Prevent Genocide International 

News Monitor for December 2003
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

Current Month, - Search News Monitors - Past Months:
2003: Jan 2003, Feb 2003, Mar 2003, Apr 2003, May 2003, June 2003, July 2003, Aug 2003, Sep 2003, Oct 2003, Nov 2003, Dec 2003
2002: Jan 2002, Feb 2002, Mar 2002, Apr 2002May 2002June 2002July 2002Aug 2002Sep 2002Oct 2002, Nov 2002, Dec 2002
2001: Jan 2001, Feb 2001, Mar 2001Apr 2001, May 2001, June 2001, July 2001, Aug 2001Sep 2001, Oct 2001, Nov 2001, Dec 2001

For abbreviated news sources (ie: AP, BBC) see below
. Use Find (Ctrl+F) to search this webpage.
For larger text: on your browser's "View" menu, point to "Text Size" and click the size you want.

Africa Americas Asia-Pacific Europe



AFP 30 Nov 2003 Burundi's FNL rebels in first face-to-face talks with government NAIROBI, Nov 30 (AFP) - A Burundi government delegation held its first face-to-face talks here on Sunday with Hutu rebels of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), which had previously rejected negotiations. "The talks are going on... there's nothing else to say for the moment," a member of the Burundi government delegation said, adding that the negotiations would continue into Monday. The FNL had previously rejected peace negotiations aimed at ending a decade of civil war, even though the government is now led by President Domitien Ndayizeye, a member of the majority Hutu ethnic group. It has insisted that real power in the central African country resides in the hands of the Tutsi-dominated army. The ground-breaking talks began in Nairobi on Saturday between a delegation of the Burundi government made up of minority Tutsis, including senior army officers, and four FNL representatives, according to sources both in Bujumbura and the Kenyan capital. "We are not negotiating with the government of President Domitien Ndayizeye, but with Tutsi delegates," FNL spokesman Pasteur Habimana earlier told AFP. Meanwhile, two of the four new ministers of a rival Hutu rebel group, the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), arrived Sunday in Bujumbura, where it has become part of a power-sharing government formed by Ndayizeye a week ago. Interior Minister Simon Nyandwi and Communications Minister Onesime Ndiwimana, accompanied by three other FDD officials, were received by the African Union representative to Burundi, Mamadou Bah. "I'm hoping to bring new blood, even if this is not a matter of only one minister, but rather of the combined efforts of all the Burundians who should work to restore total security," Nyandwi told the press. FDD leader Pierre Nkurunziza is scheduled to arrive in Bujumbura on December 6 "if all goes well," according to one source. According to Nyandwi, several other FDD officials should be arriving in the coming week. The FNL rebels, said to number between 1,500 and 2,500, had earlier rejected a November 16 ultimatum by regional leaders to enter peace talks with Bujumbura within three months or face sanctions. Burundi's civil war erupted in October 1993, when Melchior Ndadaye, the country's first Hutu president, was killed by members of the Tutsi-dominated army. The conflict has claimed some 300,000 mainly civilian lives, according to the United Nations. The talks in Nairobi, held in the presence of US ambassador to Burundi, James Yellin, and the UN envoy to Burundi, Berhanu Dinka, came just days after FNL rebels shelled the presidential mansion in Bujumbura. The rebel delegation is led "by a high-ranking official, the FNL armed forces chief of staff in person," Habimana said, without giving his full name. A Burundi government source told AFP that "the government has mandated a delegation to negotiate with the FNL in Nairobi, and to try to convince them to adhere to the current peace process." The government delegation is led by Ambroise Niyonsaba, a Tutsi who has been the main government negotiator for several years. Five senior officers in the delegation include colonels Lazare Nduwayo and Bernard Bandonkeye, as well as Francoise Ngendahayo, the minister in charge of reintegrating returning displaced people and refugees, government and rebel sources said. "During these discussions in Nairobi, we will talk about holding real negotiations between Burundi's ethnic groups in order to reach peace," Habimana said.

IRIN 1 Dec 2003 Burundi: Former rebels arrive in Bujumbura to take up ministerial posts BUJUMBURA, 1 Dec 2003 (IRIN) - Two members of Burundi's largest former rebel movement, the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD), who were recently appointed ministers, arrived on Sunday in the capital, Bujumbura, after several years in exile. The two, Simon Nyandwi and Onesime Nduwimana, were appointed on 23 November as interior minister and minister for communications and government spokesman, respectively. Nyandwi arrived from Tanzania where he had been for eight years while Nduwimana arrived from Germany where he had spent the last eight years. "We are very happy to return home after a long stay in exile, this is an indication that peace is coming in Burundi," they told reporters in Bujumbura. "It's time to put together our efforts for the return of peace and give up division among Burundians," Nyandwi said. "Burundians killed each other because of ethnic and regional divisions, this is the past, we have to look forward to the reconstruction of our nation." CNDD-FDD leader Pierre Nkurunziza who was appointed Minister of State for Good Governance and the movement's deputy secretary-general, Salvator Ntahomenyereye, who was appointed Minister of Public Works, were expected in Bujumbura soon, Nyandwi and Nduwimana said. At the same time, two CNDD-FDD members who will represent the movement in the Joint Ceasefire monitoring Committee (JCC) have also arrived in the country. All senior officials of the CNDD-FDD will be under the protection of the peacekeeping African Mission in Burundi comprising troops from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa before the integration of the former rebel faction's combatants into the country's new security forces. President Domitien Ndayizeye reshuffled his cabinet to accommodate the CNDD-FDD in accordance with a power-sharing agreement between the two parties that was signed on 16 November in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Under that agreement, the CNDD-FDD is also due to get 40 percent of posts in the army staff and 35 percent in the police. It will have two posts in the bureau of the parliament and will be represented by 15 members of parliament. The three-year transitional government was established in Burundi following the signing of the Arusha Accord for Peace and Reconciliation on 28 August 2000, allowing for two 18-month phases under which the country would be led by a Tutsi and Hutu, respectively.

AFP 1 Dec 2003 Burundi rebels walk out of talks with government BUJUMBURA, Dec 1 (AFP) - The last active Hutu armed group in war-ravaged Burundi has walked out of internationally brokered talks in Nairobi, their spokesman said Monday, complaining that their interlocutors represented a government unrecognised by the movement. "We went to Nairobi to ... reach an understanding on holding real negotiations with all of Burundi's ethnic groups, but the Tutsis we met were behind the government," Pasteur Habimana, spokesman for the National Liberation Forces (FNL) told AFP by phone. "So it's a stalemate, and our delegation has already left Nairobi," he added. Sunday's walkout came a day after the start of the meeting between FNL rebel leaders and a government delegation made up of representatives of the minority Tutsi ethnic group and senior army officers. Some 300,000 people have been killed in Burundi since armed Hutus rose up against the Tutsi-dominated army and the then Tutsi-led government in 1993. All other Hutu rebel groups have now signed peace deals with the current transitional government, which is made up of people from both ethnic groups. The talks took place in the presence of the US ambassador to Burundi, James Yellin, and UN envoy Berhanu Dinka. They were due to wrap up on Monday. "It was a waste of time. The international community promised us talks witht the Tutsis and they sent us a government delegation," complained Habimana. The FNL has long refused to negotiate with the government, insisting the real power in Burundi lay with the Tutsi leadership of the army. "We are ready to resume negotiations with the Tutsis anytime but we will never negotiate with the Bujumbura government which does not exist," said Habimana. The government, formed under the provisions of a power-sharing deal signed by Burundian politians in 2000, enjoys international recognition, and is led by President Domitien Ndayizeye, a Hutu. The FNL would only lift its refusal to talk directly to the government, said the spokesman, if "all successive governments write us a letter admitting that they organised the genocide of Tutsis and Hutus". Since independence in 1961, Burundi has seen several episodes of ethnic bloodletting in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Eighty percent of Burundi's population are Hutu, 14 percent Tutsi and one percent are Twa. Also Sunday, two of the four new ministers of a rival Hutu rebel group, the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), arrived in Bujumbura, where it has become part of a power-sharing government formed by Ndayizeye a week ago. Interior Minister Simon Nyandwi and Communications Minister Onesime Ndiwimana, accompanied by three other FDD officials, were received by the African Union representative to Burundi, Mamadou Bah. The FNL, said to number between 1,500 and 2,500 fighters, have rejected a November 16 ultimatum by regional leaders to enter peace talks with Bujumbura within three months or face sanctions.

Business Day ZA 3 Dec 2003 Zuma to lobby UN to take over AU's peace effort in Burundi International Affairs Editor IN AN effort to persuade the United Nations (UN) to take over the African Union's (AU's) peace support operation in Burundi and to seek more donor support, Deputy President Jacob Zuma will hold talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and address the Security Council tomorrow. But UN backing for the mission is unlikely as UN rules require that there be a comprehensive cease-fire arrangement for any backing. While the largest Hutu rebel group, the CNDD-FDD, signed a peace agreement with Burundi's transitional government last month, one group, the FNL, remains outside the agreement. This group continues to fight and last month shelled the capital of Bujumbura, forcing 12000 civilians to flee the city. While the UN may not itself become directly involved because of the absence of a cease-fire agreement, it could still offer expanded financial support for the AU. Zuma will be able to make the case that the majority of rebels are now within a peace accord that also allows all signatories to be represented in government. SA will also be trying to raise funds for the mission at a donor conference in Pretoria later this month. So far, SA has received funding from the European Union (EU), which has covered just a small portion of the South African National Defence Force's deployment costs. The US has paid for the deployment of Ethiopian forces, and the UK for the Mozambican contingent. But SA is hoping that the accord signed between Burundi's transitional government and the CNDD-FDD last month in Pretoria, will pave the way for UN-funding and involvement. The AU argues that its mission in Burundi was established as a stop-gap measure until the conditions are conducive to UN participation. The AU's peace-keeping operation in Burundi, the first it has carried out, is being run along the lines of a UN peace support mission. Its mandate is confined to the protection of returning politicians and overseeing camps where disarmed Hutu rebels are held before demobilisation. UN involvement stands to relieve SA of the substantial costs of the military deployment in Burundi, where SA has about 1400 troops. In the past fiscal year, this and next SA's peace-keeping operations in Burundi are expected to cost R2,6bn. Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad criticised donor countries, saying they were giving insufficient support to post-conflict efforts in African countries. Warning that the Rwanda genocide could come back to haunt industrial countries, Pahad said the lack of support seriously undermined efforts to develop the institutions and environment in which ceasefire agreements could hold.

AFP 5 Dec 2003 Rebel clashes near Burundi capital leave 28 dead, displace 15,000 BUJUMBURA, Dec 5 (AFP) - At least 20 rebels and eight soldiers were killed in Burundi this week, and some 15,000 people forced to flee their homes as government forces clashed with the central African country's last remaining Hutu rebel group, army and government sources said Friday. "Since Wednesday the army has been conducting military operations against the FNL (National Liberation Forces) in Kibuye zone," 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Bujumbura, an army source who asked not to be named told AFP. "More than 20 rebels were killed while we lost eight from our side," he added. A local government official said more than 15,000 people had fled their homes in Kibuye. The governor of Bujumbura Rural province, Ignace Ntigwurirwa, said conditions facing the displaced were "more than worrying because it is now the rainy season and they are sleeping in the open." General Juvenal Niyoyunguruza, who commands the army in the western region, which includes the capital, on the banks of Lake Tanganyika, and Bujumbura Rural, said the rebels had lost fighters, but it was impossible to give a precise toll on the insurgents' side. "The FNL sustained losses but they take most of their bodies with them. We had five soldiers wounded and no deaths," he claimed. "Operations are continuing," he told AFP. FNL spokesman Pasteur Habimana said there had been clashes and that the army had "used lots of heavy artillery," but declined to comment further. "They want war. We will see who will win," he said. Unlike several other armed Hutu groups in Burundi, the FNL has refused to negotiate directly with the government, insisting on talking only with the army or leaders of the Tutsi minority community. The country's largest armed Hutu group, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy, signed a comprehensive peace deal with the government and joined its ranks last month. Burundi's civil war has killed more than 300,000 people, mostly civilians, since 1993.

BBC 7 Dec 2003 Burundi rebels say sorry for war Pierre Nkurunziza (l) arrives in the capital for the first time since 1993 A Hutu rebel leader in Burundi has asked for forgiveness for the harm his group caused civilians during the 10-year civil war. But Pierre Nkurunziza, of Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), said the war had been "forced on us". He was speaking on arrival in Burundi's capital Bujumbura to take up the job of Minister for Good Governance in the new power-sharing government. A smaller Hutu rebel group has refused to negotiate and is continuing attacks. Mr Nkurunziza arrived in Bujumbura on Saturday for the first time since the war began in 1993, which led to the deaths of more than 300,000 people. "We take this opportunity to ask forgiveness from the people of Burundi for all the harm we have done to them because of a war that was forced on us," he told a news conference. "For our part, we forgive those who imposed this war on us," he added. Mr Nkurunziza takes up the third most important government job following a peace accord signed in November. A handful of other government portfolios have been given to other FDD leaders. Talks However, the smaller Hutu rebel group, the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), have so far refused to recognise the government. FNL members met senior Tutsi government figures at a secret location in Nairobi earlier in the week. COALITION GOVERNMENT 4 FDD ministers 40% of army officers 15 MPs Second assembly vice-president Assembly deputy secretary general 2 ambassadors 35% of a new police force 35% of vacant secret service posts FDD fighters to be demobilised Q&A: Burundi's peace moves A spokesman stressed they did not recognise the legitimacy of the government, and were meeting officials and military leaders merely in their capacity as members of the Tutsi minority. "We are not negotiating with the government of President Domitien Ndayizeye, but with Tutsi delegates," FNL spokesman Pasteur Habimana told AFP news agency. In Bujumbura, the new FDD ministers said they were happy to return home from exile under the terms of the peace agreement.

AP 21 Dec 2003 Rights Group Slams Burundi Peace Deal NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- An international human rights group on Monday criticized a peace agreement giving soldiers and rebels temporary immunity from prosecution for atrocities committed against civilians in Burundi's 10-year civil war. More than 200,000 people have been killed, mostly civilians who often are targeted by rebels from the Hutu majority and soldiers from the Tutsi-dominated army. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said soldiers and rebels have been responsible for deliberate attacks on civilians -- including rapes, killings and looting -- during recent fighting. Last month, the main rebel group, the Forces for the Defense of Democracy, or FDD, and the transitional government reached a peace agreement in which they agreed to give temporary immunity to members of the armed forces and FDD fighters. But fighting continues between the army and another rebel group, the National Liberation Forces, or FNL. The FDD also has clashed with the FNL in recent months. ``With the recent agreements, government soldiers and FDD combatants have no need to fear being held accountable for their conduct,'' said Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch Africa division. ``Civilians pay and will continue to pay the price.'' Burundi's army spokesman, Col. Augustin Nzabampema, said he could not comment until he read the report. It was not immediately possible to contact the FNL, but FDD spokesman Gelase Daniel Ndabirabe said many atrocities happened during the war. ``Both sides will take time to discuss them. For the time being, we are not fighting. We are working for peace and are trying to cure the wounds,'' he said. In a report titled ``Everyday Victims, Civilians in the Burundi War,'' Human Rights Watch catalogues a series of attacks in which it says civilians were killed and raped by rebels and government soldiers between April and November. In an April attack in Kabezi, in Bujumbura Rurale province, civilians were killed in an exchange of fire between FNL rebels and government soldiers, who later deliberately killed more civilians near an ambush site used by the rebels, the report said. ``These killings illustrate the disregard of civilian lives by both government soldiers and FNL combatants as well as the deliberate killing of civilians by government soldiers,'' the report said. The immunity deal was an extension of a provisional immunity law approved by the transitional National Assembly in August. The purpose of the law was to protect Hutus who returned from exile as part of a power-sharing accord reached with Tutsis in August 2000. The Arusha accord called on the United Nations to set up an international inquiry to investigate allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Burundi since it achieved independence from Belgium in 1962. But the commission has not been established, and the killing continues. The war broke out after Tutsi paratroopers killed the central African country's first democratically elected leader, a Hutu, but there had been cycles of killings by Hutu and Tutsis since independence. Despite being in the minority, Tutsis have governed the country for all but a few months since independence. On The Net: Human Rights Watch report: www.hrw.org/reports/2003/burundi1203

Côte d'Ivoire

ICG 28 Nov 2003 Côte d'Ivoire: "The war is not yet over" Freetown/Brussels, 28 November 2003: There are ominous signs that the Côte d'Ivoire peace process initiated in January 2003 has broken down. If the country goes back to war, it could well take all West Africa with it, endangering even recent progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The International Crisis Group's latest report, "Côte d'Ivoire: The War Is Not Yet Over," a copy of which is attached, examines the fragile equilibrium of neither peace nor war in the country and argues that the international community that has endorsed the peace accords brokered by France (the Linas-Marcoussis Accords) should take a greater interest in their implementation. The immediate need is to press President Gbagbo to welcome back into the "Reconciliation Government" ministers from the rebel groups who walked out in September to protest the president's unilateral measures. "The Security Council needs to take a leading role in the peace process", says Stephen Ellis, Director of the ICG Africa Program. "The UN presence must be upgraded to a full peacekeeping mission that subsumes 1,400 West African troops under the umbrella of an expanded operation and steps up cooperation with the ongoing UN peace operation in Liberia". After a year of civil war interspersed with precarious ceasefires, the governmental crisis threatens to destroy the only blueprint for peace that exists. Hardliners in President Gbagbo's FPI and his youth supporters, as well as "left out" rebel leaders can still mobilise support against the political process. A fresh outbreak of hostilities is being talked about openly by all sides. The peace accords implicitly condemn the ultra nationalism of Gbagbo and his party. Yet, they have also legitimated a rebellion while failing to address the conflict's regionalisation. The central challenge is to find a compromise between parties that still think like enemies so that the reconciliation process can bring the country safely to elections in 2005. What makes the need most urgent are ties between Ivorian troubles and those in neighbouring countries, which have meddled in the conflict just as President Gbagbo and his foes have been intimately involved in their difficulties. Armed bands, recruited for the Ivorian conflict or left over from previous wars, will continue to be a grave source of regional insecurity unless a comprehensive disarmament program is carried out. Urgent measures are needed to prevent Ivorian militias from being incorporated into Liberian militias lest those two conflicts continue to feed each other. While the French peacekeepers can do much that is needed on the ground, they are held back by Ivorian suspicions of the former colonial power. France needs more encouragement, particularly from the U.S. and the Security Council, to increase protection of civilians, and the international community also needs to help the ECOWAS peacekeepers so they can do more. "It should be made clear to the armed groups and their supporters, including the leaders of Burkina Faso and Guinea, that they risk prosecution for war crimes if they engage in further ethnic killing or disruption of peace processes", says Comfort Ero, West Africa Project Director at ICG.

SAPA 1 Dec 2003 Ivory Coast situation catches Mbeki's eye December 01 2003 at 01:24PM Johannesburg - South African President Thabo Mbeki on Monday expressed his concern over the deteriorating security situation in the Ivory Coast and the increasing possibility of a resumption in that country's civil war. Speaking at the opening of the 24th General Assembly of the World Veterans Federation in Sandton, Mbeki called on the country's people to look past petty differences at the consequences of war for themselves and their neighbours. Referring to a recent book by Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, who commanded United Nations troops in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide there, Mbeki said it was time to banish war from the process of structuring relations among human beings and between societies. "This also applies to the Cote d'Ivoire, which threatens to explode again into an orgy of mass killings unless the people of that country find it within themselves to respond to the call made by General Dallaire to 'rise above race, creed, colour, religion and national self-interest and put the good of humanity above the good of our own little tribe'." Mbeki was speaking a day after disgruntled soldiers briefly seized control of Ivory Coast's state television headquarters to broadcast demands that French and West African peacekeepers leave the war-divided country so that the military could attack northern-based rebels at their convenience. Although the country's civil war ended by agreement in July, the Ivory Coast is still divided along the former frontline and the rebels are refusing to take part in a power-sharing government. They claim President Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to devolve powers as provided for in a French-brokered peace deal in January. Gbagbo, for his part, wants the rebels to disarm first. The Ivory Coast has been politically volatile since its first coup d'etat in December 1999. About 4 000 French and 1 200 West African peacekeepers are patrolling the no man's land between the antagonists.

IRIN 1 Dec 2003 Côte d'Ivoire: Pro-Gbagbo youths demonstrate outside French base ABIDJAN, 1 December (IRIN) - Several hundred hardline youth supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo staged a rowdy demonstration outside the French military base in Abidjan on Monday demanding that 4,000 French peacekeepers patrolling a buffer zone between government and rebel forces leave Cote d'Ivoire. The demonstrators, belonging to militia style youth groups known as "Young Patriots," lit a fire in front of the base near Abidjan international airport and threw stones at French soldiers inside the perimeter fence after they tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas. Residents also reported demonstrations by Young Patriots demanding the immediate "liberation" of the rebel-held north of the country, in the working class suburb of Adjame. Gbagbo meanwhile remained silent about an incident on Sunday night, when unidentified officers interrupted state radio and television broadcasts to demand that he sack General Mathias Doue as military chief of staff, General Denis Bombet as head of the army, and General Gregoire Touvoly as head of the paramilitary gendarmerie. The unidentified officers, who appeared to have government authorisation to enter the television centre, urged Gbagbo to remove Doue within 48 hours. They also called on him to order French peacekeepers to leave the frontline so that government forces could "liberate" the rebel-held north of Cote d'Ivoire. Earlier on Sunday, a group of about 200 pro-Gbagbo youths, escorted by about 100 Ivorian government soldiers, clashed with French peacekeepers as they tried to march through the demilitarised buffer zone to the rebel capital Bouake. The two sides exchanged fire and the French peacekeepers destroyed an Ivorian government tank. Six Ivorian soldiers were wounded in the clash. The rebels signed a peace agreement with Gbagbo in January and joined a broad-based government of national reconciliation in April. But they withdrew in September, just before they were due to begin a process of disarmament. The rebels protested that Gbagbo had failed to devolve real power to the coalition cabinet in which they held nine seats. Since then, the situation in the country has become increasingly tense. Last week, clashes took place near the southern town of Gagnoa between villagers of Gbagbo's Bete tribe and several hundred immigrant cocoa farmers whom they had driven off their land. Up to seven people were reported killed, including one gendarme, in several days of fighting. Diplomats in Abidjan said they were pessimistic that the situation would improve quickly. They observed that a flurry of meetings between Gbagbo and other West African leaders in West Africa during November had failed to produce a reconciliation between the Ivorian president and rebel leaders. Rebel leaders were meeting in the northern town of Korhogo on Monday to discuss their response to the splits emerging in the government army and the re-appearance of the Young Patriots as a bellicose force on the streets, despite an official three-month ban on public demonstrations. Eugene Doue, the leader of a faction of the Young Patriots which vandalised the offices of French-owned water. electricity and mobile phone companies in early October, told IRIN on Monday: "We are not longer talking about disarmament. We are talking about liberating Bouake."

AP 2 Dec 2003 Ivory Coast Loyalists Demand All - Out War ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) -- Growing pro-government mobs armed with everything from assault rifles to rocks demanded a return Tuesday to all-out war against Ivory Coast's rebels -- and threatened attacks on the 16,000 French civilians here if French peacekeepers refuse to clear the way. In Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said France would ``absolutely not'' bow to militant demands in its former colony. Surging war sentiment threatened to hurtle Ivory Coast back into a recently ended, nine-month civil war, completing destruction of what once was West Africa's most prosperous and stable nation, and destabilizing a region trying desperately to recover from civil wars. ``WAR! YES!'' loyalists chanted by the thousands at a pro-government militant rally Tuesday. Those with assault rifles thrust them skyward to the beat of the chants. Elsewhere in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's skyscraper-lined commercial capital, government-allied militants mounted a second day of rock-throwing, machete-waving attacks on the main French military base. French forces fired stun grenades and tear gas against the hundreds-strong crowd besieging the barracks gates, engulfed in billowing black smoke of barricades set afire by the mob. After looking on for two days, Ivory Coast security forces intervened in the afternoon to break up the riot at the French base. Paris has 4,000 troops in the former French colony to enforce a power-sharing deal aimed at bringing peace in the civil war, which has left the country split between rebel-held north and government-held south. Roughly 1,000 West African peacekeepers also are deployed in support of the agreement. Loyalist militias are demanding that French and West African peacekeepers pull back from the 400-mile cease-fire line -- allowing government troops to reopen attacks on the northern-based rebels. If not, some pro-government militias warned, they would open attacks on French citizens who live permanently in Ivory Coast. ``We give an ultimatum to the French...they have to leave the front-line,'' militant youth leader Narcisse N'Depo declared at the military base, as loyalists hurled back tear gas canisters fired by the French. ``If not, the next targets will be the residences, houses, goods and interests belonging to the French,'' N'Depo said. ``All that is French will be attacked.'' The angry mob, coupled with the militia threats, raised fears of a repeat of violent scenes from early this year, when anti-French riots rocked Abidjan -- pro-government youth trashing French businesses and spitting on French citizens at the airport as they tried to flee. The French army base is far from the center of town, however, and most of Abidjan was calm Tuesday, despite the threats. Some mothers hurried to bring children home early from a school for French expatriates. French Embassy spokesman Francis Guenon said only, ``We are going to take the necessary measures.'' At one rally, Ivory Coast's most influential pro-government youth leader told thousands of followers to participate Wednesday in another demonstration at the French army base, but said this one would be peaceful. He also told them to be ready to march on the French-held cease-fire line Friday. ``If ever the French try to stop us, we will have to fight against them,'' Ble Goude, flanked by men cradling AK-47s, told supporters. But Goude, the force behind the anti-French riots earlier in the year, renounced the threats to harm French families. ``Do not attack French civilians,'' the youth leader told followers. But he warned: ``The next shot from the French army against a civilian or soldier from Ivory Coast will be very fatal for the French.'' Ivory Coast Defense Minister Rene Amani went on national television Tuesday night to warn that public demonstrations had been banned by the government and to assure all those living in Ivory Coast that the country's security forces would protect them. Despite those assurances, the French embassy decided to close all French schools in Abidjan on Wednesday as a precaution. Over the weekend, at least six of Goude's followers were injured when civilians backed by Ivory Coast soldiers marched on the cease-fire line. French forces pushed them back, firing upon and destroying one Ivory Coast armored vehicle. Anger over that clash helped to spark the last two days of riots and threats. Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, in an interview Tuesday with France's Le Figaro daily, noted that the government is much better armed now than it was during the war -- and said loyalist soldiers and militias were spoiling for a fight. ``I can understand why they are fed up,'' Gbagbo told Le Figaro. ``The problem is that the French are between them and the rebels, and they want to finish with the war.'' However, Gbagbo said of the French peacekeepers: ``I am the one who asked the ... troops to be here and I have not changed my mind.'' In Bouake, stronghold of the rebel-held north, rebel commander Cherif Ousmane declared: ``We are ready and waiting for our enemies.'' Rebels urged northerners to be on alert for government incursions, asking civilians to help sound the alarm if attack came. Ivory Coast -- the world's largest cocoa producer -- stood for decades as the anchor of France's former West African empire, its economy and its government the soundest of the region. A 1999 coup shattered stability. Ethnic, political, regional and religious tensions have surged since, with northerners and immigrants accusing the southern-based government of fueling hatreds.

Reuters 12 Dec 2003 At Least 10 Killed in Ivory Coast Shooting Reuters By Ange Aboa ABIDJAN (Reuters) - At least 10 people were shot dead near a roadblock in the heart of Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan on Thursday night, military officials said, a further sign of instability in the war-divided West African country. "They tried to attack the (state television). Our riposte left more than 10 dead. Since then we have been patrolling to put an end to this attack," said Ahosse Amie, a sergeant in the paramilitary police. "One of us was injured in the shooting," he added. Tensions are running high in the world's top cocoa-producing nation, which remains divided between the government-controlled south and rebel-held north despite a formal end to a civil war which erupted last year after a failed coup. Thursday night's shooting is the worst single incident in the economic capital Abidjan since rebels tried to seize power in September last year. Around 300 people were killed as the insurgents battled government troops in the city. State television on Friday showed at least four different bodies, filmed at night and lying in pools of blood. One of the corpses had magic charms wrapped around the torso. Soldiers said the attackers were traveling in a beaten-up minibus. A senior army officer in the West African nation said 12 attackers had been killed and one member of the Ivorian security forces died in three separate incidents overnight in Cocody and another suburb called Abobo. Presidency spokesman Toussaint Alain said three people had been arrested after the incidents. Shaken residents of Cocody gathered at the site of the shooting -- a junction dubbed the "Crossroads of Death" because of the frequent traffic accidents there. ARMY PATROLS There were blood stains and piles of clothes by the roadblock on Friday, not far from the state television building. Paramilitary police were out in force. Witnesses saw one bare-chested man being bundled into a police truck. "At around midnight my wife and I heard gunfire. We went up to the third floor and looked down and our watchman told us they had just killed some bandits," said Michel Agnero, a teacher who lives by the crossroads. Armored personnel carriers roamed the streets near Cocody in the early hours of the morning shortly after the shooting and bursts of gunfire could be heard. Twitchy gendarmes crammed into a pickup truck with a mounted machinegun, warning lights flashing and rifles at the ready, stopped vehicles and shouted at occupants to get out. It was not clear who the dead were or what triggered the shooting. State television showed a black T-shirt with the lettering "Brigade Nindja." Soldiers said the attackers had been wearing them. A peace process in the former French colony has become deadlocked over rebel political demands and a call by President Laurent Gbagbo for them to lay down their guns. The Ivorian army and rebel officers have agreed to start withdrawing heavy weapons from the frontline dividing the country from Saturday, but there is no set date for full-scale disarmament as yet. Some pro-Gbagbo loyalists have pledged to attack rebel positions if they don't disarm next week although the cease-fire line and a no-weapons buffer zone is policed by some 4,000 French soldiers and 1,300 West African peacekeepers. (Additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi, Anne Boher, Emmanuel Braun, Alain Amontchi and Matt Bigg) .

DR Congo

Reuters 5 Dec 2003 Priest Sought in Poisoning of 64 in Congo By REUTERS KINSHASA, Congo, Dec. 4 (Reuters) A priest is being sought by the authorities after 64 members of his congregation were poisoned to death by a potion he said would grant them salvation, Congo's health minister said Thursday. "Sixty-four of the approximately hundred people who drank the potion have died," the health minister, Yagi Sitolo, said. The incident happened about a week ago in the remote town of Bosobe, about 315 miles northeast of Kinshasa, the capital. Years of war has left millions dead and most of the country's essential services destroyed. Much of the population has had little education, and vast swathes of the country are cut off from the rest of the world. Churches have increased since the start of the war. They often collect sizable donations in exchange for promises of help. Many of the churches are known to advocate belief in child witchcraft, offering exorcisms for a fee. The health minister said the authorities in Bosobe were looking for the priest who had fled for fear of recrimination. "There is an investigation in process," the official said. "We will find out what has happened."


NYT 17 Dec 2003 ETHIOPIA: AFTER 9 YEARS, THE DEFENSE The genocide trial of the former Ethiopian leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, entered the defense phase, nine years after its start. Mr. Mengistu, who lives in exile in Zimbabwe, is being tried in absentia with scores of his former aides. Ethiopia's courts have convicted more than 1,000 people for their roles in the so-called Red Terror, which Human Rights Watch has labeled "one of the most systematic uses of mass murder by a state ever witnessed in Africa." Marc Lacey

Ethiopia Gambella:

All Africa.com 15 Dec 2003 100 Reported Dead After Soldiers Target Civilians in Gambella By Charles Cobb Jr. Washington, DC Soldiers in the town of Gambella, 450km (280 miles) west of Addis Ababa, are reported to have engaged since Saturday in violent attacks against leading members of a local ethnic group, leaving 100 or more people dead. According to some reports, the attacks came after the deaths of seven men, including three government officials and one police officer, when their convoy was ambushed Saturday morning, allegedly by members of the Anuak, or Anyuaa group. One report cites Ethiopian officials as saying the ambush provoked clashes between Anuak and Nuer, the largest ethnic group in that area; that fighting left 21 dead and was the justification for deploying government soldiers in the town to restore order. But local sources say the soldiers' action looked more like a punishment operation against Anuak people. A US church source who wished to remain anonymous for fear of compromising his church's contacts in Gambella, told allAfrica.com: "It is reported to me that over 200 people have been killed." According to this source, the Ethiopian military police on Saturday started "pulling out educated people and community leaders" and "killing them with guns or by slitting their throats;" he said local people believed Anuaks were specifically targeted. He quoted missionary sources in Addis Ababa as reporting that Anuak students at Gambella's Teacher Training Institute had been rounded up and taken away, Monday morning. He said sources in Gambella city had told him that the Catholic church compound was full of people taking refuge from the violence and that they had almost no supplies. "People have not been able to come out of their compounds for fear of being shot. It is the third day and citizens are concerned for their children having no food and water," he said. Citing "chaotic" scenes, he mentioned a case of two people who tried to retrieve bodies from the street and were themselves shot. A local church official reported Monday that there were five bodies outside his house but he could not risk going out to remove them. A US citizen has reportedly been arrested by the soldiers. Omot Omot Bewar, formerly a refugee from the area who came to the US seeking asylum is currently in Gambella on a visit to his former home. According to friends in Minnesota where he is normally a student, he attempted to video the violence and was beaten and detained. News reports from the region are still sketchy and confused. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said he and the Department were "unaware" of the violence. A BBC report cited "humanitarian sources" as charging that Anuaks are the targets of violence by "highland Ethiopians." The army is "involved in restoring stability and order," an Ethiopian Defense Ministry spokesperson told Associated Press on condition of anonymity. She said an investigation is under way to determine what sparked the violence and that the government aims to find those responsible. Recent oil exploration agreements with multinationals have fueled tensions over land rights amid jockeying for control of potentially lucrative oil fields. Under a deal signed in June, Petronas has exclusive rights to "explore and develop" some 15,000 square kilometers in the region, which borders Sudan - a major African oil producer.

IRIN 16 Dec 2003 21 killed in tribal fighting ADDIS ABABA, 16 December (IRIN) - At least 21 people have been killed as troops tried to quell tribal violence that has flared in one of Ethiopia's remotest regions. Soldiers were moved into Gambella in western Ethiopia after seven men - including one policemen and three government officials - were shot dead on Saturday. The attack occurred as the men - three of whom were working for the government's refugee agency - were travelling to Gambella town. It fuelled reprisal killings the following day and 14 people were murdered and houses were burnt to the ground, the Ethiopian ministry of defence stated. But humanitarian sources say the death toll could be far higher, with up to 100 people killed during the weekend fighting. The defence ministry stated that an investigation has been launched to try and bring the killers to justice although no-one has been caught yet. "The army are already involved in restoring stability and order," said a spokeswoman for the defence ministry in Addis Ababa. The initial attack has been blamed on the Anuak ethnic group who live in the region, the official added. Anuaks in the town are then said to have been attacked in reprisal killings. The spokeswoman said that seven people were killed on Saturday and that 14 Anuaks had been killed the following day in the brutal reprisal attacks. Humanitarian sources say that the construction of a US $1.8 million refugee camp - which will house Dinka and Nuer refugees - has provoked anger among Anuaks. Gambella is home to around 87,000 refugees and five camps run by the government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) with the UN refugee agency (UNCHR). Ilung Ngandu, head of the UNHCR in Ethiopia, expressed concern for the safety of his 16 staff in the area, but said they had been in regular contact. "We deplore this incident against humanitarian workers," he said from his office in Addis Ababa. "We are reviewing our security situation." The region - which is around 600 miles west of the capital Addis Ababa and borders Sudan - has witnessed an explosion in ethnic violence in the last two years. Much of the fighting has been between two ethic groups - the Nuer who live close to the Ethio-Sudan border and the Anuak tribe. Late last year 41, mainly Dinka refugees from war-torn Sudan, were murdered in a refugee camp where some 28,000 people had sought protection. The killings were blamed on armed Anuak refugees who indiscriminately opened fire. Four months earlier, 60 people were killed after gunmen from the Nuer ethnic group attacked Anuaks, forcing some 8,000 people to flee their homes. Earlier this year the ministry of federal affairs stepped in to quell the ethic violence. The president of the region was arrested and is currently facing charges of inciting ethnic hatred. The entire local police force was disbanded. A local power-sharing administration was also set up representing the Anuak and the Nuer ethnic groups who inhabit the region. A battalion of around 500 Ethiopian troops was moved into the region to help restore order while the new police force was being trained. Around 182,000 people live in Gambella Region. The Anuak make up some 27 percent, with the Nuer representing the majority group with 40 percent of the population. But the Anuak question the legitimacy of the Nuer who they say are usurpers who have crossed the border from Sudan. Nuers say they lack political representation.

UNHCR 16 Dec 2003 www.unhcr.ch Situation Remains Tense in Gambella Region United Nations High Commission for Refugees (Geneva) PRESS RELEASE December 16, 2003 The situation in Ethiopia's Gambella region remained tense for the third day following last Saturday's killing of eight people, among them three employees of UNHCR's main implementing partner in Ethiopia - the government's department of Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA). The group of eight, which included the three ARRA staff, two policemen and three construction workers, was killed in an ambush 18 kms from the western Ethiopia town of Gambella on Saturday morning. The group was on their way to Odier-Bol, a new site being developed for the relocation of some 24,000 refugees from the nearby Fugnido refugee camp, when their vehicle came under machine-gun fire. Four people died on the spot while four others, including the ARRA staff were killed as they tried to escape into the bush. It is not clear who was behind the killings. The incident on Saturday unleashed a spiral of violence which has left an estimated 30 people dead and many more homeless after scores of homes were torched in what appeared to be reprisal attacks. By yesterday (Monday), shops, schools, offices and banks in Gambella remained closed. Domestic flights between the capital, Addis Ababa and Gambella were cancelled. The local hospital was reported to be overstretched as scores of wounded people were brought in. By yesterday, there was a heavy military presence deployed by the government to restore calm. Sporadic gunfire that could be heard on Sunday subsided following the military deployment. On Monday, senior government officials arrived in the town close to the Ethiopia-Sudan border to negotiate peace between the warring ethnic groups. As a precautionary measure, UNHCR has withdrawn non-essential staff from Gambella and has, this morning, sent in two security staff to make a detailed assessment of the security situation in the area, including the nearby Fugnido camp. The situation in Fugnido has remained calm. We are now waiting for recommendations from the security team before taking other security measures. .

Reuters 17 Dec 2003 Ethiopia accuses rebels of inciting killings By Tsegaye Tadesse ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia accused rebel groups on Wednesday of inciting unrest in which up to 30 people were killed in the western town of Gambella last week. "The conflict in Gambella town last weekend was triggered by members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) supported by the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and al Itihad al Islamiya," Minister of State for Federal Affairs Gbre-Ab Barnabas said in a statement. "Many people...lost their lives in the incident," he added. Addis Ababa has previously accused the groups of anti-government activity. U.N. sources said the conflict involved the Anuak and Nuer ethnic groups who have traditionally clashed over land. Government and United Nations sources told Reuters that up to 30 people died during the violence near Gambella, some 700 km (435 miles) west of the capital Addis Ababa. Ilunga Ngandu, representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, said an ambush on Saturday in which eight people were killed sparked the bloodshed. An unidentified gang attacked a U.N. car travelling from a new refugee camp to the UNHCR offices in Gambella. Three people working for the state-run refugee agency, two policemen and three casual labourers were killed. "After people in Gambella heard about the killing, violence erupted and a number of people were also killed in retaliation," Ngandu said. Ngandu said the UNHCR had subsequently moved 10 non-essential staff out of Gambella. A U.N. and government assessment team had gone to Gambella, which was now calm. Ethiopia has blamed OLF rebels, fighting for independence for the southern Oromo region since 1993, of being behind a series of bombings in the country over the past year. The EPLF is the ruling party in neighbouring Eritrea, which fought a border war with Ethiopia in 1998-2000. Tensions between the two countries remain high. Al Itihad al Islamiya is thought by some analysts to be linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

IRIN 17 Dec 2003 UN refugee agency evacuates staff from Gambella ADDIS ABABA, 17 Dec 2003 (IRIN) - The UN refugee agency has evacuated its non-essential staff from western Ethiopia after violence that left an estimated 30 people dead and dozens injured. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski said the local hospital had been “overwhelmed” after a weekend of fighting in Gambella, 800 km west of Addis Ababa. A daylight 7am till 7pm curfew has also been imposed in the ravaged town by the regional authorities, according to UN sources with contacts in the town. A large military presence has restored calm but the situation is still extremely tense. Fighting erupted on Saturday when seven people were killed in a vehicle which came under machine gun fire as they drove to a new site for a refugee camp which will house some 24,000 people. Four men were killed instantly, while the others – who were government refugee workers - were chased into the bush before being shot, Janowski said in a statement from Geneva. “The incident on Saturday unleashed a spiral of violence which has left an estimated 30 people dead and many more homeless after scores of homes were torched in what appeared to be reprisal attacks,” the statement said. “On Monday, senior government officials arrived in the town close to the Ethiopia-Sudan border to negotiate peace between the warring ethnic groups,” it added. Flights to Gambella from the Ethiopian capital have also been cancelled while shops, schools, offices and banks in the town all remain closed, UNHCR said. According to local sources, Anuak residents in Gambella are unhappy over the proposed refugee camp which will house Neur and Dinka refugees. Anuak and Nuer have been fighting in recent years over land and political representation in the area.

News 24 SA (South Africa) 17 Dec 2003 www.news24.com Ethiopia clashes claim 30 Geneva - About 30 people have been killed and dozens wounded in ethnic clashes in southwest Ethiopia, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday, announcing the withdrawal of its non-essential staff from the region. The fighting was triggered by an ambush on Saturday, after which gunmen killed at least eight people near the town of Gambella, Kris Janowski, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said here. "The incident unleashed a spiral of violence which has left an estimated 30 people dead and many more homeless after scores of homes were torched in what appeared to be reprisal attacks," Janowski said. "The local hospital was reported to be overstretched as scores of wounded people were brought in," he added. Janowski said that Gambella had remained "very tense" on Monday, with shops, schools, banks and offices all closed. Domestic air flights to the capital from Gambella had been suspended. But the Ethiopian minister of state for federal affairs, quoted by the Ethiopian News Agency, said on Tuesday in Addis Ababa calm had returned to the town. An attempt by an anti-peace group to destabilise the security of the state has been foiled, Dr Gebre-Ab Barnabas said in a statement. The "anti-peace group who received military training in a neighbouring country has killed eight innocent people working at a refugee camp", he said. The attack was carried out by members of an "anti-peace group supported by anti-people organisations such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya," the minister added. Addis Ababa has often accused the EPLF, the governing party in neighbouring Eritrea, of supporting and training militants of the OLF, an armed separatist group in South Ethiopia. Somali Islamist group Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (Unity of Islam) has also been accused by Ethiopia of having direct links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. Tuesday at mid-day, 14 bodies were recovered from the ashes of burnt residential houses and shops in Gambella, and the search for more bodies is still going, said Major Harnet Yohannes, a defence spokesperson in Addis Ababa. .

www.ethiomedia.com AND www.oromoliberationfront.org 18 Dec 2003 Press Release by Gambela People's United Democratic Front PRESS RELEASE A hated regime perpetuates ethnic slaughter to prolong its life in power On Saturday December the 13th, 2003 EPRDF government soldiers targeted the ethnic Anuak civilians in Gambella region. While most killings that took the lives of more than 350 Anuaks were committed in Gambella town, which started with the killings of educated Anuaks, the genocide is also currently continuing in all areas where Anuaks live. Our reliable sources from Gambella indicated that the attack came after the death of seven people, including three government officials who were visiting the area. Their car was ambushed by unknown gangs, allegedly some refugees who were opposed to a government plan to remove the refugees' camp. However, the government alleged that the officials were ambushed by the Anuaks only because the accident took place in an Anuak territory. But the fact was that this is a pre-planned strategy by the EPRDF to deceive highlander Ethiopians that the Anuaks were opposed to them, and create the pretext to commit gross crimes against humanity. To our dismay, Mr. Meles' Defense Ministry spokesperson went on the mass media and issued a false statement which complicates the matter, stating that the tragedy was the outcome of a conflict between the Anuaks and the Nuers. To the contrary, however, there was no single fight occurred between the Anuaks and the Nuers. Therefore, the statement is a clear indication that the EPRDF government is fully responsible for such crime committed against humanity. One journalist working for Reuters also came out with a story echoeing the government's baselss accusation, contrary to ethics of professional journalists. The statement cited Dr. Gebrab Barnabas, the Federal Minister who blamed the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Eritrean government. Well, if we to assumed that the government statement was correct, the question is what would justify EPRDF's crimes of genocide against the Anuaks inside Gambella? Is OLF fighting the Anuaks or the Ethiopian army? Moreover, Gambella is not an Oromo territory. Unlike the pervious ethnic cleansing which was sparked between the Anuaks and Nuers by EPRDF, this one took a different approach but greatly resembled to the tragedies that EPRDF committed in Awassa and Tepi towns of Southern states, where the EPRDF government used their strategic and tactical allies to commit mass murder against the Magenger and other southern Ethiopian civilians. While many of these mass murders which have been taking place in different provinces since the EPRDF came to power 12 years ago in what was peaceful Ethiopia, they all carry the same objectives, and that is to divert the attention of one national issue so as to prolong the life of EPRDF. The real motive, however, is that the EPRDF government has failed to govern Gambella for the last 12 years of rule and nightmare imposed upon Ethiopian people. EPRDF has not only failed to win the support of the people of Gambella, particularly who are the few educated in the area, but also severely exhausted all its efforts of divide and rule in Gambella, and it doesn't have a future in Gambella. Last year was the Nuer and Majanger fetched against the Anuaks. But to no avail. When all these divide and rule policies failed, we have now witnessed EPRDF forces mass-murdering the Anuaks openly in daylight. The reason is obvious, and that is, the Anuaks became a victim for only one reason: for standing tall as proud Ethiopians. In Gambella, the EPRDF regime is the most hated ruling clique the Anuaks had ever seen in Ethiopian history. They resent the un-Ethiopians government and its apartheid policy of the regime. The vicious attack on civilian Anuaks was carried out in coordination with the so called anti-Ethiopia forces operating in the area, those share the same philosophy with the EPRDF regime. The questions many outsider and foreigners, particularly journalists, ask is why the government committed such genocide on it own citizens? And why in the world a government that enjoyed the support of the United States and the civilized western world would commit such a heinous crime and mass murder on its own citizens which could be compared with Adolf Hitler's Holocaust on the Jewish people and Saddam Hussien's on the Kurds people? The following evidence and systematic oppressive policies would highlight as to what the government is after. The objectives of the Meles regime are clear: 1. Having found itself to be the most hated government in Gambella, the EPRDF government begin a systematic policy by jailing 62 Anuaks politicians in Addis Ababa and more than 300 in Gambella. Over the year from 1998-2003, many educated Anuaks left Ethiopia for fear of their life. Moreover, the EPRDF set up the Anauks the road of conflict with other Ethiopian ethnic groups in the region. In all ethnic cleansing taking place in Gambella, Anuaks are the victims. During these barbaric attacks inflicted on Anuaks, the EPRDF provided guns and operational logistics to other ethnic groups to kill Anuaks. 2. Anuaks are subjected to such brutality and misdeed by the government, only for embracing Ethiopian identity which the EPRDF government resented. To confuse the issues, EPRDF created an atmosphere where the business owners in Gambella, mostly Ethiopian highlanders, can be in conflict with the natives of the area, particularly the Anuaks. 3. By mistreating the Anuaks, the EPRDF and its puppet groups that operate against the national interests of Ethiopia, are desperately looking for the surrender of the Anuak people as the ruling clique's subservient subjects. The Anuaks are proud Ethiopian citizens, and they would rather continue to struggle for the respect of human rights and the reign of a democratically-elected regime than fulfill the hidden, anti-Ethiopian interests of the hated regime in power. ETHIOMEDIA.COM - ETHIOPIA'S PREMIER NEWS AND VIEWS WEBSIT

www.addistribune.com 19 Dec 2003 Clashes among Refugees Leave Dozens Dead in Western Ethiopia, UN Reports Tensions remain high among Sudanese refugees in western Ethiopia after weekend violence killed dozens of people, including three staff members from an Ethiopian government office, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Responding to the clashes that took place in Ethiopia's Gambella area, which hosts 85,000 refugees, UNHCR proposed relocating some 24,000 refugees to Odier-Bol, 74 kilometres away. Officials on their way to the refugee site under construction at Odier-Bol were ambushed on Saturday in an attack that left eight dead, including the Ethiopians from the government's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs. The deaths ignited a wave of ethnic clashes that left an estimated 30 people dead, according to UNHCR. Many more were homeless after their shelters were torched in what appeared to be reprisal assaults. Sporadic gunfire was heard in the area on Sunday. By Monday, the Government had deployed troops to restore calm in Gambella. Senior government officials also arrived in the town, which is close to the Ethiopian-Sudanese border, to negotiate peace between the warring ethnic groups, the UN agency reported. Shops, schools, offices and banks in Gambella remained closed on Monday, domestic flights between the town and the capital were cancelled and the local hospital was reportedly overwhelmed by scores of wounded people. UNHCR said it had pulled out its non-essential staff from Gambella as a precautionary measure. It had also sent two security staff to assess the situation in the area, including Fugnido camp, 100 kilometres away, which was reported to be calm. Late last year, a spate of clashes involving ethnic Anuaks, or Anyuaa, who straddle the Sudanese-Ethiopian border, on the one hand, and the Sudanese Nuers and Dinkas on the other, killed 107 Sudanese refugees in Fugnido camp. According to a 2002 UN report, the factors causing conflict in Gambella include "the question of the majority population in the region and what language should be taught in school and a general feeling, or apprehension, among Anyuaa that they are being dominated by the pastoralist Nuers, who enter Anyuaa territory in search of grazing land and water."

VOA 19 Dec 2003 Tensions Ease In Ethiopia's Gambella Region Amid Military Presence Joe De Capua Washington The security situation in the western Ethiopian town of Gambella is reported to have improved somewhat since last weekend’s ethic violence. More than 30-people were killed. The violence affected operations by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Peter Kessler is a spokesman for the UNHCR. From Geneva, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the situation in Gambella. Mr. Kessler says, “Following the incidents earlier this week when scores were killed, including three workers from our partner agency – the Ethiopian Government Administration for Refugee Returnee Affairs – UNHCR pulled its non-essential staff out of the Gambella region. However, we’re told the situation has stabilized. There’s been a big deployment of Ethiopian government forces to ensure security in that area and some shops and government offices have reopened and people are on the streets in Gambella town.” The UNHCR has only basic services underway at the moment and precautions have been taken to protect staff members. The Gambella region hosts 85,000 Sudanese refugees in five camps and settlements. The Fugnido camp is the largest with 28,000 people.

Liberia see also Sweden

Reuters 2 Dec 2003 Disarming violent youths key to stability in Liberia Weapons are not limited to military uses in the African trouble spot; they are also the only means for many teenagers to survive By Matthew Green REUTERS Tuesday, Dec 02, 2003,Page 9 Sam accepted the offer of a cigarette, let his AK-47 rifle fall to his side and admitted that a life spent as a Liberian rebel had largely been a waste. "Brother's been killing brother," said the 29-year-old, speaking in Buchanan, a once-thriving Atlantic port now ruled by teenage gunmen in flip-flop sandals. "We're tired of war," he said. Yesterday UN peacekeepers were to launch a scheme to give an estimated 40,000 fighters the chance to turn their backs on a life of drug-fuelled rape and murder by handing in their guns and learning a trade. The plan sounds simple: end 14 years of war in Liberia by removing weapons that have spread to fuel conflicts in neighboring Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. Liberians used to living at the mercy of teenagers with machine guns agree it is an excellent idea, saying disarmament is the only way to enforce a peace deal signed by the government and rebels in August. The UN has enlisted gospel artists, the hip-grinding performance of a woman singer called Ladylove and a clown named George to help convince fighters to lay down their arms, but it may not be easy. "I WANT TO KNOW BOOK" Sam's "Delta Force" comrade Emmanuel summed up the problem -- finding the combatants a way to make a living other than by taking what they want at gunpoint. "That thing give him food to eat," he said, giving Sam's battered rifle a tap on its barrel. Add to that mistrust among factions, a lack of UN troops and a flow of weapons from abroad, and the task of disarmament takes on monumental proportions. Buchanan seems to offer hope that at least some rebels might join the disarmament program, following 800 fighters, mainly government troops, who have already signed up. On the edge of town, a 16-year-old rebel gunman called John levies money from a car crossing a bridge over the river, the only break in the tangle of palm fronds and creepers flanking the road. "I want to go to school, I want to know book," he said, displaying ritual chest scars to stop bullets. "I don't want to be in the army, I want to be a businessman," he said. UN officials say they are confident of receiving US$50 million from donors for the program to demobilize and retrain ex-combatants, but unemployment already stands at 85 percent in a country where war has smashed the economy. Demobilization officers say up to half the combatants may be child soldiers, a lost generation who can fire a gun but cannot read, and who will also soon want work. In Buchanan, 118km southeast of the capital Monrovia, rusted machinery at the port bears stark witness to disruption of industries like iron ore and timber extraction, which once were important sources of income. Perhaps aware that civilian life may be tough, rebel leaders are less enthusiastic about disarming. At the end of Buchanan's main street, where virtually the only signs of economic activity are a few women selling oranges in the shade, lies the rebel headquarters. A man in a vest bearing the word "Model" -- the name of the group based in the town -- strolls into the house with a pet monkey trailing on a string. It is not long before the commander arrives -- in a brown saloon car with a gunman perched on the bonnet, and two more sitting in the open boot at the back. A man of few words, Tailey Gladior scoffed at the US$300 allowance offered to fighters under the nine-month scheme. "We are willing to give the weapons, but by giving the weapons, what will be our reward?" he asked, a gold watch dangling from his wrist. "I'm saying that before I give the arm, US$500 for each arm," he said. GUNS FOR HIRE Handing in weapons might also appear rash for rebels who are still involved in clashes with loyalists of former president Charles Taylor, exiled to Nigeria in August. Model said it wanted peacekeepers to deploy to protect its men before disarming -- but the force so far has only about 4,500 of a planned 15,000 troops on the ground. Even if peacekeepers can pacify the interior, experts say the program will work only if steps are taken to limit the movement of Liberians as hired guns abroad. In a region where sponsoring your neighbor's rebels is standard procedure, officials say pressure also needs to be put on regional governments to stop the arms flow. Human rights groups say Guinea, a recipient of US military aid, backs the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy rebels, while Ivory Coast is accused of sponsoring the smaller Model group. Pausing from cycling down Buchanan's rutted street, Model fighter Aka Poco, 34, said the UN force would have to ensure all sides in Liberia complied. "If the arms stay in this country there will be problems. If they don't bring perfect peace to this country, the war can start again," he said.

NYT 5 Dec 2003 Interpol Puts Liberian Ex-Chief on World's Most-Wanted List By CRAIG S. SMITH PARIS, Dec. 4 Interpol called Thursday for the arrest of the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, for his suspected role in atrocities committed during Sierra Leone's 10-year civil war. Interpol put Mr. Taylor on its most wanted list by posting a "red notice" on its Web site, alerting police forces around the world to an arrest warrant issued by Sierra Leone in June. Interpol's notice does little to change Mr. Taylor's status: he has been living in Nigeria since resigning his presidency in August as part of an American-brokered accord to end fighting in Liberia. But the Interpol action does raise the international profile of the Sierra Leone warrant, which Nigeria has so far ignored. "It reminds the world that Charles Taylor remains a fugitive from justice," said Allison Cooper, a spokeswoman for the United Nations court in Sierra Leone, speaking by telephone from Freetown. "It also demonstrates that there's no such thing as amnesty for war crimes and crimes against humanity." The court, set up in 2000, has argued that because Nigeria is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, the African Convention on Human Rights and the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, it is obligated to turn Mr. Taylor over for prosecution as a war criminal or try him itself. But Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who granted Mr. Taylor asylum in hopes of neutralizing his influence in the region, has rejected Sierra Leone's extradition request. Mr. Obasanjo has said he might consider a similar request by Liberia, if that country seeks to prosecute its former president. Nigeria's asylum agreement with Mr. Taylor does not shield him from Liberian law. Mr. Taylor, born to an American father and a Liberian mother, graduated from Bentley College in Massachusetts and worked in the Liberian civil service in the 1980's before he was accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. He fled and returned in December 1989 to mount a rebellion from neighboring Ivory Coast. From the beginning, his forces were accused of appalling violence. He became Liberia's president in July 1997, though the fighting in the country continued. Mr. Taylor is charged with training and arming Sierra Leone rebels, many of them children, for that country's long and bloody civil war. Hundreds of thousands of people died during the fighting, and thousands more were left maimed by the Liberian-trained rebels who punished civilians by hacking off limbs. Sierra Leone's war ended in 2001, and its court indicted Mr. Taylor in June. The court applied to become an Interpol member this April, and that process was completed last month, allowing the police organization to post its notice. As with all Interpol red notices, a photograph of Mr. Taylor appeared on the organization's Web site, with the added warning: "Person May Be Dangerous."

Interpol 4 Dec 2003 www.interpol.int LYON, France, 4 December 2003 - At the request of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (www.sc-sl.org), Interpol has issued a Red Notice for former Liberian President Charles Taylor. The notice was issued on 4 December 2003. This is in accordance with a cooperation agreement between Interpol and that court, finalized in November 2003: Wanted by Interpol TAYLOR, Charles Ghankay Legal Status Present family name: TAYLOR Forename: CHARLES GHANKAY Sex: MALE Date of birth: 28 January 1948 (55 years old) Place of birth: ARTHINGTON, Liberia Language spoken: English Nationality: Liberia Offences Person may be dangerous. Offences: CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY , GRAVE BREACHES OF THE 1949 GENEVA CONVENTIONS Arrest Warrant Issued by: / SCSL:SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONTACT YOUR NATIONAL OR LOCAL POLICE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF INTERPOL fugitives@interpol.int

Nigeria See Liberia

AP 2 Dec 2003 Nigeria Dismisses Human Rights Report The Associated Press Tuesday, December 2, 2003; 11:54 PM ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria on Tuesday dismissed a human rights report that accused the government of killing opposition activists and stifling free speech, calling the charges "jaundiced and misconceived." In a strongly worded 40-page report, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch cited alleged killings and beatings by Nigerian security forces. It urged that leaders of Britain and its former colonies, attending a Commonwealth summit in Nigeria this week, hold President Olusegun Obasanjo accountable for alleged rights abuses. "The federal government categorically rejects the report in its entirety and denies that there is a clampdown on freedom of expression and individual liberties," presidential spokeswoman Remi Oyo said in a statement. By publishing the critical report just ahead of the meeting of the Commonwealth summit, she said, Human Rights Watch was seeking to "cast undeserved aspersions on the integrity of the Nigerian government and people." Oyo insisted Obasanjo's civilian government - elected in 1999, after 15 years of corrupt and often brutal military rule - had deepened basic freedoms in a manner unprecedented in Nigeria.

Weekly Trust (Kaduna, Nigeria) 6 Dec 2003 OPINION December 6, 2003 Memo to Commonwealth Leaders By Wada Nas Your Excellencies, I join millions of my countrymen and women in welcoming you whole-heartedly to Nigeria. I believe that your meeting here or in any of your member countries has two broad based purposes, viz: to advance the common interest of your peoples and at the same time feel their pulse, aspirations and worries. Within this preamble, I tend to draw your attention to a few areas, which I believe will interest you. The first is about democracy. Do please recall that you suspended Pakistan from membership of your prestigious organisation on account of the seizure of power by the military junta there. You then went on to equally suspend Zimbabwe for reasons of a sham election which returned Mugabe to power for another term of five years. Undoubtedly, you took these decisions to institutionalise democratic ideals in your member countries. There is no doubt that your citizens share these ideals and are with you in this great endeavour. However, Your Excellencies, you are all aware that what took place in April/May in Nigeria was an election which voting was largely done by security agencies, led by the police and what we here called assassins of democracy, who are recruited thugs from the our saturated market of the unemployed, ready to kill for peanuts. In several places, they were the only Nigerians that voted in the last elections. What the government did, Your Excellencies, was to deploy its agencies and hired political thugs to ensure that greater votes where allocated to its candidates. This was exactly what happened in several places. You will note believe it, Your Excellencies, that in a state where about 60,000 voters were registered, 1.3 million voted and about 90 percent for government party! You may not also believe that 100 percent turn out was recorded in several places indicating that none of those who registered died within six months or so between the registration of voters and election, an impossibility which has never been recorded even in countries with highly advanced health system. If it surprises you that all the 100 percent voters voted for the government party, you need to contact the Nigerian electoral authorities, INEC, to find out for yourselves. You may also wish to find out from several local and international observers that results were announced for places where voting never took place at all and such other places where government agents, acting for its party, denied polling representatives of other political parties. In some places "voting took place, behind police counters. One of our highly principled presidential aspirants went to a police station to complain about voting taking place in the palaces of our local traditional rulers only to discover, at the police station, that the police were busy stuffing ballot boxes behind their counter in favour of the ruling party. This was how the police and other security agencies were largely those who voted for General Olusegun Obasanjo and his party. Several ballot boxes where elections took place were later replaced with those stuffed by the police. Your Excellencies, these are statements of fact as widely reported in the media and observed by Nigerians. Observers came from some of your countries to record this sordid happenings. In spite of the fact that they were invited by the government, recently Obasanjo tactically condemned them, in a speech to an INEC seminar for no reason other than telling the truth about the ballot looting conducted by his government, the worst ever seen in this country and I believe in any part of the world including Zimbabwe. Indeed, what happened in Zimbabwe was child's play to what happened in Nigeria. Yet, Your Excellencies, you all lost your voices over the Nigerian case, giving the impression that you acted against Zimbabwe not on account of rigged election but for other reasons. During the period of Abacha, you suspended Nigeria on account of what happened to Ken Saro-Wiwa and others. Your Excellencies, it has been reported that 200 were either killed or wounded by security agencies who resisted the looting of ballot boxes by them and PDP thugs. Of the member still in detention for their patriotic services to democracy, you need to go to our crowded prisons to find out, where incidentally you will see the cruelty of man to man as 70 percent of inmates have been there, some over 10 years, without trial. Our prisons are symbols of our complete disregard for human rights, where people live in sub-human standards. I hope you will devote time to this issue. I am not asking you to go to the police, because they will hide the truth from you being that they are in the thick of the problem of our democracy. These killings and brutality were officially carried out by them. I hope you have learnt how they abducted a governor, along with some civilians whom they are now giving protection to. While they withdrew the police details from top officials, including judges, some of these crooks of democracy are still enjoying their own. Meanwhile, I cannot give you the accurate figures of politically motivated assassinations that have taken place so far. All I can say, to be on the safe side of truth, is that never in our history has such taken place before May 29, 1999, when Nigeria returned to democracy after 15 years of military rule, could be said to be the greatest age of political assassination in the land. When some few people in Odi, a small town in the Niger Delta part of our country allegedly abducted and killed some 10-security men, which was terribly bad enough. Obasanjo ordered troops and razed the town to the ground. Some speak about 2000 killed or injured. Please, find time to visit the area to see the scars of official brutality to the people. Zaki Biam, in Benue State was not left out. Soldiers moved into the village, ordered thousands to lay face down and the next thing they were all dead and the town destroyed. You must have seen it on BBCTV, CNN and other international media organisations. Again, the period under review has been the age of visiting brutality on innocent people by those who are supposed to protect them. The civil war apart, never has such things happened in our country. I should however mention that it has been also a period of genocide where thousands were killed in certain parts of the country without positive official action against those involved. Nigeria has been a theatre of official massacres of innocent citizens since May 1999. Again, Your Excellencies, you all lost your voices, once more, as if approving of this official genocide by a government against its own people. Some of you have been killing Iraqis on account that you want to save them from Saddam Hussein. It is therefore an irony that you could sanction the human rights abuses that have been going on here without a voice of protest from all of you. Nigerians feel very sad. Next is the issue of corruption. If the entire world has been told that Abacha's government was corrupt, the present one in several times, in the figure of ten, more corrupt. The more we have been crying the more we have been having no money such that you can hardly see what the government has done in four years of unprecedented revenue earnings. While Nigeria was the 27th most corrupt country under Abacha, we moved to occupy the number one position in 1999 and second position for each year since then. Then came a London-based NGO to rate us as the most corrupt in Africa for 2003. These assessments are not without foundations. Once you are in the favoured book of the government, you can get away with a lot of corruption. Former Defence Minister and for sure, one of our highly respected citizens, General T.Y Danjuma, publicly announced that government has never been serious about its propagated war on corruption and he knows why he was saying so. He caught a top official who cornered N480 million of public money, got him to court and no sooner they applied nolle proseque and the man is now enjoying himself. He is said to be a relation of a highly placed official in government. I don't want to bore you with N350m missing from the NNPC each year since 2000, where Obasanjo presides as the minister, nor how he has been violating money bills to suit his desire. The National Assembly is there for you to find out or in the alternative, invite former Speaker, Ghali Umar Na'Abba. Your Excellencies, corruption is the breakfast of top Nigerian officials; looting of public funds their lunch and squandering shamelessly without accountability their dinner. It has been that bad but especially since 1999 when our supposed anti-corruption crusade took over. Your Excellencies, I don't want to bore you with other issues like official disrespect for the rule of law, poor performance, nepotism, complete disrespect for public opinion, wastage of public funds through useless appointments and frivolous foreign travels by our constantly flying president, disrespect for court rulings, crushing public services, including educational institutions, divide and rule tactics which has been leading to senseless communal violence, insecurity, poor economy, unemployment and others. I believe you do not have time to read detailed accounts of these and many more. Having said this, I wish you fruitful deliberations and safe journey back home later.. May Allah grant you all the wisdom to digest some of the issues raised here. Amen.


Reuters 2 Dec 2003 Rwandan court convicts 18 for genocide KIGALI (Reuters) - A Rwandan court has convicted 18 men of taking part in the slaughter of about 20,000 ethnic Tutsis who had sought refuge in a church during the country's 1994 genocide. The court handed down jail sentences on Tuesday of between seven and 25 years after finding the 18 guilty of leading the attack on Nyarubuye church, 140 km (85 miles) east of the capital, Kigali. An estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were massacred by extremists from the Hutu majority nine years ago. Prosecutors said the 18 were members of the militias that attacked Nyarubuye church on April 15, 1994, shooting civilians who had crowded into the church and its grounds. They returned the next day armed with machetes to hack to death any survivors. Gitera Rwamuhizi, who led the group, was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment after pleading guilty to killing 10 people. The remaining 17 suspects, about half of whom confessed to participating in the massacre, were given sentences of between seven and 16 years. The ruling at a makeshift court in Rukira, a small town neighbouring Nyarubuye, drew scorn from some survivors of the church killings. "It's unfair that such killers are given lenient sentences. This definitely does not appease the community of survivors," said Daniel Murenzi, shaking his head at the sentencing. Alongside a U.N. tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, charged with prosecuting the masterminds of the genocide, Rwandan authorities have opted for mass trials in the tiny central African country to deal with a huge backlog of cases. Up to 6,500 people have been convicted of crimes linked to genocide, with up to 700 receiving the death penalty. Some of the worst massacres of Rwanda's genocide took place in churches. Today, several serve as memorials, with bones piled high as a reminder of the three months of horror.

BBC 2 Dec 2003 The impact of hate media in Rwanda By Russell Smith BBc News Online Africa editor The United Nations tribunal in Arusha is expected to rule on Wednesday on the role of three men - accused of being key figures in the media campaign to incite ethnic Hutus to kill Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. The 'Hate media' trial began in 2000 It is widely believed that so-called hate media had a significant part to play in the genocide, during which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died. There is also little doubt that its legacy continues to exert a strong influence on the country. The most prominent hate media outlet was the private radio station, Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines. Cockroaches It was established in 1993 and opposed peace talks between the government of President Juvenal Habyarimana and the Tutsi-led rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which now forms the government. After President Habyarimana's plane was shot down, the radio called for a "final war" to "exterminate the cockroaches." About 800,000 people died in Rwanda's 100-day genocide in 1994 During the genocide that followed it broadcast lists of people to be killed and instructed killers on where to find them. The BBC's Ally Mugenzi worked as a journalist in Rwanda during the genocide and says there was no doubting the influence of the RTLM. "RTLM acted as if it was giving instructions to the killers. It was giving directions on air as to where people were hiding," he said. He himself said he had a narrow escape after broadcasting a report on the Rwandan media for the BBC. They announced on the radio he had lied about them and summoned him to the station to explain himself. He spent three hours there, justifying his report. General Romeo Dallaire, the commander of the UN peacekeeping operation in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, said: "Simply jamming [the] broadcasts and replacing them with messages of peace and reconciliation would have had a significant impact on the course of events." As the Tutsi forces advanced through the country during 1994, the broadcasters of Radio Mille Collines fled across the border into what was then Zaire. Media Prosecutors in the Tanzanian town of Arusha at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda have been trying to prove the significance of the RTLM in the genocide during the trial of the radio's top executives Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and Ferdinand Nahimana. Hassan Ngeze, who ran an extremist magazine called Kangura has also been on trial.. The tribunal has secured just a dozen convictions in a decade Their defence relied on the often ambiguous nature of the comments - which they say were aimed at the advancing Tutsi rebels under General Paul Kagame rather than at civilians. President Kagame's government has used the recent memories of hate media to justify keeping a tight reign on its own media. Just last week, the country's only independent newspaper, Umeseso, had copies of its newspaper seized and journalists arrested for publishing articles critical of the government. Rwanda also still lacks a private radio station and the government exerts control over most of the media outlets. This helped ensure landslide election wins for the RPF during the first post genocide multi-party elections this year. The government promises to introduce a more open media soon. There will be many hoping that the hate media verdicts delivered in Arusha on Wednesday will help that process along.

AP 2 Dec 2003 Thompson Visits Rwanda to Assess HIV / AIDS KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on Tuesday laid a wreath at the tomb of victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which thousands of women were raped and infected with HIV/AIDS. Thompson was driven from the airport to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial site where he laid a wreath to victims of the slaughter on the second leg of a four-nation tour of Africa -- the continent hit hardest by HIV/AIDS. He is assessing existing projects and determine what needs to be done to increase treatment and prevent the spread of the pandemic. ``We will do everything in our power ... to protect you and find a therapy for everyone here,'' Thompson told AIDS victims at a health center in Kigali. Africa south of the Sahara is home to more than 26 million of the 40 million people worldwide living with HIV. Only about 1 percent have access to life-prolonging drugs widely available in wealthier countries. At least 13 percent of Rwanda's 8.2 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS, and the tiny central African nation will ask for more help from the U.S. to tackle the crisis, Innocent Nyaruhirira, minister of state in charge of HIV/AIDS and related diseases, said. Rwanda has one of the highest numbers of orphans per population in the world as a result of the twin tragedies of HIV/AIDS and the 1994 genocide in which more than 500,000 people were killed, mainly the minority Tutsis and politically moderates from the Hutu majority. The 100-day slaughter was spurred by the extremist Hutu government then in power. Thompson is accompanied by top U.S. health officials, lawmakers and business leaders on the tour, which began in Zambia and will also take in Kenya and Uganda. Also along is Richard Holbrooke, president of the Global Business Coalition for HIV/AIDS, which is working to encourage companies large and small to contribute to the fight against the disease among their employees in Africa and other developing nations.

BBC 4 Dec 2003 4 December, 2003 Rwandans applaud genocide verdict Their lawyers said they were exercising free speech Rwandans have welcomed the long prison terms given to three media executives for inciting violence against ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. The attorney general said it showed that those who ordered others to kill bore the same responsibility as those who carried out the slaughter. Two worked for a radio station which broadcast lists of people to be killed and revealed where they could be found. About 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in just 100 days. Ferdinand Nahimana, who was sentenced to life in prison, and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, who got 35 years, helped set up a private radio station - Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) - which urged Hutus to "exterminate the cockroaches". Bitter memories One Tutsi student, who did not want to be named, said she remembered listening to RTLM as a child when she was hiding during the genocide. The impact of "Hate Media" "My own father's name was pronounced on RTLM. To track him and to kill him by all means," she told the BBC, her voice quivering with emotion. "And it happened. He's dead," she said. She said it was important that those people who ran the station faced justice. "Those who spread the message through the media and told the ordinary people to kill are far worse than people who followed their orders," said attorney general Gerard Gahima. Precedent The new chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, which pronounced the verdict, said the verdict would serve as a warning for journalists and editors in other conflicts. Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza boycotted the trial "The tribunal has established an international precedent that those who use media to target a racial or ethnic group for destruction will face justice," he said. Hassan Ngeze, who was sentenced to life, was the editor of an extremist magazine called Kangura. Judge Navanathem Pillay told him he had "poisoned the minds of your readers" against Tutsis. They were all found guilty of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity by the tribunal, based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha. Barayagwiza boycotted the trial, saying it would not be fair. Defence lawyers for the others had argued that the trial was an attack on free speech and the freedom of the press.

IRIN 19 Dec 2003 Commission to Probe Murder And Harassment of Genocide Survivors Nairobi Following reports of murder, harassment and intimidation of Rwandan genocide survivors testifying under the "Gacaca" justice system, a commission has been established to investigate these acts, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported on Thursday. The creation of the commission, which will include Rwandan senators, follows a statement of condemnation issued on Tuesday by an umbrella organisation for genocide survivors, known as Ibuka. "The reason behind the killings and the harassment is to scare away genocide survivors from testifying in Gacaca courts," Ibuka said in its statement. The Gacaca justice system, based on traditional village courts, was introduced in the country in 2001 to expedite trials for an estimated 85,000 suspects held in prisons across the country in connection with the 1994 genocide that claimed the lives of at least 800,000 people. In a related development, RNA reported that a cabinet meeting on Wednesday also denounced the murder and intimidation of genocide survivors, and called upon security and judicial officials to act in accordance with the law to ensure that those responsible were punished.

South Africa

SAPA 8 Dec 2003 'SA cannot extradite to world court' - Probably due to a "drafting slip", a South African act passed last year does not allow the country to surrender accused people to the International Criminal Court (ICC), an advocate said today. "If (former Liberian president) Charles Taylor found himself in South Africa... the country would not be lawfully empowered to surrender him to the ICC," Anton Katz, a member of the bar in Cape Town and New York, said at a seminar of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria. South Africa was a party to the Rome Statute, which brought the ICC into being. Accordingly, it was obliged under international law to cooperage with that court, he said. Last year Parliament passed the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act in an attempt to incorporate the provisions of that statute in domestic law. But the unfortunate result of formulation of that act was, according to Katz: "Neither the executive nor the judiciary have the authority to order the surrender, in response to a request by the ICC, of a person accused of a war crime, genocide or crime against humanity." Those are the three crime categories the ICC will hear. Its jurisdiction commenced from July last year. In an article in the latest issue of the ISS' African Security Review, launched on Monday, Katz explains that in terms of the South African act, a request of the ICC for the arrest and surrender of a person will go to the director-general of the Department of Justice. The DG will immediately refer that to a magistrate, who has to endorse the warrant of arrest for execution. The next step is a hearing before a magistrate, who must determine whether the warrant applies to the person in question, whether the arrest was conducted in accordance with domestic law, and whether the rights of the person have been respected. "If the magistrate is satisfied that the three requirements have been complied with he or she must issue an order committing the person to prison pending his or her surrender to the ICC." This does not amount to a surrender order, Katz says. "There is no provision for any competent authority, whether a court or the executive branch of government, to issue an order of surrender. Accordingly, the Implementation Act does not properly, or at all, provide the South African authorities with the necessary power to respond to a request for surrender by the ICC... "This anomaly should be corrected as soon as possible." According to Katz, Parliament tried to streamline the process currently followed with the extradition of people for trial in other countries. This attempt appears not to have been successful though, he says in the article. It will hardly help humankind if states become party to international treaties but cannot give effect to them because of technical reasons, Katz says. "This allows the guilty to get off if they have clever lawyers. Other than the guilty, the only beneficiaries of these technical hitches are the lawyers who... are paid handsomely to advance the technical points."

BBC 23 Dec 2003 SA announces apartheid pay-outs By Barnaby Phillips BBC Southern Africa Correspondent There have been reconciliation celebrations in South Africa this month South Africa has started paying reparations to thousands of victims of apartheid, the government says. They were identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which spent seven years examining the crimes committed under apartheid. The government is giving a one-off payment equivalent to about $4,500 to the victims of apartheid. The TRC examined decades of human rights abuses and identified about 20,000 victims earlier this year. Slow process The government says it has processed payments for 9,000 people, but more than a third of these payments have already been returned because victims supplied invalid bank accounts. The government is paying far less in reparations than was recommended by the TRC. It also rejected suggestions in the TRC's final report that it raise more money for reparations by imposing a special tax on big business. This has led to bitter complaints from some of the victims that they are not being adequately compensated.


AFP 2 Dec 2003 Sudanese air raids kill 47 civilians in western Sudan: rebels CAIRO, Dec 2 (AFP) - Sudanese government warplanes killed 47 civilians and wounded 37 others during bombing raids on villages in western Sudan's Darfur region, a rebel leader, Abdel Wahed Mohammed Ahmed al-Nur, said Tuesday. "Antonov planes with the Sudanese armed forces savagely bombed villages in the Jibal Nun region on Monday, leaving 47 dead, mostly women and children, and 37 wounded," Ahmed al-Nur said. Ahmed al-Nur, president of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), said the air strikes in the region north of El-Geneina, the main city in West Darfur State, sparked a mass exodus of villagers to surrounding mountains and villages. The SLM last week accused Sudanese government forces of having launched air strikes against two areas of Darfur, killing 14 people. Government forces have clashed since February with the SLM, which accuses Khartoum of neglecting the impoverished North, West and South Darfur states in the region neighbouring Chad. The rebel movement regularly accuses the government of breaking the ceasefire agreement signed in September. The government and the SLM are due to restart negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement in Chad on December 4. At least 3,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by the fighting, with the conflict choking economic development in the region.

AFP 8 Dec 2003 Bush invites Sudanese to sign peace accord in Washington: report KHARTOUM, Dec 8 (AFP) - US President George W. Bush has invited his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Beshir to sign an expected peace accord with the country's southern rebels in Washington, the state news agency SUNA said Monday. Bush telephoned Beshir and proposed that "the signing ceremony for a peace accord between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) take place in Washington," it said. The White House, meanwhile, said Bush on Monday telephoned both Beshir and SPLA leader John Garang asking them to resolve final differences ahead of a peace accord. "Both calls were upbeat and positive," said spokesman Scott McClellan, adding that Bush "congratulated each leader on the progress made thus far" in the peace process. "The president encouraged each side to demonstrate the flexibility to resolve their remaining differences and take the final steps to complete a just and comprehensive peace agreement," the White House spokesman said. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said last week that an agreement would be "signed at the end of the current year". Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Garang on Sunday began talks in Kenya aimed at finalising an accord. Since 1983, a civil war has pitted the SPLA, representing mainly animists and Christians in southern Sudan, against successive Arab and Muslim governments in Khartoum.

Reuters 8 Dec 2003 Sudan, rebels say peace deal would include amnesty KHARTOUM, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Sudanese government and rebels said on Monday a general amnesty would be included in a peace deal they are now negotiating in Kenya with the aim of ending 20 years of civil war in the south. A spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said it would establish reconciliation committees in the south to deal with war crimes committed in the conflict. More than two million people have died during two decades of civil war, most of them as a result of famine and disease. "We have...agreed that there will be a general amnesty announced on the signing of the peace agreement for the whole of Sudan," the SPLA's Samson Kwaje told Reuters in Khartoum, where a rebel delegation is making its first official visit. Foreign Ministry Minister of State Nagheib al-Kher, who also said the deal would contain a general amnesty, added that people would not be prosecuted retrospectively. The civil war in Africa's largest country broke out in 1983 and broadly pits the mainly animist and Christian south against the Islamist government in the north. Alongside religion, the war has been fuelled by disputes over oil and ethnicity. Kwaje said the amnesty would be similar to one declared in South Africa in 1994, where those seeking amnesty had to disclose their offences but not in public and a truth commission was formed to establish what happened during apartheid. "We will create a regional truth and reconciliation committee to deal with war crimes so that we as a people can move on," Kwaje said. The deal is expected to give southern states a degree of autonomy from Khartoum. Kwaje said the amnesty would be part of a "healing process" in Sudan after years of violence and would exempt people from actual judicial proceedings.

ICG 11 Dec 2003 Towards an Incomplete Peace Just as a peace deal promises to end Sudan’s twenty-year civil war, a separate, intensifying war in the west threatens to undermine it. Sudan is finally on the brink of a peace agreement to end the devastation that has afflicted Africa’s largest country for an entire generation. The current progress toward addressing the fundamental grievances of the south and other neglected areas has been historic. But the effort to resolve the main conflict, that between the Sudanese government and the insurgent Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army, ignores the rapidly deteriorating situation in the western province of Darfur. Any peace agreement that fails to address Darfur risks replacing one conflict with another. The international community will need to contain its satisfaction over peace prospects in Sudan and keep pressure on the parties to conclude a comprehensive agreement. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org .

WP 21 Dec 2003 Cease-Fire Opens Sudan War Zone To Health Workers Vaccinations Lure People from Hiding By Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page A32 LUWERE, Sudan -- She waited just as the others did, wondering what the needle would feel like. Jamila Ibrahim, 39, stood in a messy line that fanned out under a wild fruit tree in order to receive the first injection ever pressed into her skin. She gently explained that she and her three wide-eyed daughters had never been vaccinated against any disease. In front of her were mothers who quieted children sore from the shot. Behind her were the anxious and the curious, including one woman with a baby on her back, another nursing at her breast and a toddler clinging to her leg. All looked exhausted. Under a beating sun, the line swelled. Health care is a luxury in Sudan's central Nuba Mountains, where periodic fighting in a 20-year war kept Ibrahim and many mothers like her huddled in the grassy hills. The land mines that stud the hills left them too terrified to cultivate fields. Hunger made them too weak to walk three hours to a source of clean water. "We are stuck in the middle," explained Ibrahim's daughter, Kaka Mahjubua, 18, who proudly approached a line to receive her first vaccination for tetanus, provided by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency. "We fear our health is spoiled because of it." Diseases that were eradicated in much of the rest of the world are still sickening people in southern and central Sudan. The country has 80 percent of the world's cases of dracunculiasis or guinea worm, a debilitating illness in which a parasite enters the body in contaminated water. Sudanese also suffer from leprosy, sleeping sickness, measles, polio, elephantiasis, HIV-AIDS and malaria. Negotiators are near a peace deal in the war, which was fought over oil, religion and culture. The conflict was between the Sudanese government, dominated by the Muslim Arabs of the north, and rebels from the black African south. The war has taken 2 million lives, many from disease and starvation, and uprooted 4 million people from their homes. The Nuba Mountains, a golden sweep of hills about the size of Maine, were included in the north by British colonizers. The people are Africans, and they have long sided with the south's main rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army. To claim fertile land and build an oil pipeline, the government bombed many areas in Nuba. "This is one of few places in the world where people had it better 50 years ago," said Alex de Waal, author of "Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan." "The Nuba have seen a campaign to push them off land, deny them medical treatment and at times starve them." A cease-fire in the Nuba Mountains last year has allowed humanitarian aid to get through and gave health workers a chance to begin work. Measles has killed 108 children and adults this year, according to health workers. Diarrhea is also a cause of death, said Brigitte Toure, a UNICEF health coordinator for the rebel-held areas of Sudan. Mothers without health education often stop giving their children water when they should be rehydrating them, she said. There are concerns about HIV-AIDS because 150,000 refugees have returned to the area, some from countries with high infection rates. "We brought condoms here. Nobody uses them. They don't like them. They sit in a box over there, untouched," said Abdulaziz Adam Alhilu, the regional governor, pointing to a hut in the distance. "There are not more than seven doctors here for 400,000 people, and no surgery to speak of," the governor said. Land mines are also a concern, he said. A team from the Danish agency DanChurchAid was sent out to remove mines and hit one several miles from Luwere, the administrative capital, in early October. Eight people were killed and two were injured. Confidence was shattered. "It doesn't take more than a few mines, or the perceptions of mines, to keep people hiding where they can't get clean water or health care or harvest their crops," said Nils Carstensen of the aid group. To encourage participation in the vaccination campaign, Toure's team sent local health workers out on bikes. They charted safe pathways and urged people down from the hills. They also told them that next time, the injections might take place in their homes. That's because a pre-filled, single-use device called Uniject, manufactured by Becton, Dickinson and Co., was tested during this vaccination. For Ibrahim, even getting to the vaccination site was filled with fears. She woke early to complete chores so she could fit the vaccinations into her long day. Her daughter, smiling by her side, acknowledged that she begged her mother to come. "I was thinking, I would like to see what would happen," said Mahjubua, a pretty girl with a wide smile and a torn dress. Then she marched off to get her shot.


IRIN 3 Dec 2003 UN Tribunal Convicts Media Leaders of Genocide Nairobi The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) convicted on Wednesday three Rwandan media personalities of genocide and sentenced two of them to life imprisonment and one to 35 years in prison In a statement, the tribunal reported that a bench of three judges had sentenced Ferdinand Nahimana, a founder and ideologist of the Radio Télévision des Mille Collines (RTLM) and Hassan Ngeze, editor in chief of Kangura newspaper, to life in prison for their involvement in the 1994 genocide that claimed at least 800,000 lives. The third defendant, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a board member of the Comité d'initiative of the RTLM and founding member of the Coalition for the Defence of Republic (CDR) political party, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. They were found guilty of genocide, incitement to genocide, conspiracy and crimes against humanity - extermination and persecution. The judgement, in the trial that had been known as the Media Case, was delivered by Judges Navanethem Pillay (presiding), Erik Møse and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana. The tribunal reported that the case examined the role of the RTLM radio station and Kangura newspaper in the genocide in Rwanda. "It also reviewed the role of the CDR, a party found by the Chamber to have spearheaded the Hutu Power movement, which created a political framework for the genocide," the tribunal reported. In their ruling, the judges observed that in a radio interview broadcast at the height of the genocide on 25 April 1994, Nahimana, talked of the "war of media, words, newspapers and radio stations", which he described as a complement to bullets. "You were fully aware of the power of words, and you used the radio, the medium of communication with the widest public reach to disseminate hatred and violence," Pillay told Nahimana when she read the court's ruling. She added, "Without a firearm, machete or any physical weapon, you caused the death of thousands of innocent civilians." Barayagwiza, who was tried in absentia after he boycotted the trial, was convicted for his role in RTLM, as well as for individual acts of genocide and extermination and his leadership role in the CDR. Ngeze, also a founding member of CDR, was convicted for his activities in "ordering, instigating and aiding and abetting acts of genocide", as well as for his writings in Kangura. The tribunal reported that the judges found that Tutsi women, in particular, were targeted for persecution through the portrayal of the Tutsi woman as a "femme fatale", and the message that Tutsi women were "seductive agents of the enemy". "The power of the media to create and destroy fundamental human values comes with great responsibility," Pillay said. "Those who control such media are accountable for its consequences". The trial opened on 23 October 2000 and ended on 22 August 2003 after 230 trial days.

NYT 3 Dec 2003 Court Finds Rwanda Media Executives Guilty of Genocide By SHARON LaFRANIERE ARUSHA, Tanzania Dec. 3 — In the first verdict of its kind since the Nuremberg trials, an international court today convicted three Rwandan news media executives of genocide for helping to incite a killing spree by machete-wielding gangs who slaughtered about 800,000 Tutsis in neighboring Rwanda in early 1994. A three judge panel found that the three defendants used a radio station and a twice-monthly newspaper to inflame ethnic hatred that eventually led to massacres at churches, schools, hospitals and roadblocks. The radio station, dubbed Radio Machete in Rwanda, guided killers to specific victims, broadcasting the names, license plate numbers and hiding places of Tutsis. The Rwanda genocide is considered the worst ethnic killing since the Holocaust. In 100 days, an estimated 10 percent of the Tutsis in Rwanda were wiped out, along with many moderates among the Hutus, who make up the majority of the population. The efficiency of the killers, who chased down the Tutsis at roadblocks and in the streets with sharpened sticks, nail-studded clubs and grenades, surpassed even that of the Nazis, some historians contend. The United Nations, which failed to intervene during the genocide, set up the tribunal three months afterward to bring those who led the massacres to account. Today's verdict was the first conviction of news media executives for crimes of genocide since 1946, when the famous Nuremberg tribunal sentenced the Nazi publisher Julius Streicher to hang for his vitriolic campaign against the Jews. The Arusha judges sentenced two defendants to life in prison and the third to 27 years, reducing it from the life term they said he deserved because his rights were violated early in the case. "The power of the media to create and destroy human values comes with great responsibility," the court said in a 29-page summary of its judgment. "Those who control the media are accountable for its consequences." Elated prosecutors heralded the decision as a significant victory. "This is really a ground-breaking decision," said Stephen Rapp, the prosecutor in the case. "This is going to change things," said another prosecutor, Simone Monasebian. John Floyd, who defended one of the executives, a newspaper editor named Hassan Ngeze, denounced the verdict as a major setback for free speech and an invitation to dictators to close down any media outlet that is out of favor. "This is a terrible, terrible decision, the worst decision in the history of international justice," Mr. Floyd said. "This is very, very dangerous. This case would have been laughed out of an American court." Two of the defendants, Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, were founders of RTLM radio station, which prosecutors said had a huge influence in a country where people primarily rely on the radio for news. The case against the two turned on the question of whether they intended to create a frenzy of violence, or simply failed to control the station. The judges found that both men, as well as Ngeze, the newspaper editor, had to know that the broadcasts and articles would unleash violence given the political climate in Rwanda at the time. They cited the words of one witness who testified: "What RTLM did was almost to pour petrol, to spread petrol throughout the country little by little, so that one day it would be able to set fire to the whole country." Nahimana's attorney, Jean- Marie Biju-Duval, said the judges disregarded a raft of witnesses who testified that his client had only a slender connection to RTLM. "He was convicted as a symbolic scapegoat," he said. Besides drawing a legal boundary between protected speech and criminal incitement to mass murder, the tribunal's judges and prosecutors said the case vindicated the court's painfully slow and hugely expensive approach to delivering justice in a region where impunity of the powerful has long been the rule. The international court, one of three or four ad-hoc United Nations tribunals, has struggled in recent years to justify itself in the face of intense criticism of its handling of genocide cases. In nine years of adjudication, it has produced only 17 convictions despite having a staff of 872 and an annual budget of $88 million. By contrast, the criminal court at the Hague, set up to investigate alleged war crimes by the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic and others during the Balkans war of the last decade, has achieved more than 30 convictions and guilty pleas in a decade of work. Officials here say the Arusha court has suffered from a shortage of judges, lack of leadership in the prosecutor's office and periodic resistance from the Rwandan government. The tribunal hit a low point in 2002, when two organizations of genocide survivors in Rwanda urged people who had witnessed acts of genocide to withhold their testimony in the trials. The groups complained the court was too slow, that it failed to pursue rape charges and that it had hired defense investigators who had themselves participated in the killings. But the tribunal officials said today's verdict, the second in a week, was a sign that the tribunal has overcome most of its troubles. The pace of trials has clearly picked up: in the past month, two new cases have begun against eight ministers of the interim Hutu regime that ruled during the course of the genocide. Four more verdicts are expected later this year. Since August, the United Nations has given the court more judges and appointed a new lead prosecutor, Hassan Jallow, to replace Carla del Ponte, who was splitting her time between the Yugoslavia and Rwanda cases. Mr. Jallow has at least temporarily patched up relations with the Rwandan government and the survivor groups and is reviewing all the ongoing investigations in hope of meeting the United Nations' 2008 deadline for the tribunal to finish. Still unresolved, however, is the contentious issue of what legal authority will pursue charges that members of Rwanda's current Tutsi-controlled government engineered the revenge killings of thousands of Hutus after they overthrew the Hutu's regime in the summer of 1994. Rwandan officials say they want to handle that inquiry themselves. Should the tribunal relinquish that investigation, some critics say, it will undermine trust that it delivers even-handed justice. Moreover, one intrinsic flaw in the tribunal was underscored in the process. Today's proceeding, like all the others, took place at an international conference center in Arusha, one nation and 1,200 miles from the capital of Rwanda. The tribunal set up shop here because the United Nations considered post-conflict Rwanda to be too unsafe and too traumatized to host an international court. But as a result, few Rwandans feel like they are a part of the process, except for the witnesses who are flown back and forth in the United Nations's twin-engine Beechcraft airplane. What today's verdict will do, according to Rapp, the prosecutor, is make clear that the media directors are responsible for broadcasts and articles that incite violence, even if they are not in day-to-day control of their news outlets. In closing arguments, he argued that the defendants each caused more deaths than any single, machete-toting Hutu because they whip up a mass hysteria which fostered thousands of killers. "The media was every bit as important as the weapons of war," he said in an interview. .

Washington Times 4 Dec 2003 Hateful words a war crime By Betsy Pisik THE WASHINGTON TIMES NEW YORK — With a trio of guilty verdicts yesterday, the U.N. tribunal for Rwanda has established that men armed only with words can commit genocide. Three Rwandan media executives were convicted by the international tribunal of committing and inciting genocide, war crimes and persecution in a case that will set a precedent for the new International Criminal Court. Their weapons: the government-sponsored radio station known as "Radio Machete" and "Hate Radio" and a weekly newspaper whose agenda was the extermination of the country's Tutsi majority. The "media trials" marked the first time since Nuremburg that hate speech has been prosecuted as a war crime. It has been one of the most closely watched cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), seated in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha. "You were fully aware of the power of words, and you used the radio — the medium of communication with the widest public reach — to disseminate hatred and violence," wrote presiding Judge Navanethem Pillay in sentencing to life in prison Ferdinand Nahimana, founder of Radio Television des Mille Collines. "Without a firearm, machete or any physical weapon, you caused the death of thousands of innocent civilians." More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in a three-month killing spree carried out by thousands of Rwandans against their neighbors. The seeds of the genocide, prosecutors say, were sown by news outlets like Kangura and Radio Machete. Human rights advocates praised the verdict, even as some legal and media analysts warned that repressive regimes could use the verdict for their own purposes. "This is the first time that journalists have been convicted for their participation in genocide, and I think it's a wake-up call to hatemongers everywhere that they can't incite people to commit genocide or ethnic cleansing," said Reed Brody, legal counsel to Human Rights Watch. "If you fan the flames, you'll have to face the consequences." Karin Karlekar, the managing editor of Freedom House's annual survey of press freedom, praised the convictions but warned that some governments might use the verdict as a justification to clamp down on media in their own countries. "Rwanda has already begun doing it," she said. "These guys were way over the line, but it's the gray area [of public speech] that is endangered, especially in countries with racial or ethnic tension." Nahimana, the founder of the radio station, was found guilty of broadcasting inflammatory music and diatribes against Tutsi "cockroaches" and exhorting tens of thousands of listeners to butcher their neighbors. The intensity of the message increased as the genocide reached its apex in April 1994. Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role on the station's board of directors and, separately, for distributing weapons used to kill Tutsi civilians. The ICTR sentenced Hassan Ngeze to life behind bars for instigating and abetting acts of genocide in Kangura, a tabloid filled with cartoons and pictures that targeted for extermination all Tutsis, especially women. Barayagwiza, who was tried in absentia, and Ngeze were also convicted of operating the Coalition in Defense of the Republic, a government party that spearheaded the Hutu Power movement, which demonized Tutsis before the killing began. The landmark case against the three men opened in October 2000 and underwent frequent delays: A lack of translators stalled the translation and transcription of thousands of hours of audiotapes from the original Kinyarwanda into French and English. Defense attorneys said the prosecution was selecting examples out of context rather than offering a more balanced representation of the station's programming. All three defendants said they were protected by freedom of speech. But Judge Pillay noted in her decision that it was "critical to distinguish between the discussion of ethnic consciousness and ethnic hatred." Life in prison is the strongest punishment the ICTR can mete out, and all three men may appeal. In Kigali, Rwandan prosecutor-general Gerard Gahima praised the conviction. "The conviction ... is a very important development because it shows that the responsibility for the genocide is not limited to those who did the actual killing," he said. "Those who spread the message through the media and told the ordinary people to kill are far worse than people who followed their orders," Reuters reported from Kigali. The U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, drafted in 1966 and ratified by 151 nations including the United States, says: "Any advocacy of national racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law."

WP 4 Dec 2003 Journalists Sentenced In Rwanda Genocide Prosecutor Said 'Hate Media' Urged Killings By Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, December 4, 2003; Page A20 NAIROBI, Dec. 3 -- An international court on Wednesday sentenced two Rwandan journalists to life in prison and a third to 35 years for their roles in fueling the 1994 genocide, ending a landmark three-year trial that highlighted the media's role in directing Rwandans to kill. "This tribunal has set an important precedent that says if the media in this day and age uses their power to attack an ethnic group or racial group, they will have to face justice," the lead prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, said in an interview. He said the use of "hate media" helped explain how ordinary Rwandans -- even children and grandparents -- were influenced to participate in the killings. At the trial, several emotional witnesses, including employees of the media outlets, compared the role of the media to fuel on a fire. Phrases like "go to work" and "the graves are not yet full" were read by radio disc jockeys during the spring of 1994. A newspaper called on citizens to exterminate the "cockroach Tutsis." Over 100 days starting in April 1994, Rwanda's Hutu majority killed about 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus in an organized slaughter to settle long-simmering ethnic and political tensions. The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, sentenced Ferdinand Nahimana, 53, a founding member of Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines, or RTLM, to life in prison along with Hassan Ngeze, 42, owner and editor of the Hutu extremist newspaper Kangura. Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, 53, another executive at RTLM, was given a 35-year sentence, which was reduced to 27 years for time already served. By soaking their journalism in ethnic hatred, the three men turned their media into weapons of war, the court said. The outcome drew comparisons to the 1946 Nuremberg trial of Nazi publisher Julius Streicher, who used films and cartoons to incite hatred of Jews. Streicher was executed; life in prison is the most severe sentence the U.N. tribunal can give. "Let whatever is smoldering erupt," Ngeze wrote in the newspaper days before the genocide began. "It will be necessary then that the masses and their army protect themselves. At such a time, blood will be poured. At such a time, a lot of blood will be poured." Kangura, which means "Wake It Up!," published what it called the Hutu Ten Commandments telling people to kill. Nahimana, whose radio station was nicknamed Radio Machete, launched programs that broadcast the names and addresses of members of the country's Tutsi minority and of Hutus who sympathized with them. John Floyd, a Washington-based lawyer who defended Ngeze, called the verdict unfair and said it curbed freedom of speech. Floyd said it could be used as an excuse by governments to shut down any media outlet they disagreed with. "The freedom of expression has stepped backward for 50 years," he said in an interview from Arusha. "This would have never lasted in the U.S. court. These men would have had their rights to democratic expression." The court said that freedom came with responsibility. "The power of the media to create and destroy human values comes with great responsibility," the court said in a 29-page summary. "Those who control the media are accountable for its consequences." Presiding Judge Navanethem Pillay said: "RTLM broadcasts were a drumbeat calling on listeners to take action against Tutsis. RTLM spread petrol throughout the country little by little, so that one day it would be able to set fire to the whole country." "It's an extraordinarily important decision because it does recognize that media can be used to kill," said Alison DesForges, a New York-based expert on Rwanda who wrote a 771-page Human Rights Watch report on the genocide and who testified at the trial. "Using media to disseminate hate. There is larger meaning for the whole world, including America, that sends a message about the responsibility of the media." The court has been widely criticized for being inefficient, slow moving and costly. Since it was set up in late 1994, only 17 sentences have been handed down. In Rwanda, some say the court got less attention and was taken less seriously than the criminal court at The Hague, set up to investigate alleged war crimes by the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic and others.

NYT 5 Dec 2003 Editorial Fanning Rwanda's Genocide The butchering of more than half a million Rwandan Tutsis, roughly 70 percent of Rwanda's entire Tutsi population, during the spring of 1994 is one of the clearest cases of genocide since World War II. Regrettably, the international community did little to stop it. Now, belatedly, it has taken an important and welcome step, with Wednesday's conviction by a special international court of three leading organizers of that slaughter. The three convicted men were not generals, militia commanders or politicians, but media executives. Hassan Ngeze owned a newspaper, Kangura, that, with deadly effect, urged its Hutu readers to murder Tutsis. Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza ran a radio station, RTLM, that actually directed gangs of killers to specific Tutsi targets. Though words, not machetes, were their main weapons, they are at least as guilty as those who carried out their murderous instructions. Mr. Ngeze and Mr. Nahimana, who have already said they intend to appeal, were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mr. Barayagwiza's sentence was 27 years. These verdicts pose no threat to journalistic free speech, as defense lawyers tried to argue. RTLM was not offering drive-time political chatter ? it was acting as a radio dispatcher of murder, knowingly helping squads of killers locate victims. Kangura's role was marginally less direct. It promoted mass murder to a population that then murdered hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. All three men were rightly found guilty of genocide, incitement to genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. The international court that did so has not performed as well as it should have during its nine-year history. Despite a large staff and budget, it has produced only 17 convictions, including these three. It has not investigated charges of revenge killings committed by Tutsis, a sensitive area that Rwanda's government, now dominated by Tutsis, wants to control. There is a risk that dictators will try to exploit the conviction of these media executives as a pretext for prosecuting legitimate journalists who simply present facts and opinions governments would rather not have discussed. Perversely, that risk exists in Rwanda itself. Last month Rwandan authorities detained six journalists and confiscated copies of their weekly newspaper, saying it was "inciting sectarian behavior." The articles asked why some ranking army officers were being removed from active duty and questioned the use of taxpayer money to send one of these soon-to-be-relieved officers to a training course abroad. Laws like Rwanda's incitement statutes damage free expression and democracy. Mr. Ngeze, Mr. Nahimana and Mr. Barayagwiza were not challenging government propaganda, exposing corruption or expanding political debate. They were organizing the brutal physical extermination of a whole people. Their convictions demonstrate that the international community will demand justice for those who committed such a crime against all humanity.

NYT 7 Dec 2003 In Rwandan Genocide, Words Were Killers, Too By STEPHEN KINZER LAST week, an international court in Tanzania found three Rwandan journalists guilty of genocide, sending two to prison for life and the third for 27 years. The defendants were not charged with killing anyone themselves. Rather, they worked for a newspaper and a radio station that had whipped up anti-Tutsi fervor and called openly for murder. According to most estimates, 800,000 Rwandans from the Tutsi minority were slaughtered during 100 days in 1994. The closest historical parallel was the death sentence handed down by the Nuremberg tribunal for the Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, publisher of the anti-Semitic weekly Der Stürmer. In the Rwanda case, because the three worked for press outlets, the verdict led to questions about whether journalists elsewhere might now risk similar prosecution. "We can all agree that these killings were heinous acts," said Tim Gleason, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. "But whenever we blur the line and start allowing any kind of punishment for the expression of ideas, we get into dangerous territory and put journalists in danger. The standard being used in these cases is less protective of freedom of speech than what we are used to in the United States." Some First Amendment experts disagreed, saying American law would not have protected such incitement to murder. And some human rights specialists said the Rwanda case was unique because the genocide was committed not by organized military units with identifiable leaders, but by unorganized bands who killed at the bidding of newspapers and radio stations. "This was truly outrageous and unprecedented," said Daniel Rothenberg, a senior research fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute of DePaul University. "These defendants were not just inciting hatred. They specifically urged the murder of particular individuals, and then celebrated the murders after they were committed. It has nothing to do with press freedom as anyone in the world understands that concept." The most far-reaching precedent set may go beyond whether journalists can be prosecuted. The judges made clear that genocide cases need not follow an existing template, but can be adapted to fit what happened in individual countries. In most cases, officials who give orders and supply weapons will still be the main targets. But if no army carried out killings and no commander distributed weapons, prosecutors may now look elsewhere for guilt.

slate.msn.com 11 Dec 2003 Murder by Media - Why the Rwandan genocide tribunal went too far. By Joel Simon Last week, three Rwandan media executives were convicted of genocide, incitement and conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity, and they were sentenced to terms ranging from 35 years to life. The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Hassan Ngeze, owner of the Kangura newspaper, and Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, executives of Radio Télévision des Mille Collines (RTLM), guilty of using the media to both incite and execute 1994's genocidal campaign against Tutsis and moderate Hutus that killed 800,000 Rwandans. John Floyd, the Washington, D.C., lawyer who defended Ngeze, called the ruling "the worst decision in the history of international justice" and a grave threat to freedom of speech. Floyd's concerns were largely dismissed by free-speech advocates in this country—after all, the kind of speech the defendants engaged in would not be protected under any international standard. Even under the U.S. First Amendment, by far the most protective legal framework in the world, speech is not protected if it is intended to provoke imminent lawless violence and is likely to do so. Still, a review of the 357-page legal judgment, made available this week, suggests that Floyd's concerns are not entirely misplaced. While press-freedom advocates do not dispute the court's verdict, some question the tribunal's legal reasoning, which could provide cover to repressive governments around the world that routinely suppress criticism and dissent by using overly broad restrictions on hate speech and incitement. Parts of the decision could also provide ammunition to U.S. critics of the newly created International Criminal Court in The Hague who believe that international law is a threat to U.S. legal standards. In providing the legal justification for its decision, the tribunal cited several troubling precedents from European law in which journalists were prosecuted for hate speech and incitement. The tribunal repeatedly noted that under international law, countries have the right to limit freedom of speech to protect national security and public order and an obligation to restrict speech that advocates "national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence." In its decision, the tribunal compared Ngeze to Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, who was convicted at Nuremberg because his newspaper, Der Sturmer, was a poison "injected into the minds of thousands of Germans which caused them to follow the National Socialists' Party policy of Jewish persecution and extermination." The tribunal concluded that, even though they preceded the onset of the genocide by several years, articles written and published by Ngeze created the psychological disposition among Rwanda's population that made genocide possible. It supported this contention by examining Ngeze's behavior once the mass killing began in April 1994. The tribunal decided that through his association with a pro-Hutu political organization, Ngeze exhorted Hutus to kill Tutsi civilians, ordered pro-Hutu militias to carry out specific killings, and helped distribute the weapons used to carry out the killings. The judges also found that Ngeze conspired with Nahimana and Barayagwiza, whose RTLM radio, while privately owned, had close ties with the extremist Hutu politicians and the interim government that presided over the genocide. RTLM's role was not only to prepare public opinion for the violence, but also to direct the militias that carried it out. RTLM exhorted Hutus to exterminate Tutsis and moderate Hutus, identified specific targets, and helped coordinate attacks. Floyd agrees that individuals who used radio to identify Tutsi civilian targets should be held accountable, but he believes the tribunal went too far in holding his client responsible for the genocide based in part on articles published years before it began. The hate-speech standards used in the Rwanda decision, Floyd argues, could also be used to prosecute a U.S. rap artist whose work is distributed in Europe, where strong language could violate laws outlawing "attacks on human dignity" or the publication of "insulting material likely to stir up hatred." More ominously, he warns that if a repressive government used a journalist's allegation as justification for a military campaign against a minority population, the journalist could be indicted by the International Criminal Court for incitement to genocide. Both scenarios—legally possible but highly remote—play to U.S. fears about an emerging "world government" eroding U.S. sovereignty and echo the justification used by the Bush administration to withdraw U.S. support for the ICC. While international law poses no threat to constitutional protections in this country, the rights of a U.S. citizen facing prosecution before an international tribunal would be protected only by international law. It is true that certain kinds of speech that are protected by the U.S. First Amendment are restricted in much of the rest of the democratic world. As Toby Mendel, who heads the law program at the British press-freedom organization Article 19 put it, "In the area of hate speech, there is a difference of opinion between the United States and the rest of the world as to the appropriate balance between protecting speech and protecting equality." This was apparent in the ICTR judgment, which relied largely on cases from Canada and Europe, where hate speech and incitement to discrimination are expressly prohibited by law. The tribunal cited as precedent the case of a journalist convicted in Denmark for "incitement to racial discrimination" based on a broadcast interview with a racist youth group. The decision was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights only because the journalist had "clearly dissociated himself from the persons interviewed." In another case, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the conviction of the publisher of a Turkish weekly because strongly worded letters to the editor accusing the Turkish army of massacring Kurds amounted to "hate speech and glorification of violence." More ominously, the tribunal cited a Vietnamese press law that prohibits "the sowing of enmity among nations or people"; a Chinese law that prohibits broadcasts that "incite hatred on account of color, race, sex, religion, nationality or ethnic or national origin"; and a Ukrainian law that prohibits "propaganda or cruelty" as evidence of the seriousness with which some countries view their international obligation to suppress hate speech. In fact, these examples demonstrate the extent to which repressive countries use hate speech and antidiscrimination laws to suppress legitimate dissent and criticism. China, for example, is the world's leading jailer of journalists, with 39 behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Some repressive countries could be emboldened by the language of the tribunal's decision. First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams suggested that the tribunal could have used a less restrictive standard to achieve the same result: If Ngeze was convicted for actual participation in the genocide, was it even necessary for the court to consider articles he wrote years before the genocide occurred? The question, said Abrams, is not whether U.S. standards should be imposed on the world, but whether international tribunals can be persuaded to adopt measures that minimize the potential impact on freedom of expression. Abrams has experience doing just that. Last year, the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which also operates under the auspices of the United Nations, ruled that retired Washington Post correspondent Jonathan Randal could be compelled to testify before the tribunal regarding an interview he had conducted with a Bosnian Serb government official who was on trial for genocide. Randal appealed the ruling, and Abrams, with the support of media organizations and press-freedom groups from around the world, filed an amicus brief with the Appeals Chamber in The Hague. In reversing the tribunal's decision, the Appeals Chamber ruled that war correspondents should be compelled to testify only when "the evidence sought is of direct and important value in determining a core issue in the case ... and cannot reasonably be obtained elsewhere." This is largely in accordance with the U.S. standard for compelled testimony from journalists, and it was hailed as a victory for press freedom. John Floyd also intends to appeal the Ngeze verdict. Ideally, the chamber would uphold the convictions while refining the legal reasoning behind them. A decision by the tribunal that more narrowly limits the circumstances in which governments have the right to restrict the exercise of free speech would uphold justice while ensuring that international law continues to play a positive role in strengthening press freedom around the world. Joel Simon is the deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (www.cpj.org).


BBC 2 Dec 2003 Museveni purges Ugandan military The army is struggling to win a 17-year civil war in the north President Yoweri Museveni has sent scores of senior army officers on forced leave. Some are facing investigations and possible court martial, say reports. A probe has concluded into the paying of non-existent soldiers, but the army has also been criticised for failing to halt rebel attacks in the north. Brigadier Joshua Masaba, the newly appointed chief of staff, reportedly held emergency talks with the president and defence minister on Monday. The Ugandan Monitor newspaper says the moves also appear to be a purge of those loyal to former army commander, James Kazini - who was sacked in June this year. He was accused in a report of plundering the Democratic Republic of the Congo's mineral resources, while the Ugandan army was involved in the five-year Congolese war. He is now at army training college in Nigeria. The shake-up also comes just days after Lieutenant-General Salim Saleh, President Museveni's brother, resigned as one of the military's 10 MPs. Ghost soldiers Army spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza told AFP news agency by telephone that 28 senior officers, including Chief of Staff Brigadier Nakibus Lakara, had been sent on leave. Profile: Major General James Kazini "Some will go to the court martial to give evidence on some allegations, while others will face a committee probing the ghost soldiers in the army's pay roll," he said He said more details would be announced later on Tuesday. Three of the five division commanders have been sacked, reports the Monitor newspaper, as well as the director of military intelligence. Brigadier Lakara confirmed that he had been sent on leave but said he had not been told why. "Maybe I will be told at an appropriate time," he told AFP news agency by telephone. MPs from north and east Uganda, worst hit by the 17-year brutal rebellion, are boycotting parliament until the security situation improves. They accuse the government and army of not taking the conflict seriously and of sending troops to DR Congo rather than to protect Ugandan civilians. More than one million people have been displaced by the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion. A committee investigating ghost-soldier related corruption in the army finished its work in August and its report is said to incriminate some senior army officers.


" The ATLANTIC December 2003: pages 86-100, "How to Kill a Country: Turning a breadbasket into a backet case in ten easy steps -- the Robert Mugabe way. By Samantha Power. Sections: 1) Destroy the engine of productivity, 2) Bury the truth, 3) Crush dissent, 4) Legislate the impossible, 5) Teach Hate, 6) Scare off foreigners, 7) Invade a neighbor, 8) Ignore a deadly enemy, 9) Commit genocide, 10) Blame the imperialists. see www.theatlantic.com

BBC 9 Dec 2003 Mugabe to discuss cyber society Fourteen people have been charged with sending anti-Mugabe e-mails Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has travelled to the Swiss city of Geneva to attend a United Nations meeting on the information society. The summit will discuss how developments such as the internet have affected the world. His trip comes two just days after he withdrew from the Commonwealth. The BBC's Alan Little in Geneva says that it is not known whether he will address the meeting but his presence is a calculated act of defiance. He is under sanctions from the European Union and the United States but is free to travel to Switzerland. Information age In Zimbabwe, 14 people were recently charged after sending e-mails calling for mass protests against Mr Mugabe's government. Zimbabwe's secret services have been trying for several years to acquire high-technology equipment to monitor online communications. A senior official from a Zimbabwean internet service provider (ISP) told BBC News Online that he did not believe the authorities had yet obtained this equipment. The government controls all local radio and television stations and recently closed down the only privately-owned daily newspaper. Correspondents say this leaves the internet as one of the only ways for the opposition to spread its message, although only a small number of people have access to computers.

SAPA Zimbabwe state media spews 'hate speech' Harare 20 December 2003 11:34 Zimbabwe's state-controlled media has "blood on its hands" through inciting violence against President Robert Mugabe's critics, according to a report published in Zimbabwe this week. The state-controlled media was using the same strategy as Rwanda's "hate radio" which incited the violence that led to the deaths of about a million people there in 1994, the report alleges. In the months leading up to disputed presidential elections in March 2002, the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's television and radio services and the government-controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers group were "active accomplices in the theft of a nation's democratic rights," said the report by the Harare-based Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, the country's independent media watchdog. "They were also, at the same time, accomplices to murder," says the report, entitled Media Under Siege. The report is the first to link Mugabe's propaganda war, directed by controversial Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, with the hundreds of deaths and thousands of cases of torture, assault, arson and destruction of homes in the last four years of state-driven lawlessness. "No longer is it adequate to say they are politically biased," the report says. The state broadcaster and Zimbabwe Newspapers, led by the Daily Herald in Harare, broadcast "deliberately untrue and inflammatory statements" that have "the effect of inciting people to violence." "When one day, the perpetrators of violence are held to account, those who incited them with 'hate speech' should not be forgotten", MMPZ says. Earlier this month, the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced two journalists from the militant Hutu radio station, Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines, known as Radio Machete," to life imprisonment for incitement to genocide. A pro-Hutu newspaper journalist got 35 years on the same charges. The journalists' outpourings of hate against the minority Tutsi population was held as a principal cause of one of the worst cases of genocide in recent history. "The scale of the violence (in Zimbabwe) is clearly very different, but in all other respects the parallel is a very close one," the MMPZ report says. "The Zimbabwe echo is so uncanny, it would hardly be surprising to find a copy of the (Radio Machete propaganda) manual on Jonathan Moyo's bookshelf." Zimbabwe's state media hold an almost total monopoly, with independent radio and television stations banned, and the country's sole independent newspaper, the Daily News, closed down by heavily armed paramilitary police in September. The state media broadcasts a constant stream of news bulletins, commentaries, talk shows and jingles that shower praise on the 79-year-old president and pour scorn and insults on the British government, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and all other critical groups in the country. Media Under Siege says central to Moyo's propaganda strategy that the myth of a grand British terrorist conspiracy -- with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai cast as "a puppet" -- to overthrow Mugabe violently and replace him with white, imperialist, neocolonial rule. It is "more than a historical curiosity" that at the centre of the Rwandan propaganda war were almost identical claims of conspiracy by the Belgian government, the East African state's former colonial power. MDC supporters, whites, journalists, priests, trade unionists "became 'sell-outs' and 'stooges,' dehumanising labels that made the MDC a legitimate target for the people's righteous violence," says the report. ZBC and Zimbzabwe Newspapers make "hardly any attempt to report what was actually happening," MMPZ says. Instead they became "willing propaganda organs" devoted to "mobilise a hard core of people who (around presidential elections last year) who would make sure that Robert Mugabe won the presidential election, regardless of what people wanted." The state media has provided a diet of "straightforward lies" alleging MDC plots to kill Mugabe, carry out bloody uprisings, spread anthrax, set up "killer houses" and sabotage the economy by hoarding banknotes, to report says. "If the language of violence is addressed to those who already have violent intent, then they will take it as an incitement to go ahead," it says. Egged on by ruling party politicians, particularly Mugabe who is already notorious for his violent rhetoric -- only last week he declared that the regime would "unleash legal violence" on the MDC -- the state media has created a climate of "fear and despondency" around the country, the MMPZ says. www.mmpz.org.zw


Argentina see Germany


Canadian Press 6 Dec 2003 Slain women remembered at vigil By EILIS QUINN MONTREAL (CP) - Several dozen people gathered at a city park Saturday to carry on the memory of the 14 women killed in the Ecole polytechnique massacre of Dec. 6, 1989. "Feelings this day are always mixed," said Sylvain St-Arneault, whose sister Annie was among the dead. "It's been 14 years, but the feeling of loss is always there." Nicole Blanchette, 49, didn't know any of the victims but said she has never missed an anniversary vigil no matter where she was living in Canada. "I still remember when it happened," said Blanchette. "I had nieces in university. I kept thinking about them." The vigil opened with 14 seconds of silence in December 6 Square, a memorial park. After several short speeches from community groups condemning violence against women, 14 volunteers were called up to place roses on the park's steel and granite memorials as the victims' names were read aloud. People wearing white ribbons hugged each other and huddled under blankets against the cold and wind as the vigil ended with songs from a small choir. A concert of six suites by Johann Sebastian Bach at Christ Church Cathedral was also planned to commemorate the day. Other groups around Montreal also marked the day, including a 25-member women's choir that gave a concert in a downtown subway station. Vigil organizers said this year's message was a call for community action to combat violence against women. "We want to encourage people to get involved on the community level," said Sylvie Haviernick, who lost her sister Maud in the massacre, and is now chairwomen of the December 6 Foundation Against Violence. "Local groups and organizations have very concrete ideas. They can be our inspiration to get involved," she said. Haviernick said the last 14 years have made her optimistic about the future. "We have gained some tools like the coalition for gun control. If you work pro-actively against (violence against women) you can change people's mentality and avoid the situations we've experienced. "We still have problems but we need to keep working until we see it stop happening." Marc Lepine, a 25-year-old with a troubled history with women, went into the engineering school with an assault rifle and moved from classroom to classroom methodically killing the female students before turning the gun on himself. During his rampage he said he hated feminists and railed against women studying to become engineers. Prime Minister Jean Chretien said in a statement this week that the day brought an end to the lives of "brilliant young women" as well as "the ignorance of many Canadians about the extent and impact of violence against women." "We must each take responsibility for building a nation where no one lives in fear because of their gender and where all can live freely - and participate fully - in society," he said. The push for gun-control was a direct result of the tragedy, the prime minister added Saturday from Nigeria, where he is attending a Commonwealth conference. "We have five times less crime committed in Canada with handguns than in the United States. I am for gun control and I have to say that this tragedy has been something that has created a lot of pressure on the government to move on gun control," he said. People in other cities across Canada also organized events to mark the Dec. 6 anniversary. In Edmonton, executives of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees began their meeting Saturday with a minute of silence. "Each one of us, men and women alike, needs to think about the things we can do in our own lives and among our friends and acquaintances to reduce the levels of violence against women," said union vice-president Lynne Gingras. "Gender based violence affects everyone, whether at home, at work, or in the community. The majority of women in our society have been subjected to some form of harassment in the workplace or in public. . . There must be an end to gender based violence." Family members of the victims hope people accross the country continue to mark Dec. 6. "It's an important day," said Pierre Lemay, the father of Anne-Marie, one of the women who was shot. "It's not just for us (the families) to get together, but also to remind (the public) about the violence that still happens. "We don't have to accept it. We have to constantly make an effort against it - starting with the family and starting with the youth." For more info see: http://gendercide.org/case_montreal.html


Reuters 4 Dec 2003 Pinochet Should Be Tried Again, Lawyers Say By REUTERS Published: December 4, 2003 ANTIAGO, Chile, Dec. 3 — Chilean lawyers said Wednesday that they would resume efforts to try the former dictator Augusto Pinochet for human rights crimes, saying a recent television interview showed the 88-year-old general was neither senile nor forgetful. Chile's Supreme Court halted a trial of General Pinochet in 2001 on the ground that he was mentally unfit after court-ordered medical exams had showed he suffered a mild form of dementia brought on by minor strokes. Advertisement About 3,000 suspected leftists were killed or disappeared under General Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990 and thousands more were tortured. Human rights lawyers, who have spearheaded a drawn-out legal battle against General Pinochet, have asked the courts to obtain the video of a rare interview with him that was broadcast last week on Miami's channel WDLP-22. "If Pinochet appears as a person who obviously deals well with his recollections, with his memory, then that would demonstrate that he is not crazy and in that case we would go forth with our other requests," said Eduardo Contreras, a lawyer representing families of the dictatorship's victims. The interview, arranged by General Pinochet's daughter, set off a controversy in Chile. General Pinochet's supporters called it a public relations gaffe, while his foes said it showed the former dictator was not "crazy or demented," the legal language used when he was ruled unfit to stand trial. The lawyers' next step would be to request a new round of medical tests and then ask the courts to strip him of the immunity he enjoys as a former president. The issue of General Pinochet's immunity must be resolved anew, each time a criminal charge is brought against him. "We're going to request new mental exams," Mr. Contreras said, adding that if the lawyers were convinced he was well, they would present a new request for his immunity to be removed. The Santiago Appeals Court ruled against a similar effort to take away General Pinochet's immunity last August. In the interview broadcast in Miami, General Pinochet called himself an "angel" and said he had always been a democrat.


BBC 24 Dec 2003 Colombia bus explosion kills four Four people have been killed in a bomb explosion on a crowded bus in north-west Colombia. More than 30 others were injured in the blast, which happened on a rural road in the province of Antioquia. Police are investigating whether there was a bomb on the bus or if explosives went off as the bus drove past. The regional police commander blamed the attack on the country's largest rebel group, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Tuesday's explosion happened outside the town of Taraza, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north-west of the capital Bogota. Antioquia Police Commander Colonel Dagoberto Garcia said the FARC were fighting right-wing paramilitary groups for control of the region. The rebel group has been blamed for a series of attacks in Colombian cities in recent months, but has denied any responsibility. On 16 November, one person was killed and more than 70 were injured in explosions at two crowded bars in Bogota. And in October, a car bomb killed at least six people in a southern suburb of the capital.

Costa Rica

AP 2 De 2003 Alleged Ex-Nazi Dies Awaiting Extradition SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - A Ukranian-born man accused of killing Jews in Nazi territory during World War II has died in Costa Rica while awaiting extradition. Bodan Kosic, 80, had been hospitalized with a stroke on Wednesday just as officials were preparing to extradite him to Poland for trial on alleged crimes against humanity. Hospital officials confirmed the death, which was also reported by the local press. The Polish Embassy requested Kosic's extradition last week. He had lived in Costa Rica for 20 years after he was expelled from the United States for lying about his identity. In Poland, he is known as Bogdan Koziy and his name is spelled several ways in legal documents. The New York-based World Jewish Congress and the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center repeatedly urged Costa Rica to expel Kosic, saying he was part of a Ukrainian police unit that operated under Nazi orders from 1942-44.


Reuters 28 Dec 2003 Businessman Battles Leftist in Guatemalan Vote By REUTERS F GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A wealthy landowner bids to win back power for Guatemala's farming and banking elite on Sunday in a runoff election against a leftist who wants to put a former dictator on trial for human rights atrocities. Oscar Berger, 57, a former Guatemala City mayor and businessman backed by the country's traditional power brokers, squares off against Alvaro Colom, a 52-year-old career politician who owns a textile factory. Polls have shown a clear advantage for Berger, who led the pack with 34 percent of the vote in the first round last month, but Colom's team says the polls are too ``city biased'' and do not reflect rural support for his National Hope Unity party, or UNE. An economist, Colom first ran for president in 1999 and calls himself ``the candidate of the poor'' in this Central American nation of 11 million people where more than half the population are Mayan Indians. It is Guatemala's second presidential election since 1996 peace accords ended a 36-year civil war that killed 200,000 people, most of them Mayan Indians living in dire poverty. Berger has promised if he wins to clamp down on a recent wave of violent crime. In the months leading up to the first round of voting, there were at least two dozen election-related killings. The violence has since ebbed. Both men are promising job creation, rural development and increased spending on health and education. Colom is also hoping to pick up votes with his tough stance against former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who is blamed for civil war atrocities during his 1982-1983 rule. ``Our plan is more human, more social than our rival's,'' Colom told reporters late on Saturday. Berger is running for the GANA coalition, which is backed by Guatemala's traditional ruling elite that lost power in 1999. He has been less strident about putting former military leaders like Rios Montt on trial for human rights abuses. Berger's camp says the issue is for the courts to decide. Rios Montt, backed by the governing Guatemalan Republican Front, or FRG, ran for president in the first round but came in behind Berger and Colom and failed to make the runoff. Analysts said Guatemalans voted firmly against Rios Montt's dictatorial past and against the FRG government of outgoing President Alfonso Portillo, plagued by corruption allegations. Rights groups and survivors blame Rios Montt for massacres in hundreds of Indian villages as part of a ``scorched earth'' counterinsurgency campaign at the height of the civil war. Colom says Rios Montt has ``blood under his nails'' for human rights abuses and he supports moves by human rights groups to develop a genocide case against the retired general and evangelical Christian. Rios Montt, the FRG's secretary-general and head of Congress, could face trial once he loses parliamentary immunity from prosecution when his legislative terms ends in January.


AP 1 Dec 2003 Haitian govt to sue over Grand Theft Auto PORT-AU-PRINCE: An American videogame that encourages players to kill Haitians has outraged the Haitian government, which said Saturday it would pursue legal action. New York-based Rockstar Games Inc makes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, a game where an ex-convict is hired to recover stolen drug money in the streets of Miami, Florida. In his pursuit, he faces police officers and gangsters from Cuba and Haiti. As the drama increases and the ex-convict wields a machete, knife, gun and baseball bat, the game urges players to "kill the Haitians" and "kill the Cubans." "This racist game is psychologically extremely dangerous, and is an incitement to genocide," said government spokesman Mario Dupuy. The game has been called a "game that dehumanises all groups of people" by the Minneapolis-based National Institute on Media and the Family. The game has reportedly brought US$260mil (RM988mil) in sales. Last week, Haitian-Americans and elected officials gathered in New York to protest the game. Henry Frank, executive director of the Haitian Centres Council in Brooklyn, called the game violent and racist, and accused Rockstar of manufacturing a controversial product to boost sales. The group is also considering filing a lawsuit against the company. Sen. Carl Andrews, a Democrat from the New York borough of Brooklyn, said he would propose a bill to ban the game. A spokesman for Rockstar's parent company, Take 2 Interactive Software Inc, said in a statement that no harm was intended. "We empathise with the concerns of the Haitian community and we are giving serious consideration to them," said spokesman Jim Ankner. "There was no intention to offend any ethnic group." A US$246mil (RM934.8mil) lawsuit against Rockstar and its parent company has already been filed by the families of two people shot by teenagers in Tennessee. Retailer Wal-Mart and marketer Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc are also named in that lawsuit. Aaron Hamel, 45, was killed and Kimberly Bede, 19, was seriously wounded when their cars were hit June 25 by .22-caliber bullets while driving outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Stepbrothers William Buckner, 16, and Joshua Buckner, 14, were sentenced in August to an indefinite term after pleading guilty to reckless homicide, endangerment and assault. The boys told investigators they got the rifles from a locked room in their home and decided to randomly shoot at tractor-trailer rigs, just like in the videogame Grand Theft Auto III.

AP 10 Dec 2003 Comment About Haitians Removed From Game NEW YORK -- The manufacturer of a video game that encouraged players to "kill all Haitians" has agreed to remove the offending words. Take-Two Interactive Software said it will remove that audio prompt from new copies of "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." In the game, an ex-convict is hired to recover stolen drug money in the streets of Miami. At one point, a voice tells the player to kill the Haitians. The Haitian government denounced that as "an incitement to genocide." Haitian-Americans and elected officials, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also objected. The company said it's aware of the "hurt and anger" caused by the game, and Bloomberg said he's pleased that it agreed to take out the offending remarks..

AFP 6 Dec 2003 Haiti's prime minister condemns ongoing violence PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 6 (AFP) - Haiti's prime minister, Yvon Neptune, condemned ongoing violence in the country on Saturday, one day after some 25 people were injured in the latest bout of unrest. Friday's injuries occurred as two separate groups of protesters clashed on a college campus here, with protesters loyal to President Jean Bertrand Aristide locking horns with anti-Aristide demonstrators. "The government condemns all violence, no matter where it comes from," Neptune told Radio Kiskeya. He said police had been stretched to contain Friday's clash, which left many students injured. The government minister said rogue students had largely been responsible for the violence, which also left burnt-out vehicles in its wake. The clash on the campus is the latest involving young students opposed to Aristide's rule. Last month, a young female student was shot and killed in the city of Gonaives as police broke up an anti-government protest. Violent unrest has rocked the Caribbean nation since September 23, when Amiot Metayer, a gang leader close to the ruling party, was found dead. Some 13 people have died, and at least 64 others have been wounded in the unrest. Metayer's followers believe he was betrayed and that Aristide ordered his killing. They have since sided with opposition groups. .


Reuters 1 Dec 2003 Dirty War' Ex-Police Chief in Mexico Flees By REUTERS Published: December 2, 2003 EXICO CITY, Dec. 1 (Reuters) — A former Mexican state police commander has apparently fled into hiding, days after an arrest warrant was issued for him in the 1974 abduction of a leftist teacher, officials said Monday. A judge ordered the arrest last week of Isidro Galeana, an ex-police chief in the Pacific state of Guerrero, in what is the first arrest warrant related to a so-called dirty war waged by security forces from the 1960's to the 1980's. But Mr. Galeana still had not been arrested Monday, and a spokesman in the office of the prosecutor handling the case said he was considered a fugitive. The warrant was seen as a breakthrough for Mexico's fragile democracy and a victory for President Vicente Fox, who took office in 2000 pledging to unearth and punish past state repression. Mr. Galeana's disappearance and the killing of an important witness last week in Guerrero have raised doubts about the process, and fears for the safety of witnesses. While the violence was not on the same scale as oppression in some other Latin American countries during the cold war, Mexican security forces are blamed for the killings or disappearances of hundreds of leftists over three decades. Two years ago, President Fox appointed Special Prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo to investigate and prosecute dirty war crimes. So far no one has been arrested for the crimes. Mr. Galeana, 68, who lives in the resort city of Acapulco, was away last week receiving medical treatment, his son told reporters. Mr. Carrillo has accused Mr. Galeana of abducting a grade school teacher, Jacob Najera, in front of his wife, children and in-laws. Mr. Najera, who was 35, was never seen again. He was among about 600 reform advocates who have disappeared in Guerrero in the last 40 years, mostly in the 1970's, human rights advocates say. Hours after the arrest warrant was issued, Horacio Zacarías Barrientos, an important witness for the special prosecutor, was shot to death not far from Acapulco. Mr. Carrillo has pressed Guerrero officials to resolve that killing as quickly as possible, while survivors and victims' families say they are in danger from forces seeking to silence their calls for justice.

Reuters 7 Dec 2003 Murder, Mystery Mark Mexico's 'Dirty War' Probes By REUTERS Filed at 4:16 p.m. ET MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A month after the Supreme Court opened the way for trials of hundreds of crimes in Mexico's ``dirty war,'' the yield is one arrest warrant, one fugitive former police commander and one dead witness. Recent events are testing President Vicente Fox's commitment and capacity to unearth and punish atrocities committed during the rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the tale has turned increasingly sinister. Two years ago Fox named a special prosecutor, Ignacio Carrillo, to investigate repression by PRI security forces from the 1960s to the 1980s. The Supreme Court on Nov. 5 clarified the statute of limitations, clearing the way for trials. Three weeks later the tortured and bullet-ridden body of Zacarias Barrientos turned up in the Pacific state of Guerrero. He was a key witness and may have been killed in retaliation for his testimony, Carillo said. ``The landmark court ruling ... gave people new hope that justice was possible in these cases,'' said Daniel Wilkinson of Human Rights Watch. ``Then what we get, unfortunately, is a painful reminder that it's not going to be easy.'' New theories about Barrientos' killing have since emerged, involving past and present-day rebels. Typical of the cloak-and-dagger dramas of Mexico's underworld, the truth appears increasingly murky. Meanwhile, a former Guerrero police commander accused of kidnapping a leftist teacher in 1974 remains a fugitive. The arrest order issued against Isidro Galeana more than a week ago was the first and only warrant related to the dirty war. Prosecutors, local activists and press say Galeana's family is well-connected -- one of his sons is a Guerrero police commander -- and some suggest they hid him away. ``It smells bad,'' Carillo told Reuters, though he said federal authorities were making every effort to track down the 68-year-old Galeana. KILLING AND KIDNAPPING While not on the same scale as oppression in some other Latin American countries during the Cold War, Mexican security forces are blamed for the killing or kidnapping of hundreds of leftists over three decades. The Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations did not apply to kidnapping, or ``forced disappearance,'' as long as the victim was missing. Carrillo said that decision would lead to a flood of dirty war charges. Barrientos' testimony helped build 11 cases and will be used in court despite his death, Carrillo said. Barrientos was picked up by the military in the 1970s, tortured and forced to collaborate with authorities in identifying leftist rebels in secret jails for two years. Dirty war survivors and their families have no doubt who killed him. ``The murder of Zacarias Barrientos shows that the criminals of the dirty war are still committing crimes against humanity and genocide, and this new crime is an effort to cloak the truth concerning that era of genocide,'' the AFADEM group of victims' families said on Friday. Carrillo said the death signaled the possible revival a terror network once sponsored by the PRI government. But he said Barrientos could also have been killed in revenge by relatives of those he had exposed to the military and police three decades ago. Another theory suggests Barrientos was killed by rebels in the People's Revolutionary Army, or EPR, who issued a communique last week blasting the special prosecutor's work as part of a political conspiracy to protect dirty war criminals.

United States

San Francisco Chronicle 3 Dec 2003 U.S. delegates visit memorial to genocide Grim reminder of another African catastrophe -- AIDS Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical Writer Kigali, Rwanda -- There are a quarter-million Rwandans buried here at Gisozi, a stark memorial to this nation's 100 days of madness, when ethnic Hutus slaughtered their Tutsi neighbors in a systematic, state-ordered genocide a decade ago. The mass grave on a green hillside was the first stop in Rwanda for Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson's delegation to Africa. The 80-member group of business and health care leaders toured a grisly museum of skulls, leg bones and clothing of the dead, lined up neatly like utensils in enclosed glass vaults. The Americans were in Rwanda, however, to discuss an even larger catastrophe: AIDS. "In my view, AIDS is the greatest social issue of our time," said former United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who is leading the business contingent on Thompson's jet in his capacity as head of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS. The group's goal is to broaden private sector awareness and financial support of anti-AIDS programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Gisozi Genocide Memorial is a city of the dead. Its 250,000 bodies is roughly equal to the living population of this capital city. The total death toll from the genocide is estimated at between 800,000 and 1 million -- most of them Tutsis butchered between April and July of 1994. 17 million dead Since AIDS was first identified in the United States in 1981, however, an estimated 17 million Africans have died of the disease. This year, the epidemic is expected to kill 3 million men, women and children around the globe -- the equivalent of a Rwandan-scale disaster every three months, with no end in sight. Tuesday's events in Kigali, including visits to the site of a new medical clinic, were overshadowed by the specter of those awful days of 1994, and the unsettling notion that Africa somehow cannot break its chain of calamity built upon calamity. Holbrooke, who served as an envoy for the Clinton administration at the time of the massacre, said that image of Africa was wrong. During a wreath- laying ceremony at Gisozi, he said that had the United State acted with just modest force against the killing when it began, it most likely would have ended quickly. "It was not our finest hour,'' he said. "I'm certain that at least half the deaths might have been prevented,'' he said. Instead, the Clinton administration was focused on the crisis in Bosnia, where Holbrooke was heading efforts to end the civil war. The United States was also gun-shy about military ventures in Africa so soon after its disastrous intervention in Somalia. Clinton admitted mistake Instead of urging U.N. action of any kind, Holbrooke said, the United States forcefully blocked it. President Bill Clinton himself had conceded during a visit to Rwanda that the failure of the United States to intervene there might have been the biggest mistake of his presidency. Yet the parable of preventable death in Rwanda inevitably swings back to the current crisis of AIDS -- a catastrophe that is, in theory, entirely preventable. Holbrooke noted that there was often a direct relationship between HIV and human conflict. "AIDS follows wars,'' he said in an interview. "It follows wars because the health care system collapses, and soldiers carry the virus, and they visit prostitutes, and prostitutes follow the soldiers.'' Rwanda is far from the hardest hit of African states. An estimated 16 percent of the population is infected with HIV, but the rates are nearly triple that in Botswana. Nevertheless, Rwanda is on the list of a dozen African nations slated to benefit from President Bush's plan to spend $15 billion on overseas AIDS prevention and treatment programs during the next five years. It is one of the first countries to actually receive cash from the United States for a program to treat pregnant mothers with anti-viral drugs immediately before giving birth, and to administer a dose of the same medicine to their babies. Tests show such a regimen can cut by half the number of children who are born with HIV. Holbrooke said that the world needed to heed the lessons of both HIV and genocide. As he told the delegates as their plane approached Kigali, "We will be standing in a place where people were chopped up with machetes,'' he said. "It's not an easy trip, but it's an essential one.''

U.S. Department of State 2 Dec 2003 US Delegation Visits Memorial to Victims of Genocide United States Department of State (Washington, DC) NEWS December 2, 2003 Posted to the web December 3, 2003 By James Fisher-Thompson Kigali Amb. Holbrooke says timely intervention could have saved lives The bones and skulls preserved on shelves at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial, site of a mass grave of 250,00 victims of genocide here in 1994, offer grim testimony that this small African nation was once almost overwhelmed by "a gathering storm of killer." As he helped lay a wreath at the memorial December 2, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke declared, "Let us remember what happened here. ... Let us learn from the errors that allowed this to take place." After landing at Kanombe International Airport, the U.S. delegation of health care officials led by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tommy Thompson went directly to the Gisozi memorial to pay their respects to the victims of a campaign of genocide launched by the Hutu-dominated regime against the minority Tutsi people in 1994. About 800,000 people -- moderate Hutus as well as Tutsis -- were killed, some of them with "extraordinary cruelty," according to a U.S. Embassy press release. Holbrooke, who as assistant secretary of state for Europe helped forge a peace agreement to the Bosnian conflict in 1995, could not help but draw similarities between the mass murders that occurred in Srebrenica in the 1990's and the Rwandan genocide. "We stand on hallowed ground where blood ran in rivers nine years ago," he said as he and Secretary Thompson, assisted by Kigali Mayor T. Shyka, laid wreaths in the name of the U.S. government atop the concrete sarcophagus located on the hillside just below the Gisozi Memorial building. The group then walked through the multi-story building where shelves in glass-enclosed rooms hold neatly stacked piles of bones and skulls, many of the latter displaying severe wounds. The former diplomat, who is now vice chairman of Perseus, a leading private equity firm, as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Business Coalition for HIV/AIDS, paraphrased what President Clinton said on an earlier visit here. "What happened here was an American failure. It was not our finest hour and Rwanda fell to its near death," said Holbrooke. If the United States and other members of the U.N. Security Council had voted to send more peacekeepers to Rwanda in 1994, when ethnic tensions were rising to a fever pitch, Holbrooke said, "I believe at least one-half of the deaths could have been prevented. "History confers on us survivors a responsibility to remember; to seek understanding and to prevent the next ... genocide," he concluded. Before the wreath laying and tour of the memorial facility, Alphonsine Murebwayire, project director of the memorial site, described the 100 days of organized madness that spared neither women nor children as roving bands of killers, spurred on by the government-controlled radio station Milles Collines, butchered blindly. The Rwandan survivor described plans to start an education center at the Gisozi complex, because it was important in "fighting against the ideology of genocide." Holbrooke is one of the leading private sector participants in the HHS tour of four African nations November 30 to December 7. The 85-member delegation is assessing health care needs, and is particularly interested in seeing what can be done to strengthen African capabilities to fight HIV/AIDS, which is devastating the continent. Rwanda's HIV/AIDS infection rate is close to 9 percent and its government, led by President Paul Kagame, receives approximately $23 million a year from the United States in a partnership to battle AIDS as well as malaria and tuberculosis. At the memorial event for the victims of genocide, Holbrooke termed AIDS "the greatest social issue in our time." Following the visit to Gisozi, the Thompson delegation traveled to the village of Urugwiro, where Secretary Thompson met with President Kagame. (The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 02/12/2003 First U.S. Memorial to Deir Yassin Dedicated in New York State By Janet McMahon On Sept. 24, 2003, members and friends of Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) dedicated the first memorial in the United States to the victims of the April 9, 1948 massacre of the Palestinian Arab village near Jerusalem. The sculpture joins two other commemorations of the tragedy: a plaque at Dar al Tifl al Arabi, which stands across from Orient House in East Jerusalem and where Hind Husseini sheltered orphans of the massacre the following day; and a small stone at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland (see photo of Issam Nashashibi on facing page). The DYR memorial, located on the western shore of Seneca Lake in the upstate New York town of Geneva, depicts a mature olive tree, a symbol of peace and of Palestinian culture, uprooted in the Zionist quest to build a Jewish state on land long owned and inhabited by Palestinians. Some of the tree's roots still cling to the earth, however, symbolizing the strength and tenacity of its tenders. According to Daniel McGowan, founder of the eight-year-old organization, DYR's ultimate goal is "to build a memorial and information center at Deir Yassin, and thereby resurrect what is arguably the single most important event in 20th century Palestinian history." Realizing it may take years to realize its dream of building a memorial at the actual site of the massacre—which, ironically, is visible to visitors as they leave Yad Vashem, Israel's museum honoring victims of the European Holocaust—DYR in the meantime has held two international conferences and sponsors yearly commemorations around the world on the anniversary of the massacre. "Deir Yassin was not the only massacre," McGowan noted, "nor was it the largest." Its impact, however, was profound, causing terrorized Palestinian families to flee their homes as news of the massacre spread and Jewish militias continued their assaults on towns and villages allocated to a Palestinian state under the 1947 U.N. partition plan. For its American memorial, DYR commissioned Berkeley, CA-based artist Khalid Bendib to design and create a sculpture for the site. Not only is the Algerian-born Bendib a trenchant political cartoonist (his book, It Became Necessary to Destroy the Planet in Order to Save It, is available from the AET Book Club), he also is a noted sculptor. Among his works is the sculpture honoring Alex Odeh, the West Coast regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) who was murdered in Santa Ana, CA in 1985. The bronze plaque adorning the memorial features a Haiku by Randa Hamwi Duwaji: Earth torn roots yearning, Palestine landscape mourning Displaced descendants The Deir Yassin memorial was a local effort as well. The site was prepared by Daniel Wobig. Visitors can contemplate the sculpture while seated on a massive curvilinear bench carved and finished by Scott Fratto, from local-quaried Medina sandstone provided by Walter Johnston. The tranquil setting is only steps away from the lovely small resort of Geneva-on-the-Lake, owned by the Audi family, one of whose members, Mrs. Aminy Audi, has been a patron of DYR since its inception. The dedication drew friends and comrades—Muslim, Christian and Jew alike—from as near as Rochester, NY and as far away as Australia. Among those who came to honor those who died at Deir Yassin were several rabbis from Neturei Karta, who are courageous in their opposition to a Zionist state in Israel. In his opening remarks, McGowan thanked the major contributors to the memorial: Issam and Margaret Nashashibi, who with their donation challenged others to follow; Nabil Qaddumi, whose father was one of the founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization; Israel Taub, a New York Jew who had had no previous involvement with DYR; Yasmeen Qaddumi, daughter of Nabil and a symbol of the next generation of Palestinians; and Deir Yassin survivor Yousef Asad. Duwaji, who serves as DYR director of poetry and verse, then read a selection of moving and powerful poems reflecting the struggles and strengths of Palestinians enduring expulsion and occupation. Sister Miriam Ward of Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, who first visited Deir Yassin in the late 1970s, quoted the French philosopher Jacques Maritain to the effect that "all people have a right to know their history," and that it is "memory and imagination" that makes us human. A special moment for the many friends and family of the late Issam Nashashibi, who had been a moving force behind the memorial and who died suddenly just weeks before the event, was the presence of his wife, Margaret, who read aloud Issam's speech to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observances in Atlanta earlier this year. Despite the inherent sadness of the occasion, all who were present took comfort in the knowledge that they were helping to ensure that the world never forgets the history—or the existence—of the Palestinian people and their struggle.

New Orleans Times-Picayune 4 Dec 2003 Film chronicles stories of Holocaust heroes Thursday December 04, 2003 "Unlikely Heroes," the sixth film produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Moriah Films, will have its New Orleans premiere today at 7:30 p.m. at Landmark's Canal Place Cinema. A gala dessert reception will follow the screening. The international premiere took place in Toronto on Sept. 3 with 1,000 people in attendance. The U.S. premiere was Sept. 23 in Los Angeles. There will be a free screening for New Orleans school children Friday. From Our Advertiser "Unlikely Heroes" chronicles stories of Jewish resistance and individual heroism throughout the Nazi Holocaust, using rare film and photos discovered in archives across Europe, and enhanced by weeks of newly filmed sequences in the locations where many of these stories actually occurred. Narrated by Academy Award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley, the film also features original music written and conducted by Lee Holdridge and performed by the London Philharmonia. "Unlikely Heroes" is jointly produced and written by Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Wiesenthal Center, and Richard Trank, the center's media director. Two of the center's previous films, "Genocide" in 1981, narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Wells, and "The Long Way Home" in 1997, narrated by Morgan Freeman, Edward Asner and Martin Landau, have won Academy Awards. Call Robert L. Novak, at the Simon Wiesenthal Center at (954) 966-1118 or roblno@aol.com.

Independent UK 4 Dec 2003 Noam Chomsky: You Ask The Questions (excerpt) Professor Noam Chomsky, 74, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, into the only Jewish family in a lower-middle-class neighbourhood. He took a degree and then a PhD in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. At the age of 29, he published Syntactic Structures, which revolutionised the study of language. In 1964, he began openly resisting the Vietnam War, and published his first collection of political writings five years later. He has remained a major authority on both linguistics and political theory ever since. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Carol, and has three children. Where is the "silent genocide" you predicted would happen in Afghanistan if the US intervened there in 2001? Mike Dudley, Ipswich That is an interesting fabrication, which gives a good deal of insight into the prevailing moral and intellectual culture. First, the facts: I predicted nothing. Rather, I reported the grim warnings from virtually every knowledgeable source that the attack might lead to an awesome humanitarian catastrophe, and the bland announcements in the press that Washington had ordered Pakistan to eliminate "truck convoys that provide much of the food and other supplies to Afghanistan's civilian population". All of this is precisely accurate and entirely appropriate. The warnings remain accurate as well, a truism that should be unnecessary to explain. Unfortunately, it is apparently necessary to add a moral truism: actions are evaluated in terms of the range of anticipated consequences.

NYT 4 Dec 2003 LETTER FROM DULUTH It Did Happen Here: The Lynching That a City Forgot By MONICA DAVEY DULUTH, Minn. On an afternoon when a howling wind and early dusk gave promise of the northern Minnesota winter to come, two yellow buses pulled up to an empty downtown intersection and a swarm of bundled seventh and eighth graders poured out. They glanced up at the new monument on the corner, at the silhouettes of three men who, though frozen in bronze, seemed to be emerging from their sandy-colored wall. Then, it was right back to the buses, where students pronounced the monument good and returned to their chatter. Nothing beats a field trip. The monument memorializes a lynching that took place at the intersection 83 years ago, but to the students, it might as well have happened a million years ago, on some other downtown hill, in some other universe. Racism is not a problem here, Matthew Johnson, 13, told a visitor on his bus. Not in 2003. His fellow students, white like him, nodded solemnly. Just across First Street, the Kozy Bar was filling with regulars. From the worn tavern's front door, the view outside was of the memorial, shiny and unavoidable. That left some on those bar stools tossing out epithets. "Why should we spend the money on that?" Barbara Haataja, 56, said. "The kids in our schools are still going without, and I don't know what it's going to do to give those people this, 80 years after. Besides, those men wouldn't have been killed if they hadn't done nothing, would they? Come on." Back when the Kozy Bar still looked out on an empty lot, few people here knew what had happened to those men: three black circus workers who were hanged from a light pole on June 15, 1920, as a crowd of 10,000 looked on. Many white people had never heard of the lynching; older generations had chosen not to pass the memory down. Many African-Americans here — just 1,415 black people are counted among the population of 86,000 — had heard of it, but spoke about it quietly, among themselves. Then Heidi Bakk-Hansen, who works downtown, read a book about the lynching. Every time she passed the empty corner at First Street and Second Avenue East, it haunted her. The men had been accused of assaulting a white woman, but a mob pulled them from jail before a trial and before anyone could see that the charges seemed dubious. In 2000, Ms. Bakk-Hansen, who is white, told their story in a local newspaper. To many here, the memory was painful and inexplicable: how could a lynching, the legacy of Southern towns, have happened in a gritty but placid port city beside Lake Superior, nearly in Canada? And wasn't Duluth too small, too overwhelmingly white, for racial strife anyway? For a small group of people, including Henry L. Banks, who is black, and Catherine Ostos, who is Latina, the story became a mission. They arranged a vigil. They started a committee to plan some small remembrance, perhaps a wall plaque somewhere. There were doubters in Duluth, a city more openly divided by economics than race: mansions on the east side, smokestacks and old factories on the west. Why dredge up the past in a city desperately trying to remake itself for tourists, with rows of quaint shops peddling canoeing gear and wild rice? But the committee pressed on. It secured land and some city financing. It asked for donations and, along the way, found scars. One woman gave $10,000, anonymously. A relative had been working in the jail the night of the lynching, she said, and grieved over it the rest of his life. In the end, it was far more than a plaque — it was a 53-by-70-foot sculpture, costing $267,000. Thousands filled the intersection this fall for the unveiling. Officials spoke. So did Warren Read, a fourth-grade teacher from Kingston, Wash. While doing genealogical research, Mr. Read discovered that his great-grandfather had been among those leading the mob. Mr. Read, who had never met his great-grandfather, flew to Duluth to apologize: To Elmer Jackson. To Elias Clayton. To Isaac McGhie. "As a family, we have used the discovery of this as a tool for continued discovery of ourselves," Mr. Read told the crowd. "This means our past, present and future selves, and a lesson that true shame is not in the discovery of a terrible event such as this, but in the refusal to acknowledge and learn from that event." People wept. They praised Mr. Read's candor. They studied the memorial. They went home, perhaps concluding that an old racial divide had at last been patched. But then cracks emerged. In recent weeks, at the University of Minnesota Duluth, the college on the hill, tensions have flared. At the library, two black students said they had asked a group of white students to quiet down, and were greeted with racial epithets. Another confrontation, a snowball fight, may have been provoked by a racial dispute, school authorities said. And a similar fight arose at a soccer game between students of different races. The details of these incidents are fuzzy. Students seem reluctant to talk about them. A school official, who is still investigating, said she could not discuss anything in detail. Stickers of the Confederate flag, a peculiar icon so far north, have grown popular among some younger students here, Ms. Ostos said. There have even been jokes about the memorial — about modern-day lampposts and how many people might hang on one now. "I think we all come up here to this predominantly white community and we don't expect to find racism, in part because we don't expect to find minority individuals," said Steve Hoag, the senior associate dean for the University of Minnesota's Duluth campus college of pharmacy, which has 5 black students, out of 52. "But once it happens, you begin to think that maybe we are so far north, so white, so isolated from many communities' experiences that we are complacent." Some view the new tensions as a backlash to the monument. Others say the monument simply unearthed something bigger that has always been there, just out of sight. The city that had been so willing to atone for a racist sin had little experience with race at all. "It's going to be something that this community will have to face in a thoughtful and proactive manner in order to catch up with the rest of the world," said Deborah S. Petersen-Perlman, director of the university's office of equal opportunity, who is investigating the recent incidents reported by black students. Just 118 of the university's 9,800 students are black. There is an old joke about diversity in Duluth: There is plenty of it, compared with some of Minnesota's blond Scandinavian and German towns. Thanks to the city's history with the Iron Range, which drew workers from all over Europe, brown hair is abundant here. Since the memorial went up, Ms. Bakk-Hansen said, numerous white acquaintances here have approached her, quietly, to talk about race. "They have questions about African-Americans, and now they're not afraid to ask," she said. "There are still a lot of myths about African-Americans, and at least this has opened up the discussion." Not long ago, too, university leaders put on a forum — "Eracism" — where students and others talked about ways to sort out racial divides. Back at the windy intersection outside the Kozy Bar, Kevin Ross looked over the sculpture and shrugged. "That's not going to change the attitudes of people around here," he said. He is 46 and black. He has heard the lamppost jokes. "This happened 80 years ago," he said. "It's kind of late to put that up. What does it change now?" The images of the three bronze men were not drawn from life. Aside from a single gruesome photograph — as the men were hanging and the crowd looked impassively at the camera — Jackson, Clayton and McGhie left no images behind. Carla Stetson, the artist, solved the problem by picking three young black men from Duluth as her models. "This way, it connects what happened in 1920 to today," she said. The faces of the three young men from Duluth, one in high school and two now in college, are sealed in bronze at First Street and Second Avenue East. For more info on the June 15, 1920 triple lynching in Duluth, Minnesota, see these websites: Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Memorial Committee www.claytonjacksonmcghie.org and the Minnesota Historical Society http://collections.mnhs.org/duluthlynchings

Los Angeles Times 5 Dec 2003 DECLASSIFIED REPORT ON WWII SEX SLAVES Japan govt ran wartime brothels: US WASHINGTON - The Japanese government was directly involved in developing and operating military brothels where hundreds of thousands of Asian girls and women were forced to work as sex slaves during World War II, according to a recently declassified US report. Issued by General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers on Nov 15, 1945, the report offers the most detailed account yet of how the military brothels - euphemistically called 'comfort stations' or 'houses of relaxation' - were run during Japan's aggression throughout Asia. Japan has denied any official approval of the brothels, arguing they were created by civilians. But the report, based on statements of Japanese prisoners of war and documents confiscated by the US military, said operators received licences from the Japanese military and worked under its direct supervision. The documents were obtained from the National Archives by an international team of researchers affiliated with the University of California, Riverside and Seoul National University under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The report is expected to give ammunition to human rights activists who have been fighting for reparations for the surviving victims. 'Americans know much about the Nazi atrocities against the Jews, but they know very little about the atrocities committed against Asians by the Japanese military,' said Professor Edward Chang, a professor of ethnic studies at UC Riverside and coordinator of the international research team. 'The documents we now have contradict what the Japanese government has been saying,' he said. 'In the face of the irrefutable evidence, the Japanese government needs to admit its responsibility and come clean.' A spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Washington, who asked not to be named, said his government could not comment on the report because it had not seen it. He did, however, repeat Japan's position that the brothels were set up without government sanction, and that all claims against Japan were settled in the 1951 peace treaty with the United States and other allied powers. Japan has expressed regret in various forms but not in an official apology. A privately established fund has paid compensation to some of the women, but most of the former sex slaves have refused to accept the money because it is not from the government. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 women from Japan and from China, Korea, the Philippines and other countries that Japan occupied during the 1930s and 1940s were forced to work in the brothels.

Sacramento Bee (California) 5 Dec 2003 sacbee.com Atrocity survivor eyes Athens By John Schumacher Gilbert Tuhabonye tells his story in a matter-of-fact tone, the way one might recount a day at the office, running errands or fighting the commute home. But one doesn't escape death every day. And not the way Tuhabonye says he did 10 years ago in his native Burundi. Tuhabonye, 29, hopes to meet the Olympic Games "A" standard of 2 hours, 15 minutes in Sunday's California International Marathon. Consider his merely being alive to run the 26.2 miles from Folsom to the state capitol a miracle. His story begins in the village of Kibimba in the East Central African nation, which got caught up in a bloody civil war between two tribes: the Hutus and the Tutsis. More than 200,000 people have been killed and an estimated 1 million displaced since 1993, when Tutsi paratroopers assassinated the first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu. A member of the Tutsi tribe, Tuhabonye nearly became one of those victims. The Hutus invaded Kibimba, rounded up dozens of Tutsis in a building and then set the structure on fire. According to Tuhabonye, everyone but him died. Published reports indicate two others survived for at least a few days with severe burns. Tuhabonye says he survived by hiding among his classmates' bodies for eight hours, then breaking a window in the middle of the night and running to safety. "I was thinking I would die like the others," Tuhabonye said in a phone interview from Austin, Texas. "It was a miracle to escape. ... My legs, my arms pretty much were burning everywhere." Tuhabonye says he found help around 6 a.m., three hours after his escape, and spent three months in a hospital in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. "My parents started a funeral ceremony," he said. "They thought I was dead. ... When I appeared home, it was a joy." Now, Tuhabonye is convinced God spared him to inspire others. "If you were in my place, you would think, 'God is here,' " he said. "That's why I'm telling my story. He wants to use me as an ambassador, to give people hope." A few days after the massacre, the International Committee of the Red Cross found 25 bodies and determined they had been burned alive, with local villagers indicating they'd already moved 35 more, according to a Reuters report from October 1993. A memorial was later built in Kibimba to honor the victims. John Conley, race director of the Motorola Marathon in Austin and Tuhabonye's coach, doesn't doubt his athlete's story. Conley has seen the scars on Tuhabonye's legs and back, and marvels at how normal this survivor seems. "As well-adjusted and balanced as that guy is, it's a testament to his strength," Conley said. "He's the nicest guy. You'd never know he's been through an atrocity. ... Others would have rightfully been traumatized emotionally. "All you have to do is take a look at his back and legs. They're quite badly burned. It's affected his running." Tuhabonye, who is married and has a 2-year-old daughter, attended LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga., and Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. After the 2004 Olympics, he wants to become an American citizen. "He's really taken to the U.S. way of life," Conley said. "He's really adopted Texas as home." Tuhabonye doesn't make a big deal of any differences between life in Burundi and life in America. He offers only that Burundi is more political, and that Austin is beautiful, even if it might get a little cold from time to time. "People laugh at me," he said. "They don't understand to me anything below 70 is cold." The temperature for Sunday's CIM should be several degrees below that. Tuhabonye reached the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 as an alternate in the 800 meters but did not compete. He dreams now of running the Olympic marathon in Athens, Greece. "Just to be in would be a big deal for me," he said. "It would be very, very beneficial and very, very important to make the Olympics. That's my dream." Tuhabonye has won plenty of 10Ks and 10-milers in Texas. He made his marathon debut in February at the Motorola Marathon, running 2:26:05.5, then bounced back with a 2:23:47 effort in Grandma's Marathon in June in Duluth, Minn. "He's in really good shape," Conley said. "He's strong. His speed remains to be seen. "It's time for him to get back to the big leagues." After working 50 hours a week in a shoe store, Tuhabonye is able to cut back to 20 hours a week, thanks to a few local sponsors. That gives him a better chance to train seriously. "He sees this as really his last athletic hurrah," Conley said. "It's his last chance." Whether he reaches Athens, Tuhabonye says he feels blessed. "I can't tell you how many kids dream of being in this (situation) but never get close," he said. "It's just having the power of God working."

Chicago Sun Times 6 Dec 2003 Guatemalan widow to speak out here on genocide December 6, 2003 BY ANA MENDIETA Staff Reporter Advertisement Rosalina Tuyuc last saw her husband alive in 1985, when he was reportedly kidnapped by the Guatemalan army. Her father disappeared in 1982, reportedly also at the hands of the Guatemalan army, during a brutal civil war with leftist guerrillas that killed an estimated 200,000 people, mostly Mayan peasants, between 1960 and 1996. For the last two decades, Tuyuc has been fighting to find their bodies and to bring human rights violators to justice. Today, Tuyuc, a Mayan woman and founder of the National Association of Guatemalan Widows, will be in Chicago to speak of the need to end the impunity of former Guatemalan dictators and presidents accused of genocide. Tuyuc was invited by the Foundation for Human Rights in Guatemala and the UIC's Rafael Cintron Ortiz Latino Cultural Center in commemoration of the upcoming International Day for Human Rights on Dec. 10. "Today, our political system allows that assassins and human rights violators run for president, and that prevents indigenous people from getting justice,'' said Tuyuc, 47, referring to former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who ran for president and lost in November elections. The recent loss could leave Rios Montt open to prosecution for human rights violations because his immunity as a member of Congress would end with his term in January. Tuyuc's organization, which represents 10,000 to 13,000 women who lost their husbands to the civil war, is now carrying out multiple exhumations in clandestine cemeteries. They recently found skeletal remains of 114 people at a clandestine cemetery in San Juan Comalapa, about 53 miles west of Guatemala City. Tuyuc says there is evidence her father was tortured and murdered by the army in that cemetery. But the widows don't only want to find the bodies of their loved ones and give them Christian burials, Tuyuc said. "The question isn't just to find the bone remains but to demand that the Guatemalan justice system investigates those responsible for the murders and commits to a financial compensation for the genocide victims,'' Tuyuc said. Tuyuc said she will ask Chicago women to start projects in support of indigenous women who have lost husbands, fathers or sons in the civil war. "The impunity surrounding those who committed genocide is one of the main factors halting the construction of lasting peace in Guatemala,'' said Tuyuc, who said the 1996 peace accords need to place priority on the victims and not the victimizers. For info visit www.fhrg.org.

Salt Lake Tribune 7 Dec 2003 The story of Gunnison: Blind vengeance and a massacre Will Bagley HISTORY MATTERS Ahaunted spot lies on the north bank of a willow-covered bend in the Sevier River, six miles southwest of Deseret amid the craters, buttes, lava flows, alkali flats, gypsum beds and salt marshes that cover 2,000 square miles of central Utah's Pahvant Valley. Here on a cold October morning 150 years ago, Army Capt. John W. Gunnison, a renowned scientist, scholar, author and explorer, fell victim to an act of blind vengeance. In September 1853, a California-bound wagon train camped near the Mormon settlement at Fillmore. Pahvant tribesmen immediately visited the wagons to swap buckskins for sugar, tobacco and shirts. According to an early report to Indian Superintendent Brigham Young, the emigrants tried to disarm their visitors. "But one of the Indians by the name of Tow-ipe who had a high standing in his tribe" refused to give up his bow and arrows, wrote Samuel P. Hoyt, a justice of the peace in Fillmore. An emigrant named Hart "undertook forcibly to take them from him, while in the act the Indian stabbed Hart in the Lower part of the Abdomen, with an arrow. Hart seized his revolver and shot the Indian who ran a few rods and expired." The Americans also wounded two other Pahvants. Bishop Anson Call and Kanosh, the Mormon-appointed Pahvant leader, managed to placate the Indians -- except for the dead man's sons, notably Moshoquop and Pants, who wanted tribal justice, which demanded an eye for an eye. Not long after the murders, "a band of warriors disappeared within the maze of lava beds and sand dunes in the direction of the lower reaches of the Sevier river" to hunt migrating waterfowl, journalist Josiah Gibbs reported. Into this hornet's nest Gunnison led one of five expeditions Congress had sent "to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean." After stopping in Fillmore to cash a check, Gunnison split his party and led the smaller contingent north to explore Sevier Lake and camped at an exposed inlet on the river in Millard County. "Barring its death-trap-like features," Josiah Gibbs noted, "it was an ideal camp ground." Some of Gunnison's men went duck hunting, and their shots alerted two of Moshoquop's hunters. They scouted the undefended camp, and by dawn the Pahvants had "occupied the east, north, and south sides of the camp, while the marsh cut off escape to the west." As sunlight spilled over the Canyon Range, a shower of arrows and bullets swept the campsite. Six hours later, a corporal, "running on foot in breathless haste," staggered into the expedition's second camp. He reported the surprise attack and told Capt. Robert Morris, commander of the military escort, "he feared all were massacred excepting himself." By nightfall Morris and his Mounted Riflemen reached the inlet, where he found the bodies of six men and Gunnison, who "had fallen by fifteen arrow wounds and had his left arm cut off." The Riflemen "stood to horse until day light," listening to the wolves devour their comrades. "Having no means to bury the dead," Morris wrote, "I was reluctantly compelled to leave them where they had fallen." A week later all that a Mormon burial party could find left of Gunnison's body was a thigh bone and some hair. Since the murders took place in Utah, they generated questionable charges that the Mormons had joined in the massacre. A participant later described how Pahvant hunters made the attack, indicating the crime was "a case of mistaken identity and revenge." But Mormon authorities and federal officials began trading accusations, "the forces of antagonism and distrust had been set in motion," historian David H. Miller concluded, "an irrepressible conflict became unavoidable." That conflict exploded with the Utah War. ----- Historian Ardis Parshall contributed to this column. Robert Kent Fielding, author of Unsolicited Chronicler, a controversial and exhaustive study of the Gunnison Massacre, has given funds to the Utah Humanities Council (359-9670) for seven small grants for projects on Gunnison, providing a great opportunity for students and teachers to learn more about Utah history.

Fox News 8 Dec 2003 Interview transcript Prosecuting Crimes Against Humanity Monday, December 08, 2003 This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, December 5, that has been edited for clarity. Watch Special Report With Brit Hume weeknights at 6 p.m. ET JIM ANGLE, GUEST-HOST: The Iraqis plan to establish a tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity. A court that might one day try Saddam Hussein and other former officials who committed atrocities against their own people. Joining me to discuss this new development is David Scheffer, former U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes during the Clinton administration. He helped negotiate the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Welcome. DAVID SCHEFFER, FMR. WAR CRIMES AMBASSADOR: Welcome. Thank you. ANGLE: Thanks for joining us. From what we have seen, since Saddam was ousted, I mean we all knew from the outset, from long before he left what the situation was there, but perhaps not how bad it was. We have learned a lot and it appears there are plenty of crimes against humanity that could be prosecuted. SCHEFFER: There's no question there's also charges of genocide, charges of serious war crimes. So you have several baskets of major crimes that he can be charged with. And I might say that while it is informative, what has been discovered since the occupation began, those of us who always assume the worst with individuals like Saddam Hussein, we clearly saw through the end of the '80s and throughout the 1990s, a record of criminal activity that would lead anyone to assume that mass graves are going to be discovered in Iraq. ANGLE: You mentioned the mass graves. I think everyone more or less agrees there are about 300,000 people found in mass graves? You know, when you think about it, it is hard to imagine 300,000 people being killed in large groups like that. SCHEFFER: You know, it's interesting particularly for Americans because 9/11, we had almost 3,000 people killed; and 9/11 sends shock waves through the American society. But it always needs -- we need to remember that in other societies, whether it be Rwanda or the Balkans or Iraq, these numbers are in the tens and usually in the hundreds of thousands, the victims of these criminal activities. So, the societies in which those crimes take place need an easy enormous amount of attention and almost nurturing in this process to bring them back into the international community. ANGLE: Now obviously it is a lot more than Saddam. It is all of his henchmen who cooperated in this and who are part of this whole regime that perpetrated these kinds of crimes. How hard is it to go back -- well, you can often find the people -- how hard is it to go back and build a case against them? There's been a fair amount of evidence. We have some, in fact, if we can show it. There's obviously some videotapes of people being whipped. There are people thrown off buildings, which we saw earlier in the program. There is someone being decapitated on one of these tapes. There is obviously plenty of evidence of things being done. But you see the people who are doing it have hoods on. How do you find those people? SCHEFFER: Well, this is one of the great challenges that this new -- perhaps this is new Iraqi court, that may be announced very soon, will have to face. And that is the irony is when you are dealing with very large atrocities of this character, where you have hooded men who are seen on videotapes, but not Saddam Hussein at the scene of the crime. It is a very sophisticated and complex process as to how do you build the evidence that works up the food chain, the command chain, to the very top leadership to ensure that in a court of law, in accordance with due process, they, in fact, can be successfully charged with the command structure of this kind of crime. And the other irony, if it's an irony, it is a sad one, is that it is exactly those individuals with the hoods on their heads that you see in the videotapes who, in the end -- in the end, may actually be the subjects of amnesties at the lower levels in society. Why, because these people number in the thousands, those who actually committed the crimes. And it may be impossible for the Iraqi court system to actually prosecute them. ANGLE: Yes. What -- how difficult is it to do this and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Iraqis doing this on their own, rather than turning to some international criminal court like the Hague? Which we did in the case of Rwanda and the Balkans, where a number of people have just recently been sentenced to very long-terms? SCHEFFER: Right. Well, I think one of the great challenges for Iraq will be to meet the standards, frankly, that have now been set in the Hague and in Arusha, where the Rwanda tribunal is. In the sense that they demonstrate the very professional approach to evidence gathering and to bringing very top leaders to justice, where you need to bring a lot of witnesses in, a lot of documentation. And it is a very professional undertaking and we now have that experience. ANGLE: To take out any hint of people trying to get even. SCHEFFER: Right. And you know, the other interesting thing is that as we built those courts in The Hague, we were very, very attentive to due process requirements for the defendants, so that the trial would be seen as fair. And of course, in the war against terror, we've seen that concept challenged. Such that now in Iraq, if we do see a new criminal court established in Iraq, with Iraqis basically running it, we're going to have to be very, very careful that due process requirements are, in fact, established in that system. Particularly as you get higher up the command chain, because that's where the legacy will be found as to the due process requirements for trials of this character. ANGLE: David Scheffer, thank you very much. SCHEFFER: Thank you. ANGLE: One last thing. Do we ever deter these things? Or is it a question of getting justice? SCHEFFER: You know, when I worked on these issues, it is a long-term victory. I think 40 to 50 years from now ... these will be seen as great acts of deterrence. ANGLE: All right. Thank you very much.

HRW 10 Dec 2003 For Immediate Release: U.S. Should Stop Sanctioning Allies Over ICC High Political Price Tag for Anti-Court Policy (New York, December 10, 2003) – The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is penalizing more than 20 friendly nations for supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Human Rights Watch urged the Bush administration to grant broad waivers for all states that are currently being penalized. The United States has been pressuring governments that have ratified the ICC treaty to sign bilateral agreements exempting U.S. citizens from the court’s authority. Many governments have resisted signing because it would violate obligations under the ICC treaty. The American Servicemembers Protection Act prohibits military assistance for ICC states that do not sign these agreements, but President Bush can waive the prohibition on national interest grounds. President Bush recently waived some sanctions against six prospective NATO members. More than 20 ICC states still have military assistance being withheld, totaling more than 20 million dollars. Those states include, among others, Benin, Croatia, Ecuador and Mali. “It makes no sense for the United States to continue penalizing emerging democracies trying hard to support the rule of law,” said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program. “Why waive sanctions for NATO members but punish states like Mali, Benin, and Ecuador that urgently need support?” One third of ICC states parties have signed bilateral immunity agreements with the United States, while another two-thirds have refused to sign, many even after being sanctioned. In addition, of all the agreements signed with states parties, only nine are now legally binding. Others require parliamentary approval before coming into effect. “After a year and a half of strong-arming states, all the U.S. government has to show for its efforts is a lot of ill will and a few binding agreements,” said Dicker. The United States is protecting itself from a phantom threat, with a cure that’s worse than the imagined illness.” Dicker said the administration has an easy way out: waivers for all ICC states parties. The Bush administration has long been hostile to the creation of the ICC. Most U.S. allies support the court. Eighteen judges and a prosecutor have been elected. The first case will likely begin in 2004 and involve the atrocities committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To read Human Rights Watch’s letter to Secretary of State Powell, go to: http://hrw.org/press/2003/12/us120903-ltr.htm To view the full list of Article 98 bilateral immunity agreements, go to: http://www.iccnow.org/documents/otherissues/impunityart98/BIAWaiversWICC24Nov03.pdf

PRnewswire.com 10 Dec 2003 New Teacher Resources on Expanded FRONTLINE Teacher Center URL: http://www.pbs.org/frontline/teach/ BOSTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- New teacher's guides, an improved search function, and dozens of full-length documentaries available for viewing online are just a few of the highlights of the revamped and newly re-launched FRONTLINE Teacher Center. Aimed at secondary school and college educators, the FRONTLINE Teacher Center is designed to help teachers use FRONTLINE documentaries as a launching point for classroom learning and discussion. Among the site's many new offerings are more than thirty online teacher's guides-each written especially for use with one or more FRONTLINE films-on such diverse topics as terrorism, global warming, campaign finance reform, and teen sexuality. Appropriate for use by a wide range of social studies, language arts, health, and media literacy educators, these valuable resources offer key background information and "discussion-starter" questions as well as suggested classroom activities that build upon the issues and themes explored in the documentaries. What's more, FRONTLINE plans to add eight new teacher guides this season on topics such as the war in Iraq, the Rwandan genocide, and pharmaceutical advertising. The new FRONTLINE Teacher Center also enables teachers and students to view dozens of FRONTLINE films online via streaming video, with new documentaries added each month. Current online offerings include such FRONTLINE classics as "Abortion Clinic" and "A Class Divided" as well as more recent documentaries like "Truth, War and Consequences" and "The Merchants of Cool." Additional highlights of the new FRONTLINE Teacher Center include: -- A new design that organizes teacher's guides by subject area and topic -- An improved search function to help teachers quickly find the resources they need -- A new "Especially for Educators" section featuring FRONTLINE reporting that address school choice, education reform, standardized testing, and other educational issues To alert teachers to upcoming FRONTLINE documentaries and educational offerings, FRONTLINE is also launching an expanded version of its e-mail newsletter. In addition to receiving monthly updates on new FRONTLINE programs and teacher's guides, subscribers will now receive a list of viewing questions for students to keep in mind while watching FRONTLINE documentaries at home.

Miami Herald 11 Dec 2003 Former Serbian army soldier faces deportation A former Serbian soldier -- an accused human rights violator -- is arrested in Miami shortly after telling an immigration judge that he participated in ethnic cleansing against Croats. BY ALFONSO CHARDY Miami Herald Minutes after an immigration judge rejected his asylum claim, a former Serbian army soldier who has admitted participating in ethnic cleansing killings in the former Yugoslavia was arrested by federal agents in downtown Miami. Zivota Konstantinovic, 39, was arrested Monday by federal agents charged with hunting down accused human rights violators after immigration Judge Ronald G. Sonom denied his asylum request because he was deemed a ``persecutor.'' He is being held at the Krome detention center in West Miami-Dade County facing deportation proceedings. He is the first Serbian torture suspect arrested in Florida since the federal immigration service launched its ''persecutor program'' in 2000. Immigration officials say a handful of other Serbian and Bosnian suspects have been detained or investigated in other parts of the country, particularly in the Northeast. LITTLE IS KNOWN Human rights activists who monitor the former Yugoslavia said Wednesday they had not heard of Konstantinovic. His name also does not appear on the list of cases filed with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which is trying former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and other former senior Yugoslav military and civilian officials at the Hague for war crimes. Ana Santiago, a spokeswoman in Miami for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed Konstantinovic's arrest, but could provide no other details. A federal official familiar with the case said Konstantinovic had served in the Serbian army in 1991 fighting Croatians, one of several bloody ethnic conflicts that tore apart Yugoslavia following the fall of the Soviet Union. Konstantinovic, the official said, arrived in New York in 1992 and asked for political asylum because he said he would be persecuted if he was repatriated. It could not be determined why Konstantinovic believed he would be persecuted. An immigration judge rejected his asylum claim, and Konstantinovic appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The board also rejected the claim, but Konstantinovic continued to pursue his case. Eventually the board agreed to again hear his claim, leading to Monday's hearing in Miami where the case was shifted when Konstantinovic moved here two years ago. `ETHNIC CLEANSING' Although it is not clear exactly when, at some point before Monday's hearing Konstantinovic told an immigration judge that he was forced to kill Croats and participate in ''ethnic cleansing,'' according to immigration records obtained by The Herald. In one document, Konstantinovic described his army job as collecting bodies of people killed during combat. It is not clear if he was referring to soldiers or civilians. Konstantinovic also said that he would be killed if he did not obey orders to kill Croats. Asked by an immigration judge if he had participated in ethnic cleansing, Konstantinovic said, ``Yes. I had to go and do the shooting. Your honor, I wasn't even looking. I wasn't looking where I was shooting. I had to shoot.'' The records, which are summaries of the investigation by the the federal immigration enforcement service, do not indicate when the exchange between the judge and Konstantinovic took place. There is little information about Konstantinovic's life in Florida. Public records show an address for him in Hollywood, just west of Florida's Turnpike. The one-story house was empty Wednesday afternoon and a ''For sale'' sign was posted in the front yard. A real estate broker said the Konstantinovic family had left about two months ago and given him a contact phone number in New York City. The United Nations tribunal filed 61 charges against Milosevic for crimes allegedly committed during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia between 1991 and 1995 that killed thousands, including elderly men and women, and children. He is also charged with genocide for allegedly backing a plan to eliminate Muslims and Croats in Bosnia. Prosecutors charged Milosevic with responsibility in the deaths of thousands during the Bosnian war.

WP 17 Dec 2003 The Enola Gay In a Truly Terrifying Light By Courtland Milloy Wednesday, December 17, 2003; Page B01 After attending opening day at the National Air and Space Museum annex in Northern Virginia on Monday, four visitors from Japan returned to the home of their hosts on Capitol Hill for rest and reflection. "It was so big, huge," Tamiko Tomonaga, 74, said through a translator. "In the sky, the B-29s looked so small." The Japanese visitors, three men and a woman, were survivors of the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. And they had just seen the airplane that had dropped one of those bombs -- the B-29 Superfortress known as Enola Gay. "Can you please explain why the pilot would put his mother's name on such a plane?" Minoru Nishino, 71, asked softly. "In Japan, mothers and sweethearts represent life and love, not war and death." Two of the guests were from Hiroshima, which was destroyed by a bomb dropped by the Enola Gay on Aug. 6, 1945, and two were from Nagasaki, which was destroyed three days later by a bomb dropped by a B-29 called Bockscar. At the museum annex, the group took part in a peaceful protest of the Smithsonian Institution's decision to display the Enola Gay without mentioning the devastation caused by the first explosion of an atomic bomb over a civilian population. However, when another group of protesters became disruptive and a bottle of red paint was tossed at the airplane, the survivors, called Hibakusha in Japan, moved away. They didn't come to refight World War II; they just don't want what happened to them to be forgotten. "I was 13 when I saw this airplane crossing the sky, just before I was blown to the ground with my skin peeling off," Nishino recalled. "I was angry and in pain. I saw my classmates on fire around me, and I wanted to cry out. But I couldn't cry out. I just thought, 'What is going on?' " Asked how he felt, looking at the Enola Gay 58 years later, he said: "I wanted to cry out, just like before. But I couldn't. I just looked at it and thought, 'What is going on?' " The group represented a confederation of atomic bomb survivors known as Nihon Hidankyo. A statement by Nihon read, in part: "Nuclear weapons cannot exist with humans. Nuclear weapons are not only weapons of mass destruction. They are weapons of mass extinction." At least eight countries possess nuclear weapons, and as many as 40 are believed to have the ability to produce them, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Hibakusha cause is much bigger than the protest against the Enola Gay. But as the visitors looked over the restored and polished warplane, nothing loomed larger than remembrances of its horrible payload. Terumi Tanaka was 13 when the atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki. More than 70,000 people were killed -- 60 percent of them women, children and seniors. "It was so sad. I felt the tears about to come down," Tanaka, 71, said of his visit to the museum. "Seeing all the fighter planes on display, I realized this was a war museum. What we need are more peace museums." Hirotami Yamada, 72, was at school in Nagasaki when he heard the air raid sirens. He was 14. He recalled a flash, followed by a blast of heat and radiation -- the latter of which eventually killed everyone else in his family. "I did not see or hear the plane, so I had no idea why everything was on fire," Yamada recalled. "Now, I've finally seen the plane, not the same plane, but still a B-29. I thought: 'Oh, so this is it. This is what dropped the bomb that destroyed my family.' " Tomonaga was 16, living in Hiroshima and studying to become a nurse when the bomb fell. Her fear of B-29s persists, she said, but seeing the Enola Gay also strengthened her resolve to work for peace. "There is a divide -- survivors and the dead," she said. "I believe I was allowed to live to let the voices of the others be heard, to give their testimony and help bring about a world without such weapons." Nishino nodded. "So many died in a flash, never knowing what happened," he said. "When I die, I will cross the divide and tell them what happened. I will tell them that I saw the Enola Gay."

WP 21 Dec 2003 International Justice Can Indeed Be Local By Diane Orentlicher Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page B05 Writing in the shadows of the Holocaust, Hannah Arendt famously wondered whether any court could render justice for atrocities whose scale and depravity defied comprehension. The conundrum became freshly relevant this week, as the world pondered: What kind of court should try Saddam Hussein? Debate has centered on two radically different options -- prosecution before an Iraqi court on the one hand and an international tribunal on the other. But this presents a false choice. Iraqis can benefit from international assistance without surrendering their legitimate desire to prosecute Saddam themselves. Iraqis have good grounds for resisting the choice of an international criminal court based outside Iraq. Consider the lessons derived from two courts created by the U.N. Security Council in the early 1990s -- one in The Hague, which judges crimes committed in the Balkans, and the other in Arusha, Tanzania, which has been trying leaders of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. These courts have upended the calculus of impunity that long emboldened world-class dictators: If you slaughter your citizens at staggering levels, the world will pledge amnesty and asylum if you stop the carnage. But the message of these courts to victims -- that their suffering has been honored -- has been muted by the courts' distance from the Balkans and Rwanda. Inevitably, too, many Iraqis would see the creation of an international court as a judgment that Iraqi lawyers are keen to defy -- that local courts aren't up to the job. Judges who resigned rather than serve on Hussein's courts or who served time in prison for defying his orders are eager to prove otherwise. With Baath Party loyalists purged from Iraqi courts, they insist, the civilization that produced the Code of Hammurabi -- one of the earliest codes of law -- can give Hussein a fair trial. I have no doubt that Iraqi judges of great probity and talent can be found to constitute a special war crimes tribunal. I met many impressive Iraqi jurists at a meeting last July in Baghdad organized by the United Nations to explore options for confronting Hussein-era crimes. But it takes more than competent judges to constitute a viable war crimes tribunal. Investigating crimes committed during Baathist rule -- exhuming mass graves, poring through mountains of documents, analyzing the evidence against a complex body of international law -- would require resources and expertise that exceed the capacity of most countries' courts. And by all accounts, Iraq's judiciary is a shambles. Decades of Baath Party rule deformed the nation's judicial system, which was further degraded by widespread looting of the courts during the recent war. But if Iraqi courts cannot yet handle the burden of a major trial, Iraqis need not accept the remote justice associated with the U.N. tribunals. Hussein and other architects of mass atrocity should be tried in Iraq, before courts bolstered by the participation of international judges, prosecutors and administrative staff. Precedents exist in Kosovo, East Timor and Sierra Leone. In all three places, "hybrid" courts composed of local and international judges apply a mix of local and international law. While the Kosovo and East Timor courts were established by a U.N. administration, the Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up by the government of Sierra Leone, through a joint effort. Another hybrid court is being planned for Cambodia. Last month I participated in hearings before the Sierra Leone court, and was impressed by its potential to contribute to that country's recovery from lawless violence. The court's location in Freetown rather than, say, The Hague, enables Sierra Leoneans to attend court proceedings and local journalists to cover them. Senior officials of the court, including its American prosecutor, have traveled the country to explain the court's operation to its citizens. This kind of engagement is crucial to the success of major trials convened to judge mass atrocities -- trials whose prototype was the Allied powers' joint prosecution of major Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg, Germany, after World War II. War crimes trials have ambitious aims: They simultaneously seek to condemn the past, heal broken souls and help repair riven societies. But a trial cannot begin to achieve these aims unless its intended message is clearly understood in the society that endured those atrocious crimes; this is easier to ensure when a court operates in-country. And by exposing the bureaucratic details of past atrocity, such a trial can empower a society to resist the return of tyranny. Distant international courts can contribute to this process -- thanks to the Hague tribunal, Serbs no longer deny the massacre of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995 -- but their role is inherently limited. In-country justice can do something a foreign court cannot: By assuring victims that their own government is determined and able to protect their rights, national trials can help restore civic trust. The Iraqi Governing Council put the country one step closer to trying Hussein earlier this month with its approval of a law that makes some provision for international involvement, but Iraqis would do well to consider going further. In an encouraging sign of Iraq's willingness to internationalize its trials, the Iraqi Special Tribunal for Crimes Against Humanity statute creates a new court with jurisdiction over offenses defined under international as well as Iraqi law. But it takes a grudging (and confusing) approach to foreign participation. One provision requires that judges, investigative judges, prosecutors and the administrative head of the court be Iraqi nationals. In an apparent concession to foreign concerns, however, another provision allows but does not require the Governing Council to appoint non-Iraqi judges "who have experience in the crimes encompassed in this statute." Other provisions require the appointment of non-Iraqi nationals "to act in advisory capacities or as observers." The Governing Council has resisted the model of a court in which foreign judges are integral rather than optional, apparently believing this would imply a lack of confidence in Iraq's own jurists. Yet one need not doubt the dedication of Iraqi judges to see that the country's court system lacks the material resources and highly specialized expertise necessary to mount a major war crimes prosecution. At the same time, it would be unwise to rely solely on the resources and legal advice that U.S. authorities are able and eager to provide. Doubts have already been raised about the legitimacy of the proposed Iraqi Special Tribunal, in large part because its statute was adopted without broad Iraqi participation, by a council handpicked and appointed by U.S. occupation authorities. (Besides, there are thorny questions about whether, or under what circumstances, U.S. authorities could surrender Hussein -- who is entitled to prisoner-of-war status -- to an Iraqi court without violating American responsibilities under international law.) Moreover, a tribunal assisted mainly by the United States would play into the hands of a likely Hussein defense strategy. It would surprise no one if Hussein tries to convert his trial into a platform for embarrassing the United States. After all, U.S. administrations continued to support Hussein even after he used poison gas against Kurds in a 1988 campaign that legal experts say amounted to genocide. Especially when it comes to a trial as symbolically resonant as that of Hussein, U.S. authorities would be wise to heed the familiar nostrum that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done. Unfortunately, recent statements by Iraqi officials and President Bush have provided further fodder for a Hussein defense team. By publicly expressing their hope for a death sentence, these officials have already tainted the perceived impartiality of any U.S.-sponsored Iraqi court. Thus it would be far better for Iraqis to invite broader international participation in their project of justice, ideally through a partnership with the United Nations. The chief stumbling block will be Iraqi insistence on the use of capital punishment. Neither the United Nations nor any of America's West European allies would participate in a trial that may result in the death penalty; the British envoy to Iraq has already said his country would play "no part" in any trial of Hussein that might result in execution. Yet it is widely assumed that Iraqis will not forgo capital punishment in his trial. This may be true, but in view of the stakes, it is worth trying to persuade Iraqis to reconsider. When I met with Iraqi lawyers in Baghdad last July, several told me privately that they would like to work to abolish the death penalty. To be sure, most added that they thought it best to wait until after top officials of the Baath regime are executed. Even so, these comments made me wonder whether Iraqi commitment to capital punishment is as unshakable as many claim. What does seem clear is that there has been too little effort to engage Iraqi society in a debate about the best way to confront its past. Experience suggests that views can change once victims learn more about the options pursued by other societies that have reckoned with radical evil. The United Nations sought to facilitate discussions of this sort before its work in Iraq was cut short by the attack on its Baghdad headquarters in August. But it is still possible for international experts to support a process of informed debate among Iraqis. As several organizations have proposed, the U.N. could establish a commission of international and Iraqi experts to assess trial options. The challenges to a fair and effective trial are formidable, but nonetheless surmountable. Contrasted with decades of impunity for the world's dictators, it is already no small achievement that the debate today is how, rather than whether, Saddam Hussein should be tried. Diane Orentlicher is a professor of international law and faculty director of the War Crimes Research Office at American University.

WP 21 Dec 2003 Not the Court of First Resort By Anne-Marie Slaughter Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page B07 Many voices have been raised in the past week insisting that Saddam Hussein be tried by an international tribunal rather than a domestic one. The argument is that the Iraqi judicial system just isn't up to the job. Leading human rights groups as well as a number of distinguished international judges say that only a U.N. tribunal can guarantee a genuinely fair trial and confer legitimacy on the proceedings. Although its proponents may have the best of intentions, this position sounds remarkably paternalistic. It also reflects a model of international criminal justice that is strikingly at odds with the system created by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Three days before Hussein's capture, the Iraqi Governing Council announced creation of a special tribunal to try members of the Baathist regime for a wide range of crimes under both international and Iraqi law. The statute that created this tribunal provides for extensive international assistance from lawyers, judges, forensic evidence specialists and investigators of all sorts. Under pressure from international human rights groups, the statute was further amended at the last minute to provide for the addition of foreign judges. But even these provisions did not go far enough for various spokesmen of human rights groups here and in Europe. They insisted on a full-scale international tribunal. The question is, why? If the suspicion is that the tribunal will look like the puppet court of a puppet government, then the solution is to appoint a few foreign judges. In addition, the presence of foreign helpers and observers will guarantee plenty of publicity. The deeper issue here is the fundamental presumption underlying the International Criminal Court: that the court of first resort for any perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious and systematic war crimes should be the defendant's own country. It is a premise born of the belief that the first, best option for justice, healing and long-term political stability is for a people to try their own. Ideally, then, Chile should have tried Augusto Pinochet; Cambodia should have tried Pol Pot; Rwanda should have tried its perpetrators of genocide. For this reason, the ICC statute provides that jurisdiction over any defendant accused of genocide, crimes against humanity or grave war crimes first goes to the courts of the defendant's own country. Only if that country proves "unable or unwilling to prosecute" is jurisdiction transferred to the ICC. There is an alternative model, of course -- one in which the victors try the vanquished. This is certainly better than no trials, if it is done at all fairly, as it was at Nuremberg. But this presumes, as Nuremberg did, that the defendants' principal crimes were against other nations. The Nazis were not tried for genocide and mass murder of the Jews, Slavs, Roma, homosexuals and political opponents of every stripe, but for crimes against peace. To insist on an international tribunal in Iraq has two dangerous implications. One is that this really is about war on Iraq by the international community, most notably the United States. The second is that we may talk about Iraqi democracy, but we are not willing to let the Iraqis make their own inevitable mistakes -- as every other democratic country in the world has done on its path to self-government. We cannot really risk having their methods and their judgments differ from our own when our own are styled as an "international consensus." One of the most powerful arguments for the International Criminal Court is not that it will be a global instrument of justice itself -- arresting and trying tyrants and torturers worldwide -- but that it will be a backstop and trigger for domestic forces for justice and democracy. By posing a choice -- either a nation tries its own or they will be tried in The Hague -- it strengthens the hand of domestic parties seeking such trials, allowing them to wrap themselves in a nationalist mantle. The dynamic in Serbia would have been very different, for instance, if parties seeking to bring Slobodan Milosevic to account had been able to argue that as the result of a treaty Serbia had signed, Serbs themselves would either try him or cede that power to an international tribunal. Here we have a chance to strengthen the hand of the forces that opposed Saddam Hussein for decades. Saddam, after all, did not use regular courts and lawyers for his murderous campaign against all who opposed him even to the slightest degree. Many ordinary Iraqis were not directly tainted, and they are anxious to have their voice back. Let them try. Let us help them. But let the Bush administration also reconsider the potential future value of the International Criminal Court. The writer is dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

AFP 20 Dec 2003 '9/11 could have been avoided' Inquiry chief says key US personnel were lax in their duites The head of the US federal commission investigating the September 11 attacks says they could have been prevented. In an interview with the New York Times published on Friday, former New Jersey state governor Thomas Kean said the 2001 strikes on New York and Washington could have been avoided if FBI, immigration and other government agents had done their job properly. But investigators were still studying whether top members of President George Bush's administration should also share the blame, he added. "There were people at the borders who let these people in even though they didn't have proper papers to get into this country," Kean said in a criticism of immigration inspectors. "There were visa people who let these people in," he went on. "There were FBI people who, when they got reports from Phoenix and Minnesota and elsewhere, didn't think they were important enough to buck up to higher-ups. "There were security officers at the airports who let these people onto airplanes even though they were carrying materials that weren't allowed on airplanes," Kean said. Kean's commission of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans is to give its report in May 2004 on the attacks that left about 3000 dead.

WP 22 Dec 2003 Enola Gay, 58 Years Later Saturday, December 27, 2003; Page A24 The Dec. 22 letters about the Enola Gay and the bomb it dropped on Hiroshima did not mention an important justification for that bomb, and the one dropped on Nagasaki: They almost certainly prevented World War III. Even after the Alamogordo test explosion in 1945, the practical effects of nuclear weapons were unclear. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts changed that. Photographs of the appalling aftermath let scientists and laypeople alike understand the horror of nuclear weapons. Mere scientific test results, or even a demonstration blast, could not have produced that understanding. Only those who experienced the depths of the Cold War, as I have, can appreciate how official hostility during that era -- anticommunism in the United States and hatred of "American imperialism" in the Soviet Union -- approached religious fervor. The hatred was so intense that a conventional World War III probably would have resulted if there had been no nuclear weapons. But using these weapons was unthinkable after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so we were spared a nuclear war. RUDOLPH HIRSCH Washington • When I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was struck by how forthright both cities' museums were in recognizing Japanese responsibility for provoking World War II and admitting the horrendous war crimes Japan committed against many subject nations. This puts to shame the National Air and Space Museum, which doesn't even mention the basic facts of the Enola Gay bombing: Many thousands of innocent civilians were killed by the explosion and by long-term radiation poisoning. TAD DOYLE Olney

Baltimore Sun 28 Dec 2003 Decades later, the pain of Wounded Knee lingers Massacre: A U.S. apology remains elusive 113 years after scores of unarmed Lakota -- many women and children -- died in a hail of gunfire. By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) Lakota Media Inc. Originally published December 28, 2003 WOUNDED KNEE, S.D. -- On crystal-clear nights, when winter winds whistle through the hills and canyons around Wounded Knee Creek, the Lakota elders say it is so cold that one can hear the twigs snapping in the frigid air. They called this time of the year "the Moon of the Popping Trees." It was on such a winter morning on Dec. 29, 1890, that the crack of a single rifle brought a day of infamy that still lives in the hearts and minds of the Lakota people. After the rifle spoke there was a pause and then the rifles and Hotchkiss guns of the 7th Cavalry opened up on the men, women and children camped at Wounded Knee. What followed was utter chaos and madness. The thirst for the blood of the Lakota took away all common sense from the soldiers. The unarmed Lakota fought back with bare hands. The warriors shouted to their wives, their elders and their children, "run for cover," Iynkapo! Iyankapo! Elderly men and women, unable to fight back, stood defiantly and sang their death songs before falling to the hail of bullets. The number of Lakota people murdered that day is still unknown. The mass grave at Wounded Knee holds the bodies of 150 men, women and children. Many other victims died of their wounds and of exposure over the next several days. The Lakota people say that only 50 people out of the original 350 followers of Sitanka (Big Foot) survived the massacre. Five days after the slaughter of the innocents an editorial in the Aberdeen (S.D.) Saturday Pioneer reflected the popular opinion of the wasicu (white people) of that day. It read, "The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth." Ten years after he wrote that editorial calling for genocide against the Lakota people, L. Frank Baum wrote that wonderful children's book, The Wizard of Oz. The federal government tried to forever erase the memory of Wounded Knee. The village that sprang up on the site of the massacre was named Brennan after a Bureau of Indian Affairs official. But the Lakota people never forgot. Although the name "Brennan" appeared on the map, they still called it Wounded Knee. In the 1920s, Clive and Agnes Gildersleeve built the Wounded Knee Trading Post there to serve the Lakota people. My father, Tim Giago Sr., worked as a clerk and butcher for the Gildersleeves in the 1930s and we lived in one of the cabins at Wounded Knee that was later destroyed in the occupation of 1973. As a small boy, I recall the warm, summer evenings when the Lakota families sat outdoors and spoke softly, in reverent voices about that terrible day in 1890. Much of what they said was written down by a young man named Hoksila Waste (pronounced Hokesheela Washtay) or Good Boy. His Christian name was Sid Byrd and he was a member of the Santee Sioux Tribe, a tribe that had been relocated and scattered around the state after the so-called Indian uprising in Minnesota. Byrd wrote that it was the white man's fear of the spiritual revival going on among the Lakota in the form of the Ghost Dance that led to the assassination of Sitting Bull on Dec. 14, 1890, two weeks before the massacre. Fearing further attacks, Sitanka (Big Foot) and his band, a group that performed the very last Ghost Dance, went on a five-day march to reach the protection of Chief Red Cloud at the Pine Ridge Agency. The weary band was overtaken and captured at Wounded Knee Creek (Canke Opi Wahkpala). Byrd believed, as do all Lakota people, that Big Foot died as a martyr for embracing the Ghost Dance "as freely as other men embraced their religion." Byrd wrote in his Lakota version of what happened that day, "Later, some of the bodies would be found four to five miles from the scene of the slaughter. Soldiers would whoop as they spotted a women fleeing into the woods and chase them on horseback. They made sport of it. I heard from the elders that the soldiers shouted, 'Remember the Little Big Horn.'" The 7th Cavalry, Custer's old command, spread out across the Pine Ridge Reservation hunting for survivors. They rode into the playgrounds of the Holy Rosary Indian Mission near Pine Ridge village. Prodded by the Jesuit priests, the children were forced to water and feed their horses. My grandmother, Sophie Abeyta, was one of those children. She later recalled that some of the soldiers, still bloody from the massacre, were laughing and joking about their "great victory." On the 100th anniversary of that infamous day, three Lakota men organized a ride that followed the exact trail taken by Big Foot and his band. That ride has taken place every year since Dec. 29, 1990. At the end of the ride they hold a ceremony they call "wiping away the tears" that calls for peace and forgiveness. Arvol Looking Horse, the Keeper of the Sacred Pipe of the Lakota, says a prayer every year on the hallowed grounds at Wounded Knee. He prays that the United States will someday apologize to the Lakota for the terrible deeds of the 7th Cavalry, and that the 23 soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for the slaughter will have those medals revoked. What honor is there in the murder of innocent men, women and children? You tell me. And now, 113 years after the slaughter at Wounded Knee, America has not apologized and the Medal of Honor winners are still looked upon as heroes by the United States. Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is editor and publisher of the weekly Lakota Journal. He is author of "The Aboriginal Sin" and "Notes from Indian Country" volumes I and II.



AP 6 Dec 2003 Nine Children Found Dead After U.S. Attack in Afghanistan Associated Press Saturday, December 6, 2003; 11:59 PM KABUL, Afghanistan -- Nine children were found dead Saturday after an American air raid in eastern Afghanistan, and the military was investigating whether U.S. forces were responsible, a spokesman said. An American A-10 aircraft struck a site south of Ghazni, 100 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, where a "known terrorist" was believed to be hiding at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Army Maj. Christopher E. West told The Associated Press. "At the time we initiated the attack, we did not know there were children nearby," he said. The target was a suspected militant believed responsible for the killing of two foreign contractors who were working on an Afghan road, West said. He did not identify the contractors and had no information about their deaths, but two Indian engineers were reported kidnapped while working on the road Saturday. West said U.S. troops collected "extensive intelligence over an extended period of time" and located the suspect targeted Saturday at an "isolated, rural site." "Following the attack, ground coalition forces searching the area found the bodies of both the intended target and those of nine children nearby," he said Sunday. The military was sending a team of investigators to the site to determine if U.S. forces were at fault, West said. West said other houses were near the area attacked Saturday, but the aircraft did not strike them. Coalition forces "will make every effort to assist the families of these innocent casualties and determine the cause of the civilian deaths," he said from the U.S. headquarters in Bagram. "We regret the loss of any innocent life and we follow stringent rules of engagement to specifically avoid this type of incident while continuing to target terrorists who threaten the future of Afghanistan," West said. Ahmad Zia Masood, a spokesman for the governor of Ghazni province, claimed the U.S. military targeted Mullah Wazir, a Taliban militant he said fired at U.S. helicopters on Friday. "The Americans recognized where the fire came from and used jets to bombard it" on Saturday, he told the AP. Masood said it was unclear if the 10 victims were Wazir and his family or their neighbors. He said the attack took place at Atla village, just north of where the two Indian road engineers were kidnapped by suspected Taliban. The kidnapped engineers, who were not identified, were working for an Indian contractor helping resurface part of the Kabul-Kandahar road, a reconstruction project mainly funded by the United States. The road was to be officially opened later this month. Taliban attacks have plagued the flagship project. Four construction workers were killed at the end of August, and de-mining operations along the road were suspended last month after a carjacking. A Turk was abducted along the road last month. Two contractors working for the CIA also were killed in an Oct. 25 ambush as they were tracking terrorists operating in the region of Shkin, about 100 miles south of Kabul. Also Saturday, a bomb in Kandahar, the main southern stronghold of the Taliban, ripped through a bustling bazaar, wounding 20 Afghans. Taliban fighters claimed responsibility, saying the blast was aimed at American soldiers but went off late. The bomb, apparently attached to a parked motorcycle or bicycle, exploded in front of a hotel at about 12:30 p.m. in the city's main commercial district. The wounded included three children, Afghan state TV reported. U.S. officials have been trying to track down remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida sympathizers in eastern and southern Afghanistan since ousting the hard-line Islamic regime two years ago. The militants have stepped up attacks in recent months, targeting foreign aid workers and perceived allies of the U.S.-led coalition. The Indian engineers disappeared in Zabul province while traveling along the country's main highway between Kabul and Kandahar, an aide to Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali told the AP. An Indian Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the engineers were traveling with an Afghan driver and another Afghan employee when they were stopped. The kidnappers "roughed up the driver, and he was able to return to the company. They let the other Afghan go as well. A spokesman for The Louis Berger Group Inc., an American engineering company overseeing the road project, declined to comment on the reported kidnapping, as did a U.S. Embassy official. International aid agencies have scaled down operations in Afghanistan's south and east due to escalating violence, including the Nov. 16 shooting death of a French aid worker for the United Nations.

BBC 7 Dec 2003 US child bombing account challenged The US sent in an A-10 "Warthog" after receiving intelligence Local villagers in Afghanistan have contradicted US reports that the target of an air strike that killed nine children also died in the raid. The attack was carried out on Saturday in the village of Hutala, in a remote area of southern Ghazni province. US officials said they were acting on extensive intelligence and had killed a former Taleban militant, Mullah Wazir. But local Afghans told the BBC's Crispin Thorold the intended target had left the village 10 days earlier. President Hamid Karzai has expressed his shock at the incident. He said his government had sent a team of investigators to the scene and had also sent officials to ensure the victims' families were being helped. The Afghan president said US forces should ensure that future operations were better co-ordinated with the Afghan Government to ensure such incidents would not happen again. The United Nations has also condemned the incident as "profoundly distressing " and called for a swift inquiry. US 'sorry' Patches of dried blood and a pitiful pile of children's hats and shoes are the only evidence that remains of a bombing raid that went dreadfully wrong, our correspondent says. Seven boys, two girls and a 25-year-old man were killed when two A-10 American planes fired rockets and bullets into a group of villagers sitting under the shade of a tree at about 1030 local time (0600 GMT) on Saturday, he says. Only one house was hit in the attack - but accounts differ on whether it belonged to the militant targeted. They were just playing ball, and then the shots came down Habibullah Local villager US ground forces found the bodies of the children near that of the intended target after the strike, US military spokesman Major Christopher West said. A commission has been formed to investigate the incident, he said, adding that the US military regretted the loss of innocent life. The targeted militant, Mullah Wazir, a former low-ranking member of the Taleban, was thought to be behind the murders of two foreign contractors working on a ring road. But local villagers said the young man who died was a civilian. BOMBING ERRORS* Dec 2001: 65 killed in bombing of convoy of tribal elders April 2002: Four Canadian soldiers killed July 2002: 48 killed when bomb hits wedding party April 2003: 11 killed by bomb in village of Shkin Dec 2003: Nine children killed by bomb near Ghazni *Mistakes accepted by US Mullah Wazir's house was not damaged in Saturday's raid, they told our correspondent. There was further confusion on this point: Reuters news agency quoted Haji Assadullah, governor of Ghazni province, as saying: "It has not been ascertained if Mullah Wazir was killed or not, but the house was his." There is strong support in the area for the ousted hardline Islamic Taleban and the Hezb-e-Islami group, also fighting the coalition. Five more people working on reconstruction projects have been kidnapped in the past three days - two Indians, and two Turks and an Afghan working with them. The kidnappers are not reported to have had any contact with the authorities. Saturday's bombing is the latest in a series of attacks by US-led forces which have resulted in the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians since the start of the campaign against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in October 2001. Although in many areas Afghans welcome the presence of American troops and other foreigners, there is hostility in some southern and eastern parts, our correspondent says.

NYT 10 Dec 2003 Military Says 6 Children Died in U.S. Raid in Afghanistan By CARLOTTA GALL KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 10 — The United States military acknowledged today that six children were killed in another bombing raid against suspected Taliban members in eastern Afghanistan last week. A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, said the bodies of the children and two adults were found under a collapsed wall when troops searched the raided compound. The assault took place last Friday but the military only acknowledged that they knew of the deaths today when asked about them at a news briefing. The deaths occurred just hours before an airstrike on Saturday killed nine children and one adult in a village in southeastern Afghanistan. Friday's attack was on a compound east of the town of Gardez that belonged to a suspected Taliban militant, Mullah Jilani. American troops attacked the compound at night from the air and the ground. They searched the compound the next day, seizing dozens of weapons, including artillery pieces, machine guns and rockets and found the bodies. "After we went there we discovered the bodies of two adults and six children under a collapsed wall," Colonel Hilferty told reporters in Kabul. "We don't know what caused the collapse of the wall because although we fired on the compound there were other explosions inside the compound," he said. He did not identify the two adults but said Mullah Jilani was not found. He said troops had come under attack during the assault, prompting American forces to raid the compound. Nine suspected militants were captured and he released photos of the large cache of weapons that were recovered. Asadullah Wafa, the governor of Paktia province where the raid happened, confirmed the deaths of the children in a telephone interview. He said they were part of the family of an associate of Mullah Jilani who were living in the same compound.

NYT 18 Dec 2003 Serbs May Help Patrol Afghanistan, but Qualms Abound By NICHOLAS WOOD PRESEVO VALLEY, Serbia and Montenegro — A convoy of jeeps sped though an Albanian village in southern Serbia one recent day. Inside, troops with their faces hidden by camouflage masks sat with their guns at the ready. The men were part of Serbia's gendarmerie, an elite paramilitary police force that routinely patrols this region in search what they call Albanian terrorists. In 1999 similar Serbian forces were bombed by NATO warplanes as they rooted out ethnic Albanian rebels — and killed ethnic Albanian civilians — in the neighboring province of Kosovo. American officials now see these special forces as potential allies. The governments of Serbia and Montenegro, the two republics that until early this year made up what was left of Yugoslavia, have offered a contingent of 700 troops and policemen to work alongside NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. The offer, first made in July and explored in September at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., is in abeyance pending the outcome of parliamentary elections in Serbia on Dec. 28. But Serbia's very readiness to send troops — and Washington's apparent willingness to consider accepting them — show how much the world has changed since the ethnic conflicts of the 1990's and the atrocities attributed to Serbs and their leader at the time, Slobodan Milosevic, dominated world headlines. Now Serbia, which was isolated and impoverished by a decade of war and violence, wants to join NATO. The United States wants to foster democracy, although the old nationalisms still make the task difficult. For instance, the United States Congress insists that Serbia hand over war crimes suspects to the United Nations tribunal in The Hague if it expects to receive further aid. But Milos Vasic, a defense analyst and writer with the Serbian weekly Vreme, said that United States had put the issue of human rights to one side in its desire to see a broad coalition of troops serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. "The Americans want a token Serbian force," he said in an interview. "This is regarded as a completely separate issue from cooperation with The Hague." Serbian nationalists and human rights groups alike have united in criticism, believing for different reasons that it is too soon for Serbian forces to serve with NATO soldiers. Vojislav Kostunica, the former Yugoslav president whose Serbian Democratic Party is predicted to fare well in the coming elections, warned in a Montenegrin newspaper, Vijesti, "Our soldiers will come back in metal coffins, like the Americans." Natasa Kandic, a lawyer and veteran human rights campaigner in Belgrade, is one of many liberals who say the security forces — blamed for thousands of civilian deaths during the Kosovo conflict — should not take part in any foreign mission until they have been properly reformed, and until senior commanders accused of war crimes have been tried. "The Serbian police are not a formation who should go anywhere," Ms. Kandic said, adding that any checks were not sufficient. "How they are going to bring peace and human rights to another country, it is impossible to know," she said. Serbia's current deputy interior minister and head of public security, Sreten Lukic, has been indicted by The Hague tribunal for his alleged role in the Kosovo conflict. He was the commander of the uniformed police in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. The current prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, has refused to hand him over to the tribunal. Whatever the politicians decide, the commander of the gendarmerie, Gen. Goran Radosavljevic, is preparing to supply at least 250 of the 700-member contingent, all of whom would be volunteers. In an interview, he said senior officers were learning English and receiving human rights training. He maintained that his troops were well suited to work in Afghanistan. "Our people have a lot of experience in war situations," said the general, who was a deputy commander of police operations during the war in Kosovo. His 2,800-member brigade was formed in September 2001 and is recruited from units that have been accused of direct involvement in war crimes. It specializes in antiterrorism operations and is also trained in coping with natural disasters, using explosives and finding and disarming mines. Some of its most recent recruits include 80 former members of the Red Berets, a paramilitary police unit that was disbanded earlier this year after some of them were implicated in the killing of the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, in March. A NATO official said the possibility of Serbian forces working in Afghanistan was a "viable idea" if those taking part were checked. Implication in war crimes would exclude service, he said. Ms. Kandic, for instance, says General Radosavljevic is guilty of complicity in genocide in Kosovo. She said operations by the Serbian police to remove hundreds of bodies from mass graves and transport them to Serbia at the end of the war could not have taken place without his help. General Radosavljevic denied that there was "any evidence" that he or any of his senior officers were responsible for war crimes. But he openly opposes cooperation with The Hague tribunal. In October he attended a protest organized by the police in support of Mr. Lukic. The brigade's commander asserts that his force is now multiethnic, including Muslims, ethnic Hungarians, and even seven or eight ethnic Albanians. But new recruits who trained near the town of Kula, some 70 miles northwest of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, marched to the tune of Serbian nationalist songs alongside murals depicting battle scenes from Serbian history. The gendarmerie already has contact with American troops serving with the NATO contingent that helps keep the peace in Kosovo, which is still formally a Serbian province, though one with an overwhelmingly Albanian population and a United Nations administration. The Serbian units and foreign peacekeepers meet each month to discuss monitoring of the province's boundary — in 2000 and 2001, Kosovar Albanian insurgents fought Yugoslav troops here in the Presevo Valley in an attempt to unite three Albanian-populated towns in southern Serbia with Kosovo. The rebellion was quashed in May 2001, and NATO officials praised the Serbian military for its comparative restraint in dealing with the uprising. The gendarmerie is now responsible for patrolling the region. "I'm very happy with the results our unit has had in southern Serbia," said General Radosavljevic.


Reuters 7 Dec 2003 U.N. Team in Cambodia to Prepare Genocide Trial By REUTERS Filed at 7:11 a.m. ET PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (Reuters) - A team of United Nations experts was in Cambodia Sunday to lay the groundwork for the long-awaited genocide trial of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge henchmen, held responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people. After six years of tortuous negotiations and delays, the U.N. says a trial in ``extraordinary'' joint Cambodian and international courts of Khmer Rouge leaders such as ``Brother Number Two'' Nuon Chea should be under way within 12 months. ``Both the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia are starting from the assumption that the extraordinary chambers will be operational in 2004,'' Karsten Herrel, head of the five-strong trial organizing team, told a news conference. The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge unleashed a four-year reign of terror on Cambodia in the 1970s as their dream of turning the jungle-clad country into an agrarian utopia turned into the nightmare of the ``Killing Fields.'' Many of the victims -- men, women and children -- were tortured and executed. Others died of starvation, disease or overwork in vast rural labor camps. No Khmer Rouge leader has ever seen credible justice for the atrocities, one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. The regime's leader, ``Brother Number One'' Pol Pot died in 1998. During a week-long stay in the war-scarred southeast Asian nation, Herrel said he would be discussing the details of the trial, from buildings to staffing to translation facilities and broadcasting. Another priority would be setting the scope of a budget for the trial, which will be paid for half by Cambodia and half by voluntary contributions from U.N. member states. Speculation has centered on a total $40-million bill for a three-year trial, although Herrel said the funding aspect, particularly on the international side, remained uncertain. ``The situation of the funding side is, at this stage, quite difficult,'' Herrel said, although he hoped an appeal to the international community planned for early February would bear sufficient fruit by the end of that month. Cambodia and the U.N. finally agreed a trial framework in March, although Phnom Penh has yet to ratify the deal -- the final obstacle to it becoming law -- due to a four-month post-election stalemate which has deadlocked parliament. Despite several rounds of talks and the intervention of the revered King Sihanouk, the three main political parties appear little closer to compromise. Most analysts and diplomats fear the deadlock may last for several months yet, increasing the chances of the aging former guerrilla leaders, most of whom are in their 70s, dying of old age before they ever see the inside of a courtroom.

Reuters 12 Dec 2003 U.N., Cambodia say genocide trial plan progessing By Ed Cropley PHNOM PENH, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The U.N. and Cambodia said on Friday they had made significant progress in laying the ground for the long-awaited genocide trials of Pol Pot's top surviving Khmer Rouge henchmen, held responsible for 1.7 million deaths. The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge unleashed a four-year reign of terror on Cambodia in the 1970s as their dream of turning the jungle-clad southeast Asian nation into an agrarian utopia turned into the nightmare of the "Killing Fields". Many of the victims -- men, women and children -- were tortured and executed. Others died of starvation, disease or overwork in vast rural labour camps. No Khmer Rouge leader has ever seen credible justice for the atrocities, one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. The regime's reclusive leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998. Although issues such as the site of the planned joint Cambodian-international court, or "extraordinary chambers", remain unresolved, U.N. officials said a week of planning meetings with their Cambodian counterparts had borne fruit. "We have agreed a common concept of operations -- the way that these extraordinary chambers are going to work together," said Karsten Herrel, head of the five-strong United Nations trial organising team. The two sides, who spent six years in tortuous negotiations just to agree to the joint trial format in March, had found common ground the normally thorny issues of selecting judges and prosecutors, as well as outline timelines, Herrel said. "These are usually the most difficult areas of discussion and I believe we have come to a very satisfactory conclusion," he said. The plans are due to be submitted in February to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is expected to launch an appeal to member states for funding for the trial, so far estimated at around $40 million in total. Deeply impoverished Cambodia said it will at the same time seek cash from donors to help fund Phnom Penh's contribution to the proceedings. "The budget might pose a very heavy burden for Cambodia and the government will seek bilateral assistance for our share," said Justice Ministry Secretary of State Ang Vong Wattana. "Frankly speaking we are short of money." Although Herrel said last week he sees the court up and running in 2004, he was unable to be more precise since Cambodia's parliament, locked in a four-month post-election political stalemate, has yet to ratify the deal. Once parliament has approved the agreement -- the final legal obstacle to its birth -- prosecutors and judges could be appointed within as little as two months, said U.N. legal expert Jean-Jacques Heintz. Most analysts and diplomats fear the political deadlock could last for several months yet, increasing the chances of the ageing former guerrilla leaders, most of whom are in their 70s, dying of old age before they ever see the inside of a courtroom.


Daily Star (Bangladesh) 7 Dec 2003 Vol. 4 Num 190 Sun. Another ethnic youth killed ahead of PCJSS hartal in CHT Our Correspondent, Khagrachhari Another indigenous youth was killed in Khagrachhari's Panchhari area yesterday ahead of tomorrow's general strike called by Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS). The PCJSS blamed the UPDF (United Peoples' Democratic Front) for the murder of Kina Chand Babu Chakma, 27, although the victim's political link could not be confirmed. The UPDF has denied the allegation. Police and local sources said Kina was on his way home from Panchhari bazaar at around 9:00pm when a gang of criminals attacked him in the Abani Karbari area. The gang first shot him point blank and later slit his throat to confirm his death. There were five gunshot wounds in Kina's body, hospital sources said. This was the latest in a number of murders in Khagrachhari in a week attributed to the political vendetta between the pro-peace accord PCJSS and the UPDF, which opposes the accord signed in 1997 that ended two decades of insurgency. Meanwhile, a strike called by the UPDF protesting Tuesday's killing of its member Gyaneshwar Chakma was observed peacefully here yesterday. Our Bandarban Correspondent adds: A tense situation prevailed in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) centring tomorrow's strike called by the PCJSS amidst widespread fear of incidents similar to the arson attacks in 1995. On March 15, 1995, some 200 houses were set afire during a curfew imposed by the district administration to foil a programme of Pahari Chhatra Parishad. Sadhuram Tripura of the PCJSS said many people in Bandarban have voiced concern about the possibility of violence, but the PCJSS leader dismissed the fears. "We have taken up programmes to observe the hartal peacefully to realise our demands," said Tripura, a former 'major' of the now defunct Shantibahini. Sources said Somo Adhikar Parishad, an organisation of Bangalees, held a meeting at Bandarban Shahar Primary School yesterday. Chaired by Parishad leader Dalilur Rahman, the meeting discussed ways to resist tomorrow's hartal, but no specific action was however decided. Mohammed Shamsul Kibria, acting deputy commissioner of Bandarban, acknowledged receipt of an application by the Parishad seeking permission from the district administration to hold a meeting at the district press club, but said no decision was taken as yet. "We are fully alert to the dangers that might disturb the law and order and taking proper measures to prevent any violence," Kibria said. Other sources said people of Maddham Para and Ujani Para of Bandarban town will hold a meeting today to discuss security arrangements during tomorrow's hartal. The BSS from Khagrachhari adds: The district chapter of the four-party alliance declared an agitation programme to thwart the PCJSS's dawn-to-dusk hartal tomorrow. The PCJSS, among other things, has been demanding resignation of Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, MP, from the post of chairman of CHT Development Board. On the other hand, the district chapter of the four-party alliance has also demanded resignation of PCJSS Chairman Shantu Larma from the post of chairman of the CHT Regional Council. Police and district administration sources have reported tightened security measures including deployment of additional police to tackle any untoward incidents following the fresh stand-off between the supporters of the PCJSS and the UPDF.


BBC 23 Dec 2003 Bhutan steps up assault on rebels Some rebels have threatened to disrupt cross-border trade with India Bhutanese troops are reported to be engaged in heavy fighting as they press on with an offensive against Indian rebels in the Himalayan kingdom. Soldiers had entered a large forest to clear out rebels sheltering there, a military spokesman said. The government has tightened security in the capital, Thimphu, and other towns to pre-empt rebel attacks. More than 100 rebels and 40 Bhutanese soldiers have been killed since Bhutan began targeting the rebel bases. 'Fierce fighting' About 300 rebels are thought to have either surrendered or been arrested. The rebels fled to a forest reserve in west Bhutan after the Bhutanese troops demolished their bases in the east of the kingdom. A Bhutanese military spokesman said the fighting was fierce in the second phase of the offensive and the troops had managed to clear some "strategic heights". "We know this [the second phase of fighting] is going to be more difficult than smashing the rebel bases," the spokesman told the BBC. The rebels in turn say they have killed a number of Bhutanese troops. Mr Paresh Barua, leader of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) - one of the rebel groups - said Bhutanese military convoys had hit land mines and come under heavy fire. "Taking ground will not be easy for the Bhutanese," he told the BBC. "They will take unacceptable casualties." Attacks threat Earlier, Bhutan said it had briefly halted its offensive in order to regroup its troops. Nine north-east Indian rebel groups have alleged that Bhutanese troops have been committing atrocities on women fighters and rebel families. In a statement, they said they would send fighters to Bhutan to "join the battle" and threatened attacks on Bhutanese nationals doing business in north-east India. Indian police say security arrangements have been tightened to protect such nationals. The rebels also threatened to "stop the flow of essential commodities to Bhutan from north-east India". Rebel groups The three rebel groups involved in the fighting are Ulfa, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). Ulfa is fighting for Assam's independence from India, while the NDFB and the KLO are fighting for separate tribal homelands. About 6,000 Bhutanese troops have destroyed almost all of the 30 rebel camps in the country during the offensive, officials say. The camps reportedly sheltered about 3,000 rebels.


Toronto Star 7 Dec 2003 Lost horizons of Lhasa China says its five decades of occupation have taken socialist Tibet `from backwardness to progress' MARTIN REGG COHN LHASA?Young Tibetans in traditional robes shuffle past Buddhist deities and prayer flags in the dimly lit hall. The faux monastic d?cor might seem out of place in most nightclubs, but not in Tibet. Here, the Buddhist beat holds enduring appeal. Long past prayer time, it's show time at K.V.'s nangma nightclub ? Lhasa's hottest, hippest nightspot. On cue, a long-haired male singer in black boots and flared tunic takes centre stage. Female dancers, dressed modestly in sheepskin hats and flowing red skirts, provide backup vocals for a pastoral ballad praising their homeland. Stirred by the lyrics, women admirers drape a ceremonial white katak scarf over the handsome lead singer. From the back of the smoke-filled hall, male fans raise their beer glasses approvingly. Until recently, such scenes of cultural pride were unfathomable in Tibet's tightly controlled police state. Awash with discotheques and karaoke parlours catering to crowds of Chinese settlers and soldiers, the once-isolated Tibetan capital was drowning in a tidal wave of foreign kitsch and Communist cant. Yet five decades after the People's Liberation Army conquered Tibet's centuries-old Buddhist civilization, the soldiers are keeping a low profile and Lhasa is slowly coming back to life. The nightly celebration of nangma ? a traditional form of music and dance ? offers a glimpse into how Tibet's culture is reincarnating itself after being given up for dead. Young people know from their elders that street protests would only land them in a jail or morgue. Rather than throw their lives away, they dance the nights away to inoculate themselves against the spectre of assimilation. After all these years, there is little else left to do. The security services are everywhere and nowhere ? all-seeing but out of sight. Closed-circuit surveillance cameras record movements on city streets. Spies search for banned audiotapes of the exiled Dalai Lama in monasteries. Snitches turn in civil servants who dare to pray in public. Police come knocking at night, leaving behind hundreds of unexplained disappearances. Convoys of military trucks snake past yellowing fields of barley, pushing aside tractors and donkey carts in their way. Yet Tibetans are still testing the limits of Beijing's rule. In closely guarded temples, tour guides whisper seditious words of support for the Dalai Lama. Monks hide banned portraits of Tibet's god-king in their monastery dorms. Aging pilgrims twirl prayer wheels and ignore the police presence while circumambulating the Potala Palace that once housed their spiritual leader. Today's threat is dramatically different from what it was when Communist cadres and soldiers marched into Tibet in 1951. An estimated 200,000 troops are still deployed in military bases encircling Lhasa, but with no protesters in sight, they remain confined to barracks. In the early years of Communist rule, power flowed from the barrel of a gun; more recently, gunfire has been displaced by the din of an economic boom that underpins China's dominance. With the military conquest a fait accompli, economic colonization is transforming the Tibetan Autonomous Region for all time. Never mind the army. A new invading force of Chinese workers is streaming in from neighbouring Sichuan. Migrants from the overpopulated province work long hours for low wages in restaurants or on road gangs, displacing unskilled young Tibetans from the labour force. Forget the tanks. Bulldozers are razing Tibet's architectural heritage faster than any blitzkrieg. Whitewashed stone buildings with colourful wooden storefronts are crumbling under the assault of cement-block, cookie-cutter office buildings. Lhasa has the look of any inland Chinese cityscape, blighted by brown marble monoliths and white tile structures with tinted blue windows. Garish hair salons front for brothels. The threat comes not only from Chinese migration but an exodus of Tibetan youth to neighbouring Nepal and India. A government official acknowledged last year that roughly half of Lhasa's population of 240,000 is Chinese; many believe the foreigners now form the majority. The implications are stark. Chinese communism devastated traditional Buddhist society early on, but at least Beijing's iron-fisted rule had the effect of isolating Tibet from outside forces now intruding on its culture: despite the silent "cultural genocide" claimed by the Dalai Lama, Lhasa looked little changed until the 1990s. Today, the menace comes from consumerism more than communism, from assimilation as much as atheism. The Dalai Lama would barely recognize the Lhasa he left for exile in 1959, eight years after the Chinese came. But while the Living Buddha of Compassion is away, the youth of Tibet must play. Back at K.V.'s nangma nightclub, fake mist rises from the dry ice below stage, mingling with swirls of cigarette smoke from the regulars. The thick air stings the lungs like the residue of butter oil lamps in a monastery, but any resemblance to a Buddhist temple ends when the red laser beams slice through the fog and strobe lights bounce off the religious iconography. Nangma's roots are pastoral, but it is a pastiche of Tibetan folklore, Chinese rock and Hindi-pop influences from neighbouring India. The dance that was once performed for nobility has been embraced by the common people. Now, nangma nightclubs are not only a place to see and be seen; they are a place to see Tibetans, and be seen to be Tibetan. "There's a lot going on with nangma and you have to decode it," says Ron Schwartz, a sociologist from Memorial University in Newfoundland who has studied the remarkable rise of nangma. "It grew up as a reaction to the bland form of Chinese disco that spread to Tibet a few years ago." Disco is dead and karaoke parlours are pass? ? beaten back by a homegrown cultural revival that can be seen and heard in the nangma nightclubs of the Tibetan plateau, 4,000 metres above sea level. Nangma shows that reports on the death of Tibetan culture are premature. Many young Buddhists think they are reinventing their way of life here as surely as they believe in reincarnation. Yet for all its popularity, traditionalists worry that the latest nightclub craze merely parodies Tibetan folklore, transforming it into fake-lore rather than protecting it from Chinese commercialization. At K.V.'s nightclub, the contradictions quickly become apparent. Perky beer girls in short skirts and heavy makeup glide between tables proffering Pabst and Budweiser beer by the can. They pour the foamy brew with a smile, preening for tips from the heavy drinkers. Onstage, the traditional dances are giving way to raunchier music and skimpier costumes. "Make your body move," the nubile singers chorus in heavily accented English, their now-bare midriffs swaying suggestively to the beat. Tradition goes only so far on a Friday night. Moments later, another confusing cross-cultural shift: a song about the virtues of sheep's wool belted out with Chinese lyrics for the mostly Tibetan audience. The language shift is jarring. Nangma impresario Tsultirum Gyaltso, 26, makes no apologies for the linguistic concessions that keep the authorities onside. Nangma's indigenous content must adapt to political realities, blending in a few token songs for the Chinese-speaking ruling classes. As owner of the popular Lhamo Lhatso nightclub in Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city, he says nangma is saving Tibetans from assimilation through television and Chinese pop. "Without nangma, our culture would be lost," insists Gyaltso, who sets fashion trends with his heavy necklace and shiny earrings. But what truly sets him apart from his customers is that he is a teetotaller. Not for him the endless glasses of beer that leave so many drunken nangma fans staggering home or getting caught up in knife fights. Indeed, Gyaltso concedes that most of the cash flow for nangma owners comes from the vast quantities of alcohol consumed on the premises. "This is much better than disco ? it's our culture," explains Pupu Samjeh, an office worker who is a regular on the nangma scene. "This is a place where I can be happy, and also drink." For all the stereotypes of soft-spoken Buddhists who wouldn't hurt a fly, domestic violence and barroom brawls are endemic. Many believe they have good reason not only to dance the nights away, but also drink their problems away. Tibetans are still paying the price, in drink and depression, for centuries of theocratic isolation and feudal misrule culminating with the Communist takeover in 1951. Though the West idealized Tibet as a mythical Shangri-La, its infrastructure was threadbare, literacy was minimal and disease was rampant. This was one of the poorest places on the planet. Now, five decades of occupation and billions of dollars in financial transfers have stimulated the moribund economy and dramatically improved public health. But the shock treatment also sapped Tibet of its Buddhist lifeblood, bypassing the people who need help most. Old-style central planning and new forms of corruption tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer ? the Chinese gain while Tibetans feel the pain. Bereft of oil and precious minerals, this barren plateau has but one renewable resource in abundance: its spirituality. More than anywhere else on Earth, Tibetans spend their days praying in temples, prostrating themselves and making pilgrimages. From its remote perch in the Himalayas, Tibet has long been a beacon for believers seeking enlightenment. Now, Buddhism has become a marketable commodity for hordes of cultural tourists seeking paradise lost. Cashing in on the demand, China's atheistic government has coined a seductive new advertising slogan: "Come visit the Holy Land." More than 720,000 Chinese tourists visited Tibet last year ? an increase of nearly 30 per cent ? in addition to 130,000 foreign visitors. With the completion of a new railway in 2007, more than 1 million tourists a year will visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region, population 2.6 million. But the selling of Tibet remains a murky business. At the Eight Auspicious Handicraft Shop, across from the fabled Jokhang Temple in Lhasa's old quarter, a bus disgorges its load of Chinese tourists for their allotted 15 minutes of shopping before the next stop. The sales clerks move into high gear and the tour guide collects her commission. Tourism is the biggest local industry, yet little of the cash flow at this shop wends its way to Tibetans. Most of the religious paraphernalia ? from brass prayer wheels to brightly coloured prayer flags with Buddhist scriptures ? is imported from workshops in neighbouring Nepal. The sales staff is predominantly Chinese, as are the owner, the artists and the bus driver. And in a bizarre new twist, even the guides for these Tibet tours must now be Chinese. This year, Beijing barred hundreds of qualified, English-speaking Tibetan guides from working with travel agencies ? blacklisting anyone who had ever visited India, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. The government brought in hundreds of new guides from across China, many of whom had never before set foot in Tibet. It was the unkindest cut of all. "It's the bloody Communists," complains one former tour guide bitterly. "Now, they have installed their own people to spout the official line, yet they know nothing about our heritage." The decision goes beyond cultural appropriation or job discrimination. It is the final indignity for a people who have been frozen out of virtually every other sector of economic activity. While decimating the ranks of tour guides, the government is eagerly claiming credit for restoring cultural sites. In fact, Beijing is undoing the damage of an earlier era, when overzealous Red Guard revolutionaries desecrated Buddhist monuments. The government points proudly to the ornate Potala Palace, the 13-storey, 1,000-room edifice that dominates Lhasa's skyline and remains its best-known religious landmark. The palace is undergoing a multi-million-dollar facelift to restore the one-time residence of the Dalai Lama to its former glory. But with Tibet's spiritual leader still in exile, the palace is a desolate showpiece for tourists shuffling through its cavernous halls, oblivious to the Buddhist scriptures on display. It is a dispiriting daily procession, watched over by hunched men in the halls who serve as palace caretakers. Left behind by history, many of these men are old monks who would rather forget what they have seen. One of them ? we'll call him Dorji ? describes the indignity of watching Chinese visitors traipse through the palace where His Holiness once gave blessings to believing Buddhists. "We are losing our culture, slowly, slowly," Dorji says cautiously, eyes darting to ensure no spies from the Public Security Bureau come within earshot. He is used to their tricks. The Dalai Lama's possessions are on display in his erstwhile palace, but his image is banned ? forcing Dorji to play a cat and mouse game of keeping his glossy photo of the god-king hidden from view. "He is away from the palace, but he is still in our hearts," Dorji whispers before breaking off the conversation at the approach of a tour group. The tourists trudge to the sitting room of the Red Palace, a hallowed place once reserved for devout Buddhists making offerings. Now, the sign describes it as "an ideal place for you to have a rest as well as to do some shopping" and admire calligraphy by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. The Potala is also a popular sightseeing stop for People's Liberation Army troops who pose for group snapshots on the palace roof. From this famous lookout, the soldiers can behold another impressive sight below: an old fighter jet parked incongruously in the main Potala square, a pointed reminder of Beijing's military might. This is where protesters who clashed with police were mowed down in the late 1980s. Today, only a few sunburned pilgrims peer quizzically at the MiG jet before resuming their prostrations at the Dalai Lama's old palace. A nearby police post keeps watch over the plane, the pilgrims and the prayer wheels. Chinese visitors seeking any further reaffirmation of their suzerainty need only visit the new Tibet Museum, a gleaming $16 million testament to socialist progress. The glass display cases include a copy of the 17-point agreement signed in 1951 acquiescing to the "peaceful liberation of Tibet." The curatorial tone is triumphalist, the history tendentious: Buddhism was merely a historical phase on the road to "more brilliant achievements under the socialist system." The museum styles itself a storehouse of Buddhist culture, yet one of its brochures boasts that the Communists "did away with superstitions, collected and spread more manure, got rid of insects and harmful animals." They also got rid of people who got in the way. Shortly before the tanks were sent in against Beijing students in the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, Lhasa experienced its own tumult when monks and nuns staged non-violent protests. "The police came across the square with guns and started spraying everyone," recalls eyewitness Ron Schwartz, the Memorial University sociologist. "The crowds responded by throwing rocks and smashing windows." As the riots escalated into a political embarrassment, Tibet's little-known Communist party boss put an end to the disturbances by declaring martial law. His name was Hu Jintao and he is now China's president. Many in the West find the mild-mannered apparatchik inscrutable, but Hu is well remembered in Tibet as a fearless enforcer. Hundreds of Tibetans were killed in the clashes, while Hu ended up on the fast track to the party leadership. There is little sign that he has changed his thinking. Visiting Lhasa in 2001 to mark the 50th anniversary of the "peaceful liberation," he asserted that Tibet had moved "from darkness to light, from backwardness to progress." In the aftermath of Hu's crackdown, underground protesters went into exile or just gave up. "Things have changed so much since then," says Schwartz, who wrote a book on the protests and remains a regular visitor to Tibet. "There has been a sort of generational shift and you really don't have those kinds of street protests any more." Those who persist pay a heavy price. There are no public firing squads, merely secret trials and unexplained deaths in confinement. "For Tibetans in detention, little is known about the charges against them, where they are held, the length of their sentences, the conditions of their confinement or their health," Human Rights Watch reported this year. Some monks are imprisoned, but many more are merely purged. To survive in a monastery, a monk must denounce the Dalai Lama and submit to re-education campaigns, patriotic study sessions and vettings by the government-controlled Democratic Management Committee. Such repression and regulation have failed to crush Buddhist sentiment, but a more insidious weapon ? the Chinese language ? is proving more efficient. As the steady decline of Tibetan culture shows, words can kill. Increasingly, the business of Tibetans is transacted in Chinese and their mother tongue is barely taught in the schools and universities of the region. What began as blatant social engineering to assimilate Tibetans has become an economic fact of life. Job opportunities go to those who have mastered Chinese, while unilingual Tibetans are consigned to low-wage ghettoes or unemployment. "No Chinese, no job," grumbles Tsering, a young tourism worker who has watched migrants profit from the boom. "To work at a post office or bank or department store, you've got to speak Chinese." Chinese migrants demand to be served at shops in their own language. Taxi drivers who have settled here never bother to master the local language, forcing locals to make themselves understood in Chinese. Tibetans are slowly becoming strangers in their own land. Zhon Shao Gong waits patiently by the riverbank for the ferry that will take him across to Samye Monastery, 150 kilometres east of Lhasa. He is not a Tibetan pilgrim but a Chinese backpacker, a peripatetic soul seeking out Buddhist spirituality. Zhon, 27, defies the local stereotype of Chinese visitors as swaggering soldiers or supercilious tourists who treat Tibet like a giant theme park. Skinny and softspoken, he quit his telemarketing job in the southern city of Shenzhen to escape the urban rat race, embarking on a three-month personal journey to the Tibetan plateau. We share a rickety one-hour ferry ride to the monastery, braced against the chill wind, clutching our sunhats and exchanging impressions of Tibet. He revels in its pristine, pastoral setting, brimming with religion and compassion. "This is my dream," he says, breathing in the unpolluted air as our long-hulled boat crashes against the waves. He'd heard about Tibet from his mother, who had Buddhist inclinations, and from a soldier who served here in the Chinese military. The soldier hadn't spoken well of his posting, but that didn't deter Zhon. "He didn't like it here, didn't care for the people ? thought it was the end of the Earth ? but I'm interested in Buddhism," Zhon says breathlessly. "I've studied books on Tibet and I think it's my favourite part of China." We are alone at the front of the ferry, so I can't help asking him about what he has just said: whether he really thinks Tibet belongs to the motherland. Does he know that most of the Tibetan Buddhists with whom he seems so enamoured want the Chinese to leave? He is utterly at a loss for words. "That's a political question," he says cautiously. "I have no opinion about that." We resume the bumpy journey overland. There are police checkpoints along the road and a Public Security Bureau post, red flag fluttering, built on the perimeter to watch over the monks. At last we arrive at Samye, the first monastery ever built in Tibet. Foreigners must register with the police and show their special government permit. As a Chinese citizen, however, Zhon is unencumbered by such bureaucratic exigencies. He sets off with his Chinese friends on a hike in the mountains to enjoy Tibet's fresh air, leaving behind the delicate political questions that haunt the monks. We never talk again. At dawn, the walled monastery is cloaked in morning mists. The compound is shaped like a mandala, a religious symbol representing the Buddhist universe. Even without the cosmic overlay, a visitor has no doubt that he is entering another world. With no flush toilets and only a hand pump for water, morning ablutions are an uncomplicated affair. After an hour of reading scriptures, sleepy-eyed young monks, their heads freshly shaved, shuffle in their burgundy robes toward the utse, a colourful six-storey wood and stone temple with metre-thick walls. In 1959, more than 110,000 monks inhabited some 6,000 Tibetan monasteries and temples. Today, about 1,400 monasteries survive by official count, with 46,000 monks and nuns in residence. The historic decline shows. Deprived of their former student population, most religious sites look forlorn and desolate after the last tourist bus of the day has pulled away. "Preserving our Buddhist culture is the most important thing," whispers Sonam, a 23-year-old monk who took his vows six years ago after being vetted by local government officials. "I became a monk to study knowledge about life, and to learn about our next lives." It is time for the young monks to take their places on the hard wooden benches, lined with filthy red felt, and prepare for meditation. Around them are painted thangka scrolls blackened by burning candles and yellowing piles of scriptures wrapped in silk. The chief monk, his high office signified by the broad shoulder padding tucked under his maroon cloak, leads a procession to his elevated pedestal. The monks chant sutras ? Buddhist holy texts ? in a low nasal monotone for the next four hours, the rhythmic incantations punctuated every few minutes by the delicate clanging of cymbals. Plump rats scurry underfoot. The vermin are dimly illuminated by butter candles and the flicker of a fluorescent bulb, but they are safeguarded by the Buddhist injunction against killing living creatures. The chanting falls to a low pitch, like a turntable losing power, until silence descends on the chapel. Emboldened, the rats feast on crumbs of barley flour while the monks meditate over the six realms of existence ? animals, humans, hungry ghosts, demi-gods, heavenly beings and those consigned to hell. Horns sound and at last it is the monks' turn to eat. They dig into their plates of tsampa (roasted barley flour) with their fingers and slurp cups of strong tea brewed with salted yak butter to ward off the morning chill. The food gives off a pungent aroma that blends with the fragrant incense wafting across the hall. A pilgrim interrupts the meal to present an offering for the chief monk's blessings: a wad of Chinese banknotes bearing the portrait of modern China's founder ? and Tibet's conqueror ? Mao Zedong. It might seem sacrilegious, but the monks need the money. Tashe Wangdu is only 30 ? young for a chief monk at such an historic monastery. But with 13 years of dedicated service and no blots on his record, he impressed the local Communist authorities as a worthy candidate. Wangdu supervises the morning meditations and metes out discipline to unruly young monks. Enforcing order within the walls of the monastery pales beside the challenge of co-existing with the Chinese officials beyond its precincts. Over cups of orange soda served in delicate teacups in his small bedroom, Wangdu explains that he has only 136 monks ? slightly more than the government-approved limit of 112 but still far below the one-time level of several hundred. Wangdu wants every monk he can get. And for that he needs the co-operation of the Orwellian-sounding Democratic Management Committee, set up by local officials for liaison with the Public Security Bureau. "We don't have enough monks for our spiritual needs or to maintain the temple," he says, blinking nervously. The monks are rebuilding structures desecrated by Red Guards who targeted any trace of Buddhist history in the monastery. The young monks are quick to lay new bricks and mortar, but preserving the old rites and rituals is proving more difficult. "The older monks have experience of our traditions from before the Cultural Revolution, but most of them are gone and it is getting hard to replace them," Wangdu says ruefully. He doesn't go into detail, but the reason monks are hard to replace is that so many of them have been hounded out of the monasteries. Many have been forced to sign public denunciations of the Dalai Lama against their will in political study sessions or have been jailed for refusing to turn in their colleagues. The elder monks who stayed behind have paid a heavy price, as I learn from Lobsang ? a monk who is too anxious to give his real name but too old to hold his tongue. He twitches uncontrollably as we speak in the shadows of a rarely visited temple in the Samye compound. "This is a grand vocation," he says. "But who will instruct the next generation? Most of the high lamas have left. I only wish they would return to pass on the best of Buddhist teachings." I ask in a whisper if he also hopes for the Dalai Lama's return. "Oh, yes, of course," he shoots back, blinking rapidly. Do you consider him a living Buddha? "Oh, yes, he is everything. And anyone who does not consider him the Buddha of Compassion cannot be a real Buddhist." The old monk is like a man possessed ? by both fear and fealty. On this day, army commanders have come to inspect the monastery, and he falls silent. Most monks who fled for their lives are in no position to risk a return. Lochoe, 34, was jailed for six months because of his "subversive" actions in a monastery in the eastern region of Kham. When local officials ordered the monks to denounce the Dalai Lama, he refused. "Every monk has at least one photo of His Holiness in his room, but when the officials come we have to just hide it," Lochoe says. He fingers his prayer beads nervously as he recalls the beatings of his interrogators. Lochoe's oversized eyeglasses accentuate his gaunt look. Still, he doesn't blame the prison wardens for his mistreatment. He faults his fellow monks who informed on him. "There are some monks whom you cannot trust," he says. "It's very obvious, because whenever there are religious activities in the monastery, the Chinese officials always know what's been going on." Lochoe tells me his story during an interview in Dharamsala, India, where he sought refuge only a few months ago. Were he still across the border in Tibet, such a candid conversation would be impossible. Indeed, the self-censorship becomes readily apparent on my last day at Tibet's oldest monastery. Toward sunset, I hear a loud commotion emanating from one of the dormitories. In the courtyard, dozens of fresh-faced monks ? not yet scarred by prison beatings ? are furiously debating Buddhist doctrine. The monks gesture wildly and smack their hands together. They shout menacingly, badgering their interlocutors by force of logic and leaps of faith. When they finally fall silent, exhausted, the monks explain the importance of dialogue in Buddhist theology. "Debate is essential to seek the truth," one monk says with great passion. "We must debate every topic if we are to attain a higher understanding." Taking them at their word, I ask about the nature of debate and truth-seeking: What topics are off limits, which taboos cannot be transgressed in Tibet? The monks sit cross-legged around me as they wait patiently for the translation of my question, then jump in with their replies. They cheerfully rattle off the seemingly limitless subjects under discussion: Buddha's compassion, the nature of reincarnation, the mysteries of astronomy, the battle between good and evil. But they have not answered my question. What can they not discuss? What about the Dalai Lama? A monastic silence falls over the crowd. No one wants to speak first, but at last an older monk finds a way to explain the inexplicable. "No, no. We do not debate this because we have already studied Chinese politics. There is no need to debate this matter." Our little talk has come to an end. The young monks have nothing more to say on the matter. Silence descends on the monastery. The sun is setting and the courtyard soon will be cloaked in darkness. Day or night, there is no debating the Dalai Lama, or the future of Tibet, within its walls.

www.phayul.com 10 Dec 2003 Repression of all religions in China Source : WTN By JAMYANG NORBU This is an excerpt from a forthcoming book BUYING THE DRAGON'S TEETH: How Your Money Empowers a Cruel and Dangerous Authoritarian Regime in China and Undermines Jobs, Industries and Freedom Back Home. The Communist Party of China has always regarded religion as a dangerous and unacceptable challenge to its exclusive right to the obedience and even devotion of the Chinese people. Although the Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in actual practice every religious group has to undergo an onerous registration process and their activities are rigorously monitored. Printing and distribution of religious publications are strictly controlled by the government. Any group seen as attempting to move away from the strict and intrusive controls the Chinese government exercises is immediately charged with "criminal activities" or "illegal gatherings." This invariably results in police action, with routine physical abuse, torture and long-term imprisonment of religious leaders and practitioners. Official demolition of churches, monasteries and mosques are not uncommon. Human Rights Watch/Asia has published a useful handbook on the subject, China: State Control of Religion, in addition to other reports on this issue.[1] The handbook is essential reading for a fundamental understanding of the means by which the Communist Party of China suppresses, controls and perverts religious beliefs. Information on the persecution of specific religions and sects is available through agencies related to these religious bodies, chief among them being Tibet Information News Network (TIN), Cardinal Kung Foundation, Free Church for China, Falun Dafa Information Center, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Uyhgur Information Center and others. On February 11, 2002, Freedom House in Washington, D.C. released a report analyzing seven Chinese government documents.[2] These secret documents, issued between April 1999 and October 2001, detail the goals and actions of China's national, provincial and local security officials in repressing religion. They provide irrefutable evidence that China's government, at the highest levels, aims to repress religious expression outside its control and is using more determined, systematic and harsher criminal penalties in this effort. Hu Jintao (now president of China), regarded by some China observers as a member of a younger, more liberal generation of communist party leaders is quoted in the document as endorsing the drive against the Real God church (Document 4). "These documents provide irrefutable evidence that China remains determined to eradicate all religion it cannot control, using extreme tactics," said the Center for Religious Freedom (Freedom House) Director Nina Shea. "Normal religious activity is criminalized and, as the December death sentences brought against South China church Pastor Gong Shengliang and several of his co-workers attest, the directives outlined in these documents are being carried out with ruthless determination." On August 8, 2003, the Commission on International Religious Freedom (a U.S. federal agency) called off its proposed visit to China after the Chinese authorities imposed "unacceptable last-minute conditions."[3] A visit to Hong Kong by the group was also blocked by China. Michael K. Young, the chairman of the commission said: "It further raises the concern that just years after the handover, Hong Kong's autonomy is already seriously in doubt." In light of the fact that China had previously permitted similar Congressional and State Department bodies on religious freedoms to visit China, these restrictions could reflect a hardening of Beijing's anti-religion policies and a new attitude of rejecting the concerns of the outside world on such matters. POPULAR INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS On February 8, 2001, The New York Times reported that seven more members of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual group had died in custody, raising the known death toll to 112. Four reportedly died in forced labor camps, while two were apparently injured during force-feeding to break up a hunger-strike attempt. As of June 27, 2001, Falun Gong claimed that some 234 practitioners had died suspicious deaths in custody or immediately following release.[4] To date many thousands of members have been detained (for varying periods), while at least ten thousand are serving lengthy terms in forced labor camps. An unknown number have been committed to psychiatric detention centers. Beatings and torture of those arrested are routine and have resulted in many deaths. The massive and brutal crack down of the Falun Gong - the intensity of the campaign blitz (in nationwide public demonstrations and mass meetings) with even far-flung regions having to demonstrate their active antagonism to the sect - recall the Maoist campaigns of the 50s and 60s. By September 2001, the Falun Gong movement in China, with the rare exception of a determined group or two, had been forced underground. In addition to the harsh and intensive crackdown, a sophisticated nationwide propaganda campaign successfully demonizing the spiritual group and its leader, Li Hongzhi, and extolling the benign treatment afforded Falun Gong followers in "bright, cheerful" reeducation camps, ensured that the Chinese public would go along with the government's crackdown of this "evil cult" (as former President Jiang Zemin called it). Yet as Human Rights Watch put it: "The internal propaganda campaign not withstanding, Chinese officials continued to violate the right to freedom of association, assembly, expression, and belief; freedom from torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention; and the right to due process and a fair trial."[5] While the Falun Gong is the most well known indigenous religious group facing persecution in China, it is certainly not alone. For instance, another group, the Zhong Gong, has faced police crackdowns and its leader has also sought political asylum in the United States. Earlier in Sichuan province in the 1980s, the Yiguan Dao (One Unity Way) spiritual movement was crushed ruthlessly by provincial security forces, with its leaders being executed and thousands of its members being sentenced to forced labor camps. TIBETAN BUDDHISM Tibetan Buddhists have for the last few years been subjected to an intensely harsh, well-planned and coordinated campaign to crush their religion and culture. This was locally termed the "second cultural revolution" because of its severity, and the Dalai Lama has denounced it as "cultural genocide." Arrests, savage beatings, torture of monks and rape of nuns in custody, and occasional executions are routine. Moreover, there is strict official regulation of religious life, which includes daily political reeducation of monks and nuns (conducted by State Security or military units permanently stationed at the monasteries or nunneries), a complete ban on pictures of the Dalai Lama, a ban on maintenance of household shrines or religious objects for anyone in official employment and a rigorous and intrusive supervision of the activities of all important lamas and monastic heads. But the escapes in 2001 of two of Beijing's show-case religious leaders in Tibet, the young Karmapa lama and Agya Rinpoche, abbot of Kumbum monastery, to the free world forced a temporary lull in the campaign while a reassessment took place. The pause was a brief one. In the summer of 2001, Chinese officials commenced a crackdown on the Serthar Buddhist Institute in Eastern Tibet (Sichuan province) in the Larung Gar valley. Large contingents of troops, armed police and teams of Chinese officials sealed off the valley and began the demolition of more than a thousand dwellings and other structures. The Institute housed about six to seven thousand monks and nuns and about a thousand Chinese students and Chinese Buddhist scholars who were all expelled and forced to leave the area. The founder and senior teacher of this unique spiritual community, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog, was taken away.[6] Readers should take a look at the photographs of the Institute on the TCHRD website[7] to get an idea of the impressive scale of this deeply moving religious revival. On Sunday, January 26, 2003, the Higher People's Court of Sichuan Province in Chengdu confirmed the death sentences given to the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and his aide and relative Lobsang Thondup.[8] According to the Chinese official news agency Xinhua, the sentences were applied for "sabotage [of] the unity of the country and the unity of various ethnic groups" and "crimes of terror." Lobsang Thondup was executed shortly after. Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche's real crime, however, appears to be the enormous religious and moral influence he exerted over the people of Lithang in Eastern Tibet. Wang Lixiong, the Chinese author of a book on Tibet who has visited the Litang region several times in recent years, said that in the mountain communities - dispirited by cycles of repression, poverty and alcoholism - Tenzin Deleg was revered for "showing a new path." "What he did was to set a moral example, and that had a big effect on the people," Mr. Wang said. "But the government saw him as a threat."[9] The child Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most important religious leader and the world's youngest political prisoner, arrested at the age of six, still remains in unknown confinement since1995, the year of his secret abduction. British writer Isabel Hilton provides a meticulously researched and beautifully written account of this strange and tragic event in her book The Search for the Panchen Lama. The latest first-hand report (September 2003) of religious repression in Tibet came from Philip P. Pan, correspondent for the Washington Post, who undertook an eight-day trip across Tibet and conducted numerous interviews.[10] Some excerpts from his article: "The government maintains tight control of Tibet's monasteries, restricting the number of monks and nuns who can worship. It has banned religious teachings considered politically sensitive and has suspended various tests that would allow monks to advance in their studies. It has also established Democratic Management Committees to run every monastery, though the monks who serve on these committees acknowledge that they are no longer elected by their peers." "We don't regard it as democratic; the committee represents the government," said Nyima Tsering, deputy director at the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa's holiest shrine. He said the government appointed him and six other monks to the committee after evaluating their patriotism. Two government officials also sit on the committee and have the final say in any decisions, he said. "Every March, it (the Chinese administration) orders government work units to make sure employees do not celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday, threatening officials with dismissal if police catch any of their subordinates doing so. The party has also banned all government employees from displaying photos of the Dalai Lama at home and has even tried to force them to take down Buddhist statues." "At Tibet University in Lhasa, officials said students are prohibited from praying at temples or taking part in other religious activities, and face expulsion if they do. Even in high schools and middle schools, students are often told not to practice religion, residents said. The government is also trying to end the rural tradition of sending children to study in the monasteries." CATHOLICS Every day up to one hundred million Christians in China risk their lives by defying government orders banning free worship. Catholic organizations and congregations that recognize the spiritual authority of the Pope have been forced to go underground and Chinese bishops and priests and laymen have regularly been arrested, tortured and harassed. There have also been cases of outright murder of priests by security forces, as in the case of Father Yan Weiping of Hebei province who after his arrest in March 1996 was found beaten to death on a street in Beijing. At least ten bishops and nineteen priests are presently confirmed as under incarceration,[11] while the fate of about forty more churchmen is simply unknown, with authorities refusing to confirm or deny whether they have been arrested or whether they are dead. Many more lay Catholics are suffering the same fate as their spiritual guides. The frail 81-year-old Bishop Zeng Jingmu of Jiangxi province was rearrested on September 14, 2000, immediately following the completion of a three-year prison term. He had previously been imprisoned for 30 years from 1955 to 1995. On September 11, 2000, in Fujian province about 70 security police surrounded the house of an underground Catholic priest, the 82-year-old Father Ye Gong Feng, who was savagely tortured by security police until he fell into a coma. In February 2003, Bishop Joseph Zen, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong, said that mainland China had been stepping up its repression of the Catholic Church in China.[12] The bishop added that the Chinese authorities had closed down a Catholic seminary in China but faced a younger generation of Catholic priests who were less obedient than the older priests. On May 28, 2003, a China expert in Rome reported that Beijing had ordered stricter control over the lives of Chinese Catholics according to three government documents recently acquired.[13] PROTESTANTS All Protestant denominations are required like Catholics to observe the "three-self" policy, which demands that they abjure support from foreign missionary organizations, and that they give up theoretical, doctrinal, and liturgical differences to join a "post-denominational Christian church" loyal to the Communist Party of China. The "three-fix" policy requires that all congregations meet at a fixed location, that they have a fixed and professional religious leader, and that they confine their activities to a fixed geographical sphere. For non-mainstream Protestant groups, which rely on lay leaders and which recruit members through evangelical preaching, the regulation effectively checks growth and allows effective official monitoring of groups. Therefore, many churches have attempted to remain unregistered but when discovered have had their leaders and members arrested, beaten and tortured. In the Zhoukou area of Henan such unregistered "house" churches have proliferated and with it an intensified crackdown on worshippers. In the first ten months of 1995, police in the area took more than 200 Protestants into custody. Their leaders were sentenced to three-year terms of imprisonment. The evangelical network in the Zhoukou area also has links outside their area. A November 19, 1994 police raid netted 152 church leaders, many from other localities and provinces. On February 18, 1995, Li Dezian a preacher from Guangzhou had his church raided by Public Security officials. Five officers reportedly used a Bible to beat Li on his face and neck in an attempt to break his windpipe. They used steel rods to break his ribs and injure his back and legs, and jumped on and kicked his prone body until he vomited blood. All those present at the church - some one hundred - were dragged away. Human Rights Watch/Asia has reported raids, fines and detentions from other provinces and cities such as Shenyang, Xi'an, Fuzhou, Guilin, Tianjin and several locales in Sichuan province, as well as in Shenzhen, the Special Economic Zone in Southern China. In December 2001, two leaders of a Chinese Christian sect were sentenced to death, the first time such executions had been ordered under the country's 1999 anti-cult law.[14] Gong Shengliang, the founder of the unauthorized South China Church, and his niece Li Ying, were ordered to die in Hubei Province in central China for crimes including "hooliganism and rape," according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy. Following a global outcry, the accused were re-sentenced on October 10, 2002, to life in prison. A New York Times report on the case drew this conclusion, ".diplomats said they thought that Chinese authorities were hoping to defuse international criticism, especially as Mr. Jiang prepares for the summit meeting with Mr. Bush in the United States later this month."[15] Most recently, Li Guangqiang, a Hong Kong citizen, was arrested for bringing annotated Bibles into China for use by a banned evangelical Christian group. He was arrested on the very serious charge of "using a cult to subvert the law," which can carry the death sentence. But in order to create "a positive atmosphere" for President Bush's visit to Beijing on February 21, 2002, Li was only sentenced to two years' imprisonment.[16] Two others, Wang Xuexiao and Liu Xishu, who were facing similar severe charges in Anhui Province were given heavy sentences, according to Human Rights and Democracy, a Hong Kong-based group. Many other indigenous Protestant sects, as the Shouters,[17] the Disciples, Ling Ling Religion, the Holistic sect and the Beiliwang sects have been outlawed and authorities have declared that they would be "hunted down and severely punished." ISLAM IN CHINA China has more than 17 million Muslims[18] but this figure is believed to understate the actual numbers by as much as 50 percent. The Hui are the largest officially recognized Muslim group at about 8.6 million and are ethnically and linguistically Chinese. Hui minority populations are found throughout China and they do not have a traditional territorial homeland. The Uighurs are the most important Muslims of Turkic origin and are the dominant ethnic group in Xinjiang, numbering about 7.2 million out of a total population of some 15 million. The Hui and the Turkic Muslims have different relationships with the Han Chinese and the two groups are not natural allies. The former are frequently referred to as "Chinese Muslims" and are culturally closer to the mainstream Chinese community. The Hui have no inherent connection with the Turkic-origin Islamic groups but have often served as a bridge between them and Beijing. Even so, the Hui have also suffered discrimination at the hands of the Chinese and have demonstrated their desire for greater cultural and religious freedom on numerous occasions. In Xinjiang, because Islam is essentially indistinguishable from local cultural and national identity, Beijing perceives it to be a particular threat to its rule. As a result, mosques and religious schools in Xinjiang, which are regarded as hot-beds of anti-régime sentiment, have periodically been closed and religious activists arrested and harassed. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in Xinjiang and throughout China, mosques were destroyed or closed, ancient religious sites desecrated and religious leaders imprisoned and executed. The situation improved in the eighties. According to Dr. Paul George, a Canadian researcher on international security and development, "Mosques were rebuilt or reopened and greater interaction between China's Muslims and the wider Islamic community was permitted. Chinese Muslim participation in the annual Haj pilgrimage to Mecca grew steadily from the mid-1980s, exposing many ordinary people to international Islamic thought and political developments. Similarly, foreign Muslims were allowed to visit Islamic sites in China, creating a greater awareness of the wider Muslim community."[19] But by the early 1990s, mosque construction and renovation was severely curtailed, public broadcasting of sermons outside mosques was banned, religious education was proscribed, only religious material published by the state Religious Affairs Bureau was allowed, religious activists were purged from state positions and Haj pilgrimages were tightly controlled and limited to participants over 50 years of age.[20] Furthermore, the traditional Arabic script that had been used in the region for more than a thousand years is now being superseded by Chinese, and thousands of traditional historical books have been destroyed. The Uighur language itself has been banned in Xinjiang University according to the testimony of members of the Uyghur American Association to a U.S. Congressional Commission on China.[21] The first serious outbreaks of violence directed at the Chinese authorities occurred in response to the imposition of these restrictive measures and reflected the local communities' anger and frustration at Beijing's about-turn on greater religious freedom. "Whereas there has clearly been heightened awareness of their ethno-religious roots amongst the Muslims of Xinjiang in recent years, it is not apparent that this can be equated with the beginning of an Islamic fundamentalist movement," Dr. Paul George claims. "In fact, with some exceptions, Uighurs are not generally considered to be fundamentalists and the organized lethal combination of religion and violence seen in the Islamic world from Algeria to Afghanistan is so far missing in Xinjiang."[22] Still a small number of Xinjiang Muslims are known to have fought alongside the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and were also later connected to the Taliban. But Uighur leaders-in-exile maintain that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which the United States recently included in its list of Foreign Terrorist organizations, is an obscure group that most Uighurs know nothing about and that the political implication of this decision would be disastrous for the Uighur freedom movement worldwide, and to the ever-deteriorating human rights situation in East Turkestan. The editor of the Uyghur Information Agency in Washington, D.C., declared that America's action would "legitimize China's aggressive clampdown on any form of Uyghur dissent, no matter how nonviolent and peaceful they may be."[23].

WP 12 Dec 2003 From Tibet, A 'Cry' to Melt Hearts By Desson Thomson Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, December 12, 2003; Page WE49 THE BERLIN WALL is down. Apartheid has been dismantled in South Africa. But as the heartbreaking "Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion" makes clear, Tibet continues to suffer under the inflexible yoke of the People's Republic of China. There appears to be no hope for the Tibetans, whose spiritual government, led by the Dalai Lama in absentia, overwhelmingly repudiates this occupation. Whoever controls this breathtakingly beautiful region of the world, as the filmmakers make clear, also controls central Asia. This is no hyperbole. News footage in the film, past and present, shows China's systematic, jackbooted destruction of a culture, including the oft-quoted figure of the death of 1.2 million Tibetans since the 1950 invasion of the non-Chinese nation. That destruction continues today on every conceivable level: The once-holy city of Lhasa teems with Chinese soldiers who have free rein over the Tibetans. They can, and do, beat, torture and kill citizens for almost any reason, from displaying the Tibetan flag to even mentioning the Dalai Lama. Many of these soldiers are seen relaxing in the red light district, a brand-new phenomenon in Tibet that caters almost exclusively to the Chinese military. The movie, narrated by Martin Sheen and voice overs from a host of other luminaries, including Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, is no visual travelogue about the wonderful peaks of Everest. Most of it was shot in Betacam SP before being transferred to film. It's about the misery of a nation. Directed and photographed by Tom Peosay, who took 10 years (and nine journeys into Tibet) to make this, the documentary provides a bracingly clear vision of the events that have led to this. We see the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949, which the Chinese government described in Orwellian terms as the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet." There are scenes of the September 1987 shooting of citizens who were demonstrating against occupation, including footage of Jampa Tenzin, a monk who (during the unrest) rescued prisoners from a burning police station, only to be captured, tortured and killed by the Chinese. We hear from political activists who have spent as many as 33 years as political prisoners; scores of historians, scholars, activists and Tibetans. There is a Chinese activist who is committed to Tibetan freedom, as well as Chinese spokesmen for the communist government who speak of the "distortions" that have led most of the world to its moral conclusions. And we see much of the 14th Dalai Lama, whose doctrine of nonviolent protest continues to be Tibet's main weapon. "What the West has done," says former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, "is avert its eyes while genocide takes place in Tibet." And on and on. Each revelation seems more disturbing than the next. But Chinese treatment of Tibetans is only half the heartbreak. The other is the amazing resilience of the Tibetans, who are overwhelmingly Buddhist. Their beliefs teach them to carry no rancor toward their occupiers. One day, says one Tibetan, maybe Tibet will be free. And maybe Tibet and China will be friends. Of all the heart-piercing moments in the film, this statement is surely one of the most powerful. TIBET: CRY OF THE SNOW LION (Unrated, 104 minutes) -- Contains brutal violence and intense thematic material. At the American Film Institute Silver Theatre through Thursday.

Reuters 24 Dec 2003 China Arrests 24 Taiwan 'Spies' By Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING (Reuters) - China has arrested 24 "spies" from arch diplomatic foe Taiwan and 19 mainland Chinese accomplices amid boiling tensions over plans by the island for a referendum, a move that has riled Beijing and alarmed Washington. China's rare and swift admission of the espionage scandal could cast Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian as irresponsible and hurt his re-election bid in the March 2004 presidential polls, analysts said. Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper reported this week that Chinese authorities swooped on the "spy ring" after Chen made public, with pinpoint accuracy, the location of Chinese missiles aimed at the island. Chen's spokesman has defended the president, saying it was public information. Beijing and Taipei have been spying on each other since their split at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province that must be brought back to the fold and has vowed to attack the self-ruled democratic island of 23 million if it formally declares independence. "What these spies did may bring catastrophes and bitterness to the people of Taiwan," China's official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday, quoting a state security spokesman. The Taiwan Defense Ministry's Military Intelligence Bureau earlier dismissed the Hong Kong newspaper report, saying nobody had been arrested. Xinhua gave scant details of the alleged activities of those detained but said they had confessed to their crimes and all had "expressed their gratitude to the state security departments for the humanitarian treatment they have received." "The intelligence departments of Taiwan have never given up their attempts to spy on the mainland," the spokesman said. GOOD HEALTH Xinhua said the spies had been interrogated "strictly in accordance with the law," their rights were being protected, and they were being given daily necessities and medical care. "The spies are in good health," Xinhua said. The spokesman said the case was being investigated further. In the most notorious espionage scandal in China's Communist era, a major general and a senior colonel were executed in 1999 for spying for Taiwan. Taiwan analysts said the latest announcement could discredit Chen. "Chen Shui-bian could be portrayed as a loud mouth and as being irresponsible," said a Taiwan analyst who asked not to be identified. "It gives the opposition camp ammunition to attack Chen," said a Taiwan academic who spoke on condition of anonymity. Cross-strait tensions have been boiling since November, when Taiwan's parliament passed a bill to permit referendums. Last week Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu said Chinese missiles aimed at the island were a form of "state terrorism," and she gave no sign of backing down from plans to hold a controversial referendum calling for their removal. Taiwan says the referendum was not aimed at upsetting the political status quo with China, which sees it as a step toward statehood. Trade and tourism between China and Taiwan have blossomed since detente began in the late 1980s, but are routed mostly through Hong Kong due to a decades-old ban by the island on direct air and shipping links with the mainland.

WP 23 Dec 2003 Execution Reveals Party's Grip in China Case -Highlights Flaws in Legal System By John Pomfret Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, December 23, 2003; Page A12 BEIJING, Dec. 22 -- In a case that has roiled legal circles for months, China's highest court upheld a death sentence and then allowed the execution on Monday of an alleged gangster despite testimony from eight prison guards that the man had admitted to ordering a mob killing only after lengthy torture. Legal experts criticized the decision and said the case of Liu Yong underscored serious problems in China's legal system. Government sources said the Supreme People's Court reversed a lower-court verdict under orders from the Communist Party's top law enforcement committee even though several of the judges opposed the decision, illustrating the control the party exerts over court decisions. Defense attorneys and academics said the reversal despite the torture charges, which were backed up by affidavits from eight security service witnesses, marked a step backward for a country that has been struggling with police brutality for decades. "This case is going to set back China's development of a legal system by 10 years," said one of Beijing's leading lawyers and a senior member of All China Lawyers' Association. This lawyer, like other lawyers and legal experts, spoke about this case on condition of anonymity because he fears he could lose his job or face more serious punishment from the police. Under Chinese law, confessions obtained through torture are not admissible in court. Even so, torture is common and, many legal academics argue, it remains the main method used by police to solve cases. "This case shows that things operate in China because of the influence of a few powerful men, not because of the influence of law," said Daniel Yu, a research fellow at New York University School of Law. "And the most powerful men in the legal system in China are not judges. They are the police." Yu and other experts said the decision in Jinzhou, a decaying industrial city in the Manchurian plains, is part of a series of recent defeats suffered by country's legal profession and raises questions about the commitment of the ruling Communist Party to establishing the rule of law. Premier Wen Jiabao, during a trip to the United States earlier this month, repeatedly vowed that the government was striving to improve the legal system. According to police, Liu, 43, was the brutal head of a criminal organization that operated through extortion, corrupt land deals and murder. An entrepreneur who started off hawking clothes from a small stall, Liu eventually expanded his business into a sprawling conglomerate, the Jiayang Group, employing 2,500 people. At the time of his arrest in July 1999, Liu was a member of the legislature in Shenyang, a major northeastern city. Liu allegedly belonged to a cabal of corrupt officials, including former mayor Mu Suixin and deputy mayor Ma Xiangdong. Ma was executed in 2001. Mu is in prison and has untreatable lung cancer. In April, Liu and his alleged henchman, Song Jianfei, were sentenced to death -- Song for beating up a cigarette vendor, who later died of internal bleeding, and Liu for ordering the killing because the man purportedly was a competitor. Liu hired a top litigation lawyer, Tian Wenchang, to appeal. Tian collected the testimony of the eight retired officers, members of the People's Armed Police who said that at various times and locations they had witnessed police torturing Liu. Tian's success in convincing former officers to break a code of silence about police brutality marked a breakthrough for the legal system. The witnesses wrote of police denying Liu food and water, applying electric current to his body, and forcing him to squat in a small metal box for days. On the stand, Liu admitted to some crimes such as bribing government officials but argued that is what every Chinese private businessmen needs to do. He denied any involvement in the cigarette dealer's death. In August, the Liaoning Higher People's Court lowered his earlier death sentence to a sentence of death with two years' reprieve because, the court wrote, it could not "exclude the possibility that public security organs during their investigation extorted a confession by torture." That sentence meant that Liu would most likely get life in prison. On Oct. 8, the Supreme People's Court took over the case, marking the first time since the 1949 Communist revolution that China's highest court would hear a common criminal case. Sources said the Communist Party's Committee of Politics and Law, which runs the country's security services, ordered the top court to issue a new verdict and sentence Liu to death. The sources said that Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang, the second-ranking member of the committee, insisted on a death sentence, because he did not want a precedent set allowing confessions obtained by torture to be thrown out of court. Senior members of the Politburo, China's top political body, also agreed that Liu should be executed because public opinion seemed to be in favor of it. The top court held its first session on Friday, but Tian, the defense lawyer, boycotted the meeting. In a lengthy report Monday night, state-run television quoted the high court as brushing aside the torture charges and saying that the seriousness of Liu's crimes warranted his death. "Originally we thought this was a historical case," said Yu of New York University. "We had a high court that admitted some kind of torture occurred and that torture actually had legal consequences. But now they have really disappointed a lot of Chinese lawyers." More than 100 defense attorneys have been arrested nationwide under a clause in a law that gives police and prosecutors sweeping rights to jail them for making statements in court that are deemed false, officials at the All China Lawyers Association said. That clause is having a chilling effect on criminal defense work, and scores of lawyers are leaving that side of the profession, senior defense attorneys said.


ICG 4 Dec 2003 Kashmir: Views from Islamabad and New Delhi and Learning from the Past Despite the ceasefire in Kashmir at the end of November 2003, there is serious potential for another violent crisis. All sides will have to reconsider current approaches if peace is to be achieved. ICG is publishing simultaneously three reports which, taken together, set out the public and private positions of the Indian and Pakistani governments, political leaders and media and examine the history of the crisis and past efforts to resolve it. Including an earlier report on views from within the Kashmir Valley, the series analyses the positions and looks at the constraints in terms of ending the conflict, as they are perceived on all sides. A subsequent final report will offer extensive recommendations on how to move forward with a process of reconciliation between India and Pakistan and within Kashmir. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org

Indian Express 4 Dec 2003 Adivasi stir turns violent, 2 hurt Syed Khalique Ahmed Chhotaudepur (vadodara Dist), December 3: IT all began as an agitation for better wages by tribals working in the dolomite mines in about half a dozen villages around this taluka township. Now it has turned into a tribal versus non-tribal dispute, causing tension and threatening to disrupt peace in this tribal hinterland, which witnessed large-scale communal violence during February-March 2002. With no hope of settlement of their demand for a wage hike from mine operators, hundreds of adivasi workers on Tuesday marched to the dolomite crushing units here and began pelting stones at their employers. This led to a clash in which two adivasi labourers were injured. Adivasis are demanding Rs 200 for blasting and breaking 10 tonnes of dolomite against the existing wages of Rs 160. There are 35 dolomite and 110 crushing units giving employment to about 5,000 tribals. ??The issue has taken a tribal vs non-tribal hue as all the mines as well as crushing units are owned by non-tribals and all the workers are tribals,?? said owner of Giriraj Minerals and BJP councillors in the Chhotaudepur municipal board Bhupendra Dhobi. Both mine operators as well as crushing unit owners are stunned that tribal workers have gone on the offensive. "This is the first time that tribal workers had resorted to violence" said Jayantibhai Shah, president of Chhotaudepur Mineral Merchants Association. Dhobi and Shah felt the attack on employes was a very dangerous trend and administration must deal sternly with those indulging in violence. Chhotaudepur Mine Operators Association president Ramesh Pandya said: ??Mine operators are facing a financial crunch owing to industrial slowdown and they are not in a position to meet the workers? demand.?? Yet, he said, mine operators had agreed to raise the wages to Rs 180 but the tribal workers are adamant on Rs 200. Pandya said that for the last two days some tribal workers had tried to give a communal twist to the issue because minority community members owned a sizeable number of mines. ??This is very dangerous in an area that witnessed large-scale communal violence,?? said Pandya. Amarsinh Rathwa, who is spearheading the agitation, justified the demand, saying: ??Since three years, there has been no increase in wages while prices of everything have increased manifold.?? He said workers would not settle at anything less than Rs 200. Rathwa and some mine workers alleged that mine operators from minority community were not cooperating with the workers. However, Sattarbhai Ibrahim Ghanchi, who owns a mine as well as a dolomite crushing unit, dismissed Rathwa?s charge as baseless. He said all mine operators were ready to pay the wages decided by the association. PSI B C Joshi of Chhotaudepur police station said that police patrol had been intensified in the town to ensure that peace was not disturbed.

Hindustan Times 6 Dec 2003 Where Muslims partake of offerings to a Hindu god Sukrat Desai (Indo-Asian News Service) Ahmedabad, December 6 As a prayer in praise of Lord Hanuman begins everyday at 7.10 pm at the 'Shri Hanumanji Mandir Ram Roti Kendra' here, devotees throng the sanctum sanctorum, many of them sporting skull caps and flowing beards. As some 300 plates are arrayed in two rows, hundreds of poor people of this principal city of Gujarat crouch, waiting for the wholesome 'prasad', or holy offering, to be served to them. When temple priest Avadhbihari begins serving the food to the accompaniment of chiming bells and booming drums, it is only incidental that more than two-thirds of those present are Muslims. One may wonder at the sight of followers of another faith coming regularly to partake of the 'Ram roti' or food offerings to a Hindu god, but Avadhbihari dismisses such thoughts. "Who are Muslims? I don't see any Muslims here, nor do I see any Hindus. Those who come here are hungry and a hungry stomach doesn't know any religion," he explains. "Ask any poor Muslim or a poor Hindu and he would say that god is the same despite his many names." The communal violence that rocked Gujarat last claimed nearly 1,000 lives across Gujarat last year and left society in Ahmedabad deeply divided. But one would never be able to gauge this while visiting the Hanuman temple. "The concept of 'Ram roti' is derived from the ancient Hindu texts of the Rig Vedas in which appeasement of thirst and hunger of the poor is mentioned as the only way to salvation," Avadhbihari told IANS. The very mention of sectarian violence disturbs the priest. "There is only one solution to communal violence. Hang a few politicians who beg for votes in the name of religion. "And to those who foment violence in the name of Ram I must say, Ram roti is the only way of worshiping Ram, not violence," said Avadhbihari. The Bhanderi Pol area, where this temple is located, is a pocket of some 3,000 Hindus surrounded by about 150,000 Muslims living in the nearby Kalupur area. "Most Hindus in the area are financially better off and don't come here to eat, so this temple has become popular among the Muslim poor," said Maulin Mehta, a businessman. 'Ram Roti' is a lifeline for hundreds of Muslims from Kalupur and Dariapur neighbourhoods. Seventy-year-old Gulmohammed Malek terms 'Ram roti' a noble cause for humanity. "My relatives have abandoned me. No one would have taken care of me but god," he said. There are hundreds of destitute Muslims like Malek who eat the temple's offerings without any reservation. "Sabka malik ek hai (The gods of all religions are one)," said Gafoor Ahmedi, a beggar at the nearby Kalupur railway station who often visits the temple. Beggars, the destitute, the poor, wanderers and the physically challenged all throng this unusual Hindu temple. The longer the queue of those seeking food, the happier is Avadhbihari, who made this temple his home in 1985. "A greater number of people to be fed means distribution of more offerings and more blessings of Hanuman," he explains. "And you may call them Muslims, but we all are essentially children of god." "During this year's holy month of Ramadan, I invited Muslims to break their fast with Ram roti, and they responded by coming here in large numbers." Such is the spell of this temple that not a single case of sectarian violence took place here during last year's violence. Even during extended spells of curfew, food distribution continued unhindered. "During last year's violence, we served food to 1,500 to 2,000 people almost every day for three months. We never faced a shortage of food. We receive donations every day in the form of food grains," said Avadhbihari. The temple accepts offerings from devotees only in the form of food grains.

BBC 7 Dec 2003 Ayodhya anniversary sparks riots Three of the wounded are said to be in a critical condition At least three people have been killed and more than 20 injured in clashes between Muslims and Hindus in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Two people were stabbed to death and one was killed by police gunfire in the old part of the city, oficials said. The trouble erupted on the 11th anniversary of the razing of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, northern India. Security was tightened across India in preparation for the anniversary of the mosque's demolition by Hindu activists. The violence on Saturday night followed a relatively peaceful day of protests across the country by Muslims, and celebrations by Hindu groups. The situation in the Sultan Shahi area of Hyderabad became tense after Hindu activists removed a black flag being flown by Muslim residents, said officials. Groups of Hindus and Muslims reportedly started throwing stones and attacking each others' houses. "We had to open fire to control the situation as the mobs were armed with petrol bombs, swords and iron rods," said the city's police commissioner RP Singh. "We are monitoring the situation carefully. Additional troops have been rushed into all the trouble spots and we have imposed a curfew in these areas." Deployed troops There were no reports of violence anywhere else in the country following heightened security ahead of the anniversary. The destruction of the Babri mosque sparked nationwide riots Hundreds of paramilitary soldiers were deployed to Ayodhya itself to control rallies planned by Hindu nationalists. The razing of the Babri mosque in 1992 triggered a year of violence that killed 2,000 people across India. Thousands have been killed in Hindu-Muslim riots across the country since then. Hindu activists claim the mosque was built on the site of an earlier temple to Lord Ram, but Muslims dispute this. Legal arguments are continuing in an attempt to determine ownership.


AFP 1 Dec 2003 Police reinforcements arrive in Indonesia's violence-hit Poso district JAKARTA, Dec 1 (AFP) - Two hundred police reinforcements have arrived in the eastern Indonesian district of Poso after renewed attacks on non-Muslims killed four people over the weekend, police said Monday. Poso was calm on Monday but "sporadic violence can erupt at any time," said Rudi Trenggono, deputy police chief for the district in Central Sulawesi. Earlier killings in the area have been blamed on the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group. Trenggono said the reinforcements arrived Sunday night. One hundred are from the paramilitary mobile brigade unit based in East Java while the other 100 are anti-riot police from South Sulawesi. They will join some 1,500 police and soldiers already in the district. Gunmen attacked two villages in Poso's coastal area late Saturday, killing two people in each of the villages. Four other people were shot and wounded in the second village, which was attacked about an hour after the first. Two migrants from mainly Hindu Bali were killed in the first attack on the village of Kilo Trans. The second attack was on the mainly Christian village of Marowo. A bomb exploded at Poso's central market late Saturday but no one was hurt. Trenggono said police are hunting the attackers but still have no idea who they are. Senior police officers have said a spate of recent attacks is aimed at rekindling communal violence in the religiously divided district. Up to 1,000 people were killed in Muslim-Christian battles, which broke out in 2000. The government brokered a shaky peace deal in December 2001. Gunmen in October killed 10 people in attacks on mainly Christian villages. A senior security official, police Inspector General Ansyaad Mbai, has blamed JI for those killings. More than 80 percent of Indonesia's 212 million people are Muslims. But in some eastern regions, including the Malukus and Poso, Christians make up roughly half the population.

Jakarta Post 5 Dec 2003 GAM violently defies ban on anniversary observance Nani Farida and Teuku Agam Muzakkir, The Jakarta Post, Banda Aceh/Lhokseumawe Celebrations marking the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) anniversary proceeded in the province on Thursday despite the heavy military presence there to prevent the observance. Efforts to deny GAM members a chance to commemorate the self-proclaimed independence by the movement's founders 27 years ago left two Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) soldiers seriously wounded during an armed clash in the hilly Siron area in Aceh Besar regency. The military also deployed dozens of troops equipped with mortars and armored vehicles to Nissam area in North Aceh, which was once known as the base of GAM commander-in-chief Muzakkir Manaf. Soldiers lowered separatist flags hoisted in coconut trees in the eastern part of Sigli district in Pidie regency, one GAM flag in Lhokseumawe and several others in East and South Aceh regencies. Police joined the military operation to prevent the celebration and to maintain security by deploying at least 1,500 personnel who patrolled suspected GAM strongholds. In several hamlets, GAM, nevertheless, tried to hoist the separatist Crescent-Star flags. At least three flags were hoisted. But the military lowered the flags immediately after receiving reports from locals. Except for several gunfights between government troops and GAM rebels, the situation remained calm across the province. Traders continued their business as shops were open and public transportation was operating. In South Aceh, a firefight between the Indonesian Military and GAM fighters took place, resulting in the death of Second Pvt. Yaser Arafat. Aceh military operation spokesman Lt. Col. Ahmad Yani Basuki claimed three GAM rebels were shot dead and four others were arrested during a raid in Tanah Luas subdistrict in North Aceh. In another raid in Bireum Bayeun area in East Aceh, three GAM fighters were killed, while another one was killed during a raid in Seunobok village, East Aceh regency. Despite the attacks, GAM claimed to have held ceremonies almost simultaneously at around 8 a.m. in separate undisclosed locations across East Aceh and Sabang. "Due to the situation, we only held a modest flag-hoisting ceremony," Teungku Zainal Abidin, GAM spokesman overseeing Sabang and Aceh islands region, said. The celebration took place separately at three locations -- Idi Rayeuk, Simpang Ulim and Peureulak, with Teungku Ishak Daud leading an observance in Peureulak, Teungku Mansor, GAM spokesman for East Aceh regency, said. Nearly 1,000 GAM fighters in the region took part in the celebration, Abidin said, In a release made available to The Jakarta Post, Muzakkir asked all GAM members to remain on alert and maintain discipline. Meanwhile the military encouraged people to fight the rebels. As of Thursday, around 7,000 members of the People's Front Against Separatist GAM (FPSG), gathered in Bireuen regency and burned GAM flags and two replicas of GAM founder Hassan Tiro who is now in self exile in Sweden. The rally was an expression of the people's anger toward GAM who had brought the Acehnese to poverty, the group said in its statement.

Jakarta Post 8 Dec 2003 Aceh war may shape embryo of new nation Aboeprijadi Santoso, Radio Netherlands, Amsterdam Decades of war, abuse and injustice have turned Aceh into an awakened province, yet trapped again in war. Alas Jakarta missed its best chances of a peaceful solution even before the failure of last year's peace process. In 1989, in The Hague, Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leader Hasan Mohammad di Tiro showed this writer pictures in a Libyan magazine of young Acehnese doing a military exercise, whom it turns out are to be among the rebel generation returning home that year and now active in Aceh. Asked in 1995 how he thought he would achieve his aim, the Swedish-based rebel replied: "by any means!" In his view, "Aceh has been robbed by the Javanese, using a mask called Indonesia. It's an aggression, Javanese versus Acehnese. I pin much hope on myself and on my countrymen, the nation of Aceh-Sumatra!" The claim may be false, but that hope became, to an important degree, true, as Aceh entered its Glasnost (opening up) in 1998 with the emergence of a dynamic civic movement, distinct from, but sharing local concerns with GAM. Villagers, who hated the rebels in the 1970s and were hurt and humiliated during the military operation called DOM, 1989-1998, turned to GAM and the students. The Army's brutality had shaped a symbol of legitimacy in the image of GAM among many villagers that it enabled the rebels to behave like what one historian of Aceh, Anthony Reid, recently called "a government in waiting". But GAM was not exactly a popular movement like East Timor's Fretilin. It extorted local business and drew resources from expatriates, yet enjoyed rural support, sources said. Jakarta's failure to break this strength may have been the main reason for the failure of last year's peace process. That predicament may influence the course of GAM if the idea of independence and the existence of armed rebels continue to provide alternative symbol, hope and security as they did in the 1980s. Both the Army and GAM may have been involved in widespread abuses, but the rebels apparently accommodated grievances and addressed needs in the way Jakarta and Aceh's local administration never did. The gap was obvious, but became crucial in the late-1990s. Bondan Gunawan, a former minister in President Abdurrachman Wahid's administration who met with GAM commander the late Abdullah Syafi'ie in March 2000, noted that Syafi'Ie was "a man we can do business with." They urged all sides to halt violence. As Bondan called for strengthening Aceh while staying with the republic, Syafi'ie reportedly insisted on having a tete-?-tete in his car and whispered "prove first that Jakarta can be trusted so that Aceh can live safely." In 1948 Acehnese leader Daud Beureu'eh took a similar attitude when he demanded a written statement, but reluctantly accepted President Sukarno's oral promise to keep Aceh's Islamic identity. Acehnese leaders seemed willing to give Jakarta the benefit of the doubt only by unmistakably insisting that Jakarta should be firm and credible before Aceh can live peacefully. So how trustworthy has Jakarta been to Aceh since the late-1990s? If Sukarno broke his promise and provoked Beureu'eh into rebellion, Bondan and Syafi'ie felt they had contributed to the dialog, leading to the "Humanitarian Pause" agreed in May 2000. But GAM's continuing influence, with an alternative rural "government" in some districts, must have become so unbearable for Jakarta that an all-out confrontation seemed inevitable. Neither side had since been able to realize the hope that "Aceh can live safely." Even the short-lived peace early this year, fully supported at home and internationally, was subsequently undermined by GAM's pro-independence campaign and disrupted by the militia-backed local actions in Takengon and Langsa. Peace will only last with greater justice. In Aceh, it has failed basically because from the outset, i.e. amid hopes for true reformasi since 1998, peace for Aceh implied justice for victims of human rights abuses -- a principal demand the civil society crucially shared with villagers. While President B.J. Habibie offered an apology, terminated the DOM and reduced the military strength, and President Wahid refused to impose martial law, resisted the attempts to reinstall Aceh's military command and started a dialog with GAM, neither had brought a single figure responsible for abuses to justice. When a parliamentary committee in Jakarta in the late-1999 questioned five former top generals and a former Aceh governor -- all were widely resented for allegedly responsible for past atrocities and the TV live broadcast widely watched -- expectations rose high in Aceh, but were soon dashed as the issues went nowhere. Had Jakarta taken these issues seriously, it might gain support from the civil society and local elite. "We could have bridged the pro and anti-independence camps," argued activists like Rausan Fikri. Instead, the golden chances to restore Aceh's trust and save it from war, were lost during Aceh's most crucial period, 1998-2001. The Army's dissatisfaction grew as its prestige declined and local officers saw the pro-human rights climate as restricting actions against rebels. Wahid admitted, by April 2001, he was put under pressure to sign the decree to implement a military operation in Aceh. With Megawati Soekarnoputri's presidency came a full-blown war, with the martial law being extended without evaluation, i.e. without clear victory. Guerrilla war in Aceh, as in Vietnam and now Iraq (although legally Aceh is a domestic case), has been increasingly decentralized and forced the Army to disperse small fighting units. Will this allow the martial law authority to secure public security and trust in just six months to ensure free elections? East Timor, another war torn area in 1999, went to vote despite fearing the insecurity, because they had great hope and trusted the balloting (by the UN), but how much hope and trust will the Acehnese have? With Aceh, or greater sections of it, alienated, left with fear and distress by the war, impoverished and losing its democratic space under the martial law, the general elections in 2004 may add another common experience for the Acehnese, unique and radically different from elsewhere in Indonesia. Quite unintentionally -- as many now worry -- the war may have shaped the embryo of a separate nation.

Jakarta Post 8 Dec 2003 Sulawesi governors ink road map The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Four governors in Sulawesi island has concluded a meeting in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado, declaring that they would focus on restoring security in the riot-torn city of Poso to pave the way for development both there and across the island. Separately, Gorontalo Governor Fadel Mohammad asserted that development had to be stimulated in Sulawesi in order to lift more than 3 million Sulawesi people out of poverty. Friday's meeting was organized by the Sulawesi Regional Development Coordinating Body (BKPRS), which has become a forum for the governors in Sulawesi to discuss security and development issues on the island. The meeting, the second so far, was attended by North Sulawesi Governor A.J. Sondakh, Gorontalo Governor Fadel Mohammad, Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi and South Sulawesi Deputy Governor Yasin. Also in attendance was Minister of Home Affairs Hari Sabarno. Governor of Central Sulawesi Amiruddin Ponulele, in whose province the ravaged town of Poso was located, was the only governor absent from the meeting. In an agreement made public after the meeting, the governors underlined the importance of restoring security to Poso. "Paying serious attention to Poso will help restore security in the area, which can help create stability in the entire island in support of the island's development," said the agreement, as quoted by Antara news agency. Poso was rocked by sectarian violence in 2000, but the violence, which killed some 2,000 people, has continued unabated in the religiously divided town until now, despite a peace accord signed by the warring parties two years ago. For example, a recent attack by masked gunmen in Morowali district, Poso, killed at least nine people. Meanwhile, in the current accord, the provincial governments also agreed to draw up a vision for the development of agribusiness and the fishing industry in 2010 to enable the provinces to compete with foreign competitors in the global market. The governors also agreed to encourage regional development and joint exploitation of natural resources. In order to stimulate equal and just regional development, the governors agreed to develop a mode of transportation that would increase public mobility and the flow of goods from one province to another in support of the regional economy. Lastly, the governors agreed to promote tourism, so that it would increase the number of tourists going to the island, as well as foreign investment. Meanwhile, BKPRS chairman Fadel Mohammad said after the meeting that some 22 percent of a total 16 million people in Sulawesi were still living in poverty. He blamed the poverty on misguided policies during the New Order government, which prioritized development in Java and neglected it in the outer islands, including Sulawesi. In order to reduce the poverty rate, the governments in Sulawesi had to work collaboratively to attract investors to the island and spur development there, he said. Separately, Hari told the meeting participants that the provincial governments had to avoid producing local regulations that would create a high-cost economy for investors. He also urged the governments to make the local bureaucracy more efficient.

ICG 18 Dec 2003 Indonesia Backgrounder: A Guide to the 2004 Elections Next year’s elections in Indonesia are unlikely to spur badly-needed reforms. Public disillusionment with the performance of democratic politics since 1999 and nostalgia for Soeharto-era authoritarian rule are spreading rapidly. Very little progress has been made in tackling corruption or delivering a better standard of living to ordinary Indonesians. This report assesses the players, their strategies and the range of probable outcomes. Victory by one of the country’s two major secular-nationalist parties, or perhaps a coalition of both, is widely expected – but neither looks likely to address seriously the core problems facing the country: blatant corruption, stalled democratic reform, economic stagnation, communal violence, and the more recent threat of terrorism. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org

Iran see Iraq

BBC 10 Dec 2003 Nobel winner blasts rights abuses Ebadi had a tough message for the West Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has criticised states for infringing human rights "under the cloak of the war on terrorism". In a speech after accepting her award, Ms Ebadi, 56, said the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States had been misused for this end. She also said the fact she had won the prize would inspire masses of women striving to achieve their rights. The Iranian lawyer was the first Muslim woman to be awarded the peace prize. She won the $1.4m prize for her work for the rights of women and children in Iran, in a year when other names mentioned as being in contention included Pope John Paul II and former Czech President Vaclav Havel. Double standards? Ms Ebadi said it was worrying that human rights were being violated by the same Western democracies that had introduced the principles. And she singled out the alleged breaches of the Geneva conventions at the Guantanamo base in Cuba where the US has been holding more than 600 mainly former Taleban suspects for more than two years. Mr Khatami has played down the award "Why is it that some in the past 35 years, dozens of UN resolutions concerning the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the state of Israel have not been implemented promptly?" she said. "Yet, in the past 12 years, the state and people of Iraq, once on the recommendation of the Security Council, and the second time in spite of UN Security Council opposition, were subjected to attack, military assault, economic sanctions, and ultimately, military occupation?" Iranian message "The people of Iran, particularly in recent years, have shown that they deem participation in public affairs to be their right, and that they want to be masters of their own destiny," she said in her acceptance speech. She has vowed to press the Iranian Government to put into practice the international human rights treaties it has signed but not implemented. Ms Ebadi says she will step up her activities and those of her NGO, the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights. One of the main activities of the centre is representing defendants in political cases. She also expressed the hope that political prisoners in Iran would be freed as soon as possible. Mrs Ebadi's award aroused huge controversy in Iran. Right-wing papers denounced the prize as part of a foreign plot to pressure Tehran. Reformist President Mohammad Khatami has described the award as political and not important. Ms Ebadi was the first female judge in her country, but was forced to resign following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.


Independent UK 1 Dec 2003 Bloodiest month in Iraq leaves 105 troops dead By Phil Reeves in Baghdad and Rupert Cornwell in Washington 01 December 2003 The bloodiest month since the United States led the invasion and occupation of Iraq has come to a deadly close after insurgents killed 14 people from five nations in a weekend of apparently carefully calculated attacks. Days after President George Bush slipped briefly into the country on Thanksgiving, his opponents responded by killing civilian contract workers, military intelligence agents, diplomats and soldiers. Last night, the Americans claimed they had killed 54 Iraqis who were involved in a series of ambushes on US convoys in the central city of Samarra. Eighteen Iraqi fighters and five US soldiers were also injured. During the past month, however, America's allies bore the brunt of the assaults which were intended to fuel opposition within their countries to the occupation and to hinder efforts to rebuild Iraq. The latest military deaths bring the number of troops to die in November in Iraq to 105 ­ 79 American soldiers and 26 allied troops ­ the highest yet. That figure includes 19 Italians blown up in Nasiriyah by a suicide truck bomber, and 17 American soldiers who died when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed in an incident that the US military now say might have started with a missile strike. That is the largest monthly casualty total since the war began on 20 March ­ a grim statistic that gives the lie to claims by the US military that the guerrilla war is under control. If the deaths of six US soldiers in Afghanistan last month are added, November was the most costly month for the American military since February 1991, when 162 US troops were killed in the 1990-91 Gulf war. In the space of 48 hours, insurgents killed two South Korean electricians, a Colombian contractor, seven Spanish military intelligence officers, two Japanese diplomats and two American soldiers. The South Korean electricians became the latest victims when they were shot yesterday in a car while travelling to Tikrit. The attacks ­ five in all ­ began several hours after the US's top commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, declared that the situation was getting better. The Bush administration sees the spate of attacks against non-US and non-military personnel in Iraq as a deliberate shift in tactics by the resistance. The aim is to hit the allies where they are perceived to be weakest, to make it harder to recruit civilians to work in Iraq and to undermine the resolve of America's allies to stay the course. Until last night's attack, direct attacks against US troops were thought to have declined in the second half of November, partly in response to Iron Hammer, an operation to stamp out insurgents,and partly thanks to tighter precautions taken by American troops. As a result, foreign elements in Iraq are being targeted along with Iraqis who co-operate with the allies. The United Nations and many aid groups have shut down or scaled back operations; now it may be the turn of civilian contractors. Lt-Gen Sanchez said of the 14 deaths: "The insurgents' goal was to intimidate the population, to create fear and uncertainty and drive people away from the coalition." The attacks came as American forces claimed to have captured three members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida in northern Iraq. The Pentagon has claimed that "foreign fighters" are working with what Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, calls "dead-ender" Saddam loyalists. The Bush administration has sought to speed up the transfer of political responsibility to Iraqis. But these plans are complicated by opposition from the senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who wants direct elections. That presents Washington with a dilemma. The Shias constitute 60 per cent of the population, and yielding to their demands might pave the way to a Shia-ruled Iraq, conceivably an Islamic theocracy along similar lines to Iran, which the US does not want. But to refuse could provoke a breach with the Shias, raising the spectre of a civil war in the future. A month of casualties 30 November: Two South Korean workers killed near Tikrit. 29 November: Seven Spanish intelligence officers killed and one wounded near Hillah; two Japanese diplomats and their Iraqi driver killed near Tikrit; two American soldiers killed near the Syrian border; one Colombian contractor killed and two wounded near Balad. 28 November: US soldier killed when rebels shelled a military base in Mosul; a second US soldier died from gunshot wounds. 27 November: A US soldier found dead in his barracks in Ramadi from a gunshot wound. 26 November: A US soldier found dead in Mosul. 23 November: Five US soldiers killed in three separate incidents. One died when his patrol vehicle rolled into a canal. Another from the 4th Infantry Division killed by an explosive device in Baqubah. Three killed in West Mosul. 22 November: Two US soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division killed in a traffic accident near Baghdad airport. 21 November: Two US soldiers killed. One from the 4th Infantry Division drowned when his vehicle rolled into a canal in Tikrit; another from the division is killed by an explosive device near Ghalibiyah. 20 November: Soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division killed in a bomb attack near Ramadi. 17 November: Three soldiers killed. One from the 1st Armoured Division died in non-hostile gunfire in Baghdad, another from the 4th Infantry Division killed by a bomb in Balad and another from the division killed in a grenade attack on a patrol in Abu Shukayr. 15 November: Seventeen soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division killed when two Black Hawk helicopters are brought down in Mosul. A soldier from the 1st Armoured Division killed by an explosive device in the Azamiyah area of Baghdad. 14 November: A soldier from the 1st Armoured Division killed by an explosive device in central Baghdad. Special Operations Force soldier dies when his vehicle struck a landmine. Two Task Force Ironhorse soldiers killed when their convoy was attacked with explosives north of Samarra. 12 November: Nineteen Italians killed when a suicide bomber drives a petrol tanker into the Italian base in Nasiriyah. A soldier from the 1st Armoured Division was killed by a bomb in Baghdad. 11 November: One member of Task Force Ironhorse killed when his vehicle struck an explosive device north of Baghdad. Another from the 1st Armoured Division killed by an explosive device in Baghdad. 10 November: One US Military Police Brigade soldier killed in rocket-propelled grenade attack west of Iskandariyah. 9 November: A US soldier from the 18th Military Police Brigade killed in a grenade attack west of Iskandariyah. 8 November: A member of the 1st Armoured Division killed by an explosive device in the Wehda district of Baghdad. A soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division killed near Fallujah. 7 November: Six soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division killed when their helicopter caught fire on landing near Tikrit. A member of the 101st Airborne Division killed during a grenade attack in Mosul. 6 November: One soldier from the 3rd Armoured Division, the Cavalry Regiment, killed when a military truck hit a landmine on a border road near Husaybah. Another from the 101st Airborne Division killed by an explosive device east of Mosul. 5 November: A US soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division killed and two wounded during a grenade attack on a patrol near Mahmudiyah. 4 November: One soldier from the 1st Armoured Division died from non-hostile gunshot wounds sustained in Iraq. A second killed by an explosive device in Baghdad. 3 November: US soldier from the 4th Infantry Division killed by an explosive device in Tikrit. 2 November: Fifteen soldiers killed when their helicopter was shot down near Amiryah. A US soldier from the 1st Armoured Division dies from wounds sustained in an explosives attack in Baghdad. 1 November: Two soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division killed by an explosive device near Mosul.

Guardian 3 Dec 2003 Iraqi 'big fish' eludes US forces Michael Howard in Baghdad Wednesday December 3, 2003 The Guardian US forces were conducting a big search and sweep operation last night in the town of Hawija, 30 miles west of Kirkuk. But they denied reports they had captured or killed Izzat Ibrahim, a longtime Saddam Hussein confidant who is No 6 on the US list of most wanted. A $10m (£5.78m) reward has been put up for his capture. "He was definitely not captured in today's mission," said Major Doug Vincent of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Like Saddam, Ibrahim disappeared after the US invasion and since has been widely rumoured to be in hiding in the northern city of Mosul and Sunni areas north of Baghdad, coordinating guerrilla attacks against American soldiers and Iraqis working with the coalition authority. US forces believe his capture may help to stem the increasingly brazen operations by the insurgents and provide information in the hunt for the former dictator. Rumours of Ibrahim's capture surfaced when a member of Iraq's governing council told al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV channel, that there was "a very big military operation" in Kirkuk and that those killed or captured included a "big fish". A Kurdish official in nearby Kirkuk said last night: "I have people inside Hawija. They are reporting that house-to-house searches are ongoing. The town has been sealed off since last night. They are almost certainly looking for [Ibrahim]." He said the army might be acting on reports that he had been seen heading for Hawija from the town of Samarra, about 60 miles away, after the fierce fighting there between US forces and Iraqi insurgents on Sunday. His wife and daughter were arrested in Samarra last week. Another report suggested that US troops had been directed to Hawija following the arrest of Ibrahim's doctor. Ibrahim, 61, is rumoured to have leukaemia. A military spokesman in Baghdad declined to comment on the reports but said US forces were engaged in an ongoing operation in the area against "former regime elements." Hawija is on the western edge of the Kirkuk plain and is regarded by US commanders in the area as a nerve centre of anti-coalition activity. At the beginning of September, Saddam was reported to have been moving through the villages between Kirkuk and Hawija. Ibrahim was officially the No 2 in the Ba'athist ranks when the regime collapsed. His daughter was once married to Saddam's son Uday. Some US officials suspect Ibrahim of working with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist Kurdish Islamist group with suspected links to the al-Qaida network. The arrest of a number of Ansar militants in Mosul suggested strong links between the two.

WP 3 Dec 2003 U.S. to Form Iraqi Paramilitary Force Unit Will Draw From Party Militias By Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, December 3, 2003; Page A01 BAGHDAD, Dec. 2 -- The U.S. civilian and military leadership in Iraq has decided to form a paramilitary unit composed of militiamen from the country's five largest political parties to identify and pursue insurgents who have eluded American troops and Iraqi police officers, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Tuesday. The five parties will contribute a total of 750 to 850 militiamen to create a new counterterrorism battalion within the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps that would initially operate in and around Baghdad, the officials said. They said U.S. Special Forces soldiers would work with the battalion, whose operations would be overseen by the American-led military command here. The party leaders regard the formation of the paramilitary force, which had initially been resisted by the occupation authority, as an acknowledgement that the Bush administration's strategy of relying on Iraqi police officers and civil defense forces has been insufficient to restore security. The leaders contend Iraq's municipal police departments and civil defense squads are too ineffective to combat resistance fighters. Although the new battalion is significantly weaker than the force the party leaders had hoped to create, the unit would nevertheless give the five political organizations an unrivaled role in the country's internal security. That advantage has riled some independent members of Iraq's Governing Council, who fear that it could be used after the American occupation ends to suppress political dissent or target enemies. "This is a very big blunder," said Ghazi Yawar, an independent council member. "We should be dissolving militias, not finding ways to legitimize them. This sends the wrong message to the Iraqi people." U.S. officials said the battalion would be subject to rigorous conditions aimed at ensuring that the new unit does not become a collection of autonomous militias loyal to their party leaders instead of a unified commander. "They will have to leave their political identity at the door," a senior U.S. military official said. American military and civilian officials acknowledge the risk in forming a new force with members of militia organizations, but they have agreed to support the venture largely because of pressure from the five parties, which have long argued that Iraqis should be given more responsibility for security. The parties contend their militiamen are better trained than existing Iraqi security forces and possess a degree of local knowledge that American soldiers lack. Ayad Alawi, the leader of the Iraqi National Accord, said in a recent interview that the five parties "all have people who are much better suited to fight Baathists and terrorists." Backing for the force has gathered momentum since a Nov. 15 agreement between the Governing Council and U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer that calls for the occupation to end by summer. Top officials of the parties insisted an independent Iraq will need a security force other than the three that already have been established: the police, the civil defense corps and the new army. Although more than 50,000 police officers are back at work, many lack firearms, training and vehicles. The civil defense corps assists U.S. troops, but it has not been trained to take a lead role in offensive operations. And the new army is supposed to focus on border security, not domestic issues. With attacks on U.S. troops increasing and fewer nations contributing soldiers than the Pentagon had expected, the Bush administration has sought to speed the training and deployment of Iraqi security forces. The new battalion is regarded by some administration officials as an attempt to further accelerate that process by giving Iraqis the power to conduct full-fledged counterinsurgency operations. The five parties that will contribute militiamen are Alawi's Iraqi National Accord, Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, the Shiite Muslim Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and two large Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Kurdish members will be drawn from the ranks of pesh merga fighters who defended autonomous Kurdish areas from former president Saddam Hussein's army, officials said. A senior official with the U.S. occupation authority insisted the plan was still "very fluid." But a senior U.S. military official said there was agreement in principle among senior American civilian and military leaders in Baghdad to implement the plan. "We're moving forward with it," the military official said. Officials with the five parties briefed members of the Governing Council over the weekend, members said. "It's a done deal," said an official with one of the parties. The five parties each will contribute between 150 and 170 militiamen to the battalion, the U.S. military official said. The participants will be trained for more than a month before they will be allowed to conduct operations, the official said. The battalion, equipped with light arms and vehicles, will be divided into five companies, each of which will work with a 10-man U.S. Special Forces A-team, which will provide logistics support and communications links with the American military command, the official said. The battalion's initial missions will be approved by American commanders, but as the group matures and the planned handover of sovereignty nears, it could begin to execute operations on its own, officials said. The group's initial missions would focus on apprehending Hussein loyalists and other insurgents around the capital The parties had wanted the paramilitary force to be significantly larger than a battalion and fully under the control of the country's Interior Minister. American officials rejected those demands, saying they wanted to start with a small group under U.S. control. Party leaders are also pushing for the creation of a domestic intelligence-gathering unit that would be charged with identifying targets for the new battalion, but American officials have not yet agreed to that component of the plan, Iraqi officials said. To prevent the battalion from appearing to be a collection of rival militias, U.S. military officials intend to mix members in each of the five companies. But they also recognize that they likely will not be able to blend individual squads or platoons. U.S. officials will also insist that each militiaman commit to working under the command structure, even if it means reporting to an officer from a rival militia. "They have to come in as individuals," one U.S. official said. American officials also said participants will be screened for links to Hussein's Baath Party and trained in human rights. But several independent council members said they worry that the battalion will not be free from the sway of the five parties. "When you ask them, 'Who are you loyal to?' they will not say Iraq. They will say Alawi or Chalabi or [Kurdish leader Jalal] Talabani," one independent member said. "There a risk here," the senior military official acknowledged. "But we're willing to explore different ideas and take risks in turning more responsibility for security to Iraqis." In other developments on Tuesday, a U.S. soldier attached to the Army's 4th Infantry Division was killed in a roadside explosion near the town of Samarra, where American troops killed 54 Iraqis in a pitched battle on Sunday afternoon. In the northern town of Hawija, troops captured more than 100 people, including a senior former member of Hussein's elite Republican Guard, in a large raid. In Baghdad, workers began removing gigantic bronze busts of Hussein that sit atop the Republican Palace, which now serves as the headquarters of the occupation authority.

Guardian 3 Dec 2003 Comment Phase three: civil war The post-occupation power struggle in Iraq may yet be the bloodiest chapter in the conflict Simon Tisdall Wednesday December 3, 2003 The What really happened in Samarra? According to US military spokesmen, a series of ambushes on coalition convoys by the Saddam Fedayeen militia was repulsed with unprecedented, devastating enemy losses. The official, estimated casualty toll in Sunday's fighting in the town, north-west of Baghdad, was 54 "enemy combatants" dead, 22 wounded and one captured, against five American wounded. This is indeed unusual. In most combat situations, the number of wounded normally exceeds the number killed. In such a furious firefight, American casualties might have been expected to be proportionately higher. But one US newspaper at least was in no doubt. Samarra was a famous "victory". Unofficial accounts tell a different story, suggesting that many of the dead were civilians, not insurgents. One shopkeeper said that once under attack, American soldiers began shooting wildly and in all directions. After seeing two civilians shot down, he said he was so incensed that "if I had a gun, I would have attacked the Americans myself". Another eyewitness, a Samarra policeman, gave a similar account. As of Monday, only eight bodies of the official total of 54 had been accounted for and most were reportedly civilians. So what was Samarra? Was it a great feat of American arms? Was it a massacre of the innocent? Or was it just another familiar yet confused and bloody incident about which the real truth will probably never be known? Similar questions - about who's winning, is it right, is it true, and will it work - can be applied, more broadly, to the entire US and allied effort. In Iraq, the big picture is notoriously hard to see, continually clouded by contradictory claims. But as the situation evolves rapidly and unpredictably, a clear, accurate view is more than ever necessary. Like US military spokesmen, the US and British governments remain adamant that the overall project is on course. Foreign secretary Jack Straw, returning from a visit to Baghdad, gave the House of Commons a typically upbeat view last week. "Despite the terrorist attacks, Iraq is making good progress," he said. "An elected Iraqi transitional government should be in place by July 2004. By the end of 2005, Iraq should have a new constitution... and national elections." The coalition was establishing a "free, prosperous, democratic and stable Iraq". This view is sharply disputed. In contrast stands the perception, widely held on the European left, informed largely by media reporting and deeply entrenched in the Arab and Muslim spheres, that having miscalculated in Iraq on so many counts, the coalition is stumbling badly again now - and is unable or unwilling to admit it. On this analysis, the security situation is barely under control, with no prospect of significant international reinforcement of coalition troops. Through ineptitude and fear, the fight for "hearts and minds" is being lost, in Samarra as elsewhere. Last month's surprise decision to fast-forward the political transition, far from reflecting Washington's concern for Iraqi self-determination or any great confidence that it will work, is actually a panicky political act driven by George Bush's re-election calculations. Collapse of the Iraq policy is only a matter of time, it is argued, and then the Iraqis will finally regain their rightful sovereignty. In actual fact, the US and Britain more freely admit their mistakes these days - and the intractable problems they still face. This is not just a matter of Jay Garner, the superseded US administrator in Iraq, 'fessing up; of state department officials playing "told-you-so" games with the Pentagon; or of Britain's suave envoy, Jeremy Greenstock, mixing cocktails of charm and candour. There is genuine recognition in Washington and London that Iraq remains explosively difficult. When the US and Britain insist they will not "cut and run", they mean it. It is clear that reduced numbers of troops may stay in Iraq even after a fully fledged government takes power. But precisely because it is so very difficult, it is also clear that within an ever contracting timetable they are looking for a way out, or at least a signpost for the exit. They want a halt to the body-bags. They want to stop the daily, damaging, distracting, costly aggro. They want the political pain to end. It is at this point, curiously, that the objectives of the coalition and of those opposed to the intervention may be seen to converge. The message to Iraqis from the outside world is now increasingly that a third phase in the conflict - following the war itself and the postwar period - is about to start: the post-occupation era. This new stage is one in which Iraqis, by next July as Straw predicts, if not sooner, should - and will - effectively resume principal direction of their own affairs. The question therefore is no longer one of invasion and war, or even of occupation and withdrawal. It is a question, fundamentally, of which Iraqis will take control of their country as the coalition's grip eases, how they will do so, and with what degree of legitimacy. This next phase offers a choice: self-rule - or self-destruction. This is the developing context in which increasing attacks on diplomats, aid workers and contractors involved in long-term, non-Iraqi controlled reconstruction must be seen. This may be why the overall level of attrition against US forces is falling while attacks by Iraqis on Iraqis are rising. Some are targeted as "collaborators"; but that is just another way of saying "rivals for future power". The internal, potentially internecine, physical battle for the "new Iraq" is getting underway, under the very noses of the liberators. A parallel, political battle for control is also gathering momentum, as Iraqis contemplate life after the Coalition Provisional Authority. Members of the US-appointed governing council are manoeuvring for position in a future, interim or directly elected government, reneging on their agreement last month to give up power. The Shia leadership, representing a majority of the population, is beginning to flex its political muscle, particularly in respect of establishing the "Islamic character" of any new constitution and leadership. It is clear, as always, that the Kurdish north will not accept future political arrangements that in any way diminish its considerable autonomy. And then, at the heart of the matter, figuratively and geographically, stand the Saddam Fedayeen of Samarra and the Sunni Triangle, the infamous, elusive "Ba'athist remnants", and all those many Iraqi nationalists and resistance fighters who never accepted the US intervention and still reject it and all its works. These groups see no reason why they should forego the decisive power to which many have been accustomed. From their viewpoint, it is their attrition and their blood sacrifice that has been decisive in pushing the Americans into surrendering the political reins. Despite all the events of the past 12 months, this next phase of the Iraq conflict could yet prove to be its most dangerous. The big picture, to the extent that it can be made out, suggests Iraq's future is still very much in the balance. An orderly transition and the assertion of legitimate, democratic governance is by no means assured. Continuing, escalating civil strife, scattering the seeds of a possible civil war, could yet turn out to be the Bush-Blair legacy in Iraq.

AP 7 Dec 2003 Saddam closer to genocide trial BY NIKO PRICE BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Saddam Hussein and hundreds of his aides could go on trial for crimes against humanity and genocide in an Iraqi-led tribunal that will be established in the coming days, Iraqi and American officials said Friday. Some human rights groups criticized the plans, saying Iraq's U.S. occupiers have too much of a hand in them and that Iraqi judges and prosecutors may not have the experience needed to try the cases. The law creating the tribunal -- which could be passed as early as Sunday -- will be similar to proposals made in Washington in April, one member of Iraq's Governing Council said. The law calls for Iraqi judges to hear cases presented by Iraqi lawyers, with international experts serving only as advisers. That would be starkly different from United Nations-sponsored tribunals set up to consider war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. In those cases, international judges and lawyers have argued and decided cases. Two members of the Governing Council -- Mahmoud Othman and Samir Shakir Mahmoud -- said Friday the tribunal would be created in the coming days, as did an official of the U.S.-led occupation authority, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice said its sources in the coalition authority said the tribunal could be established as early as Sunday. Othman said the tribunal would hear hundreds of cases involving members of the former regime. ''There will be more trials than only the 55 deck of cards,'' he said, referring to the U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis. ''Anybody against whom a complaint is filed with evidence against them could be tried.'' Already, thousands of relatives of the missing have filed complaints against members of the former regime. One group in Baghdad, the Iraqi Human Rights Society, took 7,000 complaints before the paperwork overwhelmed its staff. The Governing Council has been discussing the war crimes tribunal law for months, and it was not expected to encounter major opposition within the governing body. The U.S. occupation authority, which has veto power over Governing Council decisions, also must sign off on the plan. It remained unclear when the trials would begin. The coalition authority is holding at least 5,500 people in prisons, but it isn't known how many of those are war crimes suspects and how many are accused of common crimes. Those in custody include Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as ''Chemical Ali'' for his role in chemical attacks on Kurds in the 1980s; Saddam's secretary, Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, and Muhammad Hamza al-Zubaydi, a leader of 1991 suppression of the Shiite Muslim rebellion. If Saddam himself is captured, he presumably would be tried by the special tribunal, as well. Richard Dicker, director of the international justice program at Human Rights Watch, said he was concerned that officials didn't consider bringing in judges who have worked on major war crimes trials in other countries. ''After three decades of Baath Party rule, the capacity of Iraqi judges to conduct incredibly complicated trials has been greatly diminished,'' he said, adding that he worried about the tribunal's ability to provide fair trials.

BBC 7 Dec 2003 Background: List of Saddam's Atrocities Sunday, December 07, 2003 Some of the major atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's government: 1978-80: Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, whose ancestors were of Iranian origin, packed in trucks and thrown out on border with Iran. Property confiscated. Hundreds died in very cold weather. Thousands of their teenage sons kept in Iraqi jails and after more than 15 years all killed. 1983: Government campaign against members of Kurdish Barzani (search) tribe for helping Iran launch offensive in northern Iraq. Estimated 8,000 killed, many buried in mass graves far from home in Iraq's southern desert. 1986-88: Scorched-earth offensive known as "Anfal (search)" that included chemical attacks on Kurds in northern Iraq for advocating autonomy. Estimated 180,000 Kurds killed, many buried in mass graves in south. Possible genocide charges in Iraqi tribunal. 1991: Crackdowns on Shiite Muslim (search) and Kurdish uprisings at end of the Gulf War. Estimated 60,000 killed. Many buried in mass graves. 1992: Draining of marshes in southern Iraq, driving population known as Marsh Arabs from homes and wiping out way of life. Tens of thousands killed. No mass graves. Possible genocide charges. 1979-2003: Various political prisoners of populations distrusted by Saddam disappeared, including Turkomans, religious Muslims and communists. Tens of thousands believed killed. Many buried in mass graves, some near prisons.

AP 9 Dec 2003 Survey: Saddam Killed 61,000 in Baghdad NIKO PRICE Associated Press BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein's government may have executed 61,000 Baghdad residents, a number significantly higher than previously believed, according to a survey obtained Monday by The Associated Press. The bloodiest massacres of Saddam's 23-year presidency occurred in Iraq's Kurdish north and Shiite Muslim south, but the Gallup Baghdad Survey data indicates the brutality extended strongly into the capital as well. The survey, which the polling firm planned to release on Tuesday, asked 1,178 Baghdad residents in August and September whether a member of their household had been executed by Saddam's regime. According to Gallup, 6.6 percent said yes. The polling firm took metropolitan Baghdad's population - 6.39 million - and average household size - 6.9 people - to calculate that 61,000 people were executed during Saddam's rule. Past estimates were in the low tens of thousands. Most are believed to have been buried in mass graves. The U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq has said that at least 300,000 people are buried in mass graves in Iraq. Human rights officials put the number closer to 500,000, and some Iraqi political parties estimate more than 1 million were executed. Without exhumations of those graves, it is impossible to confirm a figure. Scientists told The Associated Press during a recent investigation that they have confirmed 41 mass graves on a list of suspected sites that currently includes 270 locations. Forensic teams will begin to exhume four of those graves next month in search of evidence for a new tribunal, expected to be established this week, that will try members of the former regime for crimes against humanity and genocide. More graves will later be added to the list. But nobody expects all the mass graves to be exhumed, and nobody expects to ever know the full number of Iraqis executed by their government. Richard Burkholder, who headed Gallup's Baghdad team, said the numbers in Baghdad could be high for two reasons: People may have understood "household" to be broader than just the people living at their address; and some families may have moved to the capital from other areas since the executions occurred. "Anecdotal accounts start to support it, but they don't get you to 60,000," he said in a telephone interview from Princeton, N.J. Even reducing the numbers slightly because of those possibilities, however, Burkholder said the number of executions the data suggest is higher than previously estimated, in the low tens of thousands. The deadliest atrocity associated with Saddam's government was the scorched-earth campaign known as the "Anfal," in which the government killed an estimated 180,000 Kurds in Iraq's far north. Many were buried in mass graves far from home in the southern desert. Another 60,000 people are believed to have been killed when Saddam violently suppressed rebellions by Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north at the close of the 1991 Gulf War. Sandra Hodgkinson, director of the U.S.-led occupation authority's human rights office, estimated that some 50,000 others were executed during Saddam's reign, including Kurds killed in chemical attacks and political prisoners sent to execution. That 50,000 figure also would include prisoners killed in Baghdad. The survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, was conducted in face-to-face interviews in Baghdad residents' homes from Aug. 28 and Sept. 4. The people were selected at random from all geographic sectors of the Baghdad metropolitan area, and more than nine in 10 agreed to participate. That's at least double the response rate for many U.S. telephone polls. --- Niko Price is correspondent-at-large for The Associated Press.

Reuters 9 Dec 2003 Baghdad mosque blast kills three By Joseph Logan BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb has ripped through a Sunni Muslim mosque in a largely Shi'ite area of Baghdad, killing at least three people and wounding one, police say. The blast, which gouged a gaping hole in the mosque nestled in Baghdad's Hurriyya district, raised the spectre of sectarian tension in Iraq, where Shi'ite Muslims persecuted under Saddam Hussein hope to consolidate political power in the government that replaces him. As they poked through the wreckage, residents called the incident part of a pattern of intimidation by Shi'ites, who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population and whose leaders have largely opted to work with the country's U.S. occupiers. "We are pointing the finger of accusation at the Shi'ites for this act," said Sheikh Ahmad Dabbash, who leads prayers at the damaged Ahbab al-Mustafa mosque, and linked the blast to previous attacks on Sunni mosques in the capital. "Elements which claim to be Muslims, but which have nothing to do with Islam, came to divide Muslims and spread sectarianism in this country," he said. The explosion, which struck about 7 a.m. (4 a.m. British time), shredded and scorched a car parked in the mosque's courtyard, left behind pools of blood mingled with dust. "They were there this morning, and either let it happen or helped," said a man who identified himself as Hamid, pointing at armed guards affiliated with a Shi'ite Muslim political party patrolling outside a school by the mosque. Like other residents of the area, he disputed the bomb account put forward by Iraqi police and insisted that a rocket or shell was fired into the mosque's courtyard from atop a nearby building. A local police commander speculated that attackers got inside the mosque compound in the early hours of the morning and left the bomb there under a car. "Our view is that someone passing by the wall of the mosque put the bomb under the car, where it was timed to detonate," said Captain Sabah Faid, who added there were no suspects in the blast as yet. An association of Iraq's Sunni clerics called the attacks part of a campaign against the Sunni sect, of which Saddam is a member, and most of the people in areas where friction with U.S. forces is highest. "Sunni mosques and those who pray in them are being attacked...across Iraq by elements we know of, on a pretext we reject: that these are the supporters of the former regime," the League of Muslim Clerics in Iraq said in a statement.

AP 10 Dec 2003 Iraq Tribunal May Try Saddam in Absentia By HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's interim government established a special tribunal Wednesday to try top members of Saddam Hussein's government for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and said Saddam could be tried in absentia. The tribunal will cover crimes committed from July 17, 1968 - the day Saddam's Baath Party came to power - until May 1, 2003 - the day President Bush declared major hostilities over, said Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, the current president of the Iraqi Governing Council. Saddam became president in 1979 but wielded vast influence starting from the early 1970s. On Friday, The Associated Press first reported plans to establish the tribunal. ``This tribunal will show the world the horror of the crimes committed against this people,'' said Dara Noor al-Din, head of the Governing Council's legal committee. Al-Hakim added: ``Today is an important historic event in the history of Iraq.'' The tribunal will try cases stemming from mass executions of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, as well as the suppression of uprisings by Kurds and Shiite Muslims soon after the 1991 Gulf War. Al-Hakim said it would also try cases committed against Iran - with which Iraq fought a bloody 1980-88 war - and against Kuwait, which Iraq invaded in 1990, sparking the Gulf War. The first suspects brought to trial could include top officials of Saddam's government who appeared on the U.S. 55 most-wanted list. Some of those are already in coalition custody, including former foreign minister Tariq Aziz, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan and Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as ``Chemical Ali'' for his role in chemical attacks on Kurds in the 1980s. The coalition authority now holds at least 5,500 people in detention centers, but it isn't known how many of those are war crimes suspects. Noor al-Din, a former appeals court judge, said the tribunal will try to convict defendants in absentia. Asked whether Saddam, who has so far eluded capture by coalition forces, would be tried in absentia, he said: ``Yes.'' ``Saddam Hussein will be accused and charged for committing major crimes against humanity and against the Iraqi people, and he will certainly fall under the jurisdiction of this court,'' said Ahmad Chalabi, a key member of the U.S.-picked, 25-seat Governing Council. Noor al-Din said a decision on using the death penalty, which was suspended by the U.S. occupation authority, would be made by a transitional government scheduled to assume sovereignty by July 1. He didn't say when the tribunal would begin its work but indicated trials might not start for months. Noor al-Din said the tribunal would have five judges - all Iraqis - ``known for their expertise and professionalism.'' Some of the judges would be brought back from retirement, he said. The trials would be open to the public, human rights groups and news media, suggesting they could be televised. Defendants will have the right to a lawyer and the right to appeal, and the Iraqi penal code - except for some additions introduced by Saddam's regime - will be applicable. The legal framework also draws on international law, including Rwanda's genocide tribunal and the legal code used to create the United Nations' International Criminal Court, a body the Bush administration opposes. Al-Hakim said it would also use the Geneva Conventions as a point of reference. Iraqi lawyers will argue the cases. International experts will serve only as advisers, a move many human rights groups have criticized, saying their expertise would make the tribunal more effective. The Iraqi-led tribunal contrasts with U.N.-sponsored tribunals set up to consider war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. In those cases, international judges and lawyers have argued and decided cases. ``We are concerned never to be accused of seeking revenge by setting up this court,'' al-Hakim said. ``The law provides for guarantees for all defendants and for measures that safeguard rights as provided for in international treaties.'' Prosecutors will use a growing cache of documents seized from the former regime. Evidence also will come from the excavation of some of the 270 mass graves in Iraq that are believed to hold at least 300,000 sets of remains. The announcement came in a room refurbished to house the tribunal's cases, in the heavily guarded ``Green Zone'' where the U.S.-led occupation authority is based. It had a wooden bench for judges, and a wooden pen for suspects. The room had previously been used by Saddam to display gifts he received from foreign dignitaries.

NYT 11 Dec 2003 DISPATCHES Marines Intend to Avoid Get-Tough Tactics in Iraq By MICHAEL R. GORDON AMP PENDLETON, California, Dec. 10 -- No force has a tougher reputation than the United States Marines. But the marines who are headed to Iraq this spring say they intend to avoid the get-tough tactics that have been used in recent weeks by Army units. Marine commanders say they not plan to surround villages with barbed wire, demolish buildings used by insurgents or detain relatives of suspected guerrillas. The Marines do not plan to fire artillery at suspected guerrilla mortar positions, an Army tactic that risks harming civilians. Nor do the Marines want to risk civilian casualties by calling in bombing strikes on the insurgents, as has happened most recently in Afghanistan. "I do not envision using that tactic," said Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, the commanding general of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, who led the Marine force that fought its way to Baghdad and will command the more than 20,000 marines who will return to Iraq in March. "It would have to be a rare incident that transcends anything that we have seen in the country to make that happen." The upsurge in guerrilla attacks on American troops in Iraq has prompted Army units in the Sunni Triangle in central Iraq to adopt a hard-nosed approach -- and spawned a behind-the-scenes debate within the American military about the best way to quash the insurgents. While some Army commanders insist the hard-nosed tactics have been successful in reducing enemy attacks, other military officers believe they are alienating Iraqis and thus depriving American commanders of the public support and human intelligence needed to ferret out threats. In an interview at his headquarters at Camp Pendleton, General Conway was careful not to criticize the Army. Still, he indicated that he plans to pursue a very different strategy. "I don't want to condemn what people are doing," General Conway said. "I think they are doing what they think they have to do. I'll simply say that I think until we can win the population over and they can give us those indigenous intelligence reports that we're prolonging the process." The Marines, General Conway says, will try to design their raids to be "laser precise," targeted on the enemy with a maximum effort made to avoid endangering or humiliating Iraqi civilians. After American forces invaded Iraq last spring, United States marines fought some of the fiercest battles of the war at Nasiriya and at a mosque in eastern Baghdad. After Saddam Hussein was driven from power, the Marines assumed the responsibility for stabilizing south-central Iraq, where most of the inhabitants are Shiite Muslims who were persecuted under Mr. Hussein and were glad to see him gone. In contrast to the Army's experience, no marine was killed in action after mid-April. The Marines insist their success also reflected their energetic efforts to work with the local population, an effort guided by their "small wars" manual, which derives from their 20th century interventions in Central America. There were several parallels between the Marine experience in southern Iraq and how the Army's 101st Airborne has approached northern Iraq -- and many differences from the aggressive tactics of the Army's Fourth Infantry Division and other Army units in the Sunni Triangle. On their return to Iraq now, the Marines will be dealing with a much more challenging area which includes restive towns like Falluja, west of Baghdad. In that region, American military units have come and gone so often that they have had little time to understand their surroundings. Falluja was initially occupied by the 82nd Airborne Division, which was soon replaced by the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, which was in turn replaced by the Second Brigade of the Army's Third Infantry Division. In early summer, the Third Infantry Division had some success in helping to establish the local police. But it returned to the United States, handing the town back to the Third Armored Cavalry, which was soon replaced by the 82nd Airborne. In Iraqi society, which emphasizes personal relationships, the constant rotations have made a difficult job that much harder. So have some tactics: in April, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne based themselves in Falluja and were fired on during an anti-American demonstration. The troops fired back. Iraqis say 17 people were killed and more than 70 wounded, many of them civilians who never fired on the American troops. The 82nd Airborne has disputed that account. Starting next March, nine battalions of Marines will be deployed. In addition to infantry, the Marine force will include light armored reconnaissance units, engineers and Cobra attack helicopters. The Marines will also take command of a brigade from the Army's First Infantry Division, which is also deploying in the spring. Success, Marine commanders say, will ultimately depend winning the trust of a wary Iraqi population. The measure of progress, General Conway says, will not be the number of American raids or enemy dead. It will be tips about potential threats that are provided to the Marines by ordinary Iraqis. "The program we used in the south was a maturing Iraqi police, supported by an Army M.P. company in each of the cities, supported by a Marine quick reaction force," he said, defining this as a Marine infantry battalion. "That worked very well for us. That is the model we intend to use." Toward this end, the marines are planning to work with the Iraqi police and also train and equip an Iraqi military force to take on the insurgents. "We intend to create an Iraqi Marine battalion, maybe a brigade," General Conway said. Marine commanders have stressed the need to be sensitive to local traditions. Marines here have been told to remove their sunglasses and look Iraqis in the eye when they speak with them. A select group of marines also been selected for intensive Arabic language training. The marines will use Iraqi, not American names, to delineate the zones assigned to specific Marine units and will try to align them with Iraqi administrative districts. To limit the disruption to the local populations, the Marines also plan to set up their bases outside of Iraqi cities. But the marines at Camp Pendleton are also prepared to fight, if necessary. "We carry an embedded offensive capability in every convoy," said Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, the commander of the First Marine Division. "To us you don't drive on through, you stop, you hunt them down and you nail them." "We will try to go and restore a degree of civility," said General Mattis. "If they choose to fight they are going to regret it, but we also believe that part of the physicians' oath that says first do no harm. If to kill a terrorist we have got to kill eight innocent people you don't kill them." General Conway added: "We will be as vicious with the resistance as we have to be. It is not that we intend to go in and coddle everyone. Our Marines just have to be able to be aggressive and hostile one moment and the next moment be able to play soccer with the kids." General Conway says, for instance, that if the marines fire artillery shells, they will be special illumination rounds to light up terrain, not destroy targets. On Nov. 25, Army units near Tikrit responded to fire from an enemy mortar only to discover that the mortar rounds came from a site near a residential area; the Army later announced it had begun an investigation into reports that civilians were injured by the Army's artillery fire. "Right now, in some of the sectors they are firing artillery missions against radar hits," General Conway said. "That will not be our method of operation."

ICG 23 Dec 2003 Iraq: Building a New Security Structure The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) needs to rethink its strategy for a new Iraqi security structure. Facing an insurgency and many political pressures, the temptation to respond to today’s requirements with expedient moves is strong. But eventually the CPA will depart, leaving Iraq to deal with the consequences. It must lay the foundations for an Iraqi military that will be an instrument of stability, symbol of national unity and bulwark against sectarian conflict. Forming a new army optimally would anchor Iraqi unity while helping to symbolise the restoration of full sovereignty. As currently initiated, the process is unlikely to do that. The decision to dismantle the former regular army was the first misstep, and its ripple effects can be felt to this day. This report critically assesses the CPA’s approach and recommends a number of key steps that it should take. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org

Saddam Hussien in custody:

WP 16 Dec 2003 Iraqi Planners Hope To Start Trial by Spring By Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, December 16, 2003; Page A01 BAGHDAD, Dec. 15 -- An Iraqi-run tribunal could begin proceedings against former president Saddam Hussein on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity as early as next spring, Iraqi political leaders and officials responsible for the court said Monday. One of the architects of the tribunal, Salem Chalabi, said political leaders and legal specialists had already begun discussing the best prosecutorial strategy to employ against Hussein. Chalabi said there was growing agreement that Hussein should be charged with perhaps only a dozen specific atrocities in an effort to keep a trial from bogging down. The charges would include the use of chemical weapons against ethnic Kurds in 1988, the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim clerics and the killing of hundreds of Sunni Muslim tribesmen after a coup attempt, he said. The political leaders and court officials said they would be able to accomplish two key tasks required to start a trial -- constructing a secure detention facility and hiring judges, prosecutors and investigators -- over the next three to four months. "We'll be ready soon," Chalabi said. "We're moving very quickly." That timetable is significantly faster than American officials had anticipated, increasing the chances of a dispute between Iraqi leaders eager for justice and U.S. intelligence officials, who hope to elicit detailed information from Hussein about weapons of mass destruction, links to international terrorism and the ongoing insurgency. Depending on Hussein's willingness to talk, intelligence analysts said, interrogations could continue well beyond the spring. The U.S. occupation authority also is reluctant to hand Hussein over to the Iraqis too quickly, wanting to ensure that the new court's staff and detention facilities are ready to weather the international attention that will surround the former president's case. Unlike the special courts established to prosecute war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, which operate under the sponsorship of the United Nations and involve international jurists specializing in human rights law, the Iraqi tribunal will be run by Iraqis and will employ foreign experts only as advisers. Iraqi leaders had asked for the right to conduct war crimes trials themselves, a request that the Bush administration supported despite assessments by international human rights organizations that Iraq's legal system is corrupt and inexperienced. When the United States agreed to an Iraqi-run process, administration officials and legal specialists working for the occupation authority said they did not expect Hussein to be brought before the tribunal. "Are we going to catch Saddam Hussein alive? I think that's unlikely," a senior official with the authority said last week. U.S. officials said they were confident the tribunal would be able to conduct a fair trial of the former president. Although the law authorizing the tribunal was passed only last week by Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council, it was vetted by the occupation authority, the Pentagon and the White House, according to officials involved in the process. "We think it will work," said a senior U.S. official familiar with the tribunal. At a White House news conference on Monday, President Bush pledged that the United States would "work with the Iraqis to develop a way to try him that withstands international scrutiny." "They need to be very much involved in the process, and we will work with the Iraqis to develop the process," Bush said. The prospect of a Hussein trial would require more U.S. involvement in training and monitoring judges, lawyers and investigators -- and potentially more financial support, the senior official noted. The Bush administration has earmarked $75 million to fund investigative work, but the cost of operating the tribunal is supposed to be funded with Iraqi assets. The Defense Department's Institute for International Legal Studies is already running a two-week workshop for more than 80 judges and lawyers to refresh their knowledge of basic legal principles in a free society. At a session last week, the occupation authority's general counsel talked about the different ways the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the accused. But in Baghdad, speed is an important criterion. There is a keen desire among all manner of Iraqis, from Governing Council members to street vendors, to bring Hussein to trial quickly. "We can't delay this," said Mowaffak Rubaie, a council member who had been arrested and tortured by Hussein's secret police. "It's an integral part of national reconciliation. We can't begin the process of reconciliation until we show the people that the man at the top, who was responsible for unspeakable terror, is brought to justice." Bakhtiar Amin, a former exile who founded the International Alliance for Justice to expose human rights abuses committed by Hussein's government, said Iraqis want a fair trial -- but one that starts soon. "There is a thirst for justice," he said. Rubaie said he and other council members want Hussein to be tried before anyone else. "He must be tried first -- and executed first," he said. Although international legal specialists acknowledged the importance of trying Hussein first, they expressed concern about making the tribunal's initial case one that would be so complicated and closely watched. Chalabi, a nephew of the Iraqi political leader Ahmed Chalabi, said legal specialists involved in setting up the tribunal would have to "tread a line between moving quickly to appease Iraqi political pressure and slowly enough to make sure we don't stray outside the scope of internationally recognized due process of law." Council members said they raised the timing of Hussein's trial during a meeting on Monday with the U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer. They said Bremer told the group that the court and appropriate detention facilities would have to be established before Hussein would be handed over. Iraqi officials involved in setting up the tribunal said they expected to reach agreement with the occupation authority in the next few weeks on using an existing jail to house detainees. Judges for the tribunal will be nominated by an independent judicial council and approved by the Governing Council, a process that could take several weeks. Investigators and prosecutors also must be hired, but court officials said they have identified numerous candidates. Ahmed Chalabi said Bremer told the council that once it had appointed investigating judges and Hussein had been arraigned, the judges could have access to the former president. Chalabi said the council intends to appoint a panel of three investigating judges in the coming days. Spokesmen for Bremer did not return calls seeking a response to Chalabi's statement. Currently, the only thing the tribunal has is a building in a highly fortified part of Baghdad near the occupation authority headquarters. Even so, political leaders and others involved with the tribunal have started to map out prosecution strategies. "For someone like Saddam Hussein, we clearly need to think through how we approach the case," Salem Chalabi said. "We don't want to try him for every offense, because that could take years." In building a case for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Chalabi said, prosecutors likely would focus on only about a dozen of the most significant atrocities committed while Hussein was president. To satisfy various political constituencies, the cases would involve victims from the country's major ethnic and religious groups. "It's a very delicate balance we have to find," Chalabi said. "We're not going to build a case against him for everything that happened. That would drag the trial on for years." But he added, "We're not going to finish off the trial in a week or two." "We're not going to hold a kangaroo court," he said. Staff writer Barton Gellman contributed to this report.

National Security Archive 18 Dec 2003 The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook Declassified Secrets from the U.S.-Iraq Relationship For more information: 202/994-7000 Thomas Blanton/Malcolm Byrne Saddam a "presentable young man" with "engaging smile," Let's "do business," said British Embassy in 1969. Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1984 with instructions to improve relations, Despite chemical weapons use and sanctuary for terrorists. U.S. construction giant Bechtel planned to evade 1988 CW sanctions, Now has biggest AID contract for reconstructing Iraq. New declassified documents reveal secret U.S.-British-Iraq history; Saddam Hussein Sourcebook published by National Security Archive. Washington D.C., 18 December 2003 - Newly declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive show the British Embassy in Baghdad recommending Saddam Hussein to London in 1969 as a "presentable young man" with an "engaging smile," "with whom, if only one could see more of him, it would be possible to do business." U.S. documents published in today's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook quote Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975 telling the Iraqi foreign minister "we do not think there is a basic clash of national interests between Iraq and the United States" (the Iraqi disagreed), and that Israeli influence on U.S. policy would diminish given "our new electoral law" which means "the influence of some who financed the elections before isn't so great." The newly declassified briefing notes for special envoy Donald Rumsfeld's second trip to Baghdad in March 1984 reveal Rumsfeld's instructions to reinforce the message of U.S. interest in improved relations "at a pace of Iraq's own choosing," and to emphasize that U.S. criticism of Saddam's chemical weapons use versus Iran was not meant as a pro-Iranian or anti-Iraq gesture. Saturday, December 20, marks the 20th anniversary of Rumsfeld's famous handshake meeting with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. When the U.S. Senate passed economic sanctions on Iraq in 1988 for using poison gas against the Kurds, U.S. ambassador April Glaspie reported that the U.S. construction company Bechtel planned to employ "non-U.S. suppliers of technology and continue to do business in Iraq," according to a CONFIDENTIAL State Department cable. In April 2003, Bechtel landed the largest U.S. Agency for International Development contract to date for infrastructure repair work in Iraq, with an initial payment of $34.6 million and long-term value of up to $680 million. The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook posted today also brings together five briefing books previously published by the National Security Archive into one searchable file of primary sources. These include "Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction," "Eyes on Saddam," "Alleged Iraqi War Criminals in 1992," "Operation Desert Storm," and "Shaking Hands with Saddam: U.S. Policy before the Gulf War." www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/special/iraq/

Iraq - Samara

AP 1 Dec 2003 Iraqis Say Mostly Civilians Died in Samarra Firefight December 1, 2003 BAGHDAD, IRAQ (AP) -- Iraqis are telling a different story about a fierce weekend firefight between U.S. troops and insurgents. American forces say they responded to two coordinated attacks by insurgents on U.S. convoys in Samarra, killing 54 Iraqis. Many residents say U.S. troops were attacked. But when the force began firing randomly at townspeople, many civilians joined the fight. Iraqis say most of those who died were civilians caught up in the battle, after U.S. forces targeted civilian installations, including a kindergarten. A U.S. military spokesman says attackers barricaded a road, and then opened fire from rooftops and alleys with a variety of weapons. He says many of the attackers were wearing uniforms of Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitary force It's the bloodiest battle reported since Saddam's regime was ousted.

Albawaba Middle East News, Jordan (Albawaba.com) 1 Dec 2003 Conflicting reports on Samarra death toll: Residents say at least eight civilians shot dead by US forces American troops killed 54 Iraqis after a forceful gunfight in the northern Iraqi town of Samarra on late Sunday, American official statements said. But residents said Monday that the casualty figure was much lower and that the dead were mostly civilians. According to them, just eight or nine people died. According to the British SKY News, eight civilians were reportedly killed in the crossfire after fighters tried to ambush occupation convoys in the area. For its part, the US army said it repelled several simultaneous attacks on different convoys in Samarra. It should be noted that contrary to official US reports, occupation troops killed unarmed civilian bystanders when they opened fire on all directions, locals told news agencies. Many residents said the Americans opened fire at random when they came under attack, and targeted civilian installations. A kindergarten was damaged, apparently by tank shells. Eighteen Iraqis were injured and eight captured. Five US soldiers were also injured. Several of the dead attackers were found wearing uniforms of the Fedayeen, a militia loyal to ousted leader Saddam Hussein, according to Lt.-Col. William MacDonald of the 4th Infantry Division. "The attacks were coordinated in locations very close to each other," he said. Mortars, grenades and small fire arms were all used in the ambushes. "Three buildings, from whose roofs the attackers fired, were destroyed," Lt.-Col. MacDonald said, and added, "We're sending a clear message that anyone who attempts to attack our convoys will pay the price." He said that the attackers ambushed the convoys from alleyways and rooftops in two attacks on the east and west of the city. "At each location, soldiers from the 1st Batallion 66th Armor and Military Police returned fire with small arms, 120mm tank rounds and 25mm canon fired from Bradley vehicles," the spokesman said. A third attack saw a military convoy hit by four men in a car, who were shot at and captured.

cbsnews.com 1 Dec 2003 U.S. Troops Repel Attacks, Kill 54 Dec. 1, 2003 U.S. military officials say American forces pushed back two coordinated attacks by insurgents in Samarra, a city 60 miles north of Baghdad, in what was the bloodiest combat reported since the toppling of the government of Saddam Hussein. U.S. officials say 54 Iraqis were killed Sunday and five American soldiers were wounded. Iraqis who live in the area claim that many of the dead are civilians. The reports of a civilian death toll, and differing accounts of what happened, are prompting one Mideast news Web site to call the battle a "massacre." The scale of the attacks and their apparent coordination indicated that rebel units retain the ability to conduct synchronized operations despite a massive U.S. offensive this month aimed at crushing the insurgency. In other developments: West of Baghdad, assailants ambushed a U.S. military convoy on Monday, killing one soldier, the U.S. military said. In terms of coalition losses, November was the bloodiest month of the war: 104 coalition troops have died in Iraq in November, including 79 Americans. At least 437 U.S. service members have died overall. The Saddam regime negotiated with North Korea for two years to arrange a long-term deal for illegal long-range missiles, U.S. officials told The New York Times. Baghdad even made a $10 million down payment, but apparently received nothing in return. Saudi Arabia is holding up $1 billion in pledges of aid to Iraq until a sovereign government is in place, the Los Angeles Times reports. American forces have captured three members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network in northern Iraq, a U.S. military commander said. The U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council said Sunday it is rethinking an agreement with Americans for a power handover by July, with officials saying the council has set up a committee to assess the best way to choose a provisional legislature. A delay or unraveling of the agreement would be a major setback for Iraq's U.S.-led administration. The U.S. military has for the first time acknowledged that the single deadliest incident of the war - the collision of two Black Hawk helicopters in Mosul on Nov. 15 - may have been caused by enemy action. Until now, the military had not speculated publicly on the cause of the collision in which 17 soldiers died. A U.S. commander says it appear a rocket-propelled grenade may have hit one helicopter. The scars of the battle in Samarra were evident on Monday. About a dozen cars lay destroyed in the streets, many apparently crushed by tanks, and bullet holes pocked many buildings. A rowdy crowd gathered at one spot, chanting pro-Saddam slogans. One man fired warning shots in the air when journalists arrived at the scene. A U.S. military spokesman said the clash was initiated by attackers, many wearing uniforms of Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitary force, who simultaneously attacked two U.S. convoys at opposite sides of Samarra, which was one of the ancient world's largest cities and today is one of the world's largest archeological sites. Many residents say it's true that Saddam loyalists attacked the Americans, but that when U.S. forces began firing at random, many civilians got their guns and joined the fight. Many said residents were bitter about recent U.S. raids in the night. "Why do they arrest people when they're in their homes?" asked Athir Abdul Salam, a 19-year-old student. "They come at night to arrest people. So what do they expect those people to do?" "Civilians shot back at the Americans," said 30-year-old Ali Hassan, who was wounded by shrapnel in the battle. "They claim we are terrorists. So OK, we are terrorists. What do they expect when they drive among us?" Some residents claim the Americans opened fire at random when they came under attack, and targeted civilian installations. Six destroyed vehicles sat in front of the hospital, where witnesses said U.S. tanks shelled people dropping off the injured. A kindergarten was damaged, apparently by tank shells. No children were hurt. "Luckily we evacuated the children five minutes before we came under attack," said Ibrahim Jassim, a 40-year-old guard at the kindergarten. "Why did they attack randomly? Why did they shoot a kindergarten with tank shells?" Lt. Col. William MacDonald of the 4th Infantry Division said that after barricading a road, the attackers opened fire from rooftops and alleyways with bombs, small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. U.S. troops responded with 120mm tank rounds and 25mm cannon fire from Bradley fighting vehicles. U.S. fire destroyed three buildings the attackers were using, MacDonald said. "It sounds like the attack had some coordination to it, but the soldiers responded, used their firepower, used tank and Bradley fire and other weapons available to them, to stop this attack and take the fight to the enemy," he said. The U.S. military initially said 46 Iraqi fighters died and five American soldiers were wounded. But a statement on Monday raised the number of Iraqi dead to 54. Residents of Samarra disputed those figures, saying at most eight or nine people died. Three bodies lay in the hospital morgue. There was no way to reconcile the accounts. MacDonald said the attack was the largest faced by his Task Force Ironhorse, whose mission includes the hunt for Saddam. Military officials in Baghdad said they haven't reported a deadlier attack since May 1, when President Bush declared major combat over. U.S. officials have only sporadically released figures on Iraqi casualties, and wouldn't say whether there has been a deadlier firefight that went unreported. Shortly after the firefight, four men in a BMW attacked another U.S. convoy in Samarra with automatic rifles, MacDonald said. The soldiers wounded all four men, and found Kalashnikov rifles and grenade launchers in their car.

Reuters 2 Dec 2003 Confusion over Samarra bloodbath toll Samarra American troops killed 54 guerrillas in a fierce battle to fight off coordinated ambushes on armoured convoys carrying large quantities of banknotes in the tense Iraqi town of Samarra, the US Army said yesterday. A US soldier was also killed west of Baghdad yesterday after insurgents attacked his patrol, the military said. But confusion hung over the Samarra death toll, which a US military spokesman at the town earlier put at 46. A military spokesman told a Baghdad news conference that 54 "enemy combatants" were killed in firefights that raged for most of Sunday afternoon in Samarra, 100km north of Baghdad. Police said eight civilians had also been killed, including an Iranian pilgrim. But doctors said they had only seen six bodies. A policeman in Samarra said US troops had fired randomly, killing civilians. Several burned-out cars littered the streets of the town, a focus of anti-US anger in the Sunni triangle.

english.aljazeera.net 2 Dec 2003 Samarra clash toll still a mystery Residents say US forces used weapons indiscriminately The US military has vowed to continue aggressive tactics after saying it killed 54 Iraqis following an ambush, but commanders admitted they had no proof to back up their claims. The only corpses at Samarra's hospital were those of civilians, including two elderly Iranian visitors and a child. A top military commander acknowledged on Monday that the toll was based entirely on estimates gleaned from troop debriefings and that US soldiers had not recovered a single body from the scene of Sunday’s clashes. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt estimated the number of dead in Samarra at 54, along with 22 wounded, saying they were all resistance fighters. He also said one person was detained. He admitted that the one resistance fighter now confirmed in custody was a sharp reduction on the 11 claimed captured by the commanding colonel in Samarra earlier. “Some of those earlier reports might have been a bit off,” Kimmitt said. "Are you asking me to produce (them)?" asked Colonel Fredrick Rudesheim, who heads the 3rd Combat Brigades that was involved in the clashes, when questioned by reporters about the absence of any fighters' bodies at Samarra's single hospital or on the city's streets. Sergeant Nicholas Mullen, who fired rounds from an Abrams tank, offered yet another explanation for the army's inability to locate the corpses. "We don't stick around," he said. Mystery continues Challenged about what happened to the bodies of the 54 said to have been killed, Kimmitt said: “I would suspect that the enemy would have carried them away and brought them back to where their initial base was.” “If the death toll had reached that announced by the Americans, the atmosphere in Samarra would be quite different" Abd al-Munaim Muhammad, ambulance driver, Samarra Asked about reports from senior police and hospital officials in the town of only eight civilians killed and dozens more wounded, the US general insisted: “We have no such reports whether from medical authorities or police.” But a medic at Samarra hospital said the bodies of “eight civilians including a woman and a child” were received at the hospital. Hospital director Abd Tawfiq said “more than 60 people wounded by gunfire and shrapnel from US rounds are being treated at the hospital”. And ambulance driver Abd al-Munaim Muhammad said he had not ferried any fighters wounded or killed and wearing the black Fidayin outfit which US soldiers claimed their assailants wore. “If I had seen bodies, I would have picked them up. It's not like the Americans would have done it,” he said. “If the death toll had reached that announced by the Americans, the atmosphere in Samarra would be quite different," he added. Iranian reaction It was not immediately clear whether the figure included two Iranian visitors said to have been killed in their bus. Schools and mosques were also reportedly hit in the attack Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi condemned what he called the “blind attacks” by US forces. “America is responsible for the killing of the Iranian national in Samarra. It must account for this crime,” he said. Tehran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the Swiss ambassador to Iran, who acts as the head of the US interest section office there, to protest against the deaths, reported a state news agency. Iran demanded that Washington “clarify the circumstances leading to the incident,” and announce the result of its own investigation and provide compensation. The bloodshed prompted members of Samarra’s tribal council to demand an immediate US pullout from the area.

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting News Network 2 Dec 2003 Speaker condemns Samarra massacre Tehran, Dec 2 - Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi here Tuesday condemned the U.S. forces action in the holy Iraqi city of Samarra which left several deaths among civilians, and urged the occupying forces to leave the war-torn country and the entire region. Addressing the open session of Majlis, he condoled with the Iraqi theological seminaries, grand clerics and the Iraqi nation on killing of civilians in the holy city of Samarra on Sunday. He further expressed his regret over disregard for the sanctity of the holy sites in Iraq and hurting the feelings of Muslims. Karroubi urged the occupying forces to end the occupation of their country and let the Iraqi people determine their own fate.

tehrantimes.com 2 Dec 2003 Massacre in Samarra The U.S. Army announced on Monday that a total of fifty-four people were killed in the recent violence in Samarra, when U.S. troops opened fire on a number of people in the city on December 1. The Samarra violence was heavily covered by the international media. A French reporter in Iraq stated that the U.S. troops created a bloodbath in the city. CNN reported that the victims were civilians and none were wearing the Fedayeen Saddam uniform. U.S. troops claimed that the Sunday massacre of innocent Iraqi citizens was meant to suppress a number of people connected with Saddam Hussein’s representative, Izzat Ibrahim. But eyewitnesses have stated that the U.S. tank was shooting in all four directions. It has also been reported that the tank was shooting toward the mosques and holy shrines of Samarra. Political analysts consider this attack to be a part of the U.S. Army’s new policy of creating fear and terror among the people of Iraq. This attack is yet another verification of their inability to create stability in the country, especially the failure of the new Iron Hammer operations in Iraq, which are against Iraqis opposed to the U.S. occupation. Such incidents, combined with the confusion and fear of U.S troops in Iraq, will most probably result in a new wave of clashes and violence in Iraq, because they only make the Iraqi people hate the occupation more. The bloody incidents in Samarra prove that Washington’s claim that it seeks to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq is only empty rhetoric.

news.pacificnews.org 2 Dec 2003 Samarra Massacre Will Haunt U.S. in Iraq Commentary, William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service, Dec 02, 2003 Editor's Note: The firefight in Samarra, Iraq, will come to haunt U.S. troops in the country, the writer says. The attackers deliberately wore black to evoke symbolic battles from Iraqi history that resonate with Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a alike. Now, the fighters are being hailed as heroes. U.S. commanders say their troops killed at least 54 Iraqis in the northern city of Samarra on Nov. 30. Townspeople say far fewer died, but that they were mostly civilians. Either way, it was a massacre, and the shocking surprise for Americans is that the organized Iraqi troops who provoked the attack are being hailed as heroes. Of all the places to incur a military attack in the area that has quixotically become known as the "Sunni triangle," Samarra was the worst. It is not only a Sunni Arab stronghold, it is also a shrine city sacred to the Shi'a population of Iraq. In its action, the U.S. military has thus offended almost everyone in Iraq at one fell swoop. The U.S. troops were provoked into attack, but in retaliation they not only fired on a kindergarten and a mosque, they also fired on those trying to evacuate the wounded. Such actions make the hearts of Middle East specialists sink, because they create such long-lasting resentment -- the kind that breeds terrorists. Eventually such events lead to perpetual cycles of revenge. Already the residents of Samarra are vowing retribution. The U.S. government has made much of the fact that the battle was instigated by members of the Fedayeen, the elite guards loyal to Saddam Hussein, who appeared in uniform to bait the U.S. troops. It appeared that they were trying to attack a U.S. military convoy carrying new Iraqi bank notes designed to replace those bearing Saddam Hussein's portrait. Radio Free Europe, in reporting the battle claimed that the Fedayeen (whose name means sacrificers) were wearing their uniforms on purpose in order "to send a message to the local population that the Fedayeen remains a fighting force able to carry out complex operations." The black uniforms of the Fedayeen have additional symbolic value. They are reminiscent of the Black Flags of the Abbassid Empire, the great Persian-Arab empire founded in 750 C.E. in Baghdad that ushered in the Golden Age of Islamic civilization. No one in Iraq can see the solid black color without having this association. Because the founders of the Abbassid Empire usurped the weaker Umayyids, conquerors from outside, the symbolic message is clear to the residents of the region. The U.S. Army clearly sent another message. For the Shi'a population of Iraq an event such as this calls up images of martyrdom, such as that suffered by the central religious figure of Shiism, Hussein, grandson of the prophet Mohammad. Hussein was killed by illegitimate external forces in 680 C.E. Two of Hussein's most important descendants -- the 10th and 11th Shi'a Imams -- were martyred and buried in Samarra. The mystical, messianic 12th Imam disappeared there in 878 C.E. He will reappear at the Day of Judgment according to Shia tradition. Thus the Fedayeen become representatives of perfect heroes and perfect martyrs in one fell swoop. Events such as this highlight the degree to which the Bush administration fails to appreciate the impact of cultural symbolism on the Iraqi population. As hard as American troops try to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi population, a massacre like this wipes out huge swaths of good will, establishing the hometown fighters -- whatever crimes they may have committed in the past -- as the true heroes. An American "victory" is tough to eke out under these circumstances. The solution is to internationalize the military operation in Iraq as soon as possible, and reconstitute the Iraqi army, giving Iraqis some other local body of fighters than the Fedayeen to identify with. The Bush administration, eager to claim personal credit for anything positive that might happen, is loath to turn over control to an international or a local Iraqi force for fear that the administration might be seen as having given up, and not "staying the course." However, this prideful attitude will only hurt U.S. efforts in Iraq. As long as the United States can be personalized as the outside enemy, a negative relationship will continue to exist between the local Iraqis and the U.S. troops. It is frustrating for Americans to realize that as many times as they shout the mantra, "We liberated you from a dictator!" the message will fall on deaf Iraqi ears. Americans are usurpers. They have been defined as the enemy, and when the heroes in black show up, the Iraqis are going to root for the home team. PNS contributor William O. Beeman (William_beeman@brown.edu) teaches anthropology and directs Middle East Studies at Brown University. He is author of the forthcoming book, "Iraq: State in Search of a Nation."

Iraq: Kurdistan ethnic violence

AFP 23 Dec 2003 Kurdish, Arab students clash in Kirkuk 23/12/2003 AFP KIRKUK, Iraq, Dec 23 (AFP) - 18h36 - Kurdish and Arab students clashed on Tuesday in the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk as US troops rounded up suspected anti-US insurgents and radical Islamists. An Iraqi policeman was wounded during clashes between Kurdish and Arab students in Kirkuk, 255 kilometres (155 miles) north of Baghdad, where ethnic tensions are on the rise. The policeman was trying to separate the fighting students and three Kurdish students and one Turkman were arrested following the tussle at Kirkuk’s Technical College, according to Police Captain Athir Ghazi. The fight erupted after Kurdish students refused to allow the Iraqi flag to be raised. The college’s dean then asked students to lower all Kurdish, Turkmen and Iraqi flags, but the Kurdish students refused and students came to blows. Meanwhile, US forces accompanied by Iraqi police arrested 16 residents of two Arab neighbourhoods east and north of Kirkuk, according to police chief Khattab Abdullah Aref. He said the men were suspected of "aiding attacks against US forces and police," and of having planned a foiled attack against a US base at Kirkuk airport Sunday evening. Police had said previously that they arrested four people in connection with this attempted attack and another one targeting a giant fuel depot. Kirkuk and the surrounding areas are the scene of frequent attacks against oil infrastructure and pipelines, which have worsened Iraq’s current fuel shortage. Also on Tuesday US forces raided the headquarters of the Kurdish Islamist group Jamaa Islamiya, arresting 20 people suspected of having links to Ansar al-Islam, said police sources and a human rights activist in Kirkuk, Muayad Ibrahim hmed. Jamaa’s leader Ali Bapir was arrested on July 10 by US forces. The US State Department has alleged that Ansar al-Islam, which operates in northeastern Iraq, has close links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network. With the capture of Saddam Hussein 10 days ago, the Kurds are now boldly staking claim to Kirkuk, demanding it be made part of Iraqi Kurdistan. Some 10,000 Kurds demonstrated in Kirkuk Monday, fueling the mistrust among the ethnically diverse city’s Arab and Turkmen population. The demonstration coincided with a serious push by Kurdish members of the interim Governing Council for the establishment of a federal Iraq, with Kurdish autonomy in the north, ahead of a constitutional convention promised for 2005. The Kurdish leaders in the Governing Council are demanding a major expansion of Kurdish autonomy beyond three northern provinces, which rebel factions ruled, to include Tamim, home to Kirkuk, and parts of the ethnically mixed provinces of Nineveh and Diyala. The Kurdish initiative prompted Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to warn Monday of any move "endangering the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq." Ankara is fearful that advanced autonomy for the Kurds in northern Iraq could set an example for their restive cousins in adjoining southeast Turkey, where a bloody Kurdish rebellion for self-rule has only recently subsided.

AFP 24 Dec 2003 Turkey warns Iraqi Kurds over autonomy bid ANKARA, Dec 24 (AFP) - 12h51 - Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned the Iraqi Kurds on Wednesday that attempts to expand their autonomy in the north of Iraq could spark new tensions in the war-ravaged country. "We have warned against developments in northern Iraq or elsewhere in Iraq that could endanger the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq. All regional countries have also done so," Gul said in response to a question about a Kurdish bid to establish a federal system in Iraq. "If these dangerous developments continue, I am afraid that Iraq... will again become a center of suffering and tears," he told a news conference. The Iraqi Kurds, who have long had stormy ties with Ankara, recently sent a bill to the Iraqi Governing Council calling for the establishment of a federal Iraq before a constitutional convention promised for 2005. The bill foresees the expansion of Kurdish autonomy from the three provinces which rebel factions ruled in defiance of Saddam Hussein to include the oil-rich province of Tamim around Kirkuk and parts of ethnically mixed Nineveh and Diyala. The bill suggests these areas were in majority Kurdish hands at the time of the 1957 census and had their ethnic makeup changed because of a deliberate policy of "Arabization" carried out by Saddam’s regime. Ankara fears that advanced autonomy for the Iraqi Kurds could set an example for their restive cousins in adjoining southeast Turkey, where a bloody Kurdish rebellion for self-rule has only recently died down. "There has been an agreement on the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq. The signatures of the United States and the Iraqis have been put under these basic principles," Gul said, referring to a joint statement the parties issued in Ankara earlier this year. Gul also warned Iraqi Kurds against "attempts to upset the demographic structure" of Kirkuk, the major oil center in the north which the Kurds also claim. Thousands of Iraqi Kurds demonstrated Monday in Kirkuk to demand that the town be included in the future autonomous Kurdish region. Kirkuk is also home to Arabs and Turkmens, an Iraqi minority of Turkish origin, whose rights, Ankara says, should be protected against Kurdish dominance in the region.

Xinhua 25 Dec 2003 Kirkuk, Iraq's powder keg? Ethnic tension in Iraq's multi- ethnic, oil-rich city of Kirkuk is threatening to turn the city into a powder keg in the war-torn country. Last March, US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq, sweeping from power its former president Saddam Hussein who was captured last week near his hometown of Tikrit, 160 km north of Baghdad. The 300,000 population of Kirkuk, 300 km north of the capital, are a mixture of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, Muslims alongside with a Christian minority. Any ethnic strife in such a city, according to observers, is likely to extend to other parts of Iraq, and this is what most Iraqis fear. Last Monday, thousands of Kurds who account for about 20 percent of the 25-million Iraqi people, staged a mass demonstration in Kirkuk, demanding incorporation of the city with the autonomous Kurdish region, a demand unacceptable to the Turkmen and the Arabs who make up more than half of the city's population. The demonstrators, mostly supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in a calculated move, raised only Kurdish flags, ignoring the four-color Iraqi national flag. They demanded turning Kirkuk into the capital of the autonomous region, currently partitioned by the Arbil-based KDP, headed by Masud Barzani and the sulaimaniya-based PUK, headed by Jalal Talabani, both of whom are members of the US-handpicked Iraqi Governing Council. On Tuesday, one Iraqi policeman was injured while trying to put down a clash between Arab and Turkmen students and Kurdish ones when the latter refused to raise the Iraqi national flag during a New Year celebration. Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, whose country publicly supported Iraqi Turkmen, estimated at over a million, has warned Iraqi Kurds, who favored a federal system for post-Saddam Iraq, against any move "endangering Iraq's territorial integrity." Turkey, which has a big Kurdish minority, is strongly opposed to a Kurdish independent state in northern Iraq, its southern flank. All these developments indicate that dark clouds are hovering over the skies of Iraq while it is striving to build, after centuries of autocratic rule, a pluralistic and democratic system under which all ethical groups can live side by side in a peaceful environment free of foreign interference.

AFP 31 Dec 2003 Arabs, Turkmen demonstrate against Kurds in Kirkuk KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) - Some 2,000 Turkmen and Sunni Arabs demonstrated in the ethnic tinderbox of Kirkuk on Wednesday, protesting the push by the city's Kurdish majority to incorporate the oil-rich center into a Kurdish state. "Kirkuk, Kirkuk is an Iraqi city. No to federalism," they chanted on the city's southern edge, located next to a police academy. "We want the Kurds to leave Kirkuk," they chanted. Representatives of radical Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr, backing the Turkmen Shiites, were present at the rally, which US forces monitored briefly before withdrawing. Police chief Shirku Shaker Hakim said he told the demonstrators to stay on the edge of the town to avoid clashes with Kirkuk's Kurds. The Arabs appeared to hail mainly from outlying towns around Kirkuk, 255 kilometres (160 miles) north of Baghdad. Despite guerrilla attacks, Kirkuk, a volatile mix of Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen, has avoided serious confrontation, thanks to a city council representing all of the city's communities, with a Kurdish mayor and Arab deputy. "They are coming to protest from Hawija, Tarjil and Tuz Kharmatu more than from Kirkuk," said Police Colonel Borhan Taeib Habib, speaking about outlying areas which the Kurds want to incorporate into a Kurdish federalist zone. Last week, thousands of Kurds took to the streets of Kirkuk to lay claim to the major oil centre where the old Baath regime settled large numbers of Arabs from the 1970s. Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani are pushing Iraq's Governing Council to recognise their vision of a federalist state well before the approval on March 1 next year of a Basic Law to govern Iraq during the transition period through 2005. Draft legislation they have submitted would grant Kurds near autonomy in the three formerly rebel-held provinces of Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah, as well as Tamim province around Kirkuk, and Kurdish areas of Nineveh and Diyala provinces.

Gunfire Erupts in Kirkuk; Two Said Killed Wednesday December 31, 2003 10:16 AM KIRKUK, Baghdad (AP) - Gunfire erupted Wednesday as hundreds of protesters marched in Kirkuk and at least two people were reported killed in the oil-rich northern city where plans for a new democratic Iraq are dividing Kurd, Arab and Turkmen residents. Police Col. Salem Taha said two protesters were killed and 16 were wounded in the shooting. A reporter saw six people hit by gunshots, and heard sirens as ambulances rushed to the rescue. Witnesses fleeing the scene said police opened fire on the crowd, but police said the shots came from members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, as demonstrators tried to converge on that party's office. U.S. soldiers moved in with tanks to barricade the area and set up checkpoints at major intersections. Hundreds of Arabs and Turkmen began protesting Wednesday morning to demand that Kirkuk remain under a central Iraqi government and not be incorporated into any proposed Kurdish federation. ``Kirkuk is an Iraqi city!'' protesters shouted. ``Down with federalism.'' The exact division of the population of Kirkuk is not known. It is believed that residents are divided equally between three ethnic groups - Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds. Some Kurds in Kirkuk have been calling for the city to become part of an autonomous Kurdistan, joining a Switzerland-sized area of northern Iraq where Kurds have ruled themselves since the end of the Gulf War, more than a decade ago, under U.S.-led aerial protection.

Israel/Palestinian Autority

JTA 1 Dec 2003 NEWS ANALYSIS With its launch, ‘Geneva accord’ sets off flurry of new peace efforts By Leslie Susser JERUSALEM, Dec. 1 (JTA) — After its gala launch in Switzerland this week, the unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal known as the “Geneva accord” is rapidly picking up international support. Indeed, Monday’s festive launch was designed to generate international and grass-roots pressure on leaders on both sides to take bold peace steps. But can the Geneva accord, reached by people who hold no office, become the basis for a real peace deal and break the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock? Or, alternatively, will leaders not ready to go the Geneva route, but unwilling to be seen as obstructionist, be pressured into making different peace moves of their own? Popular support for the Geneva proposal seems to be growing in Israel, but the government remains adamantly opposed. On the Palestinian side, the agreement’s main advocates have run into strong and sometimes violent opposition. And while major peace brokers like the United States and European countries are showing growing interest, none has yet adopted the Geneva draft as an official program or as a basis for negotiation. The long, detailed document, which can be found at http://www.heskem.org.il/heskem_en.asp, deals with such controversial issues as borders, Jerusalem and refugees. It has sparked fiery debates in Israel and among the Palestinians on the nature of a final peace deal. It also has led to a flurry of parallel diplomatic action. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dispatched his son Omri, along with other Knesset members and government officials, for talks with Palestinians near London. Other Likud Party legislators took part in a weekend seminar with Palestinians in Madrid, and U.S. Middle East envoy William Burns returned to the region in an effort to restart the official peace process based on the “road map” peace plan. Most significantly, Sharon himself made new overtures to the Palestinians. The longer that other plans like the road map remain stalled, the more the Geneva alternative will beckon. That could generate a new dynamic leading to increased international pressure on both sides to cut a deal along the lines of the Geneva accord. In Israel, sentiment on the Geneva proposal are mixed. A poll published Monday in Ha’aretz showed 31 percent of Israelis support it and 37 percent oppose it. Despite the opposition of the Likud-led government, 13 percent of Likud voters surveyed supported the agreement. The architects of the deal were delighted. Haim Oron of the Meretz Party declared that the negotiators never dreamed the deal would win so much support so quickly. Yossi Beilin, the main Israeli architect of the plan, highlighted the multi-partisan nature of the support. The Israeli sponsors of the plan acknowledge that it is not a done deal, and they say their main purpose in making it public is to create a mind-set for peace. They say the understandings show there potentially is a Palestinian partner, and they set forth in the proposal the kinds of concessions that will be needed for peace. Sharon’s ministers counter that the Israeli concessions in the document are excessive, and that the Geneva exercise — and the international support given to it — put the elected government in an invidious position. They maintain that the Palestinians are using the Israeli left to lay down new starting points for future negotiations and to embarrass Sharon by portraying him as too hard-line to cut a deal that others could. For his part, Sharon has responded by hinting at a readiness to dismantle some Israeli settlements, coupled with the threat of unilateral action if the Palestinians spurn his overtures. The subtext is clear: Sharon is no uncompromising hard-liner, but he’s not going to wait around for someone to try get negotiations going for a Geneva-type deal. So far, none of the parallel initiatives has borne fruit, at least in public. No agreement was reached in the London and Madrid exchanges even on basic issues like ending terrorism, and both forums degenerated into arguments. The key to immediate progress lies now with Burns, the U.S. envoy, who is trying to set up a first meeting between Sharon and the new Palestinian Authority prime minister, Ahmed Qurei. On the Palestinian side, neither Qurei nor P.A. President Yasser Arafat has fully endorsed the Geneva deal, although Arafat did send a letter of qualified support to the Geneva ceremony. Israeli analysts believe Arafat is playing a game: He doesn’t offer outright support for Geneva, so as not to be bound by its provisions and to be able to push for more. Yet he also doesn’t reject it outright, casting Sharon — who opposes the deal outright — as the rejectionist. The Geneva ceremony highlighted growing international support for the accord. Nobel Peace Prize-winners and Arab dignitaries attended, while former U.S. President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent greetings. It is not inconceivable that at some point down the road international players will seek to call a peace conference with the Geneva accord as the basis for discussion. Already, the launch in Geneva is having reverberations in Washington. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) flew to Geneva for the signing and is expected to introduce legislation next week supporting Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives, including the Geneva accord. A similar resolution was introduced in the Senate by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Nov. 25. The Washington chapter of the left-wing group Brit Tzedek v’Shalom hand-delivered copies of the resolution to each lawmaker’s office on Capitol Hill on Monday. Beilin and Abed Rabbo will be in Washington later this week to meet with lawmakers and to talk up their resolution to the American media. The Bush administration said Monday that it “welcomed” the Geneva plan, but officials expressed continued support for the road map. Official American policy is not to allow other plans to deflect attention from the road map. The road map “is the only plan on the table,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer said Monday. Part of the Geneva proposal’s charm is that, unlike the slow, step-by-step road map, it envisions a one-step end to the conflict. But that could prove illusory, because the Israeli and Palestinian powers that be reject some of the accord’s main provisions and because closing the remaining gaps could prove problematic or even impossible. For their part, the Israeli sponsors of the Geneva document intend to step up efforts to build domestic and international support. The agreement is sure to become the main political message of a new left-wing party called Ya’ad, to be formed soon by a merger between Meretz and Beilin’s Shachar group. United around such a clear peace message, the group soon could be challenging Israel’s ailing Labor Party for primacy on the left. Leslie Susser is the diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Report. JTA Staff Writer Matthew E. Berger in Washington contributed to this story.

ICG 1 Dec 2003 Media Release Global Leaders Support New Israeli-Palestinian Peace Initiatives Brussels, 1 December 2003: Fifty-eight global leaders – former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, defence ministers and heads of international agencies – have signed a statement in support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan formally launched today in Switzerland, and an associated petition initiative. Both of the initiatives being backed are aimed at creating a new dynamic for peace in the Middle East. The “Geneva Initiative”, negotiated by teams led by former ministers Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, is the most ambitious blueprint for peace ever written by citizens of the two sides. The “People’s Voice” project, initiated by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh, aims at gathering mass Israeli and Palestinian public support for similar principles describing the outlines of a permanent status settlement. The basic elements of the Geneva Initiative blueprint already command majority support among both Israelis and Palestinians, as shown in a poll released on 24 November 2003 commissioned jointly by the James A. Baker III Institute at Rice University and the International Crisis Group (see www.crisisweb.org for media release and poll details). The citizen initiatives show – at a time of increasing despair and hopelessness among both Israelis and Palestinians – that a comprehensive peace agreement is indeed achievable. The attached statement emphasises that point, and calls on the international community to do everything possible to help make it happen. The International Crisis Group, which initiated this international statement of support (on the understanding that efforts were under way by others to produce similar expressions of support from within the U.S.), has produced its own series of reports on this subject in July 2002. Middle East Endgame I: Getting To A Comprehensive Arab-Israeli Peace Settlement, and Middle East Endgame II: How A Comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement Would Look spell out, in terms very similar to the Geneva Initiative, what the detailed elements of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement might look like; and detailed treaty proposals for resolving other outstanding Arab-Israeli issues are contained in Middle East Endgame III: Israel, Syria and Lebanon – How Comprehensive Peace Settlements Would Look. All these reports are accessible on www.crisisweb.org .

AFP 2 Dec 2003 Geneva brings hope but threatens return of refugees, Jerusalem: Arab papers BEIRUT, Dec 2 (AFP) - The Geneva Initiative has raised peace hopes in the Middle East but the plan also threatens Arab rights over Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, Arab papers said Tuesday. Lebanon's leading An-Nahar daily, which described the Geneva Initiative unveiled Monday in Switzerland as "an agreement for new hope" in a front-page headline, said the non-binding unofficial document had a "supernatural" aspect. Organisers "may have wanted to say that the Palestinian-Israeli meeting was supernatural when they called on American actor Richard Dreyfuss, of Steven Spielberg's great 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', to chair the ceremony", said An-Nahar. But the real impact would "depend on the way Washington looks at the initiative when (US Secretary of State) Colin Powell receives Yasser Abed Rabbo and Yossi Beilin at the end of the week." Abed Rabbo and Beilin are respectively the leading Palestinian and Israeli promoters of the Geneva Initiative, an alternative peace plan for the Middle East. An editorial in the Lebanese leftist As-Safir said "the document is unique in a sense. It is not put forward to be implemented, but to give an impression that the way is open for a deal". It is meant "to say that there is an alternative to the present situation. What is now required is to make it a force of pressure able to affect policies," it said. As-Safir said Geneva was "negative for the Israeli prime minister, by having activated peace-seeking forces in Israel, attracted Europe, spoken with the 'leftist' Jews in the United States and revived" the opposition Labour party. On the Palestinian side, "the document also proved the failure of the militarization of the intifada." "But it would be very difficult for the Palestinians to accept the solution presented for the refugees," it said. The Geneva Initiative waived the right of return for 3.8 million Palestinian refugees, in return for an Israeli pullout from much of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For the deputy chief of Lebanon's Shiite Muslim guerrilla group Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem, "the Geneva document is not a solution to the Palestinian issue and does not do justice for the rights of the Palestinian people." "It gives up the right to return home to more than four million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world, in return for granting legitimacy to the Israeli occupation," he was quoted as saying in remarks published Tuesday. In Damascus, the government daily Teshrin warned that the Geneva Initiative "eliminates" the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homeland as well as Arab and Islamic sovereignty over Jerusalem. "It is a Palestinian agreement ... for a permanent settlement of the Palestinians in their host countries," it said. "It is not only up to the Palestinians to decide on the right of sovereignty over Jerusalem. This holy city is also an Arab and Muslim city," added the Syrian newspaper.

WP 3 Dec 2003 Powell Effort Aims To Pressure Sharon On Peace Accord By Glenn Kessler Page A23 Secretary of State Colin L. Powell plans to meet Friday with the authors of an unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace accord as part of a Bush administration strategy to put increasing pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. officials said yesterday. The administration had not previously embraced the initiative, known as the Geneva Accord, but officials said in recent weeks that the administration had become increasingly frustrated with Sharon and decided to use it to prod Sharon to take steps to deal with Palestinian grievances. Sharon has denounced the document, which tackles many of the most contentious issues dividing Israelis and Palestinians. In a choreographed sequence, the chief negotiators of the agreement -- Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli justice minister and longtime peace negotiator, and Yasser Abed Rabbo, former Palestinian information minister -- will meet with William J. Burns, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, and Elliott Abrams, the senior National Security Council official for Israeli-Palestinian issues. Then Powell is scheduled to drop by the meeting, U.S. officials said. "It is part of an effort to put more pressure on Sharon," an administration official said. "It is as much an endorsement of the Geneva plan as a signal to the Sharon government to get in a more cooperative posture." Abrams met with Sharon in Rome two weeks ago to urge him to take unilateral actions on the U.S.-backed peace plan known as the "road map." But U.S. officials said President Bush's trip to London that week also spurred the administration to press harder for action by the Israelis. British Prime Minister Tony Blair raised the Geneva Accord in his discussions with Bush. The accord was drafted by a group of Israelis and Palestinians frustrated by the inability of their governments to engage in peace efforts after more than three years of military conflict. The authors held a ceremony Monday in Geneva to promote the document, and international figures such as former president Jimmy Carter and former Polish president Lech Walesa attended. Some experts have said a flaw in the road map is that it offers the promise of a Palestinian state but does not tackle the hard questions needed to create it. Although President Bill Clinton at the end of his term laid out the parameters of a final deal, Bush rejected doing something similar, arguing that the agreement must come from the parties themselves. Some U.S. officials now believe the Geneva agreement might act as a useful proxy, giving hope to the moderates in both camps that a Palestinian state could be created from Israel-occupied territories. But the planned meeting drew sharp criticism from Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "I think that he is not being useful to the peace process," Olmert said, referring to Powell. "This is an incorrect step by a senior representative of the American administration." Powell, who was in Tunis yesterday, told reporters that a meeting would not undercut the administration's support for the road map. "I do not know why I or anyone else in the U.S. government should deny ourselves the opportunity to hear from others who are committed to peace and who have ideas," he said.

NYT 3 Dec 2003 Israeli Warns Powell on Peace Team; He Rejects Criticism By GREG MYRE JERUSALEM, Dec. 2 — In a rare Israeli criticism of the United States, a senior official said Tuesday that it would be a mistake for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to meet Israeli and Palestinian politicians who negotiated a symbolic Middle East peace plan. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government has been fiercely critical of the so-called Geneva Accord, calling it subversive, freelance diplomacy. The self-appointed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a signing ceremony on Monday in the Swiss city, saying the document could serve as a blueprint for formal talks between the governments. The Bush administration says it remains committed to the official Middle East peace plan, known as the road map, which was introduced in June but quickly stalled. However, Mr. Powell sent a letter last month encouraging the Israelis and Palestinians involved in the Geneva initiative, and is expected to meet them within a week, according to officials and diplomats. "I think he is making a mistake," Ehud Olmert, Israel's vice premier, said of Mr. Powell in an interview on Israel radio. "I think he is not helping the process. I think this is a wrong step by a representative of the American administration." Mr. Powell, speaking in Tunis on Tuesday, rejected the Israeli criticism. "Why should we not listen to others who have ideas, such as the ideas that were presented in Geneva yesterday, and other ideas that have been presented?" he said. "What people are saying is that the current situation has to change." Mr. Sharon sets great store by his close ties with President Bush, whose administration has been largely supportive of Mr. Sharon while boycotting the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat. The American overtures to the unofficial peace negotiators are seen as a way of prodding the Israeli and Palestinian governments toward the negotiating table. But Dore Gold, an adviser to Mr. Sharon, said the Geneva proposal ignored crucial elements of the current peace plan. He called it "an end run around the opening phase of the road map, which calls first for a termination of violence." Mr. Sharon has always insisted that the bloodshed must stop before peace negotiations can resume. But many Palestinians claim that Mr. Sharon is not serious about negotiations, and has stepped up Israeli military operations when political progress has appeared to be within reach. Meanwhile, it was Palestinians who took to the streets in the Gaza Strip on Monday to condemn the Geneva plan. In a protest in Gaza City, about 1,000 Palestinians from various factions rallied against the proposal and denounced Yasir Abed Rabbo, the former Palestinian information minister who led the Palestinian delegation to Switzerland. "Abed Rabbo, you coward, you are a collaborator with the Americans," the crowd chanted. Many Palestinians are angry that the document effectively drops the longstanding Palestinian demand that refugees from the 1948 war be allowed to return to their old land, which is now part of Israel. The refugees and their descendants now number around four million, but the Geneva document would give Israel the right to block any large-scale return. "What can I tell my grandchildren?" asked Hikmat Adwan, 60, a Gaza resident who said his family was driven from its village in 1948. "That I gave up my rights? That I gave up my land?" Mr. Arafat has been sending mixed signals about the document. A statement read in his name at the Geneva ceremony called it "a brave initiative that opens the door to hope." Bur Mr. Arafat has not endorsed the actual plan. "The Palestinian Authority is encouraging the dialogue that led to this document," said Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian cabinet member. "But the Palestinian Authority cannot be committed to the content, because it differs from official positions." Mr. Gold, the Israeli adviser, accused Mr. Arafat of playing a "double game." "He is encouraging opposition to the accord in order to prop himself up domestically, while at the same time signaling his blessing of the accord abroad," Mr. Gold said. A poll released Monday by Israel's liberal Haaretz newspaper found that 38 percent of Israelis oppose the Geneva plan while 31 percent support it and 31 percent have no opinion. The survey of 876 Israelis had a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points. Meanwhile, religious hard-liners on both sides denounced the accord. A committee of some 250 rabbis, called Pikuah Nefesh, or Preservation of Life, said Israelis who signed the Geneva document should be considered traitors who deserved to be "cast out from human society and brought to trial." Dar al-Fatwa, a Palestinian institution that specializes in Islamic law, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, saying it would be improper for Muslims to relinquish claims to land lost in wars with Israel. In violence on Tuesday, the Israeli Army said it had killed two Palestinian militants in the West Bank. One was gunned down during an exchange of gunfire in the town of Jenin, while the other was fatally shot after he threw a firebomb at soldiers outside Ramallah.

The Japan Times 4 Dec 2003 www.japantimes.co.jp Ethnic cleansing on the Jordan River By DOUG BANDOW WASHINGTON -- Israel can push even U.S. President George W. Bush too far. The Bush administration says it will cut $290 million of $3 billion in promised loan guarantees because Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government continues to construct settlements and a security fence in the West Bank, effectively annexing Palestinian areas to Israel. "It's none of their business," responds Zitrin Eliezer, an Israeli settler in the West Bank. In fact, Israel's policies wouldn't be America's business if Washington wasn't backing Israel. And if that backing didn't in turn foster hatred of and terrorism against America and its allies. There is no excuse for Palestinian suicide bombing, but Israeli actions also exacerbate hostilities. For a time Israeli officials publicly discussed assassinating or exiling Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Even worse is talk of ethnic cleansing. An extremist segment of Israeli opinion backs expulsion, which is the implicit goal of most settlers. Frustration over murderous suicide bombings has increased popular support for this brutal option. U.S. columnist Ben Shapiro also advocates ethnic cleansing: "If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Baza and Israel proper." The euphemisms roll off of his tongue. "It's not genocide; it's transfer." Czechoslovakia and Poland did it to Germans after World War II. Forcing nearly 5 million Arabs from their homes is OK because "Jews are not Nazis." But ethnic cleansing means inflicting mass hardship and death. After all, Muslims would have to be forced to abandon all. That would mean wiping out their villages. Destroying their homes. And killing some of them. After World War II an estimated nine to 15 million Germans were forced from ancestral lands in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. R.J. Rummel, author of "Death By Government," estimates the resulting casualty toll at between 500,000 and 3.7 million, most likely about 1.9 million. No wonder Shapiro concludes: "It's time to stop being squeamish." Still, in principle separation seems the best answer to stop the killing. For this reason, a security fence makes sense -- if it actually separates Jew from Arab. Unfortunately, to protect a number of disparate Israeli settlements erected in the midst of Palestinian communities, Israel currently is mixing Jew and Arab and separating Arab from Arab. Thus are sown the seeds for future conflict. After 36 years of occupation the land remains almost exclusively Arab. The limited Jewish presence is the result of conscious colonization. In 1978, when the Camp David accords were midwifed with the help of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, there were only about 4,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied lands. With subsidies now exceeding $1 billion a year, the number of settlers has reached some 230,000. The settlements require a pervasive Israeli military occupation, imposing a de facto system of apartheid. Writes Avraham Burg, former speaker of Israel's Knesset: "It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in West Bank settlements. . . . Traveling on the fast highway that skirts barely a half-mile west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it's hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied." At stake is the future of Israeli democracy. There are roughly 5.3 million Jews in Israel and a couple hundred thousand in the occupied territories. There are 1.3 million Arabs in Israel and about 3.4 million in the Gaza and West Bank. Given respective birthrates there soon will be more Arabs than Jews in the combined territory. Notes Uri Dromi of the Israel Democracy Institute, "Either we give the Palestinians equal rights, in which case Israel ceases to be Jewish, or we don't, in which case Israel ceases to be democratic. The only way for Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic is for it to pull out of the territories." Four ex-heads of Israel's domestic Shin Bet security agency recently criticized the "immoral" treatment of Palestinians. "We must once and for all admit that there is another side, that it has feelings and that it is suffering, and that we are behaving disgracefully," said Avraham Shalom, who ran Shin Bet from 1980 to 1986. Military leaders voice similar concerns. Argues retired Brig. Gen. Nehemia Dagan: "The ethics and morals of Israeli society are more important than killing the heads of Hamas or Islamic Jihad." In October, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, chief of the staff of the armed forces, admitted that Israel's repressive tactics were creating explosive levels of "hatred and terrorism." Every day the prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians seems to slip further away. Separation offers the only hope, but separation requires dismantling Israeli settlements. And as long as Washington backs Israel, the future of the settlements remains America's business. Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of "Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World."

Haaretz IL 10 Dec 2003 Arabs will be majority in Jerusalem by 2040, says mayor By Jonathan Lis Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski expressed concern yesterday over the demographics of Jerusalem in 2040 when, according to population estimates, Arabs may constitute a majority in the city. "The Jewish people, who dreamed for generations to be in Jerusalem and to see it as its capital, must take action now," he said yesterday at the presentation of the report on an ambitious master plan for the capital in 2020. The plan has been more than a decade in preparation. Hebrew University demographer Prof. Sergio Della Pergola, who headed the demographic team that prepared the report, said the numbers predict that, while the ratio between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in the city would remain the same, the number of Jewish young people in the capital would decrease to only 55 per cent of the city's population by the year 2020. Della Pergola said the numbers confirmed Lupolianski's complaint that migration from the city's Jewish neighborhoods was at an all-time high - young secular and religious couples are leaving the city, whereas Palestinians prefer life in Jerusalem to that in the PA areas. He also said the demographics committee found that "a certain component in the increased birth rate among ultra-Orthodox and Arab families stemmed from militant ideology among groups that see a higher birth rate as an element in their struggle for survival." Lupolianski said he had met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and various cabinet ministers on the issue in an attempt to convince them to take action. "I believe that a large number of ministers understand that action must be taken," Lupolianski said. "The solution cannot come from the municipality itself. Instead of helping Jerusalem, the government is investing in the periphery. The state is investing in communities around the Jerusalem, giving mortgages and grants so that young couples prefer to buy an apartment outside of Jerusalem at half the price, and consume Jerusalem's culture during the day," the mayor said. Committee members called in their report to try to bring down the birth rate in the city, and noted that "moderation of levels of fertility and family size depends first and foremost on a moderation of ideological tensions between Jews and Arabs and among the various Jewish sectors.." Della Pergola also noted that, contrary to popular opinion, the number of ultra-Orthodox residents was declining in the capital. Although ultra-Orthodox families do have large numbers of children, the fact that they were leaving the city meant the ratio between babies born to ultra-Orthodox and to secular Jewish and Arab families did not change significantly. The report noted that the municipality was working toward "cultural balance" in the city, and that lack of such balance would "not only not bring about growth and contribute to the satisfaction of this or that sector, it would result in conflict and tension among other sectors." Committee members decided on a vague recommendation of means of solving what they viewed as a looming demographic crisis, calling upon the city to annex built-up areas belonging to other jurisdictions. The economic committee attempted to map out the city's economic needs in 2020, as well as its educational and mass transport requirements. The number of employed persons in the city is expected to double in the next 16 years to 390,000, and committee members recommended expanding the city limits to allow for more residential and industrial construction. The committee recommended that municipal bonds be issued in order to raise money for the city. The master plan's cultural committee had examined the possibility of turning Jerusalem into a "normal" city, by deemphasizing its special characteristics in order to reduce cultural tensions. However, this option was ultimately set aside by the committee, in favor of recommending that residents of Jerusalem learn to live with the religious symbols in spite of the tension they create.

Last Update: 18/12/2003 19:56 Justice Minister Lapid slams 'barbaric' behavior of settlers By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Staff Justice Minister Yosef Lapid on Thursday launched a verbal assault on residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements, describing their behavior as "barbaric," and accusing them of having "de facto" control in Israel. Lapid said that the settlers "in their heart of hearts dream of the transfer of Palestinians to the [Eastern] banks of the Jordan [river], a solution which is not only barbaric but also utterly impossible." Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, a showcase conference on Israeli security, Lapid said that, "Even though Israel is an exemplary democracy, it is de facto controlled by a small minority of Yesha settlers who represent a minority within the settlers themselves. "Their answer to the demographic problem is for another million immigrants to arrive in the country, although no one knows from where," he said. The Yesha Council in response to the justice minister’s speech said "Lapid is preaching a unilateral withdrawal under fire." Lapid also called for the peace process to be speeded up, citing, among other reasons, the development of nuclear weapons by Iran and Pakistan, as well as the demographic problem posed by the Palestinians. Israeli Arabs under fire at conference Speakers at the Herzliya Conference revisited Thursday controversial comments made by Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the day before, in which he said that the Israeli Arab population posed a demographic threat to the country. Dr. Yitzhak Ravid, a senior researcher at Rafael, Israel's Armament Development Authority, proposed during a short speech under the heading "Learning from Iran and Egypt," that the state implement a stringent policy of family planning in relation to its Muslim population, claiming that "the delivery rooms in Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva have turned into a factory for the production of a backward population." But Brigadier General (res.) Uzi Dayan denied Thursday that citizens of the state would ever pose a demographic threat, and warned that the central problems were relations between Jews and Arabs and the lack of social coherence. Netanyahu's remarks also came under fire Wednesday, with left-wing Knesset members and a civil rights group offering up severely criticism. "Netanyahu's demographic bomb is a stink bomb and racism," MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said. "The day is not far when Netanyahu and his flock will set up roadblocks at the entrance to Arab villages in order to tie Arab women's tubes and spray them with spermicide." Netanyahu told the conference that he was not greatly concerned by the demographic problem posed by Palestinians, and that Israel would eventually relinquish control over lands that were home to most of the Palestinians live. He said that he could not foresee a future in which "any sane Israeli" could try to make Palestinians either Israeli citizens or "enslaved subjects." Instead, the finance minister blamed Israeli Arabs for tilting Israel's demographic balance, and said if the percentage of Arab citizens rises above its current level of about 20 percent, Israel will not be able to remain both Jewish and democratic. "If there is a demographic problem, and there is, it is with the Israeli Arabs who will remain Israeli citizens," Netanyahu said, adding that a good economy was necessary to attract Jewish immigrants. Of Israel's 6.6 million citizens, about 1.3 million are Arabs. Another 3 million Arabs live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said it sent a letter of complaint to Netanyahu about the remarks. "Comments like these fan the flames of hatred, racism and discrimination that are the daily reality of Israeli Arab citizens and undermine the basic trust that underpins a democratic society," the organization said in a statement. Arab Israelis complain authorities discriminate against them in the distribution of state funds, particularly in local communities and education. Unemployment and poverty figures are higher in the community than among Jewish Israelis. Industry and Trade Minister Ehud Olmert defended the comments that some Knesset members decried as racist, saying Netanyahu had pointed to an existing demographic problem but that the more important problem lies "between the Jordan [River] and the [Mediterranean] Sea," Israel Radio reported Wednesday night. MK Azmi Bishara of Balad (National Democratic Alliance) said that describing the original residents of the land as a demographic problem would be considered racist in any country. "No people in the world like to hear that their actual existence causes a demographic problem," Bishara told Army Radio. "Even in undeveloped countries, this is thought of as racist." MK Makhoul Issam Makhoul (Hadash) called Netanyahu a "racist danger to democracy." "A leader who considers 20 percent of the population of Israel to be a demographic threat and treats them as an existential problem is himself a racist danger to democracy, sanity and the rule of law, and he should be disposed with immediately for the good of both peoples," he said. MK Talab a-Sana (United Arab List) asked: "How would Netanyahu react if someone in the West or the U.S. said that the reproduction rate of the Haredi Jews was a demographic problem? Netanyahu has double standards." Yossi Sarid (Meretz) said Netanyahu set in motion an irrevocable deterioration of relations between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. Sarid said it was amazing to see how "great leaders are exposed as small bigots. The Palestinian problem in the territories has not yet been solved, and already some insist on creating a new problem with Israeli Arabs." According to Sarid, "Netanyahu at Herzliya poured a fuel tanker on the bonfire of relations between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, and a thousand firemen won't be able to put out a fire that one light-hearted man ignited." Netanyahu warned that a Jewish majority was necessary for Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic. "If their numbers will reach 35-40 percent of the country, than the Jewish state will be annulled," he said. He also said that if the Arabs remain at 20 percent of the population but relations are tense and violent, this will also harm the state's democratic fabric. The economy is the single most important factor that will lead to Jews immigrating to Israel, he said. "I go mad when I see that because of low taxation in Moscow, there is now a capital flow there. If we want Jews to come here, we need a flourishing and dynamic economy. If we want Israeli Arabs to integrate, we need a flourishing and dynamic economy." He said it was necessary to improve education standards, especially for Arab citizens. Netanyahu said that the separation fence would also help to prevent a "demographic spillover" of Palestinians from the territories.

Association for Civil Rights in Israel 18 Dec 2003 www.acri.org.il Netanyahu: Israeli Arabs - a demographic problem; ACRI Protests ACRI sent an urgent letter to the Finance Minister to protest his reference to 20% of Israel’s citizens as a “demographic problem”. His comments represent a violation of the basic rights of Israeli Arab citizens to dignity and equality. ACRI conveyed an urgent protest to the Finance Minster, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, in response to his speech (as reported in the Israeli media) this morning, 17.12.03, at the Herzliya conference, in which he referred to the Israeli Arab population as a “demographic problem”. ACRI Director, Rachel Benziman, sent a letter to the minister to strongly protest his reference to a fifth of Israel’s citizens as no more than a “demographic problem”. ACRI demands that Israeli Arab citizens be recognized as human beings that are entitled to all the rights due to any citizen of the state. Comments, like those made by the minister today, fan the flames of hatred, racism, and discrimination that are the daily reality for Israeli Arab citizens, and undermine the basic trust that underpins a democratic society. ACRI cannot overstate the importance of the moral and legal duty of the government to respect all its citizens, to ensure their equal treatment, and to block any attempts to compromise any individual’s status. It is appropriate, ACRI stresses, that the Minister of Finance, a senior government minister and a former prime minister, take a leading role on this issue. ACRI demands the full, immediate, and public retraction of the Finance Minster’s statements.

Japan see United States Los Angeles Times 5 Dec 2003


New Straits Times (Malaysia) 7 Dec 2003 Param: Decision to ratify convention the right move PETALING JAYA, Sat. - Malaysia's decision to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption is a move in the right direction in the fight against graft, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Independence of Judges and Lawyers Datuk Param Cumaraswamy said today. He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's statement to this effect was welcomed by many because of its implications. "We welcome the move as this convention is a landmark instrument complementing the earlier Convention on Transnational Organised Crime," he said after a keynote address at the two-day workshop on the International Criminal Court. The workshop was organised by Education and Research Association for Consumers, Malaysia and Forum Asia Bangkok at a hotel here. He said the ratification of the UN convention strengthened international cooperation in recovery of illicitly acquired assets and their return to the country from which they were stolen. Cumaraswamy also urged the Government to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Rome so that Malaysia could also be among those nations bringing violators of human rights to book. ICC is a permanent independent judiciary body created by the international community of states to prosecute the gravest possible crimes under international laws such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Cumaraswamy said even if Malaysia ratified the Rome Statute, national courts will always have jurisdiction over such criminal cases. He said the ICC would only act when the national courts were unable or unwilling to do so.

Daily Star (Bangladesh) 8 Dec 2003 Merchants of Hate By Naeem Mohaiemen "We don't want to take the law into our own hands, but we don't know what will happen to [Ahmadiyyas]," warned Mamtaji, imam of Rahim Metal Mosque. This was his latest salvo in the recent anti-Ahmadiyya campaign in Bangladesh. I grew up saying jumma prayers at Dhanmondi's Baitul Aman mosque. We had a tolerant, educated imam whose khutbas encouraged Muslims to educate themselves and uplift the community. If we wonder why the Muslim world is in crisis, we only have to look at frauds and illiterates like Mamtaji, busy distorting the true message of Islam and preaching fanaticism, hatred and backwardness. By preaching hatred of Ahmadiyyas, we are following a blueprint carried out to deadly effect in Pakistan since the 1950s. With so many nations to emulate, why are we copying Pakistan-- a textbook case of failed state and banana republic? On August 11, 1947, Jinnah gave a speech at Karachi Club where he said, " You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State." Following this spirit, Pakistan's first foreign minister was Sir Zafrullah Khan, an Ahmadiyya. The 1956 constitution also gave citizens the right to practice, and propagate their religion (Article 20). The Islamic parties had always been suspicious of Jinnah's motives in creating Pakistan, and now they were disappointed. This was not to be a theocratic state at all! In 1948, during a drafting session of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, representatives from Saudi Arabia clashed with Pakistan over Articles 19: freedom to change one’s religion. The furious Saudi delegate had to listen to Zafrullah Khan describe the Article as consistent with Islam’s denunciation of compulsion in religion. This Saudi anger (and possibly money) soon found its way into Pakistan's domestic politics. One year after Zafrullah Khan's clash with the Saudis at the UN, a new group called Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam issued a demand that Khan be removed from the cabinet, and all Ahmadiyyas be declared non-Muslim. These agitations peaked in 1952 with riots in Punjab, and on May 18 Khan resigned from the Basic Principles Committee. The campaign was then intensified by Maulana Maududi's Jama’at-i-Islami, which launched a project to declare Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim, linked to a larger demand for Shari'a law. Prior to the 1958 military coup, the Muslim League and other ruling forces strongly opposed creating a theocratic state. The government therefore fought back aggressively against the anti-Ahmadiyya campaigns, arresting many Jama'at activists. Following the 1958 coup, the “Islamization” of Pakistan’s constitution began. The process often focused on anti-Ahmadiyya laws. In 1962, the Advisory Council for Islamic Ideology added a clause to the constitution: “No law shall be repugnant to the teachings and requirements of Islam." The East Pakistan politicians always acted as a brake on overt Islamicization, as the Bengali population was not (at that time) interested in passing Shari'a laws. However, following the independence of Bangladesh, Pakistan approved a new constitution in 1973, parts of which began implementing the legal machinery of the Shari’a. Following a new wave of anti-Ahmadiyya protests inn 1974, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto introduced Articles 260(3)(a) and (b) into the Constitution, which defined who was a “Muslim" and listed groups that were legally non-Muslim. Ahmadiyyas were now listed in this second group. The process of disenfranchising Ahmadiyyas now had a solid legal basis. Just as Islam was codified as "state religion" in Bangladesh during two military regimes (Zia & Ershad), the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation was solidified in Pakistan during the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In 1978, Haq passed laws creating separate electorate systems for Ahmadiyyas and other "non-Muslims". He then followed this by creating Federal Shari'a Court which helped legalize criminal ordinances targeting religious minorities-- specifically two laws restricting Ahmadiyya activities (Martial Law Ordinance XX, 1984). The final death-knell for Ahmadiyyas came with the Criminal Law Act of 1986 ("Blasphemy Law"), which raised the penalty for blasphemy from imprisonment to death. Because the Ahmadiyya belief in prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad can be defined as "blasphemous" by a Shari'a Court, this law legalized persecution and even execution of the entire Ahmadiyya population. Khan's position as first foreign minister of Pakistan is now a distant memory. Today, Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan cannot announce their faith, pray, build mosques, or give azaan. Even in death, there is no escape from the state-- the law prohibits putting the kolema on an Ahmadiyya's gravestone. Pakistan's only nobel prize winner, Professor Abdus Salam, was persecuted because of his Ahmadiyya faith. Ahmadiyyas are only 3% of Pakistan's population, but 20% of its literate population. In an age when Muslim nations are incredibly backwards in science, technology and education, the peresecution of Ahmadiyyas accelerates our intellectual bankruptcy. In the Prophet (PBUH)'s time, in cities that the Muslim armies took over, non-Muslim populations (including Jews) were treated humanely. How far we have traveled from that tolerant ideal can be seen in the DAILY STAR report (12/6): " They threatened the Ahmadiyyas with arson in symbolic imitation of the burning of the newspaper [Prothom Alo]." If the anti-Ahmadiyya groups are allowed to continue their agitations and threats, Bangladesh will soon slide down the treacherous path Pakistan took with the forced resignation of Zafrullah Khan in 1952. Starting with Ahmadiyya persecution, it is very easy to see that these groups' eventual demand will be Shari'a law. In the last two years, I have been to many rallies in America protesting the targeting of Muslim immigrants. Protestors often carry signs with the Niemoller quote, the one that begins: "In Germany they first came for the Communists..." If we protest the scapegoating of immigrants in America, we must also protest the persecution of minorities in Bangladesh. Otherwise, when the shadowy merchants of hate come for all of us, it will be too late. Pay attention to Pakistan's tragic path, and fight to protect Bangladesh from a similar fate! Acknowledgment: This article made extensive use of research done by Amjad Mahmood Khan, a J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School, Class of '04.

Solomon Islands

AFP 8 Dec 2003 Notorious Solomons militant charged with murder HONIARA, Dec 8 (AFP) - Former Solomon Islands militant leader Andrew Te'e was arrested and charged with three counts of murder Monday, police said. Te'e was the supreme commander of the Isatambu Freedom Movement (IFM) which fought against rival militant group the Malaita Eagle Force during years of civil strife in the Solomons. He was arrested in the village of Pure Pure on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal by police from the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP). He was taken to Honiara and charged. Acting Police Commissioner Ben McDevitt said the arrest showed that the rule of law had returned to Solomon Islands after the ethnic conflict that ended in August with Australian military intervention. "It also sends a very clear message to the community that no one is above the law," McDevitt said. "It does not matter where they are from, or where they reside. If they have committed a crime, all will be treated equally under the law of the Solomon Islands." Te'e was originally aligned with rebel militant leader Harold Keke but they had clashed on numerous occasions since the 2000 coup that overthrew the elected government They became bitter enemies and blamed each other for continuing problems on the Weather Coast over the past eighteen months. "Harold was killing people and we kept arms for our security," Te'e said earlier this year, when trying to justify why his group was armed.

Sri Lanka

AP 27 Nov 2003 Sri Lanka's top rebel leader warns of secession if government oppression of Tamils continues Dilip Ganguly. The leader of Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday threatened to secede and form an independent state in the country's northeast if Sri Lanka's government continues to oppress the Tamil minority. Vellupillai Prabhakaran said he is still open to negotiating a settlement of the civil war that has killed 65,000 people in two decades, but warned that a power struggle between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister was threatening the peace process. Prabhakaran, wearing the Tigers' combat uniform, denied the rebels are rearming but said if the government continues to oppress Tamils and deny them their rights, "we have no alternative other than to secede and form an independent state." Secession would likely re-ignite fighting. Combat has been on hold since a truce in February 2002, but peace talks broke off in April as the rebels demanded more self-governing rights than the government was willing to give. The island's 3.2 million Tamils, who are predominantly Hindu, contend they are discriminated against by Sri Lanka's 14 million Sinhalese, most of whom are Buddhist. "We urge the Sinhala political leadership not to create the objective conditions that would drive our people to seek this ultimate option," Prabhakaran said of the secession threat, in a major policy speech honoring the rebel war dead. Prabhakaran denied charges by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga that the Tamil Tigers' fighting strength has risen to 20,000 from 6,000 since the two sides signed the Norwegian-brokered cease-fire. "These false allegations are leveled against us to tarnish the credibility of our liberation organization and to disrupt the peace process," he said in his speech, broadcast on a private Sri Lankan TV channel. Prabhakaran also accused the military of harassing Tamils and occupying land in the northeast. "Oppressive conditions of alien military occupation prevail here," Prabhakaran said, referring to the presence of an estimated 40,000 Sri Lankan troops in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, the Tamil heartland. "As the military occupation continues in large areas of civilian settlements ... thousands of people are subjected to enormous suffering, denied the right to return to their homes and villages," the rebel leader said. The guerrillas - listed as a terror group by the United States, India and Britain - have in the past demanded a separate Tamil state, but agreed during peace talks to accept autonomy instead. Efforts to persuade the rebels to resume negotiations were set back on Nov. 4 when Kumaratunga wrested control of the ministries of defense, interior and media from her political rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. She accused the prime minister of making too many concessions to the rebels. "The power struggle between the two leaders has resulted in the destabilization of the state and the peace process has come to a standstill," Prabhakaran said.

AFP 1 Dec 2003 Fresh talks fail to end Sri Lanka political impasse COLOMBO, Dec 1 (AFP) - Fresh talks aimed at resolving a bitter power struggle between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister ended Monday without a breakthrough, official sources said. A four-member panel appointed by the two leaders met to find a working arrangement for the uneasy cohabitation between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "They agreed to meet again, but there was no breakthrough," a source close to the president said. "They will, however, try to arrange a meeting between the president and the prime minister later this week." The political impasse saw the Colombo Stock Exchange shed 2.7 percent at close of trading Monday with brokers saying that investors were worried about prospects of a snap poll. Highly placed sources close to both the president and her rival prime minister said they could not rule out a dissolution of parliament anytime after voting on the national budget on December 18. The election prospect re-emerged after the premier's rejection Saturday of a compromise offered by the president to share defence responsibilities and expand the negotiating process with Tamil Tiger rebels to include more parties. The offer, contained in a document leaked by Kumaratunga's office, came after the Tamil Tigers warned Thursday that failure to resolve the ethnic conflict would force the guerrillas to secede. Official sources said Kumaratunga had also wanted the prime minister to withdraw a move to impeach the chief justice, Sarath Silva, who is a personal appointee of the president. The impeachment move comes after the justice's position was criticised by a United Nations special representative on the independence of the judiciary. Norway has suspended its mediation to end Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict, saying there was no clarity as to who was in charge in Colombo after Kumaratunga, a past critic of Oslo's diplomacy, on November 4 sacked three key ministers and shut down parliament for two weeks. The peace process is aimed at ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed more than 60,000 lives.


Telegraph UK 27 Nov 2003 Race report team 'told to change findings on Muslims' By Hannah Cleaver in Berlin (Filed: 27/11/2003) Researchers who found that young Muslims were to blame for many attacks on Jews were told several times by the European Union to change their conclusions, they said yesterday. The charge helped fuel a furious row between the two sides as they traded accusations of bias, incompetence, and lying. The Anti-Semitism Research Institute of Berlin's Technical University was asked last year by the EU's anti-racism body to examine the increase in attacks against Jews across Europe. But the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia has now refused to publish it, claiming that it was too badly written and based on poor information. The report's authors responded yesterday by saying their findings had been shelved because criticism of Muslims did not fit in with the centre's agenda. They had found that young Muslims, particularly immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, were responsible for much of the rise in anti-Semitism. The far-Right and some Left-wing anti-globalisation activists were also partly to blame, they said. As well as physical assaults, they had considered verbal abuse, newsletters, survey findings, newspaper articles and other information, mostly from the centre's databases. Prof Werner Bergmann said the centre repeatedly asked for the draft report to be changed to soften its conclusions about young Muslims. Alterations were also sought when it linked anti-Semitism to both anti-Zionism and criticism of Israeli politics. His co-researcher, Dr Juliane Wetzel, said: "The EUMC didn't want to publish the report because it's not politically correct. The results give the EUMC problems because it wants to protect exactly these groups." But Bob Purkiss, the centre's chairman, insisted that the work was of poor quality - so much so that the centre might try to recover the £4,900 paid for it. "We are studying the contractual arrangements that we had with the Berlin institute to see whether they have fulfilled their contractual obligations and, if not, will be taking the appropriate action with regard to the contract," he said. Mr Purkiss added that the work was never intended for publication, but was supposed to be the basis for a larger study that the centre will conduct next year, with a view to publishing a report then. "The EUMC remains 100 per cent committed to its ongoing research on anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and intolerance." His comments provoked fury in Berlin. Prof Bergmann said: "We were asked to write a report. "It was totally clear that it was for publication. We would not write it for someone else to rewrite and include in something else." He and his staff had had to gather data themselves because of gaps in the centre's information, but both sides had agreed there was enough on which to base the report. A letter from the centre to the research institute in January, headed "Chair's comments on the Anti-Semitism Report", reads: "The EUMC must be seen as bringing groups of people together, not as acting divisively." Under the heading, "Divisive statements" it remarks: "The authors assert a direct connection between anti-Semitism and 'Arab/North African Muslims', 'the Muslim population', 'the Arab-Muslim population', 'young Muslims' in Europe. "The authors assert a direct connections [sic] between anti-Semitism and 'immigrants'." It then says: "All these generalising statements are made despite acknowledgement on the last page that 'the fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination remains a common struggle'. "That Muslims are also targets of racism and religious discrimination is acknowledged only as an aside. "Mention of Muslim people should only be made if it were directly relevant to specific manifestations of anti-Semitism. Any generalisation should be strictly avoided." Prof Bergmann said: "I am also in favour of crimes being dealt with independently of a person's religion, but this was important to our analysis. "Of course these incidents involved for example French citizens, but the fact that they were also immigrants and Muslim was relevant to our study."

JTA 1 Dec 2003 Defying E.U. ban, Jewish groups post report on anti-Semitic attacks By Toby Axelrod BERLIN, Dec. 1 (JTA) — In an act of defiance against the European Union, the main Jewish body in Europe has released an unpublished report that found rising anti-Semitism among Muslims in Europe. Critics who want the study made public said the Vienna-based E.U. Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia was not prepared to deal with the sensitive subject of anti-Semitism among Muslims, who constitute Europe’s largest minority. The E.U. department that commissioned the report said the data was too flawed to publish. “We cannot accept that a study be confiscated on the grounds that it could create tensions,” Serge Cwajgenbaum, secretary general of the European Jewish Congress, told JTA in a telephone interview, explaining the decision by EJC President Coby Benatoff to release the report without E.U. permission. The furor that emerged last week around the E.U. decision to withhold the report reflects increasing concern among European Jewish groups for their safety. It also raises questions about the transparency of an organization that is meant to fight discrimination against all minorities in Europe. The report was prepared last year for the Monitoring Center, but it was not released after its completion in February, and the Monitoring Center disclosed recently that it was preparing a new report to replace the first one. Those who released the report into the public arena insist they are not trying to spread fear. “Most of the Muslims in Europe, and particularly in France, are not anti-Semitic,” said Francois Zimeray, a French member of the E.U. Parliament. “They are looking for integration for themselves and they are looking for peace in the Middle East.” But, he said, “this study shows how deep the link is in Europe between criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. It also shows how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fuels anti-Semitism and how this conflict is used by some to organize the revival of old European Christian anti-Semitic myths.” Cwajgenbaum said other attempts to address the problem of growing anti-Semitism had failed. “We have approached governments on a national level and on a European level,” he said. “And in spite of good will and good intentions, the result is that Jews are still being threatened, which means that more has to be done. And this is one of the reasons why,” he said, the EJC “decided to circulate this document.” The report, “Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union,” prepared by Berlin’s Center for Research on Anti-Semitism for the Monitoring Center, has been withheld for the past 10 months. The Monitoring Center insists it withheld the report on the basis of quality. It is preparing a fuller report to be released in early 2004. But critics suspect the real reason for withholding the report is political. The research team that prepared the report, Juliane Wetzel and Werner Bergmann, have said as much. Finished just before the war in Iraq began last spring, the report found an increase in anti-Semitic crimes committed by Europeans of Arab or Muslim background, as well as by some left-wing extremists and anti-globalization activists. The European Jewish Congress would not say how it obtained a copy of the report, which it released Monday in English on the official Web site of the French Jewish community, www.crif.org. It was expected to be available on the Web sites of Jewish organizations in all 15 E.U. member countries. The World Jewish Congress joined in the effort almost immediately. “We are e-mailing it to virtually anyone we know,” Elan Steinberg, the WJC’s executive vice president, said in an interview. “We think the suppression of this study was an act of intellectual dishonesty and moral treachery, and if the E.U. won’t release its own poll, we will do it for them.” The report not only focuses on sources of anti-Semitism, but “also urges the governments of Europe to act,” Zimeray said. “This is why it is not acceptable to know that this report has been kept secret for so long.” The release of the report came two days after Zimeray, who is Jewish, disseminated excerpts via e-mail. Zimeray would not go into detail about how he got the report, but said it did not come from the Berlin institute that prepared it. He said he had urged the Monitoring Center to release the study before taking measures into his own hands. Zimeray said he intends to follow up with the Monitoring Center. “I want to know why this report was sleeping in their offices since February 2003,” he said. “I want to know why transparency hasn’t been the policy of this institute. And I want written answers to these questions.” Neither the institute nor the Monitoring Center could be reached for comment Monday. The 105-page report found an “increasing number of anti-Semitic attacks, committed frequently by young Arabs/Muslims and by far-right extremists” in most E.U. member countries. The rise in attacks “was accompanied by a sharp criticism of Israeli politics across the entire political spectrum, a criticism that in some cases employed anti-Semitic stereotypes,” the report states. In another section, the report says that “observers point to an ‘increasingly blatantly anti-Semitic Arab and Muslim media,’ including audio tapes and sermons, in which the call is not only made to join the struggle against Israel but also against Jews across the world. Although leading Muslim organizations express their opposition to this propaganda, observers assume that its calling for the use of violence may exert a certain influence on readers and listeners.” Bergmann and Wetzel were warned that their report might be seen as making negative generalizations about Muslims in Europe. But the report cites several examples of Muslim-Jewish cooperation and Muslim condemnation of anti-Semitic acts, and also notes that Muslims often are victims of prejudice themselves. “Of course we have some Muslim activists who are very anti-Semitic,” Zimeray said, “ but the majority are looking for peace, and that is a good reason to have hope.” Cwajgenbaum said the EJC is planning to organize discussions among Jews, Christians and Muslims in early 2004, preferably in Turkey. .

See Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (www.crif.org) http://www.crif.org/index.php?dossier=33&menu=5

European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) 2 Dec 2003 Media Release: EU anti-racism body rejects allegations of “shelved” anti-Semitism report – Report to be published in early 2004 [Media Release available in all official languages of the EU eumc.eu.int/eumc/index.php


AZG Armenian Daily #228 - 11/12/2003 ARSHILE GORKY TO 'COME' HOME 2004 will mark the birthday centenary of the prominent Armenian painter Arshile Gorky. New York, the place where the Armenian painter lived and worked most of his life after escaping 1915 Armenian genocide, plans to hold a great exhibition of his works. Also, New York based 'Parrar Straus & Zhiru' publishing house has already issue3d a work of Hayden Herrera named 'Arshile Gorky'. Gorky is not forgotten in the Armenia proper as well. The Mother See Holy Etchmiadzin, headed by the All Armenian Catholicos Karekin II have come up with an initiative to open a museum dedicated to Gorky, which will be located right next to the Catholicos' headquarters. A momentum for the initiative served the sister of the eminent painter, Varduhi. She has been in constant contact with the All Armenian Catholicos for some time, apart from letters sending several works of Gorky to Karekin II. After her son died, Ms. Varduhi bequeathed around 50 works of her brother she had in her possession to the Armenian Church. She had a wish that these works will be exhibited in the museum named after Arshile Gorky. The works were first kept at the Lisbon's Kyulpenkian organization, but was taken back to New York to be transported to Armenia. Karekin II plans to bring the 'exiled' works to homeland, and give them shelter at a museum to be reconstructed and furnished by a New Jersey Armenian Sargis Petevian. The 50 works of Arshile Gorky will be brought to Armenia at the beginning of 2004, and the eminent Armenian painter will at last feel at home. Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) was born Vosdanik Adoyan in the village of Khorkom, province of Van, Western Armenia, on April 15, 1904. The Adoyans became refugees from the Turkish invasion; Gorky himself left Van in 1915 and arrived in the United States about March 1, 1920. He stayed with relatives in Watertown, Massachusetts, and with his father, who had settled in Providence, Rhode Island. By 1922 he lived in Watertown and taught at the New School of Design in Boston. In 1925 he moved to New York and changed his name to Arshile Gorky. He entered the Grand Central School of Art in New York as a student but soon became an instructor of drawing; from 1926 to 1931 he was a member of the faculty. Throughout the 1920s Gorky's painting was influenced by Georges Braque, Paul Cùzanne, and, above all, Pablo Picasso. In 1930 Gorky's work was included in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His first solo show took place at the Mellon Galleries in Philadelphia in 1931. And his first solo show in New York was held at the Boyer Galleries in 1938. The San Francisco Museum of Art exhibited his work in 1941. In the 1940s he was profoundly affected by the work of European Surrealists, particularly Joan Mirº, Andrù Masson, and Matta. By 1944 he met Andrù Breton and became a friend of other Surrealist emigrùs in this country. Gorky's first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York took place in 1945. From 1942 to 1948 he worked for part of each year in the countryside of Connecticut or Virginia. A succession of personal tragedies, including a fire in his studio that destroyed much of his work, a serious operation, and an automobile accident, preceded Gorky's death by suicide on July 21, 1948, in Sherman, Connecticut. The techniques and content of Surrealism influenced the development of Gorky's language of free, organic, vitally curvilinear forms. Gorky enmeshes his forms with one another to create the overall structure. Textured, insubstantial clouds of color occasionally pertain to the graphic form they accompany, but more often are independent elements. The curves, inflection, and directionality of Gorky's line likewise free it from descriptive function. In his emphasis on the autonomous expressive potential of line, form, and color, Gorky anticipated the concerns of Abstract Expressionism, a New York based Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum art critic Lucy Flint says. Gorky was one of the pioneers of the Abstract Expressionism, together with Jackson Pollock, William Baziotes, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Robert Motherwell. His most famous work is the one named 'Painter and his mother', made in 1933.


Reuters 26 Dec 2003 Bosnia Serbs set up body to investigate Srebrenica By Dragana Dardic BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Bosnia's Serb half set up a long-delayed commission to investigate the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe's worst atrocity after World War Two in which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. After a two-month search for candidates, the Serb Republic's government named five Serbs late on Thursday to work with an international appointee and a Muslim appointee chosen by top peace overseer Paddy Ashdown. The Serb Republic has been criticised for reluctance to face up to what war crimes investigators say were summary executions by Serb forces in July 1995 in the former U.N. "safe area". Commission members appointed by the government included a judge, a former supreme court judge and a lawyer. Ashdown named the head of the Bosnian office of the International Commission on Missing Persons and a war crimes investigator. Ashdown's office declined to comment on the appointments, but said the commission needed to act with integrity and complete the job by spring. Banja Luka-based political analyst Tanja Topic said none of the government-appointed members was a publicly tainted figure and added she believed they were vetted by Ashdown. Massacre survivors, however, cast doubt on the authorities' commitment to genuinely investigate the crime. Survivors' association member Kada Hotic said, "Only Western pressure will force the commission to truly investigate what happened." The Serb authorities have been protecting each other over the massacre for years, Hotic added. "The truth can be made public in five days. The Hague (U.N. war crimes court) has proved most of the things and also there is a lot of documentation the government has," she said. Several people have been sentenced by the court for their roles in the crime but its masterminds, wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic, remain at large. After a government report last year which played down the Srebrenica death toll, Bosnia's top human rights body ordered the Serb Republic government last March to compensate victims' families and reveal all information about the atrocity. The government produced another report this year and pledged to form the commission and come up with findings in nine months. But Ashdown said in October the government was still holding back information and gave the commission a six-month deadline. Topic said the biggest problem the government of Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic faced in getting the public to speak out about the massacre was a lack of support from civic institutions and non-governmental organisations.

Christian Science Monitor 12/23/2003 Bosnia to try its war criminals, but is new court up to the job? By BETH KAMPSCHROR SARAJEVO, BOSNIA - The physical scars of Bosnia's devastating civil war are slowly beginning to fade. Harder to eradicate is the deep distrust of efforts to prosecute individuals for the ethnic violence that left 200,000 dead. Until now, a UN tribunal in The Hague has handled such prosecutions. But with the international panel under pressure to wrap up within seven years, Bosnia's new state court is being tapped to take over. The short-term hope is that some of the scores of people thought to have committed murder, torture, and rape during the war from 1992 to 1995 will be brought to account. But in the long run, many observers hope that the court will strengthen confidence in Bosnia's ability to handle its own problems. Bosnia's ability to hold fair trials is "a basic prerequisite for the rule of law and (is essential) if justice is to be seen to apply equally and to all," says Oleg Milisic, a spokesman for Bosnia's top international official, Paddy Ashdown. "Ultimately, the confidence ... citizens have in their own justice system, and therefore their own state, is directly proportional to the justice system's ability to deal fairly and properly with these most terrible crimes." The UN tribunal has tried more than 40 people since being established in The Hague in 1993. But its slow pace and its $120 million annual price tag have spurred the UN Security Council and the Bush administration to ask the court to finish trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010. The strategy is to continue to try leaders such as former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, while deferring lower-level cases to Bosnia, says Refik Hodzic, the tribunal's Sarajevo spokesman. Local courts have already tried some cases, but have been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty International for endless delays, and for not protecting witnesses from threats or intimidation. Bosnians question the local courts' impartiality. But the war-crimes chamber would be a component of the state court that opened in January as part of Mr. Ashdown's attempt to bring both jobs and justice to Bosnians. Ashdown has also been purging the judiciary of corrupt and incompetent prosecutors and judges, and has imposed tough new criminal codes. It's a sharp contrast from the early postwar years, when Bosnia's two entities - the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serb Republic - had more power than the federal state, with their own high courts, militaries, police forces, and customs agencies. International donors have already pledged the first $18 million of the estimated $44.5 million that the new chamber needs over five years. The panel is supposed to be taking cases by late 2004. But people like Jovo Janjic, a Serbs rights advocate in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza, are skeptical. "I don't have great trust in the court, at least at this moment, because the courts that should have done this by now were formed on ethnic lines," he says, referring to the local courts that have tried war-crimes cases. Mr. Janjic's office is just blocks from the former front line, where a once-grand, tree-lined boulevard lies deserted, the windows of its Austro-Hungarian spa hotels shattered or boarded up. Nearby buildings are wrapped in red tape warning of land mines. Janjic says the chamber would be more trustworthy if it used foreign judges. And that's the plan. For the first five years, panels of foreign judges and prosecutors will work with Bosnians, taking cases deferred by the UN tribunal or its prosecutors, or new cases approved by the tribunal. By using foreigners for the first few years, the Bosnian war-crimes court will mirror a state court department that's been open since March, prosecuting mafia groups that engage in smuggling and trafficking in women. One of the department's four foreign prosecutors said it was too soon to say whether it has been successful. "It's a legal adventure," says Canadian prosecutor Jonathan Ratel, adding that the "huge question" is the state court's lack of a police force. Without such a force, the war-crimes chamber will be hard-pressed to collect documents, protect witnesses or judges, or punish nationalist politicians trying to interfere with the court. But any international moves to create a state police force may meet with resistance. Nationalists - Serbs in particular, since they fought the war for Bosnian territory and consider their entity a state within a state - want to keep a weaker central structure. Some people say that, even if there are convictions, the local trials may not persuade people in Bosnia that genocide and similar crimes actually occurred during the war. Jakob Finci is a local Jewish leader who has been trying to establish a truth and reconciliation commission similar to South Africa's for several years. Local war-crimes trials, he says, won't do much for truth-seeking while Bosnia's Croats, Muslims, and Serbs cannot see that their side committed atrocities. "Because of our history, I don't think that the courts are really accepted as independent institutions. Even The Hague is only accepted when they aren't investigating 'our own' people," Mr. Finci says. Still, Bosnians hope to see justice served. "There's no peace while criminals are walking free," says Mr. Janjic in Ilidza. Refugees won't return home while the people who drove them away are still around, and he says, "That's the final point of ethnic cleansing.


NYT 12 Dec 2003 Ban Religious Attire in School, French Panel Says By ELAINE SCIOLINO PARIS, Dec. 11 — A report delivered to President Jacques Chirac on Thursday called for a new law banning the wearing of "conspicuous" religious symbols in French public schools — large crosses for Christians, head scarves for Muslim girls, or skullcaps for Jewish boys. The recommendation was the most striking in an official reassessment of how to preserve the principle of the separation of religion and state in France in light of such developments as the rise of a large Muslim population and a new wave of anti-Semitism. That principle, the report said, would be guaranteed by impartiality and the banning of all conspicuous religious symbols in official institutions, but individuals using those institutions would not be barred from wearing "discreet symbols like, for example, medallions, small crosses, Stars of David, hands of Fatima, or small Korans." In today's France, no social issue provokes more emotion and debate and cuts across political lines more sharply than the Islamic veil. This week's Elle magazine, for example, printed an open letter to Mr. Chirac signed by leading French women — Muslim and non-Muslim — calling for an outright ban. The report, prepared by an independent commission appointed by the government, also recommended that public schools add Jewish and Muslim holidays to the Christian holidays now observed, a move so far untested in Europe, and to provide special meals for Jews and Muslims in school cafeterias. In addition, employers were urged to allow employees to choose the religious holidays they take off — for example, Yom Kippur for Jews, Id al-Kebir for Muslims or the Orthodox Christmas for Orthodox Christians. The 67-page report is the work of a 20-member commission of religious leaders, teachers, politicians and sociologists that was created in July by Mr. Chirac. It is certain to intensify rather than quiet the increasingly shrill debate in France over the intrusion of religion into public institutions as the country struggles to retain the ideal of strict separation between religion and state it codified into law a century ago. The report highlights the challenges that France, like much of Europe, faces in coming to grips with Islam. In one measure of the significance of the report, Le Monde published it in its entirety in an eight-page supplement. The report's whole tenor indicated that the state intends to reassert what it regards as its traditional right to pronounce on how religion influences public life in France. The commission said that a 1905 law codifying the separation of church and state was no longer adequate given the cultural and religious composition of present-day France. It said that organized groups were testing the secular state by demands on public services in the name of religion and pressuring Muslims to identify first with their faith and then with their French citizenship. "In one century, because of immigration, French society has become diverse in terms of its spiritual and religious aspect," the report said. "The challenge today is to give space to new religions while at the same time to succeed in integration and struggle against political-religious manipulation." Bernard Stasi, a former education minister who headed the commission, said at a news conference announcing its conclusions that the commission had been "astonished to see that the situation was more serious than what we previously thought." "There are without any doubt forces in France that try to destabilize the republic, and it's time for the republic to react," he said. Currently, there is no uniform regulation on wearing veils in public schools. A ruling in 1989 by France's Council of State declared that religious symbols could not be worn in public schools if they "constitute an act of intimidation, provocation, proselytizing or propaganda," threaten health, security or the freedom of others or "disturb order." Mr. Chirac will decide next Wednesday whether to accept the commission's recommendations, including whether to support a law banning head scarves in schools. Some opponents of a ban argue that it will harden the ideological battle lines and spawn the establishment of private Islamic schools that will be hard for the state to monitor. Many French Muslims defend the wearing of the veil as a religious obligation dictated by the Koran. Supporters of a ban say that it is the only way to stop what they see as increasing demands by France's large Muslim community for special privileges, like the separation of men and women in public swimming pools and treatment of female patients exclusively by female doctors. The open letter in Elle said, "The Islamic veil sends us all — Muslims and non-Muslims — back to a discrimination against women that is intolerable." It was signed by dozens of prominent women, including the actresses Isabelle Adjani and Nathalie Baye; the historian Elisabeth Badinter; the writer Catherine Millet; and the fashion designer Sonia Rykiel. Among the Muslim signers was Fadela Amara, founder of Ni Putes ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Doormats), a movement that represents women from the immigrant suburbs of Paris. By contrast, a letter this week from the Council of Christian Churches, representing Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Protestants, warned that any law banning the Islamic head scarf "would be felt as discriminatory." One motivating factor behind the declaration was that the wearing of crosses would most likely also be banned. Some conservative politicians, like Christine Boutin, a deputy in Parliament, oppose a ban because, as she argues, it is better to "trivialize" the veil and get used to it rather than "stigmatize" it and make it more of a crisis. Even within the French government, there are deep divisions. Mr. Chirac has made no secret of his opposition to head scarves in schools, telling students at the French high school in Tunis last week that he saw "something aggressive" in the wearing of Muslim veils and pledging that the French state would forbid students to wear what he called "ostentatious signs of religious proselytism." By contrast, France's interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, opposes such a law, arguing that an outright ban would represent "secular fundamentalism." Rémy Schwartz, the commission's secretary, said at Thursday's news conference that members were shocked in the course of their hearings to find that some Muslim girls said they were pressured into wearing veils by family and "outside groups," a reference to Muslims who advocate strict religious practices. "Many asked for protection from the state, that the state forbid the wearing of religious symbols in school to guarantee their protection and their individual freedom," Mr. Schwartz said. The report also dealt with issues much broader than women wearing a veil. Among them was the issue of pressure brought by some Muslim prison inmates on other prisoners to insist their families wear "religiously correct" clothing during visits, and demanding strict religious observance while in prison. The report also touched on the different religious traditions in burying the dead and religious prejudices in everyday French life like the de facto job discrimination against candidates of foreign origin or foreign parentage. It also addressed the anti-Semitic sentiment among alienated Muslim youth and the hostility in some schools toward the teaching of the Holocaust. Other topics in the report were related to health and education issues, like the refusal by some Muslim women to be treated by male doctors, and the refusal by some girls taking first aid courses to give emergency treatment to male accident victims. Another part of the report dealt with social differences like the refusal of some Muslim women to shake hands with men. Among the report's other recommendations were: the development of Arabic language programs in public schools; the creation of a national school for Islamic studies; the recruitment of Muslim chaplains in the armed forces, prisons and hospitals; the elimination of "urban ghettos," neighborhoods heavily populated with one ethnic group, through urban renewal projects; the teaching of the ideal of secularism and the "solemn adoption" of what will be called a "charter of secularism" to explain the republican ideal of the secular state.

The Providence Journal 22 Dec 2003 www.projo.com Opinion: After years of debate and a six-month study, a French government commission has recommended, and President Jacques Chirac has endorsed, a ban on "conspicuous" religious clothing in public schools. The ban would include large Christian crosses and the Jewish yarmulke, or skullcap. But the impetus behind the proposal is the increasing use of the headscarf by Islamic girls. The stated purpose of the proposed ban is to uphold national unity by supporting a secular tradition dating from the French Revolution. The real reason may have been revealed by Bernard Stasi, the head of the commission, when he noted that France needs to counter "forces trying to destabilize the country." He meant Muslim extremists. Religious symbols can, of course, be turned to dangerous purposes. But that does not make the symbols themselves evil, nor the act of suppressing them anything but counterproductive. Preventing devout Christians, Jews and Muslims from exercising conscience in the appointments they wear is not likely to discourage extremism; it is likely to encourage it. France has an unfortunate history of suppressing minority groups in the name of national unity. In the 1920s, the education minister famously stated: "Pour l'unité de la France, c'est nécessaire que la langue bretonne disparaisse!" ("For the unity of France, it is necessary that the Breton language disappear!") Today, we would call that sentiment a form of cultural genocide; regrettably, the campaign to eradicate a language descended from the ancient Gauls was partly successful. A wiser course for France in the 21st Century would be to treat crimes as crimes and political extremism as political extremism, but not to try to suppress religious expression. .


AFP 7 Dec 2003 Georgia's rose revolution turns thorny as blasts rock capital by Nikolai Topuria TBILISI, Dec 7 (AFP) - An outbreak of bomb blasts and shootings in Georgia has left many in the turbulent former Soviet republic fearing that its "rose revolution," which ousted the government with hardly a drop of blood spilt two weeks ago, may have been too good to be true. The attacks have prompted warnings that Georgia may still be dragged into the civil war it thought it had avoided when president Eduard Shevardnadze bowed to massive protests and stepped down from office. There is no clear picture of who is behind the violence and many of the targets have in fact been members of the ousted regime. But there is feverish speculation that diehard Shevardnadze loyalists could be trying to mount a counter-revolution. The attacks are the work of "our opponents... who want to blow up Georgia," said Mikhail Saakashvili, the man who led Shevardnadze's overthrow and is now favourite to become Georgia's new president in January 4 elections. The wave of violence began with a bomb blast outside the headquarters of the Labour Party in the capital, Tbilisi. The party's leader opposed the revolution and has described Georgia's new leadership as "imposters." A sniper's bullet came close to killing Irina Sarishvili, a former Shevardnadze ally who had reported receiving threatening phone calls during the week prior. A company premises owned by the wife of another associate of the former president, Vakhtang Rcheushvili, was trashed. The latest incident was a night-time explosion outside the state television station on December 3, which blew out window panes and ruptured water pipes. No one was hurt in any of the attacks. One interior ministry official, who did not want to be identified, said there have been other incidents too, but "there is an unwritten order to keep quiet about the situation across the country in order not to provoke panic." The tense atmosphere in Tbilisi is in stark contrast to the mass euphoria of two weeks ago. After weeks of protests sparked by a rigged parliamentary election, crowds stormed the parliament building and the presidential administration. An embattled Shevardnadze resigned, and an interim government made up of opposition leaders who spearheaded the protests and were once his proteges, took over. The "rose revolution" -- so called because of the flowers brandished by protesters to underline its non-violent nature -- was welcomed enthusiastically by the international community. Theories abound about who is behind the bombings and shootings. Opponents of the new regime say they are being made the target of a murderous witch-hunt. Some say the attacks are just petty score-settling by local politicians or a turf war among organised crime gangs. Another theory has Shevardnadze loyalists orchestrating the attacks to discredit the new government and sabotage the elections. "Many people feel extremely threatened by the prospect of Saakashvili coming to power," said Ghia Nodia, a respected political analyst in Tbilisi. "The people who are... now in opposition and used to be in government are very angry about what happened but they do not have popular support to mobilise, so a string of terrorist acts is likely." Whoever is to blame, the attacks highlight the fact that away from the jubilation on the streets of Tbilisi that greeted Shevardnadze's fall, not everyone has embraced the revolution. Businessmen and officials who got rich from dealings with the old regime now face jail in a promised crackdown on corruption. Separatist regimes in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Adjara are also jittery about Saakashvili coming to power. Even some of Shevardnadze's political opponents complain bitterly that they have been sidelined by Saakashvili and a coterie of supporters. More attacks are expected. State security agents said last week they had seized an arms cache containing 200 kilograms of C-4, a powerful plastic explosive. The television station bomb, by contrast, used only 200 grams of explosive. "Unfortunately, there are suspicions that there are more such caches on Georgian territory," said Security Minister Valery Khaburzania.

Reuters 22 Dec 2003 Georgians Observe Stalin's Birthday By REUTERS GORI, Georgia, Dec. 21 (Reuters) — Die-hard supporters of Stalin, a tiny minority throughout the former Soviet states, marched on Sunday to mark the 124th anniversary of his birth in Georgia. A handful of his modern-day supporters gather twice each year at the family home of Iosif Dzhugashvili — Stalin's real name — to mark his birth and death. His death on March 5, 1953, gave rise to stampedes in panic among crowds of mourners in Moscow, causing the deaths of hundreds of people. About 100 admirers of Stalin, who initially studied to be an Orthodox priest, held aloft red flags and marched down the main street here. They laid a modest wreath at a monument to Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1924 until 1953. They also denounced Eduard A. Shevardnadze, the former Soviet foreign minister who led Georgia for most of the post-Communist period but quit the presidency last month after weeks of street protests, and the candidates seeking to replace him. Stalin was held responsible for millions of deaths. The first revelations concerning his rule were made by Khrushchev in 1956. Human rights groups like Memorial unearthed new facts in the perestroika period under Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980's. The modern Communist Parties in former Soviet states say they support democracy and market economics, though Gennadi A. Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian party, still praises Stalin as an important historical figure.


Deutsche Welle 4 Dec 2003 www.dw-world.de German Justice Pursues Argentina's Killers Wanted in Germany A German court has issued an arrest warrant for former Argentinian president Jorge Videla, who, along with other high-ranking military officers, may have been behind the deaths of two Germans. Human rights organizations estimate that more than 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and killed between 1976 and 1983 under Argentina's military dictatorship. The regime systematically carried out kidnappings meant to keep Argentinians in a permanent state of fear and terror. In addition to the Argentinian victims, as many as 100 Germans and people of German origin were killed. For nearly five years now, public prosecutors in Nuremberg have been investigating 69 members of Argentina's military dictatorship who are thought to have played a role in the murders of German citizens. On Wednesday they went a step further by issuing an arrest warrant for former Argentinian President Jorge Videla, the former commander-in-chief of the Navy, Emilio Massera, and Gen. Carlos Guillermo Suarez Mason, formerly head of an army corps division. The three men have been linked to the murders of German student Klaus Zieschank and sociologist Elisabeth Käsemann in the 1970s. "The accused didn't themselves shoot," Bernhard Wankel, a spokesman for the Nuremberg public prosecutor's office told DW-WORLD. But they can be tried for "indirect guilt." They were in charge of an apparatus whose aim and function led automatically to the victims being killed, the Nuremberg prosecutors stated in a press release. Buenos Aires will likely refuse extradition But the three men, all of whom are in their late seventies, are unlikely to face a trial in Germany. First, the German government must decide whether it will request the men's extradition, which the Argentinian authorities may refuse. Officials with the human rights organization Cels in Buenos Aires quoted by the news agency DPA said they believed the request would be rejected. Several months ago, current Argentinean President Nestor Kirchner, himself a torture victim, lifted amnesty laws that protected crimes committed under the military dictatorship. The move gave Argentinean public prosecutors the freedom to investigate the offenses, including those Videla, Massera and Suarez Mason are accused of having committed. The three have already been put in pre-trial detention, which due to their age, was later changed to house arrest. Observers say the government would prefer to have the accused tried at home. Suarez Mason and two other high-ranking military officers already avoided a previous extradition effort in 2001 when the government refused to honor a request from the Nuremberg court. "The Argentinean Supreme Court has never said whether the refusal of the extradition request was legal," Wankel said. Suarez Mason was one of the most important actors in the military dictatorship. He oversaw the illegal arrests and was in charge of more than 360 secret torture centers. The German arrest warrant for him has been expanded. Impunity for heinous crimes Munich student Klaus Zieschank went to Buenos Aires as a 24-year-old in 1976 to do an internship. Two days after the March 24 military coup, he was kidnapped. Zieschank was tortured and he was killed in May 1977. His body was thrown into the open sea from a military plane, like those of thousands of others. Elisabeth Käsemann, who was then 29, worked as a sociologist in the poor neighborhoods of the Argentinean capital. She was kidnapped by Argentinean security forces in March 1977 and tortured. She was killed by gunshot wounds from close proximity to the neck and back. So far, the only successful conviction imposed on Videla has been child abduction, the only offense he has been accused of that was not protected by the amnesty. More than 500 children whose parents were killed in the torture centers were forcefully adopted by members of the military. The Coalition Against Impunity, a German organization made up of human rights activists, church representatives and lawyers that started legal action on behalf of the victims' families, welcomed the decision to issue the arrest warrants. "It's not a surprise for us, but we still see it as a great success," Wolfgang Kaleck, one of the coalition's lawyers told DW-WORLD. But Kaleck said he is disappointed that legal proceedings against Juan Tasselkraut, a former Mercedes Benz plant manager in Argentina, have been suspended. He has been accused of denouncing outspoken shop stewards to the military. At least 15 shop stewards from the Buenos Aires factory disappeared during the military dictatorship. As Argentina works to put its troublesome past behind it, families of German victims of the regime also continue to seek justice and resolution. Though "we will never know who fired the shots" at Zieschank and Käsemann, Wankel said, "we have the people who pulled the strings." Steffen Leidel

JTA 30 Nov 2003 Anti-Semitic speech in Germany prompts lawmakers to hold debate By Toby Axelrod BERLIN, Nov. 30 (JTA) — German lawmakers will convene a parliamentary debate on how Germany should respond to anti-Semitism following a recent scandal over an anti-Semitic speech by a legislator from the Christian Democratic Party. Proposed last week by members of the government’s coalition partners — the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party — the plan for the debate, scheduled for Dec. 11, quickly won the support pf Parliament’s other main parties. “The idea is to have a two-hour debate on what we can and should do against anti-Semitism in Germany, and how we,” in Parliament, “are defining ourselves with respect to extremist points of view,” said Sebastian Edathy, the deputy speaker on domestic affairs of the Social Democrats, the party of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The debate comes amid debate in the European Union on how to curb anti-Semitism, which has increased across the continent since the Palestinian intifada started three years ago. “It would be wrong to have a discussion only be about Hohmann,” said Christian Democrat representative Reinhard Grindel, referring to lawmaker Martin Hohmann, whose speech sparked the controversy. In the Oct. 3 speech, Hohmann suggested that Jews are a “nation of perpetrators” and cited “The International Jew,” an anti-Semitic tract once disseminated by Henry Ford. The remarks sparked a debate in Germany about the penetration of right-wing extremist ideologies into mainstream parties, and Hohmann was ousted from his party as a result. Parliament members must “draw a clear boundary between conservative views that are acceptable, and right-wing extremist views from which we must distance ourselves,” said Grindel, a co-sponsor of the call for a debate in Parliament. “And the second question is, how can we more successfully confront anti-Semitic ideas that reach into society?” “Hohmann is only a symptom,” Edathy said. “He would not have made such a speech if he did not expect sympathy among his audience.” Edathy said he had received numerous letters, including at least one personal threat, after he publicly criticized Hohmann. “I just filed a case against someone who actually threatened to beat me up,” Edathy said. Grindel said most of his mail on Hohmann was from writers asking for leniency for the politician. But “we had many talks with Hohmann and he had the chance to make it clear, to distance himself from the speech,” Grindel noted. Hohmann refused to do so, insisting he had been speaking the truth. The announcement about the upcoming debate came as the E.U. Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia defends its decision to withhold a report indicating that most anti-Semitic crimes in Europe in the spring of 2002 were committed by Muslims. Critics say the E.U. body was reluctant to release a report critical of Muslims. Such reluctance is unacceptable, Grindel said, adding that anti-Semitism must be confronted “from wherever it emerges,” even when “it is related to radical Islamists of foreign origin.” He also said it is important to make a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and anti-Semitic statements. The problem revealed by the Hohmann case is, he said, that too many Germans fall back on putting other people down in order to raise their own self-esteem. “We need, if you will, a new debate about values, about national pride in Germany, and what that means,” Grindel said. “On the one hand, a clear recognition of the history and the responsibility that one takes from that history, and on the other hand, to allow a certain pride in the achievements of the postwar years.” Meanwhile, Hohmann reportedly has decided to fight in court to retain his membership in the Christian Democratic Party.

European Roma Rights Center (errc.org) 27 Nov 2003 European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) Legal Action against Macedonia at the European Court of Human Rights Challenges Forced Expulsion of Kosovar Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptians to Kosovo 27 November 2003 On 27 November 2003, the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) filed a pre-application letter with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against Macedonia, one of a number of European countries currently exerting intense pressure or actively moving to expel forcibly Kosovo Romani, Egyptian and Ashkali refugees to Kosovo or to Serbia and Montenegro. On the occasion of the filing, ERRC Legal Director Branimir Plese said: "We look to the European Court to act now to make clear that in the current circumstances, forcible expulsions of Roma and others regarded as 'Gypsies' in Kosovo are far beyond the pale of legality." Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptians suffered a campaign of ethnic cleansing by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo beginning in 1999, resulting in the displacement within or expulsion from Kosovo of tens of thousands of persons, as well as "disappearances" (of persons now presumed dead), gang rape, and mass destruction or confiscation of property. Today, Kosovo remains an extremely unsafe place for persons regarded as "Gypsies". Indeed, in recent months intergovernmental authorities involved in the governance of Kosovo have registered a dramatic rise in racially motivated attacks against minorities in Kosovo, including a number of killings. Arson, grenade and other attacks on building projects aimed at minority return are reportedly very frequent - and are so commonplace that they are not even listed as "serious crimes" by some intergovernmental monitoring agencies. To date, according to UNMIK and OSCE officials, no prosecutions of perpetrators of racially motivated crimes against Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptians have ever taken place, either in connection with the events of 1999 or for any of the extremely serious incidents taking place subsequently. Despite the extremity of the situation in Kosovo, driven by xenophobic publics, the governments of a number of European states have undertaken forced expulsions of Roma, Ashkalia and/or Egyptians to Kosovo in recent months, and others have stated their intention to begin doing so soon. In the instant case, Mr Dzavit Berisa and his wife Mrs Bajlie Haljiti are Kosovar Egyptians, and although their mother tongue is Albanian, they were regarded by ethnic Albanians as having collaborated with the Yugoslav regime, a stigma which Roma, Egyptians, Ashkaelia and other persons regarded as "Gypsies" in Kosovo have had to bear. Mr Berisa was an activist for the Egyptian community of Kosovo and, since 1994, he has been a member of the Egyptian Association of Kosovo. The Berisa family left their hometown of Obilic due to threats from their Albanian neighbours, who promised to kill them if they did not leave the village within 24 hours. Mr. Berisa and his wife fled Kosovo to Macedonia, where they arrived on September 20, 1999, and where they were granted humanitarian status. On April 4, 2001, Mr. Berisa was offered a job as an interpreter for the KFOR military units in Kosovo. He agreed to join a voluntary repatriation program to Kosovo and his wife followed him five months later. For approximately one year, Mr. Berisa faced serious discrimination at the work place until he was fired by his ethnic Albanian supervisor on racial grounds. On May 20, 2002, Mr. Berisa was violently assaulted by Albanian extremists. Finally, after receiving subsequent additional threats, including telephone threats and stones thrown at his house, on June 1, 2002, he fled Kosovo with his wife for the second time and joined other members of their family, who were by then living in Macedonia. On June 19, 2002, they applied for asylum with the Section for Aliens and Immigration Issues of the Macedonian Ministry of Interior. Their appeals were rejected repeatedly by Macedonian asylum authorities and ultimately by the Macedonian Supreme Court. On May 29, 2003, they were notified that they must leave Macedonia within 30 days or face forcible expulsion. On September 15, 2003, Mr Berisa and his wife were detained in the street and taken to the police station in the town of Bitola, southern Macedonia. They were not allowed to call their lawyer and at around 6 p.m., after they had been sentenced for illegally trying to cross the border, they were put in a car and forcibly expelled from Macedonia. As a result of this expulsion the Berisa family was exposed to violence in Kosovo and the failure to be protected from violence, as well as to inadequate housing, medical care and employment opportunities, along with abject poverty and severe discrimination. In view of the obvious inability of the Macedonian legal system to hear and decide fairly in asylum cases involving Roma, Ashkaelia and/or Egyptians, and to protect the Beriaa family from the serious violation of refoulement - expulsion to face persecution in one's country of origin, the ERRC has decided to turn to the European Court of Human Rights on their behalf and request that international justice be served and their clients afforded adequate and comprehensive redress. The submission asserts violations of Article 3 (freedom from inhuman and/or degrading treatment), Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 4 of Protocol 4 (prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens) and Article 13 (right to an effective domestic remedy) taken together with Article 3 and Article 4 Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Warrant for ex-Argentine dictator From correspondents in Germany 04dec03 GERMAN authorities have issued an arrest warrant for former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, who launched the so-called "dirty war" in 1976, public prosecutors said today. Videla, 78, and two other leading military figures are accused of being indirectly involved in the murder of German citizens Elisabeth Kaesemann and Klaus Zieschank, the public prosecutor's office in Nuremberg said in a statement. Human rights groups say Kaesemann was arrested by Argentine security services in March 1977, and that he was tortured and died in a jail two months later. The body of Zieschank, who disappeared in March 1976, was found in the bed of the Rio de la Plata river in 1983. Videla has been under house arrest in Argentina since 1998, when he was accused of participating in the abduction of newborn babies. He helped plunge Argentina into dictatorship from 1976 until 1983, when the country returned to democratic rule. Over that period, 30,000 suspected opponents were killed or went missing while in military custody and are assumed to have been killed in what was known as the dirty war. Some 500 children were abducted from suspected opponents of the regime. A Spanish judge has also sought the extradition of Videla and several senior members of the former Argentine junta, and accuses them of genocide, terrorism, torture and crimes against humanity.


www.romea.cz/english/ 5 Dec 2003 Roma Burns to Death in Zalaegerszeg Prison Budapest (Hungary), 5. 12. 2003 (RSK) A Roma man burnt to death at a prison in Zalaegerszeg (Zala county), last Thursday, 27th November. The man had been detained for 30 days on charges of grievous bodily harm. He had been transported from the police holding cells to a separate "rubber" cell in the prison that day. The detained man was said to have struggling with the jailers before he was placed into a separate cell lined with rubber. Later that day, a fire broke out in his prison cell and the man was found dead. At first, the prison issued a statement that alleged the detained man had burnt the rubber wall using his own lighter. The Zalaegerszeg Police Department has not confirmed this version. The victim's lawyer has firmly denied the suggestion that the man might have had a lighter on him. According to the lawyer, his client was actually wounded when he was forced to enter the separate cell. This, in itself, is illegal, as prison regulations do not allow isolation of a wounded inmate. Relatives and friends of the victim have reacted to the news of the inmate's death by staging a spontaneous demonstration in front of the prison and demanding a fair investigation into the case. Under Secretary of State, L?szl? Teleki, traveled to Zalaegerszeg immediately following the report. However, his arrival failed to sooth the emotional state of the demonstrators. Since last Friday, the victim's relatives reassemble every evening in front of the prison for silent mourning. The National Roma Self-Government decided to establish an emergency committee to investigate the case. The public prosecutor of Zala County has also launched its own investigation into the case.


Zenit.org 7 Dec 2003 Rwandan Genocide Helps Prompt Franciscan Symposium ROME, DEC. 7, 2003 (.- The 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and other inter-ethnic conflicts have led the Order of Friars Minor to organize a symposium on such confrontations. The "Symposium on Inter-ethnic Dialogue and Reconciliation" will be held in the order's General Curia in Rome, from April 16-18. The event will offer "a time of reflection, debate and prayer at the service of reconciliation and peace at all levels," the Franciscan organizers explained in a statement. "Rwanda's genocide appears today as a paradigm of every conflict that lacerates our humanity and questions us from the depth of our human and Christian conscience," the statement said. "What are the remote and profound roots of so many fratricidal conflicts?" it asked. "What are their internal mechanisms? What is the logic that inspires them? How do they influence our Churches and fraternities?" The symposium is designed to address these questions. On the last day of the event, the anniversary of the death of Franciscan Friar George Gashugi, victim of ethnic hatred in Rwanda, a ceremony will recall all the victims of ethnic conflicts.


BBC 6 Dec 2003 World Bank group attacked in tense Kosovo town By Hazir Reka KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia and Montenegro, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A crowd of people in a flashpoint town in Kosovo on Saturday attacked a restaurant where a World Bank delegation was dining with Kosovo's ethnic Albanian prime minister. A Reuters reporter at the scene said the crowd hurled stones at the restaurant as Kosovo police stopped them breaking into the building in the town mainly populated by Serbs. Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi had already left the restaurant before the attack but the World Bank representatives were forced to flee. The crowd threw stones at their vehicles, slightly injuring one of the delegation. Two Serb ministers from Rexhepi's government who were supposed to have been at the restaurant had not shown up. Kosovska Mitrovica has been tense since it was placed under U.N.-administration following NATO's 11-week bombing in 1999 to halt Belgrade's repression of the ethnic Albanian majority in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo. The north of the town is populated mostly by the Serbs while Albanians live in the south across the bridge which was a scene of violence on many occassions in the last four years. United Nations Kosovo Mission (UNMIK) media officer Tracy Becker said in a statement some 150 people were involved, and some had damaged a bus and torched three vehicles, two of which belonged to Kosovo local police. The statement did not mention the nationality of the attackers or of the person injured, but it condemned an attack which took place during a visit aimed at trying to find "ways to further the economic development in Kosovo". "The actions of the people who created the public disorder are reprehensible," it said. Becker said the delegation later assembled safely at regional police heaquarters. (Additional reporting by Shaban Buza in Pristina)

AP 6 Dec 2003 Kosovo PM attacked by mob KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -- A Serb mob attacked Kosovo's prime minister and an international delegation on Saturday as the Serbian prime minister blasted the United Nations and NATO for failing to combat organized crime and terrorism in the province. About 50 Serbs hurled stones, bricks and concrete blocks at a restaurant where Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo's ethnic Albanian prime minister, and representatives of an international organization, were having lunch, said Gyorgy Kakuk, a U.N. spokesman. The attack occurred in the Serb-dominated part of Kosovska Mitrovica, an ethnically tense town in Kosovo's north. One international official was slightly injured during the attack, said Tracy Becker, a U.N. police spokeswoman in Kosovo. She did not name the official nor the organization the official worked for. Rexhepi was not injured. Eyewitnesses said Rexhepi, accompanied by his security staff and ethnic Albanian journalists, had arrived for lunch with a World Bank delegation. Serbs began to group in front of the restaurant, chanting and becoming agitated, said the eyewitnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity. As the crowed swelled, the mob hurled rocks at the restaurant, prompting Rexhepi and the others to leave through a back door, the witnesses said. Rexhepi was evacuated to the ethnic Albanian southern part of the divided town, while the international officials entered a hospital yard where they were attacked again, he said. In the Serbian capital Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic said security in Kosovo had not increased as expected in the four years since the United Nations and NATO began running the province. "Belgrade has become the safest city in the Balkans ... while Kosovo has a high level of crime and terrorism," Zivkovic said. A 20,000-strong, NATO-led peacekeeping force has been deployed in Kosovo since mid-1999 when an alliance air war halted Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians. A U.N. statement said Rexhepi had "paid an unannounced visit to the same restaurant" where the international delegation was having lunch. Serb leader Goran Bogdanovic, Kosovo's agriculture minister, said "the lunch was used as a provocation to the Serbs to cause an incident" ahead of a meeting about Kosovo in Belgium, the Belgrade-based BETA news agency reported. But Mimoza Kusari, Rexhepi's spokeswoman, said the "visit was planned ahead and the prime minister did not in any way provoke the situation." Two Kosovo police cars and another vehicle were burned, while the windows of a U.N. bus were smashed, he added. "We are greatly disturbed that certain elements in northern Mitrovica attacked a delegation of serious organization," Kakuk said. "What has happened today is reprehensible." Kosovska Mitrovica, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the provincial capital Pristina, is divided into a predominantly Serb part and an ethnic Albanian part. The city has been the scene of frequent violent clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, but attacks have also targeted U.N. authorities and NATO-led peacekeepers. Also Saturday, the U.S. Army said a U.S. peacekeeper Sgt. Daryl Brooks, 43, on Thursday was found dead in a concrete bunker inside the U.S. military base Camp Monteith in eastern Kosovo. No further details were available and the death was being investigated, the Army said in a statement. Brooks, a personnel noncommissioned officer with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion 111th Infantry, is survived by his mother and two sisters, the statement added.

Transitions Online TOL (tol.cz) 8 December 2003 Suspicions and Suspensions PRISTINA, Kosovo--Two generals and 10 other officers of the ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK) were suspended by United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) head Harri Holkeri on 3 December, sparking anger among the province’s former rebel chiefs. The TMK is the civilian guard that, in effect, succeeded the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), following the end of the Kosovo conflict in 1999. UNMIK suspended the TMK officers with pay for six months, following the results of an enquiry into a terrorist attack in April on a railway bridge, connecting the province with Serbia proper. The six-month suspension period is meant to coincide with a police investigation into the results of the enquiry. The investigation into the April bomb attack on the Loziste railway bridge--in a part of northern Kosovo dominated by minority Serbs--was launched jointly by UNMIK and the NATO-led Kosovo Protection Force (KFOR). Two people were killed in the blast. The Albanian National Army (AKSh) claimed responsibility for the act, saying that two of its members had planted the explosives on the bridge--one of whom was subsequently proven to be a TMK officer. The explosion and AKSh’s claims prompted the international community to officially label the group as “terrorist,” and to launch an enquiry into other members of the TMK, to determine their possible connections with AKSh. Holkeri said the enquiry had showed there was sufficient reason to launch a police investigation into the possible illegal activities of the 12 suspended TMK officers. “Without prejudging the results of those investigations or making any presumption of guilt, …the findings were sufficiently serious to merit the suspension of the officers, pending the investigation results,” read an UNMIK statement. The TMK’s commander, General Agim Ceku, objected, however, warning that the decision would not be respected. Ceku, the former UCK chief-of-staff, said that, given a lack of evidence against the 12 TMK officers, Holkeri’s decision would be ignored. “This decision is unacceptable for us, and as such will not be taken into consideration,” Ceku told reporters, following a meeting with the UNMIK head and other Western officials on 3 December. “We do not respect this decision, because it is baseless, with no proof, and we do not believe that these members are damaging to our activities.” The TMK was formed on 20 September 1999, in accordance with UNMIK regulations and the Undertaking for Demilitarization and Transformation agreement signed in June 1999, between KFOR and the UCK. The TMK was created as a civilian emergency-service agency, whose tasks are providing disaster-response services, performing search-and-rescue missions, providing humanitarian assistance capacity in isolated areas, assisting in demining projects, and helping to rebuild infrastructure. Five other TMK officers had been suspended in 2001 after they appeared on a U.S. black-list of people accused of provoking Balkan instability. RELUCTANT ACCEPTANCE The Kosovo government also objected to the suspensions, calling them groundless. “If UNMIK has a legal basis, and proof that the TMK officers have violated the code of conduct, we will support it; because no one is above the law. But certainly we will not support baseless accusations,” said Mimoza Kusari, spokesperson for Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi’s office, on 3 December. Attitudes showed signs of softening on 4 December, however, when Holkeri made his decision official, delivering it to government leaders. In front of Holkeri, Prime Minister Rexhepi and Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) leader Hashim Thaci (the UCK’s former political leader) demanded that the UNMIK decision be implemented immediately. Thaci called on Ceku to respect UNMIK’s decision, as ordered by the Kosovo government, and the prime minister agreed. “For the benefit of the TMK as well as for the processes in Kosovo, UNMIK’s decision should be respected,” Rexhepi said. The prime minister did tone down his message for public consumption afterward, saying that the government does still have its suspicions about the UNMIK decision. Political parties and the public, however, were harshly critical of UNMIK, with many accusing the international community of attempting to cleanse the TMK of all former UCK members. The 12 suspended TMK members, however, accepted their fate on 3 December, agreeing to cooperate with UNMIK. Two of the suspended TMK members, Nuredin Lushtaku and Rrahman Ramaj, are generals and well-known former UCK figures. The Head of the British Office in Pristina, Mark Dickinson, praised the 12 officers for accepting UNMIK’s decision. “This decision may have been a painful and difficult one, both for the individuals concerned and for the TMK. But it shows maturity, discipline, courage, and honor. The process gives the individuals concerned the opportunity to clear their names from any question-marks which might otherwise remain unresolved,” Dickinson said. Holkeri recognized that “with a few exceptions, the TMK members act professionally and in keeping with the standards expected of them. The TMK is an important institution for Kosovo; it is important to ensure that the enquiry findings are followed up, to protect the good name of the TMK.” Albanian institutions and political leaders are openly advocating the idea that the TMK should be transformed into the Kosovo Army. TMK presently consists of 3,000 active members and 2,000 reserve members. UNMIK has the final authority over both the selection and appointment of TMK members--and the authority to dismiss members. NEED SUBHEAD In other news: on 7 December, Kosovo Prime Minister Rexhepi was attacked while having lunch with a World Bank delegation, in a restaurant in the predominantly Serb part of Mitrovica. Some 150 Serbs gathered outside and hurled stones, bricks, and concrete blocks at the restaurant. Rexhepi was evacuated to the ethnic-Albanian part of the divided town, while the World Bank delegation was forced to flee shortly afterward. The crowd outside the restaurant began throwing stones at the World Bank’s vehicles, slightly injuring one member of the delegation, according to UN police reports. UNMIK Police spokesperson Tracy Becker said in a statement that some 150 people were involved in the attack, which resulted in the damage of one bus and of three vehicles belonging to the Kosovo Police Service (ShPK), which were set on fire. Rexhepi has accused a group of Serbs known as the “Bridge Watchers” of being behind the incident. The Bridge Watchers emerged after the war as an unofficial guard on the Serbian side of the bridge that divides the town between Serbs and Albanians. “The behavior of the Serb hooligans of the so-called Bridge Watchers is nothing new. For almost four years now, they have terrorized the non-Serb population of northern Mitrovica,” read a statement from the prime minister’s office. Ethnic-Serb leader Goran Bogdanovic, Kosovo’s agriculture minister, said, “The lunch was used as a provocation to the Serbs, to cause an incident ahead of a meeting about Kosovo [status] in Belgium,” the Belgrade-based BETA news agency reported. Kusari, the prime minister’s spokesperson, denied the accusation. Also on 4 December, a U.S. peacekeeper was found dead with a gunshot wound in eastern Kosovo, according to U.S. Army reports. The body of Sgt. Daryl Brooks, 43, was discovered in a concrete bunker inside the U.S. military base Camp Monteith. No further detail surrounding the peacekeeper’s death was given, and the incident is under investigation. --by Bekim Greicevci )

Public International Law & Policy Group Dec 2003 Unbreakable Bond: Serbs and Kosovo - A PILPG Field Report prepared by Vladimir Matic, who is a Visiting Professor at Clemson University, and former Special Envoy of the Yugoslav President to the United States government. The report takes a behind the scenes look at the recent evolution of Serbian policy with respect to Kosovo. Executive Summary: Nationalism remains a potent force in Serbia, strongly affecting the politicking within the political elite regarding final status issues in Kosovo. The democratic forces are not immune from Kosovo-related nationalism and have at times adopted hard-line positions to diminish their vulnerabilities in the political struggle. Since the end of the Kosovo war the West has done nothing to dispel the perception in Belgrade that Serbia’s legal claim of sovereignty over Kosovo remains valid in principle and of equivalent standing as an issue “on the table” with Kosovo Albanians’ insistence on independence in the prelude to negotiations. Belgrade ignores the fact that, with virtually no Albanians in Kosovo willing to work with them, they have no Albanian partners in pursuing this goal. Kosovo Serbs also display considerable mistrust of Belgrade’s concern for their interests. The EU and UNMIK have attempted to create a framework for progress on the issue, but success will hinge on the willingness of the United States to exercise diplomatic leadership to resolve the deadlock. See: http://www.publicinternationallaw.org/publications/reports/UnbreakableBondSerbsandKosovo1203.pdf


AP 27 Nov 2003 Violent incidents raise fears of instability in Macedonia Konstantin Testorides, Associated Press Worldstream, 11/27/03 A series of crime-related violent incidents in Macedonia over the past few days have raised fears of renewed instability in the Balkan republic, police said Thursday. Police spokeswoman Mirjana Konteska said that a fugitive suspect was killed and two police officers were wounded in separate incidents. "The incidents indicate that someone wants to undermine Macedonia's stability," Konteska said. "There are still groups that want to undermine Macedonia for political or criminal reasons." She did not elaborate on the identity or political affiliation of the groups. Macedonia is still recovering from a six-month ethnic conflict in 2001, in which the country's ethnic Albanians took up arms to fight for more rights for their community. The clashes ended in a Western-brokered peace plan in August 2001, which fulfilled most of the ethnic Albanian demands and paved the way for ethnic reconciliation. Although Macedonia has been largely quiet, any increase in violence - even if it is not ethnically motivated - raises concern that the conflict may re-ignite. NATO spokesman Craig Ratcliff said that the surge in crime-related violence may prompt a "reevaluation of the overall security in the country." "NATO repeats that any violent act affects the security situation in Macedonia and causes concerns," he said. In one of the more serious incidents, police investigating reports of gunfire along a key road leading to the north found a car riddled with bullets and two craters nearby caused by grenades fired from rocket launchers. The car belonged to former members of special units that fought against ethnic Albanian rebels during the 2001 war. In another case, police launched a massive operation against a fugitive criminal known as "Postman," who was wanted for several armed robberies and assaults. Postman, who was killed in the police assault, was also member of the dissolved special police unit known as the "Lions," Konteska said. His death sparked outrage among some opposition parties who accused police of overstepping their authority when they killed him. The European Union has deployed some 350 soldiers in Macedonia in its first ever military mission abroad. The mission officials have recently warned that Macedonia's former crisis areas in the north and northwest are still unsafe and unstable

Reuters 1 Dec 2003 Macedonia's headcount clarifies ethnic picture SKOPJE, Dec. 1 — Macedonia on Monday announced the results of a landmark census giving a clear picture of the country's ethnic makeup -- the root of an armed conflict two years ago over rights for minority Albanians. The State Statistical Office published results showing Macedonians account for 64.18 percent and Albanians form the second largest ethnic group with 25.17 percent, out of total population of 2,022,547 in Macedonia. The results were expected to finally settle a decade of conflicting claims. Independent international monitors endorsed the census, which was carried out in November 2002 and sponsored partially by the European Union and the United States, as a genuine count in the multi-ethnic Balkan republic. ''It was a successful and professional census, done in accordance with international standards,'' said Hallgrimur Snorasson, a census monitor from the International Census Observation Mission (ICOM) in Macedonia. In the 10 years since Macedonia won independence from former Yugoslavia, Albanians claimed to account for at least 30 percent of the population and demanded an appropriate share of power, while Macedonians argued that they were barely 20 percent. The last attempt to settle the issue was made in a 1994 census -- unsuccessful because ethnic Albanians boycotted it. The 1994 count put ethnic Albanians at 22.9 percent of total population. The issue finally erupted in 2001 when ethnic Albanian insurgents took up arms to battle Macedonian government forces, demanding greater civil rights and pushing the country close to an all out civil war. The six-month conflict was ended by a Western-sponsored peace deal. International organisations monitoring the country praised the census saying the results presented a ''fair and accurate statistical image of Macedonia.'' But some diplomats say despite the accurate statistical count, radicals on both sides might still use the census to destabilise the country. ''Speculation on the size of the ethnic population will continue, with nationalists on both sides claiming the results were fabricated only to maintain peace,'' one Western diplomat predicted.

NYT 7 Dec 2003 Macedonian Guilty of Slavery Charges By THE NEW YORK TIMES Published: December 7, 2003 ASHINGTON, Dec. 6 ? A Macedonian court has convicted Dilaver Bojku on charges of enslaving dozens of young women from Ukraine, Romania and Moldova, the Ministry of Interior announced Friday. Mr. Bojku, 41, an ethnic Albanian, had been arrested early this year in the town of Velesta. He escaped in June, and a Montenegrin police officer captured him in the town of Ulcinj on July 4. The court in the city of Bitola sentenced him on Thursday to three years and eight months in prison, said Mirjana Konteska, spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. Mr. Bojku gained international notoriety last year when the cable television network MSNBC filmed him and some of the young women under his control in Velesta. He boasted then that his operations were legal. He was prosecuted under a Macedonian law prohibiting "mediation in prostitution." This explained the light sentence, said Zan Jovanovski, an officer of the Interior Ministry. He said the prosecutor in Bitola would appeal for a stronger punishment.


WP 7 Dec 2003 Dirty Bomb Warheads Disappear Stocks of Soviet-Era Arms For Sale on Black Market By Joby Warrick Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, December 7, 2003; Page A01 TIRASPOL, Moldova -- In the ethnic conflicts that surrounded the collapse of the Soviet Union, fighters in several countries seized upon an unlikely new weapon: a small, thin rocket known as the Alazan. Originally built for weather experiments, the Alazan rockets were packed with explosives and lobbed into cities. Military records show that at least 38 Alazan warheads were modified to carry radioactive material, effectively creating the world's first surface-to-surface dirty bomb. The radioactive warheads are not known to have been used. But now, according to experts and officials, they have disappeared. The last known repository was here, in a tiny separatist enclave known as Transdniester, which broke away from Moldova 12 years ago. The Transdniester Moldovan Republic is a sliver of land no bigger than Rhode Island located along Moldova's eastern border with Ukraine. Its government is recognized by no other nation. But its weapons stocks -- new, used and modified -- have attracted the attention of black-market arms dealers worldwide. And they're for sale, according to U.S. and Moldovan officials and weapons experts. When the Soviet army withdrew from this corner of Eastern Europe, the weapons were deposited into an arsenal of stupefying proportions. In fortified bunkers are stored 50,000 tons of aging artillery shells, mines and rockets, enough to fill 2,500 boxcars. Conventional arms originating in Transdniester have been turning up for years in conflict zones from the Caucasus to Central Africa, evidence of what U.S. officials describe as an invisible pipeline for smuggled goods that runs through Tiraspol to the Black Sea and beyond. Now, governments and terrorism experts fear the same pipeline is carrying nonconventional weapons such as the radioactive Alazan, and that terrorists are starting to tap in. "For terrorists, this is the best market you could imagine: cheap, efficient and forgotten by the whole world," said Vladimir Orlov, founding director of the Center for Policy Studies in Moscow, a group that studies proliferation issues. Why the Alazan warheads were made is unknown. The urgent question -- where are they now? -- is a matter of grave concern to terrorism and nonproliferation experts who know the damage such devices could do. A dirty bomb is not a nuclear device but a weapon that uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials, which could cause widespread disruption and expose people to dangerous radiation. Unlike other kinds of dirty bombs, this one would come with its own delivery system, and an 8-mile range. A number of terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, have sought to build or buy one. While it has no nuclear bombs of its own, Transdniester is regarded by experts as a prime shopping ground for outlaw groups looking for weapons of every type. It is the embodiment of the gray zone, where failed states, porous borders and weak law enforcement allow the buying and selling of instruments of terror. Transdniester possesses many of the trappings of statehood, including an army and border guards who demand visas and special entrance fees from visitors. But according to Western diplomats based in the region, these procedures are window dressing used to mask the activities of a small clique that runs the country by its own rules. Much of the enclave's trade is controlled by a consortium, Sheriff, controlled by the son of the Transdniester's president, Igor Smirnov. Vladimir Smirnov also heads the Transdniester Customs Service, which oversees a river of goods flowing in and out of the country. The cargoes move through the Tiraspol airport; by truck overland to Ukraine or Moldova; and on a rail-to-ship line that connects the capital to the Black Sea port of Odessa. The Transdniester interior minister, Maj. Gen. Vadim Shevtsov, is a former Soviet KGB agent wanted in connection with a murderous attack on pro-independence Latvians in 1991. Organized crime figures and reputed terrorists flit in and out of the region, according to law enforcement and government officials in Moldova and U.S. officials. Their cargoes are often disguised. "This is one of the places where the buyers connect with the sellers," said William C. Potter, director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. "It's one-stop shopping for weapons and all kinds of other illicit goods. Very possibly, that includes the materials for weapons of mass destruction." The enormous Soviet-style banners stretched across intersections in downtown Tiraspol bid visitors welcome to "The People's Pride: The Transdniester Moldovan Republic." The city is locked in a Brezhnev-era time warp. Nearly every corner bears a reminder of the regime's stubborn embrace of old-school Soviet communism: a statue of Lenin, a hammer-and-sickle banner, a street named for Karl Marx. Father, Son and Sheriff A large portion of the population is made up Russian-speaking pensioners, many of them Soviet military retirees who served in the area and chose to stay because of the relatively mild climate. Like the elderly elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, the retirees are nostalgic for a simpler, more predictable time when the socialist state took care of all their needs. North of Tiraspol, an industrial center straddles the main rail line into town. Steam blasts from a complex of gray buildings housing the city's Elektromash works, a leading factory that describes itself officially as a producer of electrical engines. According to Moldovan and Western intelligence officials, the factory's product line includes assault rifles and machine pistols, a centerpiece of Transdniester's most profitable industry: weapons. Once the industrial heartland of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Transdniester has a long history as a production center for arms and weapons, including machine guns and rockets. Today, the tradition continues in at least six sprawling factories in the capital and the cities of Tighina and Rybnitsa, according to Ceslav Ciobanu, a former Moldovan ambassador to the United States and now a senior research scholar for James Madison University's William R. Nelson Institute. Among the weapons in production are Grad and Duga multiple-rocket launchers, antitank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and multiple lines of small arms, Ciobanu said. It's an impressive output for a country whose army, the Dniester Republican Guard, numbers only 5,000. But hardly any of the weapons are manufactured for local use, according to Ciobanu, who described the arms trade in a Nelson Institute paper released in June. "Production of armaments and illegal weapons traffic constitutes the most important factor of the economic and military policy of the Tiraspol administration, and the biggest source of revenues for its corrupt elites," Ciobanu said. The same powerful troika that dominates Transdniester's political and economic life controls the production of weapons as well as exports abroad, Ciobanu said: "Father, Son and Sheriff." It's a view shared by Western officials based in the region, as well as law-enforcement and weapons experts abroad. Several Moldova-based diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed there is an eastern flow of arms from Tiraspol to Odessa, the Ukrainian port on the Black Sea. They also described seizures of Transdniester-made weapons in conflicts zones outside the enclave. Last year, one such cache of pistols and other small arms was seized in the basement of the home of one of the leaders of the separatist Gagauz movement. The Gagauz are a tiny Turkik-speaking minority in southern Moldova. The weapons turned out to be poorly made counterfeits of American weapons. "The guns were stamped 'U.S. Army,' but the brand names were misspelled," said one diplomatic source familiar with the incident. Transdniester weapons exports also have been traced to the breakaway Abkhazia region, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and to war zones in the Congo and Ivory Coast, according to Moldovan officials and independent weapons experts. But the largest weapons stockpile in Transdniester is located at a massive arsenal near the northern town of Kolbasna. Originally a supply depot for Red Army forces in the Black Sea region, the Kolbasna arsenal swelled in the early 1990s as troops departing newly independent Eastern European states deposited weapons and ammunition there. The arsenal currently holds an estimated 50,000 tons of munitions of all kinds, including large numbers of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Moldova has pressed Russia to remove the munitions and the 2,800 Russian troops who guard them. But over the years, both Russia and Transdniester have used a variety of excuses to block or delay their departure. The arsenal, which is 600 miles from the Russian border, is one of the main sticking points in ongoing negotiations aimed at reconciling Moldova and its former province, which fought a short, bloody civil war that ended in 1992. Transdniester has opposed removing the stockpile, partly because it hopes to receive payment for the weapons, and also because the Russian presence has helped guarantee Transdniester's survival as an autonomous region. Moldova does not formally recognize that an independent Transdniester exists. Thus, the largest border between them -- and the one most likely to be used for weapons-trafficking -- is unprotected. On the Moldovan side, it has no checkpoints, no detectors and no guards. Hundreds of westbound trucks and cars cross into Moldova each day along the main Tiraspol-Chisinau highway, just as freely as the trains heading east along the rails to Odessa. Moldovan officials fret privately about the smuggled goods they don't catch. "Transdniester is like a cancer, and there's nothing we can do about it," said one senior Moldovan official who declined to be identified for fear he would lose his job. "We're battling our own corruption, and out there is a 400-kilometer border over which we have no control. "Trucks cross the border every day, slip into one of the smaller roads and disappear," the official continued. "And I'm 100 percent sure of this: Some of those trucks are carrying weapons." Western and Moldovan officials point to numerous incidents in which seized Russian weapons were traced back to Transdniester. In one well-documented case in 1999, a truck halted by Moldovan police on the Transdniester border was discovered to contain Russian-made shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, along with plastic explosives and detonators. Driving the truck were several members of Transdniester's army, along with Lt. Col. Vladimir Nemkoff, a deputy commander of Russian peacekeeping troops in the enclave. On the same day, Nemkoff's son, an officer in Transdniester's Ministry of Security, was arrested while driving a vehicle that contained three Soviet-made Igla surface-to-air rockets, similar to the U.S.-made Stinger missile. Nemkoff was convicted of weapons-trafficking in a trial in Moldova, but was later pardoned and allowed to return to Transdniester. Within days, he regained his old job as a Russian peacekeeper. Such incidents suggest the Kolbasna arsenal is a "black hole" where dangerous weapons can be obtained, if the price is right, said Iurie Rosca, leader of the Christian Democratic People's Party, a leading pro-Western opposition faction in Moldova. "It's well known to us: If you need a Stinger and you have the money, you can get one," Rosca said. "If it's a Kalashnikov you want, you can get one of those, too." Radioactive Warheads The most unusual weapon in Transdniester's arsenal was never meant to be a weapon at all. The Alazan, a slender, three-foot-long rocket, was part of a broader, rather extravagant Soviet experiment in weather control. Soviet scientists believed that hail could be suppressed by firing rockets into approaching storm clouds. The idea is vaguely similar to cloud-seeding as practiced in the United States. American scientists familiar with the anti-hail program say the results are highly dubious, at best. When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, scores of batteries of tube-fired Alazans were left throughout the Soviet bloc, including Eastern Europe. As ethnic clashes erupted in the newly independent former Soviet republics, the Alazan and a slightly larger rocket called the Alan were reactivated for war. Potter documented 50 cases in which the rockets were used in clashes, by both guerrilla fighters and government forces. In most incidents, Alazans were fired indiscriminately at civilian targets, often crowded urban centers. They were used by Azeri forces in the war with Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, and used by separatists in South Ossetia in clashes with Georgian troops. "Some of the reports indicated that the Alazan, which is notoriously inaccurate as a surface-to-surface missile, was used as a psychological or terror weapon," Potter said. Since Soviet times, at least three Alazan batteries were known to exist in the Transdniester region, as documented by military inventories of the time. In 1992, there was a confirmed case of attempted smuggling of Alazans for use as weapons. On May 24 of that year, two Moldovan police were killed when they tried to stop delivery of Alazan rockets to ethnic Gagauz militants, according to local press accounts of the incident. Moldovan officials believe the source of the rockets was Transdniester. But the existence of "radiological warheads" for the Alazan was unknown until two years ago, when military documents describing them were obtained by the Institute for Policy Studies, a research group in Chisinau, the Moldovan capital. The documents, which were provided to The Washington Post, are a series of official letters written in 1994 by a Transdniester civil defense commander, Col. V. Kireev, who apparently became concerned about radiation given off by the rockets. One document described an inventory of 38 "isotopic radioactive warheads of missiles of the Alazan type," including 24 that were attached to rocket. In the two other documents, the commander requested technical help in dealing with radiation exposure related to storage of the warheads. He complained that uniforms of soldiers working with the warheads were so contaminated that they had to be "destroyed by burning and burying." "I propose to categorically ban all work with the missile . . . and to label it as a radioactive danger," Kireev wrote on Oct. 24, 1994. Several U.S. and Moldovan government officials knowledgeable about Transdniester's weapons said in interviews that they were familiar with the reports of radioactive Alazans, but could neither verify or dispute the existence of such devices. Oazu Nantoi, a former Moldovan government official and political analyst, sought in 2001 to trace the Alazans with radiological warheads, using contacts in Moldova and Transdniester. He said that the last known location of the weapons was a military airfield north of Tiraspol, but what happened to them after the 1990s remains a mystery. "They are not Scuds, but clearly, the only application for these rockets is a military one," said Nantoi. "Our fear is someone, somewhere, will turn these rockets into dirty bombs.""


BBC 2 Dec 2003 'Brutal crimes' of Bosnia Muslims Hadzihasanovic is most senior Bosnian Muslim soldier on trial Bosnian Muslims committed war crimes including a ritual beheading, the Hague tribunal was told at the start of a landmark trial. Two ex-army commanders are the first senior Bosnian Muslims to appear before the tribunal. They are charged with killing at least 200 Bosnian Croat and Serb civilians in central Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1993. Ex-General Enver Hadzihasanovic, 53, and Colonel Amir Kubura, 39, deny charges including murder. This trial...will show war crimes were committed by both sides of the conflict Ekkehard Withopf Prosecutor A third man named in the original indictment, General Mehmed Alagic, died in March this year. Prosecutors claim most of the killings were carried out by foreign Muslim fighters, known as mujahideen, but the accused failed to prevent the deaths. Prosecutors say some prisoners were forced to dig trenches under fire or were used as human shields. "This trial...will show war crimes were committed by both sides of the conflict in central Bosnia," said prosecutor Ekkehard Withopf. "This trial will give the world a more complete picture of the war in Bosnia." CHARGES Murder, cruel treatment Wanton destruction, plunder of public or private property Wilful destruction of religious institutions Mr Withopf said one victim had suffered "a beheading that can only be described as a ritual beheading". The court was shown photographs of murdered Croats, and was told that many victims were brutally beaten to unconsciousness or death. "They failed to prevent war crimes committed by their subordinates. They failed to prevent them," said Mr Withopf. Bias claims Serbs see the international tribunal at The Hague as a political court with anti-Serb bias. Observers say putting more high-profile Bosnian Muslims in the dock will do little to change this sentiment. Kubura led the controversial 7th Muslim Brigade The most senior Bosnian Muslim investigated by the tribunal was the country's war-time leader Alija Izetbegovic, who died last month. The investigation was made public on the day of his funeral - 22 October 2003. The indictment against the army commanders charges them with failing to stop their subordinates when they attacked towns and villages, killing Croat and Serb civilians as well as Croatian soldiers who had surrendered. "They knew, or had reason to know, that the forces under their command had committed or were going to commit these acts," the indictment says. Izetbegovic led the government during the war of the early 1990s "They did not take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent them or punish those who committed them." Mr Hadzihasanovic and Mr Kubura appeared as witnesses in the trial of the Croatian General, Tihomir Blaskic, who received a 45-year jail term for war crimes. However, they are not the first Muslims to go on trial at the tribunal. Two camp commanders were sentenced in 1998 for crimes against Serbs. Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic have been indicted by the tribunal for war crimes but remain at large. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for alleged war crimes offences in Bosnia and elsewhere.

AP 2 Dec 2003 Serb in Srebrenica Massacre Gets 27 Years THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- A Bosnian Serb intelligence officer who pleaded guilty of war crimes for his role in the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica was sentenced to 27 years in prison Tuesday. Also Tuesday, the two highest-ranked Muslims to be charged with war crimes in the Bosnian conflict went on trial for atrocities in a war often seen as fomented by mainly Christian Serbs. Retired Gen. Enver Hadzihasanovic, 53, commander of the 3rd Corps of the Muslim army in central Bosnia during the 1992-95 conflict, and Amir Kubura, 39, a brigade commander under Hadzihasanovic, both have pleaded innocent, and their lawyers declined to make opening statements. In the Srebrenica sentencing, former Capt. Momir Nikolic, 48, stood blinking and nodding as the judge at the U.N. war crimes tribunal read out Nikolic's sentence. Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 15 to 20 years because Nikolic pleaded guilty and testified against other witnesses, including former superiors who are still on trial. He had originally been charged with other crimes, including genocide, but prosecutors dropped those as part of a plea agreement. Reading the decision of the three-judge panel, presiding Judge Liu Daqun of China said the prosecution's recommendation failed to ``adequately reflect the totality'' of Nikolic's conduct. He was an ``active participant'' in the worst massacre of civilians in Europe since World War II, and willingly terrorized Muslim civilians, beating them and destroying their property, Liu said. ``By his own account, he appears to have taken a very active -- even proactive -- role in ensuring the operation went forward and was in his words 'successful,''' Liu said. In testimony against his superiors, Nikolic admitted he had coordinated the separation of thousands of men from their families and arranged transportation to take them to execution sites after Muslims were rounded up in Srebrenica, which was set up as a safe haven by the U.N. In September, Nikolic testified against his own brigade commander, Col. Vidoje Blagojevic and Lt. Col. Dragan Jokic, whose joint trial in The Hague is in progress. The regional army commander, Bosnian Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic, was convicted of genocide for crimes at Srebrenica and sentenced to 46 years imprisonment in 2001. Nikolic testified at his appeal last month. In the trial of Hadzihasanovic and Kubura, prosecutors have charged them with murdering civilians and prisoners of war; horrific mistreatment of prisoners, and plundering and destroying villages in central Bosnia. If convicted, they face up to life in prison. ``This is a case about command responsibility, about the criminal responsibility of the two accused for failing to prevent and punish war crimes by their subordinates,'' U.N. prosecutor Ekkehard Withopf said in his opening arguments. ``It demonstrates that all sides to the conflict -- though in different areas and on different scales -- committed violations in humanitarian law.'' While Hadzihasanovic and Kubura are the highest-ranking Muslims to face trial, other top Muslim officers and politicians have been indicted and lower-ranking officers convicted. Most victims of their alleged crimes were ethnic Croats captured after fighting erupted between Bosnian Muslims and Croats in March 1993 over the 30 percent of Bosnia not then under Serb control. However, Withopf described an incident on Oct. 20, 1993, when Serb prisoner Dragan Popovic was beheaded by foreign Muslim ``mujahedeen'' troops who allegedly answered to Hadzihasanovic. Other prisoners allegedly were then forced to kiss the severed head before the body was buried. Two of the tribunal's most-wanted suspects, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, were indicted for genocide in the Srebrenica massacre. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is also on trial at the U.N. court for genocide in Bosnia.

Reuters 2 Dec 2003 Hague Tribunal Tries Its Most Senior Muslims Yet AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Prosecutors opened their war crimes case on Tuesday against the highest-ranking Bosnian Muslims to stand trial yet at the U.N. Hague tribunal, pledging to give the world a fuller picture of the 1992-95 Bosnia war. Former army commanders Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura deny responsibility for the deaths of Croats and Serbs, many of whom prosecutors say were killed by foreign Islamic fighters. At least 200 Croats and Serb civilians were killed during Muslim attacks on Croat forces in central Bosnia between January 1993 and January 1994. Prosecutors say captives were forced to dig trenches under fire or used as human shields. ``This trial...will show war crimes were committed by both sides of the conflict in central Bosnia. This trial will give the world a more complete picture of the war in Bosnia,'' prosecutor Ekkehard Withopf told the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Serbs accuse the tribunal of bias against them, saying it prosecutes more Serbs than members of other ethnic groups. But the court has indicted senior figures from all three of Bosnia's ethnic groups. Bosnia's Muslims and Croats began the war as allies against the Serbs but then fought each other for territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Retired General Hadzihasanovic and Brigadier Kubura sat silently as Withopf showed photographs of murdered Croats, cataloged brutal beatings which smashed victims into unconsciousness or killed them. The prosecutor also spoke of ``a beheading that can only be described as a ritual beheading.'' CHARGED AS COMMANDERS They are charged with crimes including cruel treatment, destruction and plunder on the basis of superior criminal responsibility, meaning they are accused of failing to prevent or punish atrocities committed by their subordinates. ``This is the first pure command responsibility case in the history of this tribunal, the first trial of commanders for criminal responsibility purely based on their subordinates' conduct,'' Withopf said. The prosecution says many of the crimes were committed by ``mujahideen'' -- Muslim holy warriors -- who flocked from Islamic countries to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims during the bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Prosecution witnesses will say mujahideen were used to spearhead operations of the 3rd Corps of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army, in which the two accused were commanders, Withopf said. ``The evidence will prove both accused...exercised effective control over the mujahideen,'' he told the court. Hadzihasanovic, 53, and Kubura, 39, were transferred to The Hague in August 2001. Hadzihasanovic pleaded not guilty to seven counts of war crimes and Kubura to six counts before both were provisionally released in December 2001 ahead of trial. Though not the first Muslims to be tried in The Hague, they are the highest-ranking. Awaiting trial is a more senior Muslim officer, Sefer Halilovic, who served as chief of the supreme command staff of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is the highest-profile figure in the tribunal's custody. He has been on trial since February 2002 for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

Reuters 10 Dec 2003 Bosnian Serb jailed for Srebrenica massacre THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A former Bosnian Serb army commander has been jailed for 17 years by The Hague war crimes tribunal after confessing to his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys. Dragan Obrenovic, one of two former commanders to admit his role in Europe's worst massacre since World War Two in a plea agreement in May, pleaded guilty at the U.N. court to one count of crimes against humanity the same month. "The trial chamber hereby sentences you to a period of 17 years' imprisonment," presiding judge Liu Daqun told Obrenovic as he stood to hear his sentence for admitting persecution on political, racial and religious grounds. Five other counts -- including extermination and murder -- were dismissed against Obrenovic, chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army's Zvornik Brigade, in his plea agreement with prosecutors in May. Obrenovic was aware of the murders which took place in Srebrenica in July 1995 after Bosnian Serb forces captured the enclave. He failed to prevent subordinates from taking part or to punish those responsible, the judge said. "Dragan Obrenovic, as he has admitted, took actions which furthered the killing operation: he released seven of his men to 'assist' with the prisoners -- prisoners that he knew would be brought to Zvornik to be shot. "He approved the release of two military operators from the line, knowing that their task was the burial of the executed prisoners. For these actions, Dragan Obrenovic bears criminal responsibility." Obrenovic was jointly charged with complicity in the Srebrenica massacre with three other men. His fellow accused Momir Nikolic, who also confessed to his role in the massacre, was jailed for 27 years earlier this month. Judges said they had taken into account Obrenovic's remorse, admission of responsibility, guilty plea and cooperation with prosecutors in determining his sentence. Obrenovic and Nikolic were not the first men to be sentenced for their role in Srebrenica by the tribunal. Senior Bosnian Serb commander Radislav Krstic was sentenced to 46 years in jail for genocide at Srebrenica by the tribunal in a landmark verdict in 2001. The tribunal's two most wanted men, Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic, are also accused of responsibility for the Srebrenica massacre as well as the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Both remain at large. The Bosnian conflict pitting Serbs, Croats and Muslims against each other was one of the 1990s Balkan wars sparked by the collapse of the Yugoslav federation. The 1995 Dayton peace agreement divided post-war Bosnia into two highly autonomous regions -- a Muslim-Croat federation and a Serb republic -- under a loose umbrella government.

WP 19 Dec 2003 Clark Calls Milosevic 'Force' Behind Wars Testimony Focuses on '95 Massacre By Keith B. Richburg Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, December 19, 2003; Page A39 PARIS, Dec. 18 -- Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a former NATO commander, told the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague that Yugoslavia's former president, Slobodan Milosevic, said in 1995 that he had prior knowledge of the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, the worst act of slaughter of the Bosnian civil war, according to transcripts of Clark's testimony released Thursday. Testifying Monday, Clark also told the tribunal that based on extensive conversations with Milosevic during political negotiations in the 1990s, he believed that Milosevic was the "guiding force" of the ethnic wars in the Balkans and that Bosnian Serb militias took direction from and reported to the former president. Clark, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, was called as a prosecution witness against Milosevic, who is being tried on charges of war crimes and genocide in connection with the conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia and the Serbian province of Kosovo. Clark's appearances before the court Monday and Tuesday brought together two adversaries who know each other well and resulted in frequent tense exchanges. Speaking in his native Serbian, Milosevic used his cross-examination of Clark on Tuesday to try to turn the trial into a political forum and make his own indictment of NATO's 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. He hammered away at Clark as a "war criminal," and accused him of deceitfulness and of commanding a "terrorist" army by siding with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). At one point, Milosevic displayed a picture of a KLA soldier holding up two severed heads of Serbs and asked, "Are these allies of General Clark's infantry in Kosovo?" Later, Milosevic asked, "Do you think you are a war criminal, General Clark?" Presiding Judge Richard May interrupted such questions, stopping Milosevic before Clark could respond. In his presidential campaign, Clark is using his NATO experience as evidence that he has the foreign policy expertise to challenge President Bush in November. The trial has offered him a forum to showcase the crowning operation of his military career, the bombing campaign that drove Serb troops from Kosovo. But the trial transcripts also show that his appearance a little more than a month before the Democratic primary in New Hampshire also carried pitfalls. During the proceedings, Milosevic made reference to questions about Clark's temperament and penchant for independence that had drawn criticism from his superiors. At one point, Milosevic cited an article in the New Yorker magazine quoting Gen. Henry H. Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying that Clark was removed from his post as NATO commander for "integrity and character issues" and that Shelton would not vote for Clark. "So your former superior talks about your character. Isn't that right, General Clark?" Milosevic said. He later asked: "Why were you removed from your post prematurely?" Clark responded by reading a lengthy commendation given to him by then-defense secretary William Cohen, and also the citation read by President Bill Clinton when he awarded Clark the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Clark said, "I want to assure this court that there is no merit whatsoever in the statement made by a military colleague during the course of a political campaign." The lengthy reading of the citations prompted the judge to ask Clark how long he intended to go on. A video of the proceeding will be released Friday. Clark has said he spent more than 100 hours in meetings with Milosevic between 1995 and January 1999. After his appearance, Clark said he found Milosevic virtually unchanged. "He's the same guy," Clark said in an interview. Much of Clark's testimony centered on his first encounter with Milosevic, in August 1995, when Clark was a military adviser to Richard C. Holbrooke, then U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs, during negotiations that led to the Dayton peace accords, which ended the Bosnian war. Clark said he recalled asking Milosevic at that session, "should we be dealing with you, or should we be dealing with the Bosnian Serbs?" He said Milosevic replied, "With me, of course." Clark said he recalled a break in the meeting, when he privately asked Milosevic: "You say you have too much influence over the Bosnian Serbs. How is it then, if you have such influence, you allowed General Mladic to kill all those people in Srebrenica?" Ratko Mladic was the Bosnian Serb military commander. According to Clark, Milosevic replied, "I warned Mladic not to do this, but he didn't listen to me." Clark said he found the remark "stunning" because "that was an admission that he had foreknowledge of Srebrenica." Clark also said he did not know whether Milosevic was telling the truth when he said he tried to stop the slaughter. Nina Bang-Jensen, director of the Coalition for International Justice in Washington, said establishing that Milosevic had advance knowledge of the Srebrenica massacre was all that was needed "to hold him legally liable, because he has a duty to prevent it. And if he claims he could not prevent it, then he must punish the perpetrator" afterward, she said. "This is settled war crimes law." Milosevic, however, called Clark's account "a blatant lie" and denied that such an exchange took place. More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed in Srebrenica when Serb forces overran a U.N.-protected enclave. It was Europe's worst massacre since World War II. Staff writer R. Jeffrey Smith in Washington contributed to this report.

csmonitor.com 23 Dec 2003 GUILTY: Dragan Nikolic, at a UN tribunal in The Hague last week, was sentenced to 23 years for crimes against humanity. Bosnia's new war-crimes court will help ease the UN tribunal's caseload. PETER DEJONG/REUTERS Bosnia to try its war criminals, but is new court up to the job? War-crimes tribunal in Sarajevo will hear cases as early as 2004. By Beth Kampschror | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor SARAJEVO, BOSNIA – The physical scars of Bosnia's devastating civil war are slowly beginning to fade. Harder to eradicate is the deep distrust of efforts to prosecute individuals for the ethnic violence that left 200,000 dead. Until now, a UN tribunal in The Hague has handled such prosecutions. But with the international panel under pressure to wrap up within seven years, Bosnia's new state court is being tapped to take over. The short-term hope is that some of the scores of people thought to have committed murder, torture, and rape during the war from 1992 to 1995 will be brought to account. But in the long run, many observers hope that the court will strengthen confidence in Bosnia's ability to handle its own problems. Related stories: 07/09/01 Hague hauling in world's tyrants monitortalk Weigh in on issues of the day in our forums. E-mail this story Write a letter to the Editor Printer-friendly version Permission to reprint/republish Bosnia's ability to hold fair trials is "a basic prerequisite for the rule of law and (is essential) if justice is to be seen to apply equally and to all," says Oleg Milisic, a spokesman for Bosnia's top international official, Paddy Ashdown. "Ultimately, the confidence ... citizens have in their own justice system, and therefore their own state, is directly proportional to the justice system's ability to deal fairly and properly with these most terrible crimes." The UN tribunal has tried more than 40 people since being established in The Hague in 1993. But its slow pace and its $120 million annual price tag have spurred the UN Security Council and the Bush administration to ask the court to finish trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010. The strategy is to continue to try leaders such as former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague, while deferring lower-level cases to Bosnia, says Refik Hodzic, the tribunal's Sarajevo spokesman. Local courts have already tried some cases, but have been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty International for endless delays, and for not protecting witnesses from threats or intimidation. Bosnians question the local courts' impartiality. But the war-crimes chamber would be a component of the state court that opened in January as part of Mr. Ashdown's attempt to bring both jobs and justice to Bosnians. Ashdown has also been purging the judiciary of corrupt and incompetent prosecutors and judges, and has imposed tough new criminal codes. It's a sharp contrast from the early postwar years, when Bosnia's two entities - the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serb Republic - had more power than the federal state, with their own high courts, militaries, police forces, and customs agencies. International donors have already pledged the first $18 million of the estimated $44.5 million that the new chamber needs over five years. The panel is supposed to be taking cases by late 2004. But people like Jovo Janjic, a Serbs rights advocate in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza, are skeptical. "I don't have great trust in the court, at least at this moment, because the courts that should have done this by now were formed on ethnic lines," he says, referring to the local courts that have tried war-crimes cases. Mr. Janjic's office is just blocks from the former front line, where a once-grand, tree-lined boulevard lies deserted, the windows of its Austro-Hungarian spa hotels shattered or boarded up. Nearby buildings are wrapped in red tape warning of land mines. Janjic says the chamber would be more trustworthy if it used foreign judges. And that's the plan. For the first five years, panels of foreign judges and prosecutors will work with Bosnians, taking cases deferred by the UN tribunal or its prosecutors, or new cases approved by the tribunal. By using foreigners for the first few years, the Bosnian war-crimes court will mirror a state court department that's been open since March, prosecuting mafia groups that engage in smuggling and trafficking in women. One of the department's four foreign prosecutors said it was too soon to say whether it has been successful. "It's a legal adventure," says Canadian prosecutor Jonathan Ratel, adding that the "huge question" is the state court's lack of a police force. Without such a force, the war-crimes chamber will be hard-pressed to collect documents, protect witnesses or judges, or punish nationalist politicians trying to interfere with the court. But any international moves to create a state police force may meet with resistance. Nationalists - Serbs in particular, since they fought the war for Bosnian territory and consider their entity a state within a state - want to keep a weaker central structure. Some people say that, even if there are convictions, the local trials may not persuade people in Bosnia that genocide and similar crimes actually occurred during the war. Jakob Finci is a local Jewish leader who has been trying to establish a truth and reconciliation commission similar to South Africa's for several years. Local war-crimes trials, he says, won't do much for truth-seeking while Bosnia's Croats, Muslims, and Serbs cannot see that their side committed atrocities. "Because of our history, I don't think that the courts are really accepted as independent institutions. Even The Hague is only accepted when they aren't investigating 'our own' people," Mr. Finci says. Still, Bosnians hope to see justice served. "There's no peace while criminals are walking free," says Mr. Janjic in Ilidza. Refugees won't return home while the people who drove them away are still around, and he says, "That's the final point of ethnic cleansing."

The Seattle Times 27 Dec 2003 Balkans genocide case could reach far By The Associated Press PORTLAND — Over the years, Norm Sepenuk has represented some of Portland's most high-profile white-collar crime defendants, including those entangled in the Enron and Capital Consultants cases. But last month, Sepenuk, 70, defended a client unlike any other: a former Serbian general convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. Radislav Krstic was convicted two years ago by a United Nations tribunal in connection with the 1995 assault on the Bosnian city of Srebrenica. After expelling 25,000 Bosnian women, children and elderly men from the city that July, Serbian army officials executed 7,500 men in a few days and buried them in mass graves. Sepenuk, who argued Krstic's appeal before a U.N. appeals tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, is not seeking to set Krstic free. He has conceded Krstic's conviction for taking part in the expulsion of the Bosnian Muslim women, children and elderly. That charge of crime against humanity would carry a lengthy prison term by itself. Rather, Sepenuk is trying to get overturned a charge of genocide, the so-called "crime of crimes." The Srebrenica massacre was deplorable, he said, but it did not meet the legal definition of genocide, which requires the perpetrator to be consciously trying to wipe out a group of people in whole or in part. Not only was Krstic not present at the massacre, but the evidence does not support the charge that he planned it or took actions intended to help others commit genocide, Sepenuk said. Last month at The Hague, prosecutor Norman Farell said there was ample evidence to the contrary. "Krstic knew, agreed with and monitored executions," Farell said. The outcome will determine whether Krstic, 55, has a chance of getting out of prison in his old age. That is unlikely with the 46-year sentence he currently faces. But the case has far more importance, legal experts say. It will bear directly on whether former Yugoslavian leader Slobodan Milosevic can be successfully prosecuted for genocide. And it could affect the trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, though many experts remain skeptical about how that case will be handled. Most important, the court ruling could create the most nuanced definition of what genocide is and who can be charged with it since the term was created more than half a century ago. Sepenuk's involvement in the case is a fluke. In 1999, he volunteered for a joint program of the American Bar Association and the State Department to help the former Soviet republics develop legal systems. On one of his trips, Sepenuk went to Brcko, a city in northern Bosnia, in August 2001. He ran into Peter Robinson, a friend and former Portland lawyer. Robinson had just finished work on the trial of Krstic, who had become the first person convicted of genocide in connection with the Balkan wars. Over lunch, one of Krstic's Serbian trial lawyers asked Sepenuk whether he would consider taking on the appeal. Sepenuk researched the case and decided he would. "I was struck by the fact that it was going to be the most significant case to date when it came to genocide," Sepenuk said. "That's what attracted me to the case. And it intrigued me to go into an international arena." On a practical level, if the court determines Srebrenica does not fit the legal definition of genocide, it would be very difficult to make the charge stick against Milosevic, said Michael Scharf, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. "And it is crucial that he be convicted of genocide," Scharf said. If Milosevic can't be convicted, "then who can you convict of genocide in the modern age?" he asked. The legal definition of genocide could also come into play in an Iraqi war-crimes tribunal, which has vowed to follow international legal precedent. "If they do turn to international law and procedure, then this will be a vitally important decision, a vitally important doctrine of what constitutes genocide in Saddam's case," said Robert Donia, a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego, who has testified for the prosecution in seven Balkan war-crimes trials.


FSUmonitor.com 4 Dec 2003 Liberal Party Leaders Call Kremlin-Created Party "Fascist" (December 4, 2003) SPS LEADERS CALL MOTHERLAND A 'NATIONAL-SOCIALIST' THREAT... Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) leaders Boris Nemtsov, Irina Khakamada, and Anatolii Chubais said on 3 December that their party might not win 5 percent of the vote in the 7 December election and thus might not be represented in the next State Duma, Russian media reported. The three SPS leaders told a Moscow press conference that the party is teetering on the edge of the 5 percent barrier, "plus or minus half a percent," newsru.com reported. Warning of a "colossal and unprecedented" risk, Chubais said that "national-socialism" has "reared its head in the country in its most disgusting and most dangerous form." He specifically pointed to the Motherland-Patriotic Union bloc headed by economist Sergei Glazev and State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dmitrii Rogozin. Chubais said the Kremlin created Motherland to siphon votes from the Communists, adding that "it is also clear that this force will devour, above all, those who created it." Earlier in the day, SPS campaign manager Alfred Kokh declared that the mixture of the "nationalist" Rogozin and the "socialist" Glazev "can without equivocation be called fascism." Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 227, Part I, 4 December 2003

FSUmonitor.com 4 Dec 2003 Moscow Hate Crime Victim Dies in Hospital (December 4, 2003) An ethnic Uzbek who was stabbed by three youths on a trolleybus in Moscow on October 1, 2003 has died in the hospital, according to an article in the November 21, 2003 edition of Russky Kurier. Twenty-six year old Sherzod Khushmakov was traveling with another Uzbek migrant on the bus when he was approached by three teenagers (Artyom Ganenkov, Rodion Zverev and Andrey Sadovnikov). Without provocation of any kind, they stabbed both men multiple times before fleeing. As UCSJ previously reported, all three of the attackers were residents of orphanages, however the “Russky Kurier” article disagrees with earlier media reports that the attackers were skinheads. According to the article, Mr. Ganenkov was inspired by reports of skinhead violence and wanted to imitate them. The other two attackers are reportedly mentally retarded, and went along with him in his plan to attack some non-Russians, perhaps without really understanding what they were doing. All three have confessed to the crime. The article also revealed that on the same bus line earlier that day, the three skinhead-imitators also stabbed a 30 year old Peruvian named Cesar Luis Gonzalez Mendoza. Mr. Gonzalez was stabbed in the stomach, but managed to get off the bus at the next stop (his attackers remained aboard). After he got home, he called an ambulance, but was reluctant to involve the police. Medics later informed the police of the attack; they eventually tied it to the stabbing of the two Uzbeks. Although not mentioned in the article, many victims of hate crimes do not report them to the police, who are often racist themselves and have a reputation for brutality.

FSUmonitor.com 5 Dec 2003 Six Skinheads Arrested for Murder Aboard Moscow Suburban Train (December 5, 2003) Six skinheads have been arrested and charged with the murder of an ethnic Korean from Uzbekistan, according to a December 4, 2003 report posted on the Polit.ru news web site, citing the ITAR-TASS news agency. Yaroslav Kun was reportedly beaten to death aboard the Moscow-Fryazevo suburban train as he was returning home to the suburban town of Elektrostal. His assailants reportedly yelled “Russia for Russians!” as they beat him. According to the report, they have confessed to the murder, as well as an additional killing a few days before.

errc.org 5 Dec 2003 Anti-Romani Racism in Russian Local Elections On December 5, 2003, the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) sent a letter to Ms Tatjana Merzljakova, Commissioner on Human Rights of the Sverdlovsk County, Russia, expressing concern about intense anti-Romani racism accompanying the local elections campaign in the city of Jekaterinburg, Russia. The ERRC was alarmed to learn that one of the candidates for mayor of Jekaterinburg campaigned for the demolition of the local Romani settlement. Anti-Romani attitudes have been fostered also through hate-mongering and stigmatising publications in the local media. The ERRC urged the Commissioner to denounce publicly manifestations of racial intolerance toward Roma and appeal to the media to observe the principles of tolerant portrayal of minorities. The text of the ERRC letter follows: Dear Ms Merzljakova, The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC), an international public interest law organisation that monitors the human rights situation of Roma and provides legal defence to Romani victims of human rights abuse, is concerned about calls to hatred, in particular, directed against Roma ("Gypsies"), and about instances of incitement to racial hatred in the Sverdlovsk County of Russia. The Jekaterinburg-based Romani organisation Roma Ural provided the ERRC with newspaper articles taken from the local newspaper Uralskije Vesti (Ural news), which overtly called on people living in Jekaterinburg to support an initiative put forward by one of the candidates for the position of the mayor of Jekaterinburg, Mr O. Gusev, to demolish the "Gypsy settlement". On November 13, 2003, in an opinion poll conducted by the newspaper, the following question was put: "Do you support the initiative put forward by Mr O. Gusev concerning the liquidation of the Gypsy settlement and building on its place municipal blocks of flats for dwellers of the city?" In another issue of the same newspaper, in an article entitled "Shacks and palaces", Roma were identified as "thieves", "deceivers", and "drug dealers" (Uralskije Vesti, No 34, November 20, 2003). The fact that all this takes place as part of an election campaign increases the tension in society. The ERRC believes that such publications incite to racial hatred and contribute to a climate of intolerance towards Roma. The ERRC would like to remind you that racism has been a subject of serious international concern which, in particular, is embodied in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, of which Russia is a signatory state.

AFP 8 Dec 2003 Toll in Russian train blast rises to 44 MOSCOW, Dec 8 (AFP) - The toll of a bomb attack on a Russian commuter train near the war-torn republic of Chechnya has risen to 44, regional health officials told AFP Monday. A 50-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man died in hospital overnight of injuries sustained in the explosion Friday, a regional deputy health minister said in a telephone interview. The blast, apparently set off by a suicide bomber, wrecked a commuter train in the Stavropol district just north of Chechnya two days before a national parliamentary election. The explosion left more than 170 people injured. Twin blasts had rocked the same commuter line two months ago, killing four people and injuring 32, many of them teenagers on their way to university classes in the town of Pyatigorsk. Rebels have been battling Russian troops in Chechnya since the start of the second Russian-Chechen war in October 1999.

Reuters 8 Dec 2003 Winners and losers in Russia's election MOSCOW, Dec. 8 — Russia's parliamentary elections created a heavily pro-Kremlin State Duma, while Communist and liberal opponents were crushed. Following are brief descriptions of the main winners and losers in Sunday's poll. THE WINNERS: PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN Making no secret of his support for the run-away winner of the election, United Russia, Putin can look forward to being able to push his policies through parliament more easily. He said the poll was ''another step in strengthening democracy.'' The party may well have received enough seats to change the constitution and allow Putin a third term in office. BORIS GRYZLOV Gryzlov, the leader of election winner United Russia, has been a key Putin loyalist since before the 1999 elections. As the current interior minister, Gryzlov initiated a campaign against ''werewolves in epaulettes,'' or corrupt policemen in the run-up to the election. His pledge to fight corruption, often among employees of his own ministry, has been a major selling-point with voters. VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY The ultra-nationalist leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) has cultivated his popularity through vociferous outbursts and a clown-like image. He has a history of following the Kremlin lead on important Duma votes. With around 11 percent, his party almost doubled its percentage of the vote from a poor showing in 1999 elections. SERGEI GLAZYEV Glazyev is the joint leader of Rodina (Motherland), the new arrival to the Duma. A former minister of foreign economic relations, Glazyev has struck a chord with voters with a combination of socialism and robust nationalism. Much of his pre-election campaigning focused on demands that the tycoons who run most of Russian business should pay for the natural resources they exploit. THE LOSERS: ANATOLY CHUBAIS The driving force behind large-scale privatisation in the 1990s, Chubais has been given a clear message from voters that liberal politics, such as those of his Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) party, do not win votes in today's Russia. Many have blamed him for running the privatisation campaign that created the business tycoons, known as oligarchs, that bought big businesses cheaply and are now worth billions of dollars. GRIGORY YAVLINSKY The economist could find himself in the political wilderness after his Yabloko party failed for the first time to muster enough votes to enter parliament. He and the SPS may now look at ways of uniting their liberal parties, having failed to agree on an alliance before the election because of personal differences. GENNADY ZYUGANOV Zyuganov leads the Communist party and has twice come second in presidential elections. His party scored enough votes to be the opposition party in the new Duma, but suffered heavy losses. He called the elections a ''shameful farce'' and vowed to conduct a parallel vote count to expose cheating.

Moscow Times Monday, Dec. 8, 2003. Page 1 LDPR, Homeland Also Big Winners By Simon Saradzhyan Staff Writer The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the Homeland bloc appeared to be among the winners of Sunday's election, showing the broad appeal of both parties' nationalist and anti-oligarch rhetoric among impoverished and disillusioned voters. LDPR, which has been in the State Duma for the past decade, looked set to greatly increase the size of its faction, while the new Homeland bloc was on course to cross the 5 percent threshold and win a share of the party-list vote in its first time on the ballot. The strong showing for LDPR and Homeland stems from their success in wresting away a chunk of the protest vote from the Communist Party and from Yabloko, which also has traditionally railed against oligarchic capitalism, said Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Politika think tank. The Communists were hurt by the amount of mud slung at the party during the campaign, said Nikonov and Nikolai Petrov, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. The Communist Party was attacked by pro-Kremlin parties, and the coverage it received on state-controlled television was largely negative. The Kremlin either set up or helped promote a number of parties, including Homeland, in an effort to steal votes from the Communist Party or discredit it in the eyes of its traditional electorate. Nikonov said Homeland was set up by the so-called Family clan, which comprises holdovers from former President Boris Yeltsin's administration. Homeland co-leader Sergei Glazyev, an economist, chose the immensely rich and unpopular oligarchs as the main targets of his campaign. He called for raising taxes on their oil companies and using the money to increase pensions and public sector wages. His co-leader Dmitry Rogozin, presidential envoy for Kaliningrad and outspoken hawk, also hit out at the oil barons, but he interspersed his anti-oligarch tirades with calls for a greater Russia and vows to protect the interests of ethnic Russians abroad. This hard-hitting rhetoric made Homeland so popular that the Kremlin started to become concerned that it would do too well in the elections and move beyond its control. Hence, regular coverage of Homeland on Channel One television came to an end more than a week before the vote. But even Rogozin's sharp-worded attacks on the oligarchs paled in comparison to Zhirinovsky's televised escapades. "And no big business. Don't put it in their hands because they will steal it all and take it all out. Medium-sized businesses, perhaps -- but under the control of the special services," Zhirinovsky said during debates on NTV's "Svoboda Slova" program on Friday evening. Unlike Homeland, LDPR is a veteran of the political scene. Some allege the party was set up by the Kremlin as a manageable opposition to the Soviet Communist Party. Zhirinovsky has always courted the protest vote with hard-line rhetoric, but his faction almost invariably has voted in line with the Kremlin's wishes on important bills. The party did poorly in the 1999 elections, winning only 5.98 percent of the vote as large swathes of the protest vote went to the Communists and even to Unity, which the Kremlin had created just two months before the election in an effort to undermine a party backed by powerful governors. This time, however, access to television coupled with tacit support from the Kremlin allowed Zhirinovsky to expand his share of the protest vote at the expense of the Communist Party, said political analyst Sergei Markov. "LDPR was backed by its traditional set of voters. But it was pushed further along by huge amounts of money from the Kremlin and TV support," he said. Nikonov agreed. While the state-controlled television channels were hitting the Communists hard, LDPR and Homeland were left to their own devices and succeeded in getting their messages out, he said. Given LDPR's record, the faction can be expected to continue to vote in line with the Kremlin's wishes in the new Duma, unless it is swayed by a more generous lobbyist, Nikonov and Petrov said. Homeland deputies may prove to be more independent in their voting, emboldened by their strong showing in the election, Petrov said. Nikonov, however, said Homeland's leaders are unlikely to consistently oppose Kremlin-backed bills for fear that they may become the next target of a Kremlin-engineered smear campaign, after the Communists. Glazyev and Rogozin, who were members of the Communist and pro-Kremlin People's Deputy factions, respectively, in the previous Duma, have so far dodged the question of what alliances Homeland may form in the new Duma. "We aim to form a new majority in the Duma together with other patriotic forces," Glazyev said at a news conference Thursday, a definition broad enough to describe either the Communists or the People's Party, which has enjoyed the support of the Kremlin's siloviki clan. Petrov said Homeland is unlikely to ally with any pro-Kremlin faction, although Rogozin may decide to split away to form a partnership with the People's Party, which was formed on the basis of the People's Deputy faction. More likely, however, Glazyev will ally with those Communists who have lost belief in Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. "Glazyev may be seizing the leadership of the left opposition from Zyuganov and, if he plays it right, he may emerge as this opposition's sole candidate for the presidential elections," Petrov said. Staff Writer Catherine Belton contributed to this report. Selected Quotes Boris Nemtsov: "What is of most significance to me is that there will be a large number of national-socialists in the new Duma, and we have warned about this. ... I don't think that a Duma of this kind can facilitate Russia's progress. ... If our representation in Duma is minimal, a lot of problems will arise for Russia. I am very afraid that we are losing our opportunity." Sergei Glazyev: "We will pass laws that enable us to double the country's budget, gross domestic product and the salaries of state employees. The previous Duma majority worked for private interests, now it will focus more on national interests." Grigory Yavlinsky: "Homeland took votes away from Zhirinovsky and the Communists. There are voters who are dissatisfied with the work of the Communist Party and who are tired of voting for Zhirinovsky." Gennady Zyuganov "You are all participating in a disgusting spectacle that for some reason people are calling an election. This embarrassing farce ... has nothing to do with democracy."

BBC 9 Dec 2003 Six die in Moscow suicide blast A suspected suicide bombing near Red Square in Moscow has left six people dead and wounded several others. The blast happened on a busy street only a few hundred metres from the Kremlin in the heart of the city. In a speech soon afterwards, President Vladimir Putin said "terrorists" threatened the nation's development. The attack may have been aimed at government buildings, two days after Mr Putin's supporters won legislative elections. It follows last week's suicide bombing on a train in southern Russia that killed dozens of people and which officials blamed on Chechen rebels. Windows shattered The Moscow bomb went off shortly before 1100 local time (0800 GMT) outside the National Hotel, yards from the capital's main shopping street, Tverskaya Street. Thirteen people were reportedly wounded. A Mercedes sedan was destroyed in the explosion, but it is unclear whether the explosion was a car bomb. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov described the attack as a botched attack by at least one, but probably two, women suicide bombers. The bomber or bombers had earlier asked a passer-by the way to the State Duma - the lower house of parliament, he said. "Evidently, the bomb went off by accident," he was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency. "The National Hotel was not the place where the suicide bombers had planned to stage the explosion." Police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev said police investigators were becoming increasingly persuaded the blast was related to terrorism, rather than to a business dispute, AP said. The Federal Security Service (FSB) has also said it considers the bombing a terrorist act, according to Russian agencies. The hotel sits on a corner opposite an entrance to Red Square and the Kremlin. First and second-floor windows along the street were blown out. Bomb scene "We felt a kind of whoosh, heard a bang, and saw smoke," an unidentified witness told Russian state television, according to Reuters. A Reuters correspondent reports seeing the severed head of a woman lying on the pavement next to a briefcase, as well as flesh on the snowy pavements. Television pictures also showed a body lying outside the hotel, behind a destroyed car. Police cordoned off the area and brought in a bomb disposal robot to locate undetonated explosives reportedly found on one body at the scene. Bomb disposal experts then carried out two controlled explosions, one on a handbag apparently suspected of containing explosives. Putin denunciation Shortly after the attack President Putin addressed regional leaders at a Kremlin meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the nation's constitution, which will be celebrated on Friday. "[The constitution] is a foundation for the development of a free market economy, democracy, and the development of the nation as a whole and the preservation of its territorial integrity," he reportedly said. "The actions of criminals, terrorists, which we have to confront even today, are aimed against all that."


AFP 28 Nov 2003 Second Serbian war crimes suspect announces plans to contest election Former Yugoslav army chief of staff General Nebojsa Pavkovic, an alleged war criminal, said Friday he would run for parliament in next month's election, FoNet news agency reported. He is the second war crimes suspect to run in the election after another inidictee, nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, was registered as the top candidate of the Serbian Radical Party earlier this month. Pavkovic, wanted by the UN tribunal at The Hague for alleged crimes committed during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, said he had as much right to contest the December 28 election as "any other man whose guilt has not been proved." "I think that the forthcoming elections are the right place for the people of Serbia to take a position" on the UN court, Pavkovic told a press conference. "I am for cooperation with such institutions, but first of all I prefer the domestic judiciary." Vojislav Seselj, the other suspect planning to stand in the poll, surrendered to the UN in February and is facing trial for alleged crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia in the early 1990s, when he supported Serb paramilitaries in the battles against Muslim and Croat forces. There is also a chance that wartime Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who has been on trial at The Hague since February last year, will be included on the Socialist Party's election list. The Socialists are waiting for a decision from Milosevic, who faces more than 60 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Pavkovic and three other police and army generals have been charged by the UN Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia with waging "a campaign of terror and violence against Kosovo Albanians." He has refused to surrender to The Hague and the authorities have not publicly announced whether they have started extradition procedures. An estimated 800,000 Kosovo Albanians were driven from their homes during the war, when rebels from the province's ethnic Albanian majority fought for independence from Serbia. The indictments against Pavkovic and the three others, unsealed last month, infuriated the Serbian government which said local courts should be allowed to handle the cases. Some analysts have said the timing of the indictments have boosted the popularity of nationalist and right-wing parties who openly express their antagonism to the UN court. A nationalist Radical Party candidate won the most votes in a presidential election in Serbia two weeks ago, but the result was annulled due to insufficient turnout. And opinion polls this week showed the Radicals were likely to emerge as the strongest single party in parliament, ahead of the reformist moderates which helped oust Milosevic from power in 2000. Convicted prisoners are banned from contesting elections in Serbia, but not suspects or those who have served their jail terms.

AFP 2 Dec 2003 Milosevic to run for election From correspondents in Belgrade December 02, 2003 FORMER Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, currently on trial for war crimes before the Hague-based UN tribunal, will run for parliament in Serbia in this month's election, a senior party official said today. The nationalist strongman who led the country into war and isolation in the 1990s is the third war crimes suspect to contest the December 28 poll. "Milosevic agreed to be first on the list of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and if we win enough votes to enter the parliament he can be a deputy," SPS official Ivica Dacic told AFP. The Socialist Party, which has collapsed since Milosevic was toppled from power in 2000 and extradited to The Hague the following year, sees Milosevic's nomination as a "symbolic" act of defiance, said Dacic. "It is a symbolic gesture of recognition to him for his fight in The Hague." document.write(''); Milosevic has been on trial since February last year, defending himself against more than 60 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his role in wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. He becomes the third war crimes suspect to run for parliament after ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, also detained at The Hague, and former Yugoslav army chief of staff General Nebojsa Pavkovic. Seselj surrendered to the UN court in February and is facing trial for crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia in the early 1990s, when he supported Serb paramilitaries in the battles against Muslim and Croat forces. Pavkovic is wanted for allegedly masterminding, along with Milosevic and others, a "campaign of terror and violence" against the ethnic Albanian majority in southern Kosovo province during the 1998-99 conflict there. He has refused to surrender to The Hague and the authorities in Belgrade have not publicly announced whether they have started extradition procedures. Nationalist parties have enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in Serbia recently and nearly won a presidential election last month. The Radicals are tipped to become the strongest party in parliament after December 28. Convicted prisoners are banned from contesting elections in Serbia, but not suspects or those who have served their jail terms.

AP 4 Dec 2003 Serbia's war crimes prosecutor files charges in 1991 massacre at pig farm BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -- Serbia's war crimes prosecutor issued his first indictment Thursday, charging eight Serb suspects in the killing of some 200 Croat prisoners held at a pig farm in 1991. All of the suspects are in custody, prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said in a written statement. He did not reveal their names or say when the trial would start. Serbia formed the special court in June to deal with war crimes in an effort to ease some of the pressure on the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, which is focusing on top suspects. The eight suspects were charged with taking part in the mass execution of prisoners at the farm in Ovcara, near the Croatian town of Vukovar, during fighting there. The U.N. court has charged three former Yugoslav army officers in connection with the Ovcara case, but has said that low-ranking suspects could be tried here. The possibility of a war crimes trial in Serbia was raised after former President Slobodan Milosevic -- who led the country into four Balkan wars -- was ousted in 2000 by a pro-democracy coalition. Serb-led police and army have organized a few war crimes trials since the Balkan wars ended in 1999, but the cases have received little publicity and have been criticized by some independent observers for being poorly conducted. The special court was established with the help of the United States and other Western countries involved in the Balkans. The court also deals with high-profile cases of organized crime, including the March assassination of reformist Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was allegedly killed by crime bosses and hard-liners in the police ranks.

AFP 5 Dec 2003 Eight Are Indicted for War Crimes in Serbia BELGRADE, Serbia, Dec. 4 (Agence France-Presse) — Serbia's special war crimes prosecutor issued his first indictments on Thursday, charging eight men with committing atrocities near the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991. The prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic, who was elected to the newly established post in July, said the men were accused of committing "war crimes against prisoners" in Ovcara, near Vukovar, on Nov. 20 and 21, 1991. The accused were not identified, and Mr. Vukcevic's statement did not say when they would be brought to trial. The Serbian government in July set up a special war crimes prosecutor's office, which is backed with police and detention units, to deal with allegations arising from the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the 1990's. The authorities hoped the move would allow local authorities to take over some of the cases instead of leaving the cases for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is considered by many Serbs as biased and politically motivated. It is unclear whether the eight suspects indicted here on Thursday, all of whom are in police custody, also face parallel indictments by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic of Serbia said this year that "several people" suspected of committing war crimes at Ovcara had been arrested during investigations into the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in March. Mr. Mihajlovic said the arrests had shed "new light" on the Ovcara events, providing fresh evidence that might help with the defense of three former Yugoslav Army officers who have been indicted by the United Nations tribunal. The international tribunal has charged the officers with war crimes committed in Vukovar. The three officers, identified as Veselin Sljivancanin, Miroslav Radic and Mile Mrksic, are all awaiting trial. More than 200 Croatian patients from the Vukovar hospital were executed by Yugoslav security and paramilitary forces in Ovcara in November 1991.

ICG 9 Decr 2003 Southern Serbia’s Fragile Peace Recent violence in the Albanian-majority Presevo Valley in southern Serbia suggests the delicate peace there could still unravel. The Presevo Valley is generally thought of as one of the few conflict resolution success stories in the former Yugoslavia, but recurring incidents make clear that peace is far from secure. The violence has little popular support, but there is a sense among local Albanians that peace has not delivered what it promised. Albanians there are deeply unhappy at high unemployment and lack of economic prospects. Serbia’s stalled reforms prevent much-needed political and economic change, and efforts to increase Albanian participation in state institutions have had mixed success. Unresolved issues in Kosovo make local politics more nationalistic. Serious tensions linger, requiring the attention of local authorities, Belgrade, Pristina, and the international community. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org

NYT 27 Dec 2003 Milosevic's Name on the Ballot Signals Serbian Nationalism By NICHOLAS WOOD Published: December 27, 2003 BELGRADE, Serbia, Dec. 26 — It is symbolic of Serbia's increasingly nationalistic mood that Slobodan Milosevic, the former president who is on trial on war crimes charges in The Hague, is running in the parliamentary elections here on Sunday. Polls suggest that the most seats will be won by the hard-line nationalist Radical Party led by Vojislav Seselj, now also a prisoner in The Hague and a partner in Mr. Milosevic's war-making in the 1990's. Nationalists also won recent parliamentary elections in Croatia, Serbia's archrival, where they have just formed a government. Advertisement Mr. Milosevic, who heads the list for the Serbian Socialist Party and is thus likely to win election, and Mr. Seselj are among four leading war crimes suspects who are running for office in elections on Sunday, even though they have been indicted by the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. The elections were called in October by the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, after the collapse of his coalition government. The government came to power in January 2001, three months after mass protests forced Mr. Milosevic from office, and it handed him over to the United Nations tribunal in The Hague in June that year. But the government began to founder after that, and in March was shaken by the assassination of the prime minister, Zoran Djindjic. Now the loose coalition that forced Mr. Milosevic out has ceased to exist, and nationalists who once shared power with Mr. Milosevic are dictating the tone of the election campaign. Serbia faces enormous problems: unemployment officially around 13 percent, and probably much higher; a bureaucracy essentially unreformed from the Communist era; and organized crime, which flourished during Mr. Milosevic's 13-year rule when his policies led to increasing diplomatic and economic isolation. Yet the question that has dominated a largely lackluster campaign is whether Serbia should cooperate with the Hague tribunal, which has always been viewed by many here as biased against Serbs, who make up the bulk of those indicted. American and European aid depends in large part on Serbia's cooperation with the tribunal. But antipathy toward the court increased, diplomats and local commentators here say, after the court's chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, issued four new indictments against members of the Serbian security forces, one of whom, Sreten Lukic, is a deputy minister of police. The government has refused to hand over the suspects, and declared on Friday that Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb war commander wanted for genocide and other war crimes, was not in Serbia. The government's statement was in line with the way that parties on all sides of the political spectrum have sought to highlight their opposition to the court. In addition to Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Seselj, the former Yugoslav Army commander, Nebojsa Pavkovic, who is wanted for atrocities committed by his forces in Kosovo in 1999, is a candidate for the Socialist People's Party, and Mr. Lukic is a candidate for the Liberal Party. A poll by the Belgrade-based Strategic Marketing agency this week predicted that the Radical Party would be the largest single party in Parliament, with perhaps 25 percent of the votes cast. Neither Mr. Milosevic nor Mr. Seselj would be able to take a seat in Parliament, and the two were banned by the Hague tribunal from taking any active role in the campaign after court officials learned the Serbian Socialist Party had used a tape-recorded telephone conversation with Mr. Milosevic calling on Serbs to vote for it. Rebeka Bozovic, deputy president of the Liberal Party, blamed Ms. del Ponte's announcement just ahead of the election campaign for giving the ultranationalist Radicals a significant boost. "My genuine belief is that Mrs. Del Ponte was the best head of an electoral campaign that the Radical Party could ever have had," she said in an interview. The Liberal Party is a member of the current coalition government and was once in favor of cooperation with the tribunal. The party's leader, Dusan Mihajlovic, was among those responsible for Mr. Milosevic's arrest and subsequent deportation to The Hague. She said the backlash against Mrs. Del Ponte's announcement had left the party with little choice but to seek Mr. Lukic's support. "We saw from the polling that there was no chance of a regular campaign," she said, explaining why they had invited him to join the party. "It is an honor to have him on the list." Other vote-seeking ploys by the dozens of parties running include the promise of a return of the monarchy to Serbia, and the appearance on one list of Josip Broz, a grandson of Tito, the former Communist leader of the now vanished Yugoslav federation. There are six main contenders for seats, and "each of the parties that aspires to Parliament is looking to come up with a certain style or personality by which it would be different, and shape their identity," said Zarko Trebjesanin, a professor of psychology at Belgrade University. Parties fielding war crimes suspects, he said, were counting on a tradition of spite — "inat" in Serbian — toward the tribunal in The Hague to help them win more votes, even though it could be detrimental to Serbia's long-term interests. "Most people understand that Europe or the U.S. is not going to be happy with Seselj or Milosevic being on the party lists," Mr. Trebjesanin said. People voting for these parties, he said, would in many cases "do it out of spite even if it is no good for themselves." The Liberal Party, whose leader has been dogged by allegations of corruption during his tenure as interior minister, has adopted a black sheep as its electoral emblem. Ms. Bozovic said the black sheep represented something that could be admired by "going against the flow." "People are loving it," she said. "Everybody wants to have the badge and the T-shirt!"


Reuters 28 Nov 2003 Sweden plans to send 200 peacekeepers to Liberia BC-LIBERIA-SWEDEN Sweden plans to send 200 peacekeepers to Liberia STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) - Sweden said Friday it planned to send 200 peacekeepers to Liberia as part of a U.N. mission seeking to help cement a deal to end nearly 14 years of civil war in the West African country. Assuming parliamentary approval, the Swedish blue helmets would travel to Liberia in early February and work with an Irish battalion, said an Armed Forces statement. In September, the United Nations Security Council approved up to 15,000 peacekeepers for Liberia. So far the peacekeeping mission consists of some 4,700 mainly West African soldiers protecting the capital Monrovia. Disarming Liberia's fighters, who include drugged-up child soldiers, is widely regarded as crucial to breaking a wider cycle of violence threatening neighboring Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where arms flow freely across borders. The peace process began when President Charles Taylor went into exile in Nigeria and the government and rebels signed a deal in August, agreeing to restructure the army to include rebels and disband all irregular forces. A power-sharing government was set up to steer the country to elections. Non-aligned Sweden began taking on international peacekeeping duties in the 1960s when it sent forces to what was then the Congo. Sweden's biggest peacekeeping operation is now in Kosovo, where it has deployed a 760-strong unit. China said earlier Friday it would send peacekeeping police and soldiers to Liberia in coming days.


ICRC 3 Dec 2003 Press Release 03/03 "Women and War": Photographic exhibition at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent ICRC (Geneva) – "Srebrenica: a woman searching for her missing husband and sons long after the war is over." "Baghdad: two young girls return home from a drinking-water distribution point set up by the ICRC." "Kigali: family reunion between a mother and her child after years of separation following the genocide." These are among the descriptions accompanying images in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) photographic exhibition on women and war, launched on 3 December at the International Conference Centre Geneva. The photographs show women from around the world who have suffered because of armed conflict – women who are courageously coping with its impact. The exhibition is under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, who also opened an exhibition of photographs on woman and war earlier this year in Beirut and on 25 November 2002 in Amman. The occasion was the launch of the Arabic language version of the ICRC publication, Women Facing War, a study on the impact of armed conflict on women. Both the study and the photographic display show that women experience war in a multitude of ways. Women are sometimes combatants, though the majority live through armed conflict as civilians, retaining their dignity and humanity whatever the circumstances. This photographic exhibition is taking place at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the theme of which is "Protecting Human Dignity.” Four years ago, at the last International Conference, the ICRC pledged to promote the respect that must be accorded to women and girls and to ensure better assessment of their needs throughout its activities, placing particular emphasis on the prohibition of all forms of sexual violence. This exhibition is a vivid expression of the ICRC's continued commitment to raising awareness of the situation of women affected by armed conflict, and to better assessing and addressing their needs. The ICRC will continue to emphasize the protection to which women and girls are entitled, maintaining the commitment made four years ago at the 27th International Conference and reinvigorated this year through such events as this photographic exhibition, which bears witness to the suffering, needs, resilience and essential dignity of women facing war.

BBC 10 Dec 2003 Swiss right-winger in government Blocher describes himself as a Swiss nationalist Swiss far-right leader Christoph Blocher has narrowly won a seat in government after a vote in parliament. The result marks a political transformation for the country, which has been under the same system of government since World War II. Mr Blocher's Swiss People's Party demanded a second cabinet seat after election success in October. Mr Blocher is known for his outspoken views on asylum seekers and immigrants, and is firmly opposed to the EU. Blocher's pledge Mr Blocher took 121 votes in a third round of voting in parliament on Wednesday, unseating Justice Minister Ruth Metzler of the centrist Christian Democrats. "I think the system of consensus with four parties leads to viable government," Mr Blocher told parliament after the vote. "I pledge to do everything to earn the confidence accorded to me." I will do what I can and hope God will ensure that it turns out well Christoph Blocher His inclusion changes the make-up of Switzerland's four-party coalition for the first time in 44 years. The administration has always included two socialists, two radicals, two Christian Democrats, and one member of the Swiss People's Party. But Wednesday's vote, which included the re-election of Mr Blocher's People's Party colleague Samuel Schmid, left the Christian Democrats with only one seat as the smallest party. NEW CABINET People's Party (SVP): Christoph Blocher Samuel Schmid Liberal Party (FDP): Pascal Couchepin Hans Rudolf Merz Social Democrats (SP): Micheline Calmy-Rey Moritz Leuenbeger Christian Democrats (CVP): Joseph Deiss It also means Ms Metzler, one of only four women who have ever reached government in Switzerland, will miss out on her turn in the rotating presidency next year. Her Christian Democrat colleague Joseph Deiss was elected Swiss president for 2004. Specific ministerial posts will be decided by further political bartering between the major political parties before the new Federal Council is due to take office on 1 January, 2004. The People's Party has doubled its share of the vote in recent years, after shifting further to the right. It is now the largest party in parliament. The party had threatened to leave the government and go into opposition if Mr Blocher had not been elected. Mr Blocher has been a key figure in Swiss politics for 20 years, but no-one ever really expected to see him in government. Asylum minister The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Bern says Mr Blocher insists he can work within Switzerland's coalition and stick to its tradition of consensus politics. But some of his own policies run directly counter to those of the government. He has ruled out Switzerland ever joining the EU, for example, while official government policy is to join in the long term. Our correspondent said it was not yet clear which portfolio Mr Blocher would be given. If he takes over from Ms Metzler as justice minister, he will become the minister in charge of asylum and immigration policies.

AFP 17 Dec 2003 Turkey fumes at Swiss recognition of "so-called" Armenian genocide ANKARA : Turkey condemned the Swiss parliament for recognizing as genocide the killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I and warned that the move would lead to consequences. "We strongly condemn and reject the decision adopted by the lower house of the Swiss parliament on the so-called Armenian genocide," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement. Advertisement It added without elaborating that Switzerland would "bear responsibility for the negative consequences" triggered by the decision which the statement said was taken without consideration for bilateral ties. The resolution by the lower house of the Swiss parliament, which goes against the Bern government's advice, was adopted adopted by 107 votes to 67. Unlike an earlier motion rejected in 2001, it does not formally require the Swiss government to recognize that a genocide had indeed taken place. Instead, it asks only that the government acknowledge the decision and transmit it to Turkey. Ankara hit back by saying that the Swiss resolution was a distortion of historical facts. "It is unacceptable that events which took place under the special conditions of World War I and which caused great pain to both Turks and Armenians, be distorted and presented as genocide of one party," the Turkish ministry statement read. Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kinsmen were massacred in orchestrated killings nine decades ago. Turkey categorically rejects claims of genocide, saying that 300,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed in what was a civil strife during World War I when the Armenians raised up against their Ottoman rulers.


NYT 7 Dec 2003 Bombings and Waning Number of Jews Sap Turkey's Synagogues By CRAIG S. SMITH ISTANBUL Leon Brudo paused outside the pink walls of the Ahrida Synagogue, the city's oldest, and waited for Korin Sori to arrive with the keys. "It's beautiful inside," Mr. Brudo, 80, said. But the city's 17 synagogues are suffering, and not only because two were bombed on Nov. 15, killing at least 25 people and wounded hundreds. Turkey's Jewish population has been withering away, sapped by emigration, assimilation and the low fertility rates that affect affluent, educated peoples around the world. The community, still the largest in any Muslim country, numbered more than 70,000 before World War II but has shrunk to fewer than 25,000 today. "In 50 years, there won't be more than a few thousand Jews left," Rifat Bali, a Jewish writer, said in his book-lined office across town. Most of Turkey's Jews are the descendants of Sephardim expelled from Spain in 1492. Tens of thousands set sail on the same tide that carried Christopher Columbus to the New World. While he sailed west, they headed east into the welcoming arms of the Ottoman sultan, Bayazid II. For 500 years, the Turkish Jews thrived. But the numbers began dropping after anti-Jewish riots in the 1930's, and about half of the country's Jews later left for Israel. Others left in 1986, after Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, killing 22. The latest bombings are likely to drive more away. Like most of the city's surviving synagogues, Ahrida is open only on Saturday now for a handful of Jewish residents who come to pray. When Ms. Sori, the custodian, arrived to open its doors, she eyed Mr. Brudo's guests suspiciously. She was not happy to learn they were journalists and broke into Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language of the Sephardim, evidently scolding him. "It will only give the terrorists more targets," she complained. The Jews of this Muslim land have always cultivated a low profile. "It has became institutionalized," said Mr. Bali, the writer, adding that if Jews "want to be happy in this country, you don't speak too much in the public space." For that reason, he and others say, there were no public reports of two recent execution-style killings of Jewish men here until after the bombings in November. Many people say the killings put the city's Jews on edge. "The community was expecting something because of the two murders," said Rosita Igual, 55, sitting in the lounge of the Ciragan Palace Hotel overlooking the sparkling Bosporus. "With bombings increasing in the region, it was apparent that they weren't going to skip us." The Ahrida Synagogue was built a half century before the Spanish Inquisition, but its only signs of age are some faded bits of 17th-century frescoes that survived a renovation of the building a decade ago. The synagogue's main feature is its teva, or pulpit, which is shaped like an ark. Some people say it was built to commemorate the ships that brought the Sephardim from Spain. Mr. Broder pointed out the details with pride. He said that years ago he used to go to the synagogue every morning, but since it stopped opening on weekdays, he had been going to the Beth Israel Synagogue in the city's Sisli district instead. That was one of the targets on Nov. 15. "I don't know where I'll go now," he said.

Anadolu Agency 10 Dec 2003 Halacoglu said the meeting could be hold in 2004 in a day determined by the sides after the answer of the Armenian side became clear. ANKARA (AA) - Armenian allegations will be discussed on official science platform. Turkish History Institution (TTK) Chairman Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu told the A.A correspondent on Wednesday that they would come together with Armenians under the auspices of Vienna University in 2004 to discuss the year 1915. Stating that TTK Armenian Desk Chairman Prof. Dr. Hikmet Ozdemir and he would attend the meeting, Halacoglu said, "Vienna University also asked Chairmanship of Academy of Sciences from Armenia if they could take part in such a meeting. They said they accepted to attend in principle, but they did not yet inform us who would attend the discussions. After they inform us, the issue will be officialized." "Then, we will reciprocally send each other archive documents and source documents. We will examine these documents and then come together in Vienna to hold a discussion under the auspices of Vienna University." Halacoglu said the meeting could be hold in 2004 in a day determined by the sides after the answer of the Armenian side became clear. Noting that they would discuss Armenian issue in a closed meeting by mutually submitting documents, Halacoglu said, "the main subject of this discussion is the year 1915, the year Armenians alleged that they were exposed to genocide. In fact, this meeting can be considered a period of revealing all the cards in hand. We will discuss the issue mutually for the first time with this meeting." Halacoglu said that the content of the meeting would later be made public with a statement by Vienna University. Underlining that the Armenians refrained from discussing the issue so far, Halacoglu said, "if we hold this meeting, Armenians and Turks will come together and discuss the past for the first time in history. I think it will be a very interesting discussion."

english.aljazeera.net 19 Dec 2003 Thaw in Turkey-Armenia relations by Jonathan Gorvett in Istanbul Turkish PM Erdogan refuses to acknowledge Armenia's "genocide" accusations Despite continuing tensions between Turkey and Armenia over allegations of a 20th century genocide, the two countries seem to be moving closer together. Ankara angrily condemned on 18 December a recent Swiss parliament vote that recognised Armenian claims about the "genocide". Yerevan accuses the Turks of being responsible for the deaths of more than one and a half million Armenians between 1915 and 1923. After summoning the Swiss ambassador to the Turkish foreign ministry, the deputy undersecretary Nabi Sensoy told him the Swiss decision was “unjust, wrong and not in conformity with the historical facts”. However, Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland Zograb Mnatsakanyan told Armenian Public TV: “The Swiss parliament has once again confirmed its adherence to human values and justice.” Yet, despite the obvious distance between the two countries' governments over genocide allegations, recent months have seen something of a rapprochement between Ankara and Yerevan. Turkish troops “Both governments want to have normal relations,” said Professor Edmund Herzig of Manchester University, an acknowledged expert on Turkish-Armenian affairs. Earlier this month, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and Turkish Foreign Minister Abd Allah Gul met for the third time this year. "... when the war with Azerbaijan started over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Armenians scored military successes, the Turkish government essentially backed away from them” Prof Edmund Herzig, Manchester University This marked a “small, but nonetheless positive change”, according to Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian. Turkey also agreed earlier this year to send troops to Armenia to take part in joint military exercises with other Caucasian states. “Back in 1991, Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise Armenia as independent from the Soviet Union,” said Herzig. “Trade then opened up between the two countries, but then when the war with Azerbaijan started over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Armenians scored military successes, the Turkish government essentially backed away from them,” he added. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan, ended with the Armenians conquering a large swathe of Azeri territory. War factor Impact of Azerbaijan-Armenia war has declined This was unacceptable to Turkey, which enjoys strong religious, ethnic and cultural links with Azerbaijan. Ankara broke off diplomatic relations with Yerevan in 1993 and joined an Azeri blockade of Armenia’s frontiers. This has hit trade hard, particularly in Turkey’s depressed eastern regions along the Armenian frontier. Now, the only way for trade to continue between the two is via a third country – normally Georgia. However, Turkey would like to change this situation. Speaking back in October, Turkish foreign trade minister Kursad Tuzmen said: “I would like to improve my trade with every neighbouring country,” when referring directly to Armenia. “Armenia is the bridge,” said Soyak, “connecting Turkey to Central Asia. The Kars-Yerevan railway is the only railway that connects Turkey to Central Asia. This railway was actively working until 1993.” Turkey is also under pressure from the European Union to normalise its relations with its eastern neighbour, a major factor given Turkey’s strong desire to join the EU. International pressure The US is also pressuring Turkey to restore diplomatic relations and open the border. However, “As long as the Nagorno-Karabakh issue remains unsolved,’ says Herzig, “it’s very hard to see how Turkey can abandon the Azeri government on this and restore relations”. Talk of opening the border is greeted with great hostility in Azerbaijan, with the government in Baku recently saying this would be seen as a sign of “treachery”. However, for many of those who are descendants of the survivors of the 1915-23 events, “the genocide is a crucial aspect of identity”. Many of these descendants – the Armenian Diaspora – live in the US and France, where they constitute powerful lobbies. “Turkey’s line of straight denial as far as the genocide is concerned doesn’t convince anybody,” said Herzig. “In fact, it tends to give the impression that something must have happened.” While acknowledging many died during forced deportations of Armenians in 1915-18, the Turkish authorities say this was not the result of any deliberate – and therefore genocide – policy. At the same time, “the Armenians also committed many massacres,” said Professor Mehmet Kulaz of Van’s Yuzuncu Yil University. Forced deportations Meanwhile, for many Armenians, questions of regional politics are not as important as a simple recognition of the fate that befell many of their ancestors. “The genocide is part of the Armenian Diaspora identity today, not necessarily for political reasons,” said Dr Hratch Tchilingirian of Cambridge University's Eurasian Programme. “Nor is it because of anti-Turkish feelings per se. Primarily, it’s there because its part of family history… I would say that for the ‘silent majority’ of Armenians, the moral issue comes first. "They want an acknowledgement that their grandparents and their relatives were murdered, an apology for a crime committed against a people by the very government which was supposed to protect them.” Yerevan alleges one and a half million Armenians were killed by the Turks during and after the Second World War. Armenians say Turkey made a land grab for their territory in the chaos that reigned during the global conflict. However, Ankara has always fiercely denied the allegations. Aljazeera By Jonathan Gorvett in Istanbul


BBC 22 Nov 2003 Ukraine marks great famine anniversary By Yaroslav Lukov BBC News Online Ukrainians around the world are marking the 70th anniversary of the great famine, which they describe as the genocide against the nation. In Kiev, people gathered at a memorial to the famine victims Historians estimate that some seven million people died during the 1932-33 famine, which Ukrainians say was deliberately started by the then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Under his policy of forced collectivisation of agriculture, farmers in Ukraine - known as the "bread basket" of the USSR - were stripped of all their produce, leaving millions of people with virtually no food to survive. Yet one of the darkest chapter in Ukraine's recent history, remains largely unknown to the world, and the commemorations have already been overshadowed by controversy. On Friday, the Pulitzer Prize board said it would not revoke its 1932 prize awarded to a New York Times reporter accused of ignoring what Ukrainians call the man-made famine. And earlier this month, a United Nations' declaration - while recognising the famine as Ukraine's national tragedy - did not include the word "genocide" - to the great dismay of Ukraine which lobbied hard for the inclusion of the term. Brutal reality The week-long commemorations of what Ukrainians call Holodomor - meaning murder by hunger - began with a series of sombre exhibitions around the world. A quarter of Ukraine's population was wiped out in just two years In Ukraine's capital, Kiev, some 2,000 people - among them dozens of the famine survivors - gathered in St Michael's Cathedral to light candles at a memorial to the victims. In London, the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain presented grim exhibits from the 1930s. The horrors of the two years which wiped out about a quarter of the population of Ukraine and one third of its children are revealed by rare photographs which had been smuggled out of the former Soviet Union. The pictures of emaciated corpses are reminiscent of scenes from Nazi concentration camps. On display in London also are newspapers, documents and Soviet posters, portraying a happy - "fatherly" - face of the dictator Stalin. Earlier this month, another exhibition opened at the UN headquarters in New York, with Ukraine's UN Ambassador Valeriy Kuchinsky urging the international community to "avoid similar catastrophes in the future". UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Publication Shashi Tharoor said the 1932-33 famine "ranks with the worst atrocities of our time". Cannibalism The whole extent of horrors during Holodomor was kept under closed lid in the former Soviet Union. Farmers' produce was forcefully collected by the state The truth began to emerge slowly only after Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, and it was only earlier this year when more than 1,000 documents relating to the famine were declassified. According to some figures, about 25,000 people died every day in Ukraine in 1933, and there were widespread cases of cannibalism. "Our neighbour killed his wife, dismembered her body and was seen to make soup of her," 82-year-old Volodymyr Pianov was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. I myself remember to this day my shock and horror - even total disbelief - when my grandmother told me how children and babies had been eaten alive during the famine when everyone was just desperate to find any food. Sometimes children would just disappear without any trace, but many villagers knew what really was happening, my late grandmother said. She only began speaking to me about those terrible times in the late 1980s, telling me that she had been lucky to survive the famine in central Ukraine. Controversial prize But even now, little is still known about the famine outside Ukraine, and the commemorations have already been marked by some controversy. Stalin forced farmers to give up their land and join collective farms The decision by the Pulitzer committee not to revoke its 1932 Prize to the late Walter Duranty - the New York Times correspondent in Moscow at the time - was met with outrage by Ukrainian groups. Duranty has been accused of distorting the truth about the USSR and covering up news about the famine in Ukraine in order to preserve his access to Stalin. "The Pulitzer Prize committee must review their standards of journalistic integrity," President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Michael Sawkiw said. A number of Ukrainian organisations sent the committee more than 15,000 letters demanding that the prize be revoked and Mr Sawkiw said his group would continue to press for action. While acknowledging that Duranty's award-winning work in 1931 - before the famine - "falls seriously short" if "measured by today's standards", the Pulitzer committee defended its decision not to revoke the prize. "The board determined that there was not clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception," the committee said in a statement. "Revoking a prize 71 years after it was awarded under different circumstances, when all principals are dead and unable to respond, would be a momentous step," the statement added.

United Kingdom

BBC 8 Dec 2003 Face to face with the Holocaust By Sean Coughlan BBC News Online education staff What was the most frightening moment in the concentration camps? Did you ever forget to wear a yellow star? Do you still hate the Nazis? It's not often that schoolchildren are given the chance to put questions directly to people who have lived through events they are studying in the classroom. Steven Frank tells pupils of his childhood in Nazi concentration camps But Steven Frank, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, is giving pupils the opportunity to ask him about his experiences in three different camps during almost five years of persecution and captivity. Mr Frank, who for decades told almost no one that he had been in a concentration camp, is now visiting schools to talk to young people about what he had seen with his own eyes. He is acutely aware that he is one of a "diminishing band" of Holocaust survivors - and he wants to pass on his first-hand experiences, as an act of witness for those who did not survive and with the aim of making youngsters think about the consequences of intolerance. For these school pupils, born in an era of mass affluence - and whose political memories barely stretch back as far as John Major's premiership - it is a huge leap of the imagination to hear Mr Frank's account of imprisonment, starvation and terror. But when he visits Wood Green School in Witney, Oxfordshire, he has a rapt audience of young teenagers, as he tells them about his childhood under the Nazis. It's a very grim story, but told with great restraint and understatement, that involves and holds the attention of its young audience. Discrimination When the Second World War ended, he was a nine year old in the Theresienstadt ghetto in what was then Czechoslovakia - and out of 15,000 children held there, only 93 survived to be liberated by the Soviet army. Steven Frank shows pupils the yellow star he was forced to wear by the Nazis Mr Frank was born in the Netherlands - and he was five years old when the Nazis occupied his home town of Amsterdam - and he says he remembers the sound of their jackboots in the street. Before the Jewish population in the Netherlands was detained (and fewer than one in ten survived the war), he remembers the gradual ratcheting up of anti-Semitic discrimination. "I was suddenly different from all my other friends. I was no longer allowed to play in the park, my father could not take public transport to work, I couldn't go into the swimming pool or the zoo." Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow star whenever they were in public - and he still has the faded star he wore during these years. This star, with all its evocative associations, intrigued the pupils, who wanted to know whether people really did wear them all the time. Steven Frank says that there was little chance of forgetting when the punishment was likely to be death. Mauled Looking at such tangible evidence as the yellow star helps to make the events of the Holocaust more real for these youngsters - and it is the individual stories that provide the greatest resonance. Deborah Padfield says that pupils are encouraged to think about their own beliefs When he is asked about what scared him most, he says that when he was held in a transit camp, he played too close to the perimeter fence, and a guard dog was deliberately set on him. "I can still hear the guards laughing," he tells pupils, as he remembers the savage mauling from the guard dog, and the guards' enjoyment of this moment of recreational cruelty against a child. And he remembers the suffocating foulness of a 39-hour train journey in a cattle truck, being moved between camps, barely able to breath in a lightless, airless carriage, which he says reeked with vomit, urine and fear. For anyone looking for a glimpse of hope for human nature, he says that in his years in concentration camps, he saw no evidence of any kindness or compassion from the guards, even towards children. Learning about the Holocaust is part of the school curriculum - and there have been plenty of films and television programmes about the subject. But he says that what is hardest to convey is the unremitting sense of hunger, the gnawing fear of being sent to death camps such as Auschwitz and the appalling prevalence of disease. In almost every class he visits at the school, there are questions about whether camp inmates tried to escape. And he tries to explain that the prisoners were in such a terrible physical condition, with malnutrition, dysentery, hepatitis and typhus, that simply staying alive each day was a challenge in itself. Starvation Sitting in the warmth of an Oxfordshire classroom, it's hard to take in the conditions faced by inmates - as he describes the shape of distended stomachs of starving children, who were set to work shifting the ashes of those who had died. Pupils produced art work and wrote poetry based on what they had heard Pupils were also interested in why some people survived. And he says that there were two consistent factors: luck and a steely, self-preserving instinct. If anyone lost hope, they would die, he says. In his own case, his survival owed much to his mother's job in the hospital laundry, which allowed her to gather scraps of bread which she brought to her sons in a tin saucepan - and he shows the pupils this heirloom, which his mother kept after her liberation. Those that did survive faced the psychological legacy of their experiences. He says he can still hear the screams of families deliberately being removed from each other. "When children had lost their homes and their parents, the only thing that they might have left to hold onto was a brother or a sister," he says. And when the Nazi camp authorities took these children away from each other, he says their howls of despair have remained with him all his life. His own father, who had secretly worked with the Dutch resistance, had been arrested, tortured and killed, while they were still in Amsterdam. And his last memory of him is saying goodbye as he left for work in the morning. But he says that there were other survivors who have even more disturbed and disturbing memories. This could also apply to those who had not even been imprisoned by the Nazis. He knew of another Dutch Jew who spent the entire occupation hidden between two walls, three feet apart. Even though this is a distant era for these pupils, they were clearly keen to understand how such events could have happened, wanting to know the reasons for the hatred the Nazis showed against people such as Mr Frank and his family. Genocide But their questions also showed how difficult it is for today's teenagers to grasp the extent of the conditions in a camp where more than 99 per cent of child inmates died. A girl asked whether inmates were allowed to bring their pets with them - another boy wanted to know what kind of drinks were available. But Mr Frank says that talking to pupils, and showing them the consequences of hatred, is a way of making them examine their own beliefs and prejudices. For many years, after he came to live in Britain after the war, he did not want to talk about his experiences, wanting to "fit in" with everyone else around him. But as time passed, he became aware of the need to share his memories and to warn against the type of discrimination that could lead to such an attempted genocide. And he says he uses his experiences to make pupils re-consider their attitudes towards immigrants and asylum seekers. Humanise "Through my story they have seen an example of what hatred and intolerance can lead to - and I hope that they will reflect on what they've heard. And perhaps if ever they face a similar situation, they might think of that old man who spoke at their school and they will say 'This is wrong'." "Going into schools in this way means that another generation of pupils can be better informed," he says. Deborah Padfield, head of religious education at the school, says that Mr Frank's visit will make a strong impression on pupils. "Meeting him makes it much more real - it's something that they will remember." She also says that meeting someone who is such an articulate and approachable figure helps to humanise the whole subject and it challenges the pupils to think about their own beliefs. With such a vivid example of prejudice, it is a way into the ethical questions that children will face in their own lives, she says. It's also hoped that when there are no more survivors of the Holocaust, that such visits will have passed on the story to another generation.


AP 5 Dec 2003 A Look at War Crimes Tribunals Worldwide, Iraq's Governing Council plans to create a war crimes tribunal to try members of Saddam Hussein's former regime for crimes against humanity. Some similar tribunals worldwide: -Yugoslavia: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was formed in 1993, the first such court since the military tribunals that judged Nazi and Japanese leaders after World War II. The tribunal, based in The Hague, Netherlands, has tried 43 people for atrocities during the Balkan wars of the 1990s; former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is now on trial. -Rwanda: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a United Nations court based in Tanzania, is trying dozens of people for the 1994 genocide that killed 500,000 people. Local courts are trying other suspects in Rwanda. -Worldwide: The International Criminal Court, inaugurated March 12, is the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal. The United States bitterly opposes it, fearing that Americans will be singled out for frivolous cases. U.S. officials have signed deals with more than 30 countries to prevent Americans from being extradited to the court in The Hague. - Sierra Leone: A tribunal being planned jointly by the United Nations and the Sierra Leone government will have a mix of local and international prosecutors and judges. It will try war crimes from the African country's 1991-2000 civil war. -Cambodia: A joint U.N.-Cambodia tribunal is being assembled after nearly five years of negotiations. It will try members of the Khmer Rouge, which ruled from 1975-79. -Peru: a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is examining crimes committed during fighting between government forces and Shining Path rebels from 1980 to 2000. -South Africa: A Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up after South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994, investigated crimes committed during decades of white-minority rule and submitted a report in March.

AP 7 Dec 2003 ElBaradei Aims to End Nuclear Threat VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- It was a bold response to a fearsome menace: erasing the threat of nuclear annihilation by establishing a global agency to keep nations from abusing the power of the atom. But 50 years after President Eisenhower's landmark ``Atoms for Peace'' speech on Dec. 8, 1953, the U.N. nuclear agency born of his address is still struggling to contain the threat and move the world ``out of the dark chamber of horrors into the light.'' Nuclear weaponry poses even more of a danger than it did during the arms race between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, conceded in an interview marking Monday's anniversary of the speech. When Eisenhower addressed the U.N. General Assembly, there were just two nuclear powers. Today, there are at least seven: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, India and Pakistan. Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons, and North Korea says it has them, a claim that has not been verified. Washington accuses Iran of covertly developing atomic arms, a charge the Tehran regime denies. ``I'd like us to see nuclear weapons the way we perceive slavery or genocide -- that it's taboo,'' ElBaradei told a small group of reporters at his agency's sprawling headquarters overlooking the Danube River. ``I would not be surprised if we see more countries acquire nuclear weapons,'' he said. ``We need to change that environment -- to move toward a world free of nuclear weapons, which have no place in our defense arsenals of the future.'' This year alone, the IAEA has convened emergency meetings on Iraq, Iran and North Korea -- the Bush administration's ``axis of evil'' and the countries that pose the most immediate threat. Not that ElBaradei, an Egyptian, caters to Washington. His inspectors angered U.S. officials before the war in Iraq by declaring they had found no signs of an active nuclear weapons program. Coalition troops have not uncovered any evidence since toppling Saddam Hussein, although ElBaradei is pressing for the return of his U.N. inspection teams to make sure. The IAEA also has clashed with Washington over how best to deal with Iran. Convinced that keeping Iran engaged is better than driving it back underground with an explicit threat of U.N. sanctions, the agency last month withstood American attempts to toughen a resolution demanding greater Iranian openness to inspections. ElBaradei also has criticized Congress for releasing $6 million for U.S. research into ``mini-nuke'' weapons. ``Far from aiming for nuclear disarmament, the United States is looking to improve its arsenal,'' he told the Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Eisenhower believed the best way to deal with the nuclear threat was to get countries to commit to using atomic technology for purely peaceful purposes. ElBaradei said in the interview that the IAEA is supporting efforts to develop a new ``proliferation-free'' fuel cycle that would produce waste unfit for reprocessing for weapons use. The U.N. agency also is focusing on ways to minimize the risks of terrorists acquiring nuclear material that could be used to make ``dirty bombs'' -- conventional explosives that would scatter radioactive material -- a menace he said didn't occur to the IAEA until after the Sept. 11 attacks. ``Now we're spending a great deal of time working on this threat,'' ElBaradei said. Eisenhower's speech, anchored in his belief that ``if a danger exists in the world, it is a danger shared by all,'' envisioned a U.N. nuclear agency that would control the world's atomic stockpile by putting it ``into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.'' The IAEA, created four years later, didn't turn out that way. It doesn't have the world's uranium and plutonium under lock and key. Instead, the agency polices more than 900 facilities in 70 countries to ensure they comply with their commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and other international accords. IAEA inspectors regularly visit nuclear facilities to check records on the whereabouts and inventories of nuclear materials, looking for signs that uranium and plutonium at reactors or laboratories might be diverted to military uses. ``The vision is still as valid today as it was 50 years ago. We're working diligently to rid ourselves of the destructive force of nuclear weaponry,'' ElBaradei said. ``But we're not there yet. `Atoms for Peace' is still a work in progress. We need to do better.'' ------ On the Net: IAEA: http://www.iaea.org

Ghanaian Chronicle, Ghana Volume 12, No. 73 - Friday, December 12, 2003 A safer world working together By Kofi A. Annan We have come to a decisive moment in history. The great threat of nuclear confrontation between rival superpowers is now behind us. But a new and diverse constellation of threats has arisen in its place. We need to look again at the machinery of international relations. Is it up to these new tests? If not, how does it need to be changed? The events of the past year have exposed deep divisions among members or the United Nations, on fundamental questions of policy and principle. How can we best protect ourselves against international terrorism and halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction? When is the use of force permissible, and who should decide? Does it have to be each state for itself, or will we be safer working together? Is “preventive war” sometimes justified, or is it simply aggression under another name? And, in a world that has become “unipolar,” what role should the United Nations play? These new debates come on top of earlier ones that arose in the l990s. Is state sovereignty an absolute and immutable principle, or does our understanding of it need to evolve? How far is it the international community’s responsibility to prevent or resolve conflicts within states (as opposed to wars between them) - particularly when ‘they involve genocide, “ethnic-cleansing’ or other extreme violations of human rights? Do we have effective mechanisms for carrying out that responsibility? These questions go to the heart of international peace and security. They cannot be left unanswered. Yet they are not the only questions. For many people, they may not even be the most urgent. In fact, to many people in the world today, especially in poor countries, the risk of being attacked by terrorists or with weapons of mass destruction, or even of falling prey to genocide, must be relatively remote compared to the so-called “soft’ threats — the ever-present dangers of extreme poverty and hunger, unsafe drinking water, environmental degradation, and endemic or infectious disease. These kill millions of people every year. Let’s not imagine that these things are unconnected with peace and security, or that we can afford to ignore them until the “hard threats” have been sorted out. We should have learnt by now that a world of glaring inequality — between countries, and within them — where many millions of people endure brutal oppression and extreme misery, is never going to be a fully safe world, even for its most privileged inhabitants. If the common ground we used to stand on no longer seems solid, we must seek new common ground for our collective efforts. And we need to consider whether the UN itself is well-suited to the challenges ahead. Those are the tasks I have assigned to a Panel of sixteen highly respected and experienced people from all parts of the world, which is holding its first meeting this weekend. It is chaired by former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun of Thailand, and includes outstanding experts on both security and development issues. The Panel’s role is threefold: to develop a shared analysis of current and future threats to peace and security; to prepare a rigorous assessment of the contribution which collective action can make in meeting these threats; and to recommend the changes needed to make the United Nations a legitimate and effective instrument for a collective response. How, in particular, can the UN “take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace”, which is one of its purposes, as defined in Article I of the Charter? The Panel will focus primarily on threats to peace and security. But it will also need to examine other challenges, in so far as these may influence or connect with those threats. That may mean looking not only at the Security Council, but also at the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. It may even mean looking at the Trusteeship Council — one of the UN’s “principal organs”, but one without a function since the last of the trust territories became independent in 1994. Could this body perhaps find a new role, in the light of the new responsibilities the UN has recently been given in some war-torn countries? Only the UN’s member states can decide such matters, but the Panel can help them do so. I hope it will complete its report by autumn 2004, so that I can make recommendations to the next session of the UN General Assembly. If it does its work well, history may yet remember the current crisis as a great opportunity, which wise men and women used to strengthen the mechanisms of international cooperation, and adapt them to the needs of the new century.

Find Law 12 Dec 2003 - Book Review Is World Peace Through Conflict Prevention Possible? A Review of David Hamburg's No More Killing Fields By LEE H. HAMILTON ---- Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 David Hamburg, No More Killing Fields: Preventing Deadly Conflict (December 2003) It is easy to believe that the cycle of violence will go on indefinitely, that peace cannot be realized, and that military power is the only thing that counts in international relations. Questions abound about how the United States should conduct itself as a superpower, and whether there is hope for the community of nations to peacefully coexist. Indeed, I have been impressed by how many policymakers simply assume a violent world and then go from there. In this environment, it is refreshing to read an entire volume about how we can act to prevent conflict. David Hamburg's No More Killing Fields is based largely on his work as co-chair of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, which published seventy-five books and reports on conflict prevention in the 1990s. But it is also a summation of a career largely dedicated to the idea of taking preventive action to combat undesirable outcomes. Hamburg was trained as a psychiatrist and medical doctor, and committed himself to the idea of prevention after meeting Jonas Salk. Seeing the effects of the polio vaccine, Hamburg learned an essential lesson. He writes, "From that moment on, a dollar's worth of vaccine was more valuable than a million dollars worth of iron lungs." Hamburg reasoned, Why not apply the same logic to the prevention of deadly conflict? Instead of dealing with violence after it breaks out, take measures to prevent deadly conflicts . Instead of treating symptoms, treat the cause of the disease . Drawing on the Lessons of World War II Hamburg begins his book by revisiting World War II. He points, in particular, to crucial moments in the 1930s when preventive diplomatic, economic, legal, or military action could have stopped Hitler in his tracks. World War II, he argues, was a preventable conflict, but the western powers lacked the tools, methods, and political will to act until it was too late. Hamburg argues that today, the international environment is ripe for prevention. We have the example of the violence of the 20th century as a cautionary tale and, unlike Europe in the 1930s, we have more effective tools for prevention at our disposal. We have international institutions like the UN and IMF, institutionalized alliances like NATO, international legal norms, economic incentives and deterrents, extensive intelligence capabilities to anticipate conflicts, and technology that allows for more effective diplomacy and action. In short, we have both the motivation and the means for prevention. The Value, and the Urgency, of Taking Preventive Action This capability is matched by an urgent need to think preventively. Hamburg writes, "We are approaching a time when no society on earth will be so remote that it cannot do immense damage to itself and to others, however far away." Indeed, we may, in part as a result of terrorism, have already arrived at that moment in time. Still, many people roll their eyes when they hear about conflict prevention. After all, policymakers are overwhelmed by existing crises. A number of years ago, I was in the office of the National Security Advisor. I asked about the large stack of files on his desk. He said, those files all deserve immediate attention, they cannot wait. Then I noticed another large stack, twice as high, behind him. Those, he said, are the ones that are extremely urgent. Since then, things have only gotten more difficult. The U.S. is now engaged in a global war against terrorists who are in over eighty countries around the globe, and is fighting a violent insurgency in Iraq. How can policymakers find the time for prevention?? The simple answer is that it is in our national interest to act preventively. The United States, as the world's richest and most powerful nation, is looked at as both a target for angry and disaffected peoples, and as the indispensable nation that must help resolve large-scale conflicts after they take root. In a globalized world, we are inevitably drawn into conflicts - either economically or militarily - and the burdens are vast and growing. Unless a better system of conflict prevention is developed, the burden on the United States to respond to instability and conflict will only become progressively greater, both economically and militarily, as could the cost in American lives. Consider the cost of failing to act to prevent violence. The failure to remain engaged in what was clearly a failing state in Afghanistan after Soviet withdrawal led to the Taliban and a fertile ground for terrorists. To take another example, the failure to act in Rwanda - where there was already a U.N. peacekeeping force - permitted a genocide that led to a long and protracted multi-state war that cost millions of lives. Apart from the human catastrophe that cannot be measured, the U.S. spent $750 million from 1994 to 1996 on aid related to the fallout from the genocide - an amount that is roughly equal to the entire annual U.S. aid budget to Africa, and far more than preventive measures would have cost. Today, the standoff between India and Pakistan could lead to a nuclear war that, according to U.S. intelligence estimates, could take the lives of up to 12 million people while injuring up to 7 million more. The humanitarian, economic, and, potentially, military crisis that this would cause is beyond our capacity for imagination, and would surely demand significant U.S. involvement. The cold truth is that the seemingly distant conflicts of today can inevitably cost the U.S. lives and treasure in the future. The Importance of Early Warning as a Key to Prevention Hamburg identifies early warning as a key to prevention. One of the advantages of a more interconnected world is that we can see trouble coming. The worldwide media, international institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can identify where conflict is brewing, and where it could spread, as can government intelligence agencies. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it was apparent that the former Yugoslavia was in danger of a violent disintegration. In 1994, hate radio broadcasts indicated that Hutus were planning to kill Tutsis on a massive scale. Long before September 11, the CIA was reporting that al Qaeda and the situation in Afghanistan presented a threat to the United States. Today, various early-warning signs alert us to many dangers: the growth of al Qaeda in Indonesia, the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea, the potential for mass violence in Zimbabwe, cross-border terrorism in Kashmir, and the threat of disintegration in Afghanistan or Iraq. A Set of Ways to Respond to Early Warnings That May Prevent Conflict Hamburg proposes a series of steps that can be taken by the international community in response to these early warning signs. The first step is preventive diplomacy, along the lines of the international attention to Kashmir after the terrorist attack on India's Parliament. When violence breaks out or appears imminent, nations or international institutions should intervene diplomatically through mediation, resolutions, public condemnation, or political carrots and sticks. As the sole superpower, the U.S. can take the lead in certain crises, but by no means should it bear every burden. Regional organizations such as the Organization of American States, the Organization of African Unity, or the ASEAN Regional Forum can take more responsibility for crises in their regions - it is better, for example, if Africans deal with African problems. International institutions like the U.N. can dispatch diplomats to trouble spots, demonstrate the will of the international community with a Security Council resolution, or mediate between conflicting parties. Ad hoc coalitions can also be formed to intervene diplomatically - for instance, the burgeoning effort of "the Quartet" of the U.S., the E.U., the U.N. and Russia to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue could set an example for future cooperation. Economic intervention through assistance, inducements, or punishments is another preventive tool. Economic assistance can prevent a state from falling into chaos and disarray, and can therefore alleviate a deteriorating situation - if people's basic needs are met, conflict can be prevented. Inducements and sanctions can encourage a state or group to steer their behavior away from violence by making it worth their while. For instance, Palestinians are badly in need of international aid if they are to address a humanitarian crisis, reform their institutions and crack down on terror. Such aid could supply a large carrot that could prove more coercive than a large stick in encouraging badly needed Palestinian reforms. Military intervention is another tool in the prevention arsenal. Preventive military action can take a variety of forms. In Cyprus, a substantial peacekeeping force has deterred a war between Greece and Turkey, and a preventive force in Macedonia stopped the mass violence of the Balkan wars from spreading to that country. In countries such as Afghanistan or Kosovo, the deployment of a peacekeeping force can prevent a return to chaos and violence. And in Rwanda, an oft-cited statement is that a peacekeeping force of 5,000 with the appropriate mandate for action could have prevented the slaughter of up to 800,000 Tutsis after it became clear that violence was coming to a head. Finally, large-scale military campaigns can be a final resort if a threat is great and imminent. The Need for International Coordination and Cooperation The role of the U.S. in these military interventions is, of course, vital and controversial. Often the U.S. is forced to do the lion's share in military operations because of its capabilities, and the fact that no other nation or entity can project military power abroad fast enough and substantial enough to resolve a conflict. But this situation should not continue. The international community must develop a means of responding militarily to deteriorating situations with a multinational rapid-response capability - most likely through the U.N. or NATO. A multi-national rapid-response force would take the burden off of the U.S. military, and enhance the international community's ability to take action to prevent conflict. International coordination and cooperation is essential to making all of these methods of prevention - diplomatic, economic, and military - work. Diplomacy is most effective when potential combatants are presented with a clear multilateral message by their neighboring states or the international community. Economic prevention only works if nations act in concert with one another - either in enforcing sanctions, delivering aid, or abiding by agreements. And military action is more effective and far less provocative when it is conducted with international support. The Need to Address the Root Causes of Conflict To prevent deadly conflict it is not enough to act on developing crises; we must also look for and address the root causes of conflict around the world. We know that conflict is caused by systemic repression, alienation of groups, ethnic and religious fanaticism, and sustained poverty and lack of opportunity. We also know that good democratic governance and economic progress are the long-term solutions to these problems. Hamburg argues that democracy is the single most important long-term solution to violent conflict, because democratization addresses many of the root causes that lead to this volatile situation. In democracies, there is a natural inclusion of different groups, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, and this leads to a higher regard for human rights. Democracies also provide people with peaceful means of resolving disagreements within a society - there may be battles, but they don't lead to killing. Simply put, someone within a democracy is less likely to be systemically repressed because they are a part of the political process, and they are less likely to start a violent insurgency because there are other means of protest and forums for argument. On a larger scale, democracies do not tend to go to war with other democracies because they are more adept at resolving disputes peacefully, and democratic institutions provide checks on a nation's ability to rush to war. The Importance of Promoting the Spread of Democracy There are basic steps that the U.S. and the world community of democracies can take to consolidate and encourage the spread of democracy. The U.N., regional organizations, and individual nations like the U.S. can help emerging democracies establish and promote institutions of civil society -- such as political parties, trade unions, independent media, and the rule of law. And these institutions in turn serve as safeguards against human rights abuses, corruption, and political repression because they give people a means to address their differences peacefully. But conversions to liberal democracy do not happen overnight. Today, Indonesia and Pakistan are at important junctures in the long process of democratization. In Pakistan, President Musharraf has rolled back democracy and rewritten the Constitution to give himself broad new powers. While the U.S. has important interests in gaining Pakistan's support in the war on terrorism, it is both counter to American values and not in our interests to turn a blind eye to these repressive actions. Musharraf's rollback of democracy will only feed opposition, much of it Islamist, and stunt the Pakistan's growth. The murky and militaristic nature of Pakistan's government also makes it hard to determine the extent of Pakistan's support for cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and Taliban fighters, and Pakistan's accounting of its nuclear weapons material, some of which found its way to North Korea. Pakistan cannot be a useful ally if it does not develop successfully, and it cannot develop successfully without democracy and the rule of law. The U.S. must not lose sight of the fact that prevention of violence in Muslim countries is dependent upon long-term political reform, not merely short-term action. Indonesia is engaging in a necessary and vital crackdown on Islamic terrorism, but we should not sacrifice the important steps that country has made in decentralizing power and moving towards democracy. We must be vigilant in pursuit of al Qaeda, but a movement back to military control of Indonesia could exacerbate separatist movements and Islamist opposition to the government. Short-term security concerns should be fused with a long-term interest in a stable and democratic Indonesia. Much of the talk surrounding Iraq concerns the good example that U.S. and international support for a democratic Muslim country in the Middle East could set. Indeed, President Bush has suggested that a "big bang" of democracy in Iraq will set off further democratization in the region and the Islamic world. But building a representative democracy in Iraq will be a long and arduous process, and we need to do more to support democracy in other Muslim countries. Indonesia and Pakistan, the two largest Muslim countries, could set a positive example if they consolidate and deepen their democracies. The Importance of Free Trade, Economic Openness, and Economic Aid Hamburg also reminds us that free trade and economic openness can lead to democratization and the prevention of conflict. In an increasingly interconnected world, countries with market economies become dependent on one another. This interdependence raises the cost of going to war - why go to war with someone you buy, sell, or trade with? For example, trade relations are currently playing an important role in the maturation of Sino-U.S. relations. While key differences remain on the issues of Taiwan and human rights, the potential for peaceful relations has been increased because of overwhelming common economic interests. China also highlights the role that economic openness can have on a country's political system. As markets open, new flows of information, people and ideas are able to penetrate what were previously closed societies. Since opening its economy, China has made progress - albeit slowly - towards political change. A similar process should be encouraged in regions like the Middle East. A recent U.N. human development report emphasized the fact that young people in the Middle East are frustrated because they can't get jobs and can't reach their potential. Opening economies and involving more of the population - particularly women - can reduce tensions within these countries, help them tap the potential of their own peoples, and provoke political change. Economic aid is also needed to address the underlying causes of violent conflict. Today, the poorest third of states account for more than 88% of total global warfare. Poverty, inequity and lack of opportunity incites young men across the Middle East; HIV/AIDS has already ravaged sub-Saharan Africa and could be a destabilizing force in China, India and Russia; population patterns and an erosion of natural resources could inflame tensions in already volatile areas. Aid and developmental assistance from nations and international financial institutions is essential to addressing the tensions that lead to bloodshed. Recognizing this, the Bush administration has already taken the positive step of announcing a 50% increase in the U.S foreign aid budget. The cost in increasing aid to reduce these threats is minimal compared to what the cost could be later on if these troubling developments initiate deadly conflicts, and humanitarian and environmental crises. Each of these strategies for long-term prevention is ambitious and, given the preeminence of the U.S. in the international community, each will depend in some measure on American policies. But each of them reinforces the reason why the U.S. occupies the position of leadership that it enjoys: the values of freedom, democracy, economic opportunity, tolerance, and the rule of law are widely admired and desired around the world. It is in the interest of the U.S. and the world that the U.S. lead as a benign superpower committed to promoting these values to address the root causes of deadly conflict. Turning our back on the world, or supporting those who oppose these values, will only enhance the dangers of tomorrow. Why an Optimistic, Not Defeatist, Attitude Is Crucial The human element of deadly conflict is the hardest to predict. Sadly, we must always expect that a Hitler, a Stalin, a Pol Pot, or some other charismatic leader will emerge to harness peoples' fear, desperation or rage towards horrific ends. Many of the regimes that trouble us today are led by despots who use the power of the state to enrich themselves, their aggression, or their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, while repressing large groups of people. Osama bin Laden joined his considerable wealth and connections with the disaffection of many people in the Muslim world in pursuit of human catastrophe and destruction. Does this mean that conflict prevention is irrelevant, for the cycle of violence is fated to proceed indefinitely into the future? Hamburg passionately argues that the answer is no. To the contrary, he urges, hard work and good thinking can achieve remarkable ends. Conflict prevention, in his view, "is difficult and prolonged work, but surely not beyond human capacity." To support his view, Hamburg draws on the example of the Marshall Plan, when out of the absolute destruction of World War II the U.S. acted to prevent the conditions that would lead to another world war. The immensity of the challenge was huge then, as it is now, but human capacity put to work built a better world out of the rubble of Europe and East Asia. "No More Killing Fields" is a call to action. It offers an incredible and detailed menu of actions that people, organizations and institutions can take to prevent deadly conflict, ranging from the very broad to the very specific. Today, conflict prevention is being explored and implemented by the UN, EU and many foreign governments and international institutions; the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and the US Agency for International Development are also incorporating aspects of conflict prevention into their operations. In the midst of the rhetoric of war and discord, Hamburg puts forth an aggressive program for peace and concord. We ignore him at our peril. .

news source abbreviations

AFP - Agence France-Presse
All-Africa - All-Africa Global Media
AI - Amnesty International
Al Jezeera - Arabic Satellite TV news from Qatar (since Nov. 1996, English since 2003)
Anadolu - Anadolu Agency, Turkey
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata - Italy
Antara Antara National New Agency, Indonesia
AP - Associated Press
BBC - British Broadcasting Network
DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
EFE - Agencia EFE (Spanish), www.EFEnews.com (English)
HRW - Human Rights Watch
ICG - International Crisis Group
ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
Interfax - Interfax News Agency, Russia
IPS - Inter Press Service (an int'l, nonprofit assoc. of prof. journalists since 1964)
IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Networks (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Africa and Central Asia)
IRNA -Islamic Republic News Agency
IWPR Institute for War & Peace Reporting (the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special project on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal)

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

Home | Genocide? | Law | Prevention | Punishment | Education | Action | About Us  /   Global News Monitor | Americas | Europe | Africa | Asia-Pacific

Prevent Genocide International