Prevent Genocide International 

Global News Monitor for September 2002

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Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.
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The September 2002 Global News Monitor includes reports of the September 9 massacre of 183 in Gitega Province, Burundi as well as reports of ethnic and religious violence, massacres and atrocities in Afghanistan, Algeria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Iraq , Israel/Palestinian Authority, Myanmar, Somalia and the Solomon Islands; and election violence in Macedonia and Kashmir, and an attempted coup with ethnic conflict in Ivory Coast. Also included are reports of improvements from recent past violence in Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Reports of judicial proceedings from Australia, Japan, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Peru, Poland, the United States, the ICTY at the Hague; Investigations (and calls for investigations and/or trials) from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Israel, Nigeria, Russia (Chechnya), Serbia, Sierra Leone and South Africa; and the long-term legacy of past genocide in Germany and Russia and atrocities appeared in news items from Ireland, Japan and the United States. Recent comment on the Global News Monitor: "Excellent monthly newsletters compiling international reporting on conflict issues and threats to ethnic/ religious minorities can be found on the Prevent Genocide International site (www.preventgenocide.org). While largely pulling material from mainstream international media sources, the broad perspective of the screening process guarantees interesting reading." - Inside Indonesia



AFP 6 Sept 2002 Seven civilians killed in Algeria attacks Agence France-Presse Algiers, Seven civilians were killed overnight in two separate attacks blamed on Islamic extremists in northwestern Algeria, residents said on Friday. Witnesses said that four people, including two children, were murdered in a raid on an isolated hamlet near Boukadir, in the Chlef region, 200 kilometres west of the capital. Two young girls were carried off in that attack. Another armed group killed three people at Sidi Brahim, near Miliana in the Ain Defla region, according to local people. Extremists of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) carried out a massacre on August 15 in another hamlet in the Chlef region, slitting the throats of 26 people from three families. More than 1,050 people have lost their lives in violence related to Islamic insurgency since the beginning of this year, according to a toll based on the figures of the security forces and press reports. The GIA is one of two hardline movements which refused to lay down their arms when President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 1999 offered a partial amnesty to fighters seeking to overthrow the secular government. The unrest in the north African country began in January 1992 when the army halted a general election which a Muslim fundamentalist party was poised to win. It has since claimed more than 100,000 lives, according to official figures, while an unofficial toll based on press reports and official statements puts the number of dead at around 150,000.

AFP 17 Sept 2002 Three Islamic extremists killed in Algiers ALGIERS: Algerian policemen on Tuesday gunned down three armed Islamic extremists, including two alleged rebel leaders, in the centre of the capital, police said. The three men had "come to plant a very powerful bomb," a police officer at the scene said. "We have been on their trail for several days." The officer added that two of the victims were armed Islamic fundamentalist "emirs", or leaders, considered to be "the most dangerous terrorists in Algiers". However, police refused to identify the men further or to say which extremist movement they belonged to. The bullet-ridden bodies lay beside the car they had been travelling in when they were stopped by police at the intersection of two main streets, Boulevard Mohamed V and Rue Mustapha El-Ouali Sayed. The men, aged in their late 20s, were wearing light shirts, jeans and sports jackets. None had a beard, a hallmark of followers of Islamic fundamentalist movements. Two armed extremist groups — the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) led by Rachid Abou Tourab and Hassan Hattab's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) — rejected a reconciliation accord proposed in 1999 by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and have continued their battle to replace Algeria's secular government with one based on Muslim fundamentalism. The GIA is held responsible for most of the massacres and other attacks against civilians since an Islamic insurrection began in Algeria in 1992, after the army cancelled the second round of a general election a Muslim fundamentalist party was poised to win. The GIA is active in the west of the capital and in the Mitidja agricultural plain to the south, while the GSPC is based in the northeast of the country. Witnesses said there was a brief shootout between the security forces and the three men, who according to the police were in a stolen car when they were trapped. The police had been watching the three men after a tip-off from a member of the public. Early in August, Algiers police dismantled a group of 16 men who had carried out several attacks in the capital and the surrounding area. The city's public prosecutor, Kaddour Berradja, has blamed this group for a bomb blast on July 5, Algeria's independence day, which killed 38 people and wounded dozens more at a market in Larbaa, 20 km south of Algiers. In a film broadcast by the ministry of communications and culture, members of the group confessed to belonging to the GIA and said their orders "to kill without exception" had come directly from Abou Tourab. Abou Tourab emerged as the head of the GIA after the army killed his predecessor, Antar Zouabri, on February 8. He vowed to pursue the same radical line as Zouabri and "slit throats without respite". The alleged GIA members caught last month said Algiers was being targetted by the insurgents who planned to "spread terror" and bring a "climate of insecurity" back to the capital ahead of local elections due on October 10. At least 100,000 people have been killed in Algeria in the past decade, according to official figures, while a toll compiled from press reports puts the number at tens of thousands more than that.


AFP 20 Sept 2002 Angola's army launches major offensive in Cabinda: priest LUANDA, Sept 20 (AFP) - Angola's army has launched a major offensive against separatist rebels in the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, a Catholic priest told AFP on Friday. "A major offensive has been undertaken by the Angolan army and is continuing at this moment in Cabinda. Many people have been killed or wounded," said Father Manuel Kongo, leader of one of the province's most significant Christian communities. Cabinda lies to the north of Angola proper and is located between territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Congo Republic. It was handed to the Angolan government by Portugal on independence in 1975 and accounts for a large part of the country's oil revenues. Kongo, who advocates the withdrawal of Angolan troops from Cabinda, could not provide details on civilian or military casualties. The military campaign against the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC) mainly targetted the northern district of Belize and the entire region of the Mayombe tropical rain forest, Kongo said. Kongo leads a movement in civil society that opposes pollution caused by oil companies in the province. A key FLEC leader, Nzita Tiago, who lives in exile in Europe, on Wednesday sent a letter to Cabinda's bishop Paulino Madeka, asking him to mediate in talks between the government in Luanda and the pro-independence rebels, the Roman Catholic radio network Ecclesia reported. He also asked the bishop to help the various factions of FLEC to overcome their differences. FLEC has dozens of different armed factions fighting for independence or administrative autonomy for the province. Luanda opposes independence for Cabinda, and says that talks on the enclave's future are impossible until FLEC finds someone to represent it.


IRIN 13 Sept 2002 Basarwa said to be returning to old homes JOHANNESBURG, 13 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Groups of Botswana's Gana and Gwi Bushmen, also known as the Basarwa, were reported to be returning to their homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in defiance of government attempts at forcing them to settle elsewhere. Over the past few weeks people had been seen transporting water, goats and personal items back to their original homes at Molapo village, where they had lived until their evictions in 1997, Mathambo Ngakaeaja, co-ordinator of the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities of Southern Africa said. Ngakaeaja told IRIN: "Their connection and relationship with the land is so significant and very important. They have big ties that they don't want to lose." Since 1997 the government has moved several hundred people from Molapo and Old Xade to be resettled in camps in Kaudwane and New Xade. A small number of people have remained in the reserve, refusing to leave, even though their water supplies had been cut off. Lobbyists believe they are being removed to protect the government and De Beers' diamond mining rights in the reserve from possible claims, but the government says it was done to provide better facilities to the communities. "They are living in abject poverty at the resettlement camps," Ngakaeaua said. "They have no jobs and rely 100 percent on their government compensation, which is running out. "They were not used to large sums of cash and misused the payouts. Very few people have a meaningful life in the resettlement camps. They have food problems and the land is not as fertile. None of the government's promises materialised," he said. Ngakaeaja said the police had set up roadblocks at Old Xade and were stopping returnees on minor traffic violations and sending them to nearby Ghanzi to resolve the violations. The government ministry responsible for the issue was not available for comment on Friday. Miriam Ross, spokeswoman for awareness group Survival International said that the Basarwa were also concerned that they were no longer able to hunt and felt they were reliant on government "handouts". "Very few are working. Some have found work in small workshops or menial labour," she said. Ngakaeaja said a delegation of NGOs and lawyers would visit the resettlement camps over the next few weeks in preparation for the next stage of a court challenge to their removal. During those visits people would be selected to give oral testimony. This follows the dismissal of an earlier court challenge. For more details: http://www.san.org.za/wimsa/wimsabody.htm http://www.survival-international.org/bushman.htm


IRIN 10 Sept 2002 Focus on trauma healing BUJUMBURA, 10 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - "Almost all Burundians suffer from one form or another of trauma due to the crisis they have been experiencing since 1993," a social worker told IRIN during a recent seminar on trauma healing. The workshop, held in the Burundi capital, Bujumbura, was organised by a local NGO, Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), in conjunction with social workers from the US-based Friends' Peace Team Project, which is funded by the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers. "Most traumatised Burundians do not sleep easily. They either eat nothing or too much. Many have headaches and nightmares. They are suspicious of one another, and sometimes even couples behave abnormally due to the trauma they experienced," said THARS's coordinator and psychotherapist, David Niyonzima. He went on to note that abnormal behaviour had even filtered down to children, whereby instead of going to school, they tended to hide in the bush to play games. "Others get into taking drugs, sex and alcohol - all because of the trauma they have gone through," he added. However, the most serious trauma arises not so much from what happened to the victims as "not being able to talk about what went on", Carolyne Keys, the THARS project coordinator, told IRIN. "So many people have told us about the series of killings they were not allowed to mourn, they couldn't talk about the loss of a person, they never knew what happened to them, and that of course is very very painful," she said. "A human being can't hold so many negative experiences." HEALING AND RECONCILIATION NECESSARY Burundi has been in a state of war ever since army mutineers murdered President Melchior Ndadaye, the country's first-ever Hutu president in 1993. In the violence which followed, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. Now more than 300,000 live in camps for the internally displaced, while about 350,000 fled and are now in refugee camps in northwestern Tanzania. Proponents of trauma healing believe there can be no peace without reconciliation in Burundi, preceded by the healing of those traumatised during years of violence. They predict that in the absence of healing, violence is bound to persist. Victims must first act to heal themselves, and then help others to recover. Only then can reconciliation and peace set in, they say. "I think there has to be some healing before there can be reconciliation," said Keys. "When we look at the cycle of violence, we can see that unless there is healing, mourning, and unless you go through the four or five stages of the healing process, you can't reach that area of acceptance. Then the cycle of violence continues." NEED FOR MATERIAL HELP Helping a traumatised person mainly involves listening to accounts of experiences undergone, then gradually guiding the victim towards a state of forgiveness and acceptance. In this context, however, Burundians are still denied the possibility of adopting such a course, because the war continues unabated. They remain in mourning because people are still dying. What Burundians need now is not only psychological but also material help, psychologists say. Burundi is ranked as one of the world's poorest country. Many of its citizens cannot afford even one meal a day. Social workers are aware of the risk of failure in their efforts to heal the minds of people who have empty stomachs. "There are other things needed in terms of services," American clinical social worker, Susan Nowelsky, told IRIN. "Agencies are trying to come together to coordinate their services." Burundians see counselling as a healing process with a beginning and an end, a view which is not shared by Keys. "We don't say that a person is healed. It is not like an open wound that exactly heals when the skin forms a scar," she said. "Trauma healing is a lifelong journey. It touches the deepest part of the soul, the most inner part of a person. It affects the way the brain functions, it affects everything about a person." ENORMOUS TASK The task of steering Burundians towards reconciliation and peace is enormous because of the huge numbers of people involved in the process. With this in mind, THARS brought together representatives of 20 other organisations working in similar or related fields to participate in a three-day workshop last month, during which they discussed ways of cooperating and coordinating their approach to this task. Most participants said at the end of the meeting that as a result of their participation they had been able to acquire new skills in dealing with trauma. "I will now be able to listen to street children. They have not been given an opportunity to talk about their problems," said Odette Nahayo, a volunteer social worker dealing with street children.

IRIN 10 Sep 2002 Rebel groups call for inclusion in ceasefire talks NAIROBI, - Four Burundian rebel movements have said they must be included in all ceasefire negotiations with the government. The statement was issued on Sunday by the chairmen of the four groups - Leonard Nyangoma of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), Joseph Karumba of the Front pour la liberation nationale (FROLINA), Etiennne Karatasi of the Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU), and Cossan Kabura of the Forces nationales pour la liberation (FNL). In the statement, they declared that a "memorandum of understanding" reached between the Burundi transitional government and another rebel faction, the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD) led by Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, was not all-inclusive. "The agreement has been concluded by only two out of several belligerents," the statement said, adding that the wording of the accord was "vague", thus making it difficult to implement. According to the statement, by inviting only some of the stakeholders to the talks, the facilitators had sown "confusion" and "pushed the armed political parties and movements into such a situation that they have no other choice but to reject the humiliating conditions". "We consider the methodology of inviting only one armed movement to the negotiations, while excluding others, as a dividing factor," the statement added. "This will have far-reaching counter-productive effects, thus endangering security in Burundi instead of achieving it." In a recent report, Burundi analyst Jan Van Eck said there was unlikely to be "significant progress" in Burundi's ceasefire talks unless they include all belligerents. The talks are being facilitated by South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. The next round is due to take place on 16 September.

IRN 11 Sept 2002 Focus on women in government BUJUMBURA, 11 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - In a rare expression of optimism, Burundian women leaders have said they are satisfied with the progress they are making and are looking forward to obtaining more leadership positions in the country's institutions. Their vocabulary has radically changed since the formation of the transitional institutions last November. Before that happened, they were talking about injustice and gender-based discrimination. Now, they discuss the need to persuade men to hand over more leadership posts to women. To convince men of women's ability to occupy such positions, a women's umbrella group - the Coalition of Women's Organisations and NGOs (CAFOB) - has listed the skills of Burundian women. "This is to counter men's pretext that Burundian women are uneducated and therefore cannot occupy important government posts," said CAFOB's deputy chairwoman, Solange Habonimana. AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGN DURING ARUSHA TALKS During the Arusha talks leading to the formation of the transitional government, women mounted an aggressive diplomatic campaign to convince Burundian politicians that not only should there be a balance between political groupings, but also that the gender angle be taken into account. In this respect, the women enlisted the support of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who is the chairman of the Burundi peace initiative, and former South African President Nelson Mandela who is the mediator in the Burundi conflict. As a result, the Arusha agreement allocated 30 percent of cabinet posts to women. There are now four women ministers in the transitional government. "I am satisfied with this initial step," said Concilie Burengengwa, a senior official in the planning ministry. "Now one can see women in important positions. Previously, women were being appointed to ministries such as social affairs - a ministry traditionally headed by women. It is no longer the case now. For example the planning ministry, where I work is headed by a woman who was chosen for her abilities." However, Senator Juliette Kavabuha Icoyitungiye said the ambitions of Burundian women remained largely unfulfilled. "If you look at the Senate, to which I belong, you can easily see that the number of women is still low. We are satisfied with only the first step, and we would like to get more posts," she said. "They decided to give us 30 percent. It would not be a bad idea if they increased the proportion to 50 or 60 percent." EDUCATION TO BRIDGE GENDER GAP Burundian women believe the only way to bridge the gender gap is through education. They say that, traditionally, parents favoured boys when it came to education, but now "things have changed". "For example, [examination] pass marks for girls are no longer lower than those of boys as it used to be. They are equal today," said Burengengwa. Burundian politicians complain that women do not join political parties, when leadership posts are shared out among parties. Burengengwa gives the reasons. "Burundi political parties have no programmes," she said. "This is the problem... People are more concerned about good jobs rather than building the nation. Political parties are a means for the achievement of individual political ambitions, not for the reconstruction of the country. That is why Burundian women have no interest in political parties." And even when they were party members, "they are not given leadership posts", said Jacqueline Kankindi, a project coordinator in the Ministry of Social Action and Women Affairs. "For example, if a political party has four senior positions, one should at least be set aside for a woman." But despite having made progress, women are still face hurdles in their quest for more institutional representation. "Some of those stereotypes opposed to women are still in place," said Burengengwa. "When a woman gets a senior post, people start asking themselves how she got it," Kankindi added. "They cannot understand that she was qualified for the job. They start thinking about other things, they give it a negative connotation, that she had to do this and that. They do not recognise women's skills." Women now also recognise the need to stick to their guns when they are criticised by men. "When a woman is criticised by men for doing something, all the other women get discouraged and stop doing things their own way," said Eurarie Nibizi, who heads a teachers' trade union. "To counter this, women should ignore criticisms and push ahead."

IRIN 13 Sept 2002 New influx of Burundi refugees DAR ES SALAAM, 13 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Following a recent increase in fighting in Burundi, over 300 refugees have crossed the border into western Tanzania over the last three days, a humanitarian agency told IRIN on Friday. This influx of refugees, most of whom are young men, is the biggest in several months and corresponds with recent reports of further clashes between the forces of the transitional national government and Hutu rebels, said Jesse Kamstra, project coordinator for Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service in Kibondo. "These refugees started arriving a few days after reports of increased fighting," Kamstra said. "From the initial impression we are getting, there are some women and children, but 65 percent of these refugees are young men, about 18 years old, or even younger." "They are from both sides - rebels that are losing and the also the national army. It appears that President Pierre Buyoya's army is using many of the young men as frontliners and when they get a chance to, they flee." This surge of Burundians follows a period of relative calm, during which the number of new arrivals in Kibondo had been as low as 25 a month and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) had been able to facilitate the repatriation of a number of refugees to Burundi. "There is definitely an influx. We have handled much larger numbers in the past - up to a 1,000 a day - but if this continues, there will be thousands more," Kamstra warned. "Among those that came, there were several that had repatriated in May or June, but, because of the increased levels of violence, had felt that it was not safe to stay." The renewed level of uncertainty comes just days before the next round of peace talks are due to begin in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, on 16 September.

AFP 14 Sept 2002 Burundi rebels execute eight civilians: witnesses BUJUMBURA, Sept 14 (AFP) - Eight civilians in Burundi were executed earlier this month and two others kidnapped this week by suspected Hutu rebels, witnesses and a local government official told AFP on Saturday. The Hutu rebels abducted eight men in Kanyosha commune (in Bujumbura Rural, the province that surrounds the capital) and locked them up before accusing them of treason, or collaborating with the army, and executing them, according to the witnesses, who asked not to be named. The last one was executed on Thursday, they said, adding that two other people were kidnapped the same day. "I am aware of the killings of civilians and can even show you their graves," said a local government official, who also asked to remain unnamed. Since the beginning of the year, rebels of the National Liberation Forces have lost much of the support they used to enjoy among the Hutu population of Bujumbura Rural, as well as many of their strongholds. Two weeks ago, 48 rebels were killed in Kanyosha commune when the army attacked one of their bases. Some residents of the province said many people had been forced to pay "fines" to the rebels amounting to several hundred dollars, on pain of death. The FNL denied all this. "It is not just the FNL that is in Bujumbura Rural. The army kills and blames it on the FNL," the movement's political advisor, universally known as "The Preacher," told AFP on Saturday. He alleged that the army was also guilty of extorting money from civilians. More than 250,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Burundi's civil war since 1993.

AFP 16 Sept 2002 Tough task ahead for Burundi ceasefire negotiations by Esdras Ndikumana BUJUMBURA, Sept 16 (AFP) - Burundi's government said Monday it will never agree to a Hutu rebel demand that it accept some blame for a long-running civil war, casting further doubt on ceasefire talks due to resume this week. "The transitional government will never accept this condition, and if the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) continue to raise it, it means they do not want to negotiate, that's all," Communications Minister Albert Mbonerane told AFP. On Wednesday, delegations from the government and the main wing of the FDD are due to meet in Tanzania to resume talks aimed at halting a war that has killed more than 250,000 people since 1993. On Saturday, FDD spokesman Galase-Daniel Ndabirabe said his movement would travel to Dar es Salaam but would talk to the government only if it "gave a clear response as to its responsibility in the war." Burundi's conflict was sparked by the October 1993 assassination, during a coup backed by the Tutsi-led army, of the country's first elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, a member of the large Hutu majority. "If there is no positive response, it means the government is not in a position to negotiate with us and there will be no negotiations," Ndabirabe warned. The transitional government, in which power is theoretically shared between Hutus and Tutsis, came into being last November. An earlier round of talks between the government and this larger FDD wing was held in Tanzania in August without making much tangible progress. Subsequent talks with a rival FDD wing, which has hardly any troops in Burundi itself, ended with a vague protocol. And an entirely separate Hutu rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), which is also divided, has refused to talk to the government, saying only the army is a viable negotiating partner. The FNL has also demanded that a series of conditions be fulfilled before it considers laying down its arms. Meanwhile, there is no sign of a let-up in the war. Since the beginning of September, the army claims to have killed more than 60 FNL fighters and more than 50 FDD fighters. Some 20 civilians have been killed over the same period. In Bujumbura, where some areas are often raided by rebels, the ceasefire talks have produced little enthusiasm. "There will be no accord, and even if there is one, there will always be a new (rebel) movement to reject it," said Jean-Charles, a banker, whose opinion seems to be shared by much of the capital's residents.

AFP 17 Sept 2002 Burundi gunmen massacre 183 people: rights official BUJUMBURA, Sept 17 (AFP) - Gunmen in war-ravaged Burundi killed 183 people, mostly civilians, "in cold blood" on September 9, the chairman of the parliamentary human rights committee told AFP on Tuesday. "These people, who had taken refuge from fighting in the hills (in central Burundi), were killed in cold blood by men in military uniforms," said Leonidas Ntibayazi, who also heads the Front for Democracy in Burundi, the country's leading Hutu political party. Military uniforms are worn by armed Hutu rebels as well as government troops in Burundi. The army denied any involvment. "The army has no responsibility in this massacre of civilians," spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema told AFP. "We are carrying out our own investigations. The local administration told us it was in touch with the rebels," he said. "Whether it was the army or the rebels ... we demand an official enquiry because it would be premature to accuse one group or another at this point," Ntibayazi said. He said that 112 of those killed in Itaba commune in the central Gitega Province, 130 kilometres (80 miles) east of the capital, had been identified as civilians. "This is a war crime that has been committed, and we demand the government sets up a commission of enquiry to establish the truth," Ntibayazi said. The government "must explain its silence. We do not understand how such a massacre could take place without the government reacting, when the local administration has been aware for a week," he added. Provincial governor Tharcisse Ntibarirarana confirmed the report. "The massacre of 183 people has been confirmed by local officials and people who buried them. They blame the massacre on the army," which is dominated by the Tutsi minority, he told AFP by telephone. The report came two days before the Bujumbura government and the main wing of Burundi's principal rebel movement, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) led by Pierre Nkurunziza, were due to resume peace talks. These negotiations, which had been due to resume in Tanzania on Wednesday, have been postponed until Thursday, a Tanzanian foreign ministry official said Tuesday. The government and the FDD, in negotiations mediated by South Africa, are scheduled to discuss a ceasefire in the war that has claimed more than 250,000 lives since 1993. A first round of talks in mid-August led to no concrete results. The FDD-Nkurunziza is demanding, ahead of direct talks with a delegation from Bujumbura, that the government acknowledge its own role in the start of the war. President Pierre Buyoya has ruled out meeting this pre-condition.

BBC 17 Sept 2002, Burundi gunmen 'massacre 183' Civil war has torn the country apart A senior Burundian parliamentarian has called for an official investigation into the reported killing of 183 people, mostly civilians, last week by uniformed men. We demand an official inquiry because it would be premature to accuse one group or another at this point. The chairman of the parliament's human rights committee, Leonidas Nibayazi, says the men ordered people out of their houses in the province of Gitega and "then told them to lie down and shot them in cold blood". He did not, however, identify those responsible. Military uniforms are normally worn by armed Hutu rebels as well as government troops in Burundi. Heavy fighting between government troops and rebels of the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) has been going on for several months as South African mediators attempt to get the several rebel groups involved in Burundi's 9-year civil war to agree to a cease-fire. At least 200,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed. Peace talks "Whether it was the army or the rebels ...we demand an official inquiry because it would be premature to accuse one group or another at this point," Mr Ntibayazi said. He said there were many women and children among the victims. Burundi conflict War began: 1993 200,000 killed Hutus: 85% Tutsis:14% Twa: 1% Tutsis have dominated since independence Correspondents say local witnesses, who refused to give their names, claim government soldiers had shot the civilians. The army spokesman, however, refused to comment on the accusation. Peace talks are due to begin on Friday involving the government and the two main armed rebel Hutu rebel groups for the first time. A power-sharing government between the ethnic Tutsi-led army and some Hutu groups was inaugurated last year but the FNL and the FDD refused to participate. The nine-year civil war has intensified in recent weeks.

Reuters 18 Sept 2002 BUJUMBURA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Burundi's government confirmed on Wednesday that 183 people, mostly civilians, were killed last week in an attack for which the army and rebel forces have blamed each other. A government spokesman said an investigation would determine who was responsible for what was one of the worst incidents of mass violence in the country's nine-year-old civil war. "What happened at Itaba will be known and a report will be given soon," Albert Mbonerane told reporters in the capital, Bujumbura, referring to a district in central Gitega province where the killings took place on September 9. The head of parliament's human rights commission, Leonidas Ntibayazi, said on Tuesday he had heard of the killings from officials in Gitega, adding that the victims had been fleeing clashes between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-led army. Rebels of Burundi's ethnic Hutu majority have been fighting the army since 1993 in a war that has killed at least 200,000 people, mostly civilians. Both the army and rebels have been accused by human rights groups of indiscriminate killing. Mbonerane said it was the government that would decide whether outsiders should take part in the probe. "We should wait for the results of the inquiry and government will judge whether an international commission is needed or not," he said. Mbonerane said he had heard one account that put the death toll at 400 but added without elaborating that the government was sticking to a figure of 183 for now. The Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) rebel group accused the army of the killings and said it estimated the number killed at 1,200. "The army gathered the population of the two hills of Kanyonga and Kagoma before killing them. Some were shot dead and others knifed," said FDD spokesman Gelase Ndabirabe, adding he was quoting local authorities in Itaba. Army spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema denied these allegations: "This is pure propaganda", he said.

IRIN 18 Sept 2002 "Villagisation" in camps for internally displaced BUJUMBURA, 18 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - A process of "villagisation" is slowly taking place in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burundi's central province of Gitega and the northern province of Ngozi, according to humanitarian sources. The camps of Itankoma and Mutaho, in Gitega, and Ruhororo in Ngozi, are home to many IDPs who since 1993 have chosen not to return to their places of origin. Some cite security reasons, while others choose not to return to live among those who killed their relatives. They believe they are better off in a newly created "village", rather than in a more traditional setting where homes are isolated. The villages have streets, semi-permanent houses, running water and pit-latrines. "They only lack electricity," one humanitarian source told IRIN. Some IDPs have also surrounded their homes with a traditional compound - called a Rugo - as a sign of ownership and stability. During the 1980s the former president, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, actively encouraged the creation of villages in an attempt to improve access to infrastructure. The process was opposed by both the donor communities and Burundians who were used to living in more isolated homes, and subsequently failed. The process of "villagisation" also came under scrutiny in Rwanda where the government tried to isolate rebels by resettling returning refugees into communal villages, called Imidugudu. As in Burundi, the Imidugudu system failed as neither Rwandans nor the international community supported it and the system failed to deliver on the promise of improving the living standards of local people. The current Burundi government says it neither encourages "villagisation" nor opposes it. Speaking to IRIN, the director-general in the ministry for resettlement, Zenobe Niragira, said "The situation evolved by itself and the villagisation process is not a government policy." Many humanitarian workers support Niragira's views, pointing out that what is happening in villages should not be compared to the creation of villages in Burundi in the 1980s. "This is a bottom-up process while that of the 80s was a top-down one imposed by a regime on a people," a Burundian analyst said. "It is an expression of people who share a fear for their security and prefer to sacrifice their traditional way of living in favour of improved security." Some humanitarian sources believe this change of mentality could have a positive impact on the country's development as people voluntarily move out of an overcrowded countryside to settle into villages, which may in turn develop into small towns. As the camps develop into "villages", the focus of their needs also changes. They tend to be less dependent on emergency assistance, and more so on durable development like schools and health facilities.

VOA News 18 Sep 2002 Burundi to Investigate Report Of Massacre The Burundi government says there will be an investigation into a report that 183 people, mostly civilians, were massacred by uniformed men earlier this month. Spokesman Albert Mbonerane made the announcement Wednesday after the head of Burundi's human rights commission reported the killings to journalists Tuesday. Leonidas Ntibayzi said the victims were fleeing clashes between ethnic Hutu rebels and the ethnic Tutsi-led army in central Gitega province on September 9. He said local officials told him they sought refuge in homes. Uniformed men reportedly ordered them out, told them to lie down and shot them. The killers have not been identified. A rebel group blamed the government for the massacre, but the government denied the charge. The rebel group says 1,200 people were slaughtered by government soldiers. The reported massacre comes as rebels and members of the transitional government are trying to restart stalled peace talks in Tanzania. Despite the negotiations, fighting has continued. The war pits ethnic Hutu rebels against the mainly ethnic Tutsi army. It began in 1993 after Tutsi paratroopers assassinated the country's first democratically elected president, a Hutu. An estimated 200,000 people, mostly civilians, have died during the conflict. The rebels belong to the country's Hutu majority. Minority Tutsis have effectively controlled the nation of six million people for all but a few months since its independence from Belgium in 1962.

IRIN 18 Sept 2002 Increased numbers fleeing conflict NAIROBI, 18 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Over 1,000 Burundians have fled to Tanzania in the last two weeks sparking fears that the intensifying conflict could drive out larger numbers, according to a statement by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The refugees said they were fleeing general insecurity, UNHCR spokeswoman Ivana Unluova told IRIN on Wednesday. This included reprisals by the Burundi military on villagers for allegedly supporting rebel groups, and the "forced recruitment" of young Hutu men into the army, she said. Most of the refugees came from the southeastern provinces of Ruyigi and Rutana as well as the central province of Gitega. While over 30 percent of all arrivals this year had come in the last two weeks, Unluova said it was not considered "a dramatic increase" and would not put a strain on the capacity to receive them in the refugee camps. Far more refugees were being assisted by UNHCR to return home than were arriving, she added, with over 25,000 having returned since the voluntary repatriation exercise began in March. "While we are beginning to see an upward trend in the number of arrivals from Burundi, the numbers are still much lower compared to the first eight or nine months of last year," she added. In 2001 a total of 25,000 Burundians fled to Tanzania.

VOA News 19 Sep 2002 Burundi Army Admits to Massacre Of 173 Civilians The Burundi army has admitted to killing 173 civilians in a massacre last week, but says a rebel group is ultimately to blame. The army accused Hutu rebels of taking civilians hostage and using them as accomplices and says the rebels are "fully responsible" for the deaths. The army says the civilians were caught in the crossfire as government troops battled Hutu rebels with the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD). On Tuesday, the chairman of the parliament's human rights committee, Leonidas Ntibayazi, said the victims were fleeing clashes on September ninth between ethnic Hutu rebels and the ethnic Tutsi-led army in central Gitega province. He said local officials said the group sought refuge in homes, and uniformed men reportedly forced them out and shot them. Mr. Ntibayazi also called for an official inquiry into the killings. The rebel FDD postponed peace talks with the transitional government Thursday for two days to mourn the deaths. Both sides have been negotiating a peace deal in Tanzania. Mediators have been trying to restart the stalled talks. The war began in 1993 after Tutsi paratroopers assassinated the country's first democratically elected president, a Hutu. An estimated 200,000 people, mostly civilians, have died during the conflict. Minority Tutsis have effectively controlled the nation of six-million people for all but a few months since independence from Belgium in 1962.

AFP 19 Sept 2002 Burundi army admits massacre, still blames rebels Agence France-Presse Bujumbura, September 19 Burundi's Tutsi-led army admitted on Thursday to having killed 173 people, mostly civilians, on September 9, saying Hutu rebels were nevertheless to blame for the slaughter by taking the civilians as "hostages" or "accomplices." "One hundred and seventy-three people were shot by army elements," army spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema told AFP. The massacre, the biggest for two years in a war that has taken more than 250,000 lives since 1993, occurred in the central province of Gitega. Hutu rebels of the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) -- with whom the government is due to resume ceasefire talks in Tanzania Thursday -- "are fully responsible for all the civilians who died on September 9 in Itaba Commune in Gitega province," he added. On Tuesday, Leonidas Ntibayazi, chairman of the parliamentery standing Human Rights Committee, and head of Burundi's main Hutu party, said 183 people, including 112 confirmed civilians, had been killed in the massacre.

IRIN 20 Sept 2002 Burundi: Army denies responsibility for Gitega massacre BUJUMBURA, 20 September (IRIN) - The Burundi army has denied responsibility for the massacre of over 170 people in central Gitega province, saying it had been "deliberately misquoted". Army spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema told IRIN on Friday rebel fighters were "fully responsible" for the massacre which occurred on 9 September. And a statement issued by government spokesman Luc Rukingama said the authorities "categorically denied the allegations of Agence France Presse (AFP)" which quoted Nzabempema as saying "173 people were shot by army elements". Speaking to IRIN, Nzabampema denied ever acknowledging that the army was responsible. The rebels were to blame, he said, because they had "abused the people's trust" by telling civilians the hills of Kanyonga and Kagoma in Gitega Province had been set aside as a rebel regroupment area in accordance with the Arusha peace agreement. "We waited for four days before launching the operations in order to allow them [civilians] to leave the combat zones. The responsibility for those who were killed lies squarely on rebel shoulders," Nzabampema added. He said the army's policy was that people should always flee whenever they saw rebels and the army would be careful to make sure there were no civilians remaining in the area. "If there are some remaining, the nature of the operations changes," he told IRIN. "Ways to fight rebels alone, and rebels mixed with civilians are not the same." On Thursday, Tharcisse Ntibarirarana, the chairman of the commission charged with investigating the massacre who is also the governor of Gitega Province, said results of the investigations showed 173 people had been killed (183 was the figure originally reported). He added that responsibility was shared between the rebels, who had misled the people to keep them in the area, and civilians who had not heeded the call to leave. In his statement, government spokesman Luc Rukingama said the killings had occurred during a largescale army operation in the Kanyonga and Kagoma hills against the rebel group, Conseil National pour la Defense de la Democratie/Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD). He said those killed had not followed orders given by the local administration and the army to evacuate the area, and the rebels had taken them "hostage". The victims had been killed by gunfire and bombs, or had died in their burning houses, he said. He added that the government would continue to investigate the matter in order to discover "the truth" and to understand "the silence" surrounding the killings, which were reported days after they occurred.

IRIN 20 Sept 2002 Refugees accuse army of blocking escape to Tanzania DAR ES SALAAM, 20 September (IRIN) - The Burundian army is reportedly preventing civilians who are fleeing fighting between rebels and government forces from crossing the border into Tanzania, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, told IRIN on Friday. Ivana Unluova said new arrivals in Tanzania had told UNHCR that the army was "actively stopping" civilians from crossing the border especially in Kibuye, central Burundi, from where large numbers were attempting to flee. "As a result, they are camping in the bush and just waiting for their chance to cross," she said. Some of the refugees had come from Gitega where the massacre of over 170 civilians (according to government figures) took place on 9 September. While the refugees said they had fled attacks by the army, it was unclear whether the new arrivals had witnessed the killings, Unluova added. Refugee camps in Kibondo, western Tanzania, have received 997 refugees since the beginning of the month. Although these figures were much higher than in recent months, UNHCR did not consider the situation to be "dramatic", Unluova said. In the past numbers had reached 3,500 a month and there were still more refugees being repatriated than were fleeing to Tanzania, she added. Humanitarian agencies have warned, however, that if the rate of arrivals continues at 150 a day, the recent influx would amount to a "considerable number".

AFP 21 Sept 2002 At least 16 civilians killed in Burundi clashes BUJUMBURA, Sept 21 (AFP) - Between 16 and 20 civilians were killed in Burundi when the army battled Hutu rebels southwest of the capital and took two of the rebels prisoner, military and witnesses said Saturday. "Rebels of the FNL (National Liberation Forces) ambushed an army patrol on Thursday near a village at Rohe," 10 kilometres (six miles) from Bujumbura, army spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema said. "The troops fought back and 16 civilians, caught in crossfire, were killed in the clashes as they were routed," he added. Witnesses said that 20 villagers were killed. About 3,000 local people fled and mostly took refuge in the neighbouring parish of Buhonga, they said. Their accounts were confirmed by the governor of Bujumbura-rural Province, Ignace Ntawembarira, though he said he did not know "exactly how many people were killed, we're still doing the counting." The governor was attending burials in Rohe on Saturday. The reports of the killings came the day on-off ceasefire talks between the government main Hutu rebels were due to resume in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after a delay to allow the rebels to mourn the victims of a recent massacre. Burundi's Tutsi-led army admitted Thursday that it had killed 173 people, mostly civilians, on September 9, but it blamed Hutu rebels for the slaughter, saying they had taken the civilians as "hostages" or "accomplices." Ceasefire negotiations, which had been due to resume in the week, were postponed after delegates from the main wing of the rebel Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) asked for a delay. The African Union on Friday joined France and other nations as well as the UN Security Council in condemning the mass killings. On Wednesday, an FDD official in Dar es Salaam, economic capital of neighbouring Tanzania where the talks are being held, put the number of dead in the slaughter at 1,000, a figure that no other source has corroborated. Talks between the government and the FNL were expected to start in Dar es Salaam at the end of August, but never got off the ground. More than 250,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Burundi's civil war since 1993. The war pits the army, dominated by the Tutsi minority, against Hutu rebel movements.

IRIN 23 Sept 2002 Rebel movements reconsider joining government NAIROBI, 23 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Three Burundian rebel movements have said they plan to reconsider their participation in the transitional government as it has "no authority over the defence and security services" to protect the Burundi population. The statement was issued on 20 September by Leonard Nyangoma of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), Joseph Karumba of the Front pour la liberation nationale (FROLINA), and Antoine Sezoya Ngabo of the Parti pour la liberation du peuple Hutu (PALIPEHUTU) in response to the reported massacre of over 170 people in central Gitega province on 9 September. The three rebel groups said the massacre showed that the transitional government had no control over the army, and that the installation of such a government under the Arusha accords was "not enough to protect the civil population". They added that the Burundi people would not be able to enjoy all their rights - including the right to life - unless a "really national" or ethnically mixed army was created to replace the current one. The three rebel movements accused the army of having killed "several hundred innocent people" on 9 September and called on the international community to impose sanctions on arms deliveries. Army spokesman Colonel Augustin Nzabampema told IRIN on Friday that rebel fighters were "fully responsible" for the massacres. "We waited for four days before launching the operations in order to allow them [civilians] to leave the combat zones. The responsibility for those who were killed lies squarely on rebel shoulders," he said.

AFP 23 Sept 2002 Bid to restart Burundi's ceasefire talks fails DAR ES SALAAM, Sept 23 (AFP) - Efforts to restart ceasefire talks between Burundi's government and a faction of the Hutu rebellion have failed after Bujumbura rejected the rebels' conditions, mediators said Monday. "The discussions ended on Sunday without actual ceasefire negotiations having taken place and without any agreement being reached," South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who is the principal mediator in the talks, said in a statement. Negotiations between a delegation of Burundi's transitional government and the main wing of the Hutu rebel Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) were to resume Saturday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after being delayed earlier in the week. But the rebel delegation called for guarantees from Burundi's transitional government that the Tutsi-led army would abide by a ceasefire agreement. The FDD faction lead by Pierre Nkurunziza wanted the government to agree to a document it called a "declaration of commitment to negotiate" before direct negotiations could start. Indirect contacts through mediators on Saturday and Sunday apparently failed to bridge the gap between the two parties. More than 250,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in a civil war in the central African state since 1993. The war pits the army, dominated by the Tutsi minority, against Hutu rebel movements.


AP 12 Sep 2002 Ex-Mayor Wanted in Genocide Arrested BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo (AP)  Police arrested a former Rwandan mayor accused by a U.N. tribunal of organizing some of the bloodbaths in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, authorities confirmed Wednesday. Jean Nsengiyumva, better known by the alias Jean-Baptiste Gatete, had been one of nearly two dozen indicted fugitives still sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He was wanted by the tribunal on indictments of genocide and crimes against humanity, tribunal spokesman Kingsley Moghalu said Wednesday by telephone. As mayor of the commune of Murambi in northwest Rwanda, Gatete allegedly orchestrated massacres in Rwanda's southeastern Kibungo prefecture during the 100-day, government-driven killing spree that killed at least 500,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. Police arrested him without incident Tuesday in the small village of Ngombe north of the Republic of Congo's capital, Brazzaville. An agricultural engineer, Gatete had been living in Republic of Congo since 1996. He taught at a local college and was a leader of the local Rwandan community in exile, Republic of Congo authorities said.

DR Congo

Reuters 6 Sep 2002 UN warning on eastern Congo fighting By Irwin Arieff UNITED NATIONS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - U.N. Security Council members called on Friday for an end to fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, saying fresh hostilities were blocking U.N. plans to help disarm and resettle the Rwandan ethnic Hutus in the region blamed for Rwanda's 1994 genocide. "Members of the council are extremely concerned by the gravity of the situation in the eastern part of the country," Ambassador Stefan Tavrov of Bulgaria, the council president for September, told reporters. The council issued the statement after U.N. officials charged that Rwanda was stepping up its military advances in eastern Congo despite a new peace deal between the two central African neighbors. The statement, however, does not name Rwanda, which has denied any troop movements. The deal, signed in South Africa in July, aims to bring to a close Congo's four-year civil war that has left an estimated 2 million dead and pulled in six armies. Under last month's deal, Rwanda agreed to pull out its troops in exchange for Congo disarming the militant ethnic Hutu fighters accused of slaughtering an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. The 3,700-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUC, has agreed to help Congo demobilize and resettle the Hutu gunmen. The fighters fled across the border to Congo after the genocide, and Rwanda had argued that it needed to keep its troops in eastern Congo to prevent these Hutus from staging cross-border attacks on Rwanda from Congolese soil. FIERCE FIGHTING REPORTED IN ITURI Instead of pulling out of Congo, thousands of Rwandan troops, along with Congo rebel allies, have advanced into Ituri province on Congo's border with Uganda and into Kindu in South Kivu province, according to U.N. officials. Fierce ethnic fighting erupted in Ituri last month, leaving more than 110 people dead at Bunia, a town controlled by Ugandan troops and their rebel allies. Reports of the Rwandan advance came as Ugandan forces prepared to carry out a long-promised final withdrawal from Congo. In their statement, council members said that as long as Ugandan troops remained in the Ituri area, Uganda was "duty-bound to ensure the protection of the population." "They call on all states in the region to bring their influence to bear so as to put a stop to the massacres in Ituri." As for South Kivu, council members said that unless the fighting there ended, MONUC could not help disarm and resettle Hutu fighters. Rwanda and the Congo rebel groups it supports control as much as 40 percent of eastern Congo as the result of the civil war that has raged in the huge and mineral-rich central African nation for four years.

IRIN 6 Sept 2002 Zimbabwe begins troop withdrawal NAIROBI, 6 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (known as MONUC) confirmed on Thursday that Zimbabwean troops have begun their withdrawal from the country, with 150 soldiers leaving Mbandaka, western DRC, on Wednesday night. Three battalions of around 2,400 soldiers remained scattered among the cities of Boende, Bolomba, Mbandaka and Buburu, in Equateur province, MONUC said in a statement. The Zimbabwean army - which has been fighting alongside government forces against rebel groups for the last four years - began withdrawing its equipment and a small contingent of troops on 3 September from Kananga, in the province of Kasai-Occidental. The withdrawals are in line with the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and various Security Council resolutions demanding the pullout of all foreign forces from Congolese territory. Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda are now the only countries with a considerable number of troops left in the DRC. Uganda withdrew 1,800 soldiers this week from the cities of Beni and Gbadolite, leaving a further 2,000 stationed in Bunia, in the northeast of the country. "We encourage all the other parties to accelerate the process of peace in the region. We believe that before long, the presence of foreign troops will be but a dream," said the UN Special Representative for the DRC, Amos Ngongi. The Congolese government entered into separate peace deals at the end of July and mid-August with Rwanda and Uganda, whereby they reaffirmed their commitment to withdrawing their forces.

IRIN 9 Sept 2002 Ethnic groups differ over Ugandan troop pullout KINSHASA, 9 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - The warring Hema and Lendu ethnic groups in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have failed to see eye to eye over the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the Ituri region. The disagreement came at the end of a peace conference between the two groups in Kinshasa last week. The Lendu want the immediate withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the main town of Bunia, while the Hema support their continued presence there. "We favour security, and say that the Ugandans know how to maintain calm," Hema spokesman, Pilo Kamarati, told IRIN. But Lendu spokesman Thewi Batsi retorted that true peace would "come automatically when there is no longer a presence of Ugandan troops to support the Hemas in Ituri". Despite their differences, the two communities, in conjunction with other ethnic groups in the region, signed a final communique demanding the departure of the Ugandans and their replacement by a police force. No consensus was reached on a timeframe for the withdrawal. "The accord that President Joseph Kabila and [Ugandan president] Yoweri Museveni are in the process of signing foresees a progressive Ugandan withdrawal and the progressive installation of a police force and administration," said DRC Human Rights Minister Ntumba Luaba-Lumu, who presided at the conference. "The accord between Kampala and Kinshasa foresees synchronising the departure of the Ugandans and the installation of our police to avoid a gap," he added. Uganda has officially withdrawn all its forces from the DRC, except for two battalions which would remain to safeguard civilian security in the troubled city of Bunia, official Radio Uganda reported last week. Uganda signed a peace deal with the DRC on 15 August, under which it pledged to withdraw most of its troops remaining in the country. Bunia, with a population of about 300,000, is less than 50 km from the Ugandan border. The pastoral Hema and the agricultural Lendu, have frequently clashed over leadership in the region, which is rich in minerals and timber.

AP 22 Sept. 2002, Congo civilians' terror not over, despite recent peace agreement By RODRIQUE NGOWI Associated Press KINDU, Congo -- When a notorious rebel commander showed up leading a crackdown on pro-government tribal fighters in eastern Congo, it ended in the cold-blooded murder of more than 50 civilians. Coming a month after Congo and neighboring Rwanda signed a peace deal, the Aug. 30 bloodbath is a sign that for many people in and around this vast Central African country, their four years of horror are far from over. Signs of trouble appeared last month when the bodies of dozens of Rwandan-backed rebels floated downstream past this Congo River port in the Maniema province. They were victims of ambushes by Mayi Mayi tribal fighters in Maniema, whose history is written in the blood of cannibalism, tribal wars, and the hunt for slaves and elephant ivory. Then 14,000 people displaced by the fighting flooded into Kindu, whispering how rebel troops had shot and killed at least 56 civilians on a large island in the river on the morning of Aug. 30 after tying their hands behind their backs and grilling them for information about the Mayi Mayi. Some 200 men are missing after they were seized by rebel troops led by Gabriel Amisi, deputy chief of staff for the army of the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy, human rights activists said. Amisi, known by his nom de guerre Tango 4, is also implicated in the massacre of 180 people in Kisangani, a port farther downriver, during a May 14 uprising and subsequent rebel reprisals. "I was in a group of 58 men led to the center of Nyonga Island for execution on Aug. 30," a trembling survivor said in an interview, holding out a thumb with a bullet wound. He said that after capturing the island from the Mayi Mayi, the rebels divided their captives into groups of five, tied their hands behind their backs and led them away from the women and children. The rebels first interrogated the men, ages 15 to 60, about the whereabouts of the elusive tribal fighters, then lined them up in groups and shot them dead, said the father of two. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he feared for his life. He said he was in the last group, and when he saw the bodies of those already shot, he fainted just as the executioners opened fire. A bullet hit his thumb and the other four in his group fell on top of him, dead, he said. He said he hid for two days before crossing the river to Kindu. The sound of gunfire from the direction in which the men had been taken alarmed the women and children, but they were told by their guards not to worry, said a woman whose husband was killed. She also requested anonymity, fearing reprisal. Rebel authorities who control Kindu are forbidding public mourning for the dead, she said. But civilians also suffer mightily under the Mayi Mayi, who accuse them of supporting the rebels and their Rwandan backers. On Tuesday, according to a radio station run by the U.N. mission to Congo, six civilians were burned alive by the Mayi Mayi as Rwandan troops began pulling out of Maniema under the July 30 peace agreement. Three men and three women died and 10 houses were burned, sending 450 people fleeing toward Kindu, the broadcast said. The U.N. has 400 people in Kindu, most of them involved in building their base, and several dozen unarmed military observers who are usually blocked by the rebels from traveling outside town.


IRIN 12 Sept 2002 One killed in Addis bomb blast NAIROBI, 12 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - At least one person was killed and many more wounded in three successive bomb blasts at an Addis Ababa hotel during celebrations to mark the Ethiopian New Year on Wednesday. According to the pro-government Walta Information Centre, the explosions occurred around 21:15 (local time) at the Tigray Hotel in the Piazza area of the city. The blasts came "in quick succession", one at the entrance to the hotel, another inside the building itself and the third on the street in front of the hotel. Medical workers at the capital's Black Lion hospital said one woman died on arrival at the hospital. She was one of four seriously injured people. Police are investigating the incident, and no-one has yet claimed responsibility. It is feared more people may be dead or wounded under the rubble of the hotel. The same hotel was the target of a grenade attack five years ago by the rebel Oromo Liberation Front.

IRIN 18 Sept 2002 Five killed in grenade attack ADDIS ABABA, - Five people have been killed in a grenade attack in western Ethiopia, local sources told IRIN on Wednesday. The attack took place early on Tuesday morning after the grenade was thrown into the back of a pick-up truck in Gambella. It is believed the attack is part of an increase in violence between rival ethnic groups fighting over scarce resources. Bitter fighting has erupted over the last few months between the Anyuak tribe and the Nuer in an area called Itang. The UN Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE) says that fertile land along the riverbanks in the region has increased tensions. “Conflict is increasing in Gambella since early 2002,” the EUE said in a recent report after an assessment team was sent to the region to monitor food needs. “Present conflict is largely contained between the Anyuak and Nuer in Itang,” it said, adding that any distributions of food and non–food aid must be carefully handled to ensure current tensions were not inflamed. Gambella, although extremely fertile, is one of Ethiopia’s most isolated regions and home to three large refugee camps for Sudanese fleeing their war-torn country. The United Nations already has imposed restrictions on travel to the region and declared Itang off-limits to staff.

Ivory Coast

AFP 22 Sept 2002 270 killed in uprising By Clar Ni Chonghaile in Abidjan, Ivory Coast S LOYALIST troops barrelled north overnight to oust rebels from the two cities they still hold, as state television said about 270 people had been killed in this West African nation's bloodiest-yet military uprising. Prime Minister Affi Nguessan said a government offensive was imminent. "Our forces are on the move and we hope in the coming hours that we will see the results on the ground," he told state radio. Rebels still control the northern opposition stronghold of Korhogo and the central town of Bouake, 354kms north of Abidjan, the commercial capital. President Laurent Gbagbo has pledged a full-scale battle to remove the rebels. State television said today that initial figures show 270 people were killed and 300 injured in fighting since Thursday's failed coup, but didn't provide a breakdown of the casualties. In Abidjan, Ivory Coast's main city, paramilitary police set fire to a mainly Muslim neighborhood, near the scene of fighting in Thursday's failed coup. Smoke rose as an ominous sign the latest bloodletting was unleashing deadly ethnic, political and religious hatreds in what was once one of West Africa's most stable and prosperous nations. "This is a terrible situation," said Ablasse Rimtoumda, head of the community of Burkina Faso nationals in the burning Agban district. Despairing residents sat with belongings piled beside them as flames destroyed their homes. Newly homeless people pushed carts piled with mattresses, suitcases, and televisions. "People shouldn't do this to us," Rimtoumda said as soot fell around him. Some residents said the paramilitary police had told them they needed to clear the area because rebels had taken refuge there. Western embassies warned of gangs of government supporters armed with machetes roaming the streets of Abidjan, once called the Paris of West Africa. Bands were attacking foreigners from surrounding Muslim countries. Signs that Thursday's attempt to oust President Laurent Gbagbo was turning into an ethnic conflict were evident as well in the northern opposition stronghold of Korhogo, one of two cities still held by rebels. Rebels told residents of the largely Muslim city that the government had recruited Angolan soldiers to "kill northerners," and urged young men to take up arms and join them. The Associated Press there saw one group of at least 10 newly recruited young men head off with the rebels. This former French colony's plummet into chaos began before dawn Thursday. Insurgents, apparently including hundreds of recently sacked soldiers, launched coordinated attacks on military installations, government sites, and Cabinet ministers' houses in five cities and towns. Loyalist forces quelled the uprising in Abidjan after 12 hours of fighting Thursday that left scores dead on the government side, including a Cabinet minister, senior military officers and dozens of paramilitary police. Paramilitary police shot and killed the deposed junta chief whom the government accuses in the coup attempt, Gen Robert Guei. Paramilitary police also killed his wife, son and grandchildren. Today rebels still controlled Korhogo and the central town of Bouake, about 354kms north of Abidjan. Gbagbo, returning home late yesterday after cutting short a state visit to Italy, said in a speech broadcast on state television that government forces would flush out the remaining rebels in Abidjan, and then move toward the two cities still held by the rebels. "The hour of battle has come. Let's lead it with courage. Let's lead it with determination. Let's lead it with honor," he said. This latest coup attempt shattered efforts to restore stability to once-tranquil Ivory Coast after its first-ever coup in 1999. The mayhem in Ivory Coast - the world's largest cocoa producer - raised fears that the nation was falling into the violence that ravaged neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone for a decade. Gbagbo hinted at foreign involvement in the uprising, but did not name any countries. Opposition leader Alassane Dramane Ouattara sought refuge at French Embassy, fearing he would be blamed for the coup. Simmering tensions between Gbagbo, who draws his support from the mainly Christian south and west, and Ouattara's mainly Northern Muslim backers have regularly exploded, killing hundreds.

Reuters 22 Sept 2002 Immigrant Road to Ivory Coast Passes Through Hell By David Clarke IVORY COAST/BURKINA FASO BORDER (Reuters) - In the eerie no-man's land between two borders a battered mini-bus with a shattered windshield pulls up abruptly. Five young men squeeze out and melt into the moonlit scrub. Reuters Photo They are from Burkina Faso. Their travel documents are in order and they have the right to visit, work and reside in Ivory Coast. What they don't have is cash to pay officials operating the approaching border of their west African neighbor. As in many parts of Africa, corruption among policemen in Ivory Coast is commonplace, but immigrants from Burkina Faso complain they are singled out. On the highway to Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, it's hard to disagree. Their journey in a clapped-out mini-bus is a catalog of corruption, intimidation, extortion and racism. 21:40. First police checkpoint in Ivory Coast. Those from Burkina Faso pay 1,000 CFA francs ($1.50). Others pass for free. Yellow fever checkpoint. Those without certificates pay 6,500 CFA for a jab. "At least we get something for our money here," says one. Those who cannot afford the vaccination haggle over a lower fee so they can continue their journey. Forestry police checkpoint. The driver of the mini-bus heading from Bobo-Dioulassou in Burkina Faso to Bouake in Ivory Coast does a whip-round and hands coins to an official. Gendarmerie checkpoint. A hulking, heavily-armed man takes papers from the Burkinabes. They spill out of the mini-bus, queue up in the humid night air and each pay 1,000 CFA to officials. The money is not a bribe as such. It's just what people from Burkina Faso pay to get their papers back from policemen. White foreigners don't pay. Ivorians certainly don't. Burkinabes have been on the wrong end of the law in Ivory Coast for several years but it has not always been so. Long an economic powerhouse in west Africa, Ivory Coast once welcomed immigrants, mainly from its northern Muslim neighbors Burkina Faso and Mali. Many came to tend plantations in what is now the world's largest cocoa producer. But economic decline has polarized ethnic and religious rifts and the increasingly acrimonious and violent political landscape is split. The main opposition party hails from the Muslim north. The ruling elite is from the Christian south. INSECURITY RULES 23:15. The mini-bus has traveled five hundred yards past the first police checkpoint and the driver stops for the night. "There are no laws. Everyone gobbles money," said Gouwendmalgre Ouedraogo, a mini-bus driver from Burkina Faso who makes the trip to Ivory Coast three times a week. "And we have to take it as it is because we have no choice. They're all crooks," he grumbled, hunched over the wheel of his 19-seater mini-bus, crammed with 24 adults and two children. There is a town 18 km (11 miles) away but no one travels after dark. A towering soldier, an AK-47 assault rifle dangling from his hand, says it is too dangerous, what with so many armed thieves about. Sweating passengers from the mini-bus, coaches and "bush taxis" bed down on the hard, warm tarmac, swatting mosquitoes, inhaling the stench from dozens of impromptu roadside toilets. 6:00. Bleary-eyed passengers gather at the mini-bus. The five young men who skirted the border posts emerge from the bushes. 6:20. After a heated debate with them about how much to chip in for the first whip-round of the day, the driver moves off, weaving past the slumbering goats and cows on the road. 6:21. Drug police checkpoint. The morning sun glints off a shiny black BMW parked by the ramshackle hut. The policeman, laid back in a wicker lounger, takes some money and admonishes the mini-bus fixer for handing it over in full view. 6.44. Customs checkpoint. Three guards are paid and the mini-bus moves on. Along a straight stretch of rising road the driver points to burned out car wrecks and shattered glass. This is a favorite hunting ground for bandits, he says. 7.23. Forestry police checkpoint, then regular police less than 50 meters on. An official armed with an assault rifle takes papers from the Burkinabes. He gives a thumbs-up to two passengers from Ivory Coast. Twenty minutes later two Burkinabe women have failed to get back their identity cards. Others have paid and the driver wants to leave. The women climb aboard, leaving their papers behind. CHECKPOINTS CONTINUE 8.12. Police checkpoint. An official rants about racism in Europe. In a rage he forgets to shake down the passengers from Burkina Faso. The driver bursts out laughing. This official usually demands up to 15,000 CFA from them, he says. 8.24. Police checkpoint. The women without cards get into trouble. One Burkinabe pays 7,000 CFA to get his documents back. 9.19. Police checkpoint. Papers taken from Burkinabes, some pay to get them back. The driver bundles four in a local taxi to try to get them past a nearby cluster of checkpoints faster. 9.49. Police, gendarmerie, customs checkpoints. Passengers work along the row of booths, negotiating, pleading, paying. 10.38. Police checkpoint. Papers taken from Burkina Faso passengers. Some pay to get them back. One passenger jokes that an identity card, residency card, passport and birth certificate would not suffice as the police would just ask for a death certificate -- and then demand money. 11.38. Police checkpoint. Papers taken from Burkina Faso citizens. Some pay to get them back. 12.21. Gendarmes checkpoint. Quick payment of 1,000 CFA. 12.42. Arrive in Tafire, 85 miles and 17 checkpoints later. 17.25. Eight checkpoints, two punctures, five km on foot and four and a half hours further on the mini-bus nears Bouake. Passengers hand spare cash to the fixer, an Ivorian called Seku Fofona who now lives in Burkina Faso. He says the police sometimes search passengers who claim penury at the final checkpoint before Bouake -- just in case there's some cash left. For those Burkinabes continuing to Abidjan, they can look forward to four more lengthy stops and a 3.00 a.m. arrival, 43 hours after leaving Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou. "Ivory Coast? It's just not worth it," laughed Seku as he headed off for few hours sleep, and a return trip to Burkina.

AP 22 Sept 2002 French Troops Arrive in Ivory Coast By CLAR NI CHONGHAILE ASSOCIATED PRESS ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast- French troops rolled through the Ivory Coast countryside Monday to protect Westerners as government soldiers headed for a showdown with rebels controlling two cities, who vowed to fight to the end in the West African nation's bloodiest-ever military uprising. Frightened residents were on edge in the two northern cities where rebels were digging in for battle. One of the cities, Bouake, is the site of a boarding school for foreign missionaries' children - including some 100 Americans aged one to 12. Government troops claimed Sunday to have already surrounded Bouake and to be holding off from immediate attack only out of desire to spare lives. The mutinous soldiers who launched their failed coup Thursday remained defiant. "We are armed to the teeth, and there is no going back," an insurgent commander known by the nom de guerre Samsara 110 declared. He spoke from the other rebel-held city, Korhogo, a northern stronghold of opposition to the government in the largely Christian south. Fears grew of wider conflict splitting West Africa's onetime economic powerhouse, as the coup attempt tapped into the country's volatile divisions between the largely Christian south and the predominately Muslim north. In Bouake, Ivory Coast's second largest city, thousands of civilians marched Sunday in support of the rebel soldiers and against the government of President Laurent Gbagbo. Late Sunday, shooting was heard in the city, but it died down after about 30 minutes. Thursday's coup was launched by insurgents who apparently included a core group of 700-800 ex-soldiers angry over their recent purge from the army for suspected disloyalty. Growing ethnic and regional rifts in the military - linked to the country's north-south tensions - apparently led to the army purge. Samsara 110, the rebel commander, claimed insurgents had 1,000 rebels in Bouake, 780 in Korhogo and more hiding in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, ready for action. With supplies including seized weapons from captured government garrisons, "We have the maximum of material," Samsara said - bazookas, rocket and grenade launchers, and other heavy arms. Late Sunday, a convoy of French troops headed north from Abidjan, intending to protect French and international citizens in Bouake, 60 miles away, a spokesman for the French military base in Abidjan said. French transport helicopters and a reported 100 extra French troops landed in Abidjan in the early hours Sunday, reinforcing approximately 600 troops already based there. France said it deployed the reinforcements to protect the nation's 20,000 French citizens and others in the international community. Ivory Coast denied asking for French help putting down the uprising. The U.S. Embassy said it had no immediate evacuation plans for its nationals in Ivory Coast. Nearly 200 foreigners are at Bouake's International Christian Academy, including 100 American children and around 40 more U.S. staffers, said James Forlines, director of Free Will Baptist Foreign Missions, which has missionaries in the region. The school serves missionaries from several countries working all over West Africa, Forlines said from Nashville, Tenn. Some rebel soldiers have taken positions just outside the campus, Forlines said, adding that the school has virtually no security. "It is a very critical situation," he said. "They are absolutely defenselees and are pinned down and have no way to get out." While the French deployment stood to help Europeans and the nation's large Lebanese community, danger was greater for hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrant workers from surrounding countries. Hundreds of migrants lost their homes on Friday and Saturday when paramilitary police burned a mostly Muslim shantytown in Abidjan. Thursday's uprising left at least 270 dead, by a government count in the rebellion's first days. Defeated in Abidjan and two other cities, coup forces have dug in the north, base of support for opposition leader Alassane Dramane Ouattara. Since Ivory Coast's first-ever coup shattered the country's longtime stability in 1999, ethnic, political and religious tensions have regularly exploded between the mainly Christian south and west and Muslim northerners. Hundreds have died, including scores in an October 2001 massacre of Muslim Ouattara supporters in Abidjan widely blamed on the Gbagbo-loyalist paramilitary police. "Since Gbagbo came to power, he has been killing our families. We are fed up with him," one young man said during the march Sunday in Boauke, bellowing as crowds chanted and whistled around him, cheering the rebels. In Paris, Gbagbo spokesman Toussaint Alain blamed the uprising on Ivory Coast's neighbors - an accusation widely believed aimed at the Muslim nation of Burkina Faso, on Ivory Coast's northern border. Alain called the insurgents "pseudo-rebels" and "dogs of war, mercenaries ... paid by foreigners." The presidential spokesman said that the government had proof that the rebels were using "foreign equipment" and receiving supplies by air. Ivory Coast previously has accused Burkina Faso of providing haven and support to armed Ivorian dissidents. Burkina Faso has beefed security along its borders with hundreds of troops since Thursday's uprising. Liberia, to the west, also has said it had reinforced its borders.


IRIN 10 Sept 2002 3,000 displaced by inter-ethnic clashes NAIROBI, 10 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Some 3,000 people displaced by recent inter-ethnic conflict in Isiolo, central Kenya, are refusing to return to their homes for fear of further violence, according to local sources in Isiolo. "People are terrified, they are expecting to be attacked again. Efforts to return them have not been fruitful," sources told IRIN on Tuesday. Many families had moved from their manyattas (dwellings), and were camping at the local district headquarters, or had been permitted to stay in local church buildings, sources said. According to Bishop Luigi Locati of the Diocese of Isiolo, the Catholic Church had been able to set up temporary accommodation for about 200 families, and had been distributing food to some of the displaced. However, many people were still in need of food, blankets, and other household items. Fighting broke out on Wednesday 4 September when a Turkana manyatta at Eremet, in the central division of Isiolo District, was attacked by some 200 raiders thought to be from the neighbouring Borana community, Kenyan radio reported at the time. Six people were killed and some 1,000 head of cattle stolen in the attack. Further clashes had occurred over the following four days at Mashambani, Daaba and Ngabela locations, despite assurances from police that security had been tightened in the district, according to media reports. A total of 14 people have now lost their lives in the clashes, according to local sources. Although there had been speculation that the attacks had a political motive ahead of this year's parliamentary and presidential elections, sources told IRIN the conflict was most likely linked to the scarce availability of good pasture in the semi-arid region. Revenge was also thought to have partly driven the attacks, following a raid by Turkana tribesmen on a Borana settlement in July, local sources told IRIN. They said that although discussions among local peace committees had generated ideas to stop frequent clashes between the two communities, it was essential that government become closely involved in any attempts at reconciliation between the two communities. "These parties have no machinery to implement what has been agreed. It should be the government working to do this," the sources said.

IRIN 18 Sept 2002 Ethnic violence linked to politics NAIROBI, 18 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Renewed ethnic tensions in the Gucha, Transmara and Migori districts of western Kenya, in which several people have been killed since last week, have been linked to crucial presidential and parliamentary elections expected later this year. On Sunday, two people were killed and 10 injured when youths from Gucha and Transmara were engaged in running battles along the border of the two districts, the 'Daily Nation' reported. This brought to eight the number of people killed in the area over the past two weeks. In other incidents, at least two people were killed and seven injured at the weekend when a gang of 100 men, armed with crude weapons, attacked worshippers at a Catholic diocese in neighbouring Kisii district, according to the Catholic Information Service for East Africa (CISA. The attack followed recent political tension between supporters of the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) party and Ford-People, a rival political party, CISA reported on Monday. The National Council of the Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and the Peace and Development Network (Peace Net) - organisations which run peace initiatives in regions prone to cattle rustling - told IRIN they were awaiting reports from monitoring teams they had sent to assess the situation. A humanitarian source based in Gucha told IRIN on Wednesday that the current ethnic tensions in the region were not just a normal problem resulting from cattle rustling - a common phenomenon in the area - but were due to political problems that typically occurred during election periods. "We have reason to worry that this year's election is likely to be accompanied by incidences of violence," the source said. "The tensions escalating everywhere are a problem resulting from political temperatures taking their toll on Kenyans." Incumbent President Daniel arap Moi is due to step down and there is controversy over his preferred successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president.

Baltimore Sun 23 Sept 2002 Favorite son KENYA IS SUCH an important African country that it matters to the rest of the world who will succeed President Daniel arap Moi when his 25-year rule ends in four months. That question matters so much to Mr. Moi as well that he wants the ruling party to consider only his choice. When Vice President George Saitoti dared to promote his own candidacy, he was summarily fired. Since its independence from Britain in 1963, Kenya has had only two presidents. And Mr. Moi insists that the first president's son, Uhuru Kenyatta, should succeed him, although half a dozen other ruling party officials of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party would want to run as well. In a rare open challenge to Mr. Moi, they have formed an alliance to press for open elections. The Kenyatta bandwagon, which may now be unstoppable, began gaining speed in July when former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta said her 41-year-old son should lead the country. The idea was quickly endorsed by the dominant Kikuyu tribe that has felt sidelined under Mr. Moi. The Kenyatta dynasty is enormously powerful. Mr. Kenyatta's sister, Margaret, was a longtime mayor of Nairobi and head of the country's leading women's organization, which is pushing him. Yet just five years ago Mr. Kenyatta himself failed to win a seat in the parliament. His career took off only after he was appointed chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board and later became government minister and vice chairman of KANU. Under the manipulative Mr. Moi, Kenya has avoided the fate of many of its neighbors, economic collapse or genocide. But as political and economic power has concentrated in few hands, the country has stagnated. Corruption is endemic, and the infrastructure is falling apart. A closed presidential election would not be in Kenyans' interest. It would limit debate about serious problems, which run from high unemployment to rampant AIDS infections. It might also fan tribal tensions, which Mr. Moi has skillfully kept in check during his long rule. And it would do nothing to increase accountability and democracy in a country that often has trouble understanding and practicing either concept.


Pan African News Agency -PANA 16 Sept 2002 Liberia: Residents demand removal of soldiers from streets of Monrovia Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) - Liberians on Monday urged the government to remove soldiers deployed throughout streets of Monrovia after President Charles Taylor on Saturday lifted the state of emergency he imposed last 8 February. In a live talk show aired on the Catholic-run Radio Veritas station in Monrovia, a cross-section of the citizenry also called on the government to curtail the movement of armed militiamen roaming the city. The callers said their movements have created tension and a state of insecurity since the state of emergency was imposed after rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) encroached on Monrovia. Others are calling for the "withdrawal of soldiers of the dreaded Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) deployed in Monrovia for the past several months as there is no longer a grave danger hanging over the city. Some of the citizens branded the ATU soldiers as being ruthless and indisciplined in their interaction with the public. In a public address from his official office, Taylor lifted the state of emergency, as well as the government-imposed ban on political rallies and public gatherings. Taylor told the nation that "most of the circumstances and conditions that necessitated the declaration of the state of emergency has been removed." He said his government has already liberated most of the areas that LURD dissidents occupied, saying they remained in Voinjama and Zorzor in Lofa County, 160km north of Monrovia. The independent Inquirer Newspaper, in its Monday editorial captioned "Thank You Mr. President But...," asked Taylor "to go further by granting clemency to all those detained in connecting with LURD since he had extended an olive branch to the dissidents to return home and nothing will happen to them once they come without guns and in good faith." The NEWS newspaper in its editorial captioned, "Be Guided By Public Opinion," said Taylor's consultations with the Legislature, the ruling National Patriotic Party and the Collaborating Political Parties is directed at acquiring public opinion. It urged Taylor to use public opinion "to implement resolutions coming out of the ongoing national conference on reconciliation and set free all those detained in connection with LURD."

IRIN 16 Sep 2002 President Taylor lifts state of emergency ABIDJAN, - Liberian President Charles Taylor on Saturday lifted a state of emergency that was imposed in February and restrictions on political party meetings. "We hereby lift the state of emergency with immediate effect. We also with immediate effect lift the ban on mass political party rallies," Taylor said in a national radio address. Taylor said there had been positive developments in the war against rebels in the north and lifting the emergency would "contribute immensely in the search for lasting peace and serve as a catalyst for dialogue leading to national peace and reconciliation and preparing the way for general elections next year." The Liberian army on Friday reported that it had pushed back the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebels from the town of Bopolu in Gbarpolu County. The army had also intensified efforts to retake Zorzor, near the border with Guinea. Diplomats said the relaxation of the emergency and restrictions on political party activities, was intended to send a positive signal to opponents who refused to attend a national reconciliation conference in the capital, Monrovia, out of security fears. News agencies on Sunday quoted the LURD as saying they welcomed the move but rejected any talks with Taylor. Radio France International quoted rebel spokesman William Hanson as saying "it was a good move, but not enough". "What could really introduce a change would be Taylor's resignation and departure from the country. Our view is that the presence of Taylor in the country is not good. For the conflict to end, he has to resign from the presidency," the radio quoted Hanson as saying. Taylor announced the emergency on 8 February. At the time the LURD had threatened to overrun Monrovia. In April, he ordered a suspension of all mass political gatherings nationwide in line with the emergency. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, said Taylor took advantage of the emergency to curtail the rights of Liberians, ranging from the right to life to the right of freedom of expression.


IRIN 2 Sept 2002 Ravalomanana gets UN nod of approval JOHANNESBURG, 2 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - The presence of Madagascar's new president, Marc Ravalomanana, at the Earth Summit in South Africa this week is likely to put further pressure on African countries to reconsider their isolation of the Indian Ocean island, analysts said on Monday. Ravalomanana arrived in South Africa on Sunday, at the invitation of the United Nations, to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Malagasy officials said the invitation was tacit recognition of the island's new leader. "This is a milestone in President Ravalomanana's international acceptance. There is no doubt that he is now considered the legitimate ruler of Madagascar," Madagascar's consul-general in South Africa, Bruno Ranarivelo, told IRIN. Ranarivelo said that Ravalomanana was expected to hold talks with world leaders and top government officials at the summit, including South African President Thabo Mbeki, and US Secretary of State Colin Powell. "A number of issues will be discussed, mainly dealing with rebuilding the economy and re-establishing political ties," he added. Since claiming an outright win in a disputed presidential election earlier in the year, a move backed by the country's highest court, Ravalomanana has gathered increasing international support from Western countries. But African leaders have been reluctant to endorse his presidency, saying his election had not been "legally constituted", and have called for fresh elections. At the launch of the African Union (AU) in South Africa in July, African heads of state upheld a decision to exclude the country from the new Union. However, a week following the AU's launch, Senegal formally recognised Ravalomanana's administration. Observers remarked that it was only a matter of time before the rest of the continent followed suit. A thaw in relations between the Union and the Malagasy government seemed to occur at the end of July when an AU delegation visited the country. Led by South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the AU called for the removal of any obstacles that could further delay the return of Madagascar to the pan-African organisation. But the AU still did not say whether or not it would recognise Ravalomanana. "The AU now, despite its insistence earlier that it would not be guided by the fact that the major donors have accepted the new government, will have to rethink its position. Ravalomanana is here to stay, and the UN's invitation to the summit means he is part of international diplomatic circles," said a political analyst at the University of Madagascar, Didier Ramakavelo. France - the former colonial power - the United States, Britain and China, have all formally endorsed Ravalomanana's government. Currently, only a handful of African countries officially recognise Ravalomanana, including Senegal, Libya, Burkina Faso, Mauritius and the Comoros.


AFP 16 Sept 2002 Donors warn Malawi President over bid for third term BLANTYRE, Sept 16 (AFP) - Major western donor nations on Monday warned President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi to think twice before considering a controversial amendment to the constitution that would allow him to stand for a third term. "We would again strongly urge that such an important constitutional amendment be considered only after a consultation process that encourages the free expression of views by all interested Malawians, without fear of intimidation or retribution, and in accordance with democratiic principles," a joint statement said. The statement was released in Lilongwe, the administrative capital of Malawi, by the mission of the European Union and the embassies of Britain, Germany, Norway and the United States. Donors bankroll up to 80 percent of the impoverished southern African nation's development budget. The bill was initially rejected in July by parliament, and Muluzi conceded defeat, saying he would accept the parliamentary ruling. However, the bill allowing sitting presidents to stand for three consecutive terms, was gazetted early this month and is set to be tabled in parliament next month. The donors said they noted with "regret" that the tabling of the bill had increased tensions within Malawian society, "resulting in a ban on demonstrations, increases in the level of intimidation and political violence and allegations of corruption." "We encourage all those involved in Malawi's democratic development to play their part in curbing political violence and intimidation and call on the government and the law enforcers to act appropriately and impartially against any and all reports of such violence and intimidation," the statement said. If passed, the bill will allow Muluzi to stand for a third term after his current term expires in 2004.


This Day (Lagos, Nigeria) 3 Sept 2002 Tiv-Jukun Crisis: Akume Seeks Expansion of Panel's Terms of Reference Lagos Benue State Governor, Mr. George Akume, has called for the expansion of the terms of reference of the Justice Opene Commission probing the recent Tiv-Jukun crisis to include the payment of compensation and scrutinising the role of the Federal Government during the crisis. Akume, who spoke while receiving the chairman and members of the Commission on a fact finding mission to the state, observed that although the terms of reference of the commission appear to be comprehensive, it seemed to have left out the role of the federal and local governments during the crisis. The governor said that the terms of reference of the commission needed to be expanded especially as the role of the security forces are the exclusive preserve of the federal government. According to the governor, it was unfortunate that the Middle Belt was being referred to as a crisis belt when it should be called the belt of poverty, which contributed immensely to the development of the country with nothing as its reward. He cited the non-completion of the Mambilla Hydro-electric project and the Ajaokuta Steel project as evidence of the neglect of the belt. Speaking earlier, Justice Okwuchukwu Opene, had stated that the tour was one of the initiatives of the committee through which it intended to interact with various stakeholders on the need for lasting peace in the region. The chairman said that during the tour members will visit selected areas of conflict for direct physical assessment of the situations. He recalled that the commission, which was inaugurated by President Olusegun Obasanjo on March 6, commenced sitting on May 21, 2002.

AP 4 Sept 2002 Obasanjo Accused of Ordering Massacres ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Lawmakers from Nigeria's ruling party stepped up efforts to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo Wednesday, accusing him of twice ordering soldiers to massacre civilians. The allegations were the most damning on a list of 17 charges of ``gross misconduct'' leveled by the Peoples Democratic Party caucus, which controls the House of Representatives. It was the first time lawmakers publicly accused Obasanjo of ordering the attacks, and marks another step toward impeaching the Nigerian leader, who is feted internationally but increasingly criticized at home. The first attack, allegedly ordered by the president, was a little-reported army raid on the southern Niger Delta town of Odi in November 1999 after seven police officers were killed in the area. Soldiers killed an estimated 1,000 civilians. The second was in October 2001 when the army killed hundreds in central Benue state after local militiamen executed 19 soldiers. ``He authorized the deployment of military troops to Odi to massacre innocent citizens without recourse to the National Assembly,'' House spokesman Farouk Lawan said Wednesday, reading the charges to reporters. Obasanjo similarly sent the army into Benue ``without lawful authority,'' he said. Presidential spokesman Tunji Oseni declined to comment on the charges, but said the presidency will respond formally in the coming days. Last week, the Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture and the Lagos-based Center for Law Enforcement Education asked the United Nations and Commonwealth ministers to investigate the role Obasanjo's government played in ethnic and religious clashes, which have killed more than 10,000 people since he came to power. Obasanjo has described the House's impeachment threat as ``a joke taken a little bit too far.'' But lawmakers, including those from his own ruling party, said he's acted autocratically and ignored the parliament's authority. Last week, lawmakers formed a committee to produce a list of specific examples of alleged misconduct by Obasanjo. The Senate threw its support behind the House's bid last week and said it would investigate allegations that Obasanjo broke government spending laws. The House also accused the president of violating the constitution by withdrawing more than $265 million from central bank accounts without needed parliamentary approval, failing to pay full entitlements to state governments and violating principles of transparency and accountability in managing government finances, Lawan said. The caucus gave the ruling party 10 days to present the president's defense before taking more action toward impeachment, Lawan said. This is not the first time the threat of impeachment has hung over Obasanjo. Previous attempts by the House to impeach the president have failed, and the Senate called off its attempts in June after Obasanjo negotiated a truce with Senate leaders. Analysts said the actions are designed to damage Obasanjo politically, but they doubted the new charges would lead to his removal. Obasanjo, whose 1999 election ended decades of brutal and corrupt military rule, will run for a second term in presidential elections tentatively expected to be held in April. He has warned of the danger of growing violence as politicians jockey for position ahead of the polls. More than 70 million Nigerians live in dire poverty, according to the United Nations.

IRIN 9 Sept 2002 Obasanjo proposes bill to pacify oil region LAGOS, 9 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has proposed a bill to increase the share of the country's oil revenue to states in the southern oil region, in an apparent effort to help pacify its increasingly restive communities. A senior presidential aide said on Monday that the bill, which seeks to address the current dichotomy between revenues from onshore and offshore oil production, was forwarded to the national assembly (parliament) last week. "It is expected the legislature will treat it urgently and end the growing disaffection of the Niger Delta people, after the Supreme Court gave the federal government control over offshore oil," the presidential aide told IRIN. Under the 1999 constitution, at least 13 percent of total oil revenue was to go to the impoverished oil region. However, on taking office, Obasanjo limited the allocation to 7.5 percent of revenues, on the grounds that offshore oil belonged to the federal government. Oil is the mainstay of Nigeria s economy, making the distribution of revenues a key element of the country s political dynamic. Following a dispute raised by the affected state governments, the federal government last year filed a complaint at the Supreme Court seeking a ruling on the ownership of offshore oil. In its judgment in March, the court ruled that offshore oil revenues belonged exclusively to the federal government. The ruling was viewed adversely in the oil regions, where it reduced the financial resources of most state governments. Akwa Ibom and Ondo lost most of their share of oil revenues, since most of the production in these states was offshore. There have since been a series of protests in the region, disrupting the operations of oil transnationals, in apparent reaction to the Supreme Court ruling. Obasanjo will be seeking re-election next year and the row over oil revenue distribution has raised questions about his electoral prospects in the Niger Delta, where he polled very strongly in 1999. Analysts see the proposed bill as a deft political stroke by Obasanjo, to repair his political standing in the region, which produces almost all of Nigeria's oil, ahead of next year's elections.

IRIN 10 Sept 2002 Lawyers demand emergency rule in Anambra State LAGOS, 10 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - The umbrella association of Nigerian lawyers has called on President Olusegun Obasanjo to declare emergency rule in the southeastern state of Anambra, where they allege that law and order has broken down irretrievably. A statement by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), sent to IRIN on Tuesday, said the call was in response to the brutal murder of its local branch chairman, Barnabas Igwe, and his wife, in the violence-prone city of Onitsha, Anambra State, on 1 September. The NBA blames the state governor, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, of whom Igwe was very critical, for the murders. "As at now, most of the legal practitioners based in Anambra State have been put under siege, living in fear for their lives," NBA president Wole Olanipekun said in the statement. "Anonymous telephone calls are reportedly being received by them [the lawyers] on an hourly basis, threatening to eliminate them for their guts in advising the state government to pay arrears of workers' salaries and govern in accordance with the constitution," he added. Unless the federal government intervened, the situation in Anambra State was soon likely to get out of control soon and threaten the whole of Nigeria, according to the NBA. There has so far been no response to the call from the presidency. Under emergency rule, the governor and the state legislature could be suspended, with President Obasanjo governing the state by decree until he was satisfied that normality had returned. Igwe and his wife were attacked by a group of armed men as they returned from an evening outing. According to witnesses, they were dragged out of their car and dealt several machete blows before being shot. Their assailants deliberately drove over their bodies before fleeing into the night, reports added. The deceased lawyer had been very critical of Mbadinuju over the arrears of several months of salaries owed the state workers, and for operating the anti-crime vigilante outfit known as the Bakassi Boys. Local and international human rights groups have accused the vigilante group of committing more than 1,000 extra-judicial killings since it was set up two years ago. Governor Mbadinuju has denied any involvement in the killing of the Igwes, and has offered to resign if a judicial inquiry established to investigate the killings linked his government to the deaths. The killings added to the climate of violence that has enveloped Nigeria over the last year and in the run-up to general elections scheduled for early 2003. In December 2001, the country's then Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Bola Ige, was killed in his home by as yet unknown assassins.

IRIN 13 Sept 2002 Plateau urges calm after church blast LAGOS, 13 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - The Plateau State government in central Nigeria on Thursday urged residents of the state capital, Jos, to remain calm after a bomb attack on a church gave rise to tension in the city. The explosion at the Church of Christ in Nigeria, in the Laranto suburb to the north of the city, on Wednesday caused slight damage but no injuries were reported. However, there was a surge of tension in the city in which more than 1,000 people died exactly a year before in sectarian violence involving Christians and Muslims. Since the September 2001 violence, clashes have occurred on a smaller scale between adherents of both faiths in different parts of Plateau State, claiming numerous lives. "The state government wishes to reassure all citizens to remain calm [sic] and go about their normal businesses as this isolated incident is being tackled by the relevant security agencies," Ezekiel Gomos, secretary to the state government said on Thursday. Those threatening the peace of the state would be dealt with decisively, he added. Security agencies in Plateau State, including the police and military, have been put on alert. Police bomb experts and detectives have launched an investigation into the bombing. Abraham Yiljap, spokesman for the Church of Christ in Nigeria, said the huge explosion on Wednesday morning shook buildings in the surrounding area and covered the church premises with thick, dark smoke.


WP 23 Sept 2002 Islam Attracting Many Survivors of Rwanda Genocide Jihad Is Taught as 'Struggle to Heal' By Emily Wax Page A10 RUHENGERI, Rwanda -- The villagers with their forest green head wraps and forest green Korans arrived at the mosque on a rainy Sunday afternoon for a lecture for new converts. There was one main topic: jihad. They found their seats and flipped to the right page. Hands flew in the air. People read passages aloud. And the word jihad -- holy struggle -- echoed again and again through the dark, leaky room. It wasn't the kind of jihad that has been in the news since Sept. 11, 2001. There were no references to Osama bin Laden, the World Trade Center or suicide bombers. Instead there was only talk of April 6, 1994, the first day of the state-sponsored genocide in which ethnic Hutu extremists killed 800,000 minority Tutsis and Hutu moderates. "We have our own jihad, and that is our war against ignorance between Hutu and Tutsi. It is our struggle to heal," said Saleh Habimana, the head mufti of Rwanda. "Our jihad is to start respecting each other and living as Rwandans and as Muslims." Since the genocide, Rwandans have converted to Islam in huge numbers. Muslims now make up 14 percent of the 8.2 million people here in Africa's most Catholic nation, twice as many as before the killings began. Many converts say they chose Islam because of the role that some Catholic and Protestant leaders played in the genocide. Human rights groups have documented several incidents in which Christian clerics allowed Tutsis to seek refuge in churches, then surrendered them to Hutu death squads, as well as instances of Hutu priests and ministers encouraging their congregations to kill Tutsis. Today some churches serve as memorials to the many people slaughtered among their pews. Four clergymen are facing genocide charges at the U.N.-created International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and last year in Belgium, the former colonial power, two Rwandan nuns were convicted of murder for their roles in the massacre of 7,000 Tutsis who sought protection at a Benedictine convent. In contrast, many Muslim leaders and families are being honored for protecting and hiding those who were fleeing. Some say Muslims did this because of the religion's strong dictates against murder, though Christian doctrine proscribes it as well. Others say Muslims, always considered an ostracized minority, were not swept up in the Hutus' campaign of bloodshed and were unafraid of supporting a cause they felt was honorable. "I know people in America think Muslims are terrorists, but for Rwandans they were our freedom fighters during the genocide," said Jean Pierre Sagahutu, 37, a Tutsi who converted to Islam from Catholicism after his father and nine other members of his family were slaughtered. "I wanted to hide in a church, but that was the worst place to go. Instead, a Muslim family took me. They saved my life." Sagahutu said his father had worked at a hospital where he was friendly with a Muslim family. They took Sagahutu in, even though they were Hutus. "I watched them pray five times a day. I ate with them and I saw how they lived," he said. "When they pray, Hutu and Tutsi are in the same mosque. There is no difference. I needed to see that." Islam has long been a religion of the downtrodden. In the Middle East and South Asia, the religion has had a strong focus on outreach to the poor and tackling social ills by banning alcohol and encouraging sexual modesty. In the United States, Malcolm X used a form of Islam to encourage economic and racial empowerment among blacks. Muslim leaders say they have a natural constituency in Rwanda, where AIDS and poverty have replaced genocide as the most daunting problems. "Islam fits into the fabric of our society. It helps those who are in poverty. It preaches against behaviors that create AIDS. It offers education in the Koran and Arabic when there is not a lot of education being offered," said Habimana, the chief mufti. "I think people can relate to Islam. They are converting as a sign of appreciation to the Muslim community who sheltered them during the genocide." While Western governments worry that the growth of Islam carries with it the danger of militancy, there are few signs of militant Islam in Rwanda. Nevertheless, some government officials quietly express concern that some of the mosques receive funding from Saudi Arabia, whose dominant Wahhabi sect has been embraced by militant groups in other parts of the world. They also worry that high poverty rates and a traumatized population make Rwanda the perfect breeding ground for Islamic extremism. But Nish Imiyimana, an imam here in Ruhengeri, about 45 miles northwest of Kigali, the capital, contends: "We have enough of our own problems. We don't want a bomb dropped on us by America. We want American NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] to come and build us hospitals instead." Imams across the country held meetings after Sept. 11, 2001, to clarify what it means to be a Muslim. "I told everyone, 'Islam means peace,' " said Imiyimana, recalling that the mosque was packed that day. "Considering our track record, it wasn't hard to convince them." That fact worries the Catholic church. Priests here said they have asked for advice from church leaders in Rome about how to react to the number of converts to Islam. "The Catholic church has a problem after genocide," said the Rev. Jean Bosco Ntagugire, who works at Kigali churches. "The trust has been broken. We can't say, 'Christians come back.' We have to hope that happens when faith builds again." To help make that happen, the Catholic church has started to offer youth sports programs and camping trips, Ntagugire said. But Muslims are also reaching out, even forming women's groups that provide classes on child care and being a mother. At a recent class here, hundreds of women dressed in red, orange and purple head coverings gathered in a dark clay building. They talked about their personal struggle, or jihad, to raise their children well. And afterward, during a lunch of beans and chicken legs, they ate heartily and shared stories about how Muslims saved them during the genocide. "If it weren't for the Muslims, my whole family would be dead," said Aisha Uwimbabazi, 27, a convert and mother of two children. "I was very, very thankful for Muslim people during the genocide. I thought about it and I really felt it was right to change."

Sierra Leone

IRIN 6 Sept 2002 Amputees to Take Part in Reconciliation Hearings ABIDJAN, 6 September (IRIN) - Sierra Leone's war amputees have agreed to take part in reconciliation hearings due to be organised by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Bishop Joseph Humper, chairman of the Commission, told IRIN on Friday. Amputees living at Murray Town camp in the capital, Freetown, had told the TRC during a meeting last week, that they would boycot the hearings because their issues and concerns had not been addressed. On Saturday 31 August, the amputees demanded food, monthly allowances, and health and education facilities during a radio broadcast. The Sierra Leonean government had only given priority to ex-combatants, they said. Humper said the amputees were important to the reconciliation hearings, and was pleased with their decision to take part. "They are key stakeholders," he told IRIN. "Their representatives met the president and other government leaders, who have promised to address their grievances. They have withdrawn their threat [of a boycott] and said they will cooperate with the TRC." A government statement on Wednesday said that President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah had dissuaded the amputees from pursuing a boycott and pledged that the government would pay more attention to their needs, despite the severe constraints it faces. "What appears to be greater attention being paid to ex-combatants at the expense of their victims is, in fact, part of the peace process..." the statement said. "The country now lives in peace [and will] now focus more attention on the needs of amputees." Several thousand Sierra Leoneans had their limbs amputated during the 1991-2001 war between government soldiers and rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The rebels are believed to have committed most of the atrocities. The international humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or 'Doctors Without Borders') reported that the amputees - whose limbs were brutally chopped off for the most part - had lived with pains for up to four years after being amputated. Many of suffered "stump and phantom pains", it said. At least 1,000 amputees are estimated to be alive in Sierra Leone; many others of those whose limbs were amputated died from infection or associated injuries. The TRC hopes to produce an impartial record of violations of human rights, address impunity, help the victims of war and rights abuses, promote healing and reconciliation, and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence of similar abuses in Sierra Leone.

IRIN 3 Sep 2002 SIERRA LEONE: Truth hearings delayed to November ABIDJAN, 3 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) plans to commence public hearings in November after setting up facilities for the hearings in several regions of the country, officials said on Tuesday. The TRC had hoped to commence the hearings in October but was forced to rethink after cutting its proposed 12-month budget from US $10 million to about $6 million, following a lukewarm response from donors. "The new budget was last month submitted to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. There are indications that it will be approved," acting spokesperson, Yebu Bangura, told IRIN. "Soon there should be some money in the kitty," she added. "The commissioners will then identify centres for the hearings to start in November." One of the key target groups for the hearings is war amputees, according to Bangura. They said on Saturday that they intended to boycott the hearings. "Last week, the TRC visited the amputees. They read a petition saying they would boycott the hearings until they were given food, monthly allowances, health and education facilities," Bangura told IRIN. Several thousand Sierra Leoneans had their limbs amputated during fighting between government soldiers and rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The rebels are believed to have committed most of the atrocities. Amputees living at Murray Town camp in the capital, Freetown, on Saturday broadcast a statement on Sierra Leone radio repeating their demands. Camp secretary-general Sahr Soriba said they also wanted a life stipend of rice, a monthly allowance and repatriation grants so they could go back to their villages. Bangura said most of amputees' demands fell beyond the TRC's mandate. "We are equally concerned and will make recommendations to the appropriate authorities," she said. "However, there is a misunderstanding: the TRC is not part of government [and able] to provide the amputees with what they require. It is an independent commission." Inaugurated officially on 5 July, the TRC is intended to offer a forum where perpetrators and victims of abuses during Sierra Leone's 10-year civil war can "tell their stories in an effort to heal the wounds of war". The Commission hopes to produce an impartial record of violations of human rights and humanitarian law, address impunity, help the victims, promote healing and reconciliation, and prevent any repetition of abuses.


AFP 3 Sept 2002 Landmine kills five in central Somalia MOGADISHU, Sept 3 (AFP) - A landmine killed five people and wounded nine others overnight at Ragheli village in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region, elders in the Somali capital said on Tuesday. "Among those killed was Hassan Fidow Asir, a prominent elder who was in the region to mediate in inter-clan fighting," said one of the elders, who have sent vehicles to the area to collect the wounded. Ragheli village is 127 kilometres (79 miles) north of Mogadishu. Asir had successfully mediated a ceasefire in fighting between gunmen from the Ali-Gaf and Mahadade sub-clans of the bigger Abgal clan, which had claimed some 25 lives in central Somalia's Masaguway village July 20 to 21. Another elder, Shire Haji Dalfa, was among the wounded, elders and relatives said. "Landmines had been planted in the area in July after the two rival subclans fought, but most of them had not been dismantled after hostilities subsided," Ragheli militia leader Abdi Mohmud told AFP by radio on Tuesday.

IRIN 4 Sept 2002 Somalia: Over 15 killed in Mogadishu fighting NAIROBI, 4 September (IRIN) - At least 15 people were killed and over 30 wounded in two days of fighting in the north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a local journalist told IRIN on Wednesday. The fighting, in the districts of Karaan and Yaqshiid, broke out early on Tuesday morning, when militia of the Warsangeli subclan attacked militia forces belonging to the Agon-Yar subclan. Both groups belong to the main Abgal clan. The fighting, which subsided later on Tuesday, resumed on Wednesday morning. The fighting which was initially confined to the Fagah road junction area has reportedly spread to all parts of Yaqshiid and Karaan, a Mogadishu resident, Awil Hashi, told IRIN. "We had a lull yesterday, but it is intensifying today," he said on Wednesday. "This fighting is a continuation of earlier fighting between the two sides in Mogadishu, in May," he added. In May, Warsangeli forces loyal to the self-styled governor of Middle Shabelle, Muhammad Umar Habeb, attacked and looted the home of Dahir Dayah, the interior minister of the Transitional National Government (TNG). The minister is a member of the Agon Yar subclan. "Each side is out to avenge perceived wrongs done to them by the other side," the local journalist said. Hospital sources in Mogadishu told IRIN they had six new cases of wounded people from Wednesday's fighting. Most of the victims are said to be non-combatants caught up in the crossfire. "Up to now we estimate that at least 15 have been killed and over 30 wounded since yesterday [Tuesday], but exact figures will come out once the clashes stop," one hospital worker told IRIN. Meanwhile, a landmine killed five elders in the Middle Shabelle Region. The elders were returning from the Galgadud Region where they had successfully mediated a ceasefire in fighting between two subclans of the Abgal, sources in Mogadishu told IRIN. The elders' vehicle struck a landmine at Raga-Ele village, some 130 km north of Mogadishu. "Five elders died on the spot, while 10 were wounded," the sources said, adding that the wounded had been taken to hospitals in Mogadishu.

South Africa

Independent (South Africa) 4 Sept 2002 Farmer's case against Mugabe under spotlight By Angela Quintal A Robertson farmer with property interests in Zimbabwe wants Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe arrested and prosecuted in South Africa for alleged crimes against humanity. Richard Barry on Wednesday invoked an international statute which has been incorporated into South African law and which gives local courts jurisdiction in cases of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. The announcement was made at a press conference in the Democratic Alliance's offices in Parliament. Mugabe had left South Africa by the time the call for his arrest was made, according to South African foreign ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa. Mamoepa told Sapa that any head of state attending the earth summit had diplomatic immunity. He declined to comment further. However, a Stellenbosch University lecturer in international criminal law, Gerhard Kemp, said the South African law expressly excluded the defence of immunity for heads of state accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Referring to the allegations of state-sponsored torture, rape, violence and mass removal of people in Zimbabwe, he said these could be viewed as crimes against humanity in terms of the act. Kemp said South African courts would also have jurisdiction even if the victims were not South Africans, as long as the alleged perpetrator was visiting the country. Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was not available for comment. National Directorate of Public Prosecutions spokesman Sipho Ngwema said the process to be followed in such a case included that a complaint should be lodged, a statement made and then the evidence would be evaluated to see whether there was grounds for an arrest. "However, there has been no request or a complaint from anybody. We don't arrest on the basis of press statements. If people have evidence they must come forward." DA justice spokesman Dr Tertius Delport told reporters Barry's affidavit would be faxed to National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka. The original would be lodged with the provincial directorate in Cape Town later on Wednesday. Delport said he believed that Mugabe's actions against white farmers in Zimbabwe constituted a crime against humanity. The Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act came into operation on July 18. "The Act stipulates if any of those crimes are committed against any South African citizen anywhere in the world, that perpetrator is subject to the South African courts to be heard here and tried here in South Africa by our own courts," Delport said. Mugabe had committed a crime against humanity against a South African citizen, Delport charged. "I contend that this complaint is a valid one, that our courts have jurisdiction over Mr Mugabe and that the proper course of action would be to arrest him." Delport - who on two occasions referred to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia - said he had no doubt in his mind that the methods used by the Zimbabwean government against white farmers were "inhumane". He denied the charge against Mugabe was trivialising crimes against humanity as experienced in Bosnia and Rwanda. "You get degrees in all of these crimes. "Must we go to the extent of what we saw in Bosnia, before we take any steps? Surely not. How do we know how this is going to end? What is the next step? We do not know. That is why I have no doubt in my mind that this is a crime against humanity. "But what we are experiencing now, whether you were in a death camp in Nazi Germany, or whether you were forced off land and maybe even killed on your own farm, makes no difference to the victim". "It's part of an orchestrated effort to achieve illegal objectives by abusing the state's power." British gay rights activist Peter Thatchell is among those who have previously called for Mugabe's arrest. In 1999 he tried to make a citizen's arrest while Mugabe was visiting London on a shopping trip. - Sapa

Sunday Times (Johannesburg) 8 Sept 2002 Butcher of Bisho Won't Say Sorry Rowan Philp THE former ruler of Ciskei who orchestrated the Bisho massacre 10 years ago yesterday refused to apologise for the tragedy that killed 28 unarmed marchers and wounded 250, saying that he was answerable only to God. Brigadier Oupa Gqozo - now living near King William's Town and disabled by a robber's bullet - sent a note via his household staff saying that the facts of the massacre were merely "what this world want them to be", and that his account would be ignored. On September 7 1992, Gqozo blocked 60 000 people, who were legally demonstrating, from entering Bisho, which was then capital of Ciskei. Gqozo sat in a building within sight of the scene as his soldiers mowed the marchers down. This week Gqozo wrote: "I am no more important to the people of this world. I am only very important to the Lord, my creator and saviour." Asked about reconciliation, he said: "I have absolutely no comment." At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996, Gqozo claimed the shooting had been "defensive" and was started when a Ciskei Defence Force soldier was killed by gunfire from the ANC and Cosatu marchers. However, the commission accepted ballistics and witness evidence that the soldier was shot in the back of the head by one of his own comrades, long after the shooting had begun. But Gqozo never admitted to wrongdoing. Of his soldiers, who fired continuously for over two minutes, he said: "Perhaps, if one views the situation in retrospect, they may have overreacted." This week, Nokuzola Ndlela, 32, one of the 250 people wounded in the attack, said she had "wanted revenge" for many years, but she now forgave Gqozo. Now a membership officer for the ANC in King William's Town, Ndlela was shot three times in her thigh while trying to flee from the soldiers, and still has one bullet lodged there. "I'm angry and I still can't forget it, but I have found I can also forgive," Ndlela said. "[Gqozo] is suffering too, now." [Note: On March 13 2002 two former Ciskei Defence Force (CDF) soldiers were acquitted on all charges relating to the Bisho massacre of September 7, 1992. Former lieutenant-colonel Vakele Archibald Mkosana, 42, ordered troops to fire on a breakaway group when 80000 ANC supporters marched to Bisho. Former rifleman Mzamile Thomas Gonya, 43, had fired on them with a grenade launcher. ]

News 24 5 Sept 2002 - (SA) Mock attack in Bloem Bloemfontein - Paratroopers and helicopters are to descend on several Bloemfontein suburbs from early on Friday morning as the first phase of one of the largest SA National Defence Force (SANDF) exercises in recent years kicks into gear. Soldiers, medics and airmen under the direction of 43 SA Brigade have been preparing for Exercise Iron Eagle for months and arrived in Bloemfontein on Wednesday to receive orders and final training. SANDF spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Skillie le Roux on Thursday said Iron Eagle would consist of two distinct parts, namely an urban non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) starting at 06:00 on Friday in Bloemfontein itself, code-named Black Hawk. A separate relief operation at the Army's Combat Training Centre (CTC) would get under way at Lohatlha on Monday. This phase would be called Peace Dove. According to the exercise scenario, part of the drill will be conducted under the UN Charter's Chapter 6 peacekeeping rules and partly under the more aggressive Chapter 8, which allows Lesotho-style interventions. Black Hawk would start with 70 airborne troops pre-emptively seizing Tempe airport and its approaches. Two companies of 128 each would descend elsewhere in the city to carry out a number of training missions. Le Roux said Pathfinder scouts have been operating in the city to prepare the drop zones since Monday. Once the Tempe airport was secured, it would be used as a "safe harbour" for civilians evacuated there from other parts of the city during the NEO. On Saturday morning the action would be at the Noordstad shopping mall, which would be the venue of a mock attack by 80 soldiers from 6 SA Infantry Battalion. Supporting them would be a detachment from 4 Artillery Regiment as well as five Oryx and three Alouette transport helicopters. The helicopters would be covered by two Rooivalk attack helicopters and two Impala light strike aircraft. Several hundred school children had also been roped in to act as civilians and would be rewarded with helicopter flights on Saturday morning. A 60-member composite platoon from 44 Parachute Regiment's reserve component 2 and 3 Parachute Battalions would next carry out a "grab operation" at the Fichardt Park high school where they would rescue 15 pupils and airlift them to the airport. At 13:00 60 pupils at a Momedi school would have the same privilege and 30 minutes later 20 children at Fichardt Park primary school and 35 at Onze Rust would follow. NEOs have been common in Africa. In 1998 US and French forces rescued their and other citizens from Kinshasa as forces under Laurent Kabila closed in on the city. Twenty years previously French Foreign Legionnaires took the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) city of Kolwezi in a parachute assault to save expatriate mine workers and their families from Angolan-supported insurgents. Although the exercise comes shortly before the SANDF is expected to deploy a reinforced infantry battalion of 1500 to the DRC to police a recent peace accord there, Le Roux said the exercise was planned last year to better prepare the SA Army and did not imply any operational commitment. If authorised by President Thabo Mbeki, the battalion was likely to depart for the eastern DRC in late October. Iron Eagle is the second major exercise for the SANDF this year. In June the SANDF held Exercise Golden Eagle, which tested the ability of the Air Force to protect the country's airspace and support its sister services. Le Roux said the Peace Dove phase of Iron Eagle involved forces coming to the assistance of a South African detachment cut-off by rebels during a peacekeeping operation. A force including 256 paratroopers would be sent to their rescue. During a UN intervention in Rwanda during its 1994 genocide, a Belgian patrol was cut off by extremists - and murdered. More recently, a Zambian contingent was disarmed and taken hostage by Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone. Several were murdered. The majority were eventually rescued. For this reason recent SANDF training scenarios have increasingly reflected the view that if fighting resumed during a peace support operation involving the SANDF, the military could become involved in limited intensity conventional conflict. Another realisation was that volatile conditions in the region would not allow for sufficient warning to enable the significant expansion of military capabilities beyond a limited call-up of the reserve forces. For this reason, Iron Eagle included reserve elements. "Most SANDF operations will require a response time of three months or less. Operations will thus have to be conducted essentially with available forces," a recent training analysis said.


Telegraph Uk 3 Sept 2002 Sudan quits peace talks with rebels By Adrian Blomfield in Nairobi The Sudanese government pulled out of peace talks with southern rebels yesterday, threatening to tip the country back into a full-scale civil war that has lasted 19 years and claimed two million lives. The move came after rebels attacked a 4,000-strong government garrison in the south of the country, seizing the strategic town of Torit. Mustafa Osman Ismail, the foreign minister, said peace talks in Kenya would not resume until the rebels' attitude changed. "The energies of the state and the Sudanese people will be directed towards military operations," he said. "This position will change when we are convinced that the rebels are serious about continuing peace. The situation now is a war situation." The Sudan People's Liberation Army has been fighting the government since 1983. Yesterday it said it had taken Torit, the rebels' former headquarters, which fell to Khartoum in 1992. Torit's capture gives the rebels control of the only supply and transport route to Juba, Sudan's southern capital, which is in government hands. Sudan's army said troops were being mobilised to retake Torit after some 9,000 rebels attacked the town and forced 4,000 government troops to retreat. "We have lost a battle but not the war," Gen Mohamed Beshir Suleiman, the armed forces spokesman, said in a statement broadcast by state radio. Torit was the biggest rebel gain since the capture of Kapoeta, another strategic town in the south about 50 miles from the Kenyan border three months ago. Samson Kwaje, the rebels' spokesman, accused the government of double standards, saying Khartoum had launched offensives throughout the peace talks. "While we were talking in June and July, they took three major places from us," he said. "While we have been here for the last three weeks, they have been bombarding us. They go on an offensive and, when we retaliate, they say no?" he said. Six weeks ago the warring factions agreed the outlines of a peace accord to end the war. For the first time, the Muslim-dominated government in Khartoum agreed to allow southerners, most of whom are animists, a referendum on self-determination after there was a transition period of four to six years. Another hurdle was also overcome: the north promised the south freedom of religion and an exemption from sharia law. The second phase of talks began in mid-August and the two sides were expected to agree a ceasefire and reach some sort of deal to share the country's considerable oil resources. Government controlled oilfields in the south produce 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Southerners are demanding a share of the oil revenues. Most of the civil war's atrocities in recent years have been committed around the oilfields as the government tries to expand its territory in the southern zone. Aid agencies say Khartoum is carrying out a policy of "ethnic cleansing" in the area as it throws a cordon sanitaire around multi-nationals operating in the fields, among them Rolls Royce. The rebels want to enlarge the area of southern Sudan that will be covered by the self-rule regime agreed upon in the July 20 agreement, Khartoum radio alleged. But the rebels "started changing the agenda of the negotiations by calling for the annexing of Abyei and Ingasana to the south, with the knowledge that the Machakos [accord] specified the southern boundaries as those of the three southern provinces as at independence on Jan 1, 1956," the government radio added.

ArabicNews.com 7 Sept 2002 Egypt's relations with Sudan question of life or death Sudan-Egypt, Politics, Sudanese Foreign Minister stressed that Egypt's relations with Sudan is a question of life or death, reiterating that Sudan would not allow any relapse in these relations. These remarks were released during Ismail's meeting with members of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs under chairmanship of Ambassador Mohammed Ibrahim Shaker. Ismail said the political leadership is "very conscious" and does not leave any other causes to affect these relations, underlining the importance of the Egyptian role in consolidating relations between the Sudanese parties. He also described as "very important" EgyptÕs continuing relations with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM). "Egypt was not far from the Machakos negotiations and the Sudanese government was keen on the direct Egyptian participation in every step," he added. "Egypt has its own strategies as it saw that its non-participation in the negotiation would strength to Sudan better than its intervention," he said. The minister acknowledged that there is a highly complicated problem in the Sudanese south and that the North-South war led to the failure of all initiatives to settle the crisis, a matter that rendered citizens in south Sudan underdeveloped and second-class ones. As regards the Machakos agreement, the Sudanese top diplomat said his government has signed the protocol with SPLM although it was not the best of options. He said the Machakos protocol has put Sudan's territorial integrity to the test, expressing fears over the hazards of separation, now that the tribal system in south Sudan could start genocide operations similar to what happened in Rawanda. If separation happened and Sudan was divided, this could lead to the division of Ethiopia whose constitutions stipulate that ethnicities have the right to self-determination and a chaos could prevail in the whole region. He accused SPLM of rejecting the cease-fire and that SPLM leader john Garang has plans to seize lands and control other territories that are not belonging to the southern areas' borders recognized in January 1956.

ICG 17 Sept 2002 CRISISWEB NEWS Sudan's Best Chance for Peace: How Not to Lose It The first round of the promising peace process mediated by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) produced the breakthrough Machakos Protocol, with provisional agreements on the key issues of a self-determination referendum for the South, and religion and state. However, the government walked out of the second round after losing an important city on the battlefield in early September. IGAD mediators and the observer countries (U.S., UK, Norway, Italy) must devise a strategy for reviving the talks and then keeping the parties focused on negotiating a comprehensive solution. Compromises are needed on the important remaining issues, notably redistribution of power and wealth, including oil revenues, that give the rebel SPLA movement incentives to work for keeping the country together when Southerners vote after the agreed six-year interim period on unity or secession. For the full report, please see CrisisWeb - http://www.crisisweb.org

Tanzania -ICTR

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 26 Sept 2002 Professor Had "Nazi Style" Literature , Prosecutor Tells Tribunal Arusha A prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday suggested to judges that genocide suspect and former media chief, Ferdinand Nahimana, demonised Tutsis, "Nazi style", in the run up to the 1994 genocide. Prosecutor Steven Rapp of the US was cross-examining Nahimana on his seventh day on the stand. Accusing Nahimana of anti-Tutsi literature, Rapp referred to a 15-page essay written by Nahimana in 1993 with the tittle "Rwanda : problems and solutions". In the essay, Nahimana talks of a conspiracy by a "Tutsi league" to destabilise the country. "Isn't this similar to the Nazi theory of an international Jewish conspiracy that was blamed for European problems", Rapp asked Nahimana. "In doing that, weren't you playing with fire given the situation in Rwanda at the time", he added. "No", responded Nahimana. "The league existed and we all know it (?) It's a development that took place whose consequences we all know", he added. Nahimana said that the "league" comprised of Tutsi opposition parties in the diaspora. The prosecution maintains that Nahimana's multiple references to a "Tutsi league" were not qualified and were therefore meant to refer to all Tutsis in and outside Rwanda. Nahimana is a founder and alleged former controller of "hate-radio", Radio-télévision libre des Mille collines (RTLM). He was also a history professor at the National University of Rwanda. He is jointly on trial with two other suspects linked with the media in Rwanda before and during the genocide. The two are : Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician, RTLM founder and board member and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper "Kangura". Nahimana continues his testimony on Friday. The trial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Møse of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka.


New Vision (Kampala) 19 Sept, 2002 Pangas Banned in Nakivale Allan Turyaguma Kampala Mbarara resident district commissioner Joseph Arwata has banned the public from carrying pangas (machetes) in Nakivale refugee resettlement camp. Arwata said on Monday that any refugee found moving with a panga in a public place would be arrested and charged with illegal possession of a dangerous weapon. Arwata and top district security officials had visited the camp to assess the situation following the ghastly incident in which a Rwandan refugee hacked to death one child. "The symbol of the panga is very bad for us Ugandans, especially due to the recent history in our neighbouring country (Rwanda) where the panga was used to commit human atrocities," he said. In 1994, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in neighbouring Rwanda were killed mainly by hacking in genocide instigated by the Interahamwe militias. He said pangas should be restricted to the shambas and homes for cutting down plantations.

AFP 22 Sept 2002 Ugandan army rescues 17 children from rebel captivity KAMPALA, Sept 22 (AFP) - The Ugandan army said Sunday it had rescued 17 children who had been abducted by fighters of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), who have stepped up attacks in the country's north since May. Army spokesman Lieutenant Paddy Ankunda told AFP by telephone from Gulu town that the LRA rebels abandoned the children when troops engaged them in a firefight at Koch Goma, near the Murchison Falls National Park, on Saturday. He said the army had, during the past week, rescued a total of 59 people, including the 17 children, from rebel captivity in northern Uganda. The LRA recruits mainly through abduction and is estimated to have kidnapped at least 10,000 children and young people. The group intensified its violent campaign, largely against civilians, in northern Uganda in May after a lull of almost two years. The escalation followed the signing in March of a protocol between Uganda and Sudan under which Kampala is allowed to send troops in government-controlled areas of southern Sudan to fight the LRA, which is said to have rear bases there.


IRIN 6 Sept 2002 Displaced fleeing to towns to escape violence - Police implicated in political violence and intimidation JOHANNESBURG, 6 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe's rural areas is forcing victims to flee to major towns and cities, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) warned in its latest report. Many of the displaced, who reportedly have escaped with little but the clothes on their backs, have become stranded in urban areas without food, shelter or medical care. ZimRights said supporters of both the ruling party ZANU-PF, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have been victims and perpetrators of the political violence. However, "the majority of victims were assaulted, arrested, detained and chased from their homes by the police and ZANU-PF supporters," the organisation noted. ZimRights had received "a plethora of political violence cases from Buhera North, Chipinge and Chimanimani [in the eastern Manicaland Province] during the months of July and August 2002". Apart from the destruction of homes and property, "relatives and children of supporters of the MDC were tortured, assaulted and subjected to various forms of inhumane and degrading treatment". "Interviews with the victims who thronged ZimRights head offices in [the capital] Harare reveal that the problem has reached unprecedented levels," ZimRights said. In August alone, ZimRights helped 152 "cases" at its head office. The group called for urgent humanitarian aid to displaced persons in Harare, and other cities. It also warned that the level of violence was increasing as the country braced for local council elections to be held later this month. "Buhera North has been specifically targeted because it is the home area of the president of the MDC [Morgan Tsvangirai]. Police details operating in the area have been assaulting, arresting and detaining people for no just cause," ZimRights alleged. The police had also teamed up with ZANU-PF youth militias and the perpetrators of violence were not being arrested, the rights group said. However, police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena denied that the police were acting in "cahoots with ZANU-PF". "It's a false allegation. We go in to arrest people when they commit an offence, irrespective of their political allegiance. We don't need support from any groups of people," he told IRIN. Meanwhile, in a rare interview with foreign journalists on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe said his government's seizure of white-owned farms had not contributed to the country's food shortages. "If anything, it's the only way you can empower people to produce, not just for subsistence, but to enable them to enjoy life and to enable the country to continue to export maize," the Associated Press quoted him as saying. The World Food Programme estimates that about six million Zimbabweans are threatened with hunger over the next six months. The food crisis has been blamed on a severe drought during the growing season, and Mugabe's land redistribution programme. Last month, 2,900 white commercial farmers were ordered to leave their land. Many disobeyed the order, and about 300 were arrested, most of whom have since been released on bail.

IRIN 12 Sept 2002 Malnutrition worsening JOHANNESBURG, 12 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - Malnutrition rates are increasing at an alarming rate in Zimbabwe, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday. "All the assessments show that it is actually getting worse, as we move away from the harvest season towards the new planting season ... things have got worse," UNICEF Representative in Harare, Festo Kavishe, told IRIN. Figures from a joint assessment conducted in August by the Zimbabwe National Vulnerability Assessment Committee, the World Food Programme, and UNICEF showed that wasting rates have increased from 6.4 percent to 7.1 percent, underweight rates from 20.4 percent to 24.4 percent, while stunting rose from 33 percent to 43.2 percent. UNICEF was set to provide vital nutritional support for 129,000 young children and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding in Zimbabwe. A convoy of trucks recently brought in 360 mt of UNIMIX, a supplementary food for children, from South Africa. Kavishe said the UNIMIX could be used to make a porridge and was "mainly composed of soya and maize fortified with several micronutrients, which includes multi-vitamins and minerals," to provide a nutritional boost to recipients. "The consignment is the first in a number of procurements which will eventually bring the total to 1,200 mt. The funding for the US $700,000 programme has been provided by UNICEF and ECHO [European Commission - Humanitarian Aid Office]," UNICEF said in a statement. Zimbabwe has the highest number of people at risk from a humanitarian crisis that affects six countries in Southern Africa. An estimated six million Zimbabweans need aid as a result of severe food shortages, poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. "The supplementary feeding programme is due to start on Monday 16 [September] and will target five districts in the north east of the country. It is expected to last three months. UNICEF will closely monitor and evaluate its feeding programme together with other UN agencies, donors, government counterparts and NGOs," the agency said. Community health workers were being trained to make the UNIMIX porridge, which is given as part of a planned nutritional programme to children under five and women who are in particular need of dietary supplements. "The workers will be educated on the need to use safe water sources and to keep accurate weight records of beneficiaries," UNICEF noted. "We are seeing a frightening and rapid deterioration in the condition of many children. We are trying to provide a timely and relevant response to save children from severe damage if not death," Kavishe said. UNICEF has appealed for more than US $26 million to assist emergency programmes in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. In July, the agency appealed for US $8 million for Zimbabwe. So far, it has received just US $1.2 million, Kavishe said. "We've requested close to US $4.5 million for nutrition [programmes] alone and received about US $900,000 so far," he added.


XINHUA (China) 17 Sept 2002 Rio Group urges UN members to support International Criminal Court SAN JOSE, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) --The Group of Rio backed the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and appealed to all UN members to ratify its founding statute, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Roberto Tovar said Monday. Tovar made the remarks in New York, where his country and other 18 member states of the Latin American group, on the sidelines of the 57th UN General Assembly, signed a document urging the ratification of the Rome Statute, a founding law that came into force on July 1. In the document, the group called on "those countries that have not adopted or ratified it (the Rome Statute)" to consider doing so soon. "We highlight the historical significance of putting into effect this international criminal jurisdiction, which will investigate war crimes and crimes against mankind," the document said. The document also urged the state parties of the Rome Statute to maintain and extend their joint effort to pursue those that have committed war crimes. The ICC is the first permanent international forum established to prosecute those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in cases in which relevant national authorities fail to take action. A total of 139 nations have signed the Rome Statute to lay the legal foundation of the court at a special UN conference in Rome in 1998. More than 70 signatories have ratified the statute, exceeding the minimum 60 countries required for the effectiveness of the ICC, which is prepared to take up legal cases from January 2003. The United States, claiming that its citizens are vulnerable to politically biased prosecutions, withdrew its signature from the statute on May 6.


Reuters 16 Sept 2002 Brazil Closes Site of 1992 Prison Massacre Reuters Monday, September 16, 2002; Page A14 SAO PAULO, Brazil, Sept. 15 -- Brazil today shut down a colossal crumbling prison, the largest in Latin America and the site of a 1992 massacre of 111 inmates. The last 76 inmates from a prison population of nearly 8,000 left Sao Paulo's Casa de Detencao in heavily guarded vehicles. "It did not offer security, it was condemned on health grounds and there was no rehabilitation of inmates," the governor of Sao Paulo state, Geraldo Alckmin, said at a ceremony marking the close. He said the prison has housed 170,000 men over 46 years. As a foul smell lingered in filthy cells and hallways, Alckmin strode through the notoriously violent Cell Block 8, where 1,600 inmates had left behind pictures of naked women, scraps of food and cooking utensils. Casa de Detencao, near the financial center of Sao Paulo, was the nucleus of Brazil's biggest prison uprising last year. Using cell phones, a powerful gang organized a "mega rebellion" that engulfed 29 prisons with nearly 30,000 inmates and led to a 27-hour siege with 7,000 hostages taken. Authorities had feared a repeat of the "Carandiru massacre" in 1992, when police stormed the prison and killed 111 inmates. Negotiators in last year's rebellion averted a blood bath, but authorities decided that Detencao's days were over. The prison, built for 3,250 inmates, became a symbol of hopeless overcrowding. Staffing was inadequate, and Cell Block 8 at its worst had just three guards for 1,600 inmates. "The psychological impact was very big," said Andre Cardoso, a guard who was taken hostage several times. Sister Noemi, a nun who worked at Detencao, said: "There were no good moments. When you didn't have problems in one cellblock, you had them in another. There were deaths all the time."

Canada NYT 18 Sept 2002 (excerpts) Not All Sunshine for Teensy Set's Troubadour By ROBIN POGREBIN ou almost don't want to meet Raffi in person. You want to preserve the vision of the man you know only as a voice, lulling squirmy children in the back seat of the car with original folk songs like "One Light, One Sun," or standards with a twist like "This Little Light of Mine." You don't want to realize that the Canadian singer, 53, in real life is a considerably darker, far more complex person — as most adults are. That he has no children of his own who can laugh along with his rendition of "Apples and Bananas" or fall asleep to his lullabies. [. . .] His parents died in 1995, within 12 hours of each other on the same day, his mother of abdominal cancer, his father apparently of grief. "It was an astonishing exit for two remarkable lives," he said. "I knew one chapter of my life had come to a close." He wrote his autobiography (printed on chlorine-free paper), "The Life of a Children's Troubadour" (Homeland Press: 1999) and went on a book tour. And he began to get involved in children's environmental health issues, attending scientific conferences, reading literature on the subject, studying infants' brain development. "I'm fascinated by children and how they grow," he said. In his autobiography, Raffi refers to his own "melancholy" childhood, growing up in fear of his demanding parents. "There was so much I was not doing right or hearing right," he writes. "Always something that made me wrong in my parents' view." This experience played out as depression in adulthood. In his memoir, Raffi discusses mood swings that made him wonder if he was manic-depressive. "Like my father, I had the habit of seeing what was wrong or missing in things at first glance," he writes. He describes himself as insecure yet controlling and intolerant of other people — tendencies that dissipated with spiritual counseling. "I was so absorbed with my role in the limelight and so accustomed to being the center of attention that it was often hard to find balance offstage, at work or at home," he writes. "It was hard for me to be in a conversation that didn't revolve around me or my work." On his new album, Raffi said he wanted to include songs that would influence policymakers, thus "It Takes a Village," which the CD's liner notes say was "inspired by Dr. Fraser Mustard" — an expert in early childhood development — and is based on an old African proverb. Raffi said the proceeds from the 2001 CD "Country Goes Raffi" (Rounder), a tribute album with Raffi favorites sung by country greats, went to the Partnership for Children's Environmental Health. Speaking of the financial rewards of his career, he said: "It's given me more than what I need. Enough that it's wonderful and not too much." To address the situation in the Middle East, Raffi recently wrote "Salaam Shalom," available at turnthisworldaround.org. He said the song took him back to his roots. He was born Raffi Cavoukian in Cairo. His Armenian parents escaped the massacre of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. After living in Jerusalem and Syria, they emigrated to Toronto in 1958, where Raffi sang in his church choir, got his first guitar and became obsessed with Bob Dylan. "Dylan rocked my world when I was young," he said. He was inspired by the music of Woody Guthrie's "Songs to Grow On," and of the group the Babysitters. And he realized there wasn't much for preschoolers in the bins at record stores. The mother of Deborah Joan Pike, his wife to be, invited him to sing at her nursery school. As Raffi recounted the story, "A children's entertainment angel said: `Here is this folk singer. Maybe he needs to direct his music to another audience.' " The singer added, "I feel it's been a calling." His first album, released in 1976, was "Singable Songs for the Very Young." Raffi described his joy at seeing children on the ferry from Vancouver to his home on Mayne Island, British Columbia. "Just seeing their dazzling light: 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-year-olds,' " he said. "It's marvelous." Why didn't he ever have any children of his own? "Neither Deb nor I had any interest," he said. "Having kids isn't a prerequisite. It's just one of those things." His one attempt at a record for grown-ups, "Evergreen, Everblue" (Rounder), released in 1990, was a folk album aimed at educating people about ecology. "That sort of thing doesn't necessarily sell boatloads," Ms. McCormick of Billboard said. But Raffi said he returned to children's music, not out of economic necessity, but because it still enthralls him. "I'm told there are few who can do this well," he said. "If that's the case, I'm lucky this work found me and that I've grown in it."


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Sept 2002 Colombian Refugees Return Home JUAN PABLO TORO Associated Press Writer QUIBDO, Colombia (AP) - "Noah's Ark" advanced slowly on the Atrato River, creaking under the weight of hundreds of refugees warily making their way home. The long, wooden two-tiered boat was just one of three on the river Sunday, each headed for Bojaya, a village on Colombia's Pacific Coast where 119 people were killed May 2 when their church came under fire from guerrillas battling paramilitaries. It was one of the biggest losses of civilian lives in the 38-year history of the country's civil war, provoking an exodus of at least 6,000 people from in and around Bojaya. Four months later, the first 1,000 or so refugees to return said they were eager to go home. "I'm no longer afraid," said Nelson Chavera, a farmer who lost his 24-year-old son Juan in the mortar attack. "I'm happy to be going home, that's where I need to be." Like many of his fellow passengers, Chavera, 55, had tried to make a new life 60 miles away in Quibdo, the capital of the predominantly Afro-Colombian Choco province. After being unemployed and living in tight quarters with relatives, he decided things couldn't be much worse up north in Bojaya. "What I have isn't much, but at least there we can pick bananas, and fish in the river," said Chavera, sitting among sacks of potatoes, live chickens and his neighbors on the boat. "After all, it's my land." Chavera's land is wanted by both the guerrillas and paramilitaries, who see it as one of many regions strategic for exporting drugs and importing weapons. The decades-old war crippling Colombia pits rebel groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, against the government and the illegal paramilitaries. About 3,500 people die every year. During the fighting in May, members of the FARC launched a homemade mortar that hit the church where terrified locals were huddling. The FARC claims the attack, in which 45 of those killed were children, was an accident, but the United Nations called it a war crime and the then-President Andres Pastrana labeled it genocide. Antun Ramos, a priest from Bojaya, spent a month and a half with a psychologist before he could stop seeing the piles of those killed in his nightmares. Though he still remembers the pain of watching his parishioners die, he knows his most difficult work is ahead of him - helping his community move beyond the trauma it suffered. Ramos boarded a smaller boat from Quibdo as the refugees set off on their 10-hour journey Sunday. "When I first went back to the village after the tragedy, I felt that I had to go," he said. "But now I really want to go back to work in the community." The unexpected deaths overwhelmed local customs, Ramos said. Usually the people of the region perform intricate rituals for their dead, but this time, the cadavers were quickly buried in common graves to avoid quick decomposition in the stifling heat. Traditionally, when a child dies the parents hold a wake where the body is passed from hand to hand as relatives and friends drink alcohol and pray. This ceremony, explained Ramos, was brought to the region by African slaves who mourned the death of children but also rejoiced that they would not suffer the same fate as their parents. The refugees' homecoming Sunday night was bittersweet. While some villagers danced to popular Colombian music and feasted on local food, others mourned the loss of loved ones. "Why me?" asked Heiler Martinez, 28, who after getting off the boat headed straight for the church where his wife and five children were killed. "Everyone died, why didn't I die too?" Nearby, Aristarco Palacios, 30, pounded on the door of the church with his fists, looking up as he loudly asked his god why there is so much injustice in the world. The government has taken steps to improve the quality of life in the Choco region, one of the poorest in Colombia. The Social Solidarity Network, government agency, has set aside $770 million to improve infrastructure and health care in Choco. In Bojaya - where the one telephone line is currently disconnected - the network plans to build a new city hall and educational center, and has promised to send a health official to the village, 230 miles northwest of Bogota. More than 300 soldiers and marine infantrymen are in Bojaya, where there have been no other rebel incursions since the May tragedy, Col. Orlando Pulido said. But those who patrol the zone say it is still filled with the FARC and paramilitaries.

AP 4 Sept 2002 Colombia Court Shield Spurs Protest BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- A government decision to shield people who commit war crimes in Colombia from a new U.N. tribunal drew protests Wednesday. Sen. Jimmy Chamorro demanded that President Alvaro Uribe revoke the one-time seven-year decision, saying it gives ``a stamp of approval'' to the illegal armed groups fighting in Colombia's 38-year civil war. The nation's inspector general also opposed the decision. Edgardo Maya said Colombia was violating human rights norms, making it the ``last country that should exercise this provision.'' On Aug. 5, the administration of then-President Andres Pastrana quietly exercised its right under the Rome Treaty establishing the new International Criminal Court to obtain this exemption from prosecution for war crimes. Defending the decision, government peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said it will ``leave the door open to an eventual peace process'' because rebels and paramilitaries would be less likely to eventually lay down their arms if they face international war-crimes charges. President Alvaro Uribe, who took office on Aug. 7, supports Pastrana's decision to opt out of part of the treaty dealing with war crimes, Restrepo said. Luis Carlos Villegas, president of the National Industrialist Association, also said the move was necessary. ``If Pastrana had not done this, we'd be complaining that Uribe's hands were tied,'' he told reporters Wednesday. Uribe can annul the exemption at any time but there currently is no plan to do so. Despite the exemption, suspects in Colombia could still face prosecution for genocide and crimes against humanity -- a broader category that includes enslavement, rape, torture and other atrocities. Colombia has been battling an intense leftist insurgency as well as continued violence by right-wing paramilitaries, fighting that claims thousands of lives each year.

News 24 SA 5 Sept 2002 Massacre in Colombia Bogota - Seventeen civilians were killed in a massacre by unknown perpetrators in war-torn Colombia, the International Committee of the Red Cross told local media Wednesday. Armed fighters forced their way into the town of El Limon in northern Colombia, selected their victims from a list they had brought with them and immediately killed the civilians, the Red Cross said. "After the massacre, they burned down the houses in the town," media reports quoted witnesses. Survivors fled. In the area about 1 100km north of Bogota, the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and right-wing paramilitaries are fighting, as in many areas of Colombia, for control of drug smuggling, protection rackets and supply routes. Both sides often target civilians accused of aiding the other side in Colombia's nearly 40-year civil war. However, many of those accusations against civilians have their roots in personal conflicts or business rivalries. More and more people are fleeing violence-prone rural villages for the country's safer large cities. Human rights groups have said Colombia, a country of 40 million people, has 2.7 million internal refugees. - Sapa-DPA

ICRC 12-Sep-2002 News 02/37 Colombia: Humanitarian law makes further headway in universities On 28 August, the Universidad Externado de Colombia started up its second special course on international humanitarian law, which is being run in cooperation with the ICRC and the Colombian Red Cross. Around 50 students, drawn from the security forces, government agencies and civil society, are enrolled in the course. In a separate development, five universities in Cali and Tunja completed the first stage – the training of instructors – of plans to offer humanitarian law through their law and humanities faculties. The universities presented the ICRC with a number of proposals concerning the place of humanitarian law within their respective course programmes. The proposals will be examined during the final quarter of 2002, with a view to their implementation in 2003. Given the intensification and polarization of the armed conflict in Colombia, which is not without implications for university life, it is hoped that the teaching of humanitarian law will serve to raise awareness among intellectuals and the next generation of Colombian decision-makers of the humanitarian issues facing the country and of their responsibility to ensure that the principles of humanitarian law are respected and implemented.


AP 9 Sept 2002 Remains of 47 found in Guatemala Sergio de Leon, GUATEMALA CITY - Anthropologists digging under a school in Guatemala's northern highlands have unearthed the remains of 47 people killed during the country's 36-year civil war, local media reported Sunday. Human rights activists came to Rabinal, 120 miles north of Guatemala City, after years of testimony from residents who said the bodies of men, woman and children were secretly buried under schools, government buildings and a soccer stadium. In five days of searching, scientists digging up patios and a playground area around Rabinal's grammar school found 12 cemeteries containing skeletons and bones believed to have belonged to 47 people, Juan Carlos Gatica of the Forensic Anthropologic Foundation of Guatemala told the Prensa Libre newspaper. Gatica, who could not be reached for comment, told the newspaper that forensic scientists plan to continue searching under and around the school and other Rabinal buildings for at least the rest of the month. The United Nations has described Guatemala's 1960-1996 war between leftist guerrillas and hardline state forces as a genocide against the country's Mayan population. An estimated 200,000 people were killed before peace accords finally ended the bloodshed. Human rights groups say Rabinal, and other mostly Kekchie and Quiche Mayan communities in mountainous Baja Verapaz province, were the sites of some of the army's most brutal campaigns. The army has denied charges it carried out massacres in the region. This week's excavation marks the largest unearthing of civil war victims since May, when scientists working in San Martin Jilotepeque found the remains of 66 bodies.

Observer UK 22 Sept 2002 Brave sister scents victory in death plot trial Duncan Campbell Twelve years ago, an internationally known anthropologist who trained in England was stabbed to death in a Guatemala City street. Now three senior members of the military alleged to have ordered her killing are finally on trial in what is being greeted by human rights groups as a major test for the country's justice system. On 11 September 1990 Myrna Mack, who had studied at Manchester and Durham universities, was killed, aged 40, on the pavement outside the offices of the Guatemalan Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences (Avancso), an organisation she had helped to start. The murder came in the wake of work she had been doing with villagers who had been displaced by the military during the long civil war that claimed 200,000 lives and ended in 1996. As part of her work with Avancso, Mack documented the massacres in the rural areas of the country and shared her research results with church and human rights groups. In early September 1990, a group of some of those displaced villagers published a statement in the Guatemalan media criticising the army. Four days later, Mack was stabbed more than 20 times in the street. Her murder was seen as a warning to civil rights groups and anyone involved with them. The detective initially in charge of the case, José Mérida Escobar, was shot and killed shortly after completing a report which had implicated the military and attempts were made to insinuate that Mack had been the victim of a crime of passion. Academics and human rights groups put pressure on the Guatemalan government and Noel de Beteta Alverez, a sergeant major working for a secret military intelligence unit, was charged, convicted and jailed for 25 years for the murder in 1993. But Mack's relatives and friends have always believed that his orders came from senior figures in the military and continued to press for a full investigation. Many potential witnesses fled the country and a total of 12 different judges had examined the case before the trial finally started last week of retired General Edgar Augusto Godoy Gaitán, Colonel Juan Valencia Osorio and Colonel Juan Guillermo Oliva Carrera. The case has been of such international concern that the Inter-American Human Rights Court in Costa Rica has agreed to hear a case against the Guatemalan government for its failure to ensure justice for the Mack family. That case will open in November. The person most responsible for bringing the case to trial is Mack's sister, Helen, who has become a familiar figure in Guatemala over the past decade. Helen Mack, aged 50, is a business administrator and has employed a Guatemalan law that allows private citizens to prosecute cases. Her efforts, despite death threats, to have the case investigated won her Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, sometimes known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. The award helped her to establish the Myrna Mack Foundation, which campaigns for reform of Guatemala's judicial system. 'I have been waiting for so many years for this,' Helen Mack told The Observer. 'I was very sceptical of the judicial system so it was a surprise that it has happened.' She believes that the trial, in front of a tribunal of three judges, is going well: 'I think every day we have been proving all of the elements.' Those who have pressed for the trial are still the subject of threats. In June, Avancso director Clara Arenas was included on a death threat naming 11 human rights activists and journalists. In the first week of the trial a Guatemalan human rights worker in Quiche was murdered and his tongue and eyes cut out.


TheNewsMexico.com - 9/29/2002 Nearly a thousand break ranks with Chiapas paramilitary group Nearly a thousand members of a paramilitary group that has terrorized indigenous communities in Chiapas broke ranks with their organization last week, La Jornada daily reported. The so-called Peace and Justice paramilitary group has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people in clashes with supporters of the Zapatista rebels, who led a rebellion in 1994 in the name of Indian rights. In 1997, the paramilitaries - believed to be backed by the local Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - killed 45 Indians in the Chiapas village of Acteal. The massacre caused more than 10,000 people across the region to flee their homes, leading to the creation of numerous refugee camps, which only recently have begun to diminish as residents began returning home in mid-2001. Carlos Solis, one of the dissidents' leaders, claimed their decision to break away was caused by the "radical and belligerent attitude" of the Peace and Justice's leaders. The deserters have decided to form a new group called the Regional Union of Indigenous Communities, whose activities will be entirely peaceful, Solis said. The confrontations with the Zapatistas "has created division and uncertainty in our communities," Solis added. "Now we want a new life remaking the social thread." State authorities have repeatedly denied that paramilitaries operate in the area, claiming that Peace and Justice is a grass roots political organization. However, the authorities refused to comment after federal authorities arrested 25 of its members and confiscated guns and ammunition on Sept. 13. --James W. Robinson


AP 5 Sept 2002 Peru Lifts Warrant on Fujimori Kin LIMA, Peru (AP)  A judge lifted an arrest order against former President Alberto Fujimori's brother-in-law and Peru's former ambassador to Tokyo, officials said Wednesday. The arrest warrant for Victor Aritomi was canceled when investigators closed a corruption investigation against him last week, a judiciary spokeswoman said. Aritomi had been investigated for allegedly helping Fujimori illegally transfer $15 million in public money to former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos in September 2000. Montesinos allegedly had demanded the money as a condition for resigning and leaving the country. At the time Fujimori was under intense pressure to force Montesinos out of the government. Days earlier a secretly taped video released to the news media showed Montesinos bribing a congressman. Fujimori fled to his parents' native Japan in November 2000, two months after the corruption scandal erupted, ending his 10-year government. The ex-president faces charges of dereliction of duty and abandonment of office. He is also charged with corruption for making the illegal payment to Montesinos and murder for sanctioning two massacres of suspected rebel supporters by a paramilitary death squad. Fujimori has denied the allegations. While Montesinos is in jail in Peru awaiting trial on dozens of charges, including directing the death squad, Fujimori and Aritomi live in Japan, where they have been granted citizenship and are protected by law from extradition.

AP 9 Sept 2002 Fujimori Refuses to Meet Panel TOKYO (AP) -- Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has refused to meet with a commission investigating allegations of atrocities during his term, the head of the panel said Tuesday. Salomon Lerner, head of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, arrived in Japan on Sunday to seek a meeting with Fujimori, who fled there two years ago when a corruption scandal toppled his government. Japan is the native country of his parents. Lerner said his efforts to meet the former leader were denied. ``It is a lack of courtesy not to answer directly to our panel, which has the support of 80 percent of the Peruvian people,'' Lerner said. ``It is an insult to the Peruvian people.'' Lerner said he wanted to hear Fujimori's response to allegations that he authorized two massacres during his administration. Lerner's commission is investigating atrocities committed during Peru's 20-year battle against an insurgency by the Shining Path guerrilla group. Lerner said the commission would consider releasing its questions for Fujimori to the media, if he continues to reject requests for a meeting. Fujimori faces murder charges in Peru for allegedly approving the 1991 Barrios Altos massacre of 15 revelers at a barbecue in a poor Lima neighborhood, and the 1992 La Cantuta University killings of nine students and a professor. The victims, including an 8-year-old boy, were slain for being suspected rebel-sympathizers. Fujimori denies the charges. At least 30,000 people died and 6,000 people disappeared at the hands of both the government security forces and the rebels during the war. The violence dropped off after the arrest of Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman in 1992 and other key leaders. The commission is a government-appointed body with no judicial powers. It has until July next year to investigate allegations of atrocities during the presidential terms of Fernando Belaunde from 1980-85, Alan Garcia from 1985-90, and Fujimori from 1990-2000. So far, the commission has interviewed Belaunde and Garcia, as well as retired army Gen. Francisco Morales Bermudez, who presided over Peru's transition to civilian government in 1980. Fujimori also faces charges of dereliction of duty, abandonment of office and corruption. He has denied all wrongdoing. A Japanese citizen, Fujimori has refused to return to face charges, saying he would not receive a fair trial. Japan's government has refused to extradite Fujimori because he is a Japanese citizen. Peru insists he is a Peruvian citizen.

United States

WP 4 Sept 2002 Slaves' Descendants Sue Firms Filing Seeks Reparations From Profits on Free Labor By Darryl Fears; Page A22 Descendants of black American slaves in New York and San Francisco filed lawsuits against several major corporations yesterday, contending that the companies should pay reparations for reaping profits on the backs of people who worked without pay. The lawsuits were the latest in a flurry of legal actions promised by activist Deadria Farmer-Paellman, who in March filed a federal class action suit against Aetna Corp., which apologized for its role in insuring owners against injured and runaway slaves, and the CSX railroad company, which used slave labor to help build its rail lines. Farmer-Paellman said similar suits would be filed in Texas, Louisiana and Illinois. The complainants argue that corporations benefited from an immoral institution and conspired to continue profiting from slavery even after the practice was outlawed. They seek unspecified damages. Reuters identified the companies named or to be named in the suits as investment banks J.P Morgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Brown Brothers Harriman; insurers American International Group Inc. and Lloyd's of London; tobacco and insurance conglomerate Loews Corp.; railroad firms Union Pacific Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp.; textile firm WestPoint Stevens Inc.; and tobacco makers R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., and Liggett Group Inc., now indirectly owned by Vector Group Ltd.. As part of a strategy designed by Farmer-Paellman, the suits are demanding that corporations release private archives that might illuminate their participation in the slave trade. Archived records released by Aetna proved that company's participation and led to an apology. But Aetna, like CSX, has refused to make restitution, and is challenging Farmer-Paellmann's lawsuit in court.

Reuters 6 Sept 2002 U.S. judge rules man was member of Nazi guard NEW YORK - A federal judge has ruled that an elderly New York man participated in Nazi atrocities in Poland during World War II and has revoked his U.S. citizenship, according to papers made public Thursday. The judge said federal prosecutors proved Jack Reimer, 83, a retired restaurant manager from Carmel, New York, was a member of a Nazi guard unit that carried out the mass murders of Jewish prisoners and the liquidation of Polish ghettos. In his ruling, dated Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lawrence McKenna set aside a 1959 order granting Reimer citizenship. McKenna said the government established by "clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence" that Reimer had been a member of the guard forces at a Nazi training camp in Trawniki, Poland from 1941 to 1945. The judge said the guards were under the control of the Nazi SS and had assisted in persecuting Polish Jews, including clearings of Jewish ghettos, such as those of Czestochowa and Warsaw, pit killings and the guarding of labor camps. McKenna had delayed issuing a ruling after the 1998 trial to allow Reimer's lawyer to go to Germany to interview an additional witness. Reimer's lawyer, Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general, could not immediately be reached for comment. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York James Comey said in a statement, "The court's decision demonstrates that people like Reimer, who assisted the Nazi genocide, have no right to enter the United States or to receive the privilege of U.S. citizenship... Reimer's presence in the United States is an affront to all those killed in the Holocaust." The government did not have an immediate comment on whether it would now seek Reimer's deportation. Federal prosecutors had sued Reimer in 1998 alleging he had lied about his past in order to enter the United States in 1952. Prosecutors said federal law prohibits issuing a visa to anyone who "advocated or assisted in the persecution of any person because of race, religion or national origin." The government said Reimer also lied when he applied for citizenship in 1959. During the 1998 trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Reimer, a Ukrainian-born German, had been a commander at the Trawniki camp and participated in the liquidation of Jewish ghettos in Warsaw, Lublin and Czestochowa. Reimer had argued he was, in essence, a prisoner of war. A former Soviet army officer, Reimer said he was captured by the Nazis and subject to being shot by the SS. McKenna said that whether Reimer's actions were voluntary or not was not relevant under the law. He said that courts have uniformly concluded that "service as an armed guard at a forced labor or concentration camp constitutes assistance in the Nazi program of persecution regardless of whether the defendant himself personally injured or killed any victims."

AFP 17 Sept 2002 Americans still committed to international cooperation: poll, SALZBURG, Austria, Sept 17 The US war on terrorism has not diminished the commitment of Americans to international cooperation, according to a poll published at the World Economic Forum international conference Tuesday. Marshall Bouton, head of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, said in presenting the survey that despite Americans' increased feelings of threat after the September 11 attacks, there is still "an increased attention to the world and a willingness to be engaged in the world." The poll showed 70 percent of Americans supporting the Kyoto treaty on fighting global warming, which President George Bush has refused to sign, and 65 percent supporting US participation in the International Criminal Court, even when the possibility of trumped up charges being brought against US soldiers is mentioned. William Drozdiak of the German Marshall Fund of the United States that also sponsored the poll said meanwhile that "Europeans yearn for greater collaboration with the United States." The poll showed for instance that 59 percent of Europeans and 63 percent of Americans supporting the World Trade Organization. A strong majority (64 percent) of Americans said the United States should comply with WTO decisions even when they are against the United States.

NYT 18 Sept 2002 Robert Kirschner, Medical Sleuth, Dies at 61 By PAUL LEWIS r. Robert H. Kirschner, a forensic pathologist whose work helped convict officials from the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda of genocide in cases heard by United Nations international criminal tribunals, died on Sunday in Chicago. He was 61. The cause of death was complications of cancer, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he worked. Forensic evidence assembled from excavated grave sites by Dr. Kirschner in 1984 also contributed to murder convictions for members of the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, when about 12,000 people "disappeared." "No one was more committed and passionate about working to promote human rights and justice than Bob," said Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, a medical human rights watchdog group based in Boston with which Dr. Kirschner often worked. Dr. Kirschner's examination in 1996 of four mass-grave sites near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where about 8,000 Muslim men and boys were thought to have been slaughtered by Serbs, contributed to the 2001 conviction of Gen. Radislav Krstic by the International Tribunal in the Hague on charges of genocide. General Krstic was sentenced to 46 years in prison. Two of his superiors, Radovan Karadzic, president of the breakaway Republika Srpska, and his top military officer, Gen. Ratko Mladic, face similar charges and remain at large. In 1999 Clement Kayishema, the former prefect of Kibuye in Rwanda, was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1995 massacre of Tutsi civilians by members of the Hutu tribe; he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, sitting in Arusha, Tanzania. Three years earlier, Dr. Kirschner helped develop the case against Mr. Kayishema through his investigation of a mass grave at Home St. Jean, a Roman Catholic missionary center in Kibuye Prefecture. The grave held about 450 bodies, many of them children. In 1994 Dr. Kirschner used DNA testing to identify the biological parents of children from El Salvador who had been kidnapped by the army during that country's civil war, sent to orphanages in the United States and adopted by American families. Robert Howard Kirschner was born on Oct. 30, 1940, in Philadelphia and attended Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., before obtaining his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1966. He completed his residency training in pathology at the University of Chicago in 1971 and after two years of military service joined the faculty at Chicago in 1973 as an assistant professor of pathology. He was associated with the university for the rest of his life. In the early 1970's, Dr. Kirschner's interest turned toward criminal pathology and investigating causes of death. In 1978 he began working for Cook County medical examiner's office as a forensic pathologist. The next year, while helping to identify the remains of the 273 people killed in the crash of American Airlines Flight 191, which occurred soon after takeoff from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, he met Clyde Snow, a renowned forensic anthropologist, who encouraged him to become involved with human rights investigations around the world. From 1985 to 2000, Dr. Kirschner took part in 36 international missions to investigate suspected killings and human rights violations in many countries on behalf of organizations including Physicians for Human Rights, the Organization of American States, the United Nations and its international tribunals and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1987 and 1988, he went to Kenya to investigate deaths of prisoners in police custody. He also went to Israel to make sure independent autopsies were carried out on Palestinians who died in Israeli custody. In 1989 he investigated the killing of Jesuit priests in El Salvador as well as a case of death while in custody in South Korea. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, whom he met when they were medical students in Philadelphia, and who is also a faculty member at Chicago; their three sons, Joshua and Benjamin, of New York City, and Daniel, of Chicago; a brother, Richard, of Bethesda, Md.; and a sister, Joanne Oppenheimer of Springfield, Mass. In a 1996 Associated Press interview, Dr. Kirschner said that dealing with bodies was not the terrifying part of his work. "It's more trying to contemplate what goes through someone's mind that allows them to do this kind of thing," he said.

KVTU (California, USA) 19 Sept 2002 Anti-Arab Hate Crimes Up in California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has released annual statistics on anti-Arab hate crimes showing a roughly 15 percent spike in such incidents following last September's terrorist attacks. Lockyer said Wednesday that the increase marked a reversal of general trends toward fewer such problems. "The overall number of hate crimes reported last year would have decreased 5 percent from a year earlier if not for the bias-motivated assaults against Californians victimized because they are Muslim or appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent,'' he said. In his report titled "Hate Crime in California 2001,'' the attorney general noted that religiously oriented hate crimes either remained steady or declined for other groups. But from 2000 to 2001, the number of crimes targeting people of Middle Eastern descent or Muslims went up from 5 to 87 incidents. About three-fourths of the recorded anti-Arab incidents involved intimidation, assault or other serious or violent crimes, he noted.

Wall Street Journal September 20, 2002 COMMENTARY Original Intent at The Global Criminal Court By DAVID J. SCHEFFER As the Clinton administration's chief negotiator of the treaty on the International Criminal Court, I have lost my patience with the largely Euro-American debate about special agreements designed to protect American suspects from surrender to the court. These agreements are permitted by Article 98 of the treaty for a reason, but they also have their limitations. The administration of President George W. Bush wants to sign Article 98 agreements with European and other governments to insure American nationals are immune from the jurisdiction of a court the U.S. now doesn't recognize. The European Union initially resisted, claiming any deals might weaken the court, yet now sounds more open to compromise. The technical legal issue of securing such agreements has become caught up, and distorted, by the trans-Atlantic tussle over the court. It is worth recalling that the original intent of Article 98 agreements was to ensure that Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) between the United States and scores of countries would not be compromised and that Americans on official duty could be specially covered by agreements that fit Article 98's terms. I first put that requirement on the table in early 1995 in Madrid. SOFAs are the U.S. military's security blanket for its global deployments of military personnel. They ensure that U.S. courts have the right to investigate and prosecute American personnel who, though present on foreign soil, are covered by U.S. law. The negotiated provisions of SOFAs vary from country to country, but the general principle of America's right of primacy over its personnel is sacred in these agreements. Similar provisions protecting the rights of the "sending state" in criminal cases also populate diplomatic mission agreements and agreements for U.N.-established or authorized peacekeeping operations, such as those in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Such protection, offered in the extraordinary circumstances of international peace and security, gives the sending state the confidence to deploy its official personnel without them being subjected to unwarranted criminal charges, particularly in a war-torn foreign society. Throughout five years of treaty negotiations, the Article 98 safeguard was a major U.S. objective and it was successfully achieved. When Article 98 refers to the "sending state," it means the state that deploys an individual (including its top civilian officials) on official duty. Significantly, Article 98 does not prevent the new court from investigating and even indicting an American official. But if there is an Article 98 agreement with another country, that country would not be able to surrender an indicted official covered by that agreement to the court without Washington's consent. The EU reportedly has offered this type of protection to Washington. It is an improvement over earlier efforts to erroneously interpret Article 98 and limit its protection only to Americans deployed on peacekeeping missions. However, the Bush administration overreaches if it attempts, with Article 98 agreements, to immunize any U.S. national living abroad or traveling for any reason from surrender to the court and to blanket the entire world with such agreements. The negotiating objective never was to protect American mercenaries or any other citizen engaged in unofficial actions. (We would have used "state of nationality" rather than "sending state" if that had been our intent.) As I often said as a negotiator, rogue citizens act at their own risk. Nor was it ever our intent to set up a global network of Article 98 agreements, even where they are not plausibly needed. But nothing prevents a specific SOFA or a negotiated Article 98 agreement from protecting retired officials for crimes allegedly committed on official duty. Washington may still balk at the EU's efforts. There is another compromise that would enable the international criminal court to proceed with investigations of alleged perpetrators of atrocity crimes elsewhere in the world and for the United States to rest easy about its own highly improbable exposure to the new court. President Bush could declare that SOFAs constitute valid Article 98 agreements. Partnership for Peace-member governments could formally accept that declaration through an exchange of letters. Any government that challenges the declaration would jeopardize its relations with Washington. As long as U.S. law makes military and civilian officials unambiguously punishable in U.S. courts for the new court's atrocity crimes -- genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious war crimes -- then concern over top government officials being harassed by the international court should diminish. But U.S. legal codes require urgent amendment to ensure this protection under the SOFAs as well as before the new court. The Bush administration promised to undertake this task last May and should now follow through. Mr. Bush could also pledge that once the truly important Article 98 agreements are concluded and provided the court has been performing professionally, the U.S. will adopt a non-confrontational posture towards the court. No one claimed international justice would be easy, but solutions are achievable. Mr. Scheffer, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues in the administration of former President Bill Clinton, is senior vice-president of the United Nations Association of the USA.

Daily Texan (Univ of Texas, USA ) 20 Sept 2002 Photo exhibit shows impact of Jasper murder By Stacy Wright It's been four years since the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. stunned the small East Texas town of Jasper. A photo exhibit sharing the impact of the murder opened Thursday night in Austin's George Washington Carver Museum. Ricardo Ainslie, an educational psychology professor, and Sarah Wilson, a New York University graduate, collaborated to create the exhibit. Since 1999 Ainslie has been studying the impact the murder has had on Jasper. "The murder was a traumatic experience, and it affected the community profoundly," Ainslie said. In 1998, Byrd was beaten and chained to the back of a truck by three white men. He was then dragged for several miles until his death. The three men are now serving life sentences for the murder and will be eligible for parole in 40 years. The exhibit first opened in Jasper on June 7, the anniversary date of the murder. It will remain in Austin until December and be later moved to Dallas and Houston. "The exhibit tells us the story of the murder of James Byrd Jr., and it is important that we not forget that this happened," Ainslie said. And to help keep the memory, Wilson took photographs that are on display at the museum. Some of the photographs include the truck that dragged Byrd to death and Huff Creek Road, the place where Byrd was murdered. With the exhibit, Ainslie and Wilson both said they hope to clear up misconceptions of Jasper. "The media labeled Jasper as a racist community, and it's not like that," Wilson said. "I hope that I introduce that to other people though my photos." Several African Americans hold high local positions in Jasper, including the mayor, Ainslie said. There is a Jasper Ministry Alliance composed of black and white ministers in the area. Several of them spoke at the opening exhibit about their experience of trying to bring the community together. "The role of the Jasper Ministry Alliance was not recognized at all, and I hope through this project, people will see how much they really did," Wilson said. Before the murder, the Alliance was already trying to smooth racial tensions in the town. "Because of their [Jasper Ministry Alliance] communication and friendship, they were able to hold the town together," Wilson said. Mindy Rubinstein, public relations director of the Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center, said exhibits are wonderful forces for opening people's eyes. "Photos have a way of telling a story that words cannot," Rubinstein said. "When you look into the eyes of someone who has been affected by discrimination, you see that it just shouldn't have taken place." She said exhibits like these are important to keep. "Any type of exhibit about racial indifference and discrimination is important," Rubinstein said. "When one looks at history from anywhere in the world it can lead to violence, murder and genocide, like in the case of the Holocaust." Rubinstein said exhibits can open a person's mind and help him or her be aware. "Something like this doesn't just happen in big cities," she said. "They can happen in small cities too."

Massachusetts Daily Collegian (Univ of Mass., USA) 20 Sept 2002 New Psychology Program Gets Anonymous Grant by Marilyn Cardano, The University of Massachusetts Psychology Department recently received an anonymous $2.5 million gift to establish a study for peace psychology and the prevention of violence. The study will make UMass a frontrunner in research of violence and peace. "Under this initiative, the University will be in a position to play a distinctive role in promoting peace in a world so often torn by ethnic, religious, and political strife," University President William Bulger said. The Psychology of Peace and the Prevention of Violence initiative will promote peace and minimize violence at both the individual and group levels, providing a doctoral concentration in peace psychology. Researchers and scholars will explain the conditions that lead people to act either violently or cooperatively, as well as explaining ways to prevent violence and promote cooperation and peace. UMass Psychology Professor Ervin Staub will head the new field. Staub began in the late 1960s by studying the nature of altruism and people helping one another. In the 1970s he studied in depth the origins of genocide and mass killing and in the 1990s he worked on the prevention of violence. His work in war-torn Rwanda was key in helping both sides sort out their differences peacefully. He was the 1990 recipient of the Intercultural and International Relations Prize of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, which is part of the American Psychological Association. The donors of the gift presented it to the University this past summer after they toured universities in the Northeast, according to Staub. The donors are a couple, each with a Ph.D. in psychology, who are peace activists seeking to promote peace and nonviolence. Staub said he worked with the donors for a year as they were gathering information about potential recipients. According to Staub, they chose UMass for several reasons, including that they were impressed with the UMass Psychology Department. He said that the Five College community being a "hospitable place" for this type of research is another. Staub's personal work in the field in which the donors are interested also played a role in their decision. The program is still in the planning stages and will be offered in the fall of 2004 as a doctoral research program, said Staub. It will prepare graduate students for teaching in this arena and for further research in the field of group and individual violence. It will also stress working with others to promote better human relationships and peaceful societies. Although this is a doctorate program, Staub hopes that this will eventually be expanded so that undergraduate courses and opportunities will grow out of it. He hopes to be able to bring this topic to the public with lectures. Only $500,000 of the gift is accessible at this time, and it will pay for the hiring of one additional faculty member and what will be needed for the first four years of the program. The remainder is set up as an endowment and only the interest will be available. After the program gets underway, doctoral candidates will apply for grants to keep the program going. Staub said he hopes that others in the private sector will show interest in this program for financial consideration.

AP 22 Sept 2002 Book blames massacre on Mormon leader September 22, 2002 BY C.G. WALLACE SALT LAKE CITY--Nearly 1-1/2 centuries after California-bound pioneers were slaughtered by Mormon settlers and their Indian allies, a new book blaming the massacre on church leader Brigham Young is causing a sensation in the Mormon community. Church historians vehemently disagree with the premise of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. But author Will Bagley says circumstantial evidence points to Young's involvement. ''Claiming that Brigham Young had nothing to do with Mountain Meadows is akin to arguing that Abraham Lincoln had nothing to do with the Civil War,'' Bagley writes. ''His own words reveal that both before and after the massacre, Brigham Young recognized the likely results of his acts.'' On the shelves since late August, Bagley's book is a best seller in Salt Lake City, headquarters of the Mormon church. Sam Weller's Books, which specializes in Western and Mormon history, has sold more than 400 copies, said store manager Dennis Evans. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is planning to publish its own book on the killings. This comes after years of church leaders insisting that the Sept. 11, 1857, massacre should be a closed chapter in Utah history. Author Richard Turley, the church's chief historian, said his book will make clear that Young did not plan the murders. The victims of the Mountain Meadows massacre were a group of men, women and children on their way from Arkansas to California. Young was then the church's prophet and its second president. He brought the faith's headquarters to Utah in 1847 after founder Joseph Smith was murdered in Illinois. Ten years after the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, however, the U.S. Army was preparing to squelch Utah's resistance to federal control and its practice of polygamy, Bagley writes. As troops drew closer, Utah trained its own military and stockpiled guns, ammunition and food. In the midst of growing war hysteria, wagon trains continued to move through the territory on the way to California, including the pioneers from northwest Arkansas. About the same time, tales began to spread about the death of a Mormon leader, Parley Pratt, in Arkansas. Rumors made their way around Utah that members of the Arkansas wagon train were involved. Bagley, who writes a state history column for the Salt Lake Tribune, said this coincidence helped seal the pioneers' fates. ''Brigham Young considered this a righteous act of vengeance,'' Bagley said. And Young also wanted to send a message to the United States that he controlled the road to California, he said. Bagley said the massacre was planned and organized before the Arkansas group reached the southern part of the territory. The Mormon settlers and Indians ambushed the wagon train of 40 men, 30 women and 70 children. The pioneers circled their wagons and dug in, surrendering days later when the Mormon settlers promised them safety if they disarmed. Instead, the Mormon militia and Indians killed them. Seventeen children under the age of 7 were spared and adopted into the community. It wasn't until two decades after the murders that anyone was held accountable: John D. Lee, who Bagley and many others think was the Mormon church's scapegoat. Moments before a firing squad executed Lee, the condemned man sat on the edge of his coffin and denounced Young. ''I studied to make this man's will my pleasure for 30 years. See, now, what I have come to this day! I have been sacrificed in a cowardly, dastardly manner,'' Bagley quotes Lee as saying. Turley announced in May he was writing a chronicle of the massacre. Turley's book, to be titled Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, is tentatively set for publication in 2003 by Oxford University Press. Turley maintains Young had no part in the massacre, calling it an independent plan by an isolated group of settlers.



Guardian Uk 1 Sep 2002
Afghan Probe of Mass Graves Hindered DASHT-E-LEILI, Afghanistan- A scattering of human bones, tufts of hair and robes mark the sandy burial site of possibly hundreds of Taliban who were captured during the war in Afghanistan last year. The mass grave lies just off a main road on the outskirts of the northern Afghan town of Shibergan and is a five-minute drive from the jail where many Taliban prisoners were held by U.S.-backed Afghan forces. A former commander whose men had the task of burying the bodies guided several reporters to the site Saturday. The commander, who identified himself only as Taher, said most of those buried died of injuries suffered in fighting before they were captured. But people who claim to be witnesses say many of the prisoners suffocated during their four-day-long transport to Shibergan in unventilated metal shipping containers. Human rights groups have demanded an investigation and the United Nations said Sunday that it would send a delegation to meet Abdul Rashid Dostum, the northern warlord whose forces captured the Taliban and oversaw their transport. Dostum denies that his forces killed any of the captives and has said he would cooperate with an investigation. "What's all the fuss over these bodies? At least we buried them," said Taher, a large-bellied commander loyal to Dostum who said he ordered a half-dozen men to bury more than 100 Taliban in the sand dunes of Dasht-e-Leili, a desert area, over several days last November. Taher's response shows how the legal concept of a war crime and codes of treatment for prisoners of war have little currency in Afghanistan, where cycles of brutality and reprisals have long defined the relationship between victor and vanquished. An investigation that can determine how many prisoners were buried here and how they died will be difficult in a war-weary nation that lacks a strong central government. The prisoners were captured 200 miles east of Shibergan at Kunduz, one of the last pockets of northern resistance by Taliban and foreign supporters of al-Qaida. They eventually surrendered after being surrounded by Afghan opposition troops and pummeled by heavy U.S. bombing. Last spring, a joint forensic team of the United Nations and the U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights examined three of 15 bodies they dug up at Dasht-e-Leili and determined suffocation was the cause of death. The team estimated there were between 200 and 300 bodies in the grave. But Newsweek recently cited a confidential U.N. report indicating there could be far more bodies. The report referred to a witness who said 960 prisoners suffocated in sealed cargo containers, the newsmagazine said. Dostum has denied the report, saying no more than 200 prisoners died. Most of the deaths were "due to wounds suffered in the fighting but also due to disease, suffocation, suicide and a general weakness after weeks of intense fighting and bombardment," Dostum said last week in a joint statement with three other northern alliance commanders. The United Nations has not pursued its investigation, insisting steps must be taken first to protect witnesses. The Afghan cabinet has said it will investigate but has yet to do so, perhaps out of concern it may have difficulty asserting its authority over Dostum. The Afghan defense minister, Mohammed Fahim, who is Dostum's ally, has expressed doubts that a mass grave even exists. In any case, there are no guarantees that an investigation would lead to the truth as little has been done to prevent tampering at the grave. "Afghanistan has lots of problems and it is extremely difficult to establish priorities," Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. representative for Afghanistan, said last week. "There is no judicial system that you can really expect to face up to a situation like this. There are no proper police to protect people." Fragments of jawbones with teeth still intact were visible at the mass grave, as well as a plastic cuff of the type used by U.S. troops to bind prisoners. American forces interrogated many captives. Mohamad Haroon, chief doctor at the Shibergan hospital, said 153 prisoners were dead on arrival at the prison last November. Most had died of wounds, he said, and another 32 died despite receiving medical treatment in Shibergan. Haroon said families of the dead picked up some of the remains, but ambulances carrying other bodies were turned away from cemeteries by angry anti-Taliban residents who pelted the vehicles with stones. This is not the first time in years of war that reports have emerged of prisoners dying under inhuman circumstances. Northern alliance leaders say that over the years, thousands of men were transported by the Taliban in sealed truck containers from the north to their home base in the southern city of Kandahar. The prisoners were never heard from again. Gen. Malik Pahlawan, a Dostum rival and Taliban opponent, allegedly killed Taliban prisoners in a similar fashion in 1997. Dostum unearthed their mass graves in Dasht-e-Leili in order to discredit Pahlawan, according to Ahmed Rashid, author of the book "Taliban." Standing on the Taliban mass grave, Taher, the commander loyal to Dostum, pointed at a nearby clump of bones, clothes, caps, shoes and bullet casings that he said were the remnants of a massacre the Taliban orchestrated in the late 1990s. "Thousands of our people died," he said. "Why doesn't anybody ask about them?"

AP 4 Sept 2002 Afghan Commander Calls for War Against U.S. P E S H A W A R, Pakistan, Sept. 4  A renegade Afghan commander with links to Iran called for a jihad, or holy war, against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and said international peacekeepers were failing to provide security in the country. "All true Muslim Afghans who want an Islamic government in their country must know it is possible only when the United States and allied soldiers are forced out," Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister of Afghanistan, said in a taped message. "We must all unite and rise against them." The Pashtu-language message was received by The Associated Press on Tuesday. It was Hekmatyar's second public call for a holy war against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. International peacekeepers say Hekmatyar is a suspect in a spate of bombings in the Afghan capital and speculate that he may also have formed an alliance with remaining al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. Hekmatyar has been the target of U.S. attacks in the past. In May, U.S. officials said one of their unmanned Predator drone aircraft fired a missile at Hekmatyar north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Hekmatyar later said he was not in the area at the time. In his message, Hekmatyar accused the United States of waging war against Pashtuns  Afghanistan's majority ethnic group. Most Taliban soldiers were Pashtun. "The United States has begun a genocide of Pashtuns," he said, specifying several provinces in eastern and southern Afghanistan where Pashtuns dominate and where U.S. special forces have been concentrating their search for al Qaeda and Taliban fugitives. The tape recording was received in the border city of Peshawar, but Hekmatyar's whereabouts were not clear. He is believed to be in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province. "I promise you that the mujahed people of Kunar, Kandahar and other parts of Afghanistan are slowly and gradually rising and joining forces against U.S. troops," Hekmatyar said in his message. Hekmatyar was prime minister in President Burhanuddin Rabbani's fractious government before the Taliban took power in 1996. Hekmatyar refused to join the Taliban and fled to Iran, but also said he wouldn't against fight them. Iran allowed Hekmatyar to stay and only asked him to leave after the collapse of the Taliban in late 2001. The United States had demanded his expulsion.

IRIN 4 Sep 2002 AFGHANISTAN: UN human rights team in Mazar-e Sharif to discuss mass graves KABUL, 4 Sep 2002 (IRIN) - A UN team comprising human rights advisers to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan left for the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif on Tuesday to discuss the issue of mass graves with the local Afghan authorities. "Basically it's not an investigation," a spokesman for the UN, David Singh, told IRIN in the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday. "It's a follow-up to the to the Dostum and Atta statement." Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum and Gen Atta, powerful factional leaders controlling northern Afghanistan, issued a statement last week denying deliberately killing Taliban prisoners, but admitting that some 200 Taliban prisoners might have died of wounds received during fighting. Hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners reportedly suffocated in shipping containers while being transported to the Sheberghan prison close to Mazar-e Sharif after the fall of Taliban late last year. While the UN would not launch forensic investigations immediately, Singh said it would try to ensure that the grave sites were not tampered with. The UN was also concerned about the protection of the witnesses to the events. Last week, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters that the fledlging Afghan government was insufficiently equipped to conduct an investigation, noting also that it lacked the capability to protect witnesses. In early May, the UN conducted forensic investigations of three alleged mass-grave sites in Mazar-e Sharif, Sheberghan and the central province of Bamian. Reacting to the discovery of grave sites, the head of the newly established Afghanistan Human Rights Commission, Sima Samar, told IRIN that hundreds of such human rights abuses over the past 23 years would also have to be investigated if a probe was launched into the Sheberghan incident. "We are in a situation where [when] something like this happens, [it] is politicised and used against other people," she said, adding that the actual reasons behind the continuing cycle of violence were needed to be determined.

Reuters 5 Sept 2002 Car Bomb in Kabul Causes Many Casualties KABUL -- A powerful car bomb exploded in the busy business district of the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 10 people and possibly many more, police said. One senior police officer blamed Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and Afghanistan's ousted Taliban rulers, who once sheltered bin Laden and his supporters. Witnesses said thousands of people fled the busy central business district after the blast near the information ministry there at 2.55 p.m. local time. The deputy police chief for Kabul, Mohammad Khalil, was quick to blame al Qaeda, the Taliban and an exiled former guerrilla chief and prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. "Hekmatyar, the Taliban and al Qaeda have revealed their black faces again," he said. "Was this a military place? Was this a place of the Americans?" he asked, referring to the U.S. forces who helped topple the Taliban and are hunting al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Khalil gave a toll of 10 dead and 16 wounded, including two policemen. Earlier, another police officer gave a higher toll. "My forces evacuated more than 22 bodies and more than 20 wounded," Police Colonel Abdullah told Reuters. Residents said the explosion was the worst in Kabul since the Western-supported government of President Hamid Karzai came to power following the overthrow of the hard-line Islamic Taliban last year. A Reuters correspondent at the scene saw more than 15 wounded people after the blast. The wounded included men and women. "It's a chaotic scene, people are running everywhere," said Reuters correspondent at the scene, Sayed Salahuddin. "I can see pieces of flesh on the road and the pavement. There are sandals and pieces of clothing everywhere. I can see hundreds and hundreds of glass windows shattered in nearby buildings." Several dozen soldiers were seen examining a wrecked taxi in which the device was thought to have been planted. Among the wounded were officials of the Ministry of Information, some 50 meters (yards) from the site of the blast, who were cut by flying glass. Khalil said there was a small explosion from a bicycle, followed by a massive explosion of the nearby car. Witnesses told Reuters they heard a small blast first followed by a big explosion. Khalil said peacekeepers from the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul were assisting in the investigation into the explosion. A U.S.-led coalition toppled the Taliban for sheltering bin Laden and his al Qaeda group, which Washington blamed for the suicide plane hijackings that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States last September 11.

Frontier Post (Pakistan) Date: 3 Sept 2002 Blasts bring fear of a revived Afghan conflict KABUL (Agencies): The recent incidents of at least nine explosions taking place in less than three weeks in Afghanistan that left several people killed and dozens of others injured have created a new sense of insecurity and triggered fear of revived conflict in the war torn country. So far, the attacks in Kabul and southern cities including Kandahar, and on American military outposts have been sporadic, limited in impact and often amateurishly bungled but the incidents have raised new questions in the minds of the interim administration and their international supporters, reports the New York Times. But the day's toll, with a rising incidence of explosions, bombings and other attacks in recent weeks, and reports that one troublesome warlord may be reassembling his troops, heightened apprehensions that Afghanistan may be entering a new phase of conflict. Some senior Afghan officials warn that the 16,000 mainly Western troops here - including 7,800 American soldiers and a 4,800-member international security force in Kabul - could confront an open-ended challenge that would destabilize this country for years. The Afghan officials say that the remnants of the Taliban and Qaeda networks that were driven from power in November may be in the early stages of coalescing with other armed opposition groups. These groups, the officials say, include disaffected regional warlords who feel excluded from the new power arrangements in Kabul and fighters loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a guerrilla commander who rose to prominence during the Soviet military occupation in the 1980's. After years of exile in Iran, Mr. Hekmatyar crossed back secretly into Afghanistan earlier this year, and immediately set about trying to resurrect his old guerrilla network, the officials say. As an ethnic Pashtun, he has ties to the predominantly Pashtun Taliban. Afghan officials say he has been moving among Pashtun tribesmen in eastern Afghanistan making the case that the Kabul government, dominated by ethnic Tajiks and sustained by American military power, is a ripe target for a new holy war. So far, the attacks in Kabul and southern cities including Kandahar, and on American military outposts have been sporadic, limited in impact and often amateurishly bungled. In almost every case, the perpetrators have escaped, leaving few traces. But taken together, the attacks have sent an unmistakable signal that there are pockets of determined resistance to the post-Taliban order and that rooting them out is not going to be easy. The explosion in Kabul seemed to be the work of an armed underground movement that has been registering its presence in the capital with increasing frequency in recent weeks. An explosive device hidden in a wooden handcart detonated as a motorized patrol of British soldiers was passing. An Afghan man on a bicycle was killed, and two other Afghans were wounded.

International Herald Tribune 18 Sept 2002 Comment: Help Afghans deal with past crimes Patricia Gossman IHT Wednesday, September 18, 2002 Justice in Kabul AMMAN, Jordan One year after the events that catapulted Afghanistan on to center stage, it is clear that the international community's interest in the country has been short-sighted. But the Afghans have shown that they have something to teach the rest of the world. This Thursday one of Kabul's notorious war criminals will be starting a 20-year prison sentence for his role in massacring hundreds of civilians. How such a killer came to justice is a story of courage and determination among the relatives of his victims. They believe that Abdullah Shah, as well as the leaders who financed and protected him, should face trial for their crimes. Like so many others with blood on their hands, Abdullah Shah returned to his old haunts after the Taliban fell, this time as a close associate of senior figures in the UN-backed administration, including the Central Corps Commander for Kabul. To Abdullah Shah's victims, it appeared that he had returned with the blessing of the international community. No wonder they lost hope that those who let him come back would do anything about his crimes. His arrest was a lucky break. In April, Abdullah Shah's wife went to the police to complain that her husband was trying to kill her. They arrested him. (He had been convicted of killing his three previous wives.) Hearing that the notorious killer had been arrested, the relatives of his other victims lost no time. They knew what their fate would be if he were released. But they decided to act anyway, filing complaints with the judge detailing the atrocities committed by Abdullah Shah. Among these atrocities was the massacre of 50 bus passengers who were doused with gasoline and burned alive. The incident took place in 1993, when troops under the local strongmen Sayyaf and Ahmed Shah Massoud rampaged through Hazara neighborhoods of west Kabul. Abdullah Shah was part of Sayyaf's militia forces. Afghanistan's judicial system is a shambles, and little has been done so far to rebuild it. The Bonn Agreement committed the United Nations and the international community to reconstructing Afghanistan's judiciary so that it would serve the needs of the Afghan people - not so that it should serve the interests of those in power. Yet justice remains largely in the hands of Kabul's secret police or the warlords outside the capital. Still, the judge heard the complaints against Abdullah Shah and convicted him both of war crimes and domestic violence. In his case, ordinary Afghan people demanded that the court perform its duties, and it did so. But the ending may not be a happy one. Who will now see that the sentence is carried out, and that the killer is not freed when the authorities are bribed and no one from outside is watching? The UN special representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, acknowledged Aug. 27 that the United Nations had a responsibility to find out what happened in the past, but emphasized that "our responsibility to the living has to have precedence." However, the two cannot, and should not, be separated. Otherwise, who will protect the Afghans who testified against Abdullah Shah? And how can the judiciary be reformed and rebuilt? Brahimi has argued that the international community should leave a "light footprint" in Afghanistan, to ensure that Afghans, and not outsiders, determine the country's future. Yet many Afghans are demanding justice and are asking for international help to achieve it. The United Nations and those providing aid to Afghanistan must support efforts to document the country's legacy of war crimes and crimes against humanity and help provide the necessary expertise so that Afghans can then choose how best to deal with the past. That choice may well include more trials of those responsible for the worst crimes, even if they currently hold positions of power. It is not for the rest of the world to tell the Afghan people they can't seek justice and redress, or that they must wait for a more convenient time. The writer, who is directing an independent project on accountability in Afghanistan, contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.


Daily Telegraph AU 16 Sept 2002 Police uncover massacre By Keith Moor AUSTRALIAN police expect to charge Indonesian-backed militia leaders with mass murder in East Timor. Victorian officers attached to the United Nations found the graves of 24 massacre victims and will this month start exhuming the bodies. They have identified the senior militia members responsible for torturing and killing the pro-independence Timorese villagers. The Herald Sun this month visited East Timor and spoke to Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police members seconded to the UN peacekeeping force there. The officers have been involved in frightening and bizarre incidents. They revealed they have: SURVIVED an incident involving 10 Australian police being confronted by almost 200 machete-wielding prison escapees after a mass breakout from East Timor's main prison. TURNED back an angry mob of 1000 armed East Timorese and prison escapees intent on storming the seat of power in Dili. CAPTURED a teenager with reputed black magic powers who raped an Australian woman after attacking her with a machete on a Dili beach. CHARGED two senior members of an international people smuggling ring responsible for organising boatloads of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. ARRESTED 56 illegal boat people from Sri Lanka and seized the fishing boat in which they were travelling. PREPARED a brief of evidence to charge a witch doctor with the murder of a two-year-old. ARRESTED two black magic practitioners who tied a mentally ill man to a block of wood, buried him up to the waist and left him in remote bush to die over seven days. INVESTIGATED the murder of a villager by militiamen who forced a human bone into a man's mouth and hammered it through his skull. Det Sen-Sgt Neale Fursdon, normally based in Wangaratta, is leading the investigation into the massacre of 24 independence supporters in Viqueque, 180km south-east of Dili. Det Sen-Sgt Fursdon has tracked down witnesses who saw many of the men being tortured and hacked to death with machetes. He has evidence strongly suggesting the killers were supported by Indonesian army chiefs. Det Sen-Sgt Fursdon is preparing a brief of evidence and arrest warrants that UN prosecutors are confident will lead to several militia leaders being convicted of crimes against humanity in East Timor. UN prosecutor Siri Frigaard believes cases against militia members tried in East Timor are more likely to succeed than the war crimes prosecutions now taking place in Indonesia. Another crimes-against-humanity case prepared by Australian police and heard in East Timor resulted in those charged being jailed for 33 years in December last year. This compares with the latest result in a special Indonesian human rights court set up in Jakarta to hear East Timorese war-crimes cases, which last month saw six Indonesian officers acquitted. Five of those officers were accused of involvement in the Suai church massacre of up to 200 people. Outrage followed the acquittals, with UN human rights chief Mary Robinson condemning them and East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri labelling the Indonesian court a farce. The Viqueque murders being investigated by Det Sen-Sgt Fursdon are among thousands carried out by Indonesian security forces and anti-independence militias in the carnage after the 1999 vote to end 24 years of Indonesian rule in East Timor. The UN's serious crimes unit, of which Det Sen-Sgt Fursdon is a member, is investigating the 10 worst massacres. Mrs Frigaard told the Herald Sun the unit's ultimate goal was to charge senior military figures with the murders, tortures, rapes and other atrocities committed before and after the independence vote in August 1999. "But we have to be realistic. They are in Indonesia and we are unlikely to be able to get them back to East Timor to be prosecuted," she said. "But by establishing strong cases against those lower in the hierarchy, and getting convictions, we establish precedence. "And if enough international pressure is brought to bear, based on the evidence we gather, then it may be possible one day to charge those at the top." Mrs Frigaard said the judiciary in East Timor had already demonstrated a willingness to hand out severe sentences for crimes against humanity.

Mercury AU 16 Sept 2002 Black anger By LUKE SAYER September 14, 2002 THE man responsible for more than 900 objections to people trying to enrol for Aboriginal elections in Tasmania yesterday called for a royal commission into the chaos. Douglas Maynard says a royal commission would be the only way to weed out whites from the Aborigines in the state. And he believes there could be as few as 300 true Tasmanian Aborigines. He was speaking after The Mercury exclusively revealed yesterday that one man had been accepted for enrolment as an Aborigine while his sister had been rejected. A total of 1300 people have applied to be included on the indigenous electoral roll to vote in the forthcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission elections. Mr Maynard, of Latrobe, says ATSIC is the worst thing to have happened to his people. He says genealogies are being created to support some people's cases, all because of financial considerations involved in Aboriginal issues. His belief is that without the financial grants on offer, a lot fewer people would claim to be Aboriginal. "If I was going to sort it out, I'd call for a royal commission, freeze all funding and get the Federal Police to go through it all with a fine-toothed comb," Mr Maynard said. As far as determining who is and who is not Aboriginal, Mr Maynard was dismissive of the Independent Indigenous Advisory Committee. He said he did not consider all of its members to be Aborigines. "They have no culture, they have no elders. You can't be a race without elders. When will the real story come out?" he said. Mr Maynard also has called on Indigenous Affairs Minister Philip Ruddock to settle the Aboriginality debate once and for all. A spokesman for Mr Ruddock said he was letting the process take its course. The spokesman said ATSIC had requested the indigenous roll. Mr Ruddock was keen to see it complete and then would conduct a review. IIAC chairman Clyde Mansell yesterday defended the process in which Tracey Norman, of Mt Rumney, was rejected as Aboriginal while her brother, Damien Coulson, of Snug, was accepted. Mr Mansell said because Mrs Norman had not provided documents to support her claim when challenged, she was automatically rejected. Because there was no documentation, there was no way to link Mrs Norman and Mr Coulson. Under the enrolment process there are three main reasons for people being deemed non-Aboriginal. They are: *They do not have a family history that has been recorded in writing. *They rely on oral histories. *They claim descent from families not originating from Bass Strait islands whose histories are not well documented. Mr Mansell was confident the process would be completed in time for the planned November election but admitted he would be relieved when it was over. This may not be enough to satisfy Doug Maynard, who says he won't be silenced until the true Aborigines are recognised and the pretenders removed. "Out of the 16,000 [who claim Aboriginality], there are 12,000 who are not of my race," he said. "I've grown up with a lot of them. The white boy from next door. He is now an Aboriginal." He also hit out at ATSIC Commissioner Rodney Dillon, who recently left for Europe to speak to a group of British museums about Aboriginal remains. "Rodney Dillon is heading to the United Kingdom to speak for us," he said. "It is cultural genocide to be bringing remains back that they have no connection with."

Sidney Morning Herald 23 Sept 2002 Politicising ethnic crime trades on fear September 23 2002 Politicians increasingly link law-and-order issues with ethnicity. But a study of attitudes to crime reveals the gap between political grandstanding and reality. Paola Totaro writes. IT SEEMS a lifetime ago now, but I remember the heart-pumping humiliation as if it were yesterday. It was roll call time at Pymble Public School and every morning the deputy principal, our sixth class teacher, would shout "potato tomato" instead of my name. For a year, that elderly, soon-to-retire teacher used my Italian name - and my "differentness"- to build a bond with other kids in the class, isolating one to draw in the rest. On the last day of primary school, I fell over playing chasies in the playground and felt a snap in my right arm. "Stop being such a hysterical little Italian," he said, forcing me back to the classroom to finish a two-hour art class. That afternoon the arm was x-rayed and I spent the last summer before high school in plaster. Such memories of being a wog kid during the 1960s and early '70s returned with clarity as Sydneysiders have been swept by the rhetoric of the state's politicians whose drive to link law-and-order issues with ethnicity is building to a pre-poll peak. advertisement advertisement Back then, Italians were painted as prone to criminality. Jokes about the "mafia" were never-ending as too were assumptions that somehow Italianness meant an innate predilection for criminal behaviour - usually assigned to your father or brother. Remembering such experiences makes one wonder how it must be for young Arab women in the city's south-western suburbs in the wake of the gang rape trials, or Vietnamese teenagers in Cabramatta when the heroin trade hit the headlines. Life has changed enormously in the past three decades but, as politicians seize the climate of insecurity, it seems that my old teacher's classic wedge tactic of isolating one to harness the support of the rest is alive and well. Professor Jock Collins, of the University of Technology's business school, says the experiences shared by each wave of new immigrants is a cyclical feature of life in big, diverse, multicultural cities like Sydney. But the co-author of a newly released study of ethnic groups' attitudes and perceptions of crime in Sydney, Gangs, Crime and Community Safety: Perceptions and Experiences in Multicultural Sydney, says he is increasingly worried that the law-and-order rhetoric of state political leaders is fanning and lengthening the normal, transient period of community discomfort that comes with adjustment to the newest wave of immigrants. "The issue of ethnic crime raises its ugly head constantly in NSW history," he says. "The mafia, the Greek conspiracy, the South-East Asian triads. It keeps coming and it is not always related to the last wave of immigrants, as the latest panic about Lebanese crime indicates. The problem with political developments recently is that we can slip from discussion of the criminality of individuals to the criminality of entire cultures." Collins points to the murder of the young Blacktown nurse Anita Cobby in 1986 as an example. The brutality of her death at the hands of a group of five Anglo-Celtic youths (the Murphy brothers were convicted of this crime) sparked widespread community outrage and comment. "What really annoys me with the ethnic crime issue is that with the Anita Cobby murder there was no attempt by our political leaders to call in the Irish community and its leaders to ask them to deal with the problem," Collins says. Crime involving ethnic minorities are regarded as a problem for leaders of a community to solve. Yet if it is a crime involving the white majority, it's a general community problem. "There is an asymmetry in the way we respond," he says. "We react differently to crime if it is committed by an immigrant minority than if it was committed by the white majority. That should no longer wash in a city like this, in this century." Collins and his co-authors, University of Western Sydney's Associate Professor Scott Poynting and Dr Greg Noble, and Dr Paul Tabar from the Notre Dame University in Beirut, surveyed 380 adults and 445 young people to gain a rare snapshot of the relationship between youth, ethnicity and crime through the eyes of immigrants. The group chose eight local government areas - Hurstville, Bankstown, Fairfield, Rockdale, Liverpool, Auburn, Bankstown and Canterbury - and most of the interviews with adults were conducted in languages other than English. "Usually these people have no voice," Collins says. "This was a unique exercise to tap the views of immigrant Sydneysiders who are at the centre of this ethnic crime storm and yet whose voices go unnoticed in most English-based opinion polls." The study shows clearly that the fear of crime is as much a feature of immigrant communities as it is among the older, established groups. "It's not surprising then that law and order is irresistible to NSW politicians, particularly since the events of the past year can only have escalated the fear of crime in NSW," Collins says. Nearly three-quarters of the adults surveyed believe crime is on the rise in Sydney. Most were very concerned and violent assault was the crime most feared. As interviews were conducted before the September 11 attack on New York, researchers believe perceptions can only be worse now. Interestingly, when it came to youth, violent assault, burglary and street theft were highest on the list but drugs were low compared with adults, who listed it as the biggest social problem. All up, respondents who lived in Canterbury were the most fearful of crime, followed by those in Rockdale and Fairfield. By contrast, people in Hurstville, Bankstown, Liverpool and Auburn were less concerned. The researchers also found that when it came to fear of crime being co-related to the actual incidence of crime, there were huge inconsistencies. For example, burglary, followed by car theft, was the crime that most adults surveyed had suffered. Yet personal experience of violent assault - their biggest fear along with drugs and burglary - was very low. Among young people, burglary and car theft were also the most common experiences, although there was a slightly higher incidence of violent assault experiences than among the adults, including sexual assault (7 per cent) and street theft (14 per cent). Youth gangs, too, were interesting. Not surprisingly, two out of three adults thought youth gangs were a problem, while young people were much more ambivalent about the issue. However the majority of those surveyed did not link gangs with a particular ethnic group. Collins warns, however, that as interviews were conducted before the gang rapes in south-western Sydney received publicity, chances are the results would be different today. The results, however, threw up interesting geographic differences, with a higher proportion of youth living in Bankstown (33 per cent), the North Shore (29 per cent), Liverpool (28 per cent), Rockdale (28 per cent) and Auburn (27 per cent) reporting a criminal past than youth in Canterbury, Fairfield and Hurstville. Fairfield was the area with the lowest rate of self-reported youth criminality. Collins argues that Sydney is seeing in the lead-up to the state election simply an evolution of the phenomenon first harnessed by Pauline Hanson. "In an age of insecurity and flux and well before September 11, Pauline Hanson tapped into these fears which are ultimately attributable to globalisation, to the restructure of the workforce and increasing unemployment, to the casualisation of work and the decline of rural Australia," he says. "Hanson's trump card was linking this insecurity to ethnic and indigenous minority." The study showed also that the same people who revealed the extent of their concern about crime also thought their local area a safe place to live. This finding - that two in three adults and eight out of 10 youth felt safe in their local area - particularly startled the researchers because most of those surveyed lived in the south-western suburbs, the area regularly reported as being at the heart of "crime-ridden Sydney". Overall, two in every three felt safe in their own area. On the other hand, the places where people felt least safe were railway stations, car parks and in and around bus stops. Just three out of every 10 felt safe on public transport, although young people felt safer than adults. Similarly, young people generally felt safe in the local shopping centres while one-third of adults did not. For Collins, conclusions are clear: "The politicisation of the ethnic crime issue by both parties and the media's obsession with the issue in the lead-up to the 2003 state election not only intensifies the fear of crime but undermines feelings of community safety and threatens to undermine social cohesion in the city."


Reuters 3 Sept 2002 Clock ticking away for Cambodia genocide trial By Ed Cropley PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Their bloody four-year rule left 1.7 million of their fellow Cambodians dead, but the chances of top Khmer Rouge commanders ever facing justice appear to be fading by the day. The United Nations, spearheaded by Secretary General Kofi Annan, has been trying for five years to set up a joint Cambodian/U.N. genocide tribunal for crimes committed by the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. But the United Nations pulled out of talks in February, saying it could not guarantee the fairness of the court proposed by Cambodia. Phnom Penh's defenders, including many foreign diplomats, say U.N. negotiators were too distrustful from the start, doubting the Southeast Asian nation's real commitment to the trial. Cambodia has since held talks with a number of other parties about a possible "Plan B" court on a bilateral or multilateral basis, but -- ever keen to clean up its speckled international image -- insists a U.N.-backed trial is still the number one option. "The door is still open. We never destroyed our bridges," Om Yentieng, adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen and number two negotiator to the U.N., told Reuters in a recent interview. "We need the return of the U.N. We must not lose sight of this issue so that justice can be done." FOOT-DRAGGING Despite the assurances, Hun Sen -- himself a former low-level Khmer Rouge commander, although with no links to any killings -- has done little to answer accusations of foot-dragging and many say he has little real incentive to press ahead. The crimes of the "killing fields" cannot go unpunished, he has said. But he has also equivocated, expressing fears too broad an inquest could reopen old wounds and upset Cambodia's precious four-year peace, the first it has enjoyed in three decades. Annan's recent initiative, asking the U.N. General Assembly for a mandate to restart talks, received only a cautious welcome. "Hun Sen has nothing to lose by having the tribunal -- but he also has nothing to gain," one Asian ambassador said, noting that a trial could unearth embarrassing secrets about Cambodia's crop of current leaders, still scattered with ex-Khmer Rouge cadres. Without the explicit backing of the prime minister, who has tightened his grip on power since elections in 1998, few observers see the trial ever happening. They also point to the hidden influence of Beijing, a close Khmer Rouge supporter and opponent of any tribunal -- presumably for fear of what skeletons might emerge from the cupboard. Phnom Penh denies accusations of delaying tactics, saying it was only trying to ensure no side got an upper hand in the court. "We had to be very careful because many people were trying to politicise the trial," Information Minister Khieu Kanarith said. ANCIENT HISTORY? Virtually every family has its own tragic tale to tell from Pol Pot's rule, but with over half of Cambodia's 12.5 million people too young to remember his four-year reign of terror, the notion of justice for distant crimes is far from clear cut. "It's all old history to me," one motorcycle-taxi driver said. The parlous state of the economy -- Cambodia is one of Asia's poorest countries with over a third of people living on under $1 a day -- means most have more pressing day-to-day concerns. "If you asked me today 'What is the most important issue facing Cambodia?' of course it is the floods," Om Yentieng said. Furthermore, the issue of vengeance is one which does not sit easily with many of the country's dominant Buddhist religion. "A trial of the Khmer Rouge cannot be accepted by Buddhism because Buddhists educate people not to take revenge," Tep Veong, a top monk, told Hun Sen at a religious meeting last month. "I ask all to be united together and to have national reconciliation," he said. TIME TICKS AWAY Time has also taken its toll on many ex-Khmer Rouge leaders, most of whom are in their late 60s or 70s and in poor health. "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, the French-educated electrician who led the guerrilla movement from the 1970s, died in 1998. Of the other big fish, only chief ideologue Nuon Chea, Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, "The Butcher" Ta Mok, Kang Kek Ieu -- more commonly known as "Duch", the head of Phnom Penh's notorious S-21 prison -- and frontman Khieu Samphan remain alive. Whether they would all be deemed mentally fit enough to face a complex international trial is a moot point. "The longer Hun Sen delays it, the less chance there is of any of them being left alive to stand trial, and then it doesn't even become an issue," one senior diplomat said. Even if the U.N. and Cambodia suddenly kissed and made up tomorrow, practicalities suggest a trial is still years off, with a general election scheduled for the middle of next year and the question of who picks up the bill still left unanswered. "Nobody has even started to talk about who is going to pay for all this," the Asian diplomat said.

NYT 15 Sept 2002 Researchers Put Together Story of the Khmer Rouge By SETH MYDANS OMENH TBAUNG, Cambodia - A troop of village children followed as Vanthan Dara stepped carefully through the mud the other day, carrying a folder of mysterious documents. "Your name is Bong Rim?" he asked. A woman looked up from the porch of a small house where she was weaving a bright purple fishing net, and Mr. Vanthan Dara joined her. "Yes. Yes. Yes," the children could hear her answer as he opened his folder and began talking quietly to her. "She was a Khmer Rouge," came a man's voice as a crowd of villagers gathered beside the small children to watch. Everybody laughed, Ms. Bong Rim as well, but the laughter seemed embarrassed and uncertain. When the communist Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, causing the deaths of more than a million people, she had been one of their recruits. Now, more than two decades later, Mr. Vanthan Dara had arrived to hear her story - part of a team of independent researchers who are traveling the country, province to province, village to village, stitching together the history of those years. In his folder, he carried documents that included a summary of Ms. Bong Rim's personnel file as a Khmer Rouge cadre, and he had tracked her down at the village she had listed long ago. Mr. Vanthan Dara works for the Documentation Center of Cambodia, a private organization that has collected tens of thousands of Khmer Rouge records both as a historical resource for the public and as potential evidence in any future trials. The scattered documents have been gathered from the central prison run by the Khmer Rouge, from the back rooms of government offices and from private hands, testimony not only of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge but also of their obsessive record-keeping. Collating thousands of personnel files, the researchers have set out systematically to interview as many surviving cadres as they can, from prison guards and torturers to messengers and clerks. It is an extraordinary enterprise. For years, the Cambodian government has resisted convening a trial of even the top handful of the movement's surviving leaders. It has taken no part in the documentation efforts, which are financed by foreign groups and governments and administered by a Khmer Rouge survivor named Youk Chhang. Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested instead that Cambodia "dig a hole and bury the past." In March he proposed that local governments turn killing fields into tourist sites. But while no one has yet been made to answer for the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, their nationwide system of terror is now being documented from the bottom to the top. One conclusion the researchers have drawn so far, said Mr. Youk Chhang, is that the Khmer Rouge had a highly organized structure with a clear chain of command that linked the central leadership personally with the killings and abuses. In addition to the interviews with lower-ranking members, he said, the Documentation Center has compiled 5,922 pages of documents that directly implicate a dozen leading former Khmer Rouge figures who are now living freely in Cambodia. Ms. Bong Rim, from her file and from the story she tells, was an innocent among the killers. Now 46 years old and the mother of six children, she had been recruited as a teenager to work as a nurse. In their drive to create a primitive communist utopia, the Khmer Rouge tore Cambodian society apart, stamping out culture and killing as many educated people as they could find. Doctors were among them. Though she was barely literate, Ms. Bong Rim was one of those selected to take their place, trained briefly in the use of herbs and sent to work in a hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh, 50 miles to the north. The villagers who stayed behind, dressed in the the black pajamas of the Khmer Rouge, were forced into long days of labor that killed many of them. They were fed a thin rice soup, and many starved to death. Others were executed for having urban backgrounds, for working too slowly or for real or imagined disloyalty. Only arranged Khmer Rouge marriages were permitted, and Ms. Bong Rim recalled to the visiting researchers that one young couple she knew was killed for a crime known as "unauthorized love." Most of these executions took place in local killing fields after a period of interrogation and torture in nearby makeshift prisons. The mapping of these prisons and mass graves is another project of the Documentation Center, using Khmer Rouge records, satellite imaging and the memories of villagers. "We have found 19,440 mass graves," said Mr. Youk Chhang, some holding the remains of just a single family, others filled with thousands of skulls and bones. "And we have documented 167 former prisons," he said, some of them larger than Tuol Sleng, the central torture house in Phnom Penh where at least 14,000 people were sent to their deaths. Several provinces remain to be explored, he said. "Every trip we make, we come back with another dozen mass graves. One researcher is just back with 11 in Kompong Chhnang." An independent American scholar, Craig Etcheson, said these discoveries would require an upward revision of the estimated number of Khmer Rouge victims, which experts often put at 1.7 million out of a population of about 8 million. Combining the data on mass graves with recent analyses by two demographers, he said, "My estimate now is 2.2 to 2.5 million.' Mr. Etcheson, an expert on the Khmer Rouge at Johns Hopkins University, has also been traveling the country, exploring the relationships of the former Khmer Rouge and their surviving victims. In the village of Prek Tatoch, for example, he talked to Sen Phum, a former local official for the Khmer Rouge who is still hated by some of her neighbors for sending fellow villagers to their deaths. "Some abuse me in the marketplace," she said, spitting a red stream of betel juice. "Not only that, but they spread rumors that I have a pillow full of gold." After all these years, she said, you would think they would give it a rest. "Sometimes I get mad," she said. "I tell them, 'Right! I was the worst killer in Cambodia.'" Many other former cadres, like Ms. Bong Rim, have been accepted by their neighbors as fellow victims of history. As the years pass, the historical record has begun to fade and the search for people like this has become more urgent. The researchers from the Documentation Center are finding only one in four of the people on their lists; the rest have died or disappeared. Ms. Bong Rim was the only one of 10 former cadres still here in Romenh Tbaung and its neighboring hamlets. She answered warily as Mr. Vanthan Dara and his colleague Ysa Usman led her through a standard list of questions intended to produce legally admissible information. "We avoid asking leading questions because these people could be witnesses at a trial," Mr. Ysa Usman said. "But some are willing to tell us that they were interrogators or that they carried out torture." Ms. Bong Rim had little to offer as they asked if she had witnessed homicide, torture, religious persecution, destruction of cultural property, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, rape, discrimination or a variety of war crimes. Like many other low-level cadres, she said she had had no idea of the extent of the Khmer Rouge killings. "All she knew," said Mr. Vanthan Dara, "was that they kept telling her to work harder, harder."

China (see Japan)

Xinhuanet 17 Sept 2002 Massacre of 3,000 remembered in Northeastern city BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- A solemn public memorial service was held in Fushun, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, yesterday to mark the 70th anniversary of the "Pingdingshan Massacre." "The memorial is to remind the Chinese people of the national humiliation 70 years ago," said Fushun Mayor Wang Daping. Some 4,000 people - including 400 Japanese - attended the activity sponsored by Fushun municipal government. "On behalf of the Japanese, I convey my condolences to the victims and also the families of the deceased in the Massacre," said a representative from the Japanese Small and Medium Enterprise Association, who declined to give his name. He condemned the Japanese imperialist act of aggression and expressed his hope that peace could be safeguarded in Asia and the whole world. Japanese troops drove more than 3,000 local villagers at the foot of Pingdingshan Hill in southern Fushun to grassland in the west of the village and massacred them on September 16, 1932. To conceal their crimes, Japanese invaders burned the bodies and 800 houses in the village. Only 36 people survived the massacre and 31 of them provided testimony for the "Pingdingshan Massacre" Museum, which was built in 1972 at the scene by Fushun municipal government. More than 5 million visitors have visited the museum during the past 30 years. A half-month exhibition sponsored by Fushun City Museum to show evidence of aggression of the Japanese invading army opened yesterday.


PTI 9 Sept 2002 Five Hindus massacred in Rajouri Press Trust of India Jammu, September 9: Continuing their attacks on civilians in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, militants killed five Hindus, and injured another in a village in this district on Sunday night, official sources said in Jammu on Monday. The sources said a group of unidentified militants came to Dodasan-pain village in Thanamandi Tehsil between 2000 hours-2100 hours on Sunday night.

Times of India 17 Sept 2002 Communal violence flares in Borsad, 1 killed BORSAD, Anand: Curfew was clamped in Borsad in Anand district on Tuesday after one person was killed in police firing as communal violence, triggered by an accident, flared up late on Monday. While the police fired 22 rounds on Tuesday morning in the Chokshi Bazaar and Rabadi Chakla areas, 11 rounds were fired at Kasipura, where the trouble began, late on Monday. Indefinite curfew was clamped on Tuesday morning and Ahmedabad range IG Kuldip Sharma toured the troubled areas. Thirty-five-year-old Shiraz Vohra was killed in police firing on Tuesday, while another person, Mukesh Shah, sustained serious stab injuries. Seventeen police personnel were injured, including Borsad inspector G I Goswami. Two shops and a house were also set on fire. The state administration may have made claims about normalcy, but it took a minor accident - a scooterist hitting a boy - to start a riot. The scooter was being driven by a member of the minority community, while the boy belonged to the majority community. The incident took place at Kasipura, an area bordering Hindu-dominated Ram Padpadi and Syed Tekra, an area with a strong Muslim population. "As soon as the boy was hit, stones began raining from Ram Padpadi area," said social worker Manabhai Malek of nearby Rabadi Chakla. Eyewitnesses said that the area was soon transformed into a battlefield with members of both the communities pelting stones till police intervened and fired in the air. The scooter was set ablaze. The area continued to simmer through the night and resulted in another outburst around 9 am on Tuesday when Mukesh Shah was stabbed while performing 'aarti' at a temple in Chokshi Bazaar. The stabbing led to yet another round of stone-pelting and a mob set a shop and a house on fire before police resorted to firing. "While Monday's incident was triggered by an accident, it was a stabbing incident that brought about renewed tension in Borsad on Tuesday. We clamped curfew as soon as clashes began and the situation is under control. A strong bandobast has been made as the immersion of Ganpati idols is slated for Friday. We are trying our best to ensure that the immersion goes off peacefully," Anand SP B D Vaghela told Times News Network. Borsad, which had witnessed communal violence during the peak of the post-Godhra riots, turned into a ghost town once again on Tuesday with desolate streets, lined with empty Ganpati pandals, being manned by police personnel as people peeked out of their houses.

Dawn (Pakistan) 19 Sept 2002 Scholars blame upper caste for Gujarat massacre By Our Correspondent TORONTO, Sept 18: A gathering of prominent university professors and intellectuals has called upon international organizations dealing with human rights to explore all avenues to bring the perpetrators of Gujarat genocide to justice. The Canada-based South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) arranged a day-long forum on 'Genocide in Gujarat' in Vancouver with speakers, mostly Indian Canadians, regretting that the Gujarat tragedy has created a negative impact on peace prospects in the subcontinent. Nishrin Jafri, daughter of a Congress leader from Ahmedabad, Ehsan Jafri, who was murdered in the clashes, also spoke on the occasion. She gave a moving account of what happened to her father and other members of her family. Other speakers pointed out that the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP), along with other Sangh Parivaar organizations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), had succeeded in winning over upper caste Hindus during the eighties. They said the upper caste was particularly strong in Gujarat, which has become a BJP stronghold. Prof Radhika Desai of University of Victoria, Canada, gave an incisive perspective of the rise of Hindu extremism in India, in general, and in Gujarat, in particular. She said there was nothing surprising about this: rather, it was the coming together of BJP's ideology and strategy, on the one hand, and the political inclination of India's predominantly Hindu elite. Radhika drew the participants' attention towards the fact that there has been a regular pattern to the communal riots in Gujarat, where the properties and businesses of the minorities are destroyed systematically. She said this socio-economic factor had provided a very fertile ground for the massive ideological and political growth of Hidutva. Professor Mordecai Briemberg of Canada Palestine Network provided a global perspective of genocides and crimes against humanity. He said these crimes were committed because the other side was deemed to be less than human. He analysed the happenings in Gujarat in the perspective of the ongoing violence in Palestine. Dr Sharma, Professor Emeritus at the Simon FraserUniversity, held the government responsible for not intervening immediately to stop the massacre in Gujarat. Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed of Stockholm University spoke about the negative impact of the Gujarat massacres on peace in the Sub-continent and also on the entire world. Dr Laurie King-Irani of University of Victoria discussed the many avenues that could be explored to bring to trial the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Gujarat. Earlier, the President of SANSAD, Dr Hari Sharma, said the aims and objectives of his organization were to draw the world's attention to crimes against humanity. The delegates passed a resolution which said those responsible for the genocide in Gujarat must be brought to justice within the legal framework of India.

PTI 19 Sept 2002 GUJARAT-CPM Centre shamelessly justifying violence agst minorities: CPI(M) NEW DELHI, SEP 19 (PTI) CPI(M) today said the "arbitrary" transfer of top Gujarat intelligence officials showed the "scant respect" with which BJP holds the constitutional authority and rule of law and accused the Centre of "shamelessly justifying" violence against minorities in the state. "The Vajpayee government, instead of intervening in the situation to protect communal harmony in the state, is shamelessy justifying the state-sponsored genocide of Muslims in Gujarat," the party Polit Bureau said in a statement. Expressing surprise that NDA partners were "keeping mum even while BJP is seeking to disrupt the unity of the country", it said "if these parties do not rise to the occasion and come forward to check the rising tide of communalism and fundamentalism, their secular credentials will be in doubt". The CPI(M) said the "objective reports" of these officials had helped Election Commission understand the ground realities in the state. It asked all secular and patriotic forces to realise the gravity of the situation "created by highly anti-Muslim provocative statements made by Narendra Modi, VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders" and come out resolutely against the threat to India's secular traditions and national integrity.

PTI 21 Sept 2002 MCC kills six persons in Jharkhand Press Trust of India Ranchi, September 21 The ultras of the Maoists Communist Centre (MCC) killed six persons and injured a few others while they were cutting firewood in a forest in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district on Friday. While the Chauparan police station sources, under which the incident occurred, today said the victims were beaten to death, the DGP control room sources here said four persons were fired upon by the ultras. The incident, which happened in a forest between Asnachua and Bokhra villages, came to light when one of the injured, Prabhu Singh, managed to escape from the clutches of the extremists and reported to villagers about the massacre. The victims were identified as Matki Bhuyan of Banno village, Mandev Bhuian of Pathalgarh, Sushil Singh, Kripal Singh, Khadagdhari Sav and Doblu Singh all of Igunia village. The police have launched a massive hunt to apprehend the ultras.

PTI 22 Sept 2002 Curfew continues in riot-hit Gujarat town Ahmedabad, The curfew imposed in Borsad town of Anand district in central Gujarat on Tuesday last following group clashes and subsequent police firing in which one person was killed, continued for the sixth day on Sunday even though the situation in the troubled-torn town remained peaceful and under control, police said. The town on Monday last witnessed a clash between members of two communities, who hurled crude bombs at each other, prompting the police to open fire. Indefinite curfew was imposed in the town since Tuesday morning. However, in a fresh bout of violence on Tuesday, some shops were set ablaze by frenzied mobs in the town, forcing police to lob teargas shells and fire 22 rounds, in which one person was killed and three others sustained injuries. Twenty-six policemen and fire brigade personnel were also injured in stone-pelting by the rampaging mobs.

PTI 23 Sept 2002 Stop Modi's minority-bashing, Muslim league leader tells PM Thiruvananthapuram, September 23: Indian Union Muslim League General Secretary E. Ahmed, MP, asked the Prime Minister on Monday to restrain Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from "creating communal hatred" through "anti-minority speeches" during his Gaurav Yatra, if necessary by invoking penal provisions. "Modi should be stopped from indulging in anti-minority campaign. If necessary, the provisions in the Indian Penal Code meant to check spread of communal hatred should be invoked," Ahmed told reporters here.

PTI 24 Sept 2002 VHP dares Maharashtra govt to ban Bajrang Dal VHP on Monday said it would oppose 'tooth and nail' any move by the Maharashtra Government to ban it and its youth wing Bajrang Dal. "We are only engaged in creating awareness among Hindus in a constitutional and democratic way. We are neither violent nor anti-national", VHP Central Secretary and spokesman Veereshwar Dwivedi said. Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Kripashanker Singh had said on Monday that the state government was likely to initiate moves to ban Bajrang Dal and VHP in the state in the wake of the violence in Gujarat. Dwivedi said the Sangh Parivar outfit would oppose tooth and nail any move to ban the two organisations.

Reuters 24 Sept 2002 Kashmir election violence toll rises to 527 SRINAGAR: More than 520 people, mostly separatist rebels, have been killed since Kashmir's state election was announced at the beginning of August, according to official figures. Police said a militant was killed on Tuesday after an overnight siege, taking the death toll to 527. Before Tuesday's casualty, officials had broken the toll down into 262 guerrillas, 147 civilians, 86 security personnel and 31 political activists, including the state law minister. Jammu and Kashmir's main cities of Srinagar and Jammu, as well as the adjacent district of Budgam, voted on Tuesday in the second of four rounds of voting for a new assembly in the Himalayan state at the centre of a tense confrontation between India and Pakistan. Muslim rebels have vowed to kill anyone involved in the elections that separatist political groups say are no substitute for a U.N.-mandated plebiscite to decide whether Kashmir should stay with India or be merged with Pakistan. An extra 40,000 security personnel have been brought in to secure the state for the election. More than 35,000 people have died in the 13-year rebellion against Indian rule -- more than 2,000 this year alone.

Times of India 24 Sept 2002 10 die as terrorists attack Gujarat temple, siege on BHARAT DESAI GANDHINAGAR: About 10 persons were killed and another 50 injured in a deadly attack by terrorists on the Akshardham temple complex on the outskirts of the state capital of Gujarat on Tuesday evening. Most of the victims were believed to be children. Two armed terrorists entered the sprawling Akshardham temple complex at around 4.45 pm and started shooting indiscriminately at the visitors. The exact count of the casualties was not known but eye-witnesses reported several bodies of those dead and injured being taken out of the temple complex. The injured were rushed to the Gandhinagar civil hospital. A contingent of the Rapid Action Force entered the temple complex about 45 minutes after the attack and gunshots could be heard by those who gathered at the site on hearing the news. The entire temples complex was barricaded and cordoned off even as a ‘Red Alert’ was sounded all over Gujarat. Securitymen also took positions in and around the VVIP enclave, located just a couple of kilometres from the temple , which houses the residences of the state ministers and top officials. Police sources said the attack was in all probability a retaliation to the communal riots which took place in Gujarat earlier this year. The Home Secretary S Nityanandam said "we do not have the details yet, but we believe there are two terrorists inside the temple complex". State health minister Ashok Bhatt said that 15 of the injured persons had been brought to the hospital. Hirabhai Solanki, who is the brother of Gujarat minister Purushottam Solanki, and was present at the spot when the attack took place, said he fired at the terrorists with his private weapon when the shoot-out started. Solanki’s clothes were soaked in blood as he tried to move the injured persons to safety. "I believe there are at least 3 or 4 terrorists inside", he said. The temple belongs to one of the Swaminarayan sects and had been visited, among others, by the former American president Bill Clinton after the earthquake last year. Akshardham was set up by followers of Lord Swaminarayan, who lived from AD 1781-1830. The Akshardham temple: http://www.akshardham.com/


AFP 2 Sept 2002 Eleven killed in new violence in Aceh province BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Sept 2 (AFP) - Eleven people -- including a married couple whom police described as separatist rebels -- have been killed in the latest violence in Indonesia's Aceh province, police and the military said Monday. A joint police and military patrol shot dead a husband and wife in a skirmish with Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels in the Woyla area of West Aceh on Sunday, said police spokesman Adjunct Chief Commissioner Dadek Achmad. The couple were believed to be GAM members, Achmad said. He said troops later shot dead three more rebels following a separate ambush by rebels at Blang Dalam village in Woyla. No immediate confirmation was available from GAM. In North Aceh on Sunday four unidentified gunmen opened fire on a house in the Tumpok Teungoh area of Lhokseumawe town and killed three bystanders, residents told reporters. Police were still investigating the incident, said district police chief Adjunct Chief Commissioner Sunardi. Aceh military spokesman Major Zaenal Mutaqin said the gunmen were GAM members. Local rebel spokesman Teungku Jamaika denied the claim, saying his members could not have penetrated the heavily guarded centre of town. Mutaqin said a 39-year-old female rebel was also shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Peusangan area of Bireuen district on Sunday. The rebel group could not be reached for confirmation. He said troops shot dead another rebel in the Ujung Pacu area of North Aceh district after he acted suspiciously while being questioned on the street on Sunday. GAM's Jamaika said the victim was a civilian who ran away because of fear. Residents found an unidentified corpse bearing gunshot wounds at Geulanggang village in Bireuen district on Sunday, humanitarian workers said. An estimated 10,000 people have died since 1976 when GAM began its fight for independence in the province at the tip of Sumatra island. An Acehnese rights body has said 845 civilians have been killed this year alone.

AFP 3 Sept 2002 Two more killed in Indonesia's Aceh province BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Sept 3 (AFP) - Two more people have been killed in the separatist revolt in Indonesia's Aceh province, the military said Tuesday. A community security guard for the major liquefied natural gas plant PT Arun was shot dead in the Muaradua area of North Aceh district on Monday, said Aceh military spokesman Major Zaenal Mutaqin. Mutaqin said Ismail Abubakar, 45, died from a massive head wound, adding the gunmen were believed to be members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Local GAM spokesman Teungku Jamaika denied the claim, saying the gunmen were soldiers. An unidentified male corpse bearing gunshot wounds was found by residents of the Bukit Rata area of North Aceh on Monday, Mutaqin said. An estimated 10,000 people have died since 1976 when GAM began its fight for independence in the province at the tip of Sumatra island. An Acehnese rights body has said 845 civilians have been killed this year alone.

AFP 4 Sept 2002 At least three killed in Indonesia's Aceh BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Sept 4 (AFP) - Three suspected separatist rebels have been killed in the latest violence in Indonesia's Aceh province, the military said Wednesday. Troops killed three Free Aceh Movement (GAM) guerrillas in a 30-minute firefight at Raya Sanggue in Pidie district on Tuesday, local military chief Lietenant Colonel Supartodi said. Three other rebels managed to flee, he said. A GAM commander, Teungku Burhan, said troops killed three civilians and arrested three others during an anti-rebel sweep on Tuesday at Babahrot in South Aceh. The army denied the claim as propaganda. A GAM spokesman, Teungku Mukhsamina, said soldiers killed a rebel and a civilian in Aceh Besar district on Tuesday. The military denied knowledge of the killings. An estimated 10,000 people have died since 1976 when GAM began its fight for independence in the province at the tip of Sumatra island. An Acehnese rights body has said 845 civilians have been killed this year alone.

Jakarta Post 9 Sept 2002 Four people killed in fresh Ambon violence Oktavianus Pinontoan, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta A Christian man was killed when a mob set his van on fire in the restive town of Ambon, Maluku, on Sunday after three Muslim females were shot dead in Kulur village, Saparua island, Central Maluku. Unidentified gunmen aboard a speedboat sprayed bullets at the coastal village of Kulur early on Sunday, killing a women and two girls. The victims were identified as Miftaul Ulung, 23, Fatimah Tuhulele, 11, and Fitria Litiloli, 11. Their bodies were taken to Al Fatah Mosque at Batumerah subdistrict, Ambon, setting emotions high among Muslims in Ambon, especially those originating from Kulur. People then set alight the passing van in the city's predominantly Muslim sector of Galunggung, killing its driver, identified as Dany Matulessy. To prevent the violence from spreading, security personnel blocked roads leading to Al Fatah Mosque, and guarded along streets dividing the Muslim and Christian communities in Ambon. The local police could not be immediately reached for comment. Meanwhile, the head of local Army office, Col. Hudawi Lubis, said: "We have closed the roads to avoid further incidents." Some, nevertheless, speculated that the attack on Kulur village was part of an effort to renew the interreligious violence in Maluku as Kulur borders the Christian village of Porto. Last Thursday, a bomb exploded at a stadium in Ambon, instantly killing three high school girls who were doing exercises in the stadium. Another girl died later at the hospital. Maluku has been the scene of fighting between Muslims and Christians that has left more than 6,000 dead since 1999. Tens of thousands of others have fled their villages for safer places. Maluku had remained relatively calm after representatives of the Muslim and Christian communities met and signed a peace agreement at the South Sulawesi resort town of Malino last February. Although clashes between Muslims and Christians had not happened since the signing of the peace accord, explosions, shootings and other killings have continued to occur in Ambon and other parts of Maluku.

Jakarta Post 15 Sept 2002 21 soldiers quizzed over shooting R.K. Nugroho, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura Police in Papua have so far questioned 21 Army soldiers who were on duty during the shooting at giant copper and gold mining company PT Freeport Indonesia compound in Timika on Aug. 31, 2002 but have said the investigation remained inconclusive with no one yet held responsible for the incident. Meanwhile, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSHAM) which called for an independent investigation into the case, has conducted its own probe into the incident. Papua Provincial Police chief Insp. Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika who led the police investigation into the case, said the soldiers were questioned to obtain detailed information about the incident because they were in charge of security in the tightly-monitored mining site. "We questioned the soldiers to get more information on how the incident happened and what they did after the bloody shooting." he told The Jakarta Post by telephone here on Saturday. He said the questioning of the soldiers was part of the field investigation. He declined to identify the 21 soldiers but said they were not detained. Besides questioning the soldiers, the police have also conducted an autopsy on the corpse of a tribesman, who was killed when security personnel conducted a sweeping operation at the scene. A number of other witnesses, mostly locals living near the location have also been questioned. Two Americans and an Indonesian were killed and 15 others were injured when gunmen attacked a bus at the mining site on Aug. 31. All injured victims have recovered after being hospitalized in Darwin, Australia, for several days. Pastika conceded that the police had not determined which armed group was behind the incident. "The attack could have been launched by the separatist group led by Kelly Kwalik or the one led by Tadius Yogi," he said, adding the attackers were opposed to Freeport's presence in the province. He pledged that the police would solve the case as soon as possible. Asked about the FBI agent's mission in the province, Pastika said he along with a staff member of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta had left. "They were here to observe the police investigation," he said. Kelly has denied the local officials' statement that he might be behind the incident. ELSHAM has called on the government to set up an independent fact-finding team to look into the case. It said the local security authorities' accusation that the assault was launched by rebels was strange because it was impossible for rebels with out-of-date firearms to enter the mining compound which was tightly guarded by professional soldiers from the Army's special force (Kopassus) and Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad). The local military had denied any involvement in the death of proindependence Papuan leader Dortheys "Theys" Hiyo Eluway when his body was found in an area bordering with Papua New Guinea on Nov. 11, 2001. However in a further investigation, at least ten members of Kopassus faced trial over their alleged involvement in the murder. ELSHAM supervisor John Rumbiak said ELSHAM and the Antiviolence Human Rights Foundation (Yamahak) were conducting a joint investigation into the incident. "We have met with all people who witnessed the incident and asked clarification from Freeport's management on the security system in the mining site to make an analysis on who should be held responsible for the incident," he said on Saturday.


WP 5 Sept 2002 Islamic Militants Harassing Iraqi Kurds Group in North Backed by Iran and Bolstered by Al Qaeda, Opposition Leaders Say By Daniel Williams Page A26 LONDON -- An Islamic militant group reinforced with refugee followers of Osama bin Laden has been harassing Kurdish allies of the United States in northern Iraq with support from Iran, according to exiled Iraqi opposition officials and Kurdish leaders. Over the past several months, the small guerrilla force known as Ansar al-Islam has carried out assassinations and assaulted Muslim villages it deems insufficiently pious. In July, Ansar militants killed nine fighters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two Kurdish parties that administer northern Iraq under a protective umbrella of U.S. and British warplanes. PUK officials say Ansar assassins tried to kill Barham Salih, a top PUK official, last April during a visit to Kurdish territory by Ryan Crocker, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state. U.S. officials have said Ansar has conducted small-scale experiments with biological poisons and crude chemical weapons, for possible use in attacks, according to the Associated Press. The group's presence and Iran's support underline the many complications to be faced by the United States in its plans to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Northern Iraq is a possible invasion route for U.S. forces. Ansar numbers only about 500 fighters and holds a handful of villages in eastern Iraq near the town of Biyara, in an area adjacent to territory administered by Kurdish authorities. A few dozen guerrillas from Afghanistan joined following the U.S. bombing of that country, officials here said. Some of these fighters are Afghans loyal to the deposed Taliban government, while others are Arabs from such countries as Saudi Arabia and Jordan who came to Afghanistan under the auspices of al Qaeda, according to the sources. After fleeing that country, they are said to have traveled through Iran and crossed into Iraq. The al Qaeda members have settled in a cave complex in high mountains along the Iranian border, reports from northern Iraq indicate. The area has become known as a little Tora Bora, after the al Qaeda cave fortresses in Afghanistan that U.S.-led forces attacked last December. Last month, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters that members of bin Laden's al Qaeda network have "landed in a variety of countries, one of which is Iraq." He placed indirect responsibility on Hussein, saying, "It's hard to imagine that the government is not aware of what's taking place in the country." The presence of al Qaeda fighters creates a peculiar dilemma for the Bush administration. Washington has pledged to pursue al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist suspects wherever they hide, and to punish countries that shelter them. Yet tussling with Iran over the issue is a tall order, and a military move against Iraq may be months away. The Kurds do not appear ready for a major offensive either. "Ansar is a bother," said a Kurdish official, "But not one yet that requires a major response." Iraq's neighbors have long worked with ethnic groups inside Iraq to destabilize the country. The Kurds have been a prime pawn in these games. Shiite Muslims, making up about 70 percent of Iraq's population, are also seen as a possible fifth column for influence by Iran, which is ruled by a Shiite fundamentalist government. In recent months, PUK officials speculated that Baghdad was Ansar's main backer. But now the consensus in London, including among PUK representatives, is that Iran provides key logistical support and a safe area beyond the northern Iraqi border. Hussein's security agents have had contact with Ansar, but Iraq is not the main sponsor, exile and Kurdish officials said. Weapons may come from several sources, including Iraq, but also other countries, a Kurdish official said. "It's not hard to buy weapons in our area," he said. Both Iran and Iraq have denied fostering Ansar. Iranian officials have called the group a threat to their country's security. "We find this group suspect and its activities unacceptable," a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry said last month. Baghdad, meanwhile, has pointed the finger at Tehran. In a radio broadcast, Uday Saddam Hussein, Hussein's eldest son, accused Iran of establishing an "extremist" group inside Iraq. The possible motives of Iran, whose reported support includes housing for families of the fugitive fighters from Afghanistan, are hazy. For the moment, the United States and Iran are strange bedfellows in the buildup to a possible attack on Iraq. Labeled by President Bush as part of an "axis of evil," Iran is headquarters of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an organization representing Iraqi Shiites. The group was one of six organizations invited by the Bush administration last month to Washington to discuss plans to topple Hussein. At the same time, Shiite Iran and Ansar, whose members follow the Sunni form of Islam, form an odd couple: Each considers the other to represent a heretical branch of the religion. Kurdish officials and observers believe that hard-line members of Iran's intelligence services are using Ansar as a reminder to Kurds that Iran can create mischief in northern Iraq. "It's a way of saying don't forget us, in case the Kurds get too cozy with the Americans," one Kurdish exile official said. Hussein's interest in Ansar is to keep the Kurds off balance and divert their military resources to a mountain sideshow, Kurdish officials and exile Iraqis say. The Ansar threat has forced PUK militia members to patrol roads in eastern Iraq. Baghdad has warned Kurds not to host invading American troops, in case of U.S. military action. "Saddam may be giving [Ansar] some weapons and supplies to keep his hand in," said a Kurdish official who recently visited northern Iraq. Ansar al-Islam, which means Supporters of Islam, is a successor to Jund al-Islam, or Soldiers of Islam, and combined with other Muslim-oriented Kurdish groups about six months ago. Jund al-Islam was responsible for the assassination of a top official of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, which administers part of northern Iraq. Last September, Jund al-Islam reportedly killed and mutilated about 20 PUK fighters.

WP 12 Sept 2002 Try Him for His Crimes By David J. Scheffer Page A23 The debate on Iraq overlooks the totality of Saddam Hussein's atrocities and how that record can help build an international coalition to end his rule over Iraq. For two decades, top Iraqi officials have committed massive crimes and atrocities -- genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This list includes far more than the common refrain that Hussein and his associates gassed their own people, particularly at Halabja in 1988. The criminal record includes other serious war crimes during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s; the genocidal Anfal campaign against Iraqi Kurds in 1987 and 1988; the invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990; the violent suppression of the 1991 uprising that led to 30,000 or more mostly civilian deaths; the draining of the southern marshes during the 1990s, which ethnically cleansed Hussein's southern flank of thousands of Iraqi Shiites; more ethnic cleansing of the non-Arab population of Kirkuk and other northern Iraqi areas; and the summary executions of thousands of political opponents. Following the invasion of Kuwait, Iraqi authorities killed more than 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians, held foreign diplomats hostage, unleashed environmental crimes on a colossal scale, looted Kuwaiti property, rained missiles down on Israeli civilians and committed war crimes against American soldiers. The fate of more than 600 missing Kuwaiti citizens remains unknown. All these crimes have been impressively recorded by the United Nations, the American, Kuwaiti, British, Iranian and other governments, and nongovernmental groups such as Human Rights Watch and the Iraqi opposition's INDICT organization, which has received financial and political support from Washington for years. Throughout the Clinton administration, I waged an often lonely campaign to compile the criminal record against the Iraqi regime and to seek indictments of Iraqi officials. By the end of 2000 our investigative team had amassed millions of pages of documents, resurrected an extensive archive of evidence prepared by U.S. Army lawyers and investigators during the Gulf War, interviewed key witnesses, and published a report and released aerial photography demonstrating Iraqi crimes against humanity. Yet no Iraqi official (at least 10 are of extreme interest) has ever been indicted for some of the worst crimes of the 20th century. My efforts to obtain U.N. Security Council approval for an ad hoc international criminal tribunal encountered one obstacle after another in foreign capitals, in New York and even within the Clinton administration. The usual excuse was that a tribunal would jeopardize either the United Nations' inspections regime or its sanctions regime. We needed Hussein's cooperation, which a criminal indictment might discourage. Now the stakes are much higher. While President Bush speaks of Hussein as an "evil man" and tries to convince Congress and the rest of the world that the Iraqi threat -- weapons of mass destruction, ties to international terrorism -- merits military intervention and a regime change, his publicly stated case seems oddly weak. How evil is Hussein compared with other tyrants? Without a return of U.N. inspectors to verify (as best they can) the state of Iraq's weapons production, what proof is there to compel such drastic and potentially catastrophic action? How serious is any terrorist connection? We know from the ad hoc criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and now for Sierra Leone, that indictments of alleged war criminals who lead tyrannical and genocidal regimes can destroy their political careers, isolate them internationally, end their regimes and even achieve justice. Whether or not the Security Council authorizes use of force against Iraq if credible inspections collapse, the United States should build an anti-Hussein coalition through old-fashioned law enforcement. The time has come for a Security Council resolution establishing an international criminal tribunal to investigate and prosecute the Iraqi leadership. Such a tribunal would confirm the evil character of the Iraqi regime. Its indictees would be subject to arrest. And its creation could pave the way for later U.N.-authorized military action to neutralize any weapons and terrorism threats and to bring about regime change with international support. With so much evidence readily available to a U.N. prosecutor, preparation of indictments could be speedily accomplished. It would be difficult for Russia or China or any other Security Council member to argue against a tribunal if the alternative were an American rush to war. In the meantime, an indictment process would discourage commercial deals that embolden the Iraqi regime and would compel contracting governments and companies to stall their implementation until new, unindicted officials rule Iraq free of U.N. sanctions. The time for offering Saddam Hussein incentives is over. He and his colleagues deserve to be indicted, and the U.N. Security Council must disarm Iraq. At the end of the day, both justice and international security must prevail. The writer is senior vice president of the U.N. Association of the USA and former U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes issues.

Scotsman UK 22 Sept 2002 Put Saddam on Trial - Lord Owen By Jon Smith, Political Editor, PA News British and American forces should occupy Iraq and put Saddam Hussein on trial for using chemical weapons on his own people unless he complies with UN resolutions, former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen said today. “The US and UK should not be looking for a quick exit from Iraq if they have to put forces in. They should be willing to stay until a federal democratic government is in place,” he said in a speech in Oxford. “They should openly say now that there would be an amnesty for all in the regime who lay down their arms and cooperate, except Saddam Hussein. “Saddam Hussein should be put on trial for using gas on his own people in a Special UN Court established under the 1948 Genocide Act.”

WP 23 Sept 2002 Conscience of Convenience By Fred Hiatt Monday, September 23, 2002; Page A19 In seeking congressional authorization to wage war against Iraq, President Bush cited, among other justifications, the regime's "brutal repression of its civilian population." The implication was that such tyranny can be a legitimate cause for outside countries to intervene. Imagine for a moment that Bush, or other leaders, really meant that. Almost no one now disputes that the United States and the United Nations should have prevented the murder of 800,000 or more Rwandans in 1994. "Too often the international community fails to do what is needed," U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote recently. "It failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda." In North Korea, as many as 3 million people have died from a famine caused largely by the failed economic policies of a brutally oppressive government. According to Jasper Becker, who wrote a book about Communist China's politically induced famine of 1958-1962, and who has interviewed many North Korean refugees, the famine in that isolated nation may have begun more than a decade ago. Yet Annan and his "international community" do not contemplate regime change to rescue North Korea's survivors. Human rights organizations for years paid more attention to a relative handful of abuses in South Korea than to a nation founded on the eradication of all liberty and personality. Last week, when North Korea acknowledged its long-suspected role in kidnapping Japanese civilians, Japan's prime minister opened the door to $10 billion in aid in gratitude for the confession. And Japan is no different from South Korea, China or the United States, each of which has an interest in North Korea (stability, fear of Korean reunification, an end to missile development) that does not include freedom for North Koreans. In Burma, the military junta murdered thousands to suppress pro-democracy demonstrations 14 years ago. Since then it has pressed millions into forced labor and allowed thousands of girls and women to be sold into forced prostitution, slavery of another kind. Yet the "international community" has no trouble sharing its conference halls with those responsible for this criminal behavior. Malaysia's prime minister clucks understandingly that democracy can't be rushed, and a U.N. envoy engages in dilatory negotiations with the regime while its generals fatten themselves on drug money. For more than two decades Saddam Hussein has kept his people locked in the most brutal of police states. He has exterminated tens of thousands of Kurds, forcibly evicted tens of thousands of Shia Arabs and made routine the use of murder, rape and torture against Iraqis of every ethnicity. Now Vice President Cheney says that, "In that troubled land, all who seek justice and dignity and the chance to live their own lives know they have a friend and ally in the United States of America." Is this a turning point -- a recognition that some despots simply should not be tolerated? Probably not. The administration even now does not pretend that the "liberation" of the Iraqi people is its primary motive; until a few days ago officials barely mentioned human rights there. Deposing dictators who threaten other nations is radical enough, as the current debate shows; going after those who merely enslave their own people is much more so. And it should come as no surprise that the "international community" doesn't think about rescuing captive populations: Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il are members of that community -- with standing more or less equal to that of leaders who govern with the consent of their people -- as are many rulers in a lesser league of butchery who nonetheless do not welcome outside judgment. So it is naive to think that people will link "regime change" to "brutal repression" as a regular matter anytime soon. Yet to the thousands of North Koreans who even today are scraping bark off trees or boiling grasses in an effort to survive, who are chipping coal in labor camps, who are deprived of donated American food because they are deemed insufficiently loyal to the regime, the proposition of international responsibility might not seem so outlandish.

Scotsman UK 24 Sept 2002 Marshes turned into desert in an act of genocide Tim Cornwell Deputy Foreign Editor IF the US succeeds in its goal of "regime change" in Iraq, advocates of the Marsh Arabs will demand that Saddam Hussein immediately join Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague - facing trial in a United Nations court for genocide. President Saddam already stands accused of unleashing poison gas attacks on the Kurds of northern Iraq, killing thousands. But in the south, his engineers, army and secret police are accused of literally draining the life-blood from a people and an ecosystem. The marshlands of southern Iraq, lying between the lower reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates, may have been where people first learned to control rivers with a system of dams and irrigation. In the 1950s, surveys suggested that about 400,000 people - the Maadan, or Marsh Arabs - lived there in an area roughly the size of Wales. Since the time of the ancient Sumarians, they had used giant reeds to build islands, canoes, and high-arched homes and subsisted on farming, fishing, hunting and the grazing of water-buffalo. It was a way of life 5,000 years old. But, last year, satellite pictures showed that their fabled wetlands had shrunk by 90 per cent. By 1991, under pressure from the lure of oil-rich Iraqi cities, and amid war with neighbouring Iran, the Maadan population was estimated at 250,000. But three years later, US figures showed that all but 50,000 had been driven out. This destruction, it is claimed, was the result not just of misplaced engineering schemes to dam rivers and turn marsh into farmland, but of a deliberate assault designed to empty a region of President Saddam’s opponents by drying it out. In 1991 Kurdish rebels who took over the Iraqi city of Shaqlawa seized a cache of secret police documents. Later translated by a UN representative, they included a "plan of action for the marshes". That document, whatever its authenticity, reads like a blue-print for what followed after the Gulf war, when Baghdad moved to crush a series of uprisings. After the collapse of Iraqi forces in Kuwait, the Kurds challenged President Saddam’s rule in the north and the majority Shia Muslims in the south. Baghdad saw the marsh dwellers as a source of ethnic and political dissent and their homeland a haven for Shia rebels, backed by Iran, hiding in a maze of lakes, waterways, reed-beds and villages reachable only by boat. The tactics used by President Saddam’s forces, it is alleged, ran from round-ups and mass executions to the use of gas shells and poisoning the waters around villages where reed homes were repeatedly burned. Napalm attacks and the destruction of scores of villages followed orders to wipe out the most troublesome marsh tribes. The waterways were left covered with floating dead fish. Schemes to drain the marshes were first considered under British rule and plans for a huge drainage canal complex were drawn up by British engineers in 1951. Dams and water control systems in Syria and Turkey were also to blame. The draining killed off reeds and bamboo, depriving tribespeople of construction material, fuel, and food for their livestock. Baroness Emma Nicholson, the former MP and now an MEP, has championed the plight of the Marsh Arabs since the Gulf war. "About half the marshlands could be restored, perhaps all, and certainly it could bring back their original way of life," she said. President Saddam had "ended the way of life for quarter of a million people" while the world looked on. Genocide against the Marsh Arabs is wholly provable she said, and "we should bring him to trial".

KurdishMedia.com 24 Sep 2002The Iraqi Marshlands: genocide, ecocide and a scandalous catalogue of injustices KurdishMedia.com - By Karen Dabrowska 24 September 2002 Reviewed by Karen Dabrowska The Iraqi Marshlands: a human and environmental study Edited by Emma Nicholson & Peter Clark Politicos, Pgs 332, £40.00 “As the guns fell silent and mighty armadas and warplanes returned to bases, the real victims – the people of Iraq and its refugees – were left to their fate. Sadly refugees are never short-lived tragedies. They historically become long-term intractable problems defying easy solutions. The refugees have lost their homes, their possessions and they were slipping from memory as well”. This tragic but realistic statement from freelance journalist Harold Briley, summarises the plight of not only the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq but of refugees throughout the world. As military action against Iraq looms on the horizon, and the Iranian government has made it clear that no Iraqi refugees will be allowed into the country, The Iraqi Marshlands ensures that the plight of the Marsh Arabs will not fade from the international radar screen. Both the British and American governments have released dossiers of evidence against the Iraqi regime. This book adds to the proof of the systematic campaign of murder, torture, rape and starvation being carried out in the marshland region of southern Iraq. It is a multi-disciplinary work which describes the former glory of the lower Mesopotamian marshlands. The marsh dwellers are the proud descendants of Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians and Arab Bedu. They have lived by growing rice and dates, raising water buffalo, fishing and weaving domestic products from reeds. Around them a richly diverse ecosystem – home for fish, migratory birds, pelicans, herons and flamingo – has remained in relative equilibrium for centuries, in spite of the fact that it has been one of the first areas ever used by mankind for extensive irrigated agriculture. Since the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, the marshland Arabs have been victims of an ecocide ruthlessly carried out by the Iraqi government. Satellite images, presented and analysed for the first time in the book, show clearly how major government-sponsored drainage works have reduced the marshlands to about 15 percent of their original area (15,000 – 20,000km2 to less than 1,500-2,000km2.)The area’s unique biodiversity has been destroyed and the marsh Arabs have been forced to flee. In the words of Baroness Nicholson of Winterborne, one of the book’s editors who set up the Amar Appeal to assist refugees who fled to Iran, “soon there will be no waters of Babylon besides which to sit down and weep – only barren, cracked earth, not suitable for agriculture”. Some experts believe that the marshes may disappear by the mid-21st century – or even earlier, by 2020. The Iraqi Marshlands is an expertly compiled, multi-disciplinary report divided into five main sections: the people (the demography of the region, the economy, the regime’s assault on the marshlands, and the educational and health needs of the refugees in Iraq), the place (the deltaic complex of the Lower Mesopotamian Plain, a hydro-engineering and political profile and the ecosystem), the problems (a historical review, the liability of the regime for human rights violations, water rights and international law). It ends with a moving personal testimony from Amir Hayder and an analysis of the prospects for the region. In 1997 it was estimated that 192,000 marsh dwellers remained in southern Iraq, with perhaps a total of 200,000 in Iraq as a whole. The number who have left (mainly for Iran) is estimated between 80,000 and 120,000. The reasons for this mass migration are obvious. In chapter four Assault on the Marshlands, Christopher Mitchell describes Saddam’s plans for southern Iraq outlined in secret police documents found when Kurdish fighters liberated the north of the country during the uprising of March 1991. One document describes a plan adopted in 1987 and approved by the president. Among its ingredients are ‘poisoning, explosions and the burning of houses’, assassinations of ‘hostile elements’, the use of ‘helicopters, supported by military aircraft’, a range of economic measures, such as blockade and ‘a ban on the sale of fish’, and ‘the possibility of regrouping the marsh villages on dry land (which is easy to control)’. In the first week of August 1992, 2,500 men, women and children were rounded up from the Chabaish marsh near Nasiriyah and taken to Baghdad. There they were told by the Defence Minister Ali Hasan al-Majid) that they were being given land to farm in northern Iraq and could ‘forget about the south’. The people from Chabaish were said to have been transported to an army camp 20 miles south-west of Arbil. On arrival in the north, the Shias were locked into ‘large farm sheds’ guarded by units of two security services. Then, according to a fugitive who was forced to wash away the blood every morning, they were executed, nightly, in groups of 100’. Such reports prompted Max van der Stoel to take the unprecedented step of placing the marshes section of his UN General Assembly report before the Security Council, together with his recommendations for a team of human rights monitors to be sent to Iraq. On 11 August 1992 he was invited to address the Security Council on the situation in the marshes (this was, again, unprecedented for a special rapporteur). On 27 August, the UN imposed an air exclusion zone, banning Iraqi operations of aeroplanes and helicopters, south of the 32nd parallel (Iraq had been mounting an average of 30 sorties a day, and sometimes more than 100). But there would be no UN intervention on the ground, and no monitors. Despite plumes of smoke rising from torched villages, clearly visible to American and British pilots as they patrolled the no-fly zone, no international action was taken to stop Baghdad doing exactly as it liked in the south. The principal manifestation of international will, the continuing economic embargo on Iraq, simply worsened the position for most of the population. In Iran, the marsh dweller refugee population is characterised by: · Low income, usually between 0.2 and 0.8 dollars a day per capita, well below the World Bank’s absolute poverty threshold. · High birth rate. · Poor general health, due to the poor quality of the medical infrastructure in the marshlands of Iraq. This includes a high crude death rate (around 4%) and high infant mortality rate (stabilised between 30% and 40%). · A low level of education, which is made worse by the low level of enrolment of refugee children in schools. It is surprising that Dr Bayan Alaraji, who has made 13 visits to the refugee camps in Iran and runs a charity which sponsors projects for orphans, widows, the disabled and needy families, was not asked to contribute to the section on Iraqi refugees in Iran. In chapter nine, A hydro-engineering and political profile, Thomas Naff and George Hanna, conclude that taking into account m the fact that some of the damage to the marshes will be temporary because of mismanagement of the hydraulic engineering projects, the obstacles to any significant future restoration and protection are formidable. So too are the obstacles to the repatriation of those marsh dwellers who might choose to return if they are given the chance. It may be possible, with international effort and assistance from credible organisations and international funding, to save the remnants of at least one of the marshes, as a model ecological, environmental and wildlife preserve that could attract eco-tourists and environmentalists at some future time. Chapters 14 and 15 (The liability of the regime for the human rights violations in the marshlands of southern Iraq and water rights and international law) leave little room for optimism that the regime will be brought to book for its destruction of the marshlands. Dr Adel Omar Sherif, the Chief Commissioner of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo concludes that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not be empowered to try the Iraqi regime crimes because the convention establishing the court has not yet come into force and this court will only try acts committed following its establishment. The establishment of an ad hoc tribunal for Iraq would allow international justice to prevail but greater efforts at both the national and international levels must be exerted if such a tribunal is to be established. The situation of the Marsh Arabs is part of the plight of the Iraqi people as a whole. From being a prosperous country with a superb social and educational infrastructure, huge mineral and oil resources plus considerable tourism potential, and with glittering prospects as a major regional power, Iraq has become one of the poorest countries of the world. In the words of historian Peter Sluglett :”It may be that the damage done so far to the ecosystem is irreversible; in any case, if the new hydraulic works were to be abandoned immediately, it would take many years for the area to recover. The tragic fate of the marsh dwellers forms yet another doleful chapter in the history of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by this appalling and utterly ruthless regime”.

KurdishMedia.com 26 Sep 2002 Toward the establishment of an International Criminal Court for Iraq from a Kurdish point of view - Part I KurdishMedia.com - By Dr Kamal Berzenji 26 September 2002 Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, Aggression and Violations of Laws and Customs of War are all parts of the so called Crimes under International Law. They are also sometimes refereed to as International Crimes. The Main Characteristics of such Crimes are: 1. They are being defined and prohibited by International Law, like relevant International Agreements, Human Rights Conventions and International Customary Law. 2. Universality: Universality of these crimes means here that it is duty of every state to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes. 3. Non-Applicability of statutory limitations to such crimes. This means that the individual responsibility of perpetrators of such crimes ends only with the death of these persons, contrary to ordinary crimes, where, depending on the type of the crime, the individual responsibility of the perpetrator ends after a certain period of time. 4. Such crimes could be only committed by a state or a state like politically organised entity. 5. Prohibition and punishment of such crimes constitute the so called jus cogens. This is the binding law, which has to be observed by any state, regardless, whether the state is a party to relevant International Agreement or not. Such crimes are nothing new in the history of the mankind although the methods to commit them change from time to time. The history of mankind is the history of atrocities, committed under various pretexts. Religion, race, nationality, territory and etc were some of the pretexts to commit crimes of these types. But what is really new is the universal prohibition and punishment of these crimes by the international law. It began after the Second World War, as the first International Military Tribunal was established to prosecute the Nazi war criminals in 1945. The crimes defined in the Art 6 of the statute of this tribunal constitute also nowadays the basis for definition of crimes against international humanitarian law. After the Second World War there was a long silence in connection with the punishment of perpetrators of crimes under international law, mainly due to the cold war. Many grave crimes under international law were committed since the Second World War and the beginning of the nineties of the last century, without being punished. The Kurds are only one example thereof, against whom all kinds of crimes prohibited by international law were committed. Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and grave breaches of Laws and Customs of War were routinely committed against this defenceless people at the front of the eyes of the international community and with the help of many of the so called civilised nations. Even in our days such crimes are continuing against the Kurds in the form of deportation, persecution and other practises defined by international law as international crimes and remain until today unpunished. The end of the cold war gave a great push to the efforts to bring perpetrators of crimes under international law to justice. Several ad-hoc and permanent national and International criminal courts were established, or are about to be established to prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes. The currently existing or planned Tribunals of this type are: 1. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (hereinafter “the Special Court”) This Court was established by the Security Council Resolution 1315 of 14 August 2000. a. The jurisdiction of the Special Court: 1- Crimes against humanity 2- Violations of Art 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II 3- Other serious violations of international humanitarian Law 4- Crimes under Sierra Leonean Law. b. Organisation of the Special Court: The Special Court shall consist of the following organs: 1- The Chambers, comprising two Trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber; 2- The Chambers shall be composed of eleven judges, of whom four shall be appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone and the rest by the Secretary-General upon nominations forwarded by states. 3- The Prosecutor; who shall be appointed by the Secretary-General and his deputy by the Government of Sierra Leone; and 4- The Registry c. Temporal jurisdiction: The Special Court shall have the power to prosecute persons most responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean Law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. d. Seat of the Special Court: Sierra Leone 2. The International Criminal Court (hereinafter the “ICC”) The Statute of the ICC was adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the establishment of an International Criminal Court held in Rome July 17 1998. The Rome Statute of ICC has come into force after, as required by art 126 of the Stature, the 60 ratifications have been deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The ICC will presumably be operational mid 2003. a. The jurisdiction of the Court: According to art 5 of the ICC Statute the Court has jurisdiction with respect to following crimes: 1- The crimes of Genocide 2- Crimes against Humanity 3- War Crimes 4- The Crimes of Aggression. b. The organisation of the Court: According to art 34 of the ICC Statute, the Court shall be composed of the following organs: 1- The Presidency 2- An Appeals Division, a Trial Division and a Pre-Trial Division 3- The office of the Prosecutor 4- The Registry. c. Temporal jurisdiction: According to art 11 of the ICC Statute: 1. The Court has jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force of this Statute. 2. If a State becomes a Party to this Statute after its entry into force, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force of this Statute for that State, unless that State has made a declaration under article 12, paragraph 3. d. Seat of the Court: According to art 3 of the ICC Statute, the seat of the Court shall be at The Hague in the Netherlands, but the Court may sit elsewhere, whenever it considers it desirable, as provided in this Statute. 3. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (hereinafter the “ICTR”) The ICTR was established by the UN- Security Council Resolution 955 from 8 November 1994. a. The jurisdiction of the ICTR: According to art 1 of the Statute of ICTR, the Tribunal shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of International Humanitarian Law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute. The crimes according to the Statute of ICTR: 1- Genocide (art 2) 2- Crimes against Humanity (art 3) 3- Violations of article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II. These crimes include also Acts of Terrorism as stated in lit (d) leg cit. b. Organisation of the ICTR: According to art 10 of the Statute of the ICTR, the Tribunal shall consist of the following organs: a) The Chambers, comprising three Trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber b) The Prosecutor c) A registry. c. Temporal jurisdiction: According to art 7 of the Statute of ICTR, the temporal jurisdiction of the Tribunal shall extend to a period beginning on 1 January 1994 and ending on 31 December 1994. d. The seat of the ICTR: The Statute of the ICTR does not contain any provisions about the seat of the Tribunal, but according to an arrangement between the United Nations and Tanzania, Arusha has been selected as the seat of the ICTR. 4. International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (hereinafter the “ICTY”) The ICTY was established by the Resolution 827 of the UN-Security Council 25 May 1993 for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991. a. The Competence of the ICTY: According to art I of the Statute of the ICTY, The Tribunal shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991. The ICTY has jurisdiction over following crimes: a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Convention of 1949 (art 2) b) Violations of the laws or customs of war (art 3) c) Genocide (art 4) d) Crimes against Humanity (art 5) b. Organisation of the ICTY: According to art 11 of the Statute of ICTY, the Tribunal shall consist of the following organs: a) The Chambers, comprising three trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber b) The Prosecutor c) A Registry, servicing both the Chambers and the Prosecutor. c. Territorial and temporal jurisdiction of the ICTY: According to art 8 of the Statute of the ICTY, the territorial jurisdiction of the Tribunal shall extend to the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including its land surface, airspace and territorial waters. The temporal jurisdiction of the Tribunal shall extend to a period beginning on 1 January 1991. d. Seat of the ICTY: According to art 31 of the Statute of the ICTY, the Tribunal shall have its seat at The Hague. 5. East Timor Human Rights Tribunal (hereinafter the “East Timor Tribunal”) This ad-hoc Tribunal was set up by a decree of the former president of Indonesia Aburrahman Wahid to try cases of human rights abuses by Indonesian troops in East Timor in 1999. This is not an international Tribunal and the judges and the prosecution are entirely composed of Indonesian Nationals. 6. Cambodia Special Court Nearly 1.7 million Cambodians were killed by Khmer Rouge between 1975-1979 and the perpetrators were never subjected to comprehensive indictment. Only in last three years there have been discussions between the Cambodian Government and the United Nations to set up a Special Court to try Khmer Rouge criminals. The Cambodian National Assembly issued a law in 2001 to set up a mixed tribunal-providing for local international and local lawyers to work side by side. The United Nations has pulled out of the project on February 2002 claiming “that the “mixed court” does not meet international standards of justice, because Cambodian lawyers were purely trained, and most judges were tainted with corruption and lacked independence from political meddling and intervention by the executive”. The Cambodian Government is continuing its efforts to realise the project and is about to appeal on individual states for assistance. The Jurisdiction of this type of courts extend over various categories of crimes defined by International Law like the “1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide, the “Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and its Additional Protocols, the UN-Charter and all Regional and International Human Rights Conventions. The current International Criminal Courts have jurisdiction over five main categories of crimes under International Law: 1. Genocide: Throughout mankind’s history the ugly crime of Genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity. This history has been marked by cases where national, ethnic, racial or religious groups were destroyed. The word Genocide has been for the first time used by the Polish scientist Raphael LEMKIN during the Second World War to denote an old practice in its modern development. This word is made from the ancient Greek word “genos” (race, tribe) and the Latin word “cide” (killing). Sometimes the word "Ethnocide" is used, which means the same like Genocide. The crime of Genocide is intended to signify “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion and the economic existence of the national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national groups as an entity, and the actions involved, are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group. In connection with the Kurds it is very important here to mention, that the Genocide has two phases: The first Phase is the destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group, and the second phase is the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. The last Phase include also wide scale deportation of the oppressed group and the settlement of the members of the oppressor in the territories of the first group. This is exactly what is happening now in South-Kurdistan (Iraq), which is a further proof that the crime of Genocide against the Kurds is continuing by the Iraqi regime. The Iraqi regime will be in any case the winner, even if it looses the war, because its main objective, namely to strengthen the position of the Arab group on the costs of the Kurdish group, would have been realised by the arabisation of wider Kurdish areas. In legal Terms, Genocide, as it stays in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (art II-III), the Statute of the ICC (art 6), the Statute of the ICTY (art 4), the Statute of the ICTR (art 2), means any of the following acts with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily harm or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. The crime of Genocide could be committed in peace and war times. The war time means international and internal wars. The most important element of this crime is the intention to wipe out a certain group, or at least to try it, only because of the affiliation of such individuals with the certain group. Applying these definition on the Kurds in Iraq, the Genocide is continuing on Kurds in Iraq. Since deportation of the Kurds from Kurdish inhabited areas, imposing of economic embargo and hampering the works of the Security Council Resolution 986 (oil for food program) are acts aiming to deliberately inflicting on Kurds conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction as a whole or in part. The other acts of Genocide committed against the Kurds, like Al anfal campaign are well documented. 2. Crimes against humanity: The crimes against humanity were first recognised in the Charter and judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as in Law No. 10 of the Control Council for Germany 1945. Crimes against Humanity, according to art 7 of the Statute of the ICC, art 2 of the Statute of the Sierra Leone Special Court, art 5 of the Statute of the ICTY, art 3 of the Statute of the ICTR, are: Acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population with knowledge of the attack. Those acts are mainly violations of common Art 3 of the Geneva Conventions and of Art 4 of Additional Protocol II thereto committed in an armed conflict not of an international character, which have long been considered customary international law. They are serious acts of violence which harm human beings by striking what most essential to them: their life, liberty, physical welfare, health and dignity. This category of crimes is recognised as one of the so-called core crimes under International Law. All states have the right and the duty to investigate, prosecute and punish crimes against humanity, irrespective of the location of their commission and the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim (universal jurisdiction). There is a long list of crimes of this kind, like: murder, extermination, persecution, discrimination, enslavement, arbitrary and/or unlawful deportation, unlawful imprisonment, torture, rape and gender crimes, enforced disappearance of persons and inhuman acts of a similar nature. The main characteristics of these crimes are: 1. They are directed against any civilians and not a specific group, otherwise it can be considered as an act of Genocide; 2. They are universal crimes 3. They can be committed in peace and war times. War times mean, international wars, as well as internal wars; 4. They could only be committed by a state or political organisation; 5. No specific intent (dolus specialis), as it is the case with crime of Genocide, but a general one (dolus generalis) is needed to commit these crimes; 3. Aggression: There does not exist an universally agreed upon definition of aggression till now. Aggression is normally the first use of force by a state against an other state. Art 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations reads: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”. In reality the Security Council decides whether an aggression has occurred or not, and therefor the definition of aggression is a political and not a legal one. Resolution 3314 (XXXIX) adopted by the General Assembly in its art 2 says clearly: “ The first use of armed force by a State in Contravention of the Charter of the Charter shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act of aggression although the Security Council may, in conformity with the Charter, conclude that a determination that an act of aggression has been committed would not be justified in the light of other relevant circumstances are not of sufficient gravity”. In international practice it depends very much upon which state uses the force and against whom and also who looses the war. 4. War Crimes These type of crimes could only be committed in war times, whether of internal or international character. There is a long list of such crimes, contained mainly in Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Additional Protocols June 1977, Customary International Law and in Art 8 of the Statute of the ICC, art 3-4 of the statute of the Sierra Leone Special Court, art 4 of the Statute of ICTR and in art 2-3 of the Statute of the ICTY. These crimes include mainly: a) Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder as well as cruel treatment such as torture, mutilation or any form of corporal punishment; b) Collective punishment; c) Taking of hostages; d) Acts of terrorism; e) Outrage upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault; f) Pillage; g) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognised as indispensable by civilised peoples; h) Threats to commit any of the foregoing acts; i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities; j) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilian or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict; k) Abduction and forced recruitment of children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups for the purpose of using them to participate actively in hostilities.


Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com 1 Sept 2002 Israeli and PA Arabs- Any Difference? by Ruth Matar (Radio Show) September 01, 2002 Our Israeli government makes me think of the saying, "None are as blind as those who refuse to see!" Last week we discussed the "Gaza-Bethlehem First" plan as being simply a new version of the disastrous Oslo Agreements, agreements which have cost the lives of hundreds of Jews and have resulted in tens of thousands of wounded and maimed. It is shocking to learn that when Defense Secretary Ben Eliezer and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced their Gaza-Bethlehem First plan on August 18, they knew (but didn't share this knowledge with the Israeli public) that the day before, the Israeli Security Services had apprehended a terrorist cell of Israeli Arabs working together with Arabs from Ramallah. The members of this terrorist cell admitted to complicity in executing eight separate devastating attacks in the last three months, in which thirty-five Israelis died and dozens were gravely wounded in different parts of the country. In addition, before making this agreement with the Palestinian Authority, did Ben Eliezer, Peres and Sharon take into account the terrorist attack at the Merom Junction where nine were killed and 48 wounded . Seven members of the same Israeli Arab family were cooperating with the Palestinian terrorists, according to today's Jerusalem Post in the article entitled, "Israeli Arab Terrorism on the Rise". In both these terror attacks, Israeli Arabs were collaborating with Arabs from areas controlled by Arafat's Palestinian Authority. In this regard, let us review statements of Sharon's spokesperson, Ra'anan Gissin, Shimon Peres and Ben Eliezer. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesperson, Ra'anan Gissin, said that Palestinian terrorist groups "are trying to recruit Israeli Arabs to participate actively in terrorist activity", but that the vast majority of Arab citizens are not engaged in terrorism. So how come the last two major terror attacks were a cooperative venture between terrorists from Arafat-controlled territory and Israeli Arabs? Mr. Peres, in an interview in Norway, as usual justifying his "New Middle East" pipe dream, states that he still feels that Arafat is entitled to the Nobel Prize, since he was the first Arab to renounce violence! In the face of increasing terror attacks, our Minister of Defense Ben Eliezer says: "I have complete faith that the Palestinians are sincerely intent on achieving peace. It is clear to me that the Palestinian leadership has done some serious soul searching. "He not only avoids speaking of victory, but repeatedly asserts that there is no military solution to the current conflict. His refusal to see reality, or maybe it is wishful thinking, is evident in his statement that Israel must take advantage of the "new wind that is blowing among Palestinians" by withdrawing systematically from Gaza, Hebron, and Judea and Samaria. There is indeed a new wind blowing. It is the ill wind of sedition and terrorism among Israel's Arab citizens. Sharon, Peres and Ben Eliezer refuse to acknowledge these dangerous developments. In truth: "None are as blind as those who refuse to see!" There is one man who is not afraid to tell the truth, Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Moshe Ayalon. Last Sunday, August 25, he spoke to the Annual Convention of Rabbis in Jerusalem. He asked the reporters to leave the room before speaking, but a recording was secretly made by someone in the audience. Chief of Staff Moshe Ayalon, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces, pointed out the following at this meeting: "The PLO has never sought anything besides Israel's destruction, and is still trying to implement its "plan of stages" to annihilate Israel. The goal of the current Palestinian leadership is not a "two-state solution", but a Palestinian State as a stepping-stone toward the elimination of Israel as a Jewish State. The capitulation by Ehud Barak to Syria and Lebanon was a fiasco that led to escalated violence and terror by the Palestinians; that the capitulation in Lebanon signaled to the Arabs that Israel is destructible. Syrian leader Bashir Assad was encouraged by Hizbullah's success and the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, but Assad recognizes Israel's clear superiority, which is why he is reluctant to put his army to the test. Iran, after the Khomeini revolution of 1979, is a state which openly advocates the destruction of Israel. The Iranians are also acting to support Palestinian terrorist organizations wherever they are--Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front, and even the Palestinian Authority itself. The episode of the Karine A weapons smuggling ship reflected Iran's policy of supporting anybody that could speed Israel's demise. Israel is much better prepared to meet any Iraqi threat today than during the Gulf War, both in terms of striking at Iraq and in dealing with any missile threat. Iraq does not pose an existential threat to the State of Israel. "In the long term, the threat posed by Iraq or Hizbullah doesn't make me lose sleep. What does cost me sleep are two things: first, the prospect of a hostile country attaining nuclear capability and altering the strategic balance; and, second the Palestinian issue. There is no way of coming to an understanding with the present Palestinian leadership; to show any weakness in this regard would put Israel into a tailspin. The outbreak of PLO atrocities is a direct result of Israel demonstrating weakness and defeatism. As a military man, I tell you this is a conflict Israel must win so the Palestinians will understand they cannot gain through terror. Palestinian violence threatens to contaminate and infect Israeli Arabs, and the failure to suppress Palestinian terror is leading to the radicalization of Israeli Arabs, and they're enlisting in terrorism." This is exactly what our topic tonight is about: IS THERE ANY REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISRAELI ARABS AND ARABS UNDER THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY? Our guests tonight are Member of the Israeli Knesset Michael Kleiner and Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, (Independent Media Review and Analysis). These interviews can be accessed. Hear the full interview.

Reuters 2 Sept 2002 Palestinians scorn Israeli probe Ramallah, West Bank  Palestinians dismissed Monday the Israeli army's plans to launch an investigation into the killings of Palestinian civilians as a propaganda ploy that would lead nowhere. On another front, Lebanon's Hezbollah organization said it fired anti-aircraft rounds at Israeli warplanes as they swept into Lebanese airspace. No planes were hit. Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer ordered a probe of operations over the weekend that killed 11 Palestinians, including two children in a helicopter strike, and revived criticism of tactics used to combat a Palestinian uprising. The deaths, condemned by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, led Israeli President Moshe Katzav to call for an inquiry into accusations that the army had become trigger-happy. Mr. Arafat accused Israel of trying to sabotage steps to end the 23 months of bloodshed, and his chief military liaison with Israeli forces called for those behind the "state-sponsored terrorism" to be prosecuted. The deaths have dimmed prospects for new talks aimed at a gradual truce. Hamas, an Islamic organization that has killed scores of Israelis in terrorist attacks, vowed revenge. Keeping up the criticism, senior Palestinian cabinet member Saeb Erekat predicted the Israeli probe would come to nothing. "The calls for an investigation are meant for media consumption, because we have never heard of any result of these panels created after the killing of Palestinian civilians," he told Reuters. "We place full responsibility on the Israeli government for these crimes and this bloodletting." Israeli Transport Minister Ephraim Sneh said "deep examination" is needed to safeguard the army's image. "There must be no impression of indifference to human life," he said. Under domestic pressure, Mr. Ben-Eliezer issued orders on Sunday for an inquiry and gave it until Friday to present recommendations to prevent such "unfortunate accidents" in the future. Tensions rise on northern border International and domestic criticism of the army's operations against Palestinian militants has grown since an Israeli air strike against a top Hamas military commander killed 14 civilians, nine of them children, in Gaza City on July 23. The Israeli army, which has consistently denied targeting civilians, attributed that incident to an intelligence failure. While Israel considered its military actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, tensions again flared along its northern frontier. Despite UN criticism, Israeli planes regularly fly into Lebanese skies, often breaking the sound barrier over towns and cities and drawing anti-aircraft fire from Hezbollah gunners. Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which helped expel Israel from southern Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year occupation, has vowed to drive Israel from the Shebaa Farms, which they say is still-occupied Lebanese land. The United Nations, which has certified Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon as complete, considers it Syrian territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Last week, Hezbollah attacked Israeli positions in the area, drawing an Israeli air raid and threats of retaliation. One of the Israeli soldiers injured during those clashes later died.

AP 2 Sep 2002 Report: Jewish Settlers May Move The Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP)  Israel's army has prepared a contingency plan for removing settlers from nearly all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and seven in the West Bank, the Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday. The newspaper said the plan was prepared several months ago, as part of a proposal that Israel agree to provisional Palestinian statehood in parts of the West Bank and Gaza, in exchange for a delay in talks on a final peace deal. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said a contingency plan for settlements, ``if it exists, was never brought to the attention of the prime minister or his aides.'' Sharon opposes the dismantling of settlements, including isolated enclaves. The Defense Ministry had no immediate comment on the report. As part of the plan, Israel would evacuate nearly all settlements in the Gaza Strip and seven in the West Bank, adding another seven percent of West Bank territory to the 42 percent the Palestinian Authority already holds, Haaretz said. The offer of a provisional state was floated several months ago by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also referred to the idea at one point, but it seems to have faded away since then, like many other Mideast peace plans. The deal would have given the Palestinians considerably less than an offer by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak during talks in July 2000 that proposed a Palestinian state in all of the Gaza Strip, more than 90 percent of the West Bank and a foothold in Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat rejected that offer, holding out for the right of millions of Palestinian refugees and their families to return to their original homes in Israel and insisting on sovereignty over disputed holy sites in Jerusalem. Haaretz quoted Israel's army chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, as saying settlements would not be dismantled as long as Palestinian attacks on Israelis continued. ``Every evacuation under terror and violence will strengthen terror and violence. It will endanger us,'' Yaalon was quoted as saying. Most of the settlements slated for evacuation, according to the contingency plan, are not inhabited by ideologically driven settlers, and its residents would be more willing to be relocated, Haaretz said. Only two settlements, Ganim and Kadim in the northern West Bank, were named in the report. About 200,000 Israelis live in settlements built in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War.

AP 2 Sept 2002 Israel to investigate killing of Palestinians JERUSALEM (AP)  The killings of a dozen Palestinians, most of them civilians, in less than a week have plunged Israel into a debate over how much force is permissible in its war on terrorism. At the center of the storm is Israel's new army chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, who laid out his doctrine in recent days  that Israel is fighting a war of survival against Palestinian militants who must be crushed at all costs. By Brennan Linsley, AP Critics says Yaalon, on the job for just two months, is encouraging excesses that could erode Israel's moral high ground against the Palestinian suicide bombers who have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and have badly disrupted normal life in the Jewish state. Yaalon's defenders say Israel must keep hunting Palestinian militants to protect Israeli civilians, and that while Palestinian civilian casualties are regrettable, they are also inevitable. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, leader of the moderate Labor party, has not criticized Yaalon in public, but he hinted at displeasure with the army chief by ordering him to complete an investigation into the civilian deaths by the weekend  an unusually quick deadline for such a probe. Ben-Eliezer also has supported tough action against the Palestinians, and has directed two major military offensives against Palestinian militias since March. However, he and Yaalon appear to have opposite views about the broader aspects of the conflict. The defense minister is trying to negotiate a gradual truce with Palestinian security officials, so far with little success. Ben-Eliezer believes that a wider cease-fire could lead Israel and Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority back to peace talks, and he supports far-reaching Israeli concessions in the future. Yaalon believes Arafat never accepted Israel and clings to a hope of gradually destroying the Jewish state. Israel's goal in the current conflict must be to "burn into the Palestinian consciousness" that violence does not bring them political gain, Yaalon told the Haaretz daily over the weekend. "If their (the Palestinians') feeling at the end of the conflict is that they can defeat us by means of terrorism, our situation will become more and more difficult," Yaalon said. "When you grasp the essence, it's clear what you have to do. You have to fight for your life." Comparing the threat by Palestinian militants to a cancer, Yaalon said he was "applying chemotherapy." Yaalon's predecessor, Shaul Mofaz, also supported harsh measures against suspected militants  and often was at odds with Ben-Eliezer, including about the possible expulsion of Arafat  but he was somewhat more guarded in public. Akiva Eldar, a liberal commentator for Haaretz, said Yaalon was indirectly encouraging soldiers to pull the trigger, and that there was a connection between his recent statements and the killings of civilians. "If the chief of staff says this is a war against cancer ... you don't need nuances, you kill it," Eldar said. Leah Tzemel, an Israeli human rights attorney, said Israeli officers have also become increasingly vulnerable to international war crimes charges. "I think that if one day we get to trials against soldiers, Yaalon will also have to explain himself. They (the soldiers) will say, 'These are the orders we received,'" she said. An editorial Monday in the Yediot Ahronot daily defended Yaalon. "Only those who do not take any action  and pay a terrible price in terror attacks all over the country  do not make mistakes in the course of offensive actions," it said. Ron Ben-Ishai, a veteran Israeli military correspondent, also shifted blame away from Yaalon, saying soldiers and commanders are worn out after two years of fighting. "This happens in every army," Ben-Ishai said. "There are rogue elements that are busy with the operational side, and start to despise rules of conduct." The debate was set off by the killings of 12 Palestinians in three separate incidents between Thursday and Sunday. In the first one, an Israeli tank shell slammed into a Bedouin encampment in Gaza, killing a woman, her two grown sons and another relative. The army said soldiers saw suspicious figures crawling near an outpost in the dark, and opened fire. In the West Bank on Saturday, two children, ages six and 10, and two teen-agers were killed in a botched missile attack on a local Palestinian militia leader. On Sunday, four Palestinians who relatives said were working the night shift in a West Bank quarry were killed by Israeli troops. The army said the men carried axes and cutting tools, and that soldiers opened fire after spotting one of them cut the gate to a Jewish-owned plot of land. The latest deaths came five weeks after 14 civilians, among them nine children, were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza that also killed senior Hamas militant Salah Shehadeh. The Palestinians, who accuse Israel of having used excessive force throughout the past two years, said Monday they had little faith the new inquiry will result in soldiers being punished. They noted that since September 2000, the vast majority of military police investigations into killings of Palestinian civilians have ended without charges being filed. Ben-Eliezer has apologized for the shelling of the Bedouin encampment and for the botched missile strike. However, there was growing concern that Israel was losing sympathy gained during Palestinian terror attacks. "Every such incident (the killing of civilians) pulls Israel's moral ground for fighting terror out from under its feet," wrote military analyst Yoav Limor in the Maariv daily. "A weak apology is not enough to placate world opinion."

Scotsman UK 2 Sep 2002 General who opposed Sharon is Labour s hope to oust him Ben Lynfield IN SEPTEMBER 1982, a brigadier-general named Amram Mitzna became one of a few Israeli army officers to risk a head-on collision with the defence minister, Ariel Sharon, over the invasion of Lebanon. After the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, Gen Mitzna wrote to the army chief of staff that he had "no confidence" in Mr Sharon. The defence minister did not take the criticism well, and five years later tried to wreck the general s military career. Now the two men are set to go head to head again. The intelligent, dovish mayor of Haifa, Israel s third largest-city, is the favourite to lead the Labour party against Prime Minister Sharon s hard-line Likud at the general election next year. His rise in popularity owes much to that fact that the present Labour leader, the defence minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, espouses policies that have been generally indistinguishable from those of Mr Sharon. Uzi Benziman, a columnist for Haaretz newspaper, said Mr Mitzna was filling a void. "There are people who favour a more dovish approach by the Labour party, who long for a sharper ideological distinction between Labour and Likud. "Mitzna is a new face ... it seems that people are looking to him as a messiah who will solve our problems." Mr Mitzna was schooled at a military academy and was drafted into the army in 1963. There he spent three decades and fought in three wars, in addition to being the general in charge of the West Bank at the outbreak of the first intifada, when he was known among Palestinians for tough tactics including house demolitions and expulsions. He says the post led him to the conclusion that force would not prevail on its own and that occupying Palestinian land was harming Israel s values. "It is obvious that by force alone, nothing can be solved," Mr Mitzna said recently at the memorial to the assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. "Over the past year, hundreds of citizens and soldiers were killed despite the fact that we have been using all of our strength against terror, with the best army commanders. "I have no blind faith in the Palestinians, but let us speak to one another honestly, let us look at each other in the eyes, let us give it one more chance, a real chance," he said. Sceptics believe Mr Mitzna will prove a disappointment like other left-wingers or centrists who sprouted from the military, including Ehud Barak, who preceded Mr Sharon as premier. One commentator, Uri Orbach, wrote in Yediot Ahronot that Mr Mitzna, who raised his children on a kibbutz in northern Israel, is an anachronism who embodies the hopes of the old, left-wing Ashkenazim (European-Jewish) establishment that once controlled the country. "He is the darling son of those people who feel that the country and Labour party have been taken from them." The big question about Mr Mitzna s future is whether his dovish stances can succeed within an Israeli polity that has moved steadily to the right during two years of violence depicted by politicians and the media as proof that there is no partner for negotiations. To his credit, Mr Mitzna has so far avoided tailoring his views to accommodate the electorate, something that he might be pressed to change in a prime ministerial contest. One advantage Mr Mitzna might have is his ability to enlist the support of Israel s Arab citizens, who make up 20 per cent of the population. In the last elections, they stayed away to protest against Prime Minister Ehud Barak s tough policies against the intifada and the shooting of 13 Arab demonstrators by police. Thanks in part to Mr Mitzna, Jewish-Arab relations in Haifa, which has a 10 per cent Arab minority, have remained civil, according to Shmuel Gelbhardt, a Green party councillor. "He has sympathy and empathy for the Arab minority," Mr Gelbhardt said. He accuses Mr Mitzna of being autocratic, but predicts the mayor would make a good national leader. "Security is his strong point and in government there would be more checks and balances."

Christian Science Monitor 3 Sept 2002 Deadly 'mistakes' by Israeli army draw rare criticism The Israeli army has killed as many as 12 Palestinian noncombatants since Thursday. By Ben Lynfield, Special to The Christian Science Monitor JERUSALEM - Israelis opening up the country's most popular newspaper Monday faced a disturbing sequence of photos. These were not the usual pictures that Yediot Ahronot runs of civilians or soldiers killed in Palestinian attacks, of Israeli newlywed couples or pregnant mothers whose lives were cut short. They were the pictures of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army. They showed the aftermath of six army actions in which 33 presumed noncombatants were killed since late June, coupled with a headline that said "Trigger happy." The last picture was of Palestinians killed by troops near Hebron on Sunday. According to eyewitness accounts, the four victims were taken from outside the stone quarry where they worked and shot by troops. An army spokesman said the people shot were "four terrorists on their way to carrying out an attack." The incident in Bani Naim comes on the heels of two other incidents in which eight civilians have been killed since Thursday, four by a tank and four by a helicopter assassination. Israel apologized for the first two incidents, and after the third, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer ordered an investigation. But dovish activists do not see much change ensuing. They say society as a whole has become inured to the deaths of Palestinians. The government, however, says that Israel is still sensitive to human lives, despite facing terrorism, as evidenced by the investigation, and it warns against equating Israeli army "mistakes" with what it describes as terrorist actions by the Palestinians. The unusual media sympathy for the Palestinians and the questioning of the army is largely because of the lull in Palestinian suicide bombings against Israel, says one analyst. "There is a direct relationship between Israelis being on the receiving end of terrorism and public tolerance for tough military steps," says Yaron Ezrachi, a political scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Galia Golan, an activist in Peace Now, says: "I think Palestinian life was always [seen as] relatively cheap, but with the terrorism of the past two years even those Israelis who believe in a two-state solution feel that Palestinians who are killed deserve it. There is definitely a sense of simply ignoring Palestinian deaths, and ... the answer people come up with is that they must have been responsible for terrorism. It is not that people are cruel or unthinking, but that terrorism has hardened them." In the view of the human rights group B'tselem, the spate of civilian deaths reflects a policy that has been in effect since the fighting started two years ago of "carelessness to the lives of Palestinians." Elements of this policy include free-wheeling and vague shooting regulations and a lack of enforcement against soldiers who misuse their weapons. "The army does not intend to kill civilians, but when so many die this lack of intention does not reduce the heaviness of the responsibility of soldiers for these killings," says Ofer Feuerstein, a B'tselem spokesman. He says that during the first year and a half of the intifada, when 697 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured by soldiers, only four military police indictments were issued for misuse of weapons. Mr. Ezrachi says the signals soldiers receive from the top brass and fears for their own personal safety also lead to civilian deaths. He referred to an Aug. 25 statement by chief of staff Moshe Yaalon, who likened the Palestinian intifada to a disease. "The characteristics of that threat are invisible, like cancer," he said, according to Agence France-Presse. Army officials dismiss that charge. "We try to separate the innocent Palestinians from terrorists, but the terrorists make it difficult by using civilian infrastructure. When a gunman runs from soldiers, they will hide in civilians houses, or suspects fleeing in cars take other passengers." Tzipi Livne, a minister from the Likud party, says: "There is a difference between a terrorist with an explosive belt who bombs a pizzeria and an incident that takes place with troops in our army. Murder is not the same as a death caused by negligence." But Musa Zaabout, a Palestinian legislator from Gaza City, says, "We see all of these attacks against our civilians as deliberate. This is part of an effort by Sharon to make the Palestinians surrender by killing them everywhere and everytime."

AFP 4 Sept 2002 UN urges Israel to relieve humanitarian crisis in Palestinian territories by Robert Holloway UNITED NATIONS, Sept 4 (AFP) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's personal humanitarian envoy, Catherine Bertini, urged Israel on Wednesday to live up to commitments to minimise the impact of its security measures on Palestinian civilians. In a report to members of the Security Council, Bertini said "a serious and mounting humanitarian crisis is occurring in the West Bank and Gaza." A copy of the report was made available to AFP, The crisis was "inextricably linked" to measures taken by Israel in response to suicide attacks on military and civilian targets, Bertini said. She said that during an eight-day visit to the region last month, she obtained "several commitments from Israeli authorities to address some of the most immediate constraints." These included a commitment not to hold ambulances at checkpoints for more than 30 minutes, and "to ensure the regular and uninterrupted delivery of water to cities and villages." Israel had previously committed itself to improving the overall situation at checkpoints, to deploy more experienced army personnel and to implement a 12-mile fishing zone off the Gaza coast, she said. "Implementation of these five measures will save lives, provide a measure of relief and represent a glimmer of hope on an otherwise bleak horizon," she said. Their timely implementation was critical, she added. Evidence for the crisis lay in "rising levels of malnutrition among children, high levels of poverty and unemployment, deteriorating health conditions" and the increasing inability of Palestinians to make survival strategies work, Bertini said. The report was based on a visit she made to Israel and the Palestinian territories between August 12 and 19 and on interviews she had with top officials from both sides. In it, Bertini said she fully acknowledged Israel's need to protect its own civilians from further attacks by Palestinian groups. She called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to "prosecute and effectively bring to justice any personnel and other individuals suspected of being involved in criminal activities, including attacks on Israeli civilian targets." The PA should "ensure with all the means at its disposal" that ambulances and other humanitarian services were not used for unlawful activities or contraband, she said. Israel should lift restrictions on the movement of goods and people so as to allow farming and trade to resume, she said. In particular, she said it should take immediate steps to allow farmers to harvest olives and market olive oil. The report noted that the olive harvest was a major source of income for the rural population and said it was at risk of being lost if conditions did not change before October. Bertini, a former head of the United Nations World Food Programme, was appointed as Annan's envoy on August 7. She said more than 100,000 jobs had been lost as the result of tighter border controls, a sharp cut in work permits for Palestinians in Israel, and "the almost complete cessation of productive activities in the West Bank and Gaza." Many Palestinian families had seen their incomes dry up, but prices had not gone down, Bertini said. A growing number of families had cut down their food consumption, and 22.5 percent of children now suffered from chronic or acute malnutrition, she said. Anaemia had been found in 19.7 of children. An estimated 1.5 million Palestinians out of a total population of 3.3 million now receive direct food aid, more than five times as many as two years ago, she said. Half the population had had to borrow money to buy food, and about 17 percent had had to sell assets to do so, she went on. The report also called on Israel to "ensure access by all people in need of medical services and the free flow of all aid workers, supplies and services, including medical supplies."

BBC 5 Sept 2002 Israeli police hunt car bomb suspects Israel is on a high state of alert for the New Year Israeli police are hunting two Palestinian men suspected of trying to set off a huge car bomb inside northern Israel. The device was discovered inside a van that entered Israel from the West Bank loaded with about 600 kilograms (1350 pounds) of explosive, Israeli radio reported. I think that this morning a very great tragedy has been prevented Yaacov Borovsky, police chief The van and a car were stopped at a checkpoint and the occupants, believed to be Palestinian militants, fled. Police are combing the area using tracker dogs and helicopters. The suspects are believed to have fled into Israel. Police said the bomb was one of the biggest they have ever found and would have caused devastation if it had gone off. "I think that this morning a very great tragedy has been prevented," police chief Yaacov Borovsky told Israel radio. Suspicions were aroused after civilian volunteers spotted two suspect cars travelling very fast on a winding dirt road leading from the West Bank. They were heading in the direction of the Israeli town of Hadera, which has been rocked by several suicide bombings and gun attacks in the past two years. Police said the explosives, gas canisters and a mobile phone were attached to the fuel tank of the van and would have been detonated by remote control. Israeli bomb disposal experts blew up the device safely in a controlled explosion. New Year threat The discovery of the car bomb comes after nearly a month in which no Israelis have been killed by Palestinian militants inside Israel. Sharon said he sees a chance for peace Hours earlier Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Israeli television that he saw the possibility of a negotiated peace deal with the Palestinians. Israel has been on a state of high alert as it prepares to celebrate the Jewish New Year. In the West Bank, Israeli troops arrested four wanted Palestinians near the city of Nablus, said to be planning a suicide attack to mark the Jewish holiday, Israel radio reported. In the southern Gaza strip, an Israeli tank hit an explosive charge, according to Israeli military sources. They did not provide details about the extent of the damage or possible injuries. The incident took place near the Kissufim crossing point with Israel, on a path used by units patrolling the security fence separating the narrow Gaza Strip from the rest of the world.

WP 7 Sept 2002 An Israeli Probe Clears Soldiers In Attacks Orders That Killed 12 Deemed Appropriate By Molly Moore Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, September 7, 2002; Page A11 JERUSALEM, Sept. 6 -- An Israeli military investigation today found that soldiers acted appropriately when they launched three recent attacks that killed 12 Palestinian civilians. Four of them were members of a family whose house was shelled, four were stone factory workers, and four were youths in the West Bank town of Tubas. "The findings reveal that the standing open-fire orders, used in the three incidents, were appropriate," the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and defense minister's office said in a joint statement issued late today, just before the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. Palestinian officials condemned the findings of the investigation, accusing the military of a coverup, while human rights organizations said the military failed to conduct a proper probe. "They want to cover up all these crimes," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority. "The problem is that the more they cover up, the more they give a green light to more killing of Palestinian civilians. Then there is more retaliation for those killings, and we will continue this vicious cycle." Ofir Feuerstein, a spokesman for the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, said that while the military found the open-fire orders "appropriate" in the three cases, "all of these incidents demonstrate there is a problem with the open-fire regulation and that's the main problem." A military spokesman today said he was forbidden from explaining the guidelines governing "open-fire orders," which determine when soldiers are allowed to shoot. Military and top Israeli officials had previously expressed regret for the civilian deaths. The statement issued today said the Israeli military "will continue to act in order to prevent terrorist activities, which threaten Israeli civilians and soldiers, while doing its utmost not to harm innocent civilians." On Sept. 1, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer ordered an investigation of the incidents after the deaths of the four stoneworkers. Two days later he told reporters that after reviewing the preliminary results of the probe, he was "convinced that it was bad luck" that led to the rash of killings. Israeli officials frequently note that the majority of the people killed in suicide bombing attacks by Palestinian groups are civilians, many of them women and children. The military investigation covered three incidents that occurred in a four-day period. The first was a tank attack Aug. 29 on a small house in a Bedouin community near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. In addition to the four family members who died, seven others were injured. The dead included a 4-year-old boy. Two days later, on Aug. 31, Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at a car driven in the West Bank town of Tubas by a man whom Israel identified as a Palestinian militant, killing the driver, two teenagers in the vehicles and two children playing nearby. The next day, four Palestinian laborers were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers near Hebron, in the West Bank. One Palestinian co-worker said that, before they were shot, the men were sitting together in the parking lot of a stonecutting factory at the end of their night shift when they were taken away by soldiers. The Israeli army has denied that, and said the men were shot while trying to infiltrate an orchard, and that they had clubs and an ax. None of the four carried a firearm, according to both Palestinians and the Israeli military. The military investigation found that in the deaths of the Gaza family and the four laborers, "the soldiers acted following a suspicious behavior, which included persons being in an unauthorized area during the late-night hours, crawling towards an Israeli community or infiltrating into an Israeli agricultural patch." The military statement did not specify which activity the Bedouin family was engaged in when its members were killed inside their home late at night. The IDF statement also contained no additional details about the shooting of the laborers. The military investigation found that the deaths of the children in the missile attack in Tubas "was caused by one missile missing the target. The reason for this was probably a technical malfunction, but it is not clear yet." Today, two Palestinians were found shot dead in a street in the West Bank city of Jenin. Palestinian witnesses told local journalists that Israeli soldiers had raided a hideout and shot Kamal Silawi of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which describes itself as the military wing of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, and a second militant, Samir Qandil. A spokesman for the Israeli military said the two were killed while fleeing from soldiers conducting an operation in the city. The men ignored soldiers' shouts to stop, the spokesman said, and a brief gun battle broke out. Soldiers patrolling from another direction opened fire and killed both men, according to the spokesman.

B'Tselem Sept 2002 Indiscriminate Killing: Five Days - 13 Killed including 4 minors, and 12 Wounded The car hit by IDF helicopter missile-fire in Tubas, 31 August, 2002. Photo: Saeed Dahleh , Reuters In the space of five days, IDF forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip killed thirteen Palestinians and wounded twelve. These incidents clearly reflect excessive and unreasonable use of force, a trigger-happy attitude, and lack of proper judgment. On 28 August 2002, at about 10:30 A.M., IDF tanks opened cannon and machine-gun fire at the al-Hajin family, who were getting ready to go to sleep outdoors near their home in Ber a-N’ama, in Jabalyeh [Gaza Strip]. The security border of the Netzarim settlement is located approximately 300 meters from their house. The gunfire killed four members of the family and wounded eight, one of them critically. The testimonies given to B’Tselem indicate that the IDF was aware that a family was living in the area, and that the soldiers did not fire any warning shots. The army used flechette shells, which scatter metal darts in all directions. The use of flechettes in a densely populated area like the Gaza Strip makes it very likely that innocent people will be injured; as such, it is indiscriminate firing and illegal. On 31 August 2002, two IDF Apache helicopters fired three missiles at a passenger car in an attempt to kill a senior Hamas official. The first missile struck the sidewalk and killed two children. The second missile struck a near by building, and the third hit a car and killed three persons, two of them minors. Seven other people were injured, among them a child who remains in critical condition. As it has done many times in the past, the IDF chose to endanger a civilian population and injure innocent people in an attempt to assassinate suspects, rather than capture them and bring them to justice. On 1 September, IDF soldiers killed four workers from a stone cutting factory in Bani Na’im in the Hebron district. The circumstances of the incident raise grave concerns that the shooting was unjustified. B’Tselem has not yet completed its investigation into the incident. An internal IDF investigation team found that the soldiers acted appropriately in all the above mentioned incident and found no fault in the open-fire regulations. The IDF apologized for the death of innocent civilians. Regulations that allow shooting and killing civilians cannot be considered proper. The cases described here are not isolated incidents, but rather a direct result of the IDF’s long-standing policy that permits soldiers to fire live ammunition even when there is no life threatening danger to themselves or others. The fact that the IDF has not changed the regulations despite the many cases of civilian deaths shows blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinians. B'Tselem urges the IDF to re-examine the open-fire regulations and amend them so as to ensure that no harm comes to innocent civilians. The conclusions of the IDF’s internal investigation cannot replace a criminal investigation of those responsible for the deaths in these cases, including the commanders responsible for drafting the regulations. The IDF must also provide compensation to those injured and the families of those killed. - B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories http://btselem.org

Al-Ahram (Egypt) 11 Sept 2002 Killing deliberately, 'by mistake' The world again stood silent this week as Israel's army killed 21 Palestinian civilians, including several children. Khaled Amayreh reports from Jerusalem Israel escalated its attacks against Palestinians, killing 21 in one week. In the occupied territories suffering and tight curfews continue, as people mourn and pray for their loved ones As more than a million Palestinian boys and girls returned to school after the summer recess, the Israeli army resumed killing Palestinian civilians. Twenty-one have died in the last week. The latest spate of killings began around midnight on 28 August with the massacre of an entire family at the Sheikh Ejlin village, just south of Gaza City. An Israeli tank fired several "dart shells" at a Bedouin encampment where several fruit pickers were sleeping. The deadly artillery, packed with some 3,000 inch-long arrows, killed four members of the same family, a mother, her two sons, and their cousin. Ruwaida Al-Hajin, 55, her sons, Ashraf, 22, and Nihad, 17, and 20-year-old Mohamed Al-Hajin, died instantly as thousands of the deadly arrows pierced their bodies. Eight other people were injured, including a 3-year-old child, who sustained a serious wound. "We were sleeping in our homes when suddenly, we heard a bomb, Israeli tanks were invading the area, firing and shelling in all directions, and then I saw the Al-Hajin's encampment on fire," said Ismael Shamallakh, a neighbour whose house was also damaged. The 120 mm shell is fired from a tank and can be set to explode in the air at a specific distance, releasing its load of darts, and often causing instant death. The Israeli army sought initially to blame the victims, claiming it was not sure they were civilians and that there were "suspicious movements". Then, a few hours later, apparently to avert bad publicity, an Israeli army spokesman admitted, rather tersely and half heartedly, that the killings were a "mistake". The "mistaken killing" continued a few hours later, shortly after sunrise, in Rafah, at the southern edge of the Gaza Strip. There, an Israeli armoured personnel carrier strafed the Salahuddin Gate neighbourhood with heavy machine-gun fire, killing 10-year-old Abdul-Hadi Anwar Hamida, a fourth grader. Eight other civilians were also injured, two seriously. As Israeli tanks were destroying the PA headquarters in Nablus, Israeli armoured personnel carriers (APCs) were firing indiscriminately on Palestinian homes in Jenin. At least seven civilians, including two children, were wounded by the bullets. Then, on 31 August, an Israeli Apache helicopter gunship fired four Hellfire missiles on a civilian car and home at the village of Tubas, south of Jenin, killing five people, including two children, two teenagers and a 29-year-old Fatah activist. According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter fired three missiles at the car first, killing Raafat Daraghmeh, the activist, and two boys, Yazid Daraghmeh and Sari Subuh, aged 16 and 15 respectively. Minutes later, it fired a fourth missile at the home of Youssuf Darghmeh, killing his 8-year-old daughter Bahira and her 10-year-old cousin Ibrahim. The killing of the five took place in an area under full Israeli control. Israeli troops operating in Tubas could have arrested any Palestinian wanted without resorting to a helicopter assault. Again, the Israeli army and government desperately tried to concoct a rationale for the killing. But there was none, prompting Defence Minister Ben- Eliezer to issue a belated statement expressing "regret" over "harming" innocent civilians in Tubas. Ben-Eliezer described the raid in Tubas as a "mistake", and promised that the army would look into the "incident". On Sunday, 1 September, a group of undercover Israeli soldiers abducted four Palestinian quarry workers from their place of work to a field outside the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba'a. What happened next was related by a fifth worker, Ishaq Halayka, who escaped death by hiding inside the latrine. "The soldiers arrived suddenly at the quarry as we were drinking coffee. They were firing at us with their automatic rifles. When I heard the firing, I fled to the latrine and closed it, fearing they would kill me. Then as the soldiers arrived at the quarry, they ordered Hisham, Husam, Atiyya, and Ala'a to walk before them to a farm outside Kiryat Arba'a near the entrance to the village of Bani Naim, about 300 metres from the quarry. There the soldiers ordered the four to stand and raise their hands, and then they shot them one after the other." The four victims were twin brothers Hisham and Husam Halayka, 28, their cousin Attiyya Halayka, 23 and Ala'a Ayayda, 19, all from the village of Al- Shuyoukh, 10 kilometres south of Hebron. Following the killings, the Israeli army stated that, the four were trying to penetrate Kiryat Arba'a and that they were carrying sharp tools, a reference to their work implements. Hours later, the army retracted the statement, saying "the four may have been innocent workers" adding that the army "was investigating the incident". The killing of Palestinian civilians continued on Tuesday, 3 September. This time at the village of Burin, near Nablus. There, an Israeli tank fired a shell at two civilians, killing them both. The bodies of Bahir Eid, 22, and Hussein Najjar, also 22, were collected by the Red Cross. Najjar was a university student, Eid was training to be an engineer. Neither of the two was associated with any political or resistance groups. As Palestinian civilians were being killed by Israeli bullets, their homes were also being demolished by Israeli bulldozers. On Tuesday, 3 September, an Israeli army bulldozer nearly crushed an entire Palestinian family in Rafah, as they slept inside their home. All nine members of the family were injured, including a child, whose condition was listed as critical. Earlier, on 1 September, Israeli army bulldozers levelled several homes and businesses in the same area in what one foreign observer described as "a brutal war of destruction against a civilian population". Reacting to the spate of killings, the Palestinian Authority (PA) appealed to the United Nations and the international community to protect the Palestinians from genocide. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said "Israel was perpetrating daily massacres for the purpose of thwarting peace efforts and provoking Palestinian militants to retaliate." Many Israeli commentators readily agreed with Arafat. Israeli commentator Dany Robenstein accused the Israeli army of deliberately harming civilians. Writing in Ha'aretz on 2 September, Robenstein stated: "The Palestinian media is full of horrific photos of children wounded or killed by IDF fire. Hundreds of photos of the dead and wounded fill the pages, as do pictures of the handicapped trying to make their way over hills, houses, and sometimes, entire neighborhouds reduced to rubble." Amira Hass, another Ha'aretz commentator, noted, in an article on the same day, that the Israeli army killed at least 39 Palestinian civilians from 1 August to 1 September, including seven children and 15 teenagers, aged 10- 15, and two women from Gaza aged 55 and 86 respectively. Even the Israeli president, Moshe Katsav, an ardent Likudnik, admitted on 1 September that Israeli soldiers were trigger happy and were killing Palestinian civilians blithely. Nonetheless, the atrocities and the ensuing outcry, seem to have had little or no bearing on Moshe Ya'alon, the new Israeli chief of staff. Last week, Ya'alon described the Palestinians as a cancer, adding that he was using chemical therapy to eradicate it. Ya'alon, it is important to remember, has the full support of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. This week, US envoy, David Satterfield, met with Israeli and Palestinian officials in an effort to revive whatever remained of the peace process. He didn't utter a single word in condemnation of the atrocities.

Arab Association for Human Rights's Weekly Press Review 17 Sept 2002 NAZARETH (HRA) - Revoking a Citizenship of Israeli Arab; Should the State Fund A Racist Demography Council?; A Second Week of Strikes at Arab Schools; 5000 Arab Citizens are in Danger. Revoking a Citizenship of Israeli Arab Interior Minister Eli Yishai approved last week revocation of the citizenship of Nehad Abu Kishak, an Israeli citizen who faces charges of hostile activity against the state, as argued by the Ministry of the Interior. “The Interior Minister Eli Yishai had made use of his power to annul an Israeli's citizenship. He issued the decree on the basis of Article 11(b) of the Law of Citizenship, which grants the Minister of the Interior the authority to revoke the citizenship of anyone whose actions violate his obligation of loyalty to the state.” (Press release, September 10). Nehad Abu Kishak, 24 years old, was born in Lod and has resided in the West Bank city of Tul Karm for the past fewseveral years. He is suspected of being a member of be a central figure in Hamas and is accused of involvement in suicide attacks. Currently he is detained at Shikma Prison. Last August, the Ministry of Interior declared that he intends to revoke the Israeli citizenship of 3 Arab citizens because for they “harmed the state’s security”; Nehad Abu Kishak in Shikma prison, Kais Obeid in Lebanon, and Shadi Shurfa in Nafha prison. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) called the decision “unprecedented” and charged “that it violated the basic human right of holding citizenship.” ACRI also stated “that this is another step in the Israeli government's consistent and discriminatory policy toward Israeli Arabs.” (Fasl Al-Maqal, September 13). According to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, “Minister Yishai's decision to revoke the citizenship of Arab citizens of Israel contributes to the de-legitimization of the community and encourages racism. This decision is one of a growing number of recent policy decisions and new laws initiated by Minister Yishai and the Israeli government, which violate the rights of the Arab minority in Israel and threatens the status of their citizenship.” This action by the Interior Ministry is: - A gross violation of Article 15 par. a/b of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states: "no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality (....)". - It affects other key Human Rights such as the freedom of movement (Art. 13 Universal Declaration of Human Rights), because Abu Kishak has been left without a passport or a nationality. - and it is a precedent which could lead to mass deprivations of citizenship in Israel. (HRA’s press release, September 10). Should the State Fund A Racist Demography Council? The Israel Council for Demography reconvened last week, after five years of inactivity, to formulate a policy that will preserve the Jewish character of the state. According to the annual Statistical Abstract of Israel of The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the growth in the non-Jewish population of Israel over the last decade has been a threat to the Jewish character of the state; therefore, the main aim of this council is “to increase the Jewish birthrate by encouraging Jewish women to have more children using government grants, housing benefits and other incentives. It will also examine issues such as abortion and mixed marriages between Israelis and foreign workers. However, Adalah demanded in its letter to Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein that the government should deny any funding or support of the Council, and that it should mandate a total separation between the Council and the governmental authorities. (Sawt Al-Haqq Wal-Hurriya, September 13). In the letter to the Attorney General, Adalah Staff Attorney Suhad Bishara wrote that reconvening the Council sends a clear message to all citizens of Israel that the growth of the Arab population is a threat to the state and to its people. Further, the Council's objectives are racist as such. It attempts to de-legitimize the Arab community in Israel, and de-humanize the value of Arab life. Most disturbingly, the Council's work is being supported by public funds and thus, undermines the principle of equality. (Adalah’s press release, September 10). Sameh Al-Qasem, the editor of Kull Al-Arab, wrote in his weekly editorial titled “their (Jewish) Demographic nightmare!”: “it is a pity that the government considers its Arab citizens as an awful nightmare, which it has to observe its all actions and movements, instead of considering them legitimate partners in building a better country for all its citizens.” Al-Qasem all stated that there is no demographic Arab danger, but the only danger that threaten Arabs and Jews in the country is the policy of war, occupation, hatred, and discrimination, which should be confronted.” (September 13).

Ha'aretz 18 Sept 2002 Five Palestinian school kids wounded in blast attributed to Jewish terror group One bomb goes off at school-yard water cooler, second found and defused Five children, all around eight-years-old, were slightly wounded yesterday in a blast at a Palestinian school south of Hebron. Police and Shin Bet sources said Jewish terrorists were most likely responsible. At about 9:45 A.M. the large home-made bomb went off by a water cooler in the school yard. Just a few minutes later the 380 pupils at the school would have been in the yard for their class break, principal Yusuf Abed Rabo said. Police and army sappers called to the scene discovered a second bomb in the yard, and neutralized it. The five wounded children were hurt by glass and shrapnel flying into their classroom, and were taken by Red crescent ambulance to a Hebron hospital for treatment. All were lightly wounded. The bombing at Ziff junction school was similar to two other bomb attacks on Palestinian schools. In one, eight children were wounded, and in a second attempt, a group of settlers from Bat Ayin was caught in the early morning hours outside an East Jerusalem girls' school after hauling a trailer packed with explosives to the front gates. In March, a bomb went off in another Palestinian school in east Jerusalem, injuring a teacher and four children. A Jewish underground group claimed responsibility for that attack but no arrests have ever been made for that attack which came a few weeks before the Bat Ayin group was captured. Palestinian Authority Minister Saeb Erekat said he held the Israeli government responsible for Tuesday's bombing. Israel "failed to bring any of those who kill Palestinians in cold blood to justice," he said. Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, a spokesman for the Jewish Settlers' Council, condemned the bombing as an "immoral and illegal act." By Amos Harel and Jonathan Lis

Jerusalem Post 18 Sept 2002 Jews suspected in Arab school bombing By MARGOT DUDKEVITCH Police and the Shin Bet are investigating the possibility that Jewish terrorists were behind the bomb blast at the Zif Elementary School in Yatta in the southern Hebron Hills in which five pupils were wounded Tuesday morning. The school is located in an area under Israeli security control. Israeli security officials told The Jerusalem Post the investigation is focussing on the components of the bomb and a second bomb that was found in the schoolyard and defused by sappers. According to one official, certain findings "hinted at the possible involvement of Jewish extremists," adding that "police are also investigating whether Palestinian terrorists were involved." The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip issued a statement condemning yesterday's attack, calling it immoral and illegal. Police believe Jewish terrorists carried out eight unsolved shooting attacks in the West Bank in the past two years in which a number of Palestinians were killed and wounded. Among the incidents was the killing of three members of the Tmeizi family, including a six-month-old baby, and the wounding of four others in a drive-by shooting by unknown assailants July 19 last year near Idna. In August 2001, Khaider Gedua Kna'an was killed and his father and brother wounded when shots were fired at their vehicle on the Anatot-Mishor Adumim road. Weeks earlier, Kamal Said Musalem was killed and several passengers in his taxi wounded when a large rock was thrown at his vehicle from a passing car on the Rehalim-Tapuah road. Before 10 yesterday morning, an explosion in the schoolyard caused flying debris, concrete, and glass to penetrate one of the classrooms where first-grade pupils were sitting. The children, whose wounds were described as light, were hurt by glass shards and bits of concrete. Red Crescent ambulances took them to a hospital in Hebron. Yusef Abed Rabo, the school's headmaster, said approximately 198 pupils were in school at the time of the blast, and the bomb had apparently been placed in the schoolyard near the toilets and a water cooler. The IDF and police evacuated the buildings and searched the site. They found another bomb that was defused by sappers. Police officials described the bombs as being medium-sized and weighing a a few kilograms each. PA Minister for Local Government Saeb Erekat said he holds the Israeli government responsible for the bombing, and accused Israel of failing "to bring any of those who kill Palestinians in cold blood to justice."

Jerusalem Post 18 Sept 2002 Background/ Where have all the bombers gone? Despite repeated Islamic militant vows to drown Israel in the blood of suicide bombings, there has been an appreciable if anxiety-ridden lull in deadly attacks in recent weeks - a brittle calm that could be jeopardized by an American war on Saddam Hussein. Scott Ritter, the former head of the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq, argues that an American onslaught against Saddam Hussein's regime would spark a surge of terrorism inside the Jewish state. In an interview with Ha'aretz, Ritter listed a renewed wave of terror as one of a number of reasons that a U.S. offensive would prove a "disaster for Israel." The point was underscored by assessments from within Israel's defense establishment. "With the outbreak of an American attack on Iraq, Palestinian terrorist organizations will mount a supreme effort to carry out terror operations within Israel," Army Radio quoted an unnamed defense offials as saying Wednesday. "The goal of this effort will be to cause panic on the Israeli front, which would then be forced to deal at the same time with multiple terror attacks and the threat of Iraqi missiles." The link between Palestinian militancy and Iraqi policies has been a leitmotiv in the territories since the 1991 Gulf war, when Palestinians under lockdown curfews in the West Bank and Gaza took to their rooftops to celebrate the salvos of Iraqi Scuds that slammed into cities and towns in the heart of Israel. Militants took particular delight in a threat by Saddam to incinerate the Jewish state. As U.S. -Iraqi tensions resurfaced at intervals in the ensuing decade, Palestinian demonstrators brandished cardboard Scud mockups, chanting exhortations to Saddam to resume bombardment of Tel Aviv. According to Ha'aretz Arab Affairs Editor Danny Rubinstein, it is "very possible" that a wave of terror will rise and crest in response to an American offensive. "In the terrories, sympathy with Saddam Hussein is immense. He is one of the absolute unchallengeable heroes, in particular because of his stance with respect to the Americans," Rubenstein said. For many across the Arab world, Saddam Hussein carries the lance for millions in standing up to Washington. The Iraqi president has also poured funds into the territories, handing over scores of high-profile stipends of some $20,000 for the families of suicide bombers. By contrast, "if there is one element that is harming Yasser Arafat's prestige, it is the sense that he is still, forgive the expression, kissing the Americans' behinds, someone who is to some extent carrying out America's orders," Rubinstein notes. He adds that the Palestinian leader is little able to show public support for Saddam at a time when his Palestinian Authority is dependent on U.S. funding to keep its welfare agencies and other arms functioning. Though Arafat has been under overwhelming U.S. pressure to curb terror attacks, the Authority has had little influence in the current lull in attacks, Rubinstein says, crediting the quiet in large part to "absolute IDF control over the territories" and a concurrent fatigue among Palestinians. Israel responded to a bloody clutch of bombings earlier this year with re-occupations of major Palestinian population areas, streaming tens of thousands of troops backed by armor and helicopter gunships to blockade cities and conduct house-to-house manhunts and other operations. "In Nablus, there has been an intermittent curfew for three months now, and a total curfew for the last 10 days, with residents not even allowed to go out to buy food." At the same time, evidence of the fatigue of the general Palestinian population is embodied in the fact that the uprising has lost steam even as Palestinian headlines continue to highlight strong-arm army policies and actions that a year ago might have sparked mass protest actions and intense clashes with IDF soldiers. "Every day the headlines carry horrific stories, children killed, houses demolished," Rubinstein points out, citing fatigue as part of the explanation for the understated reactions. Another factor is coincidence, and in some cases, luck. "If (Israeli security forces) hadn't caught that car carrying a half-ton of explosives, and had 200 people been killed as a result, the reality would have entirely different." Where, in fact, have all the bomber's gone? "Nowhere - they're all still around," says Ha'aretz military commentator Amir Oren. Oren agrees that it is the Israeli military presence in the territories, and the consequences of a range of controversial, often criticized tactics, including blockades, house demolitions and assassinations, that accounts for the drop in terrorism. He states that arrests and assassinations have meant that "there are fewer leaders to succeed in dispatching others." But he takes issue with those who believe that an Iraq offensive could spur Palestinian militants to a new round of violence and escalation. "They are not holding back, they are not waiting for an attack on Iraq, or for anything else. They are trying everything they can, and whatever they can possibly do, they are doing right now. They keep trying, but with much less success." Oren maintains that Palestinian militants have no need of a U.S. attack on Iraq in order to launch terror operations. "The motivation is the same as ever - there is no difference in level. By the same token, anmd after six weeks of quiet, there could be a recurrence of terror at any moment, unconnected with Iraq, simply because a terrorist slipped in." Meanwhile, with a Likud-Labor coalition government in power, minimal international furore and tacit support for Israel from crucial ally Washington, there are no real constraints on a continued IDF presence throughout the territories. Oren says. "The army will do what it is doing for as long as it is seen as necessary." By Bradley Burston, Ha'aretz Correspondent

BBC 18 Sept, 2002, Suicide attack at Israeli bus stop Buses have been bomb targets in the past A suicide bomber has blown himself up at a bus stop in northern Israel, injuring several people, police reported. The explosion occurred near the Arab Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, police said. The body of the man was completely destroyed Mohammed Akbariyeh The identity of the bomber is not known and it is not yet clear whether the bus stop was the target or whether the bomber had intended to board a bus to carry out his attack. The blast - the first suicide bombing in Israel since 4 August - came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demanded a total cessation of violence before any start to a fresh peace plan proposed by international leaders. The bomber detonated his bomb as police approached him, Israeli Army Radio reported. Injuries Avi Zohar, head of the Israeli ambulance service, told local media that about four people, apart from the bomber, were injured - two of them seriously. Witnesses said that the suicide bomber himself was completely blown apart. Mr Sharon said the Palestinians had to act first against violence "The body of the man was completely destroyed. We were about 20 metres (yards) from the blast," said witness Mohammed Akbariyeh. The attack brought swift condemnation from the Israeli Government with spokesman Avi Pazner saying it was the "result of the complete inaction of the Palestinian Authority". Mr Pazner said the explosion justified Israel's continued re-occupation of the West Bank which had "allowed us to stop the number of attacks being bigger". Although it was the first suicide bomb attack in Israel in more than a month, the Israeli authorities in recent weeks have apprehended a number of suspected bombers trying to enter the Jewish state. Peace plan Palestinians have responded cautiously to the outlining of a "road map to a Palestinian state", announced by senior officials from the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia. Mr Sharon said the only hope for the latest peace plan put forward by the international community would be for the Palestinians to end all attacks and reform their security forces. Quartet plan Phase 1 (2003): Palestinian elections, security reform, Israel pull back, humanitarian initiatives, security agreement Phase 2: Palestinian state created Phase 3 (2004-2005): Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on permanent status solution "For there to be progress, there must be an absolute end to terror and violence," he told a cabinet meeting. The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, said he saw Israeli troop withdrawals as the key beginning for reforms and moves towards peace. "The most important thing is that we hope that [Israel] carries out an immediate and quick withdrawal so that we can start our electoral [programme] and reform programme," he said. The new internationally-backed peace proposals envisage a three-stage process whereby Palestinian elections and security reforms are followed by Israeli troop withdrawals and then the creation of a Palestinian state. More than 2,000 people have been killed since the beginning of a Palestinian uprising nearly two years ago.

Palestine Chronicle 4 Sept 2002 Israeli Group Publishes Plan for 'Complete' Transfer of Palestinians The manifesto recognizes that Israel will never win widespread support for expulsion, but argues that it needs "only a modicum of support from its closest ally -- the United States," in order to carry out the plan. OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PMC): Gamla, an Israeli organization founded by former Israeli military officers and settlers, published detailed plans for the "complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel" by forcibly expelling all Palestinians, including Palestinians in the Palestinian Occupied Territory and Arab Israelis, the Palestinian citizens of Israel, from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea within a 3-5 year period. Gamla published these "recommendations" on its website (www.gamla.org.il/english) in a nine thousand word manifesto titled "The Logistics of Transfer," written by Boris Shusteff last July 3. The mass ethnic cleansing of every Palestinian, the author argues, is "the only possible solution" to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is "substantiated by the Torah." The manifesto recognizes that Israel will never win widespread support for expulsion, but argues that it needs "only a modicum of support from its closest ally -- the United States," in order to carry out the plan. Under the plan, Israel would launch an information campaign and increase economic strangulation of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to force them to leave "voluntarily." One measure would be to deprive Palestinians of employment, literally starving them out. (One could say that this policy is already being implemented. Please see preliminary figures released on August 29, 2002 by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator (UNSCO) as abbreviated by a PMC report on this website). Arab Israelis would face complete apartheid and religious coercion as Israel would "pass a law that will stipulate in some form that non-Jewish citizens of the state, while retaining full and irrevocable civil rights, will have no ability to participate in Israeli political life." Failing that, the "manifesto" continues, "Israeli Arabs can be given one more option - to convert to Judaism if they prefer to stay put." Israel will try to convince the international community to establish a Palestinian state far away from Israel and the occupied territories (in Iraq or Saudi Arabia). The author wrote that: "Israel must make clear to the world community that, if a decision cannot be made within 3 to 5 years to establish a state for the Palestinian Arabs in some viable location, she will be forced to start the forced expulsion of Arabs into Jordan and the Sinai." The expulsion plan provides details about how this will be done, in lightning military strikes: "As an example, the relocation of a small settlement (1,000 people) can be completed within a 48-hour period, similarly to a military border-crossing operation. Israel will supply the relocated community with temporary housing, water and electricity (providing tents, a generator, water cisterns, etc.). The abandoned settlement must be completely demolished level with the ground." Gamla claims that it is "in the forefront of the battle for the land of Israel, organizes activities, participates in demonstrations, and publishes articles, posters and stickers for that cause," and that "most of its activities are coordinated and joined with other grassroots organizations of the national camp." One of the group's three founders is Elyakim Haetzni, one of the first and most prominent West Bank settlers who lives in Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron. Another was the late Lt. Colonel Shlomo Baum, a founder of Israel's notorious Unit 101, which with the young Ariel Sharon as its leader carried out the brutal massacre of dozens of civilians in the Palestinian village of Qibya in 1953, among other atrocities. The third, retired Colonel Moshe Leshem, also a longtime spokesman for the settlers, has a show on Israel's settler radio network "Arutz 7" along with Haetzni. Gamla receives tax-deductible contributions from Americans through a New York-based charity called PEF Israel Endowment Funds (www.pefisrael.org), which states that it was established in 1922 by Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise. Among its stated purposes is "promoting greater tolerance and understanding between religious and secular communities and between Arabs and Jews." Under this liberal guise, the organization appears to be channeling funds to a group advocating the total destruction of a nation -- in other words, genocide, vice-president of the Arab-American action Network Ali Abunimah said on The Electronic Intifada on August 29. "Are these words merely the ramblings of an extremist group carrying no wide influence, or do they represent another step in legitimizing discussion of a once taboo idea gaining broad-based support in Israel and amongst some American Jewish organizations?"

Arab News (Saudi Arabia's First English Daily) www.arabnews.com 30 Aug 2002 The growing clamor for ethnic cleansing By Ali Abunimah AMMAN, 30 August — An Israeli organization has published detailed plans for the "complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel" by forcibly expelling all Palestinians, including Palestinians in the occupied territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea within a 3-5 year period. Gamla, a group founded by former Israeli military officers and settlers, published these recommendations on its website in a nine thousand word manifesto titled "The logistics of transfer," penned by Boris Shusteff last July 3. The mass ethnic cleansing of every Palestinian, the author argues, is "the only possible solution" to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is "substantiated by the Torah." (www.gamla.org.il/english ) Gamla receives tax deductible contributions from a New York-based charity that claims that its goal is greater Arab-Jewish tolerance. The manifesto recognizes that Israel will never win widespread support for expulsion, but argues that it needs "only a modicum of support from its closest ally -- the United States," in order to carry out the plan. Under the plan, Israel would launch an information campaign and increase economic strangulation of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to force them to leave "voluntarily." One measure would be to deprive Palestinians of employment, literally starving them out (one could say that this policy is already being implemented). Palestinian citizens of Israel would face complete apartheid and religious coercion as Israel would "pass a law that will stipulate in some form that non-Jewish citizens of the state, while retaining full and irrevocable civil rights, will have no ability to participate in Israeli political life." Failing that, the paper continues, "Israeli Arabs can be given one more option - to convert to Judaism if they prefer to stay put." At the same time, Israel will try to convince the international community to establish a Palestinian state far away from Israel and the occupied territories (in Iraq or Saudi Arabia). The author writes that: "Israel must make clear to the world community that, if a decision cannot be made within 3 to 5 years to establish a state for the Palestinian Arabs in some viable location, she will be forced to start the forced expulsion of Arabs into Jordan and the Sinai." The expulsion plan provides details about how this will be done, in lightning military strikes: "As an example, the relocation of a small settlement (1,000 people) can be completed within a 48-hour period, similarly to a military border-crossing operation. Israel will supply the relocated community with temporary housing, water and electricity (providing tents, a generator, water cisterns, etc.). The abandoned settlement must be completely demolished level with the ground." While Israel moves to implement the complete annexation of all the occupied territories, it would, according to the plan, have to subdue the population by carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity if any Palestinians try to resist: "Any attempts on the part of the Arabs [Palestinians] to carry out sabotage or terrorist activity must be immediately suppressed in the most brutal way. It is possible, for example, to implement a suggestion by Harvard Professor Alan Derschowitz, an American liberal lawyer. With slight modification, it works as follows: Israel issues a warning that, in a response to any terrorist attack, she will immediately completely level an Arab village or settlement, randomly chosen by a computer from a published list. The essence of the idea is to make the Arabs completely responsible for their own fate, and to make it clear that terrorism will not be merely tolerated, but will be harshly punished. Along with the world community, the Arabs will know precisely what will result if they attack Jews. The use of a computer to select the place of the Israeli response will put the Arabs and the Jews on a level footing. The Jews do not know where the terrorists will strike, and the Arabs will not know which one of t The only precedent for such a chilling and methodical approach to ethnic cleansing would be the industrialized elimination of Jews planned and carried out by Nazi Germany. Are these words merely the ramblings of an extremist group carrying no wide influence, or do they represent another step in legitimizing discussion of a once taboo idea gaining broad-based support in Israel and amongst some American Jewish organizations? Gamla claims that it is "in the forefront of the battle for the land of Israel, organizes activities, participates in demonstrations, and publishes articles, posters and stickers for that cause," and that "most of its activities are coordinated and joined with other grassroots organizations of the national camp." One of the group's three founders is Elyakim Haetzni, one of the first and most prominent West Bank settlers who lives in Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron. Another was the late Lt. Colonel Shlomo Baum, a founder of Israel's notorious Unit 101, which with the young Ariel Sharon as its leader carried out the brutal massacre of dozens of civilians in the Palestinian village of Qibya in 1953, among other atrocities. The third, retired Colonel Moshe Leshem, also a longtime spokesman for the settlers, has a show on Israel's settler radio network "Arutz 7" along with Haetzni. Gamla receives tax-deductible contributions from Americans through a New York-based charity called PEF Israel Endowment Funds (www.pefisrael.org ) which states that its was established in 1922 by Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise. Among its stated purposes is "promoting greater tolerance and understanding between religious and secular communities and between Arabs and Jews." Under this liberal guise, the organization appears to be channeling funds to a group advocating the total destruction of a nation -- in other words, genocide. The Gamla website also frequently publishes and promotes the writings of Daniel Pipes, a professional Arab-basher, and ubiquitous guest on American television talk shows. Within Israel, Palestinians are viewed as a "demographic threat" across the political spectrum, the only difference being on how to deal with this threat. For traditional leftists, "separation" is the preferred option, while among the right-wing outright expulsion is gaining support. The debate about the "demographic threat" is carried out in overtly racist terms. In summer 2001, Haifa University professor Arnon Sofer, renewed Israeli anxieties about the fertility of Palestinian women with a study predicting that by 2020 non-Jews will be a majority west of the Jordan River. "Some Israelis say," according to The Chicago Tribune, "that ticking below the surface of the violent confrontation between Arab and Jew is a silent bomb, a demographic bomb." Their solution is to adopt a "Chinese rule" limiting the number of children Palestinians are allowed to have. ("Birthrates alarm Israel," Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2002) While lamenting that only the Moledet party, founded by the assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi, openly advocates expulsion, the Gamla paper takes heart that recent opinion polls in Israel put support for some form of 'transfer' at 46% and in some cases 60% depending on how the question is posed. According to Professor Majid Al-Haj of Haifa University, the struggle of Palestinian citizens of Israel is no longer primarily about achieving equality with Jews within Israeli society, but has reverted to a more basic struggle simply to remain in their homeland against a rising tide of pro-transfer sentiment being freely expressed in Israeli Jewish society. Al-Haj, one of the few true Arab experts on Israeli society, speaking recently at the Jordan University Center for Strategic Studies, cited as an example the infamous conference in the Israeli town of Herzliya in November 2000, just months into the Intifada. At that meeting, more than three hundred prominent Israeli intellectuals, former and sitting generals and politicians, former prime ministers, and Israel's past and sitting president openly discussed ideas including "exchanges of population," limiting the democratic rights of Palestinian citizens, forcing Palestinian citizens to sign a document recognizing Israel as a Jewish state as a condition of The transfer idea is gaining ground because the common conception that Jews should live separately from everyone else provides room for it to flourish. Today there are almost no Jewish voices in Israel calling for Palestinian-Israeli coexistence on the basis of full equality regardless of religion or ethnic affiliation. One of Israel's leading lights on the left, novelist A.B. Yehoshua, while not supporting transfer, regards co-existence between Palestinians and Israelis as a thing to behold with horror. "Two people in one state," Yehoshua warned, "is a threat to our existence. Anyway, we did not come to Israel to live in a bi-national state, but in a Jewish state." ("Israel is losing the demographic race," Israeltoday.co.il) This view is typical of the Israeli left, the vast majority of which only supports some form of Palestinian statehood as a mechanism to preserve Jewish primacy. While in most countries that practice it, democracy is understood as a mechanism to protect minorities from the tyranny of t The "demographic threat" comes not only from Muslim Palestinians, but also from Christians. Last June Haaretz reported that Dr. Asher Cohen of Bar-Ilan University had discovered that already Israel's Jewish majority is "only" seventy two percent, far less than the eighty one percent claimed by official figures. This difference is accounted for by the high rate and relative ease of assimilation of Christians from the former Soviet Union and guest-workers into Israeli society, something that in most other countries claiming to be liberal democracies would be seen as a desirable trend. In response to Cohen's findings Israel's Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared that "Clearly it's impossible to bar the arrival of couples in which one of the members is Jewish, but we should see to it that families that are completely Christian do not come here --including people who go to church on a regular basis." ("Demographic balancing acts," Haaretz, June 13, 2002) This anti-Christian war cry was recently taken up by Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron and his Ashkenazi counterpart Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who warned that "seventy percent of the new immigrants to Israel are professed non-Jews, with no connection to Judaism." In a joint statement, the two clerics concluded, "We cannot continue to bring entire Christian families to Israel." (Chief rabbis call for revision to be made in Law of Return," Haaretz, August 25, 2002) The view that non-Jews, including the indigenous Palestinians, are a mortal threat, a cancer, a bomb to be defused, echoes precisely the language of racists and ethno-nationalists everywhere. Only the claim of Israeli exceptionalism, and misuse of the memory of the Nazi holocaust, has protected Israel from the censure it deserves for allowing such views to flourish. The sheer breath-taking hypocrisy is encapsulated by the Israeli government with Moledet ethnic cleansing advocates amongst its ranks condemning European countries like France and Austria for allowing racist parties to grow too powerful. A few years ago it would have been easy to dismiss the Gamla document as the work of marginal extremists. But in today's Israel, where pro-ethnic-cleansing ministers sit in the cabinet, and even those who would not support transfer are opposed to co-existence and equality, it is a worrying sign. Most of the brutal measures Israel carries out today with nary a word of concern from the outside world would have been unthinkable two years ago, including the mass starvation of millions of besieged Palestinians. It would not be surprising to see some of the measures proposed in the expulsion manifesto adopted piecemeal as Israel's swing to the far right continues unchecked. The Gamla document is notable not because it raises ideas that no one else in Israel is talking about, but rather because it tries to take a generalized and growing clamor for transfer to the next level -- detailed formulation of a specific program for the expulsion of the Palestinians around which political support and action can be organized. Extremists such as Gamla are closely tied with 'mainstream' politicians, and by running ahead of them can test the waters and introduce ideas that the mainstream is not yet ready to fully embrace. It may not even be necessary for a majority of Israelis to support expulsion for it to be carried out since the settler movement -- from which Gamla emerges -- has managed to wield disproportionate influence on all Israeli governments, especially that of Sharon. For example, while polls show that the majority of Israelis are in favor of removing settlements in the occupied territories, the settlements continue to grow, absorbing a disproportionate chunk of Israel's budget even while unemployment and poverty within Israel itself are spiraling. Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is waiting in the wings for Sharon to fall, has mortgaged himself even more to these elements. The expulsion plan's author may not be entirely deluded either, when he banks on American support. Last May, Dick Armey the most senior Republican in the United States Congress openly advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on MSNBC's Hardball, while the usually bland USA Today newspaper published a February op-ed by one Emanuel Winston calling for the "resettling" of the Palestinians in Jordan. Neither of these calls elicited the slightest protest from mainstream commentators and politicians in the United States. As extreme as President Bush's support for Israel has become, it appears moderate next to that of so-called Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who stated recently that Israel should be able to keep the "so-called occupied territories" because it won them fair and square in a war. When Hillary Clinton, New York's "liberal" Senator, visited Israel earlier this year, she was hosted by and warmly embraced Benny Elon, the leader of the Moledet ethnic cleansing party. The Sharon government's egging on of the United States to bring forward its attack on Iraq cannot be motivated solely by fear of Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction," since Israeli intelligence assessments downplay the actual threat from the devastated Iraqi armed forces. It may not be far-fetched to speculate that some within Israel would see a regional war as the only opportunity to carry out a round of expulsions, and delay the day when the "demographic bomb" explodes. Theodor Herzl, writing Zionism's founding tract, "The Jewish State" recognized that his dream of taking over Palestine could not be fulfilled without transfer. Herzl famously declared "We shall try to spirit the penniless [Arab] population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country." Recent scholarship by Israelis and others, and fifty four years of the lived reality of Palestinians bear uncontestable witness to the fact that mass expulsion has always been part of Israel's strategy and practice. Whether it will become so again is anybody's guess, but the warning signs are there to be heeded. Vice-president of the Arab-American Action Network and a well-known media analyst, Ali Abunimah regularly writes public letters to the media, coordinates campaigns, and appears on a variety of national and international news programs as a commentator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is one of the founders of The Electronic Intifada. Ali Abunimah contributed to "The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid". See Gamla www.gamla.org.il/english/ 3 July 2002 The Logistics of Transfer" by Boris Shusteff

Japan (see Peru)

Time -Asia September 9, 2002 / VOL. 160 NO. 9 Black Death In World War II, Japan used China as a lab for terrifying biological and chemical warfare experiments. After years of denial, the aggressor is slowly making amends BY MATTHEW FORNEY HARBIN AND VELISARIOS KATTOULAS/TOKYO The fleas bit into Huang Yuefeng as he pulled the socks onto a friend's corpse, which he was preparing to bury. The young peasant didn't know at the time that the bugs had dropped from a Japanese airplane, or that his village in central China's Hunan province had fallen victim to World War II's most devastating germ warfare attack. He knew only that first the rats died, then the people died often covered with purple splotches and lying in their own vomit. Locals called it the "rat plague." In fact it was the bubonic plague the Black Death that killed a third of Europe's population in the 14th century revived and spread by the Japanese military. Huang, now 79, was lucky back in late 1941 when a friendly doctor pulled him from a quarantine center and nursed him to health, but four relatives were among the 7,643 people in the area that the government says perished. The years haven't diminished his rage. "I hate the Japanese so much I can't live with them under the same sky," he says. The fleas scattered over Hunan by Japanese warplanes were perhaps the world's most pampered vermin, raised by the imperial army's Epidemic Prevention and Water-Supply Unit, better known as Unit 731. Today the ruins of its headquarters, located outside the Manchurian city of Harbin, stand next to a village schoolyard. Chatter from the nearby basketball court wafts past an unpainted wooden shed with a shabby metal roof that covers 96 cement pits, each a meter square. Here, 60 years ago, Japanese doctors infected yellow rats with the plague and dropped them into flea-filled oil drums. Workers then loaded the weaponized fleas into ceramic shells designed to burst open a hundred meters above parts of Hunan and Zhejiang provinces. Japanese generals hoped to spread the plague so widely that China's grain harvest would collapse and its army would starve into submission. But the notorious Unit 731 did more than just breed diabolical diseases. It also maintained a research center where Japanese scientists conducted cruel experiments on POWs and civilians, often slicing open living subjects to remove their hearts. Now, after decades of denial, Japan is coming to terms with the atrocities committed by Unit 731, grappling both morally and legally with a history of brutality that continues to poison the country's relations with its neighbors six decades later. The horrors of Unit 731 came into sharp focus on Aug. 27. That day, Tokyo judge Koji Iwata issued a landmark decision on a case brought by 180 Chinese victims of the 1940-41 plague. They were seeking compensation of about $84,000 each for damages inflicted by Unit 731. The government has long denied evidence of such crimes. But the judge declared that "The deployment of biological weapons was a strategic part of Japan's war plans and was carried out under orders from the central army." Unit 731 lay at the heart of these atrocities: Iwata said its "main objective was to research, develop and manufacture biological weapons." He stopped short of ordering compensation, though, ruling that there is no international law that enables individuals to sue for war damages. The victims disagreed. About 300 mostly gray-haired Chinese protested the decision outside a government building in Changde, where they raised banners reading, "Admit the Crime and Compensate!" Meanwhile, a subtle, long-awaited change seems finally to be under way in Japan. After decades of denial, ordinary Japanese are displaying a creeping contrition that is reflected in the courtroom, if not yet by the government. In April, a district court in Fukuoka ordered the Mitsui Mining Co., a subsidiary of one of Japan's biggest conglomerates, to pay $1.4 million apiece to 15 Chinese forced to work in the company's mines during the war. (Japan transported an estimated 40,000 Chinese conscripts to its islands to work on construction sites and mines.) In August 2001 a Kyoto court awarded compensation to 15 Korean workers forced aboard a naval ship that subsequently exploded and sank in 1945. And last year, a Tokyo court ordered the government to pay $170,000 to the son of the late Liu Lien-yen, a slave worker from China who escaped in July 1945 and spent the next 13 years living in the mountains of northern Hokkaido, unaware that Emperor Hirohito had surrendered. These verdicts are a striking departure for a country led by conservatives who would rather deny, revise or bury the past. Tokyo hard-liners still capture headlines by declaring, as former defense chief Hosei Norota did last year, that Japan invaded most of Asia only because it "had fallen prey to a scheme of the United States." Publishers of middle school textbooks, who in the past few years finally began calling the 1937 murder of up to 300,000 civilians in Nanjing a "massacre," recently succumbed to right-wing pressure and changed most editions back to calling the slaughter an "incident." Aging politicians often insist that civilians in occupied nations were actually grateful for Japan's presence, and that women dragooned into sexual servitude for imperial soldiers were willing prostitutes assertions that make even a loonocracy like North Korea sound thoughtful when its leaders call Japan a nation of "political dwarves." The furors created by Japanese double-talk obscure a simple fact: increasingly, ordinary Japanese want to know what happened, even if their government doesn't want them to. The Kinokuniya Bookstore in central Tokyo stocks dozens of books on Japan's war guilt; a few years ago it sold only a handful. Confessional memoirs of veterans (What We Did in China; Nanking Massacre and the Imperial Army; and Comfort Women from the Eyes of a Korean Female) sit side by side with revisionist histories and studies that flatly deny such massacres ever took place (How the Nanking Massacre Was Concocted; Korean Colonization: No Reason to Apologize; and The Nonexistence of Sexual Slavery). An annual poll of first-year history students at Meiji University in Tokyo consistently shows that more than two-thirds of students believe Japan has done too little to atone for its wartime past. Others point more proudly to the tangible efforts the country has made to pay for its sins. For a start, the Japanese government in 1999 gave $414 million in development aid directly to China far more than China receives from any other country. And in 1995, Japan set up the Asian Women's Fund, a semi-private charity to collect money for women forced into sexual slavery by the military. Still, even the fund's director, Mizuho Matsuda, remains unimpressed. "Japan has not done enough," she complains, "although it's incorrect to say Japan has done nothing." The resurrection of the ghosts of Unit 731 in court last week reminds Japan how much there is to regret. Supervised by Dr. Shiro Ishii, a renowned Tokyo scientist, the center's staff performed experiments on what research documents refer to as maruta, literally "wooden logs." The lumber was in fact live subjects, mostly Chinese soldiers and civilians but also captured Russians, British and Americans. They were frozen alive to research frostbite. Burned alive to research human combustion. Loaded into vacuum chambers until their bellies ruptured. Hung by their ankles to see how long a person can live upside-down. They were infected with plague, anthrax and cholera and subjected to vivisection without anesthesia. For 13 years the experiments continued, ending with Japan's surrender in 1945. Between 3,000 and 12,000 maruta died. None survived Unit 731. Zhu Yunfen's father was one of its many victims. In 1941, the 25-year-old soldier from Heilongjiang province vanished after falling into Japanese hands. A Japanese officer told Zhu's family that prison guards had fed him alive to their German shepherd dogs. It seemed plausible, but the lack of proof weighed on the family for decades. Last year, a long-overlooked cache of half-burned Japanese documents discovered in Changchun, Jilin province, revealed that her father had been captured while delivering intelligence on Japanese troop positions to Russian officers. He died at Unit 731. Now 62 years old, Zhu balances her relief at knowing what happened against the surety of her father's suffering. The simple apology she longs for has not been forthcoming. "Soon all of us who are affected will be dead and it will be too late to bring us peace," says Zhu. One reason for the official silence is that Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), in power almost continuously since 1955, is beholden to nationalistic groups such as the million-strong Shrine Association, which represents Japan's 80,000 Shinto shrines. This staunchly conservative organization, which opposes compensating sex slaves and other victims of Japan's aggression, continues to insist that Japan fought on foreign soil to liberate its neighbors from Western colonialism. Nearly half of the LDP members in Japan's parliament routinely attend Shrine Association events or accept its donations, according to Nobunao Tanaka, author of two books critical of the far-right's influence on mainstream Japan. Jeff Kingston, author of a forthcoming book on Japanese war guilt and a history professor at Temple University in Tokyo, argues, "Diminishing Japan's war responsibility is aimed at maintaining core constituencies of the LDP." An unapologetic stance has become "a litmus test for conservative leaders," he adds. As for China's leaders, they don't make it any easier for the Japanese to apologize. Dwelling on memories of wartime atrocities wins the Communist Party more public support than they might hope for by reconciling differences with Tokyo. Shopworn black-and-white propaganda movies featuring evil Japanese heavies still get prime-time slots on state-run TV; variety shows produced for state media commonly offer renditions of a wartime ditty, Broadsword March, with its famous opening line: "The broadsword is chopping off the heads of the Japanese devils." The U.S. played its own role in preventing a reckoning at Unit 731. Neither camp director Ishii nor any senior doctors were arraigned at war crimes trials that took place in Tokyo from 1946-48 under U.S. supervision. In one of the darker moments of American medical history, U.S. officials offered to exempt Unit 731's leaders from prosecution in exchange for their test results. Many of Unit 731's top officials went on to become prominent in Japan's pharmaceutical industry. Some individuals, however, have come forward with the truth and confessed their shame. The day before the Tokyo court decision, a former official in charge of raising bacteria for biological warfare, Yoshio Shinozuka, visited the unit's site one of 10,000 Japanese who do so every year. The retreating Japanese army had destroyed all buildings except the main office, which now houses a small, tasteful exhibition explaining what happened and showing items such as scalpels and poison gas canisters. Curator Wang Peng says Shinozuka told him how sorry he was for what he had done and had laid a wreath at a memorial to 86 of the known victims. "If the Japanese government could do that, the Chinese people could forgive," says Wang. There are more practical ways to make amends too. In addition to biological weapons, Japan developed a huge stock of chemical weapons, mostly mustard gas. The army left behind as many as 2 million chemical bombs, many of them dumped in rivers. The Chinese government compounded the problem by burying those it discovered. Japan has promised to clean them up, but hasn't yet figured out how to dispose of the corroding metal shells. Meanwhile, the Chinese peasantry figures out its own uses for these historical relics. "I found one guy who had a chemical weapon sticking out of the ground by his front door," says Bu Ping, vice president of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences and an expert on Japan's chemical weapons program in China. "He was using it as a doorstop." A lawsuit has been brought by Chinese who have been injured by discarded chemical weapons decades after the war ended; the case is expected to be heard in a Tokyo court next year. Back in Hunan, where the plague was delivered by air-dropped fleas, villagers still await an apology, let alone compensation. Only then, they say, will they be able to move on. In the meantime, they continue to pass their angry distrust down to their children. "We have a tradition," says Huang, who caught the plague from his dead friend's socks. "We scare naughty kids by warning, 'The Japanese planes are coming!'" With reporting by Huang Yong/Shigongqiao, Toko Sekiguchi and Hiroko Tashiro/Tokyo

NYT 8 Sept 2002 People-to-People Diplomacy on a Japanese Ship By JAMES BROOKE UZHNO-KURILSK, Russia  Framed by an old bust of Lenin and a new Russian Orthodox church, two Russian soldiers sang a syrupy, officially approved ballad about how this town on Kunashir Island and the rest of the southern Kuriles will remain Russian soil forever. Then the Japanese dance troupe from Peace Boat hit the bricks. Advertisement With dyed hair and funky moves to match, the dancers seemed to have just stepped off the streets of Tokyo. Within moments they were giving rows of wide-eyed Russian children a wildly new image of their neighbor, a foreign land that starts just 15 miles south of this island. The dancers were among the roughly 500 Japanese tourists who ignored entreaties by Japan's Foreign Ministry and in late August clambered off their political cruise ship for a firsthand look at Kunashir Island. They constituted the largest number of Japanese to visit here since Soviet soldiers expelled the last Japanese inhabitants in 1949. Russia's continued occupation of territory claimed by Japan is a persistent irritant in relations between the countries. "People on the boat, meeting people on the land, without any politicians in the way  that's Peace Boat," said Ruiko Yoshida, a 64-year-old photojournalist and veteran of three Peace Boat tours. People-to-people exchanges are the bread and butter of Peace Boat, a gadfly organization that arranges cruises around the world, dropping anchor in many places where the Japanese government would rather it not. A spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry called the ship's visit here "outrageous." This cruise started in mid-August with a trip to North Korea, which has no diplomatic relations with Japan. Then it visited the Russian island of Sakhalin, where participants met ethnic Koreans seeking compensation from Tokyo for having been forced to labor in coal mines during World War II. In between, there were workshops on Japanese history and arts rehearsals, all taking place on a creaking, slightly down-at-the-heels Ukrainian cruise ship, a chartered liner whose glory days were three decades ago when it was launched as the Leonid Brezhnev. Peace Boat delivers hundreds of Japanese to exotic ports for the intercultural equivalent of group blind dates. While Japan often seems a nation that would rather skip over much of the first half of the 20th century, Peace Boat takes young Japanese on a sort of tour of World War II  a visit to the ruins of a Japanese military base in Palau, interviews with aging survivors of a Japanese massacre at a Philippine village, encounters with Korean women who worked as sex slaves for Japanese military units. "I am very worried that Japanese young people are becoming very nationalistic," said Tatsuya Yoshioka, 41, who helped found Peace Boat almost two decades ago. About two-thirds of the passengers are college students and almost all are Japanese. Mr. Yoshioka, who combines liberal politics with the bouncy energy of a television talk-show host, voiced concern that declining economic prospects for young Japanese and fading memories of Japanese militarism could open the door for an aggressive new nationalism. Fresh from giving an on-board lecture about pending legislation to expand Japan's military reach, he said: "The people who have direct experience of the war are almost gone. I read a survey where half of Japanese teenagers did not even know that Japan and the U.S. fought a war." Under the slogan "reflect on past wars to build peace for the future," Mr. Yoshioka and Peace Boat's 50-member directorate hope to defuse nationalist sentiment over the Kurile Islands dispute by making yearly visits to the Russian-held islands. In so doing, the pacifists defy Japan's Foreign Ministry. Japan's government, which carefully rations out visa-free visits to the islands, opposed Peace Boat's plans on the grounds that an independent visit would bolster Russia's claim to the islands. The Foreign Ministry, which does not recognize Russian sovereignty here, asked Russia to block the visit. After the landing, a writer in Sankei Shimbun, a conservative Tokyo newspaper, denounced the liner as "a boatload of anarchists" who should have their passports confiscated. In less controversial ventures, Peace Boat's cruises in the Pacific have cast spotlights on the impact of mining and logging projects by Japanese companies and of past open-air nuclear tests by France. When the United States passed a law forbidding cruise ships that dock in Cuba from docking in the United States for six months, Peace Boat responded by retaining Havana but dropping Hawaii from its round-the-world cruises. When crossing the Pacific, the 518-foot ocean liner uses the ports of Vancouver in the north or Santiago, Chile, in the south. Ten years ago, when the Internet and CNN started to take hold in Japan, Mr. Yoshioka feared that international contact would become electronic, doing away with the need for Peace Boat trips. "Now I realize there is a need for human encounters," he said, "for people-to-people networking." In another controversial venture, Peace Boat leads yearly tours of Japanese through North Korea, a nation that ranks high on lists of human rights abusers. "I have a dilemma about the human rights issue," Mr. Yoshioka said, referring to North Korea, a nation believed to have kidnapped dozens of Japanese to use as language instructors, according to family members. "But we have to start to build the basic reconciliation of the two peoples. I don't trust government work only. Grass-roots work is necessary." He said that this human bridge-building, even though orchestrated on the North Korean end by the government, was comparable to the people-to-people exchanges that helped break the ice between Americans and Russians in the 1970's and 1980's. In the fall of 2003, Mr. Yoshioka hopes to start a North American Peace Boat. Because of the United States law penalizing visits to Cuba, he plans to dock at other ports, including those in countries that Washington might consider "rogue nations," he said. "It is necessary for the American people to get out of their country, to see what people are thinking of you," he said. Peace Boat, now on its 38th voyage, has visited dozens of ports in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Like all human encounters, the ones arranged by Peace Boat rarely fall into the simplistic set pieces preferred by politicians. At one stop on Sakhalin, a school cafeteria filled with elderly women, all daughters of Korean men who were forced to mine coal during World War II in that chilly outpost of imperial Japan. On hearing the Peace Boat tourists chatting in Japanese, long a taboo language on Sakhalin, one woman stood up and stilled the visitors with a peremptory wave of her hand. Then, she and the other ethnic Koreans sang chorus after chorus of Japanese elementary school songs, verses not heard here since school let out in the spring of 1945.

Asahi Shimbun 16 Sept 2002 POINT OF VIEW:Japan should face historical facts squarely By Kim Sok Bom By no means is Japan the only country that tends to forget about its past. But perhaps because it was an aggressor, it appears that Japan's forgetfulness is particularly serious.... I want Japan to show an attitude to squarely face historical facts. What a pleasant surprise. Although the announcement of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Pyongyang appeared sudden, I heard that it is the fruit of year-long negotiations behind the scenes. The process itself provides hope, to a certain extent, that the meeting will go well. Koizumi's visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is significant not only because it will be the first one ever by a Japanese prime minister but also because he will be representing Japan with its prewar and postwar history heavily weighing on his shoulders when he meets with his North Korean counterpart. This is something that successive leaders of Japan, which occupies a corner of East Asia, have never been able to achieve. That is why I think Koizumi's name will go down in history as the man who made it happen and hope the meeting will be a success. Koizumi's visit means that Japan is prepared to go back to a basic principle that it had long neglected. At an Aug. 30 press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said: ``After more than a half century after the war, Japan's relations with North Korea still remain abnormal. Normalization of diplomatic relations is a historic obligation of the government.'' Meeting its ``historical obligation'' is the basic principle Japan must go back to. Although there were many factors that stood in the way of normalizing diplomatic relations with North Korea in postwar years, it is something that Japan should have achieved a long time ago. It is an important fundamental principle that has to do with Japan's settlement of the past and foreign policy. This is not only limited to Japan's relations with ``the North.'' If Japan shows morals and dignity that befit its true ability and presence, it can win the respect of the people of East Asia who were victims of Japan's aggression. The Great Kanto Earthquake that claimed 140,000 lives hit Sept. 1, 1923. The date also reminds me of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara's controversial comment about sangokujin that he made in April 2000. The term, which literally means ``third-nation people,'' was used before and during World War II to refer to the people on the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan, which were under Japanese colonial rule and is considered derogatory. At the time of the Great Kanto Earthquake, Korean residents were blamed for looting and rioting. That was a groundless rumor started by the Japanese military, which triggered the slaughtering of ethnic Koreans by Japanese civilians. Although it was taboo to mention it in prewar days, now it is a well-known fact that some 6,600 ethnic Koreans mostly in the Tokyo area were killed at the hands of the military, police and vigilantes. However, neither the Japanese nor the Tokyo metropolitan government has ever officially commented on the fact. By no means is Japan the only country that tends to forget about its past. But perhaps because it was an aggressor, it appears that Japan's forgetfulness is particularly serious. I am not saying that the subject should be on the agenda of the Pyongyang meeting. All I am saying is that I want Japan to show an attitude to squarely face historical facts. The problem of suspected ``abduction'' of Japanese nationals should also be cleared and settled. But sticking to that problem alone does not advance the situation. What is needed is a so-called comprehensive approach. Koizumi's visit is a sign of such stance. Although there is no direct link between the ``abduction'' issue and the massacre of ethnic Koreans at the time of the Great Kanto Earthquake, let us assume that one case leads to another in discussing settlement of the past. The fact that Japan did nothing to acknowledge that foreign residents were massacred on Japanese land in the eight decades since it happened is not only unforgivable but also unbelievable. Incidentally, instead of going back to the starting point when Japan's postwar Constitution was enacted, the Koizumi administration is steering the nation in the direction of prewar Japan with such measures as the enactment of emergency legislation, attempts to regulate the freedom of the press with a personal information protection bill and visits to Yasukuni Shrine. Why is Koizumi, who is going against the times, taking a forward step to visit North Korea? North Korea's situation, which has come to a deadlock, is showing signs of change. The Koizumi administration is said to be relying on foreign policy to stay afloat. That's fine so long as his visit to North Korea helps break the deadlock. I believe the success of the summit between the two leaders will provide dynamics to move future North Korean policy in a positive direction. I hope North Korea, too, will show a positive attitude. Kim Sok Bom, 76, is an Osaka-born writer, who has won the Osaragi Jiro award and Mainichi Geijutsu award. He depicted the 1948 popular uprising that took place in his South Korean hometown of Cheju and its failure in the full-length novel ``Kazanto'' (Volcanic island). He became a writer after working as a Korean high school teacher.


Jordan Times 5 Sept 2002 Prince Zeid Raad elected head of ICC governing body AMMAN (JT)  Prince Zeid Raad, Jordan's permanent representative to the UN, is chairing the week-long session of the governing body of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which convened for the first time at the UN headquarters on Tuesday. Prince Zeid was elected the first president of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC  a post he will hold for a three-year term. The assembly will be responsible for the actual establishment of the ICC, and for rendering it operational. Humanity will never truly advance, rest with its conscience, find comfort or peace, unless we do what we hitherto have been unable to do: Provide a global juridical instrument to deter those persons seeking to commit the gravest of crimes,  Prince Zeid told the assembly's first session in New York, on Tuesday, after his election. Jordan is the only Arab country to have ratified the 1998 Rome Statute, establishing a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court's jurisdiction is not retroactive and covers crimes committed after July 1, when the Rome Statute entered into force following its ratification by 78 countries. The fruit of over 50 years of negotiations, the ICC has been considered the missing link in the international legal system. The International Court of Justice at The Hague handles only cases between states, not individuals, while ad hoc courts, such as the Nuremberg Tribunal, lacked permanence and had limited mandates. The UN has said the ICC will help end conflicts, take over when national courts are unwilling or unable to act, and deter future war criminals. After having served as Jordan's deputy permanent representative to the UN since June 1996, Prince Zeid was appointed permanent representative to the UN in August 2000. During his period of service at the UN, Prince Zeid has chaired the informal working group on elements for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity  part of the work of the Preparatory Commission for the ICC. The Prince is presently chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Scope of Legal Protection under the Convention of the Safety of UN and Associate Personnel, as well as being coordinator for the Non-Aligned Movement on peacekeeping. Prince Zeid holds a BA in political science from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in history from Cambridge University (Christ's College). He has served in the Jordan Armed Forces, and was a political affairs officer with UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia from February 1994 to February 1996. The author of publications on Jordanian and Arab history, Prince Zeid is married to Princess Sarah Zeid, and the couple have one son.


Daily Star (Lebanon) 17 Sept 2002 Bitter memories Some 3,000 people marched from Ghobeiri to the Shatila cemetery on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres. The march to the site where the civilian victims are buried saw participation by international representatives of peace movements and nongovernmental organizations from Italy, France, Norway, Spain, Denmark, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The participants joined Lebanese and Palestinians in remembering the hundreds of victims. “I came here to participate in this memory,” said Torhild Stro of the Palestine Committee in Norway. “(Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon) is legally elected by his people but he is responsible for the genocide that occurred here 20 years ago and the international community must press charges against him.” In 1982, under then-Defense Minister Sharon, the Israeli Army sealed off the two Beirut-based camps and let their allies, members of Lebanese Christian militias, enter and carry out the massacres. Members of the Italian delegation held a banner that read: “Sharon and (US President George W.) Bush: Criminals.” One of the marchers, Elen Siegel, a Jewish American activist who volunteered as a nurse in 1982 at the Gaza Hospital located in Shatila, criticized the placard. “What about the Phalangists?” she asked. “Aren’t they criminals too?”

Reuters 17 Sep 2002 Beirut massacre survivors say world eggs on Sharon By Joseph Logan BEIRUT, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Two decades after Israel's Lebanese allies tried to slaughter them in Beirut refugee camps, suvivors of the Sabra and Shatila massacres say the world has given Ariel Sharon a licence to kill by forgetting their ordeal. They say the Israeli prime minister -- architect of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon during which the massacres took place -- has learned from Sabra and Shatila that Palestinians can be killed with impunity, and warn he will act accordingly to crush a nearly two-year-old Palestinian uprising. "People forgot a long time ago," says 35-year-old Maher Srour, who saw members of the Israeli-backed Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) militia shoot his infant sister during the massacre, in which his father and several siblings were also killed. "Sharon will be this way so long as people are silent (about Sabra and Shatila)," he says. "He'll do this and worse. There'll be a massacre every day." Sharon resigned as defence minister after a 1983 Israeli inquiry found he bore indirect responsibility for the killings in the camps, which Israeli troops surrounded as members of the LF went on a 36-hour killing spree. Witnesses recall fleeing to Israeli positions outside the camps, which lie alongside a highway running through Beirut, and telling soldiers a massacre was underway. Survivors -- including Srour's sister, who was raped, shot and left dead -- launched a Belgian suit against Sharon last year over the massacre, relying on a law allowing trials for war crimes and genocide regardless of where they occurred. That suit was thrown out in June, a decision that confirmed the suspicions of survivors that their blood is cheap in the eyes of the world. "I don't understand why Sharon and the others aren't tried: the crime is there, the scene is there, the witnesses are there and the perpetrator is there," Srour said. AMERICA IS TO BLAME FOR SHARON'S SLAYINGS In the cement shacks that line the filthy streets of the camp, many saw the decision as a sign that European countries had fallen in line with Israel's U.S. patrons, and were shielding a man they consider a murderer. "He's got America behind him," says Abu Rida Fayyad, 72, who was shot through the feet and back during the massacres, when gunmen dragged away and killed his wife and two of his children. "If it wasn't for America they wouldn't have been able to invade and you wouldn't have had people slaughtered in the middle of the street here." It was a reaction Fayyad had come to expect from Lebanon, which regards the mostly Muslim population of some 360,000 Palestinian refugees in the camps as a threat to its delicate division of power along sectarian lines. "Everyone has abandoned us. I was seriously wounded, and stayed in the hospital for three months, and three months at home after that," he said. "No one came to ask what do you need, and how much are your medical bills, or what are you doing now that you've lost your family." That indifference leads some to wonder what point there was in escaping death if there is little regard for their lives. "Twenty years later, I feel that I am almost not a person, or a broken, frustrated person. More important, no one has helped me, no one has treated me like a person," says Srour. "I'm simply the survivor of the massacre who has to tell how it happened." -


Straits Times (Singapore) 23 Sept 2002 Marriage status on ICs causes some ripples PETALING JAYA - The inclusion of marital status in the multi-purpose smart identity cards, MyKad, has caused some ripples. While some Malaysians voiced their support for the move, others considered the issue of being single or not a personal matter. Aviation entrepreneur Norazizah Borhan, 48, said it was inappropriate to expose one's marital status because it might leave women open to harassment from the opposite sex. Advertisement 'Some single women say they are married because men might try to take advantage of them if they knew the woman was single. 'And if you are a divorcee, you could invite unwanted attention,' said the single mother. But newly married executive Rafei Yahil was not worried about having his marital status recorded in MyKad. 'My wife and I carry our marriage identification cards anyway. But MyKad could pose a problem because what happens if you lose it? Other than this, it is a good thing.' Teacher Louise Yeow, 51, said it might pose a problem to those who wanted some 'hanky panky after marriage'. 'I have no objections and it is no big deal other than to those who want to stray.' For all that is said, the marital status in MyKad can be retrieved only by a card reader. The National Registration Department has been issuing MyKad since May 1. Director-general Azizan Ayob said the card, which contains numerous security features, was intended to curb the problem of fake cards produced by gangs. --The Star/Asia News Network


AFP 8 Sept 2002 SEPT 8, 2002 Yangon army accused of killings after rapes BANGKOK - A leading Thai senator has upped the ante in his campaign against Myanmar's treatment of ethnic minorities, saying Yangon's military had not only committed systematic rape but murdered hundreds of Shan women. Mr Kraisak Choonhavan, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, revisited the controversial allegations made originally in July by Thai-based Shan rights groups, but he went a step further by telling Parliament that 400 of the victims were killed. 'More than 600 people have been raped' in eastern Myanmar's Shan state, the Bangkok Post quoted Mr Kraisak as saying. 'Most rapes were started by colonels and completed by their subordinates. They raped in villages and military camps and two-thirds of the victims were killed,' he added. He said he had names of the victims and the soldiers responsible for the atrocities, the daily reported, but it did not elaborate. Myanmar has rejected the rape allegations as 'preposterous accusations' resulting from political pressure. The senator's statements appear designed to put the heat on Yangon as it hosts a European Union delegation on a three-day mission beginning today. The delegation expects to meet senior junta generals as well as Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said officials from Denmark, which currently holds the revolving EU presidency.

Boston Globe 22 Sept 2002 A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL Pressure on Burma THE RECENT strong denunciations of Burma's military junta by members of Congress - and a milder one from the State Department - deserve to be taken seriously by the Burmese regime and the world community. The statements came on Sept. 18, the 14th anniversary of the junta's violent seizure of power. In May, when Burma's ruling generals, yielding to US and European sanctions, released Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, hinting they would open a meaningful political dialogue with her and her National League for Democracy, devotees of democracy in Burma and around the world hoped it presaged a restoration of the democratic government that was elected in 1990 with 82 percent of the seats in Parliament. Since then, however, there has been no genuine dialogue, no transition to self-government, no cessation of narcotics trafficking, and no end to the military's human rights abuses. On the contrary, as Representative Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California, said in a statement to his colleagues Wednesday, the people of Burma have suffered ''an intensified campaign of systematic rapes, massacres, and arrests.'' A letter sent last week to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and signed by 32 US senators cited a report by the Shan Women's Action Network and the Shan Human Rights Foundation entitled ''License to Rape.'' The letter called Annan's attention to the report's documentation of ''rapes involving at least 625 girls and women by Burmese army soldiers in Shan state, the largest of the seven ethnic nationality states in Burma.'' Many of those rapes were committed on military bases, ''83 percent were perpetrated by officers, 61 percent were gang rapes, and 25 percent ended in the murder of the victims.'' The letter was addressed to Annan because the UN special envoy for Burma, Razali Ismail, has been trying without success to persuade the junta bosses to alter their brutal behavior and honor their commitments to begin a political dialogue with Suu Kyi leading to a democratic transition. Criticism from a different quarter came last week in the Asian Development Bank's 2002 Report. The bank excoriated the Burmese junta for the lack of reform of its failed economic policies and noted: ''The economy has been propped up to a large degree from the illegal trade in opium and methamphetamines, which some observers say constitutes 20 percent of all business in the country.'' The Bush administration, as well as Annan and the rest of the international community, should exert unremitting pressure on the junta to release all political prisoners, engage in a true dialogue with Suu Kyi and ethnic nationalities, and negotiate a restoration of democratic government in Burma. This story ran on page D10 of the Boston Globe on 9/22/2002.


AFP 8 Sept 2002 22 dead as battle with kidnap gangs continues ZAMBOANGA - The death toll from two days of fighting between troops and Muslim kidnapping gangs in the southern Philippines rose to 22 as soldiers overran a major camp of the most notorious group, the Abu Sayyaf, military officials said yesterday. However, there was still no word on the fate of four Christian Filipinas and three Indonesian seamen who had been seized by two different kidnapping gangs and hidden in the forests of Jolo island. Eight soldiers and 14 kidnappers had been killed in fighting, which began on Friday, said Major-General Glicerio Sua, head of a special task force battling the gangs. 'The ground troops are certain the casualty figure of the bandits is increasing as there were sporadic encounters while the Abu Sayyaf were retreating,' said Brigadier-General Romeo Tolentino, military commander on Jolo. The initial clash was between soldiers and members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim bandit group with links to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. To repel the attack, the group has united with armed followers of jailed Muslim leader Nur Misuari, who is being charged with leading a short-lived revolt in Jolo in November. Other targets of the offensive include a gang led by Moin Sahiron, a nephew of Abu Sayyaf chieftain Radullan Sahiron. It is holding four female Jehovah's Witnesses who were kidnapped last month. Two men who were travelling with the women were beheaded. Another group is holding three Indonesian seamen kidnapped off the waters of the southern Philippines in June. Officers said soldiers were planning to encircle the gangs while MG-520 helicopters and OV-10 Bronco planes stood ready to blast their positions. About 2,000 local residents had fled the area for fear of getting caught in the fighting, local officials said.

ArabNews.com 12 Sept 2002 Just let Sabah people decide own fate, says Philippine separatist group By Mama Gubal, COTABATO CITY, Philippines, 12 September  Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday urged the Philippine government not to pursue its territorial claim on Malaysia s eastern state of Sabah. The Sabahans are already progressive, contented and secured in the Federation of Malaysia,  said a statement issued by the MILF s Central Committee. We do not want our brothers in Sabah to suffer like (Filipino Muslims) who are dispossessed of their lands, disenfranchised, pushed to the wall and once the object of a genocide campaign,  it added. The statement, signed by MILF chief information officer Mohagher Iqbal, came three days after allies of jailed Muslim leader Nur Misuari came up with a statement pushing for a revival of the Philippine claim on Sabah. The claim is actually of the Sultanate of Sulu, but which it passed on to the Philippine government to pursue. Since the 80s, Manila has let the issue sleep to mend ties with Kuala Lumpur. But Malaysia s crackdown and deportation of thousands of illegal Filipino migrants in Sabah has rekindled calls for a revival of the claim. The mass deportations, which started last month, have soured relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbors. The Philippines protested twice to Malaysia because of allegations many of the deportees were maltreated and punished harshly by Malaysian authorities. In its statement, the MILF said it recognizes the historical reality that the Sultanate of Sulu had acquired both proprietary and sovereignty rights over Sabah (formerly North Borneo), to include Sulu, Zamboanga, Palawan and Mindoro.  But it said the people of Sabah should be allowed to choose their own fate. Any conflict involving people of any given territory particularly that concerning their political rights shall; be resolved by invoking the principle of right to self-determination as embodied in the United Nations charter through the conduct of a referendum,  the MILF statement said. In the same declaration, however, the MILF expressed regrets over the reported inhuman treatment and abuses by the Malaysian authorities in Sabah against the deportees. Still, it said, it said the suffering of the deportees was rooted in their displacement from the Philippine south because of violence and crushing poverty. The Philippine government s policy of war and its failure to solve the massive poverty in Mindanao led to these massive migrations. That s the reality,  MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu also said. Unless the problems are solved, the exodus of Filipinos from the southern Philippine region of Mindanao into nearby countries will continue, he said. Filipinos, many of them Muslim, started fleeing the southern Philippines in great numbers in the 1970s when then-President Ferdinand Marcos launched large-scale offensives against Muslim guerrillas demanding self-rule and development in Muslim areas. The MILF urged the Philippine and Malaysian governments to extend all necessary aid especially humanitarian to the deportees or migrants. It also requested the United Nations and its pertinent instrumentalities especially the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) to intervene and extend all possible help. On the reported new independence movement in Sulu, the home province of Misuari, calling itself Bangsamoro Independence Movement,  the MILF said it has nothing to do with it nor will it ever be part of this new group.

Inquirer News Service (Manila) 13 Sept 2002 Senator bats for treaty on int'l criminal court SENATE Majority Floor Leader Loren Legarda-Leviste on Thursday pressed for ratification of a United Nations treaty creating an International Criminal Court (ICC) that would try individuals for war crimes and other crimes against humanity and violations of human rights. Legarda made the call in a Senate resolution in the wake of delay by Malacañang in forwarding a draft of the treaty to the Senate. The Philippines has signed the treaty, but the Senate has to ratify it to make it binding. ''The ICC is envisioned to become a permanent independent judicial body created by the international community of states to prosecute the gravest crimes under international law,'' Legarda-Leviste said. The ICC will have the power to try individuals, and thereby serve as a forum for redress of crimes committed as part of or in relation to governments in power, or of groups aiming to change the government or the status quo, she said.

Saudi Arabia

Guardian UK 19 Sept 2002 Saudis recall controversial ambassador David Pallister The controversial Saudi ambassador to Britain, Dr Ghazi Algosaibi, who this year published a poem in praise of a Palestinian suicide bomber, has been recalled to Riyadh and made minister of water. His removal from the post which he has held for 10 years is seen by Saudi observers as a reprimand and a demotion for his increasingly embarrassing remarks. In his latest foray into politics he told the Spectator magazine last week that Osama bin Laden had widespread support in the Muslim world. "Please don't kick the ambassador out of London for saying this," he told the magazine's editor, Boris Johnson, "but if you go around the Muslim world, you will find the vast majority of people will support Osama bin Laden, and this is more tragic than the attack itself. Why would such a crime like this find such support, not just on the streets of Riyadh, but on the streets of Turkey, the streets of Tunis, the streets of Britain. That comes down to the question of why people hate America." The announcement of Dr Algosaibi's recall was made in a royal decree from King Fahd on the recommendation of Crown Prince Abdullah who has been de facto ruler of the country since the king suffered a stroke in 1995. Fahd is recuperating from an eye operation at his villa in Marbella. Spelling out his new responsibilities the decree said the minister would be drawing up "a comprehensive plan to establish water and sewage networks all over the kingdom." Dr Algosaibi, 62, said in a statement that he had accepted the job "with humility and a deep sense of responsibility." His poem, the Martyrs, outraged the Jewish community and earned the censure of the Foreign Office. Published in April in the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat, it praised Ayat Akhras, an 18-year-old Palestinian who blew herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket in March, killing two Israelis and wounding 25. "Doors of heaven are opened for her," he wrote. Suicide bombers "died to honour God's word." When the board of deputies complained he wrote to the director general accusing prime minister Ariel Sharon of genocide and suggested that the Israeli attack on Jenin "would make Attila the Hun proud." In June he caused further anger by describing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as "far more severe than anything the Germans did." The Foreign Office said the remarks were "wrong and insensitive." In the Spectator article he refused to say whether alcohol was consumed in the London embassy, technically Saudi territory where such activities would be punished with the lash. "I am not a Catholic and you are not my confessor, but who said Muslims do not commit sins?"

Solomon Islands

AFP 3 Sept 2002 Five die in Solomons riot From a correspondent in Auckland, New Zealand AT least five people are dead and six wounded after ethnic conflict once again broke out on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands Broadcasting reported. It quoted police as saying shooting had broken out on Guadalcanal Plains, east of the capital Honiara. The country has endured a three-year-long civil war. Last month a warlord, Harold Keke, claimed he had murdered a cabinet minister, Catholic priest Father Augustine Geve. Earlier in the year he led a massacre which claimed 10 lives.

Sri Lanka

BBC 5 Sept 2002 Optimism over Sri Lanka peace Tens of thousands have been killed or injured in war Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tyrone Fernando has said that he believes the rebel Tamil Tigers are genuinely committed to finding a solution to the island's conflict, prior to talks between the two sides later this month. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Fernando said that the Sri Lankan Government's decision on Wednesday to lift its ban on the Tamil Tiger rebel movement marked an important step. He also said that there would be no formal agenda for the discussions but that anything short of a separate Tamil state would be debated. The Tigers, one of the world's most ruthless rebel groups, have been fighting for an independent homeland for the island's minority Tamil community since 1983. Mr Fernando said: "We go on the basis that once they agreed to talks... it was a very significant move by them that they are seriously exploring the possibility of settling this problem other than through their demands for a separate state," he said. "I'm convinced they are certainly trying to [give up violence and] ... settle for something... They are under enormous pressure from their own people and so are we." The foreign minister also said that he hoped by bringing the rebel movement into "the democratic process" it would render violence "unnecessary". Talks due The rebels had insisted on recognition as a precondition for their attendance at the talks. The government - which originally promised to lift the four-year-old ban only in the days leading up to the negotiations - said it had taken the decision to do so earlier to express trust and confidence in the Tamil Tigers. The sides are due to meet in Thailand on 16 September for formal peace talks to try to end the bitter ethnic conflict, in which about 65,000 people have died. Presidential opposition In an initial reaction, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she would "go along" with the decision. However, Mrs Kumaratunga had previously made clear that she opposes lifting the ban. President Kumaratunga: Not happy with government moves Government moves in the Norwegian-mediated peace process have led to a deepening crisis between the president and prime minister, who are from opposing parties. The government has been discussing with her its plans to limit her powers to dissolve parliament, fearing she could use them to scupper any future peace deal the government reaches with the Tamil Tigers. The president met Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Tuesday, but it was not clear if they had reached any agreement. Mrs Kumaratunga is reported to have warned the government on Monday that there were legal options open to her should the government remove the ban on the Tamil Tigers without her consent. Emotive issue The ban was imposed in 1998 after the Tigers attacked the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the holiest Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka. Nationalist groups want the ban to stay The rebels made its removal a main precondition for sitting down to talks with the government. The BBC's Frances Harrison, reporting from rebel-held northern Sri Lanka, says the decision has been greeted with delight there. She adds that the move is hugely symbolic for the Tigers, although it is unlikely to make much practical difference. Under the terms of a ceasefire brokered by the Norwegians in February, the Tigers can already operate political offices in government-controlled territory. The rebels are still banned in some other countries, such as the US and the UK and India. It is thought unlikely they will lift the ban before peace talks make substantial progress.

Reuters 17 Sept 2002 Empty war chests drive Sri Lankan peace talks By Scott McDonald SATTAHIP, Thailand (Reuters) - Empty war chests, an intractable military standoff and increased international pressure all combined to transform Sri Lanka from an island of suicide bombings to one where there are serious hopes for peace. Government and Tamil Tiger negotiators sitting down to talks this week in neutral Thailand have all made appeals for aid, saying their broken treasuries cannot fund the rebuilding work needed to show the public the benefits of a current ceasefire. "There is an urgent need for relief and assistance to the war-affected people," said Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the talks that end on Wednesday. "Over and above the intricate questions of conflict resolution and power sharing, the people expect a peace dividend. They require immediate relief to resolve their urgent existential problems," he said in a speech to mark the opening of the talks. These are the first direct negotiations in seven years aimed at ending a war that has killed 64,000 people and nearly bankrupted the island. The immediate talks are expected to lay the groundwork for future negotiations on Tiger demands for a separate state and to look at ways to rebuild war-hit areas of the island. "With the country's economy shattered, the government of Sri Lanka cannot meet the cost of these reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes," Milinda Moragoda, Sri Lanka's economic reforms minister and a delegate to the negotiations, wrote in an article on the eve of the talks. War spending that has hit $1 billion annually -- more than one-third of government revenue -- and a drought combined to shrink Sri Lanka's economy last year for the first time since independence in 1948. Cash has been just as tight for the rebels, with countries such at the United States and Britain outlawing the Tigers and then the aftermath of September 11 putting a squeeze on what had been a lucrative international fundraising operation. "With all the bans and the international environment, they cannot operate. All their above-ground structures are not functioning, only their underground ones," said Rohan Gunaratna, a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. A rebel attack on the island's sole international airport further darkened the image of Sri Lanka and showed that the military was powerless to stop the rebels. It also showed that while the LTTE could pull off such attacks, the group was not moving any closer to its goal of a separate state for Tamils, who its says are discriminated against by the island's Sinhalese majority. A truce took effect in February, since when living standards in some areas have improved. But hopes of increased international aid have yet to be realised as donors wait for the peace process to take root.

BBC 18 Sept 2002, Tamil Tigers 'do not want independence' Peiris (right) says dates have been set for more talks Tamil Tiger separatist rebels say they will only push for a separate state as a "last resort". The statement was made by rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham after the Tigers and Sri Lankan officials concluded historic peace talks in Thailand. Our demand for a homeland is not a demand for a separate state. Rebel spokesman Anton Balasingham The two sides have also agreed to hold three more rounds of talks in late October, December and January. Norwegian mediators say the two sides have agreed to focus on reconstruction and rehabilitation in the troubled Tamil-majority areas in the island nation. The talks, the first such direct negotiations in seven years, are aimed at ending a civil war in which more than 64,000 people have been killed, and thousands more forced to flee their homes. 'No other option' "If our demand for regional autonomy or self-government is rejected, our people would have no other option and separation would be the last resort," Mr Balasingham said at a press conference. "Our demand for a homeland is not a demand for a separate state." Peace talks dates 31 October-3 November 2-5 December 6-9 January This is the clearest indication yet of the Tamil Tigers' long term objective. Sri Lankan Government negotiator, GL Peiris, welcomed the rebel statement. "Their aspirations can be fulfilled within one country if we set about it in the proper way," he said. Rebuilding The two sides have agreed to: Set up a committee to deal with the return of displaced people to high security zones maintained by the Sri Lankan military Set up another joint task force for humanitarian and reconstruction activities Urge donors to provide immediate funding for humanitarian work to support the peace process. The aim will be to identify and finance urgent projects in the north and east of Sri Lanka, in particular the stepping up of landmine clearance and accelerating the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of refugees. "This will enhance public confidence in the peace process and thus contribute to the further progress in the quest for peace in Sri Lanka," the statement said. The taskforce will operate with the due participation of Sri Lanka's third largest community, the Muslims. On Tuesday, Mr Peiris said he was extremely pleased with the way things had gone so far, and that progress had exceeded expectations. Some donors have been reluctant to invest until peace has a firmer footing in Sri Lanka but Professor Peiris was confident this could now be overcome. "I think we can persuade the donors that this is one of those situations where it is not realistic or necessary to wait for peace to come in full in a formal sense," Professor Peiris said.


Bangkok Post, 19 Sept 2002 US THREAT OVER COURT NO WORRY TO THAILAND, Achara Ashayagachat Thailand is unlikely to be affected by a United States threat to cut military aid to countries which refuse to exempt American citizens from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said. US Secretary of State Colin Powell told me during his visit to Bangkok last month that the military aid cut would not involve Nato or its major non-Nato allies. So it's not of great concern to us as we are a close ally of the US.'' Sources said Washington's threat to cut military aid had worked against the Philippines and Colombia. Differences over the implementation of the ICC looms here. The first meeting of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, from Sept 3-10, approved a budget of US $ 39.37 million for 2003. The meeting also approved rules for electing 18 judges and a prosecutor, diplomatic sources said. The ICC came into force on July 2 after 76 countries ratified it. Thailand signed the treaty in December last year and is still considering ratification. The Bush administration withdrew from signing the treaty for fear that American soldiers or political leaders could face politically-motivated accusations. United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan last week urged governments to ensure the new judicial body begins life on a secure footing'' free of political differences

Straits Times (Singapore) 23 Sept 2002 An ID check mooted to curb polygamy BANGKOK - A Thai academic has suggested enactment of a law requiring the name of one's spouse to appear on identity cards to prevent Thai men from practising polygamy. Associate Professor Pairot Kamphoosiri, a family-law expert at Thammasat University, said that such a legislation was necessary as Thai men were not punished for marrying more than once. Advertisement He agreed with a Laotian official who said that Laos had a law to prevent polygamy. Appearing in a TV programme, the official, Mr Saengpajan Wongphothong, of Laos' Justice Ministry, said that such a law help prevent men from having more than one wife. He said everyone in Laos had to get a new identity card once their marriage was registered. Multiple marriages are punishable by imprisonment, a fine or both. Responding, Associate Professor Pairot, who appeared on the same programme, said that it was unfortunate that such penalties did not apply in Thailand. Ms Orn-anong Intharawijit, chairman of the Hotline Centre Foundation, said 80 per cent of all family-conflict calls from women related to their husband's infidelity. Every day more than 50 women call the foundation seeking advice and comfort, she said. --The Nation/Asia News Network



NYT 19 Sept 2002 NEW LEADER FOR RIGHT-WING PARTY The far-right Freedom Party, in turmoil since the withdrawal of its de facto leader, Jörg Haider, over the weekend, named a little-known government minister, Mathias Reichhold, left, as chairman. Mr. Reichhold, 45, the transport minister, faces an uphill battle in elections this November. The party's support has been badly eroded by internal strife, which began when Mr. Haider forced out several senior officials, including Susanne Riess-Passer, who also served as vice chancellor. Mr. Haider then declined to take the helm, saying that he had been threatened and that he feared for the safety of his family. Mark Landler (NYT)


NYT 21 Sept 2002 Belgium Confronts Its Heart of Darkness By ALAN RIDING PARIS — No less than other European powers, Belgium proclaimed its colonial mission to be that of spreading civilization. But while Britain and France, say, had global empires, Belgium's attention was focused overwhelmingly on the vast, resource-rich Central African territory of Congo, 75 times larger than Belgium itself. The deal was implicit: in exchange for extracting immense wealth from its colony, Belgium offered schools, roads, Christianity and, yes, civilization. Yet Belgium's pride in its colonial past has always been shadowed by a darker history, one marked by two decades of perhaps the cruelest rule ever inflicted on a colonized people and, a half-century later, by a violent intervention in Congolese politics after the country's independence in 1960. This history, long buried, neither taught in schools nor mentioned in public, is now beginning to surface. In February, Belgium admitted participating in the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first Prime Minister, and apologized for it. The motivation for the crime was to avoid losing control over Congo's resources, but Belgium steadfastly denied any involvement until new evidence collected by a parliamentary commission last year confirmed the direct role of Belgian agents in carrying out and covering up the murder. Now fresh light may be thrown on an earlier, still darker, period of Belgium's reign over Congo. In anticipation of a major exhibition scheduled for fall 2004, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, near Brussels, is sponsoring the first far-reaching review of Belgium's colonial past, including the period from 1885 to 1908 when, as the personal property of King Leopold II, the Congo Free State is believed to have suffered violence and exploitation that cost millions of lives. Guido Gryseels, the director of the government-owned museum, says the purpose of the study is not to pass judgment but to provide information about a neglected past. In addition, he says, the study will address more than the political aspects of colonialism. It will also look at the period through the prisms of Central Africa's history, anthropology, zoology and geology, disciplines that form part of the museum's permanent scientific mission. Yet the initiative is daring, since it raises the broader question of a country's continuing responsibility for unsavory actions carried out in its name generations or even centuries earlier. These range from promotion of the slave trade and annexation of territories to colonial repression and ransacking of natural resources. Further, while the study is not subject to Belgian government control, it will be financed by the taxpayer, which makes intense public debate of its findings even more likely. So far, no other former colonial power has shown an appetite for looking back with a critical eye, even though the colonial records of, say, the British in India, the French in Algeria, the Dutch in Indonesia and the Portuguese in Angola all contain examples of human rights abuses and excessive use of force. Interestingly, Mr. Gryseels said he had received strong expressions of support for his project from foreign historians and social scientists. Maria Misra, a lecturer in modern history at Oxford University, believes that Britain, for one, should follow Belgium's example. "The point of cataloging Britain's imperial crimes is not to trash our forebears," she wrote in The Guardian of London, "but to remind rulers that even the best-run empires are cruel and violent, not just the Belgian Congo. Overwhelming power, combined with boundless superiority, will produce atrocities — even among the well-intentioned." The strong emotional attachment of some former colonial administrators to prized former colonies, however, can pose a problem. "Every time Belgian ex-colonials hear criticism of what happened under King Leopold, they see it as a criticism of colonialism in general," Mr. Gryseels explained. "A lot of Belgians worked hard in developing the infrastucture, building roads, organizing school systems, and they feel they did a good job and it is very unfair that the whole thing is being criticized in a very one-sided way." A case against King Leopold, though, was already being made a century ago. In 1899, Joseph Conrad published "Heart of Darkness," in which he exposed the horrors of Congo. In 1904, a British shipping agent, Edmund Morel, formed the Congo Reform Association, which publicized the human toll of Leopold's rule. Finally, under British pressure, Leopold sold Congo to Belgium in 1908. In 1919, a Belgian commission estimated that Congo's population was half what it was in 1879. But all this was expurgated from Belgium's official memory. "My generation was brought up with the view that Belgium brought civilization to Congo, that we did nothing but good out there," said Mr. Gryseels, 49, who attended high school in the late 1960's. "I don't think that during my entire education I ever heard a critical word about our colonial past." By the time he took charge of the museum a year ago, however, attitudes were changing. Belgian intellectuals were conversant with a four-volume account of Leopold's Congo by the respected Belgian historian Jules Marchal as well as with other new histories of Europe's appropriation of Africa. But no book had the impact of Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa" (Houghton Mifflin, 1998), which appeared in translation in Belgium in 1999. In it, Mr. Hochschild describes how, along with the uncounted thousands who died of disease and famine, many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber, the territory's principal sources of wealth before its diamonds, copper and zinc were discovered. Mr. Hochschild estimates the total death toll during the Leopold period at 10 million. Leopold himself never visited Congo, but it fed him the income to build palaces, monuments and museums and to buy expensive clothes and villas for his teenage mistress. In 1897, he built the Museum of the Congo — later the Museum of the Belgian Congo, today the Royal Museum for Central Africa — to house an exhibition devoted to animals, plants, ethnographical objects, sculptures and scenes of African life. The show's popularity led to the building's conversion into a permanent museum linked to an institute for scientific research. "Today we have very fine collections, but the museum has remained almost unchanged for over 40 years," Mr. Gryseels said, "so it needs all sorts of change, first of all the message, which is still very colonial and provides the Belgian view of Africa before 1960 and is not very much related to the Africa of today." At the museum's entrance, for instance, a large statue of a white colonial and two kneeling Africans still stands, accompanied by the inscription, "Belgium brings civilization to the Congo." As part of a reorganization of the museum in preparation for the 2004 exhibition, Mr. Gryseels decided to take a fresh look at Belgium's colonial past. The study, which begins this fall, will be carried out by a scientific commission led by the Belgian historian Jean-Luc Vellut and will address Belgium's entire colonial past, not just the Leopold period. To ensure objectivity, working groups will also include American and African scholars. Now, Mr. Gryseels acknowledged, the museum is ill prepared to address the questions raised by Mr. Hochschild and other recent authors. "When you visit our museum, you don't find any information about the allegations made in these books," he said. "So we thought it was important to present the different views of historians on that period and provide scientific information so that a visitor can make up his own mind." He does not expect the study and exhibition to lead to a fresh apology to Congo, however. "A lot of very positive things happened during the real period of colonization after 1908," he said. "Also, I don't think one should look at the past with the moral standards of today. After all, early in the last century, children of 6 or 7 were working 17 hours a day in Belgian factories. We should look at it with the moral standards of those periods." But, Mr. Gryseels was asked, was he shocked when he read Mr. Hochschild's book? "Yes, I was," he said softly. "Obviously, it hits pretty hard. Especially since I am from a generation that was brought up with a very positive and flattering view of our colonial activities. I am from a generation that sold calendars and New Year's cards to help missionaries in Central Africa. And when you read all these revelations, they're pretty hard hitting."


NYT 20 Sept 2002 MOSQUE BLOWN UP Saboteurs blew up a mosque in the Serbian part of Bosnia just three months after it was reopened following its destruction during the 1992-1995 war. Muslims expelled by Serbian forces at that time have only recently begun to return to the area, near the southeastern town of Gacko. Relations among Bosnia's Serbs, Muslims and Croats remain tense seven years after the war ended, and an election next month is expected to return more nationalists to power in the country, which is divided between a Serbian republic and a Muslim-Croat federation. Daniel Simpson


NYT 20 Sept 2002 TRIBUNAL INDICTS EX-GENERAL The United Nations war crimes tribunal at The Hague has indicted a retired general who was the Croatian Army's chief of staff during the Balkan wars of the early 1990's. Janko Bobetko, 83, is the highest-ranking Croat sought by the tribunal, and he has been linked to suspected war crimes committed in 1993 during a swift incursion by the Croatian Army into territory held by rebel Serbs. The general has said he would rather die than surrender. Daniel Simpson

NYT 21 Sept 2002 WAR CRIMES INDICTMENT SENT BACK The government sent an indictment against its retired army chief of staff back to the United Nations war crimes tribunal at The Hague. It cited what it said was a procedural error in the charges against Janko Bobetko, the most senior Croat to be indicted in connection with the Balkan wars of the early 1990's. Daniel Simpson (NYT)


Baltic News Service 13 Sept 2002, TREATMENT OF HOLOCAUST HAS EFFECT ON ESTONIA'S NATO PROSPECTS - ILVES Estonia's entry into NATO first and foremost depends on the U.S. Senate, which among other things will look at how the topic of Holocaust is being dealt with and Nazi crimes investigated in the candidate country, former Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves wrote. If the U.S. senators think that some country doesn't have a serious enough approach to the Holocaust, if there are suspicions that the country in some way favors or tolerates anti-Semitism, that country's chances in ratification of the NATO Treaty may turn out poor, Ilves, chairman of the opposition Moderates, wrote in the daily Postimees. Ilves said that as senators had little knowledge about some candidates, they would be looking at the country's contribution to the war against terrorism, respect of human rights and democratic values, treatment of the Holocaust, the ability and commitment to abide by the promise to spend two percent of their GDP for defense also in the future, attitude towards the United States and the U.S. policy, and readiness to conclude the bilateral accord concerning the International Criminal Court. Ilves said that while the first two topics should pose no difficulty for Estonia, the three latter ones could. The former foreign minister said the most important criterion was whether or not the country aspiring for membership in NATO supported the United States. "And the measure of support is the candidate country's voting in the United Nations, attitude toward U.S. companies and investments, as well as the readiness to sign the immunity accord concerning U.S. soldiers," Ilves said. He added that the State Department's official position that an invitation to NATO doesn't depend on signing or non-signing of the immunity accord didn't count. "The Senate will decide who is worthy in its eyes and who is not," Ilves said. At the Prague summit Estonia only stands to get an invitation to join NATO, which needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all NATO member states, he said.


NYT 18 Sept 2002 FRANCE: NOVELIST TRIED FOR ANTI-ISLAM REMARK The writer Michel Houellebecq, who is as famous in France as a provocateur as he is for his sex-laden novels, went on trial on charges of inciting racial hatred by describing Islam as "the most stupid religion." In his defense, Mr. Houellebecq said he had never shown disdain for Muslims, only for Islam. He made his remark about Islam last year while promoting his third novel, "Plateforme," which includes a massacre carried out by Islamic extremists. If convicted, he could face a year in jail or a $50,000 fine, but the prosecutor told the court there were no grounds for a criminal prosecution. The court is to rule on Oct. 22. Alan Riding

BBC 17 Sept 2002, French author denies racial hatred The author has won the Impac prize and Prix Novembre A prize-winning French author on trial for calling Islam "the dumbest religion" has denied charges of inciting racial hatred. Michel Houellebecq told a Paris court that his words had been twisted. "I have never displayed the least contempt for Muslims," he said, but added, "I have as much contempt as ever for Islam". The controversial writer is being sued by four Islamic organisations over his comments about his book, Platform, in an interview last year with the literary magazine Lire. The novel is also cited in the case being brought by the largest mosques in Paris and Lyon, the National Federation of French Muslims (FNMN) and the World Islamic League. France's Human Rights League has also joined them, saying that Mr Houellebecq's comments amount to "Islamophobia". The case has become a cause celebre, which, like the Salman Rushdie affair in the UK, raises questions about the appropriate limits, if any, to be placed on freedom of expression. 'Contempt' for Islam Mr Houellebecq told the court that he felt contempt - not hatred - for Islam, and that it was nonsensical to call him an "anti-Muslim racist". Platform has been a best-seller in France "The whole tone of the interview was one of contempt, not hate", he said, adding, "I am always changing my point of view". The author said he opposed not just Islam but all monotheistic faiths, and that it was his right as an author to criticise religions. He told the court he felt the Koran was inferior to the Bible as a literary work. "In literary terms, the Bible has several authors, some good and some as bad as crap. The Koran has only one author and its overall style is mediocre," said Michel Houellebecq. In a written submission, lawyers for the Paris mosque said: "The fact that a famous author can be allowed to proclaim clearly his hatred for Islam in a magazine like Lire constitutes incitement to religious hatred." Dalil Boubakeur from the mosque told the court: "Islam has been reviled, attacked with hateful words. My community has been humiliated." If found guilty, Mr Houellebecq faces up to a year in prison and a 52,000 euro fine. Blasphemy In the Lire interview, Mr Houellebecq was quoted as saying "the dumbest religion, after all, is Islam". What I think as an individual seems to be of no importance here Michel Houellebecq "When you read the Koran, you're shattered. The Bible at least is beautifully written because the Jews have a heck of a literary talent," he told the magazine. Mr Houellebecq's lawyer, Emmanuel Pierrat, argues that the case effectively re-establishes the notion of blasphemy, despite the fact that France is a secular state and has no such law. Mr Houellebecq, who recently won the Impac literary prize, is used to the controversy - and the attendant publicity - arising from his frank and sometimes nihilistic novels. He has neither retracted his comments nor defended the main character in his novel Platform, who admits to a "quiver of glee" every time a "Palestinian terrorist" is killed. Last year Mr Houellebecq said he had "a gift" for insults and provocation. "In my novels, it adds a certain spice. It's rather humorous, no? What I think as an individual seems to be of no importance here," he said in an interview.

AP 18 Sept 2002 France accused of turning its back on Holocaust victims PARIS - He gathered up the framed photos of his dead wife and of Gen. Charles de Gaulle, bid farewell to his prison cell, and walked free into a storm of anger and complaints that France was turning its back on Holocaust victims. The release Wednesday of imprisoned wartime collaborator Maurice Papon provoked a spectrum of French reactions and much outrage. "A great victory," said one of Papon's lawyers. An "injustice," howled renowned Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld. Fewer were more surprised than Papon himself. "He embraced us," said lawyer Jean-Marc Varaut. "I told him he was free. He said: 'How did it happen?'" Those who had fought so long and hard to see Papon condemned for his role in sending Jews to Nazi death camps asked the same question. "It seemed impossible," said Michel Slitinsky, who was 17 when he narrowly escaped a Papon-ordered roundup of Jews from Bordeaux in 1942, where Papon served as police chief. Slitinsky, whose father was arrested in that roundup and died in Auschwitz, said he feared the appeal court's decision to release Papon would encourage the extreme-right in France. That movement showed its strength this spring, when extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen came second in presidential elections. "Sixty years ago, in October 1942, Maurice Papon had six Jews suffering from the same cardiovascular disorder that he has today taken from their beds at the Saint-Andre Hospital in Bordeaux and thrown into convoys," Slitinsky said. "So I condemn this release." Alain Jakubowicz, a lawyer who represented families of Papon's victims at his 1998 trial, the longest in French history, said he felt "pain." Added Klarsfeld, the Nazi-hunter: "We had fought so he would stay in prison." But both men also said they hoped Papon's release would prompt French authorities to free other aging and sick prisoners. "If the end of Maurice Papon's life is going to be useful, I hope it is useful in that way," Jakubowicz said. "I was absolutely convinced that Mr. Papon needed to be convicted," said author Jean Lacouture. But "keeping a man of his age in jail for a long time to me does not seem very healthy." Critics said France was turning its back on Holocaust victims and its wartime collaboration with the Nazis. "Today, I see the camps again, the horror," said Communist Party leader Marie-George Buffet. "Once again, France is incapble of going to the end of its memory and assuming it. Assuming it would have been to leave Maurice Papon in prison regardless of his state of health," said Green Party lawmaker Noel Mamere. "This release insults the memory of all those who were victims of Nazism," added socialist lawmaker Julien Dray. "He should stay in prison." In Papon's hometown of Gretz-Armainvilliers outside Paris, residents were reluctant to speak about their infamous neighbor. "I've had enough, it's caused us too much trouble," said one elderly woman outside the Papon family's elegant but decaying mansion. "The community is very divided," added a 72-year-old retiree who would only give his name as Michel. "Papon was a former mayor here and was generally well-liked but he was also convicted for grave crimes." But in a mainly immigrant housing project on the town outskirts news of Papon's release was greeted with anger and resentment. "He should have been condemned to death," said Marie-Claude Brunet, 42, a North African immigrant. "It is atrocious that he is coming back to live here."

NYT 20 Sept 2002 French Government to Seek Return of Nazi War Criminal to Prison By ELAINE SCIOLINO PARIS, Sept. 19 — The French government said today that it would seek to overturn the decision to free Maurice Papon, the highest-ranking French civilian ever to be convicted of Nazi war crimes in World War II. With support from both President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Justice Minister Dominique Perben ordered the state prosecutor in Paris to seek the reversal of a decision by a three-judge appeals court panel on Wednesday to release Mr. Papon, 92, from prison because of his age and poor health. "Public opinion is troubled," Mr. Perben told RTL radio, adding that President Chirac "felt the strong emotions of those directly involved in this affair." Mr. Chirac's new center-right government is particularly concerned that the release will spark public protests in France over the freeing of a Nazi war criminal and fuel the perception abroad, especially in the United States, that France is anti-Semitic. One legal basis for an appeal is a court test of a law passed last March that allows prisoners to go free if two doctors agree they suffer from fatal illness, or their health is jeopardized in prison. Bernard Kouchner, a former health minister who championed the new law , asserted today that it had been misused in the Papon case. He said the law was intended to help convicts with life-threatening illnesses like AIDS or cancer to get proper treatment unavailable in a prison. "We have been trapped by our own generosity," Dr. Kouchner told Europe 1 radio. Mr. Papon was serving a 10-year sentence for signing the deportation orders for more than 1,500 Jews while he was an administrator in Bordeaux under the pro-Nazi Vichy regime. He was freed Wednesday, and photos of him walking unaided out of prison prompted protests from some Jewish groups that he was not as ill as doctors asserted.

NYT 21 Sept 2002 APPEAL FILED AGAINST PAPON RELEASE The Paris prosecutor's office said it had filed an appeal against a court ruling this week that released Maurice Papon, the most prominent Frenchman to be tried for collaborating with the Nazis. After a public outcry over the release, Justice Minister Dominique Perben ordered the prosecutor in Paris to seek a reversal of the decision by a three-judge appeals court panel to free Mr. Papon, 92, on grounds of poor health and old age. Prosecutors said they had based their appeal on the idea that the release disturbs public order, citing as proof protests — albeit small — in French cities since the ruling. Mr. Papon had served 3 years of a 10-year sentence for signing deportation orders for more than 1,500 Jews. Elaine Sciolino (NYT)


BBC 5 Sept 2002 Siemens retreats over Nazi name Siemens is at the heart of Holocaust compensation claims German engineering giant Siemens has hastily abandoned plans to register the trademark "Zyklon", the same name as the Zyklon B poison gas used in Nazi extermination camps, BBC News Online has learnt. A year ago, Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete (BSH), the firm's consumer products joint venture, filed two applications with the US Patent & Trademark Office for the Zyklon name across a range of home products, including gas ovens. Jewish groups have condemned the move, in particular because Siemens used slave labour during the Nazi period. "We are very sorry if this trademark application has caused any offence," Bosch Siemens spokeswoman Eva Delabre told BBC News Online, confirming that the firm had never used and had now no intention of using the name in the US. Last month, UK sports goods maker Umbro apologised after complaints that it named one of its sports shoes Zyklon. Name blame Zyklon B, originally an insecticide, was widely used in gas chambers in the latter stages of the Nazi Holocaust. Siemens already uses the Zyklon name in Germany The word Zyklon means "Cyclone" in German, and is already applied to some Siemens vacuum cleaners in its home market. It uses a technology similar to the bagless "cyclone" vacuum cleaners pioneered by UK inventor James Dyson. But while the name may have been chosen innocently, it was condemned as insensitive by observers. "Siemens should know better because it was directly complicit in the use of slave labour," said Dr Shimon Samuels, head of the European arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation. "This is a major, major scandal." Hasty retreat A reader had alerted BBC News Online to the Zyklon trademark application. When BBC News Online queried Bosch Siemens about its plans for the Zyklon product range, the company quickly made an about-turn, saying that "today BSH has begun taking the necessary steps to withdraw its trademark applications" for Zyklon. Compensation claims Like many other large German firms, Siemens is now involved in plans to compensate victims of the Nazi regime. The German Government is still working on ways to deliver about £3.5bn in reparations to victims and their families. Efforts to distribute compensation have been complicated by a mass of private lawsuits, mainly in US courts, alleging use of slave labour and other forms of profiteering from the Holocaust.

AP 23 Sept 2002 German Free Democrats deputy resigns amid accusations of anti-Semitism By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BERLIN The deputy leader of the liberal Free Democrats resigned Monday, forced out by party leaders who blamed their poor election showing in part on his persistent row with a prominent German Jewish leader. Party leader Guido Westerwelle said Juergen Moellemann had caused the FDP "massive damage" after a meeting Sunday night where party leadership voted unanimously to ask him to resign. Moellemann said he was stepping down in the best interest of his party, though he remains a member of parliament. "I am resigning from my post as deputy head to spare the FDP an ordeal and further internal preoccupation," Moellemann said. "This should open the way for a full and honest analysis of the all the reasons for the disappointing election result." Jewish groups in Germany and abroad had expressed concern about anti-Semitic sentiment that had crept into the election campign, as typified by the Moellemann scandal. Many analysts suggested he was orchestrating the outrage for electoral gain, appealing to elements of the far-right and Germany's large Muslim population. Following the slim victory of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats and their minority coalition Greens, the head of Germany's Jewish community, Paul Spiegel welcomed the outcome in particular the clear marginalization of the far-right . The extremist NPD, which the government has moved to outlaw, won 0.4 percent of the vote, while Hamburg Interior Minister Roland Schill's party, with its anti-immigrant strains, won 0.8 percent. "The majority of society has clearly shown that hatred of foreigners and anti-Semitism does not lead to (electoral) success," Spiegel said in a statement. The final days of the campaign were tainted by statements from prominent members of Schroeder's party that spread outrage about the tone of the German election. Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin won't be included in a new Cabinet after she was quoted as saying Bush, like Hitler, was using war to distract from domestic problems. She denied the remark last week, but Washington was clearly appalled, saying the election atmosphere had been poisoned. In another incident, a leading member of Schroeder's party, former Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, was quoted by New York Times columnist William Safire this week as saying Bush wanted to overthrow Saddam to please "a powerful perhaps overly powerful Jewish lobby." Angered by the tones emanating from Germany, the World Jewish Congress sent protest letters to Schroeder, his conservative challenger and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. Moellemann first sparked outrage in May by saying that German Jewish leader and talk-show host Michel Friedman, who had been critical of his stance against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies, might himself fuel anti-Semitism with his "intolerant, spiteful style." Moellemann backed off and apologized for the remarks under extreme pressure from his and other political parties and the Jewish community. But last week he infuriated his colleagues by sending pamphlets to homes in western Germany that revived the attacks on Friedman. Spiegel accused Moellemann of deliberately pandering to far-right sentiment ahead of the election and said the FDP's poor showing in the election showed Germany has a "healthy and functioning democracy." "Even the attempt to win votes from the democratic center with anti-Semitic slogans has fortunately failed," Spiegel said. The FDP had set a lofty goal of 18 percent of the vote and had been polling as high as 13 percent, but ended up with 7.4 percent Sunday. The result was improved from their 1998 result of 6.2 percent, but was still not enough to play the role of kingmaker in a new government. The late collapse of the party's campaign proved to be a deciding factor in the election: Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's coalition with the Greens bested a possible FDP-Christian Democrat coalition by just more than 1 percentage point.


AP 3 Sept 2002 Papal plea for Catholic Greeks CASTEL GANDOLFO (AP) - Pope John Paul II yesterday said Greece should improve the rights of Roman Catholics in the country and grant their Church the same legal status afforded the Greek Orthodox Church. The pope also called for an Olympic truce during the 2004 Games, in comments to Greece's new ambassador to the Holy See, Christos Botzios, who presented his credentials to the pope yesterday. On the issue of religious freedom, John Paul said Greece should follow other European Union countries in fully respecting the rights of its estimated 50,000 Catholics. «[Catholics] continue to suffer a difficult situation concerning the recognition of their rights in the bosom of the nation and various echelons of society,» said the pope, who made a historic visit to the predominantly Orthodox country last year. Although the government has banned the listing of religion on identity cards, the information is required when Greeks register with municipalities or for military service. «This can lead to prejudicial treatment,» said a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Greece, Nikos Gasparakis. The Roman Catholic Church is not recognized as a legal entity in Greece and doesn't have the right to buy and sell property or be represented in the court system. The Orthodox Church of Greece, on the other hand, is recognized as a legal entity. The European Court of Human Rights in December 1997 found Greece at fault for not according legal status to the Roman Catholic Church in Greece. The pope referred to the legal issue in his comments to the new ambassador. «I seize this occasion to draw attention to your government of the necessity to give - thanks to a constructive dialogue among those concerned - a legal status to the Catholic Church.»

Kathimerini 16 Sept 2002 Church nemesis ‘a traitor’ In an emotional Athens sermon yesterday, the leader of the Church of Greece denounced as a “traitor to the nation” the head of a privacy watchdog whose decisions prompted a bitter clash between Church and State two years ago on the content of state ID cards. In a voice frequently trembling on the verge of tears, Archbishop Christodoulos said Constantine Dafermos, chairman of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (APPD), was sapping away the nation’s foundations. “Every now and then, he pulls out a great stone block upon which this nation is founded,” Christodoulos said, as a congregation in Athens Cathedral booed at the mention of Dafermos. “The building erected by our fathers will fall and crush you.” But he added that “no Dafermos, no traitor to the nation” would succeed. In 2000, the APPD ruled that religious faith should no longer be mentioned on state ID cards, prompting an unsuccessful Church bid for a referendum. This month, the government chose to ignore an APPD ruling that would make it easier for schoolchildren to skip religious education classes.

BBC 18 Sept 2002, Greek court rules against Nazi victims In one village, Distomo, 218 people were massacred Greece's highest court has ruled against thousands of Nazi victims who are seeking compensation from Germany for World War II atrocities. We won't let this go by like that, we will fight it with all our strength because we want to see justice Manolis Grezos, war reparations council The Special Supreme Court in Athens said on Wednesday that Greek courts could not try cases against a foreign country. But a lawyer for the 60,000 Greek claimants said the case, which has strained relations between Germany and Greece, would go before European courts. Among the plaintiffs are descendants of an infamous 1944 Nazi massacre in the Greek village of Distomo, where German forces went on a rampage and killed 218 men, women and children. "We won't let this go by like that, we will fight it with all our strength because we want to see justice," said Manolis Glezos of the National Council for War Reparations. The ruling is the latest in a long legal saga for the victims, who are seeking damages for massacres in more than 60 Greek towns and villages. Property seizures Germany has maintained that it settled all such claims in the 1960s with a $67m payment. But in a 2000 Supreme Court judgment, the Distomo claimants won about $27m in compensation. Germany refused to pay, and the Greek court then authorised the seizure and auction of German state properties in Athens - such as the Goethe Institute language school. But the Greek Government refused to approve selling the land for compensation, and court officials stopped trying to seize German property after Berlin launched a legal appeal. The rarely-convened Special Supreme Court, Greece's highest legal authority, includes judges from all of Greece's high courts.


Guardian Uk 21 Sept 2002 Does this letter prove a priest was behind IRA bombing? Voice from the past suggests Catholic curate masterminded an IRA attack which killed nine people Rosie Cowan, Ireland correspondent Saturday September 21, 2002 The Guardian Thirty years ago, three car bombs without warning ripped the heart out of Claudy, a small village a few miles from Derry. Nine people died. No one has ever been charged, and although the IRA is widely believed to have carried out the atrocity, it has never admitted responsibility. This week, a local journalist and a councillor received copies of a letter which has once again sent shock waves through the community. It makes the devastating claims that a Catholic priest, Father James Chesney, masterminded the bombing, and that a leading cleric and a senior policeman helped to cover this up by getting him transferred over the Irish border and out of the jurisdiction. July 31 1972 was a bright summer's day in the sleepy village, nestled in the Sperrin mountains. Eight-year-old Kathryn Eakin was cleaning the window of her parents' grocery store, William Temple, 16, was delivering milk, Elizabeth McElhinney, 59, was serving petrol outside her pub. Within minutes, they were dead, as were Joseph McCluskey, David Miller and James McClelland. Rose McLaughlin, Arthur Hone and Patrick Connolly died within days. Five of the victims were Catholic, four Protestant. The bombers drove a few miles to Dungiven to phone through a warning but the exchanges had been bombed and the phones were out of order. By the time police in Derry received the warning the first bomb had already gone off and as officers tried to clear people away from the second device, many fled into the path of the third bomb as both exploded. Thirty people were horrifically injured and those present will never forget the carnage. Mary Hamilton, the Ulster Unionist deputy mayor of Derry, one of those who received the letter about the priest, ran the Beaufort hotel with husband Ernie. She still has shrapnel in her leg. "I was lifted clean into the air and I remember my tummy being sucked in, the breath being sucked clean out of me," she said. "When I landed, there were bodies without limbs, people's insides lying all over the street." Others who helped at the scene recall the belching smoke and the screams. They cried like babies for days when they went home and the nightmare sank in. Even Sean MacStiofain, the then IRA chief of staff, claimed to have been appalled. He insisted IRA operations staff and local units were questioned and vehemently denied involvement. But most people thought differently. On the day of the Claudy bombing, police and soldiers in Derry were engaged in Operation Motorman, a manoeuvre to storm the republican Bogside "no go" area and rout out IRA men. Many believe the IRA's South Derry brigade, seeing its Derry city comrades hemmed in by the security forces, was determined to show its strength. But things went terribly wrong and what was to have been a bloodless propaganda coup turned into a massacre. Within weeks, rumours started circulating about the identities of the bombers, and Father Chesney, a curate in the tiny south Derry parish of Cullion, near Desertmartin, was one of those whose names kept coming up. Ivan Cooper, the former local SDLP MP and civil rights activist, a moderate Protestant with no axe to grind against the Catholic church, remains convinced that the South Derry IRA brigade carried out the Claudy bombing led by Father Chesney. "Within a couple of days, a man lurked like a scared rabbit outside one of my constituency offices. He told me the IRA was behind the bomb and I had every reason to believe him. He gave no names and I asked no names. That is the way it was then. It was dangerous to know too much. "But several months later, I became aware of the identities and I have absolutely no doubt that Father Jim Chesney was involved." William Houston, a local historian and community activist, believes collusion between priests and the IRA was far from unusual, and the British secret services were bugging confessional boxes at the time. He said the authorities were worried that if a priest was implicated in an atrocity such as Claudy, the consequences could have been catastrophic, and many innocent priests would have become targets for loyalist terrorists. Mr Cooper said the police quickly became aware of the suspicions against Chesney and others, and the Catholic church learned of them later. But he rejected the suggestion confessionals were bugged and that there was a conspiracy to get Father Chesney out of the country. Father Chesney died in 1980, but a two-page typed letter arrived like a ghost from the past this week. The writer called himself "Father Liam", gave his address as England, and said he was a Catholic priest who knew a man he referred to as Father John Chesney from Maghera. He described how in 1972 he went to see Father Chesney in Malin Head, in Co Donegal in the republic, and as they talked late into the night the other priest broke down and confessed how he led the unit which planted the Claudy bombs. Father Liam said the other priest recounted other IRA operations and the names of other volunteers, and, as both men prayed, he advised him to make his peace with God. In the morning he left and never saw Father Chesney again. "This horrible affair has been with me now for 30 years and it has been hanging over me like a black cloud," he wrote. "I must talk to someone in authority before I die. I am an old man now and I must meet my maker with a clear conscience. The souls of the deceased are crying out not for vengeance but for justice." He said he would tell everything he knew if the matter was properly investigated. The police said the Claudy file remained open and they would examine any new material. For some of those affected by the bombing, this is not good enough. They would like the same energy devoted to finding the Claudy bombers as is being poured into the Bloody Sunday inquiry. They would like Martin McGuinness, who has admitted being the Derry IRA brigade's second-in-command on Bloody Sunday, six months before Claudy, to reveal anything he knows. The letter has stirred up fierce controversy. The Catholic church attacked its credibility, pointing out what it sees as glaring inaccuracies, including the fact that the writer refers to the priest as John not Jim. A spokesman vigorously denied the church had ever colluded in violence. A history of the Diocese of Derry, by the last bishop of Derry, Edward Daly, tells how he and his predecessor, Bishop Neil Farren, questioned Father Chesney at length about the rumours, which he unequivocally denied. Bishop Daly said the priest was moved to the west of Ireland because of grave fears for his life after a loyalist paramilitary magazine published his name, description, car registration and details of his visits to his mother. In Claudy, people are bewildered. If the letter is genuine, who is Father Liam, and why did it take him so long to make this move? If not, who wrote it and what is their agenda? For Merle Eakin, mother of the youngest bomb victim, eight-year-old Kathryn, the letter does not alter the central question. "Other people were involved. They know what happened. For the IRA to admit it would be a start. I would like to see the godfathers brought to justice, for Kathryn's sake."


RFE/RL 20 Sept 2002 Latvia: Riga Proceeds With Investigations, Trials Of Soviet-Era Crimes By Valentinas Mite The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are so far the only former Soviet republics that are trying to identify and try former secret-service officers who participated in killings and deportations more than 50 years ago. Of the three countries, Latvia has been particularly active in pursuing such cases; it has already tried and sentenced several former KGB officers. Russia has objected to the trials and says they are a violation of human rights. Prague, 20 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Nikolai Larionov, an ethnic Russian resident of Latvia, stands charged with "genocide against the Latvian people." Prosecutors say the 81-year-old former Soviet security officer is suspected of taking part in the deportations of Latvian citizens to Siberia in 1949. He is the fifth resident of Latvia to be tried for crimes connected to the World War II-era deportation of nearly 50,000 Latvian citizens, thousands of whom died in Siberian camps. Prosecutors are investigating several dozen more cases. The trials have caused an uproar in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry last week released a statement slamming Riga for prosecuting former officials for performing their military duties. The ministry argued that former KGB officers should not be convicted for "any action or inaction that was not subject to criminal punishment under the laws in their country" at the time it was committed. The statement adds that, "The Latvian judicial system is once again demonstrating to the entire civilized world its disregard for the principles of universal international documents." The criticism was echoed this week in the Russian military newspaper "Krasnaya zvezda," which likened the Latvian investigations to a "witch-hunt" and said the majority of those prosecuted are Russians. The newspaper urged human rights organizations to protest the Latvian action. Nils Muiznieks is the director of the Latvian Center for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies. He told RFE/RL that nationality is not an issue in the trials. "Some people ask whether this is an ethnically motivated process. It should be remembered that the first person to be tried and put in jail for crimes against humanity was Alfons Noviks, who was the deputy of the commissar of Internal Affairs back in the late 1940s. So he was a Latvian," Muiznieks said. Muiznieks said that "from the human rights perspective, crimes against humanity and war crimes should be [prosecuted] regardless of what ideology they were committed in the name of." Sergei Kovalev is a Soviet-era dissident who is now director of the Russian Institute of Human Rights and a deputy in the Russian State Duma. He described as "cynical" the Russian Foreign Ministry's argument that former state security officials cannot be retroactively punished for what were once legal acts. He said deportation was never legal, even during the Soviet era. Kovalev added that the guilty include not only those who handed orders but those who obeyed. "This attitude of the Russian Foreign Ministry is simply obnoxious, and a mockery. [Ministry officials] know it themselves very well. There are plenty of qualified lawyers in the ministry, and they clearly understand the case. This is state egoism, where the main concern is defending [those] they consider to be 'our guys,'" Kovalev said. Kovalev said everyone who participated in deportations must be fairly tried in order to assure some sort of reconciliation with the crimes of the past. He said the Baltic states can provide Russia with a good model of how to deal with the issue in a legal forum. "I welcome such trials. If something like this took place in Russia itself, I would call it a first step toward society's [spiritual] recovery," Kovalev said. Vladimir Rezun is a former Soviet military intelligence officer (GRU) who defected to the West more than 20 years ago -- a move that earned him a Soviet-era death sentence for high treason. Rezun, best known by his pen name of Viktor Suvorov, has published numerous reports about the secret services in the Soviet Union. In an interview with RFE/RL, he dismissed the Foreign Ministry's argument that the former KGB officers who participated in the deportations are now too old to stand trial. "Applying a statute of limitations [on such cases] would be completely disgusting. [These former KGB officers] weren't thinking about human rights when they killed people -- old people and children -- and now they're talking about a statute of limitations," Rezun said. He also said the KGB should not be compared to intelligence services in other countries, and that its crimes should not be forgotten with the passage of time. "In no other normal democratic state anywhere in the world did there exist an organization like the KGB. This was a structure directed at repressing its own people," Rezun said. Rezun said the trials of Nazi war criminals present a good example to follow in conducting trials of former state officials for crimes against humanity committed during the Soviet era.-- Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


Scotsman UK 3 Sep 2002 Napoleon s tragic army on march again MICHAEL TARM In Vilnius ARUNAS Barkus pokes at a leg bone in a pile of remains, tagged Number 151 and sprawled on an autopsy table at Vilnius University. At the touch of his fingers, marrow once thought to be the evidence of atrocity crumbles into the dust of history. The bone is part of the remains of of 2,000 men accidentally uncovered by bulldozers at a housing development in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, last year. At the time, many people thought they were political dissidents executed by the secret police during Soviet rule, which ended in 1991. However, it has since become clear that the bodies are instead the victims of one of history s most catastrophic military adventures - Napoleon s invasion of Russia 190 years ago. After coins with Napoleon s image and buttons of his Grand Army were found among the tangle of ribs and skulls poking through the sand, it became clear that these were the remains of the French force. Olivier Poupard, of the French embassy, said that the find was the "largest and most significant" of its kind. "We ve been very moved," Mr Poupard said. "Suddenly, history was more vivid. You could see it with your eyes. It s a history that is so much a part of the collective French memory." Napoleon attacked Russia in June 1812. His 500,000-strong Grand Army that marched into Lithuania bound for Moscow was one of the largest invasion forces ever assembled. Six months later, what was left of it, some 40,000 men, stumbled back into Vilnius in retreat. Cold and desperate for food, some are said to have pillaged local medical schools to eat preserved human organs. In temperatures dropping to minus 22F, dead French soldiers littered the cobbled streets within days. The number of corpses nearly equalled the city s population. The reoccupying Russians spent three months cleaning up. They could not dig graves in the frozen ground, so they tried burning the bodies, but the smoke and stench were unbearable, so they threw them into a defensive trench dug earlier by the French themselves - the trench the bulldozers uncovered nearly two centuries later. Mr Barkus and a dozen other researchers spent months charting and tagging the skeletons - then examining each individually to determine age, sex and possible cause of death. The size of skeleton No151 indicates that it belonged to a male, said Mr Barkus; the unworn teeth suggest he was around 20. Several bones belonged to boys as young as 15, probably drummers used to signal commands to troops. Many of the skeletons were found curled up and undamaged, suggesting they died of cold, not cannonballs, bullets or bayonet thrusts. "What killed these men was cold, starvation and disease," Mr Barkus said. DNA tests are being done to test the theory that a lot of men tied of typhus. The emperor blamed the weather for almost wiping out his army. Some historians say that that was an excuse for sloppy planning. But experts say the findings in Vilnius seem to back Napoleon s version. The débâcle is viewed as the beginning of Napoleon s downfall, which was sealed at Waterloo in 1815. With the last remains removed, a road has been built over the site, but archaeologists will soon begin searching again - they believe that at least 10,000 other skeletons could be nearby. Since Napoleon s soldiers came from all over his empire, there was never a question of returning the remains to France, said Mr Poupard. The remains are being removed to a hilltop cemetery chapel to await ceremonial burial in October, and a monument, paid for by France, will be unveiled later. The chapel s oak door opens on to a grove, shaded by pines, that will be the soldiers  final resting place. "This is an occasion, especially with Lithuania on the verge of entering the European Union and the NATO alliance, to show reconciliation between former enemies that are now partners," Mr Poupard said.


AP 10 Sept 2002 Egos clash, apathy builds in the Balkans with elections nearing Deeply enmeshed in nation-building, volatile states gear up for crucial polls AP ‘Together for Macedonia’ (atop), the motto of the joint opposition and ‘Heads up’ (white strip in center), the motto of the ruling coalition are seen among a multitude of electoral banners and posters, on a downtown street in FYROM’s capital Skopje, yesterday. By William J. Kole - The Associated Press VIENNA - A nation still reeling from ethnic warfare threatens to reignite at the ballot box. A president accused of making time stand still struggles to cling to power. A rebel candidate is targeted with bombs and a warrant for his arrest as a terrorist. Watched anxiously by Western governments deeply enmeshed in nation-building, the volatile Balkans are careering into a no-holds-barred election season 13 years after the collapse of communism. Yet as leaders and their egos clash from Sarajevo to Skopje, they’re running into a bad case of the ballot box blues. Boycotts and low turnouts are expected from a hostile electorate frustrated with politics as usual. Expectations of change have plummeted. Disillusionment and apathy abound over politicians perceived as corrupt and out of touch. “I don’t expect anything,” said Lutvija Faketa, 69, a Muslim retiree in Bosnia. The war-scarred country, which remains deeply divided along ethnic lines and stitched together by Western help, is gearing up for October 5 general elections — the first locally administered vote since the guns and tanks fell silent in 1995. “Since the war ended, things only got worse,” she said. “Only God can help us now.” Faketa’s despair echoes in the tiny but troubled Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where voting in parliamentary elections begins Sunday. Last year, the country convulsed in six months of warfare between government security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels fighting for greater rights for their minority. Despite Western calls for restraint, shootings and bombings have rocked the runup to the election. Ethnic Albanians led by former rebel leader Ali Ahmeti, now a popular politician, hope to boost their presence in the 120-seat Parliament from 24 seats to 28. But FYROM’s ruling party considers Ahmeti a terrorist, and authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest, raising the specter of more violence. “Fair elections will not exist because everyone wants to eat each other,” said Alija Osmani, 71, at a market in FYROM. “There will be some kind of conflict. There will not be peace.” Guns do not figure in the elections in Serbia, which picks a new president September 29, but there is plenty of intrigue as Slobodan Milosevic’s successor jockeys for power in a new post in Yugoslavia’s dominant republic. Vojislav Kostunica, a moderate nationalist, has been Yugoslavia’s federal president ever since Milosevic, now on trial for genocide and war crimes, was ousted in October 2000. Hopes were high that Kostunica would lead the country out of years of Milosevic-era ruin. Instead, he has been preoccupied with a long-running feud with his arch-nemesis, Serbian Prime Minister Goran Djindjic. Opponents say he is presiding over a nation frozen in time and is not doing what is needed to get it into shape politically and economically for membership in the rich and peaceful EU. There is at least one thing Kostunica has in common with ordinary Serbs: He needs a job. An EU-brokered plan to keep intact what is left of Yugoslavia — Serbia and much-smaller Montenegro — would rename the country Serbia and Montenegro and abolish the federal presidency held by Kostunica. Polls show that 30 percent of Serbs have not even decided whether to vote, and the nearly 2 million ethnic Albanians who live in the Serbian province of Kosovo are certain to boycott the election. “I won’t vote. Who is there to vote for?” said Marija Spasic, 22, a Serb university student who sees a bleak future “of bickering in the country and no progress toward Europe.” A dispute over electoral laws has prompted Montenegrins, who are bitterly split over whether or not to break away from Serbia, to delay elections there until October 21. The outcome could complicate the delicate effort to forge a constitutional blueprint for Serbia and Montenegro. In Kosovo, the unresolved flashpoint of the Balkans, all 10,000 local and international police officers will be on standby for October 26 municipal elections, said UN police spokesman Barry Fletcher. The elections themselves are rather routine, but tensions remain high between minority Serbs and independence-minded ethnic Albanians, the targets of the tanks and troops sent by Milosevic in 1998-1999. “Every time after elections, I say to myself that I will never vote again,” said Gjevat Isufi, 56, a professor in Kosovo’s provincial capital, Pristina. “The only thing I ask our government and internationals is to try and give us a normal life.” Back in Bosnia, where you can cut the pessimism with a chain saw, many say they will sit out the election because Western administrators will continue running their day-to-day affairs regardless of the outcome. But retiree Novo Trifunovic says he will buck the trend. “I will vote,” he said. “Every citizen has to vote. That’s the only way to improve life.”

Tehran Times 12 Sept 2002 Former Rebel Eyes Place in Macedonian Parliament MALA RECICA, Macedonia -- Former ethnic-Albanian rebel leader Ali Ahmeti forced the Macedonian government to the negotiating table after seven months of conflict last year, and now he wants to take a seat in Parliament after next Sunday's general elections. And the Democratic Union of Integration (DUI) which Ahmeti, 43, officially registered in June has every chance of making it, according to the latest opinion polls, which put him ahead of the main ethnic-Albanian Party led by veteran politician Arben Xaferi. "We do not make promises or use words which are empty of meaning. Our program is clear. We are openly struggling for the complete removal of ethnic barriers," Ahmeti told AFP during a meeting at one of his former rebel strongholds in northwestern Macedonia, AFP reported. "We advocate peace and a resolutely European orientation." For Ahmeti, the success of the DUI depends on this vision of a multi-ethnic future. But he has not forgotten his days as leader of the political wing of the National Liberation Army (NLA) or the sacrifices of its fighters. "People have had enough of war, but at the same time they have a great respect for what we achieved during the uprising, which was imposed on us by the sectarianism of the authorities. Although we are young in politics, we have fresh blood," he said. "I was labelled a radical and pursued by regimes which were at the antipodes of democracy. I don't want to see it happen again." The former philosophy student earned his stripes as a rebel when he began agitating against the repressive rule of Belgrade during his university days in Kosovo, the mainly ethnic-Albanian southern province of Serbia. His activities won him time in prison and eventually exile in Switzerland where he became a political refugee in 1988. He later returned to Kosovo where, along with other rebels, he created the NLA. The guerrillas began attacking Serb police, prompting a bloody crackdown against the so-called "terrorists" by then Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic. but by June 1999, after more than two months of NATO bombing, Milosevic's forces had left Kosovo and the rebels were sitting down with European leaders to discuss the future of the province. Ahmeti then turned his sights to the situation for the ethnic-Albanian minority in neighboring Macedonia, his country of birth and a former Yugoslav Republic which had peacefully claimed independence in the early 1990s. He took the political leadership of the NLA, which had spread throughout western and northern Macedonia, pushing down from the border with Kosovo. In February last year the guerrillas seized villages near the main northwestern town of Tetovo, and Macedonia looked like erupting into a Kosovo-like conflagration which, the European powers feared, could spill over to other Balkan flash points. But the conflict never escalated into all-out war. With the help of a little arm-twisting by NATO and the European Union, the Macedonian government agreed to the terms of a peace accord in August last year, guaranteeing better rights for the minority community and amnesties for rebel leaders in exchange for disarmament. Ahmeti has since moved his fight to the political battlefield. In the lead-up to Sunday's polls, he is positioning himself to form a coalition government with either the Social Democrats, currently in opposition, or the ruling Vmro-Dpmne. The prospect of sharing power with a former ethnic-Albanian rebel, as opposed to the more malleable Xaferi, has riled nationalist Macedonian politicians. Two weeks ago the government announced that an arrest warrant had been issued against Ahmeti for alleged "genocide" and war crimes. Despite its obviously political motivation, Ahmeti said he was not concerned. "Such measures will never be applied. I am too well protected, as much as by my entourage as by the Albanian citizens," he said. Ahmeti not only calls for restraint on the part of his adversaries, but also seeks to quash dreams of a greater Albania or greater Kosovo which are shared by some of his fellow ethnic-Albanians. "I am only interested in opening the borders for the free circulation of people and goods," he said. "This party poses problems because the Macedonians won't give up their domination and share power honestly" with the ethnic Albanians.


Australian Daily Telegraph 10 Sept 2002 Serb war criminal gets 15 years A SERB charged with kidnapping and killing 20 civilians during the Bosnian conflict was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for his role in one of the war's most heinous slayings. A court in Montenegro, Yugoslavia's junior republic, found Nebojsa Ranisavljevic, 37, guilty of war crimes against civilians. The verdict said Ranisavljevic, born in the town of Despotovac in central Serbia, had taken part in hijacking 20 people, mostly Bosnian Muslims, from a train passing through Bosnia in February 1993. The abducted were later robbed, tortured and executed by a Bosnian Serb paramilitary unit of which Ranisavljevic was a member. The unit's commander, Milan Lukic, remains at large and is believed to be living in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad. Ranisavljevic's trial started in 1998 as the first war crimes case heard in Yugoslavia, which was then ruled by Slobodan Milosevic. The former president is now on trial before the UN tribunal in the Netherlands for war crimes and genocide in the Balkan wars. The 15-year sentence will be reduced by the six years that Ranisavljevic has spent in jail since his 1996 arrest in Montenegro. The case was publicly known as the "Strpci Kidnapping," after the name of a Bosnian village near which the Serb paramilitaries forced the train to stop and boarded it, searching for Muslims. The train had started in Serbia's capital, Belgrade, and was en route to Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, when paramilitaries stopped it as it passed through a small tract of neighbouring Bosnia. Ranisavljevic, who had confessed during a pretrial investigation, later in the trial denied the charges against him, saying he confessed under duress. "You are only following your orders," Ranisavljevic said in his closing speech, addressing the court. "One day we shall all face God's judgment; I shall face it with a pure soul and a clean conscience." The victims from the train were taken deeper into Bosnian territory, ordered to hand over money, jewels, watches and other valuables. Then they were beaten for hours and taken into a garage where most were shot dead. Two victims tried to escape, but were shot as they ran. One was wounded by Ranisavljevic and Lukic later slit that victim's throat, the court concluded. Belgrade has never issued a formal finding on the incident, despite repeated calls by victims' relatives. The architects of the Strpci kidnapping were never named. Judge Vukoman Golubovic, who handed down the verdict, said the punishment was "adequate for the crime". Ranisavljevic had faced up to 20 years in jail. Human rights activist Sefko Alomerovic, of the local branch of the Helsinki Committee, said the trial failed to prove the role of government officials, who he claimed were implicated. Relatives of the victims were also present to hear the verdict.


AP 7 Sept 2002 EUROPE Ex-Soldier Tells U.N. Court of Massacre THE HAGUE -- A former Yugoslav army soldier said at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic that he helped massacre Kosovo Albanian civilians, including a baby that "screamed unbelievably loud" after it was shot. The unidentified witness, who testified by video link to the U.N. war crimes tribunal from the Balkans, was the first onetime soldier to admit at the former Yugoslav president's trial that he had killed people during Serbia's 1998-99 crackdown on Kosovo's Albanians. Milosevic is charged with crimes against humanity in Kosovo and Croatia and genocide in Bosnia. "What I remember most vividly is how . . . there was a baby and it had been shot with three bullets and it was screaming unbelievably loud," said the witness, identified only as K41, recounting the massacre of 15 civilians in the Kosovo village of Trnje. "Never a night goes by without my dreaming of that child who was hit with that bullet and was crying," the witness said. He described how his unit, which he joined in 1998 at the age of 19, shelled and then entered the village of Trnje in March 1999, just after NATO began bombing Yugoslavia in response to the Kosovo crackdown. As 80 to 100 soldiers prepared to enter Trnje, an army captain motioned to the village and told sergeants that "on that day no one should remain alive there," the witness recounted. Milosevic yawned in the courtroom as K41 said his sergeant ordered all but a few soldiers away. Those remaining, including K41, were ordered to shoot the civilians. They complied, he said.

AP 9 Sept 2002 Milosevic's Kosovo Phase to End THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The final prosecution witness in the Kosovo phase of Slobodan Milosevic's war crimes trial testified Tuesday that Yugoslavia's military structure made the president responsible for atrocities by his troops in the Serbian province. Military expert Philip Coo was the 124th prosecution witness and detailed the ``well-organized'' Serb command structure. Coo presented a prosecution study that claimed Milosevic was without doubt responsible for the murders and plunder of Kosovo in 1999. ``The command of the military is in the hands of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,'' said Coo, a Canadian who works as a researcher for the prosecution. The country's constitution, legislation and military doctrine all state that ``the command begins at the presidential level,'' he said. The trial will recess for two weeks Wednesday to allow both sides to prepare for the next stage which will take up alleged war crimes by Milosevic during earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia. In addition to five counts of war crimes in Kosovo, Milosevic, faces 61 charges of genocide and other allegations for the 1991-1995 Balkan conflicts during the break up of Yugoslavia. Milosevic, who represents himself alone in court, will be allowed to present the defense case after prosecutors finish with all three conflicts, expected some time next year. Milosevic's Kosovo indictment blames him for hundreds of murders of ethnic Albanians and the forced expulsion of 800,000 others. As president, he was responsible for preventing or punishing perpetrators of war crimes and failed to do so, the charge says. Milosevic, who is acting as his own lawyer, cross-examined Coo for more than an hour, seeking to discredit the testimony by claiming Coo lacked formal education in military matters and did not have the experience to comment on Yugoslav military actions. Coo conceded he was not a specialist on the Yugoslav army, but said he considered himself sufficiently qualified to offer a broader military analysis of the Yugoslav army. Milosevic's trial began Feb. 12, eight months after he was transferred to the U.N. court from a Belgrade jail. He denies all allegations, claiming that by fighting ``terrorist'' insurgents in the Serb province he represented the interests of the Yugoslav people. Dozens of witnesses have testified about abuse at the hands of Serb police and army units under Milosevic's authority. Milosevic asserts that victims were killed by forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army and NATO, which conducted an air war to drive Serb forces from the province. Prosecutors have produced 320 maps, photographs, videos and documents to support their case and called witnesses ranging from a young Yugoslav army soldier who admitted killing a baby to Western military leaders. Proceedings have been stalled several times, twice for two weeks, because of Milosevic's poor health. A medical examination in August found him to be at serious risk of a heart attack. The panel of three judges ordered a lighter workweek when hearings resume later this month to allow the 61-year-old more rest. Milosevic looked alert and in good spirits Tuesday, wearing a red tie and his trademark dark suit.

NYT 22 Sept 2002 Reviving Memories of Yet Another Evil By MARLISE SIMONS THE HAGUE IN all the talk about the evils of Saddam Hussein, the Balkan wars of the 1990's may seem a distant memory. But their horrors are very much alive for anyone attending the United Nations special war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Here, Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian ruler who is charged with the gravest European war crimes since those of World War II, faces a succession of witnesses, many of them humble villagers, who have traveled from Kosovo to The Hague to confront him and accuse him of destroying their lives. Advertisement There have been people like Lirij Imeraj, a frail woman, still in black mourning clothes. She told the court of the day when Serb police killed 19 members of her family. She singled out six of them: Feride, 21; Hyrija 19; Violeta 17; Arjana, 13; Arijeta 11; and Afrim, just 2. They were her children. When Mr. Milosevic offered a rare expression of regret, and said "I'm sorry this witness lost her family," Ms. Imeraj cut him off. "My family was massacred on your orders, so don't feel sorry for me," she said. The prosecution has just finished its case relating to the 1998-99 war in Kosovo. It has presented 124 witnesses during 22 working weeks. On Thursday, the next phase will begin, dealing with the wars in Bosnia and Croatia from 1991 to 1995. By some estimates the proceedings may last at least another year, and it will include the large-scale massacres of civilians. During the hearings, which are broadcast to Yugoslavia and Bosnia, Mr. Milosevic, who insists on being his own lawyer, often appears to play to invisible sympathizers back home. He often turns, as well, toward the public gallery, although it is separated from the courtroom by a thick wall of sound- and bullet-proof glass. "He is a politician, he wants to talk," one of his two Serb legal aides said. At this stage of the trial, Mr. Milosevic can only cross-examine. His own defense, if he chooses to present it, will begin some time next year. Generally, he has treated sad or angry witnesses with indifference, though a few times he has referred to witnesses whose testimony angered him as "the accused." Mr. Milosevic appears contemptuous of the judges and prosecutors, reserving his interest and civility for those senior politicians, diplomats and generals from the West who have testified. To them he sometimes even seems ingratiating. On the other hand, he often badgers the simple conscripts, the farmers or villagers — many of whom have never before left Kosovo. Yet the testimony of the villagers, more than the star witnesses, has served to bring the murderous acts of the Balkan conflicts directly into the clean, modern international court. And inscribe them into history.

Reuters 24 Sept 2002 Genocide tops charges in new Milosevic trial phase By Abigail Levene THE HAGUE, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Genocide, the crime of crimes, is the key charge U.N. prosecutors will level against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic on Thursday when they open a major new chapter in his groundbreaking trial. Accusing Milosevic of Europe's worst human rights violations since World War Two, prosecutors will lay 61 counts including murder, torture and deportation for ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia. They closed their Kosovo case two weeks ago. The siege of Sarajevo, the Srebrenica massacre, detention camps at Trnopolje and Omarska: the vast Bosnia and Croatia indictments catalogue atrocities that shocked the world during Milosevic's 1990-97 strongman reign as Serbian president. "From 1991 to 1995, hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs were forcibly expelled from their homes and thousands more killed in brutal and degrading facilities in municipalities across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro," reads a voluminous pre-trial brief outlining the prosecution's case. "These were the gravest violations of human rights in Europe since the Second World War," it says. "Slobodan Milosevic is criminally responsible for these violations." Crimes alleged include the 43-month throttling of Sarajevo, the longest 20th-century siege in Europe, when snipers' targets included children, funeral processions and street markets. Prosecutors also blame Milosevic for grim detention camps where more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims, Croats and other non-Serbs were held and many were killed or tortured. And memories are still raw of the 1995 Bosnian Srebrenica massacre, where Serbs are blamed for killing up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two. TOUGH TO PROVE GENOCIDE INTENT The indictment for Kosovo, the southern Serbian province where a 1998-9 Serb crackdown on majority Albanians triggered NATO bombing raids, accused Milosevic of five counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. Milosevic and his aides, who all occupied high state positions at the times relevant to the indictment, are accused of expelling around 800,000 Kosovo Albanians from the province -- almost one-third of the Kosovo Albanian population. But the Bosnia and Croatia indictments contain every crime on the statute, including the gravest and toughest to prove: genocide in Bosnia, part of an alleged "joint criminal enterprise" aimed at creating an ethnically pure Greater Serbia. A genocide conviction means proving the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Ex-Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic, convicted last year for Srebrenica, is the only person yet to be sentenced for genocide in The Hague. Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia have entered not guilty pleas for 61-year-old Milosevic, the first head of state ever to be indicted for such heinous crimes while in office. Facing Europe's biggest international war crimes trial since Hitler's henchmen were tried at Nuremberg, Milosevic has refused to plead to charges he calls fabricated at a court he lambasts as an illegal instrument of his Western foes. Each side has three hours on Thursday to make opening arguments, after which the prosecution will begin calling witnesses. Croatian President Stjepan Mesic will be the first to testify on Croatia, his office has said. The big-name witness many are awaiting is former U.S. ambassador Richard Holbrooke. This key negotiator of the 1995 Bosnia peace accord has expressed willingness to testify, but Washington has long jousted with the Hague tribunal about whether he should be heard in open or closed session. "STARTING FROM SCRATCH" Milosevic, who was elected president of Yugoslavia in 1997, was ousted in 2000 by the reformers who subsequently sent him to The Hague for the landmark trial that began this February. Prosecution witnesses so far have ranged from bereaved Kosovo Albanians to a former U.S. ambassador, Kosovan President Ibrahim Rugova, top Serbian officials and an ex-NATO general. But experts say little of what came out during the Kosovo stage will help prove Milosevic's guilt in the very different Bosnian and Croatian conflicts, when he was Serbian leader. "It is more of a challenge -- it will be more difficult to show Milosevic's responsibility for what happened there because he did not have 'de jure' authority there," said Judith Armatta, trial-watcher for the Coalition for International Justice. "For the crime part of it, they're starting from scratch." In Serbia, there are few signs of national catharsis through proceedings that many dismiss as a show trial needed to placate the West. Despite diligent media coverage, attention is dwindling and passion is absent. Croatia is dealing with its own war crimes problems -- most notably an explosive recent indictment against wartime chief of staff General Janko Bobetko that put the reformist government on a collision course with The Hague. And Bosnian Muslims say there will be no true justice until fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic are dragged to the tribunal too. "It is well known that (Milosevic) was the one who ordered most of the things and Serbian troops took part in the aggression against Bosnia and the Srebrenica massacre," said Munira Subasic, head of a Srebrenica survivors organisation. "He was the brain and Karadzic and Mladic were his arms or wings and they should be tried together..." (Additional reporting by Nedim Dervisbegovic in Sarajevo, Douglas Hamilton in Belgrade and Igor Ilic in Zagreb) © Copyright Reuters 2002. All rights reserved. Any copying, re-publication or re-distribution of Reuters content or of any content used on this site, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without prior written consent of Reuters. Quotes and other data are provided for your personal information only, and are not intended for trading purposes. Reuters, the members of its Group and its data providers shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the quotes or other data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


AP 18 Sep 2002 Jaruzelski Case Hears First Witness WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Warsaw court began hearing witness testimony Monday in the long-delayed trial of Poland's last communist leader, Wojciech Jaruzelski, for his role in the 1970 massacre of striking shipyard workers. Jaruzelski, a 78-year-old retired general, is accused of ordering soldiers to fire on shipyard workers protesting food-price increases on Dec. 17, 1970, when he was defense minister. Forty-four people were killed and more than 1,000 people were wounded. A few dozen activists demonstrated outside the court Monday, forcing a 90-minute delay. They held up posters with the victims' pictures and names and demanded punishment for those responsible. Inside the court, a former prosecutor, identified only as Tadeusz D., testified he didn't investigate the killings because he was never ordered to do so. He also said he didn't seize the weapons used to suppress the demonstrations because he wanted to ``protect the morale of the soldiers.'' Hearings in the trial began in May 2001, but were delayed by three months after the chief judge fell ill. The court then ordered the trial to begin again because the break had exceeded 35 days, and hearings started earlier this year. Monday was the first time a witness took the stand. Prosecutor Bogdan Szegda wants the court to hear some 1,000 witnesses in the trial. Jaruzelski and six co-defendants deny any wrongdoing. They could face long prison terms if convicted, but the trial is mostly viewed as an effort to exact moral justice, not to jail the aging former leader. Jaruzelski headed Poland's communist regime from 1981 until its demise in 1989. He was in court Monday but made no statement. A previous effort to try Jaruzelski in Gdansk in 1996 collapsed after he and several others were excluded for health reasons. Poland's supreme court later ordered a new trial and moved it to Warsaw, where Jaruzelski lives. Jaruzelski suffers from back and kidney problems, along with high blood pressure.


AFP 2 Sept 2002 Council of Europe team to visit war-torn Chechnya MOSCOW, Sept 2 (AFP) - A European parliamentary delegation investigating human rights violations in Chechnya was expected in Moscow late Monday ahead of a two-day visit to the war-torn southern Russian republic. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation, led by Frank Judd, was to join deputies from the State Duma lower house on the visit to the capital Grozny and the town of Shali 25 kilometres (15 miles) southeast of Grozny, Russian media reported. Judd is expected to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin's envoy to the North Caucasus, Viktor Kazantsev, Interfax said. The PACE-Duma group, formed in March 2001, aims to promote a settlement of the three-year Chechen conflict with a particular focus on human rights. The latest visit had been scheduled for July but was postponed because of the heavy flooding in southern Russia. The PACE delegation is due to return to Moscow late Wednesday.

AFP 4 Sept 2002 700 people still missing in Chechnya: rights official GROZNY, Russia, Sept 4 (AFP) - A Council of Europe team led by Britain's Lord Judd heard claims Wednesday from rights officials that more than 700 cases of disappearances of civilians remained unresolved in the rebel republic of Chechnya. Zura Abbulkhadzheva, President of the Committee of Chechen Mothers, told a meeting attended by Judd that some 2,000 cases of civilians vanishing after being arrested by federal troops had been registered in the course of the 35-month guerrilla war. Just over half of those cases have been solved, she said. The missing civilians, mostly Chechen men of fighting age, "represent the best part of our young population," an impassioned Abbulkhadzheva told a meeting chaired by the head of Chechnya's pro-Moscow government, Stanislav Ilyasov. "Their age varies between 17 and 30... This represents a depletion of the genetic foundation of our population," she added. She accused Russian authorities of making mass arrests of Chechen men even though only a small number of rebels were taking part in the resistance. "All we are looking for is just a handful of bandits. We both know who these people are, its not like a needle in a haystack," she argued. A senior military commander of Chechnya, Sergei Kizyun, acknowledged the disappearances, but said that Russian authorities and rights groups were working jointly to help solve the cases. In the last few weeks "we have reduced the number of (military) checkpoints" where many of the arrests of Chechen men are made, Kizyun said. "We are prepared to cooperate with the mothers' committee on resolving these disappearances," he stressed. Judd was completing a two-day tour of the war-torn republic, calling for peace talks to resolve the crisis, while running into a barrage of objections from Russian military chiefs and local administrators. On his arrival to the region Monday, Judd said he would also investigate allegations that Russian soldiers were shipping refugees back into the war zone against their will.

NYT 9 Sept 2002 Bodies of Missing Chechens Are Discovered in Mass Grave By STEVEN LEE MYERS OSCOW, Sept. 9  Russian authorities uncovered a mass grave in Chechnya over the weekend, and a prominent human rights organization said today that the grave contained the bodies of at least seven Chechens who had been arrested during Russian security operations in May. Mass graves have been unearthed in Chechnya before, but rarely have the bodies been so quickly identified and linked to specific accusations of Russian atrocities. In this case, the rights organization, Memorial, said in a statement that at least of four of the bodies belonged to victims of a Russian sweep through the village of Krasnostepnovskoye, 10 miles west of Chechnya's capital, Grozny, on the night of May 13. At least two others disappeared in a sweep through the nearby village of Oktyabrskoye on the night of May 2. Russia's deputy prosecutor general, Sergei N. Fridinksy, said on Sunday that the grave was uncovered in a field on Chechnya's border with the neighboring republic of Ingushetia. Acknowledging that seven bodies belonged to Chechens reported missing earlier this year, he pledged a thorough criminal investigation of what he called "charges of kidnapping." Much else about the discovery  including the number of bodies unearthed, their identities and the people suspected of killed them  remained shrouded in dispute or confusion today. In a statement, Memorial said 15 bodies in all had been discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area near the town of Goragorsk that is heavily guarded by Russian forces. According to the statement, the victims' relatives were able to identify six of the bodies  all men between the ages of 20 and 57  by their clothing and personal effects. A seventh was tentatively identified, but Memorial did not disclose the circumstances of his disappearance. Eight other bodies have not yet been identified, the statement said. Lipkhan Bazayeva, a Memorial official in Ingushetia, said in a telephone interview that the victims' families learned the grave's location after bribing Russian troops. The relatives then contacted the police in Ingushetia, who found the remains on Friday. She said that two other men detained in Krasnostepnovskoye on the night of May 13 were later found alive and reported that they, along with others from the village, had been blindfolded and tortured. "They were badly beaten," she said. "Their kidneys were injured. They were tortured with electric shock." Mr. Fridinsky, the prosecutor, said the victims had come from different districts, which he did not identify, and that "several theories of the crime" were under consideration. A military spokesman for Russian forces in the war, Col. Ilya Shabalkin, told the Interfax news agency today that four of the victims had been kidnapped by a Chechen rebel group whose fighters disguised themselves in order to discredit Russian soldiers and security officers in Chechnya. Thousands of people have disappeared in Chechnya in the three years since Russia started its second war there in the last decade. In between the two wars, Chechen rebels and armed groups made Chechnya highly unsafe for Russians and foreigners, several of whom were kidnapped. Almost no arrests have been made in kidnap cases, whether blamed on armed Chechens or Russian forces. In February 2001, local residents uncovered a grave in an abandoned settlement not far from the main Russian military base in Chechnya, at Khankala. The grave was ultimately found to hold the remains of 51 people, some of them women and children and many of them bound and killed by gunshots.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 16 Sept 2002 More Chechen civilians killed by Russian artillery attack Two Chechen sisters were killed on 12 September by a mortar attack on the village of Dyshne-Vedeno southeast of Grozny, Interfax reported. A woman wounded in the attack died two days later. Some 5,000 village residents blocked the main Vedeno-Grozny highway on 13 September to protest the attack and demand that those responsible be punished. Movsur Khamidov, who is deputy prime minister in charge of law enforcement, told Interfax on 14 September that an investigation established that a Russian military unit fired the shell in response to repeated attacks by Chechen militants. The previous day, Colonel Ilya Shabalkin, who is a spokesman for the joint federal forces in Chechnya, claimed that it had been fired by Chechen militants. Three people died and several were injured in a similar attack in Shali last month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 and 16 August 2002).

Government of the Russian Federation 16 Sept 2002 Eight people killed, 28 injured in terrorist attack in Grozny Eight people were killed and 28 injured in a terrorist attack in downtown Grozny at noon on Monday, Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Movsur Khamidov told Interfax. As far as Interfax knows, 19 wounded are in the 9th City Hospital. Some of the wounded were taken to other clinics. A landmine was planted in a deserted metal kiosk at the junction of Pobeda Avenue and Chernyshevsky Street in direct proximity to hundreds of people waiting for shuttle buses. Pools of blood cover the asphalt at the scene. Fragments of bodies have been found hours after the explosion in a 10-15 meter radius from the explosion. The investigating brigade has left the scene. Identification documents stained with blood, women's cosmetic bags and other personal belongings are being found under crushed bricks. These items will help families identify the dead. Traffic police on duty at the junction told Interfax that three women, two children and a man were found dead at the scene of the blast. They said two more people died in the hospital. Despite the search conducted immediately after the terrorist act, the attackers were not caught. The area is made up of ruined apartment buildings, and the central marketplace and a motor station are 20 meters away. Peculiarities of the terrain helped the terrorists vanish into the crowd, investigators said. Head of the Chechen interim administration Akhmad Kadyrov was immediately informed about the incident. He chaired a conference with heads of law-enforcement departments, secret services and the military commandant's office. He demanded that all available forces should be assigned to investigate the terrorist act and arrest all participants in the crime. (Interfax-AVN) © 1999-2002 Russian informational centre

AFP 17 Sept 2002 Death toll from blast in Chechen capital rises to 18 civilians MOSCOW, Sept 17 (AFP) - The death toll from the worst landmine attack to hit Chechnya in nearly two years rose to 18 people on Tuesday, the RIA Novosti new agency reported quoting Russian interior ministry sources. All of the victims from Monday's remote-controlled blast in the rebel capital Grozny were local civilians, the report said. Six people died on the spot and another 12 in hospital overnight, officials told the news agency. Three people remain hospitalized following the attack. The Russian military blamed the strike on Chechen guerrillas, although no one has yet claimed responsibility. The landmine blast was the worst to hit the North Caucasus republic since 22 civilians were killed in a December 2000 attack in the southeastern village of Alkhan Yurt. Russian television reported that the explosion went off shortly after two Russian armored personnel carriers had driven by. The blast appeared to have been aimed at the federal troops, it said. Instead, the explosion devastated a packed civilian bus at it passed by the central Grozny intersection at the same time. Russian media reports said two children were among the victims. Body parts were strewn 15 meters (yards) from the site, the reports said. Federal troops stormed into separatist Chechnya in October 1999 in what Moscow termed an anti-terrorist operation, which has since turned into a brutal guerrilla war with daily casualties on both the rebel and federal side. The war has claimed the lives of at least 4,500 Russian soldiers and some 14,000 guerrillas, according to Moscow's figures. The civilian toll from the war has never been published.

AFP 17 Sept 2002 Kremlin faces pressure to open peace talks after Chechnya blast by Eric Helque MOSCOW, Sept 17 (AFP) - Calls mounted on the Kremlin Tuesday to open peace negotiations with Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov one day after a blast from a remote-controlled landmine left 18 civilians dead in one of the bloodiest attacks of the Chechen war. Six civilians were killed Monday and twelve more died overnight after the explosion near a packed market of the Chechen capital Grozny. The Russian military blamed the strike on Chechen separatist guerrillas, although no one claimed responsibility, and a rebel Internet site published a denial. The latest violence prompted fresh pleas for Moscow to start negotiating with the rebel leadership, 10 months after preliminary talks between an envoy for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Chechen separatist negotiator representing Maskhadov broke down shortly after they began. "Yesterday's blast shows once more that peace is indispensable. Peace is only possible if there are negotiations with Aslan Maskhadov, the leader of the Chechen resistance," said Salambek Maygov, an official in the apparatus of the loose union between Russia and Belarus who heads a peace initiative for Chechnya, the Congress for Peace in Chechnya. And a Russian lawmaker also said there was no getting around negotiations. "Russia should impose a state of emergency in Chechnya, but after having done that, we should find the courage to sit down at the negotiation table with Maskhadov," said State Duma lower house of parliament deputy Sergei Yushenkov, who is also co-chairman of the Liberal Russia party. Yushenkov added that there was a difference between genuine independence fighters such as Maskhadov, with whom talks were possible, and other Chechen warlords merely using independence as a pretext to fight Russia, a distinction the Kremlin has so far always refused to make. Russia has refused to contemplate negotiations with Chechen rebels and recognize Maskhadov as the legitimate leader of the Chechens after nearly three years of war. A senior human rights advocate also said the Kremlin should start talks with the rebels immediately. "This blast confirms that we cannot avoid talks with the separatists and that we are in urgent need of negotiations," said Alexander Cherkasov, member of the Memorial human rights organization. He added that representatives of several rights groups had pressed this point in a meeting Friday with Kremlin officials, three days before the attack. A poll carried out late last month by the VTsIOM polling institute showed that six out of ten Russians want the government to open peace talks to bring an end to the war in Chechnya. Only 31 percent of respondents were in favor of pursuing military operations. The Russian prosecutor in Chechnya said Tuesday that Monday's explosion went off shortly after two Russian military vehicles had driven by. The blast appeared to have been aimed at the federal troops, he said. Instead, the explosion devastated a packed civilian bus at it passed by the central Grozny intersection at the same time. Russian media reports said two children were among the victims. Body parts were strewn 15 meters (yards) from the site, the reports said. Federal troops stormed into separatist Chechnya in October 1999 in what Moscow termed an anti-terrorist operation, which has since turned into a brutal guerrilla war with daily casualties on both the rebel and federal side. The war has claimed the lives of at least 4,500 Russian soldiers and some 14,000 guerrillas, according to Moscow's figures. The civilian toll from the war has never been published.

NYT 18 Sept 2002 PUTIN'S PRESSURE ON GEORGIA President Vladimir V. Putin dismissed actions taken by Georgia to control its border with Chechnya, and criticized a letter from President Eduard A. Shevardnadze, saying it provided no guarantees that Georgia would stop Chechen fighters from operating on Georgian territory. Last week Mr. Putin threatened military strikes against what he called terrorists operating from Georgia. Georgia, to placate Russia, promised yesterday to extradite 13 men Russia says are Chechen guerrillas. Sabrina Tavernise (NYT)

NYT 18 Sept 2002 TREASON CONVICTION UPHELD The Supreme Court upheld the treason conviction of Oleg D. Kalugin, a retired K.G.B. general now living in the United States. Mr. Kalugin was convicted in absentia in July, stripped of his military rank and honors and sentenced to 15 years in prison, a largely symbolic sentence. His prosecution was seen as evidence of the resurgent influence of the intelligence services under President Vladimir V. Putin, a former K.G.B. officer. Steven Lee Myers (NYT)

NYT 20 Sept 2002 KREMLIN OPPOSES K.G.B. STATUE The Kremlin said that it opposed restoring a monument to Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the founder of what became the K.G.B., that was pulled down after the failed coup against Mikhail S. Gorbachev in 1991. "Today there are calls to put back the monument to Dzerzhinsky," Vladislav Surkov, the deputy chief of staff for President Vladimir V. Putin, told Interfax. "Tomorrow other people will demand that Lenin's body be taken out of the mausoleum." Mayor Yuri Luzhkov of Moscow said last week that he wanted to put the monument back up. Human rights groups and liberal politicians accused him of trying to curry favor with Mr. Putin, who was a lieutenant colonel in the K.G.B. Sophia Kishkovsky

NYT 21 Sept 2002 MORE TROOPS TO CHECHNYA The Interior Ministry said it would send another 1,200 troops to battle separatists in Chechnya, beefing up a force that already numbers 80,000 soldiers. The move follows President Vladimir V. Putin's pledge this week to station troops in the province "forever." The government has twice announced plans to reduce or end its military presence in Chechnya, turning over most duties to the local police and militia. Michael Wines (NYT)

NYT 21 Sept 2002 POPULATION STILL SHRINKING The State Statistics Committee reported a population decline of 505,900 people in the first six months of 2002, to 143.4 million. The drop was slightly less than in the same period last year but the population continues to fall by about one million people annually. The number of births grew by 50,000 compared with the first half of 2001, but in a sign of the continuing health crisis the number of deaths also increased by nearly 50,000. Sophia Kishkovsky (NYT)

Moscow Times 23 Sept. 2002. Page 1 Grave May Hold 30,000 of Stalin's Victims By Irina Titova Staff Writer Sergey Grachev / MT A Memorial member pointing to some human remains thought to be part of a mass grave of up to 30,000 people killed in Leningrad during Stalin's purges of 1937-38. TOKSOVO, Leningrad Region -- Human rights group Memorial says it has discovered what could be the secret burial site of about 30,000 St. Petersburgers killed during Josef Stalin's Great Terror of 1937-38. After a month of digging, members of Memorial's St. Petersburg branch have found 20 sets of bones in a forest near the town of Toksovo, 30 kilometers north of St. Petersburg, and believe that many thousands more could be buried in a mass grave covering 2 square kilometers. "The little round hole in the back of this skull shows where the bullet that killed this teenage boy entered," Memorial member Miron Muzhdaba said last week, as he removed some human bones from a meter-deep pit. "Most of the approximately 20 skulls we have found here in the last month have similar holes in the same part of the head," he said, adding that the bullets had been fired into the nape of the neck -- the typical execution method in the Soviet Union. "The bullet holes mostly match the .45 caliber of the military-issue Colts used by the NKVD," Muzhdaba said. The NKVD secret police, the predecessors of the KGB, were responsible for carrying out summary sentences and executions of so-called enemies of the people during the Great Terror. As Muzhdaba spoke, artillery shells exploded in the surrounding forest, the site of an army firing range that has been in use since the end of the 19th century. "The range made this area very convenient for the NKVD," Muzhdaba said. "The executions were carried out as secretly as possible. The NKVD hoped the firing on the range would somehow hide the murders." The families of those who were shot were usually told that their loved ones had been sentenced to 10 years in prison without the right to send letters, he said. Using information from people who lived in nearby villages during the 1930s, Memorial searched for about five years before finding the grave site in August. The rights group tracked witnesses down by placing advertisements in local newspapers. Memorial said villagers remembered how every night black vans, known as chyornye voronki, or black ravens, arrived at the range and stopped with their headlights on. Terrified residents would then hear random shots. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor organization to the NKVD and KGB, either ignored Memorial or withheld information when the group demanded to know where victims of the Great Terror were buried. The St. Petersburg FSB did not comment last week on the discovery of the grave. Witnesses told Memorial that the black vans were most active in 1937 and 1938. Between Aug. 5, 1937, and Nov. 16, 1938 -- the period officially known as the Great Terror -- Soviet-era records show that 39,488 people from St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad, and the Leningrad region were executed. The killings are also known as the Yezhovshchina, after NKVD chief Nikolai Yezhov, who, along with Stalin and Leningrad Communist Party boss Andrei Zhdanov, launched the campaign of terror. The Yezhovshchina followed a purge centered in Leningrad after the assassination of Zhdanov's predecessor, Sergei Kirov, in 1934. Between 1930 and 1936, almost 7,000 people vanished from the city. People were taken from their homes, often in the middle of the night, to the NKVD's headquarters at 4 Liteiny Prospekt -- today the headquarters of the St. Petersburg city police and the local branch of the FSB. Many of the victims were executed in the building's cellars, and Memorial believes that their bodies were dumped at the only other known mass grave in the St. Petersburg region, near the village of Levashyovo. Irina Flige, director of Memorial's historical branch, said the FSB used to claim that all victims of the purges were buried at the Levashyovo site, which was discovered in 1992. But KGB questioning of those who drove the chyornye voronki in 1937 and 1938 indicated that a maximum of 8,500 people were taken there. "This information leads to the conclusion that there were other places where victims were executed and buried," Flige said. Flige believes most of the remaining 30,000 victims of the Great Terror were buried at the Rzhevsky firing range near Toksovo. These people were likely to have been driven there and shot on the spot, she said. As well as the human remains, Memorial has come across other indirect evidence that the Rzhevsk range was used as a mass grave -- including official documents and aerial photos showing tire tracks in a part of the testing ground that is now overgrown with trees and shrubs. Flige said, however, that more investigation needs to be carried out. So far, nine skeletons have been sent for examination at a forensic laboratory, which will determine the age and sex of the dead, as well as the year they died and the cause of death. Muzhdaba said the remains could not belong to Nazi victims because the German army did not reach this area in World War II. "Most of the remains that we have found were piled on top of each other. There are at least several thousand people buried here," he said, adding that no signs of any clothes worn by the dead, except the remains of shoes, have been found. Ida Slavina, now 80, is one of the many St. Petersburgers who lost relatives in the purges. In February 1938, her father, Ilya Slavin, 53, a law professor, was executed after being accused of plotting to kill Zhdanov. Her mother, Esfir, 52, was arrested in April of that year for being the wife of an enemy of the people and exiled to Kazakhstan. Ida, who was 16 at the time, was left in St. Petersburg on her own. "Before the war, most people wore special badges indicating how well they were prepared to defend the country," Slavina said in a telephone interview last week. "My father practiced at a firing range so that he could wear the badge of a Voroshilov sniper," she said. Almost all the staff of the Leningrad State and Law Institute, where her father worked, were purged and the institute was closed, she said. "They needed to destroy the law in order to organize lawlessness," Slavina said. "Those were terrible times," she said. "Most of the population was still under the influence of propaganda and believed that there were real enemies of the people. Even when we stood in long lines to deliver parcels to our fathers and mothers, many of us seemed to believe some kind of mistake had been made with our own relatives, but that the other victims really had done something bad. "I was completely sure my parents, who used to sing communist songs to me as lullabies, were innocent," she said. During the interview, she started to sing some of these lullabies but struggled to hold back her tears. Slavina said she had contradictory feelings in 1954 when her father was rehabilitated, and "everybody who had not said a word before started saying what a good man he was." Slavina said she has seen her father's NKVD file and knows that he was executed in the NKVD buildings in St. Petersburg, but she has no idea where he was buried. "Although my dad died only a few months after his arrest, they kept lying to me that he was alive until 1955," Slavina said. "None of the archive documents I saw had any information about his grave," she said. Many of the 100 or so Memorial members and volunteers who participated in the excavations at Toksovo lost relatives during Stalin's purges. "My great-grandfather, who was a priest, was a victim of the repression in 1937," Muzhdaba said. "It's quite possible that he is buried at the Rzhevsky range." "I shiver when we drive along the road leading to the range," Muzhdaba added. "It's crazy to imagine what the people in those vans felt, realizing that they were on the way to their death." Flige said Memorial has sent another request to the FSB for official information on the Toksovo grave. "If we receive a positive answer from them, we'll just make this place a memorial and stop the excavations," she said. "If not, we'll have to continue our work next summer and find a way of proving what is there."


Institute for War & Peace Reporting 6 September 2002 SERB EXTREMISTS BLOCK ATROCITIES EXHIBITION Ultra-nationalists who forced cancellation of war crimes photographic exhibition have little to fear from the authorities. By Zelimir Bojovic in Cacak A group of ten or so young men wearing T-shirts with the words "Radovan Karadzic - Serbian hero" written on them prevented the opening an exhibition of photographs documenting wars in former Yugoslavia last week in the central town of Kraguevac. Displaying placards that read "Faith in God and Homeland", they booed and jeered visitors to the exhibition. Fears of greater disorder prompted the organisers to suspend the August 26 opening, which they said would also be moved to a different location. It is not the first time the exhibition of the photographer Ron Haviv, entitled Blood and Honey, has come under attack from Serbian nationalists. The exhibition consists of photographs of brutally murdered civilians and their killers and those of prisoners in the Trnopolje prison camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The exhibition provoked strong reactions in Belgrade, Uzice and Cacak, where hostile public reaction reached a peak. At the beginning of June, a group of about 40 people disrupted the Cacak event, claiming the photographs were "anti-Serbian". When they removed them from the walls, the police stood idly by and just watched. In mid-July, Ivan Zlatic, 27, paid a high price for trying to organise the Cacak show: he was beaten up by three members of the local extreme right. Zlatic ended up with cuts on his face and several broken teeth. His assailants were each fined 5,000 dinar (85 euro), except for the gang leader, Igor Ivanovic, who additionally had to spend 10 days in jail. Since the extreme right was marginalised as a political force after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, it has increasingly tended to settle scores with political opponents by means of physical attacks. Their targets are members of ethnic minorities, non-governmental organisations and individuals who deal with human rights and in any way encourage the process of confronting the recent wars - a taboo subject in Serbia. The ultra-nationalists are now divided into several groups - Obraz, the Serbian Orthodox Youth, the Ravnogorski Freedom Movement, skinheads and others - totalling several thousand members, mainly young people in their twenties. Their ranks are augmented by several hundred of the most violent fans of the Serbian football teams Rad, Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) and Partizan. As well as defending the idea of Greater Serbia, members of these groups insist they are followers of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Openly anti-Semitic, they are deeply hostile to homosexuals and racist towards the Roma and Albanians. A fervent belief in conspiracy theories, according to which the West is trying to destroy both Serbia and Orthodoxy, is one thing all the extreme right groups in Serbia hold in common. Sometimes backed by extremists among the Serbian Orthodox Church clergy, over the past two years they have organised panel discussions on the above and debates glorifying ultra-nationalist ideology and the wars led by Serbia in the former Yugoslavia. A few months ago, the organisation Obraz launched a campaign in support of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who is indicted by The Hague for war crimes. As a result, all the major cities were covered in posters of Karadzic that read, "Every Serb is Radovan". The worst incident caused by the extreme right in Serbia so far happened last year. To prevent the holding of the first gay parade in Belgrade, thousands of extremists gathered in the centre of the city and attacked participants in the rally. They also broke into the Belgrade offices of the youth wing of the Social Democratic Union, SDU, which supports gay rights. Several SDU members were beaten up in this incident. There is little official condemnation of physical attacks on homosexuals. The authorities are keen to curry favour with a traditionalist electorate, which overwhelmingly sees homosexuality as an illness. Mirko Djordjevic, editor of the Belgrade paper Republika, says the apparent triumph of a "small town mentality" in Serbia is linked to the growth of populism and a recrudescence of nationalism. The violence exhibited by the extreme right can also be explained by the soft stance taken by the country's democratic authorities towards their leaders, as well as by the absence of any public debate on the last war and the responsibility for war crimes. Because of the lack of such debates, the Serbian public still believes other nations and the international community bear most of the responsibility for the wars that took place in the region and that Serbs were the greatest victims of these conflicts. The country's political leaders, including Serbia's prime minister Zoran Djindjic and the Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica, have shown no desire to tackle the ignorance. In their struggle for political supremacy, both Djindjic and Kostunica believe their trump card is patriotism. Fearing that their popularity could dip, they offer relativist arguments when addressing the problem of Serbia's responsibility, claiming all the nations of former Yugoslavia committed similar crimes. Djindjic, an arch-pragmatist, has only ever appeared eager to address the issue of war crimes when international financial aid to Belgrade depended on it. Kostunica publicly questions the credibility of The Hague tribunal, claiming it mainly prosecutes Serbs. The rights organisation Human Rights Watch has criticised the Serbian government's passivity in the face of repeated attempts by extreme nationalists to disrupt Haviv's exhibition of war photographs. "By failing to respond to this kind of harassment, the authorities essentially condone it," said Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. "The problem stems from the government's reluctance to seriously confront the issue of war crimes against non-Serbs in the former Yugoslavia." Bogdan Ivanisevic, a researcher for the organisation working in for former Yugoslavia, said it was obvious the people disrupting Haviv's exhibition felt free to do so. The reason, explained Ivanisevic, lay in the fact that the authorities had made no effort to create an atmosphere in which crimes against non-Serbs in former Yugoslavia would really be legally and morally condemned and punished. Zelimir Bojovic is a Deutsche Welle journalist based in Cacak. www.iwpr.net


NYT 11 Sept 2002 FILM REVIEW; Morally Accountable for the 'Disappearances' and the Atrocities By STEPHEN HOLDEN You can feel the wheels of justice relentlessly grinding toward a day of judgment in Patricio Guzmán's eloquent, meticulously structured documentary film ''The Pinochet Case.'' A gripping step-by-step account of the case mounted by a Spanish judge against the former Chilean military dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet for human rights abuses, the movie re-examines one of the most painful episodes of recent Latin American history and its aftermath. Sober political and legal analysis alternates with grim first-hand accounts of torture and murder in a film that has the structure of a choral symphony that swells to a bittersweet finale. ''The Pinochet Case'' opens with scenes of ordinary Chileans scouring the desert for the remains of family members who were tortured and killed decades earlier. It concludes with scenes of the humbled former dictator (now 86) returning to Chile after a prolonged detention in England while the House of Lords debated whether he should be extradited to Spain to face trial for his crimes. In a landmark decision, which has had international reverberations, it concluded he was not immune from prosecution. The bringing to moral account of the general was the coordinated effort of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, human rights organizations and victims from 15 countries. Even though we know the outcome, the seesawing of the general's fate in the arguments of competing lawyers has the stomach-knotting suspense of a legal thriller, while the testimony of witnesses lends the film a resonant undertone of tragedy. Leading the film's list of judicial heroes are the Spanish judge Baltazar Garzón, and the prosecutor Carlos Castresana, who found the legal justification for the general's extradition and courageously persisted in an uphill campaign to bring him to justice. ''The Pinochet Case,'' which opens today at Film Forum in New York is really the coda to Mr. Guzmán's monumental 1978 documentary, ''The Battle of Chile.'' That film told the story of the rise of Salvador Allende's democratically elected socialist government and its fall on Sept. 11, 1973, in a military coup led by General Pinochet, who ruled Chile for the next 17 years. In the range and depth of its social reach, ''The Battle of Chile'' has been compared to ''The Sorrow and the Pity,'' Marcel Ophuls's investigation of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. After the coup, more than 3,000 political opponents were rounded up, interrogated, tortured and murdered, and a million Chileans went into exile. The official justification for the coup and the atrocities that followed is proffered in the movie by Peter Schaad, a Swiss businessman and close friend of the dictator, who visited him during his confinement. He blithely insists that what happened was a small price to pay to keep Chile from going Communist. ''The Pinochet Case'' picks up the dictator's story in 1998, the year he retired from politics and appointed himself ''senator for life.'' While in London on his annual shopping spree, the general developed serious back pains and was hospitalized in a clinic. It was there that he was arrested immediately after surgery. The next 503 days he spent under house arrest at an estate outside London while the House of Lords debated whether he should be extradited to Spain. One ally and friend shown visiting the general during his detention and offering solace and gratitude for his help in the Falkland Islands campaign is the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Although the House of Lords eventually divested him of the legal immunity that has traditionally protected heads of state from prosecution for crimes against humanity, the general was still allowed to return to Chile for reasons of ill health. Although deemed too ill to stand trial in Santiago, he was stripped of his immunity by the Chilean supreme court, declared a criminal and kept under house arrest. ''The Pinochet Case'' is a beautifully layered mosaic that is all the more powerful for never raising its voice to a shout and for keeping the tears to a minimum. We are told that the military regime took from the Nazis the technique of ''disappearing'' people by arresting them, holding them in detention in undisclosed locations for months and sometimes years at a time, while denying their existence to desperate relatives and friends. Most were ultimately disposed of through burial in far-flung locations, and some were simply dropped into the ocean. The film visits the notorious Villa Grimaldi, a nondescript complex of buildings in Santiago that was the military regime's prime detention center, and the camera lingers over a bed that was wired electrically into a torture device. The most powerful leitmotif is a visual Greek chorus of the general's victims who are periodically shown in a group portrait casting a collective gaze of calm accusation into the camera's eye. Over the course of the film individual members of that group recall the personal horrors they experienced in detention. Some are speaking publicly for the very first time. We hear of electrical tortures, rapes and of one strong man being beaten to a pulp with chains, then lingering for three days in agony before finally dying. As excruciating as their own physical agonies might have been, most report that the worst part -- the part that still brings them nightmares -- was being forced to watch the torture and murder of others and hearing their screams. The goal of the torture recalls one woman, was to make you feel subhuman. ''The Pinochet Case'' suggests that justice, even the kind of mild justice meted out to the general, can bring a certain satisfaction. And in Chile, the case has profoundly altered the country's historical memory. No longer will equestrian statues of General Pinochet proliferate. Nor will he be hailed as liberator and have his name attached to public institutions. The indelible final image is the unveiling of a statue of Salvador Allende in the heart of Santiago. THE PINOCHET CASE Written and directed by Patricio Guzmán; in Spanish, with English subtitles; director of photography, Jacques Bouquin; edited by Claudio Martinez; produced by Yves Jeanneau; released by First Run/Icarus Films. At the Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, west of Sixth Avenue, South Village. Running time: 110 minutes. This film is not rated. Published: 09 - 11 - 2002 , Late Edition - Final , Section E , Column 1 , Page 5


AP 21 Sept 2002 Necdet Kent, 91, Dies; Diplomat Aided Jews ISTANBUL -- Necdet Kent, 91, a retired Turkish diplomat who risked his life to save Jews during World War II, died here Sept. 20. The cause of death was not reported. Mr. Kent, who was posted to Marseilles, France, from 1941 to 1944, gave Turkish citizenship to dozens of Turkish Jews living in France who did not have proper identification papers to save them from deportation to the Nazi gas chambers. On one occasion, he boarded a train bound for Auschwitz after Nazi guards refused to let some 70 Jews with Turkish citizenship disembark. After more than an hour, the guards allowed Mr. Kent and the Jews to leave. In 2001, he and diplomats Namik Kemal Yolga and Selahattin Ulkumen were honored with Turkey's Supreme Service Medal as well as a medal from Israel for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. "I admire and respect and thank you no end for what you did to save our Jewish brothers at the darkest moment in history," Uri Bar-Ner, then Israel's ambassador to Turkey, said at the ceremony. After World War II, Mr. Kent served at Turkey's consulate in New York and was ambassador to Thailand, New Delhi, Sweden and Poland. He leaves no immediate survivors.

AFP 23 Sept 2002 Pop diva braves flak to deliver minority songs ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkey’s favorite pop singer defied criticism by nationalists and went ahead with a concert of songs in the languages of the country’s minorities, aimed at promoting ethnic tolerance, the press reported on Saturday. Sezen Aksu came under fire from far-right politicians earlier this month when she sang songs in Armenian, Greek, Hebrew and Kurdish, as well as Turkish, in a concert in Izmir, the first leg of a tour. But Aksu, who had considered canceling the remainder of the tour, repeated the same program in front of a 6,000-strong audience in Istanbul late on Friday, boosted by support from the liberal media. An Armenian church choir, musical groups from the Greek and Jewish communities, and a children’s choir from Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeastern region, accompanied her on stage.

United Kingdom

The Irish Examiner 10 Sep 2002 World can no longer ignore genocide, warns Geldof By Jacqui Walls IRISH rock star Bob Geldof yesterday gave a moving speech about the dangers of human indifference to genocide, warning "words without actions are no good to dead people". The former Boomtown Rats singer was in Nottinghamshire to introduce the world's first genocide centre, which it is hoped will help prevent future atrocities internationally. The £10 million Aegis Institute, to be built next to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Laxton, will become the permanent home of the Genocide Prevention Institute, which was launched in London two years ago. At the launch Geldof said it was vital to create a centre to help stop genocide from happening all over the world. He said that in Africa whole cultures were being wiped out not only by acts of atrocity, but by Aids and by developed countries not doing enough to help: "In northern Mali, 350 languages have been wiped out in the last year that we have no knowledge of, that we will never know again. "Unless we are confounded in the most brutal way in the most shameful language, then we become northern Mali and all those lights of human genius just wink out. "If you say 'never again' you have to show you mean it. Words without actions are no use to dead people. "The Aegis Centre wishes to challenge our assumptions and indifference. "It raises issues of politics, ideology, poverty, the environment, and most importantly, the international will to act." The new centre will be built by 2005 to house an exhibition on the causes and consequences of genocide as well as provide education, conference and research facilities. As the Aegis Institute is built in Britain, a centre is also being built in Rwanda to commemorate the one million people who died in the genocide of the 1994 civil war. One of the project's creators, Stephen Smith, said: "We started this project because we felt it was important that people in Britain see that the holocaust is not a detached event in the past but that people really think about its meaning in history and its challenge to our society." The centre is a response to the increasing recurrence of genocide, including the killings in Rwanda, ethnic cleansing and ideologies such as those that spawn international terrorism

BBC 6 Sept 2002 Sir Bob Geldof to unveil genocide centre Geldof is an influential political force Live Aid pioneer Sir Bob Geldof is to announce plans to create the world's first genocide centre in Nottinghamshire. The singer turned activist will announce the landmark development on Monday. Sir Bob was one of the main driving forces behind Live Aid, the 1980s concerts that brought together the biggest rock and pop acts in the world to raise money for famine-stricken Ethiopia. The former Boomtown Rat - who has recently entered the euro debate - has campaigned on issues relating to famines but has also helped mark genocide memorials. The Aegis Institute, due to open in 2005, will give a permanent home to the work of the Genocide Prevention Initiative. Launched by Dr Stephen Smith and and Dr James Smith in London in 2000, the initiative hopes that by studying why different ethnic groups massacre each other. Analysts have not explained why "ethnic cleansing" as in the former Yugoslavia and genocide such as in Rwanda persists today. The massacre in Srebrenica in 1995 of up to 8,000 men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces recently caused the resignation of the Dutch Government. Permanent exhibition And the Belgian Government has also apologised for the international community's failure to stop the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis by Hutu extremists in 1994. The centre will be sited alongside the renowned Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire and has been designed by award-winning architects the RH Partnership. It will house a permanent exhibition on the causes and consequences of genocide, as well as education, conference and research facilities. "When genocidal ideology causes a tragedy, it can affect us all. That's why we all need to know about it," stated Dr James Smith. Launching the Aegis Institute at the Holocaust Centre, Sir Bob will be joined by Marcus Storch, vice-president of the Nobel Commission. Mr Storch will dedicate a memorial to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.

Nottingham Evening Post UK 17 Sep 2002 BUILDING HOPE IN RWANDA 12:00 - 17 September 2002 A notts genocide remembrance project is appealing for funds to help establish a new centre in Rwanda. The Aegis Institute - launched last week by Sir Bob Geldof - is seeking to establish a new memorial and educational facility near the Rwandan village of Ntarama. The institute is part of the Beth Shalom holocaust memorial centre, near Ollerton, and works to raise awareness of genocide and prevent its repetition. A team of sponsored fund-raisers from Notts competed in the Robin Hood half-marathon in Nottingham on Sunday, hoping to raise £4,000 for the Rwanda project. Project director Dr James Smith, said: "Aegis is creating a new centre near Ntarama where, in 1994, 2,000 Tutsis were massacred inside the village church. All but forgotten in the last eight years, today the survivors are still trying to build their shattered lives. "Despite terrible physical and psychological scars, the survivors do not demand revenge or compensation - they merely want the world to remember their story and learn."Let's be generous so that tomorrow, mothers will not suffered as I suffered." Anyone who would like to support the project can call 01623 836 627 or visit www.aegistrust.org

Guardian 11 Sept 2002 Roza Khaderian, charity worker, born August 21 1912; died August 10 2002 Monica Wilson The Roza Khaderian, who has died aged 89, was no celebrity. She was a tiny, bird-like old lady who had been a nanny or a housekeeper in London since the 1960s. But her funeral service was taken by the Armenian archbishop, His Grace Yeghishe Gizirian, the primate and Armenian pontifical legate of Great Britain, Grace Bishop Hovhannisian, and two Armenian priests. For Roza was the last but one person in Britain to have survived the genocide of some 1m Armenians by the Turks in 1915. Both her parents had been murdered, and her own right hand was claw-like because it had been held in a fire by the soldiers. But Roza was no victim. For years, without help, she collected money for Save the Children and, after the 1988 Armenian earthquake, £30,000 for Armenian orphans. She also knitted thousands of brightly coloured blankets for both organisations, despite her crippled hand. Her life was not what her parents - her father was a prosperous cotton merchant in Adana - would have hoped for. After their murder, she was taken by Scottish missionaries to orphanages, first in Syria, and then in northern Palestine. She had hoped to train as a nurse, but her hand made that impossible. At 17, she married a boy from the orphanage, who, sadly, died within a year. While working in the Polish consulate in Jerusalem in the mid-1950s, she was recommended as a nanny for my two children. When they grew older, she became my mother's housekeeper. After the Armenian earthquake, she more or less ended her work for Save the Children, believing it more important to help the orphans of that catastrophe by rattling her red collecting box on trains and buses, in parks and every Sunday outside the Armenian Church of St Sarkis, in west London. A ward in the children's hospital built on the site of one destroyed in the Armenian earthquake was named after Roza. A photograph of her standing next to the British ambassador at the opening ceremony became her most valued possession. She ended her life contentedly in a local authority home, where, last Christmas, she stood up and sang, at the top of her voice, her favourite hymn,"God from whom all blessings flow." ·

www.newscastle.co.ukSep 23 2002 Refugees besieged by race-hate mob By Amanda Crook, The Journal Five Turkish families were in fear of their lives last night after a mob besieged them in their homes under a storm of stones and abuse. The refugees who live in the Ford Estate, Sunderland, say the co-ordinated attacks on their houses come after weeks of increasing hostility. Nargiz Ari, 37, and her children Mina, 13, and Ibrahaim, 12, were woken by the sound of people trying to break down their back door at 11pm on Saturday. One window was broken and their front door forced open. Nargiz said a man stormed into her bedroom, swearing and shouting threats, leaving her terrified he would kill her and her children. The four other families, all Kurds who have fled oppression in Turkey, faced similar attacks at the same time. Some said a mob in the streets outside their homes kept them trapped for 30 minutes. Last night all 17 of them were crowded together in one house, hoping someone would move them to emergency accommodation. Speaking through an interpreter, Mrs Ari, a former teacher, said: "We came to this country because we were scared we would be killed, we heard that in England, all people had human right, but it is not true - we are not safe here. "There were so many people outside the house we could not leave. My friend says there were 200 people planning where to attack. "We are scared they will come again and do what they keep saying they will do - kill us." Mrs Ari has lived in Sunderland for a year and two months and said she and her family had faced constant abuse. She said: "Every day my daughter is sworn at and shoved as she tries to walk to school. At school the teachers can protect her but outside, in the streets, she is bullied constantly. "People swear and shout at us in the streets, they have attacked our house six times, they throw stones and rubbish at us." Temije Aligelik, a former shop owner, who has lived on the Ford Estate for 10 months, said they could not protect themselves or their children. "One of my neighbours who is my friend, told me, my family were very nice but that it didn't matter, people hate us because we are asylum seekers. They will kill us, whatever we are like." Inspector Shaun Tumelty, of Northumbria Police said: "We received a 999 emergency call from a highly-distressed woman at 11.30 on Saturday night. "The property has been damaged and we are investigating it as criminal damage, we are treating it as a racial incident. "Our patrols will be watching their temporary address tonight. "The local authority, who need to be involved, does not have 24-hour cover but tomorrow the situation will be reviewed with the other agencies involved." Tahri Khan, spokesman for Sunderland's multi-ethnic Unity Organisation, said: "Violence and hostility against all asylum seekers has escalated in recent weeks, but we will protect these people somehow."


Financial Times (London), September 24, 2002, Tuesday, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR;, Pg. 14, International relations depend on approaching concerns multilaterally, By PALITHA DR KOHONA From Dr Palitha T. B. Kohona. Sir, The secretary-general, in his opening address to the 57th session of the UN General Assembly, emphasised that "there is no substitute for the legitimacy provided by the United Nations". Even during the cold war, many issues of global concern were addressed with a multilateral approach, through the Security Council or other multilateral mechanisms. Many Security Council decisions made common strategies possible and allowed snarling protagonists to withdraw from otherwise calamitous courses of action. During this period, more than 500 multilateral treaties, most negotiated under the auspices of the UN, were deposited with the secretary-general. These cover human rights, terrorism, organised crime, the environment, disarmament, space, the oceans and so on. While many may have serious inadequacies, they also reflect an endeavour by states to realise common goals and, increasingly, the aspirations of civil society and individuals. It is amazing how many of our daily activities are facilitated by an intricate web of multilateral treaties: the posting of a letter in a box and its successful delivery in a distant land; the boarding of an aircraft in one country and the completion of a journey in another or the daily unhindered passage of thousands of ships and cargoes across borders and seas. It is only when a country refuses to join a multilateral initiative for its own reasons or breaches its obligations under the multilateral treaty framework that we tend to hear about it. Thus our attention is constantly drawn to the refusal of the US to ratify the Kyoto protocol or of its opposition to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Recent history demonstrates that multilateral approaches to address common concerns, with objectives carefully defined, offer a higher level of comfort to the international community, especially to weaker members, and the general prospect of success, despite certain drawbacks, including often slower rates of progress towards established goals. They encourage a sense of commitment and participation from all states to a cause and a lower level of opposition. Very importantly, they contribute to enhancing the international rule of law and the progress towards a global relations system based less on brute arbitrary force. Palitha T. B. Kohona, Chief, Treaty Section, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, US

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, on web since 2001, English coming soon)
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
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
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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