than Budapest. The only dissonance could have been that Mr. Kertesz, now 73, is also a Jew who in his midteens spent a year in German concentration camps and whose writing has concentrated on the Holocaust. Yet his very reflection on this genocide has enabled him to come to terms with Germany. He believes it has accepted its guilt. More fundamentally, he refuses to view the Holocaust exclusively as a conflict between Germans and Jews, but also as a catastrophe for all of European civilization. "You cannot be angry with an entire nation, certainly not with the second and third generations," he said in an interview in his small apartment in Berlin, where he is spending a year as a guest scholar at the Wissenschaftskolleg, a prestigious research academy. "The Holocaust is not history's one-time mistake. It belongs to European history, and with it, the European values of the Enlightenment collapsed." For the Swedish Academy, which will present Mr. Kertesz with the Nobel Prize in Stockholm on Dec. 10, this view is also what distinguishes his writing from that of some other Holocaust survivors. "For him, Auschwitz is not an exceptional occurrence that, like an alien body, subsists outside the normal history of Western Europe," it said in its citation. "It is the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern existence." Yet surprisingly perhaps, even after he survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, it was not to bear witness to the Holocaust that Mr. Kertesz became a writer. Rather, after 1950, when Hungary succumbed to Soviet rule, he felt as if he had moved from one concentration camp to another. And one day he had a strange experience that prompted him to seek out his own corner of freedom. "It was in 1955 and I was in a corridor and I heard steps behind me," he recalled, speaking in Hungarian, his words translated by his Hungarian-born wife, Magda, who was raised in the United States. "The steps grew louder, and I had this vision of people marching behind me. It was a group that represented forgetfulness, conformism, resignation. Belonging to this marching group meant losing my identity. I had to step out of this line. It was why I decided to become a writer." By then, he had some experience in journalism. Only 15 in July 1945 when he returned to Hungary from Buchenwald to learn that his father had died in a Nazi labor camp, he completed high school and worked at a Budapest newspaper until it was taken over by the Communist Party in 1950. Then, after two years in the army, he struggled to survive as a freelance radio reporter. In 1953 he met his first wife, Albina, whose parents were among the 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed by the Nazis. Having known Hungarian anti-Semitism during the war and Communist repression after the war, understandably he felt little affection for Hungary, yet he chose not to escape when the 1956 uprising offered him the chance. "I had begun writing with the feeling that I wanted to do nothing else," Mr. Kertesz noted in a recent essay. "And I knew perfectly well that if I left Hungary, where people spoke my language, I would never again write." But it was only in 1960 that he began working on what is arguably his most important work, "Fateless," the semi-autobiographical novel about the three days he spent in Auschwitz and his long months in Buchenwald. "For four or five years, everything I wrote was a failure," he said. "I wanted to test my ability as a writer, but if your fantasy doesn't work, you're required to write something that is very close to you." The novel, which took him 13 years to complete and went almost unnoticed when published in Hungary in 1975, is written in the voice of a boy who shares many of Mr. Kertesz's experiences. "It seems like an autobiography, but it isn't one," he explained. "The language of the character is all fiction. It is the story of someone who has no destiny, who is fateless, so it could not be a true recollection." The power of the novel stems from its disturbing lack of moral judgment as the boy describes — in the present tense, not as a memoir — his surprise over his arrest and deportation, his disbelief that people are being gassed at Auschwitz, his daily concern with survival in Buchenwald. "I wanted to convey the innocence of not knowing what was happening," he said. "There is a dynamic character to the life of a camp. The faster things happen, the faster you adjust. It is the only way to survive." During the long years of writing "Fateless," Mr. Kertesz had a parallel life as author of librettos for musical comedies in Hungarian, which he now describes as "innocent love stories." But they were popular, and when Mr. Kertesz joined one show on a tour to East Germany in 1962, he used the occasion to revisit Buchenwald. Two years after "Fateless," he published "Pathfinders," a small book in which he describes returning to the camp and finding much of it changed beyond recognition. By then, he was earning his keep by translating German-language authors, among them Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, Schnitzler and Wittgenstein, who were acceptable to government publishers. He did not complete another novel until 1988, when he published "Fiasco," a reflection on the silent response to "Fateless" in Hungary. This was followed in 1990 by "Kaddish for a Child Not Born," a memoir of a death camp survivor whose marriage falls apart over his refusal to bring a child into a world that permitted the Holocaust. The story is fictional, but it is hard not to hear Mr. Kertesz's own voice when the narrator, also a literary translator, excoriates "the Hungarian literary scene, this crucifying, humiliating occurrence thriving on exclusion and privilege, preferences and dislikes, confidentially official and confidentially businesslike systems of lists, always suspicious of quality, always exalting dilettantism as genius." And it seems still more autobiographical when the narrator adds: "For this reason I have always remained an outside observer, sometimes frightened, sometimes shocked, sometimes indifferent, but always an outsider." Mr. Kertesz said his own decision not to have children was not a function of the Holocaust, but rather of his first wife's difficulty in becoming pregnant and his own fear of a child's impact on his work. "It would have been too trusting to set up a family," he said, recalling the tiny apartment where he lived with Albina. "It would corrupt an artist. I would have to live better, and to do that, I would have made commitments and concessions." And yet, he noted, to be an ignored writer in a totalitarian regime had its advantages. "Your perspective on life is totally your own and cannot be influenced," he said. "You are not thinking about being successful. You expect to make no impact. It's hopeless. And if it's hopeless, you might as well stick to the truth. And you have an awful lot of time to think. I had nothing else to do all day. The isolation and hopelessness of the situation gave you freedom." Mr. Kertesz's warm and outgoing personality seems contradicted by the pessimism of much of his writing, but he explained. "I think a writer has to become familiar with life's darkest sides," he said. "From that, something constructive can emerge. And in the writing, that is already happiness." "Kaddish for a Child Not Born" was Mr. Kertesz's first book to be published in Germany. It was soon followed by translations of all his other books. His German publisher, Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, also sold his work around the world, with France, Spain and Sweden among countries where he won critical acclaim. So far, however, only "Fateless" and "Kaddish for a Child Not Born" have been published in English, by Northwestern University Press; Mr. Kertesz is unhappy with the translations and is eager to have the books retranslated. Still, even before this year's Nobel prize, thanks to his new freedom to travel and his growing reputation in Europe, Mr. Kertesz's life had changed beyond recognition. While keeping his home in Budapest, he spent long periods in Berlin and Vienna and was able to visit Israel as well as Western Europe and the United States. He also learned of the writings of other Holocaust survivors whose books were never published in Hungary, like Primo Levi and Jean Améry. Yet in many ways, he concedes, he is still an outsider, even as a Jew. "As Isaac Deutscher put it, I'm a non-Jewish Jew," he said. "I'm not a Zionist, I don't live in Israel, I don't speak Hebrew, I don't know Jewish culture, I am not religious. I became a Jew through Auschwitz. It was an accident, but it was also fortunate. I got to know the real face of the century. My life became richer for it. If it were not blasphemy, I would say I was lucky to have known Auschwitz." No less complex, though, is Mr. Kertesz's relationship with Hungary, a country that discovered him only when he won the Nobel Prize. It is also a country that Mr. Kertesz has portrayed harshly in his writings, principally for its latent anti-Semitism. "For a Jew to be accepted as Hungarian in the present time (and this is a present time that has lasted more than seven decades), he must fulfill certain requirements that, in brief, lead to self-denial," he wrote in the early 1990's. When Mr. Kertesz returned to Budapest after winning the Nobel Prize, he was greeted like a hero, with parliament revoking the tax due on his $1.1 million award, the government distributing his books to libraries around the country and sales of "Fateless" topping 70,000 in a few weeks. But he promptly reminded Hungary of its role in sending Jews to their deaths. "Hungarian society has still not faced the skeleton in the cupboard," he told a packed news conference. "That is the systematic murder of the Hungarian Jews." One consequence, he later said, was that some extreme rightist Hungarians said they hoped that next time a real Hungarian would win the prize, while others sent e-mail messages to the Swedish Academy saying it had fallen victim to an international Jewish conspiracy to destroy Hungarian culture. "But I have to say that when I was there, everyone seemed very happy," he added. "It was seen as a victory for Hungary. People stood in line in the cold waiting for me to sign their books." In 1995, after a long struggle, his wife Albina died of cancer. He was devastated, but as he later wrote, he was "invited to live again" when he met and married Magda, 60, who had fled Hungary with her family in 1956 and returned there in 1990 after the fall of Communism. Now, they divide their lives between Budapest and Berlin. Mr. Kertesz once wrote that at home he felt like a stranger and abroad he felt at home. Reminded of that, his wife nodded energetically. "It is still true," she said. "I told Imre the other day, when we arrive in Berlin, he feels at ease; when he arrives in a foreign country, he lets go." Mr. Kertesz beamed and offered in English: "Outsider, I am always an outsider."


AFP 7 Dec 2002 DUTCH REPORTEDLY STOOD ASIDE IN MASSACRE The Dutch government was not prepared to sacrifice its soldiers to prevent the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, Gen. Rupert Smith, the British general in charge of United Nations forces at the time, told a Dutch parliamentary committee investigating the killings. General Smith said the impression he had received from the Dutch authorities before the massacre was, in his words, "It is not worth dying for this." Bosnian Serb troops overran Srebrenica in 1995 and killed more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys. About 200 lightly armed Dutch troops had been stationed there as a deterrent. (Agence France-Presse)

BBC 6 Dec 2002 Dutch felt Srebrenica 'not worth sacrifice' Smith criticised The Hague actions as inadequate By Geraldine Coughlan BBC correspondent at The Hague A former United Nations commander in Bosnia has told a Dutch parliamentary inquiry into the Srebrenica massacre that it was clear to him that Dutch authorities would not sacrifice its soldiers for the enclave. Srebrenica was the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II About 7,000 Muslim men were killed after Serb forces took over Srebrenica in 1995, which was under the protection of Dutch peacekeepers. Retired British General Rupert Smith was speaking during the last day of hearings in the inquiry at The Hague. He said the impression he had received from Dutch authorities before the massacre was: "It is not worth dying for this." If the inquiry's report shows that a lack of information between the Dutch army and the government could have prevented the slaughter, it may pave the way for claims for damages against the Netherlands. Cover-up theory Mr Smith is the highest former UN official to testify in the inquiry into the fall of Srebrenica, which was declared a safe haven by the UN. He criticised the Netherlands for sending 200 lightly-armed peacekeepers to defend the enclave against Serb forces. He also said that the UN could have done more to prevent the genocide, which has been described as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. In trying to determine the Dutch role in the tragedy, the inquiry is focusing on whether the army covered-up information about Serb atrocities after Srebrenica fell. On Friday, Dutch military officials gave evidence about a photographic film taken by a lieutenant which turned out to be blank after it was developed at an army laboratory. The photos had allegedly shown the bodies of Muslims, and Serbs separating the men from the women. The report is due out on 27 January.

Netherlands The Hague - ICTY and ICC

NYT 3 Dec 2002 THE HAGUE: BOSNIAN SERB SENTENCED A Bosnian Serb paramilitary fighter has been given a 20-year prison sentence for the persecution and murder of Muslim civilians during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Judges at the United Nations war crimes tribunal convicted Mitar Vasiljevic, 48, for terrorizing Muslims in the town of Visegrad and in particular for the killing of five unarmed Muslim men. The court said that in 1992, Mr. Vasiljevic and several others took the men to the banks of the Drina River and shot them, ignoring their pleas for mercy. But the court ruled that prosecutors had not proved other charges against him, including a role in the burning alive of 65 Muslim women, children and old men locked inside a home. Marlise Simons (NYT)

NYT 7 Dec 2002 Witness in Milosevic War Crimes Case Is Named By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THE HAGUE, Dec. 6 — The United Nations war crimes tribunal today identified an important witness in the case against Slobodan Milosevic as a former Croatian Serb leader, Milan Babic, who was once Mr. Milosevic's ally. Mr. Babic allowed his name to be released after three weeks on the witness stand. His lawyer, Peter Michael Mueller, said he made the decision to contribute to reconciliation in the countries that once made up a larger Yugoslavia. The court, referring to Mr. Babic as Witness C-61, had barred publication of his name. Advertisement Mr. Babic, 46, trained as a dentist, was a ranking Croatian Serb leader when the Serbian minority revolted after Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.

AFP 4 Dec 2002 Milosevic Spurns a Psychiatric Examination THE HAGUE, Dec. 4 — Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav leader, has refused to undergo psychiatric tests to determine the strain that his war crimes trial is putting on him, a spokesman for the international criminal tribunal here said today. "Milosevic has refused this psychiatric testing and we are not going to force him," the spokesman, Jim Landale, said. The trial judges ordered the psychiatric tests last month, along with tests by a cardiologist, after earlier medical checks revealed that Mr. Milosevic suffered from high blood pressure and was at risk of a heart attack. The measures were taken after Mr. Milosevic, who has spurned help from lawyers and taken on his own defense, fell ill in early November for the fifth time since his trial opened in February. The judges adjourned the trial after Mr. Milosevic, who has been in custody for a year and a half, showed signs of being under mental stress. The court tried to reduce his workload in July, when doctors first issued warnings on his health. After the latest adjournment, the upper house of Yugoslavia's Parliament adopted a declaration demanding that the tribunal release Mr. Milosevic so he could receive medical treatment in Belgrade. In the motion proposed by Mr. Milosevic's Socialist Party, the upper house also voted to call on the government to "take necessary measures to enable Milosevic to return to Yugoslavia for medical treatment." The upper house, made up of 40 deputies elected before Mr. Milosevic's ouster in October 2000, also urged the government to give guarantees to the tribunal that they would ensure his return to The Hague if he was released for medical treatment. The lower house did not place the motion on its agenda. Mr. Milosevic's refusal to submit to medical tests follows the appointment last week of a third lawyer to work with the court and Mr. Milosevic. An Australian lawyer, Timothy McCormack, took up his duties alongside a Yugoslav attorney, Branislav Tapuscovic, and a British lawyer, Steven Kay. Their job is not to defend Mr. Milosevic but to ensure that justice is seen to be done at the trial.

Reuters 30 Nov 2002 New global criminal court ratified by 85 nations UNITED NATIONS: Following is a list of the 85 countries that have so far ratified the new International Criminal Court, the first permanent world tribunal set up to prosecute individuals for war crimes, genocide and other gross human right violations: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia and Germany, Ghana and Greece. Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, South Korea, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zambia.

AFP 3 Dec 2002 International Criminal Court has 45 nominees for 18 judges, UNITED NATIONS, Dec 3 The International Criminal Court has passed a new milestone with the nomination of candidates for the first 18 judges to sit on its bench, it was announced Tuesday. In a letter to countries which have ratified the ICC's founding statute, the president of the Assembly of States Parties, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, said 45 candidates had been nominated by the November 30 deadline. The judges are to be elected during the next meeting of the Assembly, which takes place in New York between February 3 and 7. Zeid, Jordan's ambassador to the United Nations, said the nominees met the minimum number of candidates required by the statute in the categories of gender, region and legal expertise. They included 35 men and 10 women, he said. Six candidates were from Asia, seven from Eastern Europe, nine from Latin America and the Caribbean, 11 from Africa, and 12 from Western Europe and affiliated countries. Twenty-two candidates had experience in international law and 23 in criminal law, he said. The ICC is the first permanent court to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It was established by the 1999 Rome Statute, came into being on July 1 last year and is expected to start work early next year. To date, 85 countries have ratified the statute.

Rueters 27 Nov 2002 No Candidates Yet for World Court Prosecutor Job THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Just days before a deadline, no one has applied for one of the world's highest profile legal jobs -- prosecutor of the new global war crimes court. The International Criminal Court (ICC) officially opened in July in The Hague (news - web sites) to try mankind's most heinous crimes, but key staff have yet to be appointed and the permanent court is not expected to start work in earnest until next year. November 30 is the application deadline for judges and prosecutors, and while 34 would-be judges have been nominated, no one has yet applied for the job of prosecutor, the ICC said Wednesday. "We do not have any candidates (for prosecutor) at this moment," ICC spokeswoman Claudia Perdomo told Reuters. "I believe it will be a last-minute thing." The court had no indications yet as to who might apply for the top-flight post, Perdomo said. "I think it's going to be one of those very political issues." Eighty-four states have backed the court, which would handle atrocities such as genocide and crimes against humanity. It has powerful critics such as the United States, which wants immunity for its overseas peacekeeping troops and other U.S. officials. The deadline for applications may be extended to December 8 if insufficient applications have been received by Saturday, or if consensus is lacking, according to ICC rules. "I'm almost sure they'll extend the period for nominations," said Perdomo. The rules also state that nominations for the prosecutor's post should preferably be supported by multiple states.


Government of the Russian Federation 2 Dec 2002 - Chechen People's Congress to be held in Chechnya A Chechen peoples Congress will be held in Chechnya. The republic's presidential administration reported that the congress was scheduled to take place in Grozny on December 11. The organizational committee for holding the congress is headed by the First Deputy Head of Chechnya's Administration, Taus Jabrailov. Representatives of political organizations, as well as prominent public and religions figures who initiated the move are expected to attend the Chechen Peoples Congress. The congress agenda includes discussions on the social and political situation in the republic and measures to settle it. The participants are due to discuss the issues concerning the holding of a general referendum on the adoption of the Chechen constitution and the elections to the local government. (RIA Novosti)

Reuters 7 Dec 2002 ARMY WANTS TO DRAFT STUDENTS Russia may strip university students of their exemption from mandatory military service as it struggles to fill the army's ranks, a senior officer said. Every Russian man between 18 and 27 must serve at least two years in the military, which is notorious for brutal treatment of conscripts, but many now pay bribes or claim student status or medical problems to avoid service.


B92 (Belgrade) 6 Dec 2002 Belgrade police search for war crime suspects SRNA BELGRADE -- Thursday -- Belgrade police search for Hague war crime suspects Ljubisa Beara and Vujadin Popovic, head of the Belgrade District Court's investigating department Branislav Todic told SRNA agency. He said he had sent warrants to the Belgrade police. Todic confirmed that Yugoslav justice ministry submitted to the Belgrade District Court two new requests for extradition of Serbs from Bosnia. Colonels Ljubisa Beara and Vujadin Popovic are accused of genocide or accessory in genocide in Srebrenica and neighbourhood, crimes against humanity, as well as violation of customs and rules of war.

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
DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
EFE - Agencia EFE (Spanish), www.EFEnews.com (English)
HRW - Human Rights Watch
ICG - International Crisis Group, CrisisWatch, monthly bulletin since Sept. 2003
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
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
PANA - Panafrican News Agency
PTI - Press Trust of India
Peace Negotiations Watch
 (PILPG) Weekly News monitor since Sept. 2002
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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