Prevent Genocide International 

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

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Summaries of some current news stories (October 2003):

Canada to Indict Mugabe? Senior members of Canada's three largest parliamentary parties called Wednesday on the Canadian government to indict Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, a case that could be the first real test of Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. A team of lawyers has used the act to craft a wide-ranging indictment that accuses Mr. Mugabe of committing genocide through the deprivation of food. Alliance MP Keith Martin, who has made several trips to Zimbabwe said "In order for it to work, the Minister of Justice has to simply say that this indictment, or one like it, will be used against Mr. Mugabe if he sets foot in Canada or if he's extradited to Canada . . . We'll see whether or not our foreign policy has some muscle or whether its just a lot of hot air."

New massacre in Democratic Republic of Congo killing 65, including 40 children in village of Katchele (Katshelli), 40 miles northeast of the regional capital, Bunia. United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has discovered 65 bodies, mostly children, apparently massacred Monday, October 6. Investigators found 23 bodies in a church, others in a mass grave and some in the bush surrounding the village. According to UN spokesman Fred Eckhard: "From the evidence gathered, a group of Lendu, believed to be from nearby villages, armed with rifles and machetes, attacked early Monday morning.

Israel: Israelis continues to debate the refusal of 29 pilots and former pilots to participate in targeted assassinations, while a Islamic Jihad suicide bomber strikes at the Haifa restaurant "Maxims" killing 19, after first shooting the security guard to enter the building. The dead include 3 generations of two families of Israeli Jews, and 4 Israeli Arabs.

Pakistan: Escalating ethnically targeted violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims claims dozens of lives, including one MP.

Turkey/Switzerland: Turkey canceled a scheduled visit by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey to protest the recent recognition by the Swiss canton Vaud of the Armenian genocide. Vaud became the second Swiss canton to recognize the Armenian deaths as genocide.

USA: The Bush administration sanctions 32 nations for their participation in the International Criminal Court: "In US diplomatic history, this constitutes the first sanction exclusively targeting democracies," said Heather Hamilton of the World Federalist Association. Not covered by the sanctions are NATO allies, of which all but Turkey also support the ICC. Meanwhile the US has agreed to the deployment of 1,000 Serbian troops to Afghanistan. The deployment will be commanded by General Goran Radosavljevic, a.k.a. Guri. During the Kosovo war, Guri led a cluster of antiguerrilla teams called Operative Posse Groups (OPG), suspected of killing 41 ethnic Albanian civilians in the village of Cuska in western Kosovo in May 1999. No indictment has been issued against Radosavljevic. At the same time Kosovo has offered police as peacekeepers, and was politely refused

Other headlines on current violence : "Anti-government protest leaves up to eight dead in Haiti", "Indonesian Aceh crackdown [begun May 19, 2003] has sparked humanitarian crisis: human rights group". Violence continues in Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Other headlines on past violence: "Argentina Detains More Ex - Army Officers"; " Probe Ties Ex-President to '68 Massacre in Mexico", "Site and design of Famine-Genocide memorial in Ukraine's capital stir controversy among public" A Columbia University history professor Mark von Hagen, hired by The New York Times to make an independent assessment of the coverage of one of the articial famine in the Ukraine during the 1930's said yesterday that the Pulitzer Prize the reporter Walter Duranty received should be rescinded because of his "lack of balance" in covering Stalin's government.


Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, October 5, 2003, 50 COUNTRIES SUPPORT ICC DESPITE US AID CUT THREAT Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - Despite US coercion including financial aid cut, more than 50 countries expressed firm support to the International criminal court (ICC) during the Security Council's recent public debate on "Justice and legitimate State", the NGO coalition for an ICC has revealed. These States called for a closer cooperation with the Court at national and international levels. They individually asked the Security Council to support the ICC's work and bring before it "situations involving the States which accepted its jurisdiction," the coalition said Saturday in a statement. The Coalition for an ICC is a network comprises over 2,000 civil society organisations working for the creation of a permanent, just and independent International criminal court. It said the supportive States also asked for concerted efforts toward the ratification and adherence to the Rome Statute establishing ICC. They called for the reinforcement of national jurisdictions to allow States to forward to the court those accused of crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes" as defined in the Statute. In contribution to the debate, DR Congo's ambassador to the UN, Atoki Ileka praised the ICC prosecutor office for recently saying that crimes committed in Congo's eastern Ituri region were currently under examination, for possible investigation. Ileka suggested the creation of an ad hoc criminal court to investigate crimes committed before the Rome Statute came into force on 1 July 2002. "This manifestation of support to the ICC coincides with the deadline set by the US warning countries to sign with it bilateral agreements not to hand over US citizens to the court," the NGO coalition noted. The US denied some 32 countries about $ 46 million in aid from its fiscal 2003 budget. The loss resulted from laws relating to the International military education training (IMET), Foreign military aid (FMF) and Weapon export control. For the fiscal 2004 budget, which began 1 October 2003, the US administration heightened its threat to cut military aid for States that resisted its pressure aimed to ensure immunity for US citizens from prosecution at the ICC. According to the American threat, defiant countries would lose the entire US 2004 military assistance, estimated at $ 89.28 million. If they uphold their defiance, nine African States stand to be affected by the measures. South Africa could lose $ 7.6 million, Benin $ 500,000, Kenya $ 7.1 million, Lesotho $ 125,000, Mali $ 250,000, Namibia $ 225,000, Niger $ 200,000, Central African Republic $ 150,000 and Tanzania $ 230,000. "In US diplomatic history, this constitutes the first sanction exclusively targeting democracies," said World Federalist Association programme manager Heather Hamilton. "The Bush administration's ideological opposition to the ICC undermines the essential priorities of US foreign policy by placing allies and friendly countries in a difficult situation," she pointed out in a statement.


Survivial International 22 Oct 2003 Merafhe admits 'We put these people... where we want them to be' In an astonishing slip, Botswana's Foreign Minister last week admitted that his government had relocated the Bushmen to 'where we want them to be.' Questioned by students after a talk at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Gen Mompati Merafhe at first denied that the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve had been forced off their land, but then admitted 'We put these people... where we want them to be.' The Minister faced hostile questioning by several students over his government's forced eviction of the Bushmen. In response, Gen Merafhe claimed his government's aspiration for the Bushmen was for them to 'enjoy the better things in life, like driving Cadillacs... Why must they continue to commune with the flora and fauna?' The shocked students have passed the General's comments to Survival. Stephen Corry, Director of Survival, said today, 'The Minister has finally admitted what everybody else has known for months – that the Bushmen have been evicted from their ancestral land against their will.'


www.genocideprevention.org 30 Sept 2003 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thousands of Burundian Citizens Displaced without Food and Water: Displaced Women and Young Children Raped ARLINGTON, VA September 30, 2003 - A sharp escalation in fighting between two rebel groups has resulted in intentional murder and rape of hundreds and displacement of thousands of civilians in the east and northwest of Bujumbura. There have also been numerous reports that children under the age of 5 were victims of rape. Specifically civilian women and children who have not complied with rebel demands have been subject to rape. These assaults have been reported consistently since January 2003. The UN reports that at least 43,000 people have fled their homes due to the fighting between Agathon Rwasa's forces nationals de liberation (FNL) rebel faction and soldiers loyal to the counsiel national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), the largest rebel faction. The faction Forces pour la defense de la democratie, led by Pierre Nkurunziza, was also reported at Mpanda Commune in the province of Bubanza, 12 km northwest of Bujumbura, the capital. The FNL has resisted participating in the peace process in Burundi These civilians have been displaced without water or food and are desperately in need of humanitarian aid. Reports over the past year have blamed the various rebel movements and the state security forces for murders of Burundian civilians, with rebel movements held responsible for 247 murders and the national army for 117 in a period of five months. Contact Richard O'Brien info@improvetheworld.org

AFP 5 Oct 2003 10 dead in fighting in restless Burundi BUJUMBURA, Oct 5 (AFP) - Five civilians and five rebels were killed in weekend violence in the restless central African state of Burundi, as peace talks with rebels resumed in South Africa, government sources said Sunday. Members of the Hutu tribe serving with the rebel group known as Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) killed the civilians in an overnight attack Saturday on two small communities at Bweru, east of the capital Bujumbura, said provincial governor Isaac Bujaba "They killed five, kidnapped four others and looted nearly all the dwellings," he told AFP. FDD rebels also attacked the community of Ryarusera, but ran into government troops and lost five men, said local government official Sylvain Nzigamiye. Despite a ceasefire last December, the FDD, main rebel movement in Burundi, is continuing an armed campaign against a transitional government set up to restore peace in the country wracked by 10 years of civil war claiming 300,000 lives. Meanwhile new talks began Sunday between the government and the FDD in Pretoria, South Africa, on power-sharing, a condition for implementing the ceasefire.

ICG 7 Oct 2003 Burundi Refugees and Displaced Persons in Burundi – Defusing the Land Time-Bomb While everyone is hoping for a permanent suspension of hostilities in Burundi, too little consideration is being given to what will happen when peace is reached and over one million uprooted Burundians rush home. Burundi’s refugees and displaced persons have been waiting for the dividends of peace ever since the Arusha agreement was signed on 28 August 2000. The foreseeable disappointment of a large number of refugees who will be unable to recover their property upon return offers ideal political opportunities for those opposed to the peace process and risks destabilising any transition to peace right from the outset. - ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org

BBC 9 Oct. 2003 Burundi foes agree to end war President Ndayizeye, a Hutu, took office under an earlier deal Burundian president Domitien Ndayizeye and the leader of the main rebel group have signed a political and military agreement aimed at ending the country's 10-year civil war. The deal was signed in the early hours of the morning after negotiations mediated personally by South African President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria. Rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza called for an immediate halt to hostilities, saying his FDD combatants would no longer fight against the people of Burundi. A ceasefire signed last December has failed to end the bitter war, pitting ethnic Hutu rebels against an army dominated by the Tutsi minority. Burundi negotiators are used to lying to each other Pasteur Habimana FNL rebels This agreement spells out the details of how the army would be restructured - a key rebel demand. However, the BBC's East Africa correspondent Ishbel Matheson says the civil war will continue to sputter on as the second smaller rebel group, the FNL, has so far refused to take part in peace negotiations. Climbdown Mr Ndayizeye, a Hutu, became president in April under the terms of an earlier power-sharing agreement, which is supposed to lead to elections next year. Under the agreement, the rebels will now take up 40% of officers' posts in the army. FDD GAINS 4 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 Politically they will be given four ministerial positions, and the vice-presidency of the country's national assembly. Our correspondent says the deal represents something of a climbdown for the rebels as it is certainly a lot less than they were demanding at peace talks in Tanzania only a few weeks ago. On the face of it, it is a breakthrough, but much will depend on whether the agreement is implemented on the ground, our correspondent says. But the FNL immediately dismissed the deal. "Burundi negotiators are used to lying to each other," FNL spokesman Pasteur Habimana told Reuters news agency in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. "They signed the first agreement but this was never achieved," he said.

BBC 9 Oct. 2003 Burundi 'still unsafe for refugees' Many refugees have lost their land Burundi remains too dangerous for hundreds of thousands of refugees to return home despite the latest peace deal, a United Nations official says. "The southern provinces are not safe yet for the refugees to return," said Ivana Unluova, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency in neighbouring Tanzania, which hosts most of Burundi's refugees. The BBC's Prime Ndikumagenge in the capital, Bujumbura, says that people are reserving their judgement until this week's deal between President Domitien Ndayizeye and Pierre Nkurunziza's FDD rebels is put into practice. A ceasefire signed last December by the two sides failed to end the bitter civil war, pitting ethnic Hutu rebels against an army dominated by the Tutsi minority. A final ceasefire... carries the risk that a great many people who were uprooted will return to a country not yet prepared to receive them Francois Grignon International Crisis Group But the editor of the BBC's Great Lakes Service, Laurent Ndayuhurume, says the latest agreement might be different because it goes into such detail. A smaller rebel group, the FNL, has so far refused to take part in peace negotiations and dismissed the peace agreement as a sham. Mr Ndayizeye, a Hutu, became president in April under the terms of an earlier power-sharing agreement, which is supposed to lead to elections next year. 'Lack of planning' In a report released just before the deal was signed, the think-tank International Crisis Group warned that not enough thought was being given to what would happen if peace took hold and the refugees returned - to find that other people were living on their land. "Lack of planning for the eventual mass return of refugees and displaced persons, and the land questions it raises, risk destabilising any transition to peace right from the outset," said Francois Grignon of ICG. "A final ceasefire... carries the risk that a great many people who were uprooted will return to a country not yet prepared to receive them." Some 350,000 refugees, mostly from Burundi are living in UNHCR camps in Tanzania, while the ICG says there are another 300,000 scattered across Tanzania. An estimated 280,000 Burundians are displaced within the country. This agreement spells out the details of how the army would be restructured - a key rebel demand. Under the agreement, the rebels will now take up 40% of officers' posts in the army. Politically they will be given four ministerial positions, and the vice-presidency of the country's national assembly.

BBC 18 Oct 2003 UK-funded troops land in Burundi Ten years of war has led to hundreds of thousands of refugees UK-funded troops sent to disarm rebels in Burundi have arrived in the Central African nation's capital, Bujumbura. The 217-strong Mozambican contingent aims to help end the decade-long civil war that has claimed an estimated 300,000 mainly civilian lives. The UK Government has given Mozambique £3.7m to help implement the 2002 peace deal between the Burundi Government and three of four Hutu rebel groups. Persistent fighting among rebel factions has undermined hope for peace. Minister for Africa Chris Mullin said the deployment was a significant step for Mozambique and Burundi. "We were pleased to provide assistance to the Mozambique Government to enable this deployment to go ahead," he said. "The mission is a significant first for African peacekeeping operations. "It is a concrete example of the commitment of African leaders to establish peace and security in their own continent." At a ceremony at Bujumbura airport to welcome the Mozambicans, head of the African Union peace mission in Burundi, Mamadou Bah, said: ""We are ready to deploy the contingent in the countryside for the task it was called here for." The troops are tasked with providing the warring parties safe passage to designated assembly areas and easing the delivery of humanitarian aid. But a rebel group, the National Liberation Forces, has refused to join peace talks, saying those discussions will do nothing to overturn the long-standing dominance of the Tutsi minority in the country of 6.5 million people. The African Union mission is due to stay for a year, pending the expected deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force.


Independent UK 17 Oct 2003 Face to face with those he tormented: War crimes trial for tyrant of Chad By Anne Penketh Souleymane Guengueng was a lowly government employee when he was picked up by Chad's political police in August 1988 and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Wrongfully accused of working for the opposition fighting to overthrow President Hissène Habré, he was released two and a half years later when the dictator fled into exile. His family had given up hope of seeing him again. Now the tables have turned, and soon Hissène Habré - darling of the Americans and the French during his bloody eight-year rule - will be facing charges of crimes against humanity and torture. Mr Guengueng and his group, representing 792 victims of the Habré-era atrocities and their surviving relatives, are the accusers. A Belgian investigating magistrate is expected to formally indict the former Chadian leader in a landmark case which will show African dictators they should no longer assume they can commit human rights abuses with impunity. It has been an emotional journey for Mr Guengueng, supported by Human Rights Watch, in his long quest for justice against the man known as the "African Pinochet". After a Chadian Truth Commission accused Habré's regime of 40,000 political murders and systematic torture, the exiled president was placed under house arrest in Senegal three years ago. For a time it looked as though he would be judged there. Mr Guengueng, armed with documents he kept hidden under his house, testified in secret. But the process was halted when the Senegalese courts ruled in 2001 that he could not be tried in the country as his alleged crimes had not been committed there. Mr Guengueng and Human Rights Watch still had another card to play. During the case in Senegal they had sought Habré's extradition to Belgium under its "universal jurisdiction" law. The legislation meant that perpetrators of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity could be tried no matter where the crime was committed, and regardless of their nationality. Belgium, which had also sought to prosecute the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for war crimes over his role in the massacres at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps, repealed its controversial law in July, under US pressure. But because three of the Chadian victims have Belgian nationality, and the investigation by the Belgian magistrate Daniel Fransen had already begun in Chad, Mr Guengueng's case will go ahead. Mr Guengueng, 52, wears thick glasses after almost losing his eyesight in jail. His ordeal included being subjected to total darkness followed by periods of powerful light. "I did not know if it was night or day. There were eight of us in the cell built for a single person: my skin peeled off in the stifling heat." As in the UN war crimes case against the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, the difficulty for the Belgian prosecution will be to produce the "smoking gun" that proves the direct link between Hissène Habré and the atrocities. But Mr Guengueng is confident. "It was Habré who set up the political police. He was kept informed of everything," he says, adding that one of the jails for political prisoners was inside the presidential compound. Backing his claim is a treasure trove of documents discovered in May 2001 by Human Rights Watch in the abandoned offices of the Chadian political police. Mr Guengueng's struggle for justice was honoured at a Human Rights Watch ceremony in London. Reed Brody, the organisation's special counsel for prosecutions, said: "Souleymane Guengueng has harnessed his own suffering into a campaign to break the cycle of impunity [in] his country and all of Africa." Why has Mr Guengueng risked so much campaigning for justice? He lost his job with the Lake Chad Basin Commission in November 2002 after Mr Fransen's visit to the capital, Ndjamena. The victims' association lawyer escaped assassination in a grenade attack apparently ordered by one of the Habré-era security officials who are still in their posts. "I will not feel complete until Habré is in jail," Mr Guengueng says. "I can't have psychological peace. We are doing this to prevent it happening again, for future generations."

Côte d'Ivoire - Also read News Monitors for Côte d'Ivoire from 2002 and 2001

AFP 30 Sept 2003 Ivory Coast signs immunity agreement with US, ABIDJAN Ivory Coast has sealed a bilateral deal with the United States giving their citizens immunity from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), an official statement issued here said Tuesday. The accord, which the statement said was signed into law by President Laurent Gbagbo, exempts US citizens from being extradited from Ivory Coast to The Hague-based ICC. "The signature of this accord is in the obvious interests of Ivory Coast for both financial as military relations with the United States," it said. Washington -- which vehemently opposes the ICC, the world's first permanent tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity -- has secured immunity agreements with more than 60 countries since the court came into existence in July 2002, according to the State Department. The United States fears the court could become a forum for politically motivated prosecutions of US citizens, especially soldiers deployed abroad, and has been on a worldwide campaign to sign bilateral immunity deals. In July, the government of US President George W. Bush suspended nearly 50 million dollars in military aid to 35 countries who had refused to sign non-extradition agreements with it. Four countries later signed the deal, and Washington last week said it would resume aid to them. Ten African countries are among the ICC signatory states who have not accorded immunity to US citizens, according to a State Department count: Benin, Central African Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

IRIN 17 Oct 2003 Côte d'Ivoire: Government bans demonstrations for three months, disbands youth group ABIDJAN, 17 October (IRIN) - The government of Cote d'Ivoire has banned public marches and demonstrations for three months to try and cool heads as it tries to persuade rebels occupying the north of the country to resume their seats in the cabinet and start to disarm. It has also ordered the disbanding of one of several hardline youth groups that was associated with violent anti-rebel demonstrations in Abidjan last week. Both measures were announced on Thursday night following a cabinet meeting. The immediate effect of the ban on demonstrations will be to prevent the youth groups, which are close to President Laurent Gbagbo and his Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party, from going ahead with a planned march against the rebels in the central town of Tiebissou on Saturday. Teibissou lies on the frontline between the government-held south of the country and the rebel-held north. The ban will also prevent two of the three main parties represented in parliament from holding a planned demonstration in Abidjan in support of a French-brokered peace agreement between Gbagbo and the rebels signed in January. No date had been set for the march, but the militia-style hardline youth groups, known as "Young Patriots", had threatened to disrupt it. The January peace agreement led to the rebels joining a government of national reconciliation in April, but the rebels suspended their participation in the broad-based coalition on 23 September in protest at Gbagbo's refusal to delegate effective power to independent prime minister Seydou Diarra and his ministerial team. Eight of the nine rebel ministers in the government subsequently withdrew to the rebel capital Bouake in central Cote d'Ivoire. Since then, there has been an uneasy stand-off between the two sides who are kept apart by over 5,000 French and West African peacekeeping troops. However, the "Young Patriots" have become increasingly vocal as the stalemate continues. During demonstrations in Abidjan on Thursday and Friday last week, they attacked the offices of the French-owned water and electricity companies and shops of the French-owned mobile phone company Orange. FPI leaders have repeatedly accused France of favouring the northern based rebels in the civil war which erupted in September 2002. The government ordered the immediate disbanding of one hardline youth group, called the Grouping of Young Patriots (GPP), saying its members had been using identity cards similar to those used by the security forces. The GPP was widely accused of being responsible for the damage caused in last week's demonstrations. However, the government has taken no action against the other "Young Patriot" organisations, which according to diplomatic sources have recruited about 20,000 members in towns throughout the south of Cote d'Ivoire. They openly conduct military-style training and some claim to have access to arms. Many of these hardline youth groups been involved in the harassment of immigrants from other West African countries. Charles Ble Goude, the leader of COJEP, one of the three main federations of "Young Patriots," told IRIN on Friday that he would accept the government ban on demonstrations and call off plans for the March in Tiebissou. Ble Goude, who is often seen in public with police bodyguards, said: "I will obey the decision taken by the council of ministers and last night I asked my friends who were already there to go back to Abidjan because we must respect the institutions of the republic." Charles Groguhet, a leader of the now banned GPP, blamed the trouble caused in last week's demonstrations on "rebel infiltrators" into his movement. Diplomats highlighted the fact that the disbanding of the GPP and the three-month ban on street demonstrations were both measures that had been proposed by the newly appointed ministers of defence and internal security. The two men are political independents and both were now demonstrating their independence from Gbagbo and his FPI, they noted. On 13 September, Rene Amani was appointed Defence Minister and Martin Bleou was appointed Minister of Internal Security, filling portfolios that had remained vacant for six months while Gbagbo argued with the other political parties over who to appoint. Their appointment should have cleared the way for the rebels to begin disarming and permit the return of government administrators to the north of Cote d'Ivoire. However, 10 days later the rebels suspended their participation in government and put the disarmament process on ice. Rebel spokesman Sidiki Konate told IRIN that he was unimpressed by the latest government measures. He particularly criticised the ban on demonstrations. "The existence of a small group which the police or gendarmerie should be able to control is not sufficient reason for banning all demostrations," he said.

DR Congo

MONOC 1 Oct 2003 Pakistani contingent of Ituri Brigade complete, says MONUC KINSHASA, 1 Oct 2003 - With the arrival of some 300 soldiers on Tuesday, the Pakistani contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission's (MONUC) Ituri Brigade is now complete in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUC military spokesman James Pruden said at a news conference in the capital, Kinshasa. "The last group of Pakistani soldiers arrived in Bunia [the main town of Ituri District] on Tuesday, completing the 1,050-strong contingent," he said on Wednesday. Pruden said the force strength of the Ituri Brigade had reached 3,361 soldiers, including men and women, and was ultimately expected to reach 4,800 soldiers. "Large-scale massacres and killings have not been reported in Ituri since the [Ituri Brigade] began its deployment," Pruden said. "In particular, we have been able to stabilise the town of Bunia." He said the Ituri Brigade would progressively deploy from Bunia throughout Ituri District as conditions permitted. UN Resolution 1493 of 28 July 2003 [http://ods-dds-ny.un.org/] authorised MONUC to use force under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter to protect civilians and to disarm militants. It also authorised a total force strength of 10,800 soldiers across the vast central African country, particularly in the turbulent eastern and northeastern regions, where fighting has continued despite the installation of a two-year power-sharing transitional government. In order to achieve this level of deployment, MONUC chief William Swing is due to present the UN General Assembly with a proposed budget of US $672 million for next year's activities, MONUC spokesman Hamadoun Toure reported. Toure added that he was pleased that MONUC's efforts had achieved tangible positive results throughout the country, even in Ituri. "Under the auspices of the mission, armed ethnic militias have established a permanent liaison mechanism that will convene their representatives two times per week in the form of a consultation committee," Toure said. www.monuc.org OR www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/monuc/

Reuters 3 Oct 2003 Congo Cease-Fire Widens KINSHASA, Congo, Oct. 2 Rwandan-backed rebels and tribal Mai Mai warriors have agreed to a cease-fire that should let United Nations forces deploy further into the lawless eastern area of Congo, the United Nations said on Thursday. A spokesman said the accord, reached Wednesday, covered Shabunda town and its surroundings, at the heart of a region racked by fighting despite a peace deal. Congo and foreign-backed rebels signed an accord in April to end nearly five years of war but sporadic fighting has continued in the east. BBC 4 Oct 2003 Israel's history of bomb blasts There have been more than 70 Palestinian bomb attacks aimed at Israelis since the current conflict erupted in September 2000. Below are some of the most deadly.

AP 7 Oct 2003 Tribal Fighters Attack Village in Congo By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 2:30 p.m. ET KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- Dozens of tribal fighters attacked a village in volatile northeastern Congo with assault rifles and machetes, killing at least 65 people, mainly children, looting property and setting huts on fire, U.N officials said Tuesday. U.N. troops who were sent to investigate the attack, which took place Monday in Katchele, found 23 bodies in a church, others in a mass grave and some in the bush surrounding the village, said Fred Eckhard, a U.N. spokesman in New York. Isabelle Abric, a spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Congo, said the victims were from the Hema tribe and fighters from the rival Lendu tribe were suspected of carrying out the attack. The victims found in the bush ``may have been people who went to die in the bush after being injured in the attack,'' Abric said. ``They also could have been hunted down and attacked while hiding in the bush.'' Some 20 people wounded in the attack were being treated in hospitals, she said in a telephone interview from Bunia, the capital of the unstable Ituri province, where Katchele is located. Ituri has been beset by fighting between the Hema and Lendu, and massacres and reprisal killings since 1999, a year after the civil war in Congo erupted. A 3,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed to the region last month to try to stop the tribal clashes. The attack Monday was the first reported large-scale killing in Ituri since the beefed-up U.N. force replaced a French-led emergency force on Sept. 1. The French-led force was deployed in Bunia in June to stabilize the town after tribal fighting had killed more than 500 people there. Some 70 U.N. soldiers were deployed to Katchele, about 44 miles northwest of Bunia, after the discovery of the massacre, Abric said. Eckhard said the U.N. peacekeepers would search for weapons linked to the killings, as well as suspects in the attack. ``It indicates that the security situation in this particular area of the Congo is still not under control and the increased number of peacekeepers that we have there will have to redouble their efforts to try to get the situation under control,'' Eckhard said. Thomas Lubanga, head of a Hema faction in the region, said Lendu fighters attacked the village between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday after surrounding the area. ``They then attacked using automatic weapons and machetes, setting homes on fire and killing residents,'' he said by telephone. It was not immediately possible to contact Lendu leaders. The Hema and Lendu have traditionally clashed over land and resources in the fertile province rich with timber, gold and the mineral coltan, needed to make cell phones. But the clashes became more deadly in 1999, when the tribal fighters were armed with modern weapons and used as proxies by the Congolese government and rebels fighting in the broader civil war in Congo. At least 50,000 people have been killed and more than 500,000 others displaced by conflict in Ituri since 1999. The war in Congo broke out in August 1998 when Uganda and Rwanda sent troops to back rebels seeking to oust then-President Laurent Kabila. The main fighting ended last year after a series of peace deals took hold. The Congolese government, now led by President Joseph Kabila -- Laurent Kabila's son -- and the main rebel groups are currently working in a fledging transitional government. But Ituri, and large parts of the rest of eastern Congo, remain unstable. For weeks, the United Nations has been trying to broker an effective cease-fire in Ituri as the first step toward the disarmament and demobilization of the tens of thousands of tribal fighters.

IRIN 7 Oct 2003 At Least 55 Killed in Katshelli, Ituri District Nairobi At least 55 people, most of them women and children, were killed in the Katshelli area of Ituri District, northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUC, reported on Monday. MONUC said it had dispatched a verification mission on Tuesday to establish the circumstances of the killing and identify the culprits so that they could be brought before justice. "This was a hateful crime that runs counter to the process of reconciliation that has begun in Bunia, and which MONUC seeks to extend throughout the rest of Ituri District, with the full cooperation of the Ituri Interim Administration and the members of the consultation committee of armed groups," MONUC said from its headquarters in the national capital, Kinshasa. It said it would use "all means necessary" to ensure that such crimes would not go unpunished. Acting under a Chapter Seven mandate of the UN Charter, MONUC is authorised to take the necessary action "to maintain or restore international peace and security". Katshelli is 15 km southeast of Bule, which is about 60 km northeast of Bunia, the main town of Ituri. At least 50,000 people have died and 500,000 have been displaced in Ituri since the most recent war in the country erupted in August 1998. In July, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said it would make investigation of crimes against humanity in Ituri one of its first priorities.

United Nations (New York) NEWS October 7, 2003 UN Team Finds 65 Bodies in East The United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has discovered 65 bodies, mostly children, apparently massacred Monday, a UN spokesman said today. "From the evidence gathered, a group of Lendu, believed to be from nearby villages, armed with rifles and machetes, attacked Katchele early" Monday morning, the spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said at a press briefing. A unit from the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), alerted by local combatants, found 23 bodies in a local church and the others in a mass grave, Mr. Eckhard added. Most of the dead were children. Some 20 other persons were wounded and are being treated in local hospitals. Mr. Eckhard said MONUC had sent a contingent of Pakistani soldiers to Katchele to investigate the massacre and search for weapons. Two weeks ago, Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised "positive developments" in the DRC, including the establishment of a Government of National Unity and Transition. He had convened a meeting of the leaders of countries in the region, who pledged to work together for peace.

Reuters 8 Oct 2003 U.N. SAYS 65 WERE MASSACRED The known death toll from a new massacre in the northeast rose to 65 people, including 40 children, United Nations officials said. A spokesman said United Nations troops had visited the site of the attack, the remote village of Katshelli, 40 miles northeast of the regional capital, Bunia. He said that four or five other villages had also been attacked and that more people might have been killed. The area is predominantly inhabited by the ethnic Hema group. A Hema militia leader has said the killers were from the rival Lendu ethnic group.

UN Security Council 8 Oct 2003Massacre in Katchele: Letter from DR Congo to the UN Security Council S/2003/969 Letter dated 7 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council On instructions from my Government, I regret to have to convey to you our total indignation and revulsion over the latest massacre perpetrated in Katchele, a village situated about 70 kilometres north-west of Bunia, the main town of the Ituri district. According to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), 23 civilians, mainly women, children and old persons, were killed there on 6 October 2003 with machetes and automatic weapons. The massacre was accompanied by pillaging. Other local sources are reporting the murder of 32 other persons, who were buried in mass graves before the arrival of the United Nations investigators. My Government urgently requests the Security Council to: 1. Speed up the sending of reinforcements to MONUC in the Ituri district so that it can do more and act more decisively to advance the process of stabilizing and securing the entire district of Ituri that started with the deployment of the Interim Multinational Emergency Force; 2. Conduct a thorough investigation of the unfortunate events that took place in Katchele so as to identify those responsible and bring the perpetrators of these latest human rights violations to justice; 3. Address the unavoidable general issue of the impunity that has for some time now prevailed in the Ituri district, with a view to compelling the warlords who hold sway there, and their outside supporters, to answer for their reprehensible acts before national and international judicial bodies. I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council. (Signed) Ileka Atoki Ambassador Permanent Representative .

CENTER FOR THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE 8 Oct 2003 www.genocideprevention.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Children and Women Massacred in Ituri ARLINGTON, VA -- It has been confirmed that 40 of the 65 victims slain in Katchele, a Hema village, 60 km northeast of Bunia DRC on Monday (10-6-03) were children. The remaining 25 were mainly women. They were killed either by rifles or machetes. When UN peacekeepers arrived mid-day Tuesday, 23 bodies were found inside a local church and the others in a mass grave not far from town. In addition to the 65 confirmed dead, 20 other persons were wounded and are being treated in local hospitals. While the UN is waiting to gather more information before identifying the perpetrators, the Rwandan back Union of Congolese Patriots leader, Thomas Lubanga, has been quoted placing blame on rival Lendu militias. This is the first massacre reported since the deployment of more than 3,300 UN peacekeepers into Ituri province in early September. News Release No: 2003/001/DR Congo.

Radio Netherlands 8 Oct 2003 Minerals and massacres DRC's volatile Ituri province is home to rich deposits of various minerals such as gold, diamonds, cobalt and coltan. Despite the presence of UN peacekeepers, massacres are continuing in northeastern Congo. The bodies of dozens more victims of mass slaughter were found earlier this week, many of them children. The discovery has focused international attention on the strife-torn Ituri province. Clashes in the mineral-rich Ituri region, between the rival Hema and Lendu tribes, have left more than 50,000 people dead in the last four years. But this is the first reported massacre since the UN took over peacekeeping duties from a French-led force last month. It comes as no surprise to foreign observers like Alison Des Forges of Human Rights Watch. "Well it's tragic of course, but we have to be realistic here. Simply, the arrival of UN troops isn't going to solve the problem. There are multiple political problems to be resolved yet, and there is also the enormously important question of the delivery of arms into the region. And until there's an embargo in force to prevent the supply of weapons into these areas, we're likely to see a continuation of the conflict at least at some level." Setback for peace moves The name coltan is a contraction of two minerals: Columbite and Tantalite. When refined, it transforms into a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electrical charge. The powder is used to control current flows inside miniature circuit boards in lap tops, cell phones and other consumer electronics. The latest violence is a major setback to UN peace efforts. It is expected to reignite tensions between the two tribes. This could jeopardise current attempts to broker peace in the troubled province after a series of similar atrocities. The flare-up could also complicate efforts to end Congo's wider war, in which more than three million people have died over the past five years, mostly through disease and starvation. The international peace force has sent in helicopters and troops to the site of the massacre in Katshelli, some 60 km from the main town Bunia to investigate the killings. The United Nations has vowed to bring those responsible to justice. They're not the only ones concentrating on events in Ituri. The new International Criminal Court (ICC) is making its first investigations there, compiling information with a view to future prosecutions. In an interview with Radio Netherlands, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo says it's a painstaking process: "The first step is analysing information, so we're enlarging the group of people who are doing the work on the ground, because it's a very difficult situation. Since the conflict started, there have been more civilian deaths in Congo than in any other conflict after the Second World War. So, this is a huge conflict and we have to care about what's happening." listen to the interview with chief prosecutor Moreno Ocampo, 2´17 International problem The scale of the violence has turned Ituri province into Mr Moreno Ocampo's first priority. The ICC chief prosecutor says the Congolese transitional government simply cannot deal with the problem, which extends far beyond its borders. "There are NGOs working in the area and sending us information. We are also working with intelligence organisations from different countries. And also on the financial side, because the crimes aren't only committed in Ituri. The killings may actually happen there, but business connected with the region is fuelling the crimes." "If someone does business with people, knowing that they're killing others to come up with the goods and sending money to support this crime, they could be regarded as being part of the crime, even if they live in Europe. So, we're not only investigating what's happening in Ituri, but in the entire world. According to the UN panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources, there are more than 27 countries with business connections with Ituri. Each of those countries can help investigating cases."

AFP 8 Oct 2003 UN peacekeepers head for site of DR Congo massacre KIGALI, Oct 8 (AFP) - Troops from the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) left Wednesday for the village from where attackers set off early this week to massacre 65 people, a force spokeswoman said. "A combat section left very early this morning," Isabelle Abric told AFP from Bunia, the capital of the troubled northeastern Ituri region. The squad of MONUC troops numbered 35 men, Abric said, and they were headed for "a village from where the attackers probably left on Monday morning." Abric did not name the village. Latest figures from MONUC, whose troops in Ituri come from Pakistan and Bangladesh, say at least 65 people, thought to be from the minority Hema tribe, were killed and a score were wounded in Kachele, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Bunia. The killers are thought to be from the larger Lendu tribe, whose long-running feud with the Hema has claimed some 50,000 lives since 1999. Two other MONUC combat sections spent Tuesday night in Kachele. The 3,300-strong force, which, apart from reconnaissance missions, has been largely confined to the town of Bunia, "will next week begin deploying in the rest of Ituri", Abric told AFP later Wednesday. Asked whether there would be a rapid deployment in and around Kachele, she said "probably, but for security reasons we cannot say in advance where we are going to deploy." The latest killings underline the need for MONUC to be deployed throughout the Ituri region, the European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in Brussels Wednesday. "The transition in DRC offers an unprecedented opportunity to the Congolese people to emerge from five years of war. "All Congolese must seize this chance: neighbouring countries must back the current process." The head of the UN mission in DRC meanwhile said UN forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo would use helicopters to monitor the movement of armed militias and discourage arms trafficking. "We have reinforced our equipment with attack helicopters," William Swing said. The aircraft, whose type he did not give, would make easier surveillance of the movement of armed bands, in particular in the Ituri region. "The game is over," he warned the militias, in a direct reference to the Kachele attack on Monday. Swing said he had "some indications" of those responsible for the massacre and promised they would be brought to justice, while accepting the need for greater surveillance of the district. In Ituri and Kivu (east) the added "electronic aerial monitoring will also let us enforce the embargo on arms-trafficking," he said. He said he had information about the movement of illegal weapons in the east of the country "where the arms are coming in" but added that the new MONUC mandate authorising the use of force would make it possible to stem the traffic. Swing also said that MONUC would intensify its efforts to demobilise and repatriate Rwandan forces as required by the peace agreement between Rwanda and DRC.

VOA 12 Oct 2003 Congo Delegation Sent to Province Torn by Ethnic Violence Dino Mahtani Bunia, DRC 12 Oct 2003, 14:20 UTC Listen to Dino Mahtani's Report (RealAudio) Mahtani Report - Download 441k (RealAudio) A government delegation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been sent to the war-ravaged northeastern Ituri Province to show its commitment to bringing an end to the conflict. The mission follows months of violence and a recent massacre of at least 65 civilians. A parliamentary delegation from Congo's new transitional government of national reconciliation was dispatched on Saturday to the town of Bunia, Ituri's principle town. The delegation, comprised of the new president of the assembly and 11 deputies, all representing Ituri province, arrived in Bunia only days after a recent massacre about 60 kilometers northeast of Bunia, where 65 civilians, mostly women and children, were butchered by machetes or shot to death. The delegation went by helicopter to the scene of the massacre in an effort to reassure the population. Fighting between ethnic Hema and Lendu militias has claimed at least 50,000 lives since 1999 and has forced half a million people to flee in the mineral-rich province, which is abundant in gold, diamonds and coltan. Both Hema and Lendu militias have been backed at one time by the Rwandan and Congolese governments and factions of the Ugandan military in their bid to dominate the province. The new government is comprised of elements of the former government as well as ex-rebel groups also backed by Uganda and Rwanda. The delegation met on Saturday with representatives of a local political group comprised of various leaders drawn from Ituri's multi-ethnic population. The delegation wanted to convince them that the new government would play an active role in the province's political life, promising to bring back law order and stability, and would punish those responsible for atrocities. Meanwhile, U.N. troops have begun the first steps of permanent deployment into Ituri, a province roughly the size of Sierra Leone, to try to bring peace to the war-stricken corners of the forested region. About 120 troops have been dispatched to the town of Bule, some five kilometers from the scene of the latest massacre, in the hamlet of Katshelli. The so-called Ituri brigade will eventually number about 5,000 troops. But the United Nations' job does not stop there. A recent massacre of at least 16 people about 30 kilometers north of Uvira, a principle town in South Kivu state that lies on the Burundian border 700 kilometers south of Bunia, has focused U.N. efforts on bringing peace back to the entire eastern region of Congo, some three months after the country's peace deal was signed, that had brought an end to Congo's wider war, a conflict that had claimed over three million lives since 1998. South Kivu is still infested with marauding Mai Mai tribal militiamen, Hutu extremists involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Burundian Hutu rebels, and various other splinter groups and militia, not to mention troops from the Rwandan backed RCD-Goma (Rally for Congolese Democracy) ex-rebel movement, that is now part of the new government. With a task force of less than 2,000 troops for the rest of the eastern region outside of Ituri, a land mass four times Ituri's size and with an overall mandate of 10,800 troops, some 4,000 less than is mandated for Liberia, a country that can fit into Congo 24 times, the United Nations has its work cut out. Witnesses of this week's massacre outside Uvira report that the killers were members of Burundi's principle Hutu extremist group. The United Nations has not been able to confirm this.

BBC 13 Oct 2003 DR Congo massacre probe widens By Arnaud Zajtman BBC, Kachele United Nations peacekeepers are deploying to another three villages in the strife-torn Ituri province in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have already set up a permanent presence near the site of clashes between Lendu and Hema ethnic militias that have claimed about 50,000 lives since 1999. Last week, 65 people, thought to be from the minority Hema group, were killed in the village of Kachele. The head of the UN in the Congo, William Swing and the President of the Congolese Parliament, Olivier Kamitatu, have paid a joint visit to Kachele. 'Provide security' In the aftermath of the massacre about 200 UN armed troops have been deployed in the area. Major Jehangir from Pakistan, is the commander of those troops. Most of those killed in Kachele were children (Pic: UN) "The main task is to provide security to locals and to help any locality which is being threatened by any other place from the rival tribes," he said. "Yesterday we have conducted an air operation. There were helicopters and we dropped our troops here and though they managed to escape, we went and we assessed the complete village and the area where those suspected killers are hiding and living." Now villagers have resumed their farming activities here and the atmosphere is peaceful, but tribal militiamen are still active in the bush and the local chief says that next time it would be good if the UN deploys troops before, rather than after massacres are committed.

CENTER FOR THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE 13 Oct 2003 www.genocideprevention.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Attack in province of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo ARLINGTON, VA – 10/13/2003 Massacre of 16 civilians, primarily women, on 6 October 2003 prompts MONUC to begin investigations. MONUC has confirmed that on 6 October 2003 a group of approximately 20 men attacked the small village Ndunda in the town of Uvira, South Kivu, DRC. The men were reportedly armed with crude weapons including axes, machetes, knives, and clubs. They killed 16 people, who were primarily women, and four people remain missing. Witnesses told MONUC on Friday that the group was speaking Kirundi, the national language of neighboring Burundi and that some of the perpetrators were wearing Burundian armed forces uniforms. They also told MONUC that the attackers possibly belonged to Burundi’s Forces pour la defense de la democratie, the armed wing of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie rebel group, which, recently, has been active in the region. MONUC is awaiting the testimony of the only two survivors, who are currently being treated at a nearby hospital, before making formal accusations. For more information on the Center for the Prevention of Genocide, please contact us by phone or visit our website at www.genocideprevention.org.

Knight Ridder 15 Oct 2003 In wake of massacre, U.N. peacekeepers to step up efforts in Congo By Sudarsan Raghavan KACHELE, Democratic Republic of Congo - The Lendu attack on their Hema neighbors was a family affair. Wives and children stole the cows and looted the huts of people they knew or once played with. Husbands and fathers with machetes and rifles slaughtered the weakest of the weak, mostly children, pregnant women and the elderly. The massacre of some 65 Hemas at this and three other villages last week was just another spree in the ethnic violence in Ituri province, where an estimated 50,000 people have been killed since civil war broke out in August 1998. But this time, the much-criticized United Nations peacekeeping force is responding by changing tactics in its effort to stop the slaughter. On Thursday, blue-helmeted U.N. troops are scheduled for the first time ever to begin patrolling the hamlets of Ituri, armed with a stronger mandate and tougher rules of engagement. The outcome could shape the future of the Congo at a time when a transitional power-sharing government is trying to unite this fractured Western Europe-sized nation and take it to its first democratic elections since 1960. If the violence subsides, U.N. diplomats and aid workers hope the blueprint can be used in Congo's other troubled regions. Success in Ituri would also help reassert the United Nations' relevance as a global peacekeeping body, some diplomats hope. "It's important for the concept of peacekeeping that we succeed here," said Ambassador William Swing, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative to the Congo and head of the U.N. mission, who is from Miami. Hema and Lendu have lived side by side in Ituri in times of peace without problems, but like many ethnic groups they've become bitter rivals in times of chaos. "When I heard the gunshots, I ran away. I forgot my wife and children," said Kpadhigo Bbulo, 30, his voice lowering to a guilt-filled whisper. His wife and five of his 12 children were butchered that day. The oldest child was 14. The youngest was 4. U.N. human rights workers who visited Kachele and three other nearby villages the day after the massacre estimated that 40 of the dead were children. Some believed the Lendus were targeting the next generation of Hemas. Others had a simpler explanation. "They didn't run fast enough," said Beatrice Balbin, a U.N. human rights worker. It's unclear whether the attack was politically motivated. In the absence of any state authority and police, gangs of Hemas and Lendus are preying on the countryside, said U.N. officials. The U.N. mission in Congo, known as MONUC, arrived in this vast, mineral-rich former Belgian colony in 1999 - a year after the country formerly known as Zaire was plunged into a devastating civil war. Rebels, backed by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, rose up to oust Congo's leader Laurent Kabila, who toppled U.S.-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. The conflict, which at one point involved as many as nine neighboring countries, has left an estimated 3 million people dead, mostly from disease and starvation. In late April and early May of this year, MONUC sent a small force of Uruguayan peacekeepers to replace 9,000 Ugandan troops who were pulling out of Ituri under the terms of a Congo peace deal. Soon after the peacekeepers arrived, chaos broke out. As many as 500 people, mostly civilians, were butchered in Ituri's largest town, Bunia, during fighting between Hema and Lendu forces. Thousands sought refuge in the U.N. compound. But the Uruguayan peacekeepers - outnumbered, outgunned and under orders to protect only the U.N. facility - did nothing to stop the carnage. That prompted the U.N. Security Council to dispatch a heavily armed French-led European Union force with a mandate that allowed the use of force to preserve the peace. The U.N. troops raided the homes of Hema militia leaders and adopted a tough stance - in one instance, opening fire by helicopter on a truck containing Hema gunmen. The impact was quick. Shops in Bunia have reopened, new restaurants are cropping up and a South African company is launching a new cellular phone service. The child soldiers who once controlled the town have vanished. By all accounts, Pakistani and Bangladeshi peacekeepers who replaced the French-led force have been aggressive in enforcing the peace. Now MONUC would like to have that same effect in rural towns and villages where it has no presence. By next week, MONUC hopes to be fully deployed in three towns - Marabo, Bule and Bogoro - and to begin patrolling a 1,250-square-mile area, roughly 5 percent of Ituri. Each town will have about 150 troops, backed by helicopter gunships and armored personnel carriers. More troops are expected to fan out to other parts of Ituri in upcoming months. Many questions remain. Chief among them is whether MONUC has sufficient manpower to patrol Ituri. When a contingent of Nepalese troops arrives as early as next month, there will be 4,800 U.N. soldiers in the region. In comparison, the successful U.N. peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone, equal in size to Ituri, had more than 17,000 peacekeepers. "With 5,000 troops we can't be everywhere," conceded Maj. Abou Thiam, the military spokesman for MONUC. "But we can compensate this by patrolling by foot during the day and night and by helicopters during the day." Jeanne Gbosi, 29, prays this will work. She and most of her neighbors no longer sleep in their huts. When it gets dark, they head for the cover of the bush. "My biggest fear is that Lendus live next to here," said Gbosi. Last week, she buried her 13-year-old son, Mapa, in a mass grave. Then she tossed some pretty flowers over the freshly turned earth.

Reuters 16 Oct 2003 Rwanda says Hutu rebels regrouping in Congo KIGALI, Oct. 16 — Rwanda said on Thursday it feared infiltration by thousands of militiamen just over the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, which it invaded in 1998 to neutralise the armed groups. Rwanda said Congo should show more commitment to disarming the militia roving in the east of the giant country under the terms of a peace deal signed by the two countries last year that led Rwanda to withdraw its troops. ''We are not happy at all. The installation of a new transitional government (in Congo) has not changed the situation on the ground,'' Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Muligande told Reuters by telephone. ''These forces are not being prevented from moving towards our borders.'' The Congolese government in Kinshasa, where rebels and government have joined a power-sharing administration, said it was not backing the militia. ''We're not interested in making war with anyone, we have no interest in destabilising whatever it may be,'' said Mulegwa Zihindula, a spokesman for President Joseph Kabila. ''We cannot accept the presence of people on Congolese territory (who want to) destabilise other countries.'' The commander of U.N. troops in Congo, General Montaga Diallo, has asked the Kigali government for information about its allegations that Interahamwe are being rearmed. Rwanda estimates that close to 30,000 rebels comprising former Rwandan soldiers and the Interahamwe militia responsible for the country's 1994 genocide are still in camps in the Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu and Maniema. Congo said last month Rwanda was out to sabotage its peace process by backing a group of former rebels who refused to take up their seats in parliament in its new transitional government. Rwanda, which supported Congo's biggest rebel group, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, during nearly five years of war, rejected the accusations. It said the government's problems resulted from weaknesses in Congo's power-sharing deal. Rwanda invaded eastern Congo in pursuit of Hutu extremists responsible for the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus by hardline Hutus. Rwanda signed a deal with Congo in July last year in which Rwanda agreed to withdraw its forces and Congo agreed to disarm, dismantle and repatriate the militia. (Additional reporting by Bya'Ombe Lubunga in Kinshasa)

PANA 16 Oct 2003 500 DR Congo policemen to be deployed in Bunia Kinshasa, DR Congo (PANA) - The Congolese government is to send 500 members of the national integrated police force to Bunia in the eastern province of Ituri, Interior minister Theophile Mbemba Fundu indicated Thursday in a release. According to the release, the policemen will reinforce the other security forces present in Bunia as part of efforts to secure this town and its environs. Other police units would be deployed later. The UN Mission to Congo (MONUC) recently indicated its willingness to help build an integrated national police force in DR Congo. It has since been drilling 70 policemen in a course that would end on 28 October.

IRIN 17 Oct 2003 Kabila orders ex-FAR and Interahamwe out of country KINSHASA, 17 Oct 2003 (IRIN) - The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has said it will no longer tolerate the presence on its national territory of elements of the Rwandan former army (ex-FAR) and Rwandan Hutu former militias (Interahamwe) who fled their country into neighbouring DRC after playing a major role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The announcement was made on Thursday by Mulegwa Zihindula, spokesman of DRC President Joseph Kabila, during a news conference in the capital, Kinshasa. "The president of the republic can no longer accept that these people, who are not Congolese soldiers, remain in the Congo. They must be disarmed and returned to their country," he said. Mulegwa was responding to a question regarding recent allegations by Rwandan authorities that the DRC's transitional national government was continuing to support the ex-FAR and Interahamwe. "The ex-FAR and Interahamwe are operating freely, well armed and have never abandoned their intentions of destabilising Rwanda," Charles Muligande, the Rwandan foreign minister, told IRIN. "The situation needs urgent attention and the DRC government must show more commitment to resolving this problem. We are not happy at all. They are not doing anything, and these forces are moving towards our borders." Mulegwa also said Kabila had expressed support for a regional conference on peace, democracy, development and security. "The regional conference could help to resolve all these problems," Mulegwa said, calling on the international community to continue to support the process of disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed elements in the DRC. For his part, Gen Mountaga Diallo, force commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, suggested during a news conference in Kinshasa on Wednesday that the voluntary nature of the programme for demobilisation, disarmament, repatriation, reinsertion and reintegration (DDRRR) of these foreign armed elements could come to an end. "The offer [of voluntary repatriation] clearly does not interest these Rwandan combatants, who continue to hide. They do not want to accept the hand that has been extended to them," he said. "But when the moment comes that this programme [DDRRR] is ended - because MONUC will not remain in the Congo forever - it will be up to the Congolese government to decide their fate." Since MONUC began the voluntary DDRRR programme, some two-and-a-half years ago, about 2,500 Rwandan ex-combatants and their families have been repatriated. MONUC estimates that about 14,000 Rwandan ex-combatants remain in the DRC. Mulegwa would not say if the DRC government would resort to force to remove Rwandan ex-combatants from its national territory. "We are certain that the unified and restructured Forces armees congolaises [national military] will soon be ready to play a role in the disarmament and repatriation of these Rwandan combatants," Mulegwa said.

BBC 18 Oct 2003 Africa's forgotten and ignored war By Fergal Keane BBC correspondent in DR Congo Danny leaned into the plane and asked if we were all strapped in. Then he paused, as if thinking about what he was going to say next. Congolese teenager pans for gold, but the war has affected the trade "Folks, as we are missionaries, we always start our flights with a prayer," he said. Then he began to pray. He asked that we be safe on our journey. He asked, too, that his passengers might find the story they were looking for in Congo. By now Danny would have known exactly the kind of story we would find. He had grown up in Africa. It was his home. Every other day he flew into north-eastern Congo. He had helped evacuate hundreds of people when the fighting erupted around Bunia in late spring and summer. Danny knew Congo alright but he wore his faith like armour, and from his world above the clouds this missionary pilot saw a different Africa. Peaceful From up there, one could see the well tilled fields of Uganda, the silver immensity of Lake Victoria, the occasional fishing boats speckled on its surface, and then the land sloping upwards into mountains and forest and another expanse of water, Lake Albert. An invisible line divides the lake and at half past three on a sunny afternoon we crossed into Congo. As I said, from the vantage point of these skies, one saw a different Africa. It was a green place, a peaceful place. We passed over small brush fires, the thick white smoke curling into the sky and then dissipating as it hit the cold air further up. From here Congo was at peace. Then we began to descend. We crossed a line of hills and banked to the left, then circled and flew over a large town. This was Bunia - our destination, its streets busy in the sunlight. Coming in to land we could see the tents of the UN troops, their white armoured vehicles, the barbed wire encircling the airport perimeter. Blue helmets, white vehicles, the green hills of Central Africa. Echoes of Rwanda Children have been the target of militias For one jolting moment I was carried back to another place, a central African nation where I had watched the UN fail to halt genocide. Rwanda. Over the next few days the echoes of that other tragedy would follow wherever we went. The UN compound in Bunia is encircled by razor wire and guarded by Uruguayan troops. They looked tired, dusty and uncomfortable. There were Bangladeshis too, and Pakistanis and there are Nepalese on the way. The armies of the world's poorest countries, just as was the case in Rwanda. For, here at the outset, let us be clear about one matter: that Congo is a tragedy the developed world has done its best to ignore. A Congolese soldier in a war-torn country Four million people have died from massacre, famine, disease. Four million in just five years. In that period the armies of no fewer than seven African countries have fought here. They did not fight for the good of the Congolese but as part of a latter day scramble for Africa, a war for the country's rich resources of diamonds, gold and minerals. In recent years we've recoiled at fresh accounts of the horrors inflicted on Congo under the colonial rule of the Belgian king Leopold. Heroes Yet even as a powerful new account of his terrible reign was being published, a new age of evil was overtaking Congo. That night in the Lushakavini hotel I pulled out a copy of the latest report on Congo by Human Rights Watch. Its chief researcher is a remarkable woman called Alison Des Forges. I remember during the Rwandan genocide, meeting a group of survivors and one of them pressing into my hand a letter for Alison. "She is my friend, and she must be told what has happened to us," the woman said. He saw the corpses of his family, including his nephew who was five-years- old, with his stomach cut open. They were cutting the flesh and eating the victims Witness to a massacre Alison Des Forges and the brave Congolese activists who help her are heroes of our time. They are brave because recording the testimonies of the traumatised survivors of Congo's horror is in itself traumatising work. They are brave because it can also be dangerous work: human rights activists have been abducted, tortured and murdered. It is only when you hear the testimony that they record, that you understand why they are so driven to bear witness. For example, this story recorded from a Pygmy man, in late 2002. "About 20 miles from Mambasa, the militia attacked a pygmy camp." "A man called Amuzati who was hunting in the forest heard shooting. As he wasn't far from his camp he returned to see what was happening." "About half a mile away from the camp he heard shouts and crying, and then there was silence." "He came closer and saw several militia men." Congolese are weary of the war, but there is no hope in sight "He saw the corpses of his family, including his nephew who was five-years-old, with his stomach cut open." "They were cutting the flesh and eating the victims... he was filled with emotion and afraid that if he shouted, they would catch him too, so he crept away." Or there was the story told by the aunt of a rape victim - there is an epidemic of sexual violence in north-eastern Congo. This is the story she told: "One day in early November we were on the road near Mambasa when we ran into the militia." "Some had camouflage uniforms and others just had green ones; some of them had green berets." "They took our things from us including our bicycle and goats and then they took our niece who was only 15-years-old and they raped her in front of us." Even children are sent off to fight "Then they took her away with them. We have not seen her since." "Her name was Marie Anzoyo. I know other girls who were taken including a girl called Therese and another called Vero." Marie Anzoyo, Therese, Vero. Three names out of millions. We rose before dawn on the second day and set out on the road north. I use the word "road", but it hardly describes the dirt track which leads, over five bone-crunching hours to the village of Kachele, scene of Congo's latest massacre. The landrover slid in the mud, bounced over ruts. In places the bush was so thick it brushed the windows of the car. Ethnic wars This was perfect ambush country, a landscape of concealment and hidden watchers. In this part of Congo, alone 50,000 people have been killed in the past five years. The country is full of refugee camps like this with people living in fear Many of them members of two warring ethnic groups: the Hema and the Lendu. Close to Kachele we saw a log lying across the track leading into the hills. Our guide, Dego, told us it had been placed there by Lendu tribesmen, those accused of carrying out the slaughter of Hema people at Kachele. "They are just over that hill," he said. Not for the first time in Central Africa, I was reminded of WB Yeats' line: Little room / great hatred. Survival Here, desperately poor people fought each other for the sake of land. This is not mindless tribal violence. In this part of the world land means food and that means survival. If these people lived in a country with a functioning state, these disputes over land would likely never have erupted into such appalling violence. UN peacekeepers approach a Congo village Congo's vast natural wealth should provide prosperity for all of its people. But instead, they have been cursed to live in a land ruled first by a venal Belgian king, and by Mobutu Sese Seko, the world's most corrupt dictator, and now a country where foreign armies like Uganda and Rwanda have come to plunder and fight. In Kachele the survivors sat around in their rags. Some looked bewildered. An old woman crouched outside the hut in which her family had been murdered. A cluster of children sat together in the open space between the mud and thatch huts. Too late Here are the facts of the massacre at Kachele. Shortly after 0500, as the light crept over the valley, a party of Lendu militiamen approached the village. One of them fired shots. It was the signal for the killing to begin. Families panicked by the shooting ran out of their huts. They ran into the militia and were cut down, mostly with the weapons used by Africa's poor: machetes, clubs and spears. Sixty-five people were killed. Forty of them were children. Forty children hacked and bludgeoned at the hands of adults. The killers escaped as they nearly always do, and a few hours after that the UN peacekeepers arrived. Too late to do anything but count the corpses. Kachele's chief is bitter. Antoine Dhabi is 37-years-old. He inherited the chieftaincy from his brother who was murdered by the Lendu. He told me that his daughters - eight-year-old Esperance and 13-year-old Antoinette - had been abducted by the attackers. Antoine Dhabi said he felt like giving up and leaving for the town. The land of his ancestors had become too dangerous. "The Lendu want to wipe us all out," he said. But talk to Lendu people who have been attacked by the Hema militias and you will hear the same thing. They too have suffered appalling massacres. Howl of grief As we were leaving the village we heard singing. I got out of the landrover and walked in the direction of the voice. I say singing, but it is hardly an accurate description It was partly song, but also, partly, a howl of grief. An old woman was performing a ritual of mourning - dancing on the mass graves which contained the bodies of the dead. Her name was Marianne and she had just come back to the village to find that her son and several of his children were dead. I asked our guide Dego what she was singing. "She sings that her children are gone, that they are decaying in the earth," he said. Then the old woman climbed down from the grave and got down on her knees, and then threw her arms across the mound of earth. And in this way, she said farewell to her children.

IRIN 23 Oct 2003 Rights group renews call for justice in Ankoro massacres NAIROBI, A human rights NGO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has called for the resumption of investigations and trials of those responsible for the November 2002 massacres of civilians in the town of Ankoro, in northern Katanga Province. In a statement issued on Wednesday from Lubumbashi, the Katanga branch of the Association Africaine de defense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO) called for the resumption of investigations and trials that had been suspended in April 2003 pending a restructuring of the military justice system, at which time some 27 combatants had been indicted. Although the leadership of a unified national military was inaugurated on 5 September in the capital, Kinshasa, progress towards integration of forces of numerous former belligerents has lagged. On Tuesday, an international committee overseeing the two-year transitional process in the country criticised the national unity government for a wide range of delays, and urged it to send military commanders to their posts, to complete the formation of a united national army and the drafting of laws on national defence. [see earlier IRIN story, "Oversight committee chides transitional government for delays"] "The survivors of the Ankoro massacres are impatient," ASADHO said. The precise toll of the massacres has remained unclear. An investigation from 7 to 9 April conducted by the UN Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, found that at least 70 people were killed during fighting in November 2002 between government forces and Mayi-Mayi militias in Ankoro. However, MONUC said the death toll could be higher. ASADHO said at least 300 people were killed, while 7,715 houses, 11 churches and a health centre were pillaged and burned, during attacks that involved heavy weaponry such as 107 mm type 63 multiple rocket launchers. ASADHO called on the transitional national government to accord all means necessary to the military judicial system so that fair trials could resume, and on the military justice system to speed investigations into the events of November 2002, particularly by including civilian parties.


IRIN 3 Oct 2003 Call to abolish death penalty ADDIS ABABA, 3 Oct 2003 The Ethiopian government faced fresh calls from human rights organisations on Friday to abolish the death penalty. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) appealed to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to bring an end to executions in the country. International rights organisations estimate that around 50 people have been sentenced to death in the last decade – many former officials from the previous regime. The call for the abolition of the death penalty comes after four men were sentenced to hang in August after being convicted of “genocide” under the former government. Last year, five members of the radical Somali Al-Ittihad al-Islamiya group were sentenced to death for committing “terrorist acts” in Ethiopia. EHRCO argued that the death penalty is “barbaric” and that society should “teach and reform” offenders. “A society can be more healthy by teaching, reforming and rehabilitating the offender,” the human rights organisation said in a report released on Friday. In Ethiopia the death penalty involves either hanging or death by fg squad. EHRCO also described as “flawed” arguments that claim the death penalty reduces crime in society. “The notion that judicial killings would be instructive has been disproved by the history of mankind since ancient times,” it said. The death penalty was introduced in the mid-1950s after the drafting of the country’s first modern penal code. The government is currently revising the penal code. Those condemned to death have the right to appeal to a higher court and to petition for presidential clemency.


BBC 3 Oct 2003 UN warns of more Liberia violence - Wednesday's battle was the worst in Monrovia since peacekeepers arrived Liberia could experience an escalation of fighting in the coming weeks, says the United Nations special envoy to Liberia, Jacques Klein. Some 3,500 UN troops are already deployed in the capital, Monrovia, but Mr Klein said the force was not yet sufficient to bring stability and disarm some 30,000 rebels. He also rejected claims by Liberia's interim President Moses Blah, that UN troops failed to prevent Wednesday's gun-battle between rebels and government forces in Monrovia in which at least three people were killed. "I think that President Blah doesn't know what he is talking about," Mr Klein told BBC's Network Africa programme, adding that the peacekeepers had, in fact, managed to turn back most of the heavily armed rebel convoy. The incident happened when the leader of the main rebel group, Sekou Conneh, arrived for a first meeting with Mr Blah. US role Mr Klein's comments came two days after the official launch of the UN peacekeepers in Liberia. The 15,000-strong UN mission is set to become the world's biggest peace force but no new troops have arrived yet. A battalion of troops from Bangladesh is expected within two weeks, the UN says. These people are raping, robbing and stealing from their own people. They will continue to do that until we disarm them Jacques Klein Monrovia is relatively calm but skirmishes continue in the rest of the country, where there are no peacekeepers. Meanwhile, US President George W Bush on Thursday defended the limited role US troops played in Liberia, a day after the last US warship had left Liberia's coast. "We have kept our word. We have done exactly what we said we would do," he said. Mr Bush said US Marines had secured the airport and port to enable troops from the West African peacekeeping force to enter Liberia and then turn control of the peacekeeping mission to the UN. "We've kept a presence there... And the strategy has worked," Mr Bush said. No 'macho force' Mr Klein warned that there will probably be "an increased level of violence over the next four or five weeks", but said time "is running out for... murderers... who are raping, robbing and stealing from their own people". He said that raising the UN peacekeeping force to its full strength would take up to three month, and until then the troops would not be able to disarm Liberia's rebels. Troubled start for Liberia peace mission "You cannot do anything until you have sufficient force structure," Mr Klein said. "We can't put people in harm's way needlessly to show some macho force. You have to have a sufficient force to do the job properly and that is what our planners are doing." The BBC's Paul Welsh in Monrovia says that Wednesday's violence in Monrovia showed the peacekeepers how difficult the task ahead is likely to be. However, our correspondent says, the regional peacekeepers have already made a huge impact on the capital and the area around it, bringing a level of peace and stability Liberians could only dream of two months ago. The additional troops will be tasked with stabilising the rest of the country, where civilians are still harassed by gunmen and where there are still regular skirmishes between rebel and government forces. www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unmil/


Vanguard (Lagos) 24 Oct 2003 Itsekiri Group Wants 24-Hr Patrol of Warri Waterways Warri THE Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) has appealed to the Nigerian Navy to begin a 24-hour patrol of waterways around Warri, and asked the Federal Government to take all necessary steps to stop the genocide against the Itsekiri. Mr. Matthew Tsekure, Chairman of INYC sub-committee on publicity, alleged that on the morning of Tuesday, October 21, the Ijaw pirates struck at Orugbo in Warri South Local Government Area and eight hand-paddled boats conveying about 50 Itsekiri from Warri to Ode-Itsekiri and Orugbo were attacked in Warri River with all goods sunk. He said the occupants who were swimming to safety were either shot or speared to death by the sea pirates, adding that "when the news got to Orugbo and Ode- Itsekiri, a combined rescue team of young men using hand-paddled dug-out boats were dispatched to rescue those who might have escaped and swam into the mangrove swamp. This rescue team went without knowing that the pirates had hidden themselves in the mangrove. The rescue team were again attacked and their boats destroyed with some of them killed. "The Ijaw pirates again using four speed-boats moved into Ode-Itsekiri shooting indiscriminately. They left with four aged women who could not escape into the bush. As at today, we have confirmed the death of about 35 persons with others still marooned in the mangrove with no hope of their being rescued." Continuing, the statement said, "could humanity remain so callous and unendingly turn blind eyes to this unending massacre of Itsekiri by the Ijaws? On Sunday, October 5, 2003, over 29 Itsekiri and Ilajes voyaging from Awoye in Ondo State to Escravos in Delta State were massacred. We informed the people and government in Nigeria. "It was business as usual with no step put in place to prevent a further reoccurrence. Such usual pattern of quiet on the side of government (for whatever reason since 1997) when the Ijaw began their ethnic cleansing policies against the Itsekiri has always encouraged the Ijaw to do the killings with reckless abandon", the statement added. -


Reuters 1 Oct 2003 Rwanda Ruling Party Victorious in Assembly Poll By Arthur Asiimwe KIGALI, Rwanda - Rwandan President Paul Kagame's ruling party scored a decisive if predictable win in the first parliamentary polls since a 1994 genocide Wednesday after a race bereft of significant participation by the main opposition. "We declare RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) the winner of this election," Electoral Commission Chairman Chrysologue Karangwa said in a live broadcast on state-owned television. "By Friday we shall tell Rwandans how many seats each of these parties will hold in parliament." Karangwa said the RPF won 73.78 percent of the votes cast. The Social Democratic Party, PSD, was second with 12.31 percent with the Liberal Party, PL, third on 10.56 percent. Karangwa put turnout at 99.48 percent in the ballot on Monday and Tuesday for 56 of the chamber's 80 seats. Women's groups will nominate the remaining 24 members Thursday. Analysts had long predicted an RPF landslide since the main opposition had no role in the race. European Union observers said Tuesday that opposition candidates had been intimidated in the run-up to voting and added that it was regrettable that two opposition figures had been barred from standing in the race. The government has yet to comment on the charge of intimidation. The turnout confounded critics who had predicted meager participation due to what they termed lack of interest in an apparently one-sided race. "There were no cases of violence during polling day," said Karangwa. "Most people turned out to vote in the afternoon." Kagame, who began a seven-year term after he led the RPF to a landslide win in presidential polls in August, Tuesday predicted a huge win for his party in the assembly polls. A Tutsi, Kagame has run Rwanda since leading the rebel army that ended the 1994 genocide in which Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The polls took place under a new constitution adopted in May that set up a multi-party political structure for the first time since Belgian colonial rule ended in 1962. A Western diplomat and several critics of the government said the likely RPF victory meant the assembly would remain under the firm control of the president. The current 76-seat assembly is dominated by allies of the RPF. "Do not expect any major change in the new parliament," the diplomat who did not wish to be named told Reuters. "There's no new blood and certainly no credible opposition figure." The only two heavyweight opposition figures in the race, Celestin Kabanda and Jean-Baptiste Sindikubwaho, who both planned to run as independents, were disqualified from standing by the electoral commission Friday for allegedly forging signatures from their supporters on their application forms.

Danish daily Information, 1 October 2003 By Bjørn Willum Distrust sparked low turnout Election observers, diplomatic sources and voters reported a low turnout at yesterday's parliamentary election in Rwanda in protest against exclusion of opposition candidates By Bjørn Willum, special correspondent of the Danish daily Information KIGALI - Dressed in white pants, neat brown shoes and a long-sleeved grey shirt, a supporter of opposition politician Célestin Kabanda stood at the roadside in the shadow of a tree, while cars rumbled by. Just some one hundred meters away, grey tents had been put up on the trampled-down red soil that is found all over the tiny country. All across the country, tents and at schools draped with flags and streamers in the national green-blue-yellow colours were set for parliamentary election day - according to the government the first free of its kind since the country gained its independence from Belgium, the former colonial power, in 1962. Nevertheless, he was not sure that he bothered to vote. Maybe sometime later in the day. Many of his friends had decided to stay away from ballot boxes, he explained. "Those people whom they had counted on voting for had been deleted off the list." Friday night Célestin Kabanda and another prominent opposition candidate, Jean-Baptiste Sindikubwabo, were accused of having falsified some of the 600 signatures that is needed to stand as an independent candidate. It was by time of going to press impossible to obtain actual figures on the poll turnout but diplomatic sources, election observers and voters told Information that the turnout appeared remarkably lower than at last month's presidential elections, where Rwandan President Paul Kagame received more than 95 per cent of votes, according to the National Electoral Commission. Distrust sparked low turnout "The turnout is low. You need to interpret that," a diplomat said with a smile. On the one hand, he said, some people do not know what the parliament is all about and why they have to vote again since the president already won one election. "The second interpretation is that many people have no interest in the whole thing after what happened in august," he continued with ill-concealed reference to fiddling with ballot papers, lack of closed voting booths and pressure reported in connection with the presidential election of August 25. "There were not many at the polling station," recalled one uniformed male voter in his thirties, having returned from casting his vote for Rwanda's Liberal Party. "Last time they were forced to vote for the RPF [the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the government party, ed.], so they did not want to vote this time. To vote or not to vote, that is the same thing." Polling in an open room And according to one election observer contacted by Information, there has at several polling stations been good reason for such distrustfulness. The poll was set to open at six o'clock in the morning. "The first place we arrived before six, and they had already begun. People were not using voting booths. They received a paper, after they received it, they put it into the box - in front of the electoral commission." "When I entered, they changed the procedure immediately, " the observer said, adding that people were then instructed to use the closed voting booths. Although the scenario was repeated in several places, the person in question only believes that election observers saw the tip of the iceberg - in particular those of foreign nationality. According to a press briefing from the National Electoral Commission, 1,617 observers were registered for the election, of which 167 were foreigners - most of these from the EU - who thus had to drive from one polling station to the next during the day. Another problem was the lack of ink in voting booths - the actual marking of the ballot paper takes place by the voter leaving his or her fingerprint next to a candidate or party. Instead, the ink was at some stations situated at a table right in front of polling officials. In this way, it was possible to swiftly dip one's thumb, mark the paper and hand back the ballot paper, which in many cases incidentally was folded in such a way that only the names of the government party's, candidates were visible, the election observer recounts. If you in such cases insist in using a voting booth, the observer said, "you make yourself extremely suspicious." An EU election observer, who asked not to be identified either, confirmed after polling stations had closed to Information that there had been "very few people compared to the presidential elections" and that EU observers had found "a few irregularities". Declining further comment, the person referred to the official report on the election by EU observers that is scheduled for publication on Friday. The first reports on the counting of votes indicated that the RPF had won the election by a wide margin. Archive with selected articles at www.willum.com

Danish daily Information, 1 October 2003 EU criticism of Rwanda election Election observers yesterday criticised the handling of the parliamentary election. There were reports of election fraud and threats against the opposition but the EU refused to take a stance on the validity of the poll By Bjørn Willum (Kigali) and Annegrethe Rasmussen (London) KIGALI/LONDON – EU election observers in Rwanda yesterday severely criticised this week’s parliamentary election, saying the democracy in the country was “not yet fully assured”. Among the charges were stuffing of ballot boxes, manipulation of ballot papers and intimidation of the opposition. Apart from that, the presence of the 34 EU observer teams “was not always welcomed”, as the official diplomatically phrased statement read. For example, one international observer told Information how she was first refused entry to a polling station and later asked to leave before the counting of votes was set to begin. When she insisted on staying, it turned out that all ballot papers had been neatly folded in the same way despite the fact that the size of ballot box slits normally required that ballot papers be stuffed and squeezed into boxes. Moreover, one particularly large fingerprint kept popping up during the counting of the nearly 600 votes – in Rwanda ballots are marked with a fingerprint – all of which turned out to be in favour of the RPF government party. According to official figures, the RPF won a landslide victory of 73 per cent, with the three opposition parties – that all backed Rwandan President Paul Kagame at last month’s presidential election – by and large shared the remaining votes among themselves. “I was […] struck by the fact that none of the independent candidates managed to get any significant number of votes,” Colette Flesch, the head of the EU observer mission in the country, said at a press conference. No clarification on validity But Colette Flesch had ”no comments” when Information afterwards asked her whether the result was valid and whether a re-election would be appropriate. “There will not be a re-election, you know it and I know it.” She did on the other hand refuse to use the expression ‘free and fair’ about the election. “We said what we had to say, we criticised what we thought went wrong and we think – we hope – that next time around these things will be taken into consideration.” “It is pretty clear that these are not free and fair elections,” commented a third international observer, who had also witnessed a ‘100 per cent counting’. “There really is no democracy here.” That interpretation was confirmed by a spokesman of the European Commission. “The indication is that the poll in the widest sense has not been taking place in a desirable manner. But the cooperation between the EU and Rwanda will continue to the benefit of a broader involvement of interest groups from the all of the civil society, and we will continue encouraging this in order to ensure a continued democratization of Rwanda,” he said. “The Commission is relieved that the poll took place without violent acts as such and we now await the final report that is to be discussed with EU member states in an active and constructive process.” Questionably high turnout figure In Rwanda, the EU also questioned the high turnout, which according to the Rwandan National Electoral Commission was at 96.5 per cent. “We have observed that the participation has been visibly less than during the presidential election. This holds true for all polling stations we visited,” Colette Flesch commented. On the day of the presidential election, people formed lengthy queues long before polling stations opened at six o’clock in the morning, but none of the observers whom Information consulted had this time experienced any run on ballot boxes. Instead diplomats, observers and voters said many chose to stay away as a protest against expected electoral fraud and exclusion of the two most prominent independent opposition candidates few days before the election. “I do not at all believe in the 96.5 per cent but I can’t tell you that on the record,” a very high-ranking member of the EU observer mission told Information. Rumours about observers Journalists from the local government-controlled media in Rwanda, which has been running smear campaigns against independent parliamentary candidates, as expected brought their guns into position against EU observers yesterday. One journalist thus accused Colette Flesch of having favoured the opposition because she after the presidential election campaign had accompanied one of the losing candidates to the Rwandan Supreme Court where he delivered a complaint about the election. “Dear Sir, when he delivered his complaint, I was in Luxembourg. That is ridiculous,” Colette Flesch hit back, greatly amusing the audience of the press conference.

Reuters 3 Oct 2003 Fears for Rwanda over lack of opposition October 3, 2003 Nairobi - President Paul Kagame will enjoy unchallenged authority to steer Rwanda through the next tough phase of its post-genocide history. This was analysts' verdict yesterday after his twin poll victories against sidelined and demoralised opponents. But his political party's landslide win in parliamentary elections this week means the National Assembly is unlikely to be able to act as a viable forum for dissent, creating long-term strains in a still-traumatised society of 8-million, the analysts said. "There will be no credible opposition," said Celestin Kabanda, an independent parliamentary candidate disqualified from the assembly race just days before the vote. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) scored a predictable if eye-catching victory in the polls - the first assembly contest since the 1994 genocide - after a race bereft of participation by the main opposition. The election victory followed an even more spectacular win for Kagame in August in a presidential contest that earned him a seven-year term as head of state and commander-in-chief of one of Africa's most powerful armed forces. But his avowed goal of national reconciliation faces major challenges, including a programme to put on trial thousands of people accused of carrying out the horrors of 1994 and scaling back Rwanda's costly army, a major drain on its economy. Critics slammed both poll victories as cheap, as the main opposition Democratic Republican Movement party was banned earlier in the year and unable to take part in either contest. European Union observers said this week opposition candidates had been intimidated in the run-up to the assembly voting and added it was regrettable that two opposition figures - Kabanda was one - had been barred from the poll. The RPF won 73,78% of the vote in the race for the 80-seat assembly. Party strengths in terms of seats won were due to be announced today. In the presidential race, Kagame took 95% of the vote. "When you look at the (assembly) figures, they reflect a one-party-controlled parliament. This kind of parliament cannot be a watchdog of the executive," said Faustin Twagiramungu, a Hutu opposition veteran trounced by Kagame in the presidential race. - .

IRIN 8 Oct 2003 Focus On Genocide Widows Dying of HIV/Aids Mediatrice Ilibagiza, 38, is a widow and mother of three who, like thousands other Rwandan women, lost her husband during Rwanda's 1994 genocide. She was also among the hundreds of women who were raped by Hutu militiamen known as the Interahamwe and soldiers of the old army, the Forces armees rwandaises, leaving her infected with HIV/AIDS. Tutsi women were the main targets of the militia assault that used AIDS as a genocidal weapon, according to Hiraly Mukamazimpaka, the national coordinator of Avega Aghozo. Avega Aghozo is the umbrella organisation that groups genocide survivor bodies representing up to 25,000 widows. These groups and human rights bodies say that the raping was orchestrated by the leaders of the genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and politically moderate Hutus were killed. "After killing our husbands, they turned to us. They knew very well that they were infected with the virus and wanted us to experience the same agony," Ilibagiza said. She has now been living with HIV for nine years. Her skin is scared and eyes sunken by the disease. The genocide did not only kill, it left in its wake lasting psychological scars on thousands of survivors. So, to many widows of the genocide, theirs is an existence filled with the agony of having lost their husbands and of waiting to die from HIV/AIDS. A study by Avega Agahozo conducted in three of Rwanda's 12 provinces shows that 66 percent out of the 1,200 widows sampled tested HIV positive. The same statistics - limited because the study could not cover all the provinces due to the lack of money - revealed that the experience of 100 days of killing and raping left 80 percent of the widows traumatised. "The misery I went through during the genocide is something I will never forget. It cost me half of my family and now my own life," Ilibagiza said as she wiped away her tears. Meanwhile, she cares for her three biological children and five others adopted from relatives who died during the genocide. Today 558 of Avega Agahozo's members are living with HIV/AIDS, but the organisation's officials said the numbers could be higher since most widows have been shunning HIV tests. "It's not until their conditions worsen that they turn up for testing," Rose Musana, the Avega Agahozo official in charge of the project helping these widows, said. She said the stigma attached to being raped by the Interahamwe had caused many victims to remain silent about their ordeal. "Some of them sacrificed their bodies for the machete and many others were forcefully raped," she said. Antiretroviral Drugs The widows are largely overlooked in a country trying to rebuild nine years after the genocide. Only a handful of these women, mostly in the capital Kigali, receive medical care and counseling. Only 20 of the 585 infected Avenga Agahozo members have access to anti-retroviral drugs, courtesy of a British and a Dutch NGO. As many continue to die of HIV/AIDS related diseases each day, Avega Agahozo continues to seek support to provide anti-retroviral drugs to the living. It has sought the support of donor agencies and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda's Department of Witness Protection and Welfare. "We have done the lobbying but we seem to be fetching virtually nothing," Musana said. This means Avega Agahoze can only provide limited support. The tiny dispensary the organisation runs only provides testing, counseling and basic medications to treat opportunistic diseases associated with HIV/AIDS. Ilibagiza is one of the lucky 20 patients who receive anti-retroviral drugs. She started taking her medication a year ago and now feels better. "I used to fall sick very frequently before I started taking these drugs," Ilibagiza said in her small ramshackle home in a Kigali suburb. "I used to spend most of my time in hospital but this stopped when I received them. I only wish my colleagues could also have access to these drugs." Ilibagiza's association has built semi-permanent structures to house close to 180 widows but her main problem remains how to get the nutritious foods that doctors have recommended in her battle to extend her life. Emotionally, the HIV infected widows are hurt by the realisation that those who caused their agony - now undergoing trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, -are receiving free HIV/AIDS medication while their victims are denied. "If we have been denied proper justice why should we receive double injustice by being denied medication? The international community should do something," Ilibagiza said still crying. Yet, the most painful feeling most of these widows must endure is the knowledge that their children will soon be orphans. Avega Agahozo helps orphans by paying school fees and finding them lodgings. But with their numbers increasing daily, the burden is becoming too great for this small association to bear. Today the centre caters for at least 1,000 children, half of whose mothers are HIV/AIDS infected.

Reuters 13 Oct 2003 No justice for Rwanda genocide victims Mon 13 October, 2003 09:57 BST BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame says the Rwanda genocide court did not bring justice to the victims of the 1994 massacres in which minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Extremists of the Hutu majority nine years ago slaughtered 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. "Despite the cost of the tribunal, justice was not served," Kagame told the Belgian daily Le Soir in an interview in Kigali. "The victims of rape as an instrument of war, of the spread of AIDS were not helped while the prisoners detained in Arusha benefited from all the necessary treatment," he added, without putting forward any demands. The U.N. Security Council in August voted to replace Carla del Ponte, a tough former Swiss attorney-general, as prosecutor for the Rwanda tribunal. Rwanda has criticised the Tanzania-based tribunal for inefficiency despite its 16 judges, more than 800 staff and a budget of nearly $100 million a year. Kagame, a Tutsi, accused del Ponte of treating suspects of the genocide and soldiers of the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Army -- the armed branch of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front in 1994 -- on the same footing. "For us, that is an insult," Kagame told the paper. Kagame's ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party last month scored a decisive if predictable win in the first parliamentary poll since the 1994 genocide. European Union observers said that opposition candidates had been intimidated in the run-up to voting. Kagame accused certain EU observers "of being negative, independent of what they could see". "They had already made up their mind and, at the scene, they sought pretexts for confirmation," he added.

IRIN 15 Oct 2003 Amnesty concerned over effectiveness of judiciary NAIROBI, 15 Oct 2003 (IRIN) - Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has expressed concern over the effectiveness of some of the judicial measures taken by the government of Rwanda to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1990 to 1994 armed conflict and genocide in the country. In a report released on Wednesday listing several concerns, Amnesty said that while it welcomed measures aimed at ensuring that genocide trials met internationally recognised standards, it criticised the government's reluctance to investigate violations committed by its security forces. Amnesty said that the Rwandan government should ensure that the presumption of innocence was maintained until the suspect's guilt was proved beyond reasonable doubt. Among other recommendations, it said the government should stop arbitrary arrests by observing the legal safeguards contained within its Code of Criminal Procedure; take measures to protect the independence of the judiciary at all levels and to ensure that judicial officials are able to carry out their functions without interference. Regarding "Gacaca" - a communal judicial system introduced by the government to expedite genocide trials - Amnesty said the government should ensure that the defendants got adequate time to prepare their defence; had the opportunity to call, to examine and cross-examine witnesses; were accorded the right to appeal their conviction and sentences; and to ensure that the gacaca sessions were open to the public, including human rights monitors. At the international level, Amnesty said, Rwanda should cooperate fully with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by ensuring "unhindered access" to Rwandan sites and witnesses in their investigations of those accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. Amnesty also made recommendations to Rwanda regarding civil and political rights, refugees, freedom of expression, the media and human rights abuses by Rwandan security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [The Amnesty International summary of concerns is available online at: http://web.amnesty.org/}

www.thestar.co.za 30 Oct 2003 OPINION Working with the enemy October 30, 2003 At first it looked like one of those installations a publicity-seeking artist would have called The Genocide. But this was reality - stinking and intimidating. The dead bodies on the floors of the 72 classrooms in Gikongoro's technical school were real - excavated from mass graves in the spring of 1996 to create a monument for the genocide in Rwanda two years before. Back then, at least 800 000 people had been killed by radical Hutus bent on exterminating the Tutsi minority. Trust and co-operation are the bedrock of any group of individuals, community or nation. After the genocide, none of these existed in Rwanda. What was left in this country, where millions had fled their homes, was fear and suspicion. And when the country slowly started to come together, mending its wounds, the survivors discovered those who normally took the lead in society - the men - were either dead or on the run or in jail. For the surviving women in Rwanda, not only had life itself been violated, but the foundations of the society they once knew had been demolished. Paralysed with shock, confused and filled with grief, women were forced to rise up and take positions they had never known. They were no longer shy, scared or submissive. "Women must be the pillars of peace. Each one of us must contribute to the reconciliation and peace in our own communities. "We are the bearers of life, life grows through us. It is time to work for our children's future. As we start to interact with one another, we realise that we are all the same." These are the words of Immaculée Mukarugambwa, born on April 6 1968 - the day on which the genocide began 26 years later. Today she is one of the many widows of violence. Immaculée belongs to the ethnic Tutsi group but she was married to a man who was classified as Hutu. He was one of the victims of the 1994 genocide. Before the genocide, women occupied a subordinate position in a deeply patriarchal society. But with the death of so many men, women have gained new opportunities and responsibilities in rebuilding the society. In the small town of Rwamagana, east of the capital Kigali, Immaculée was among the women we met who are now sole providers for their families. Most of the victims of the genocide were Tutsis, but Immaculée's husband was one of the moderate Hutus who did not heed the call of his own ethnic group to eliminate all Tutsis - "the cockroaches" as they were slightingly called. The couple had three children; the last one born after her husband's death. "My husband did not participate in the genocide. He was a kind man whose role was to protect his woman. But he was killed on April 25. He was also very rich and they took all our belongings. I went into hiding in a neighbouring district and didn't return until the war was over." Her apparent lack of emotion is something often encountered in Rwanda, where women tell horrifying stories of the genocide with a calm acceptance. The outer calm might just be a way of survival, but it is also a statement that the past must belong to the past, lest we succumb again in future. "When I returned, I had lost all love of life. But after a while other widows approached me, and little by little we realised we must help each other." Since she came back to the village, Immaculée has taken part in various projects and women's groups, set up and partly funded with the help of NGOs. It was in these circles she learned her fate was not unique. Working with other women, she found new friends who also had suddenly become their families' sole provider. That is how she got to know Donnata Uzamukumda, a woman who, considering the circumstances, should have been her enemy but instead has become her working partner. Donnata is also struggling in her new role as the sole provider for her family, but for a totally different reason. Her husband was arrested in 1996 and is one of more than 100 000 prisoners awaiting trial on charges of participating in the genocide. With a loan from the Women's Foundation (set up by the UN Development Programme) in the municip ality of Rwamagana, Immaculée and Donnata have started a project to cultivate rice, together with four other women. Immaculée has already planted four small patches and Donnata - who entered the programme later - is waiting for her money to be transferred. Meanwhile she is helping the other five - including two additional widows of the genocide - with the fieldwork. "Rice is more resistant than many other crops, it gives a good yield; and out of the 10 sacks of rice I will make, I can sell seven. There will still be enough food for me and my children," Immaculée explains. The two women are at ease with each other despite their husbands having been on opposite sides. Such relations would have been difficult, if not impossible, just after the war. Then, animosity and suspicion raged in the small community. Some of the survivors stopped greeting each other and it wasn't hard to find neighbours who avoided crossing each other's paths. No one knew for sure who was a killer, a protector or a traitor. A feeling of unease gripped the society, but as the years passed things gradually changed and people began to throw off the burden of past horrors and reach out towards the future. The barriers between women in Rwamagana started to crumble. Donnata explains why. "It is not as profitable to work on your own. Now we can move from field to field helping each other with the work. "When my husband was arrested, I first felt very confused and disorganised. I was not used to heading the household on my own. But the other women supported me and not once have I felt they were treating me differently because of the charges laid against my husband. "When I go to visit the prison, I leave my son at my neighbour's house. Her husband was murdered during the war, and to me this is proof enough to show that reconciliation is possible in Rwanda," Donnata says. Together with almost 2-million Rwandans, Donnata fled to a neighbouring country in the aftermath of the genocide. Guilty or innocent, most Hutus after the killing spree feared reprisals by the new leaders in Kigali. Donnata and her family ended up in Tanzania and when repatriation started in 1996, they crossed the border together with tens of thousands of others. Today, Donnata pins her hope on the traditional courts, the gacaca. Until June 2002, the accused had been tried in ordinary courts; but seven years after the genocide, only about 5 000 had faced their judges. "I have already seen innocent men go free and reintegrated into society after years in prison," she says. "You see, at first when the group helped Donnata to prepare food for her husband and other prisoners, it was an act of charity. Now it has become part of our reconciliation. If only we can live in peace we will work together to uplift ourselves and make more money for our children's future." Speaking with pride, Immaculée reaches out for Donnata's hand, to prove the strength and accuracy of her own words. The gender roles in Rwandan society may have changed forever - even though the price paid was far too high - but just like the rain clouds on the horizon, the women of Rwanda hold the promise of their nation's rebirth. - Independent Foreign Service This is an edited extract from Reality Bites (published by Double Storey), by Swedish correspondent Görrel Espelund, Danish correspondent Jesper Strudsholm and South African photographer Eric Miller. Reality Bites is based on 10 years of reporting on Africa and features 14 chapters of ordinary, extraordinary people.


AFP 24 Oct 2003 Somali leader reiterates rejection of reconciliation talks KAMPALA, Oct 24 (AFP) - The transitional president of Somalia, who enjoys very limited recognition, on Friday told the east African body behind Somali reconciliation talks he would return to the negotiations only if their venue and mediators were changed. "Neither my government nor I will be part of a process that is aimed at the dismemberment of our country," Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, the interim president of Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG), told a summit meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development in Kampala. He and the TNG -- who walked out of the Nairobi reconciliation conference in July -- are recognised in only a few pockets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Many others in the anarchic state regard his regime as just one among the many armed factions aligned on clan lines that have held sway in the country since the 1991 ouster of president Mohammed Siad Barre. "Neither will I be a witness to a process that is flawed," Salat told the summit. He said the reconciliation process should no longer be mediated by the so-called frontline states -- Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti -- but by more neutral parties. "We would like to see the active support of IGAD, African Union, United Nations and multilateral donors for a complete disarmament in Somalia," said Salat. "No government in Somalia can effectively function without a comprehensive disarmament and a stop to continuous flow of weapons to Somalia from our neighbours," he added. "The challenge before the region today is not to debate the possibility or lack of will to revive the Somali peace process. "There is no peace process to maintain, as the initiative which was supposed to lead to true peace and reconciliation has been flawed," he said. He blamed Ethiopia for a deadlock in the talks in Kenya "by supporting a dozen factions it created in order to impose a government from outside." "The imposition of a government from outside would plunge Somalia into further violence and civil war," Salat warned.

AFP 28 Oct 2003 Death toll in central Somalia's factional fighting rises to 27 MOGADISHU, Oct 28 (AFP) - At least 27 people were killed and 45 others wounded when fighting erupted between the militia of two clans in central Somalia, local elders contacted by field radio said Tuesday. The fighting, which broke out on Monday, pitted members of the Marehan clan against their Dir rivals in Herale village of Abudwaaq district, which is situated in the Galgudud region. "Fourteen people were killed on Monday and early Tuesday, before the fighting subsided, but eight others died when the fighting resumed after midday pm Tuesday," elder Ahmed Mohamed Aden told AFP by radio. "Five others died when their vehicle hit a landmine on Tuesday near the contested Herale village, but so far we don't know who planted the landmine," Aden added. The clashes are said to have been triggered by animosities over the murder in April of a prominent Marehan elder by people believed to be Dir clansmen. Several hundred people have fled Herale since the renewed fighting broke out, local elder Abdulrashid Hassan said. The elders have failed to broker a ceasefire and both sides were said to be regrouping, elders and militia officials said. Somalia has been without a nationally recognised government and torn apart by factional warfare since the collapse of president Mohammed Siad Barre's regime in 1991. A reconciliation conference aimed at restoring a national administration in the Horn of Africa country has been going on in neighbouring Kenya since October last year.

South Africa

www.capetimes.co.za 6 Oct 2003 OPINION Window on Africa - Goldstone's role in Rwanda a vital contribution to the accountability of Africa as a whole October 6, 2003 By Peter Fabricius Justice Richard Goldstone has retired from the bench. His major achievements, in the building of South Africa's strong judiciary, and in bolstering the transition, have been documented elsewhere. It is his period as chief prosecutor of the international tribunal investigating the genocide in Rwanda that is relevant here. Coming from a country where an embattled judiciary had struggled to keep alive the very notion of justice, Goldstone understood his role in Rwanda perhaps differently, or at least more vividly, than a judge from the developed world might have. He saw it not as an exercise in abstract historical justice, but as a vital contribution to the future survival of individuals and perhaps the country itself. Unless the law intervened to bring some consolation and closure to families of the countless victims of genocide, the cycle of violence and retribution in Rwanda that had been spinning for decades, would continue, he said. Goldstone was right. And not only for Rwanda. On a continent where so much blood has been spilt with impunity, the tribunal stands as a symbol of accountability for Africa as a whole. But you would not think so when you see the scant attention given to it. Largely unnoticed, it has been chugging away since 1994 in Arusha, Tanzania, battling to bring the chief culprits of the genocide to justice. In truth the tribunal is a symbol of legal accountability not only in Africa but in Rwanda itself. For the genocide of 1994 had countless perpetrators as well as countless victims. Untold numbers of Rwandans have blood on their hands and the tribunal can only prosecute some of the ringleaders. These must stand for many others. It has managed to hunt down several ringleaders, all over the world, including SA, and put them in the dock. Right now eight cabinet ministers of the government at the time of the genocide are before the tribunal. High-ranking military officers and senior journalists, including several from the infamous hate radio which blatantly incited Hutus to slaughter Tutsis and helped co-ordinate the genocide, have been convicted. Yet many other big fish have got away. And the total number of prosecutions remains in the tens, not hundreds and the tribunal is due to close in a few years. Because it cannot possibly deal with the thousands of small fry who participated in the mob slaughter that constituted the genocide, Rwanda reinvented the gacaca or traditional people's courts to deal with them. They began functioning this year. They are run by lay judges chosen by local communities for their integrity - not their legal skills. Victims - or surviving relatives and friends of victims - confront each other directly without lawyers. The community has the power to convict and sentence. Amnesty International and other human rights watchdogs have criticised the gacaca for violating international standards of justice and fair trial. And of course they are right. And of course also wrong. These thousands of genocide suspects have mostly been languishing in overcrowded jails for many years, and neither the tribunal at Arusha nor Rwanda's own legal system, has the resources ever to try them. The practical choice is either gacaca, rot in jail or go free with impunity. These are not great choices. And the tribunal, too, seems an enormous effort for very little return. It would be easy to say, it all happened nearly a decade ago: "Leave it now and let us move on." One gathers that may well be the attitude of many on the continent. Certainly the African media have shown little interest in the tribunal. It took international donors to establish a special news agency, Hirondelle, which faithfully and doggedly reports the tribunal's every move, and transmits these reports to the world. Maybe the rest of the continent does not want to be reminded of what happened during those few ghastly months of 1994. To follow the proceedings of the tribunal is to relive events that some might think portray a very negative image of Africa. But one should not forget the context. This is not TV footage of murder and mayhem but sober accounting of it in a court of law presided over by judges, including some from Africa. It is Africa confronting an important chapter of its past - and symbolically, a great deal more of its past - and, as it has rarely done before, processing it, legally, calmly and peacefully. And, as Goldstone warned, unless we confront our history in such a way, we may be condemned to repeat it.

www.survival-international.org 15 Oct 2003 South African court rules: indigenous peoples own their own land – dispossessing them is 'racial discrimination' On 14 October 2003, in one of the most historic court judgments ever made in favour of indigenous peoples, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that an indigenous people had both communal land ownership and mineral rights over their territory. Laws which tried to dispossess them were 'racial discrimination'. The case concerned the 3,000 Richtersveld people who live in Northern Cape Province. They are from the Nama subgroup of Khoikhoi peoples, and have always lived in the area called Richtersveld until they were evicted in the 1950s to make way for a diamond mine, now owned by the South African government. Five years ago, the people took both the government and the mining company to court, claiming ownership rights over both 85,000 hectares of land and the minerals it contains. They lost the case but then appealed, and the appeal court ruled in their favour. But then the mining company itself appealed against the decision. The 14 October judgment, from the Constitutional Court, is final. The decision is that indigenous people who own land under their own, unwritten, law have the right to have this upheld in spite of other legal systems which are subsequently imposed by the state. It has very important implications for countries like Botswana, which also operate under the same 'Roman-Dutch' legal system, and where indigenous 'Bushmen' tribes – long discriminated against by the dominant Tswana tribes – are now being forcibly evicted from their reserve in the central Kalahari. Many Bushmen believe this is to make way for diamond mining in the future.


IRIN 1 Oct 2003 Gov't hopes US sanctions will be lifted NAIROBI, 1 October () - The Sudanese government has said it hopes US sanctions will soon be lifted after top-level talks in New York last week. Sudan's deputy ambassador to Kenya Muhammad Ahmad Dirdeiry told the issue was discussed privately between US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner and Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail. "We understand that when they talk about lifting sanctions they would also drop Sudan from the terrorism list," he said. "It is just a matter of time." Sudan was included on the US terrorist list in 1993, as a result of "Islamist links" with international terrorist organisations, according to the State Department. Economic, trade and financial sanctions were imposed by the US in October 1997. Fraught relations between the two governments continued throughout the 1990s with the last US ambassador to Sudan leaving in 1998, just before Washington launched cruise missile strikes on a pharmaceutical plant outside Khartoum. The US claimed the factory was producing ingredients for a deadly nerve gas and that the attacks were a retaliation for US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, while the Sudanese maintained that the plant produced a large percentage of the country's vital medicines. However in May 2000, both countries began a dialogue on counter-terrorism and since the 11 September 2001 terrorist bombings in New York and Washington, Sudan has "provided concrete cooperation against international terrorism", the State Department said.

Reuters 3 Oct 2003 Sudan may hold two national votes over peace deal KHARTOUM, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Sudan may hold two referendums over a future peace deal with southern rebels to ensure broad support and amend parts of the constitution that clash with the agreement, a Sudanese newspaper reported on Friday. "The coming peace agreement should be put to a referendum so that all citizens can have their say", government-owned al-Anbaa newspaper quoted Justice Minister Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin as saying. Yassin also said there would later be a second referendum to amend the constitution so that it complies with a peace deal. "The stipulations of the agreement which include changes to the constitution should be put to a referendum", he said. Sudan's government and main rebel group the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed a key security accord in September, clearing a big stumbling block in talks aimed at ending a conflict that has killed some two million people. Peace has eluded Sudan despite years of efforts to end the civil war, which broke out in 1983, pitting the Islamist government in the north against rebels seeking greater autonomy in the mainly animist and Christian south. The peace talks are due to resume at committee level on October 6 to discuss unresolved issues such as power and wealth sharing. Al-Anbaa quoted Yassin as saying the constitution allowed some of its articles to be amended by a two-thirds majority in the country's parliament but other articles could only be changed through a referendum. Yassin told al-Anbaa his ministry would form committees to look at the relevant laws, one of which related to national security and police forces. The security deal provides for two separate armies with the creation of integrated units comprising government and SPLA troops during a six-year transition period, at the end of which southerners will have the right to vote on secession.

AFP 3 Oct 2003 War-weary and poverty-stricken, south Sudanese long for peace by Bogonko Bosire RUMBEK, Sudan, Oct 3 (AFP) - After 20 years of civil war, Rouk Mabel, an elderly farmer in the southern Sudanese town of Rumbek, would be happy to make do with a single meal a day as long as the fighting stops for good. "I will never complain that I eat once a day, as long as I don't hide in bunkers again and as long am not regarded as scum of the earth," Mabel told AFP in Rumbek, a dusty outpost 900 kilometres (560 miles) south of Khartoum. Like most people in the south, she was delighted about the transitional security agreement signed on September 4 in Kenya between the Khartoum government and the southern rebel movement, the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA). Under the deal, both sides will integrate some of their armies and the government will reduce the number of its force from southern positions when a final peace accord is signed to end a devastating war that has ravaged the country since 1983. Speaking through an interpreter, Mabel, a placid woman who lost a son in the war, said the presence of government troops in the south was a source of constant fear. "When I heard that the government had agreed to withdraw most of its army from our land, I considered it the most pleasant news ever," said Mabel. John Palwal, a 50-year-old retired SPLA fighter, also longs for peace. "I have spent the better part of my adult life fighting for freedom. Most of us were born into poverty and brought up in squalid conditions. But that does not count, at least not for now," he said. "I may look frail as a result of insufficient nutrition, but all I need now is peace for the sake of posterity," said Palwal. In maize and sorghum fields around Rumbek, women rake up the ground with sticks in search of edible tubers, hoping that the progress made towards peace will give them a chance to harvest their crops and that bombs will not force them to abandon them as they mature. Most people living near Rumbek, SPLA's main garrison and an operations base for many humanitarian agencies, expressed cautious optimism that tranquility brought by the rebel take-over of the dusty town in 1997 will last. "Since 1997, there has been peace here, everybody expects that it lasts," said Mabor, a resident of the town. He said that many Rumbek residents can remeber at least one relative killed in the war. "For sure the war has taken a toll on the workforce that used to till the land," said, who insisited on using only his first name. An aid worker, who who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the people of southern Sudan had become inured to suffering as a result of war, famine, disease and poverty. They bore their hardship with considerable stoicism, he added. "These people usually complain of marginalisation by the northern government, but none says a word about deaths and suffering caused by war and famine, it's a unique trait," the aid worker pointed out. "There are a few schools, but very few (people) can afford to pay to learn," he added. UN aid agencies and other humanitarian organisations work out of Rumbek in a bid to alleviate the people's many problems. Rumbek has an airstrip, but most other infrastructure is non-existent. Sudan's civil war erupted in 1983 when the SPLA took up arms to end domination of the mainly Christian and animist south by the Muslim north. It has since killed more than 1.5 million people and displaced four million others. Under an agreement reached last year, Khartoum and the rebels decided on a six-year transitional period for the south at the end of which the southern Sudanese would vote for unity with the north or secession. Talks will continue on the last sticking points of power-sharing and oil resources, as well as disputed regions.

IRIN 17 Oct 2003 Peace negotiations ''hit rock'', says negotiator NAIROBI, 17 October (IRIN) - Peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) taking place in Naivasha Kenya have "hit a rock", according to Malik Agar Eyre, SPLM commander and Governor of Southern Blue Nile region. He said the atmosphere remained "cordial and friendly" but there was a deadlock in all three committees discussing the pending issues of power sharing, wealth sharing and the contested areas of Southern Blue Nile, Abyei and the Nuba mountains. "To say we are confident is too much," he told IRIN. "We are cautiously optimistic." The SPLM Chairman, John Garang, and the Sudanese Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, were expected to start face-to-face negotiations on Saturday, he said, having held an opening ceremony in Naivasha on Friday morning. At the opening, Kenyan Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka urged the parties to resolve their differences and reminded them that "the world was watching". He added it was likely that US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, would visit Kenya next week to encourage the parties, or to witness the signing of an agreement.

AP 21 Oct 2003 Bandits massacre 100 villagers in western Sudan Associated Press Khartoum, October 21 At least 100 villagers were killed and scores were injured by bandits in remote western Sudan last week, Sudanese newspapers reported. However, aid agencies working in Sudan said on Tuesday they had no immediate information on the reports that appeared in two independent Sudanese newspapers a day before. Interior Ministry officials also had no comment. Al-Ayam daily said Arab tribesmen and nomadic cattle breeders attacked 15 villages in west Darfur, 1,020 km west of Khartoum, on Thursday and Friday, killing at least 100 and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. Parliament member Khalid Bilal was quoted by Alwan daily as saying a group of parliamentarians would go to west Darfur to console the people. Darfur, on the border with Chad and Central Africa, is home to some 80 tribes and ethnic groups divided between nomads of Arab origin and farmers of African origin. Nearly a fifth of Sudan's 30 million people live in the region, one of the country's least developed, where cycles of drought and desert creep have shrunk its vast grazing areas and spurred friction among nomads and farmers. The situation worsened earlier this year when a Darfur group demanding self determination for the region attacked Sudanese government troops. Last month, the government and the Darfur Liberation Army agreed to a 45-day cease-fire. Humanitarian agencies have expressed concern in the past about fighting and banditry in Darfur that has displaced large numbers of civilians. Earlier this month, according to a newspaper report, 15 people were killed and scores were injured in tribal clashes in Darfur.

www.genocideprevention.org 28 oct 2003 USAID Relief Workers Among Most Recent Victims of Violence in Sudan ARLINGTON, VA – Nine USAID relief workers were killed in Darfur region of Sudan last week while transporting humanitarian aid to Sudanese refugees in the area. Those responsible for the attack have yet to be identified. Additionally, at least 100 people were killed and 15 villages burned in the Jalingi region of Darfur between October 15 and October 18. The attack on villages was perpetrated by Arab militiamen, who assaulted and robbed numerous villagers before setting their homes ablaze. More than 15,000 civilians have been displaced as a result of the current violence. Humanitarian workers in the field have recently reported that armed forces of nomadic tribes have been performing a campaign of terror and destruction in the region. These forces are allegedly supported by Arab militias active in the area. An assessment in September found that of 62 villages in southern Darfur, 45 had been burned to ashes and all had been looted. The USAID and Jalingi attacks are only two of several aggressions that have occurred in the past two weeks. Violence in the region continues despite the fact that both the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) are engaged in intensive peace negotiations. Furthermore, the Sudanese government and Sudan’s Liberation Army-Movement (SLA- M), a local Darfurian rebel group, have established a ceasefire and recently commenced peace talks. Idriss Yousef, a member of parliament from western Darfur, implicated Janjaweed militiamen as the perpetrators of the Jalangi attack. Yousef further accused the Sudanese government of complicity, stating, “The Janjaweed kill and burn in this area without receiving any retaliation from the State.” Members of Janjaweed are suspected to be part of a movement of paramilitaries associated with the Sudanese government, and in the past, humanitarian workers have accused the government of supplying the Janjaweed and possibly other Arab militias with weapons. It is currently unclear as to whether Janjaweed is still enjoying government support. Despite the accusations against Janjaweed, their involvement in the recent massacres has not been confirmed. It has been estimated that 126,000 people have been displaced in western Darfur over the past three months. The International Committee of the Red Cross has additionally reported more than 70,000 people seeking refuge in neighboring Chad. These refugees are also reporting militia raids on temporary camps, where militiamen specifically target refugees with livestock. Information regarding the current situation has been scarce due to government restrictions on travel to the area. Such restriction has hampered humanitarian efforts and hindered outside monitoring of the violence.

BBC 31 Oct 2003 Sudan anger at sanctions renewal US state secretary Colin Powell is seekign a peace deal The Sudanese Government has condemned the extension of sanctions against it by the United States for another year. The US says there is a continued threat to national security posed by the Sudanese government's policies. But foreign ministry official Dr Mutrif Siddiq says the extension is illogical and breaks a promise to lift sanctions once a peace deal is done with rebels. The two sides say they hope to conclude negotiations by the end of December to end Africa's longest running war. Sudan has been on a US list of countries accused of supporting international terror since 1993. Money for peace Meanwhile, the US government agency, USAid, says it is pledging an extra $40m in the next year to help Sudan recover from 20 years of civil war. OUTSTANDING ISSUES Whether Islamic law will apply in the capital, Khartoum How oil revenue is shared out What type of international supervision will take place The status of three central areas: Abyei; Blue Nile State and Nuba Mountains Q&A: New hope in Sudan However, the head of USAid, Andrew Natsios, warned that the help was conditional on the implementation of the peace deal. "We cannot begin reconstruction without peace," he told journalists in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The United States says it has been given assurances by both the government and the southern SPLA rebels that the peace deal will be sustainable. The 20-year civil war has seen northern Muslims battling against Christians and animists fighting for a separatist state in the south. Sporadic fighting has continued this year, killing thousands and displacing more than 600,000 in the eastern state of Darfur.


ICG 2 Oct 2003 ICG calls for pragmatism in completing work of ICTR NAIROBI, 2 Oct 2003 () - The International Crisis Group (ICG) has called upon the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to adopt a pragmatic approach to overcome the challenges it faces in completing its mission by 2008. In a new report, "The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Time for Pragmatism", the conflict prevention think-tank said the court faced three primary challenges: first, to organise a programme of investigations that would give it a realistic chance to finish proceedings by 2008; second, to set up a timetable for cases that reflected its priorities, including the need for greater efficiency; and third, to resist pressure from the Rwandan government, which it said had attempted to "stymie any possibility that members of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) would be tried". ICG said that the new president, Judge Erik Mose, who presented a final four-year trial calendar to the UN General Assembly in August, "show[ed] a welcome sense of responsibility". "The judges and the court must prove their total commitment to this process," it said. "Reform of the registry’s management of defence costs has also become vital." The ICG said a "deadly overburdening" of the tribunal’s workload had been avoided, as 82 people - including the main suspected perpetrators - had already been indicted. It urged the court "to show the courage to put a stop to new cases", as it did not have the capacity to deal with any more. "The cold reality is that the ICTR needs to be a good deal more efficient in handling trials," ICG said. "Among other things, it should maintain its priority of judging the main suspects from the army and the 1994 government, whose trials have been set to begin in the last three months of 2003." ICG said that the departure of Carla del Ponte as prosecutor and her replacement by Hassan Jallow did not change the court’s priorities. "It needs to complete the outstanding cases and re-launch its enquiries into the war crimes presumed to have been committed by the RPA, which have been suspended for more than a year," it said. While the departure of del Ponte meant that there would probably never be a trial of the RPA in Arusha, ICG said this did not absolve the prosecutor's office of its responsibilities. "The Rwandan government is offering, in effect, no guarantee that justice will be rendered for crimes committed by the RPA," it said. "It is of the highest importance, therefore, that the ICTR resumes outside the country its investigation into the crimes allegedly committed by the RPA and does not set an end date to this investigation." The report's recommendations to the judges, prosecutor's office and registry of the ICTR, as well as to the Rwandan government and the UN Security Council, are available at www.crisisweb.org The complete report, available only in French at present, can be found at www.crisisweb.org

Reuters 6 Oct 2003 New Rwanda genocide prosecutor wants faster justice DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 6 — The new prosecutor at the Rwanda genocide court called on tribunal staff on Monday to help bring the perpetrators to justice more quickly, officials said. Hassan Jallow replaced Carla del Ponte on Monday as prosecutor for the Tanzania-based court trying those behind the 1994 genocide in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates were killed in 100 days by Hutu extremists. Jallow, a former Gambian judge and justice minister, urged staff at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to work harder to expedite the trials of the perpetrators, the tribunal officials said. The tribunal has completed only 12 cases so far with dozens still awaiting trial.'' Jallow met Judge Erik Mose, ICTR president, after arriving on Friday at the court in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, an ICTR statement said. In August, the U.N. Security Council voted to replace del Ponte, a tough former Swiss attorney-general, as prosecutor for the Rwanda tribunal. Several Security Council members had argued the Rwanda tribunal was less efficient than the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, which is hearing cases on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. But Del Ponte, who remains prosecutor for the Balkan war crimes court, said she could do both jobs and blamed Kigali for not cooperating with the Arusha court after she decided to pursue revenge killings by the Rwandan Tutsi-led army. Rwanda has criticised the tribunal for inefficiency despite its 16 judges, more than 800 staff and a budget of nearly $100 million a year. The Rwandan court and the Hague-based court are both scheduled to complete investigations by the end of 2004, complete most trials by 2008 and close before the end of 2010.


AFP 2 Oct 2003 At least seven killed during rebel attacks in northern Uganda KAMPALA, Oct 2 (AFP) - At least seven people, including five rebels, were killed Thursday and several others injured in a suspected raid for food by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in the north of the country, government officials said. "They tried to attack Kitgum Matidi (small Kitgum) village, with an aim of looting food, but our forces responded and killed five of them and captured another," Kitgum town resident district commissioner Lieutenant Santo Lapolo told AFP by telephone. "Unfortunately, at least two civilians were also killed in crossfire," Lapolo said. Sources in the town said that some 50 civilians were kidnapped by rebels during the raid, some forced to carry their loot to the jungles. The LRA has been fighting President Yoweri Museveni's secular government since 1988 to replace it with one based on the biblical Ten Commandment. Their campaign has been marked by brutality against the civilian population of northern Uganda. They strengthen their ranks through the abduction of young boys and girls -- the boys are used as rebel fighters, while girls become concubines to rebel commanders. They have since displaced 1.2 million people in both northern and northeastern Uganda, who live in squalid conditions in camps set up by the army to protect them from abductions.

Zimbabwe (see Canada)

Oxfam 2 Oct 2003 Zimbabwe: Peace building from the bottom up In Zimbabwe, where tensions between the ruling party, Zanu-PF, and opposition party, MDC, are running high, Oxfam America partner Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) is opening dialogues between local representatives of both parties and forging peace- one community at a time. They started gathering at the school at 8:30 in the morning- men, women, youths, traditional and political leaders, and war veterans (the former freedom fighters of Zimbabwe) from every corner of the Marange district. Classes broke off early to allow pupils and teachers to attend the meeting. By the time the ZIMCET team arrived at 10:30, the crowd had swelled to several thousand strong and was being entertained by the school choir. The atmosphere was festive, and despite the sweltering heat and the long wait, everybody appeared to be in good spirits. A Zanu-PF official, seated next to a representative from the MDC, addressed the crowd. "We have grown up in a culture of violence. It is difficult to change, but we must be willing to criticize ourselves. Our identity is Zimbabwean, not Zanu-PF or MDC. Our traditions are respect and love, not violence. We must think about our future." Parliamentary Elections-Overshadowed by Violence Following the 2001 parliamentary elections, which were marred by the worst political violence in Zimbabwe's post-independence history, it was unheard of for Zanu-PF to sit at the same table with MDC. The 2002 Presidential elections were characterized by another surge of terrible violence between supporters of the two parties. Thousands of people were injured, and many women were beaten or gang-raped. Over 34 innocent civilians, mostly MDC supporters, were killed in the violence. A year later, tensions remain high. In many districts, it is still dangerous to declare one's political affiliation openly. In such a politically-polarized environment, party leaders never shake hands, let alone share the same platform, denounce political violence, and seek solutions to share the same space in peace. The ZIMCET Solution ZIMCET is managing to work this miracle. The organization was formed in 2000 as a collaborative effort of civil society organizations concerned about the escalation of violence surrounding parliamentary elections. The organization, initially tasked to monitor and report on incidences of violence, went on to develop a peace-building program. ZIMCET programming encourages both parties to communicate openly and safely and address some of the root causes of violence. ZIMCET also offers training on peace building and tolerance, as well as conflict prevention and resolution. ZIMCET's programming is driven by the local community. Meetings are conducted by local "peace committees," comprised of local traditional leaders, church leaders, war veterans, and local political leaders from the ruling and opposition parties. Each peace committee is headed by a local "peace animator," trained in human rights and conflict resolution. To date, ZIMCET has trained over 600 animators who are spearheading peace-building programs across Zimbabwe. Youth - The Instruments of Change That ZIMCET chose a school as its meeting place in Marange was not incidental. According to ZIMCET's National Director, David Chimhini, Zimbabwean youth have been exploited by the different political parties and used to stir up violence. By inculcating peace in youth, ZIMCET hopes to build a new generation of Zimbabweans who will be more politically tolerant. Believing that political violence thrives on the capacity of politicians to lure poor and idle youths into violent acts, Chimhini plans to start a micro-credit scheme in many communities as part of an initiative to bolster small businesses and put some cash in the pockets of young people. The ZIMCET meeting featured a play addressing the negative consequences of political violence on both the community and the individual. The play was met with resounding applause from the crowd, a clear indication that the message had hit a resonant chord, and that the people were taking the message to heart-nobody gains from violence.

Ghanaian Chronicle 2 Oct 2003 www.ghanaian-chronicle.com Opinion Rule of Law Violence against women Zimbabwe’s women have paid a high price during these years of political and economic crisis. They have paid as mothers, wives, political activists, caretakers. They have paid simply because they are women. And yet, their suffering is largely unreported. Amani Trust, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the assistance of victims of violence, has documented 16 rapes in the past 18 months. “Only” 16 rapes. Yet Amani acknowledges that rape is the most underreported violation. For a variety of social, cultural and economic reasons, women remain silent about these rapes. This silence is nothing new, Deborah (not her real name) was raped by four soldiers of the Fifth Brigade in the 1980s. Her husband witnessed the rape. Deborah told no one, even when the marriage eventually broke down and her family accused her of not doing enough to save the marriage. Last month, Deborah spoke about the rape for the first time. She was not alone - Zimbabwean women who have been raped in the past two years also shared their experiences during a trip to South Africa. Coming forward to tell their stories in public was a singular act of courage. The challenge now is for them to speak about their experiences in Zimbabwe. “In the media in Zimbabwe, the enduring victim of violence is a male,” says Zimbabwean feminist Everjoice Win. “There is no national outcry”over what she describes as the “state-sponsored, systematic and systemic violations” against women in Zimbabwe. As a result of the political crisis and the violence that has accompanied it, many of the advances the Zimbabwean women’s movement made since independence in 1980 have been eroded in the last two to three years. “Over the last decade we had managed to open spaces for women to participate in politics, as candidates and voters,” says Win. “All of that has been hurled away by the political violence. If women ever needed a clearer message that says, ‘Stay out of politics’, we have received it loud and clear.” Albert Musarurwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, says women have suffered as ordinary citizens during the economic and political crisis, but they also have “become targets of politically motivated, deliberate sexual violence.” He says a pattern is emerging that justifies speaking of a “policy of deliberately targeting women”, both those who are politically active and those who are not. Therefore it is safe to assume that behind the small number of documented cases of politically motivated rape lie hundreds more. “Women are the most vulnerable group and often they are the bravest of the activists,” says Dr Frances Lovemore, Amani’s medical director. “Women as a group are picked on and assaulted.” The long-term psychological repercussions of the violence against women and the silence that shrouds it are serious. Since the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the systematic and wide-spread rape of women during a time of war or political conflict is considered a crime against humanity. Systematic rape and targetting of women is now recognised as a strategy of war, says Virginia Chitanda, a Zimbabwean who works as the lead gender crime investigator in the office of the prosecutor in Sierra Leone. Chitanda, Win and Musarurwa were among the Zimbabwean civic leaders who attended a three-day symposium in Johannesburg in August to draft recommendations for a post-conflict Zimbabwe. Gender crime, Chitanda explains, capitalise on women’s social role to terrorise people. In Sierra Leone fighting forces went in to villages and raped women to demonstrate the need for the village to comply with their demands and to highlight the village’s powerlessness. Women and girls were used as sex slaves, abducted as “bush wives” and forced into prostitution. The courts are now acknowledging what happened to the women in Sierra Leone. “The courts have a responsibility to make a statement to the women that what was done to them is criminal. Survivors want to hear that what happened was not their fault. They want acknowledgement,” says Chitanda. “In Zimbabwe we are now in a situation of low-scale hostility. There can be no acknowledgement while the hostility is happening. Any acknowledgement must happen afterwards,” she says. For this reason, networks between organisations and among women play an important role. “It is absolutely necessary to have networks now. The more of a coaltion you are, the stronger you are.” Win visited South Africa last month together with five women “who represent the broad range of human rights violations in Zimbabwe”. They came to raise awareness, to seek solidarity with South African women’s organisations - and to be heard. “Many ordinary Zimbabwean women are hearing about these things like a distant rumble, like they are once-off incidents. Many women, even in women’s organisations, are not coming across these stories,” says Win. What the women’s stories clearly illustrate is that “we don’t have a language, a culture that recognises rape as violence and as a violation, not of the family and the clan, but of the woman.” Patience (not her real name), one of the five women who travelled with Win, says she was raped by seven members of the Zanu-PF militia. Like most women rape survivors she uses a Shona phrase that translates into “they made me their wife” to describe what happened to her. She and her husband received Aids counselling and the husband was advised to use condoms. But he grew angry, says Win. “He said‚why should I use condoms with you when I paid lobola for you and those seven men who raped you didn’t use condoms.’ “He said, ‘it is mine.’ The ‘it’ was her vagina. The husband said, ‘I’m being denied access to it when I paid for it.’ He feels he is being punished.” The struggle, says Win, is to overcome the sense of ownership men feel towards their wives. “For me it is about the foundation on which all this is happening, the patriarchal cultural foundation. Unless special efforts are made, the whole dynamic around women and the violence perpetrated against them will be forgotten.” Available counselling systems, which are based on northern models, may not be able to cope adequately with these issues. What is needed is “an African way” of dealing with the underlying patriarchal foundation, says Win. Most women’s organisations in Zimbabwe are not equipped or trained to handle this politically motivated violence against women. “They were set up to deal with women in peace time.” Mainstream organisations try to deal with these issues, she says, “but my sense is, women are falling through the cracks”.

AFP 3 Oct 2003 Famine fight going well in most of southern Africa, except Zimbabwe: UN JOHANNESBURG, Oct 3 (AFP) - The United Nations has made significant progress in the past year in the fight against famine in most parts of southern Africa, a senior UN official said Friday, but warned that a severe lack of funds could put hard-won gains in jeopardy. James Morris, World Food Programme (WFP) executive director and UN special envoy to southern Africa, also said that a memorandum of understanding signed last week between the WFP and Zimbabwe -- where the food crisis was worsening -- would help facilitate the flow of food to that country. He told reporters at a press conference in Johannesburg: "In the last 12 months we have been able to generate a million tons of food here in a situation caused by drought, health, political and economical factors, thereby avoiding significant loss of life. "We have made enormous progress in gains since last year, and that progress and gains will be at risk if we are not able to continue support the highly vulnerable people, mainly women and children." In July, UN agencies appealed in Geneva for some 530 million dollars in assistance -- 310 million for food aid and 220 million for non-food activities -- for six southern African countries hard hit by famine: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. "Donours have so far contributed just 20 percent of the required funds, leaving a massive shortfall of 423 million dollars," the UN said in a statement. The UN launched its appeal for more donations last week, saying that most of the people affected by starvation were in Zimbabwe, a country rocked by not only be drought but also social, economic and political upheaval. It warned in a statement, released in Harare on Friday, that that the food crisis was worsening, with the majority of the country's districts having exhausted their food stocks. The food crisis in Zimbabwe has been blamed on a combination of drought and what critics say is a poorly managed land reform programme launched by President Robert Mugabe, which has seen former white-owned commercial farms seized and handed to new black farmers.

Mail & Guardian, South Africa 9 Oct 2003 Mugabe 'using rape as a tool' Ottawa Senior members of Canada's three largest parliamentary parties called Wednesday on the Canadian government to indict Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Senior members of the governing Liberal Party, the right-wing populist Canadian Alliance and the regional, left-of-centre Bloc Quebecois said they were calling on Ottawa to issue a formal indictment against Mugabe. At a joint press conference, Keith Martin, of the Canadian Alliance, said that if the government agreed to the three parties' demands, Mugabe could face arrest and trial if he ever stepped foot on Canadian soil or if he visited any other country with which Canada has extradition agreements. In addition, said Irwin Cotler of Canada's governing Liberal Party, Zimbabwe should be "permanently suspended from the Commonwealth," an association linking Britain with more than 50 former colonies. Martin said there was irrefutable evidence that "children as young as 10 are force to take part in torture and gang rape" by Mugabe's regime. Martin claimed that Mugabe had been "using rape as a tool" to silence any opposition to regime. - Sapa-AFP .

HRW 24 Oct 2003 Zimbabwe: Food Used as Political Weapon Government, Donors Must Halt Discrimination (New York, October 24, 2003) Zimbabwean authorities discriminate against perceived political opponents by denying them access to food programs, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. International relief agencies in Zimbabwe fail to ensure that access to food is based on need alone and is not biased by domestic or international political concerns. The 51-page report, "Not Eligible: The Politicization of Food in Zimbabwe," documents how food is denied to suspected supporters of Zimbabwe's main opposition party and to residents of former commercial farms resettled under the country's "fast-track" land reform program. The report examines the widespread politicization of the government's subsidized grain program, managed by the Grain Marketing Board, as well as the far less extensive manipulation of international food aid. According to the report, government authorities and party officials of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) manipulate the supply and distribution of government-subsidized grain and the registration of recipients for international food aid. International aid agencies must devote greater resources and attention to preventing the manipulation of recipient lists. The report also examines international community's tacit complicity in preventing food from reaching former commercial farm areas resettled under land reform. "Select groups of people are being denied access to food," said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "This is a human rights violation as serious as arbitrary imprisonment or torture." Today one-half of Zimbabwe's population of nearly 14 million is considered "food-insecure," living in households that are unable to obtain enough food to meet basic needs. The international community has spent hundreds of millions of dollars pouring food aid into Zimbabwe, yet thousands continue to go hungry. Any perceived political adversaries of ZANU-PF or the government encounter difficulty gaining access to food. Known members of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are top-most among perceived enemies. This category also encompasses teachers, former commercial farm workers and urban residents-groups generally considered to favor the MDC. In effect, without a ZANU-PF party card, a Zimbabwean cannot register for or receive government-subsidized grain. The international relief agencies rely on local authorities in some cases to determine beneficiary status, which leads to a certain degree of political manipulation. However, the international aid programs are also politicized. According to insiders of the international aid regime, some international donors are opposed to funding aid for those resettled on the former commercial farms that were redistributed under the "fast-track" land reform program. The international aid agencies deny that donors' political opposition to land reform is a factor, explaining that they cannot distribute any relief food in these areas until a comprehensive needs assessment has been completed by the government. "Politically, it is disadvantageous for the Zimbabwe government to investigate need on the resettled farms," said Takirambudde. "If the farms are not productive and people are hungry, the government's land reform program will look like a failure. It seems that the government is manipulating relief efforts, and that the international community is playing along even though people on the resettled farms need food desperately." Human Rights Watch asserted that the Zimbabwe government has an obligation under international and domestic law to supply food without reference to race, religion, ethnicity or regional origin, or to residence, sex or political affiliation. The government should instruct authorities in charge of beneficiary lists to abide by the principle of nondiscrimination. The government should impress upon the leadership of all political parties that it is prohibited under domestic and international law for politicians and party supporters to use food to influence or reward constituents or voters. Punitive action should be taken against those who flout this prohibition. Human Rights Watch recommended that the international community continue to fight the politicization of relief food through its efforts to maintain tight controls on food distribution and to implement all aspects of relief efforts directly or through local non-governmental organizations. Human Rights Watch also emphasized that international aid should not be based on any factor other than need. In particular, farmers who were resettled under the "fast-track" land reform program should be made eligible to receive food aid from all international sources. Donors that have withdrawn support for humanitarian programs in Zimbabwe should reconsider their duty, under international law, to assist those in need.



AP 7 Oct 2003 Argentina Detains More Ex - Army Officers By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 5:41 p.m. ET BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Three former army officers were detained Tuesday in Argentina's investigation of atrocities committed during its 1976-83 military dictatorship. Retired Brigadier Gen. Hector Gamin and two retired colonels, Pedro Duran Saenz and Alberto Barda, were arrested on a request by a judge probing the torture and killing of thousands of people during the campaign against suspected government opponents. The men are among 16 former army officers sought by Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral for questioning about torture centers that were set up around Buenos Aires during military rule. The most feared torture center was the Navy Mechanical School, where 5,000 people are estimated to have died. Officially, 9,000 people were killed as the military junta sought to snuff out dissent, both real and perceived. Human rights groups put the figure at 30,000. After the dictatorship, many ranking military officers were tried on charges of abduction, torture and execution of suspected opponents of the regime. They were imprisoned in 1985 and later pardoned in 1990 by then-President Carlos Menem. The latest investigations came after Congress voted in August to repeal two 1980s-era laws that had shielded hundreds of military officers from prosecution for abuses during the dictatorship. Three months ago, the same judge ordered the detention of 45 former officers sought by a Spanish judge investigating accusations of genocide involving Spanish citizens who died in Argentina's Dirty War. The Spanish government subsequently declared it would not pursue extradition, and those officers not being held in other cases were released in early September.

Miami Herald 17 Oct 2003 Evidence from 'dirty war' still being found, pursued A mass grave gives up bones of people who died terribly, and Argentina gets more reminders of an ugly era, the 1976-83 military dictatorship. BY KEVIN G. HALL Knight Ridder News Service CORDOBA, Argentina - The photos make it easy to understand why, nearly three decades later, Argentina's ''dirty war'' still inflames passions. Dozens of skeletons are strewn helter-skelter. Skulls are cracked where bullets passed through. Jaws remain open as if still screaming. More than 120 skeletons were found in the mass grave in the San Vicente cemetery near the industrial town of Córdoba. The site is said to be the largest such grave uncovered to date in Argentina, where military rulers are thought to have killed anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 leftists, real or perceived, from 1976 to 1983 in a ''dirty war'' against what they said were communist sympathizers trying to take over the country. LOOKING AWAY When photos of the grave were released a few weeks ago, after the final skeleton had been recovered during more than five months of forensic exploration, none of Argentina's biggest newspapers published them. ''These images must be shown, because it prevents denial; reality imposes itself,'' said Tatiana Sfiligoy, a 30-year-old psychologist who was a toddler when military rulers snatched her father, union leader Oscar Duarte, in 1976. A year later, her mother was taken away, and Sfiligoy was adopted by a family unaware until later of how her parents had died. Sfiligoy hopes to find her parents' remains among those from the grave. Three victims have been identified so far. But whether she does or not, the grave is another reminder that the dirty war still divides Argentina in the most bitter of ways. The Supreme Court soon will rule on the constitutionality of the Argentine Congress' recent overturning of laws that had granted the military amnesty for what took place during the war. And the search for the dead goes on. GRAVEDIGGER'S TIP Forensic anthropologists began excavating the Córdoba grave in March, tipped to its location by a gravedigger who in 1980 had asked military authorities for back pay for irregular work at night but was fired instead. Because the excavation was done under judicial order, police kept reporters and photographers away. Only now, with the final recovered skeleton gone, has the team been willing to talk. ''This one is larger than most,'' said Darío Olmo, the lead forensic anthropologist, who's trying to piece together what took place at the Córdoba grave. The forensic team is working on the theory that most of the bones belonged to students who attended college in Córdoba, a university center known throughout Latin America for state university reforms in 1908 that were copied in much of the Spanish-speaking world. REGIME'S TARGETS ''The dictatorship targeted young people,'' said an 81-year-old woman in Unquillo, outside Córdoba. Locals say hundreds are buried in wells around the town, and the woman -- the wife of a former mayor -- said ''everyone was afraid then.'' She asked not to be further identified. The mass grave was dug between two sections of regular graves in the San Vicente cemetery, in one of the poorest sections of Córdoba. Anthropologists, working with hospital records and eyewitness accounts, think there were three separate burials in 1976. While the mystery of who was buried in the mass grave is still to be unraveled, authorities have concluded that they know the identity of the person responsible -- Gen. Luciano Benjamín Menéndez. Menéndez was in charge of the 3rd Army Corps and ruled 10 Argentine provinces with an iron hand. AMNESTY REVISION In October 2001, prosecutor Graciela López de Filonuk determined that the amnesty laws didn't apply to Menéndez, and he's under house arrest, awaiting trial on murder charges. Next, López would like to search for mass graves at a nearby military base dubbed La Perla (The Pearl). Hundreds of the dictatorship's victims were last seen alive there, and witnesses say Menéndez liked to oversee firing squads there. But the military has so far been unhelpful. López is studying whether geo-radar and aerial imaging technologies will help identify possible grave sites without investigators' having to enter the base. Human-rights groups say that as many as 2,000 people were executed at La Perla. ''From 1976 to 1983, there was genocide in Argentina,'' said Agustín DiToffino, a co-founder of Hijos (Children), a support group for the children of people who have disappeared. He was 3 when his father, Tomás, a well-known union leader at Córdoba's Luz y Fuerza, the state power company, was hauled off to La Perla. His remains were never found. Liliana Callizo is one of just 17 people known to have survived being jailed there, and she's certain the base contains mass graves because the loud Mercedes-Benz diesel trucks that were used to ''transfer'' prisoners to their deaths returned after 30 minutes. Callizo said it took 15 minutes to haul prisoners to a spot on the base where they were executed and another 15 minutes to return. DEATH RIDE 'We used to say, `There goes the Menéndez Benz,' '' as the trucks took prisoners to their deaths, she recalled. Menéndez, at his home in Córdoba, refused to comment. Though he's under house arrest, he still holds sway. Earlier this year, his supporters showed up unannounced at the home and workplace of Sonia Torres Diez, who had brought charges against him for the disappearance of her 20-year-old pregnant daughter. Authorities think it was an attempt to intimidate her into silence and ordered guards to stand watch at her home and pharmacy, 27 years after her daughter had disappeared. The dirty war isn't over yet.


NYT October 14, 2003 Bolivian President Remains Defiant as Protests Intensify By LARRY ROHTER LA PAZ, Bolivia, Oct. 13 — Thousands of demonstrators marched in Bolivia's capital and other nearby cities on Monday, calling for the president's resignation. But they were dispersed by military units firing tear gas canisters, and at a midafternoon news conference President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada was defiant and pugnacious. "I'm not going anywhere," he said, citing his determination to remain in office and vowing that "order will be restored." He added, "It is not possible that democracy be replaced by a dictatorship of the unions" that will "pit region against region, class against class and ethnic group against ethnic group." Clashes between demonstrators and the military have killed at least 42 people. At least 14 of them were killed Monday, according to Bolivia's Permanent Human Rights Assembly. With popular revulsion growing, leaders of two parties that have been part of the precarious governing coalition said Monday that they were thinking of pulling out. But the clearest indication of weakening support came when Vice President Carlos Mesa announced that he was breaking with the government, which had the support of only 8 percent of those asked in recent polls. "Neither as a citizen nor a man of principles can I accept that, faced with popular pressure, the response should be death," Mr. Mesa said, although he said protest groups bore part of the blame. Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, has been racked since mid-September by antigovernment protests initially organized by groups representing the Indian peasants who are the country's impoverished and marginalized majority. But labor unions, student and neighborhood groups and opposition political parties have since joined and helped strengthen the movement. In recent days, with many people angry over a government-backed proposal to export natural gas that opponents say would not benefit most Bolivians, the protests have grown increasingly confrontational, with demonstrators armed with sticks of dynamite blocking highways. Over the weekend, Mr. Sánchez de Lozada called out the troops, an action that has raised the level of violence even further. The immediate cause of the unrest is the proposal to build a $5 billion pipeline to begin exporting Bolivia's vast reserves of natural gas to the United States and Mexico through a port in Chile. Opponents worry about corruption and complain that the royalty rate on gas shipments is so low that the project will end up offering more financial benefits to foreigners than to this Andean nation of eight million people. "We've always exported our natural resources, like silver and tin, to others, so that they get rich and we remain poor," said Luis Alberto Javier, 30, a plumber's helper who supports the protests. "That gas should remain here to create jobs in Bolivia for Bolivians rather than be sold abroad, especially through Chile." Chile is viewed as an enemy here because Bolivia has been landlocked ever since it lost its outlet to the Pacific Ocean in a war with Chile in 1879. Rapid economic growth in Chile during the past two decades has increased Bolivians' resentment. Mr. Sánchez de Lozada, a 73-year-old millionaire businessman, is seen as being overly cozy with Chilean business interests. In a television address to the nation early on Monday, he promised that no new gas exports would be permitted until the citizenry was consulted, and he called for negotiations "to try to reach a consensus." Opposition leaders, sensing that his position was rapidly deteriorating, quickly rejected his call. "We are not going to have dialogue with the murderers of the people," said Evo Morales, who leads the powerful coca growers union and who finished a close second in the presidential election last year. After the "massacre" over the weekend, he added, the opposition's attitude toward the president is one of "resignation or nothing." Police officers in some outlying areas of the capital have joined demonstrators, according to local news reports. The loyalty of the police has been in doubt since a nationwide mutiny in February. Mr. Sánchez de Lozada apparently decided to take the police off the streets in working class suburbs like El Alto and replace them with army troops backed by tanks and helicopters for precisely that reason. But even the prospect of continued military support for his government was being questioned. "The Armed Forces are reaching the limit of their tolerance for a situation in which they are being blamed for these deaths," said Juan Ramón Quintana, a former military officer who now leads a private institute called the Bolivian Program for Strategic Research. With roads in and out of the capital blocked, gasoline scarce and renewed violence a threat, many residents of La Paz stayed home from work on Monday. Most flights from the main airport, in the area that has experienced the most violence, have been canceled or postponed, airport officials said, and many stores are running out of supplies. At a small butcher shop here, the proprietor, Estela Mamán, said on Sunday that she was about to run out of meat, and would soon be forced to close down. Nevertheless, she said she supported the protests. "The government is going to have to give in if there is to be a solution," she said. "None of this would be happening if they just listened to us, the people, but they never do, and now they are paying the price."

AFP 17 Oct 2003 BOLIVIA Bolivian protesters pack streets Tens of thousands of people packed central La Paz on Thursday demanding President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resign, while armoured cars protected the presidential palace in the tense Bolivian capital. With some estimates of 50 000 people in the streets, it was the biggest demonstration yet in four weeks of often-violent protests, which human rights groups say have left 86 dead. Security forces fired tear gas against protesters who pelted them with stones. No casualties were reported. Authorities meanwhile stepped up efforts to break the opposition stranglehold on La Paz. Troops fired warning shots as a supply convoy fought through strikers' picket lines into the city at dawn. International flights halted Brazil sent two military transport planes to pick up Brazilian tourists stranded in the city. But hundreds of other tourists, from Australia, Britain, France, Switzerland, the United States and elsewhere, were trapped in the city because international flights have been halted since Sunday. Six separate marches finished with a mass rally in the centre of La Paz. One column, with thousands carrying white flags and Bolivian flags, came close to the Quemado presidential palace which is guarded by troops and armoured personnel carriers. The 72-year-old president has remained in his official residence in the San Jorge neighbourhood since Monday as unrest has mounted. Ana Maria Romero, a leader of a hunger strike by intellectuals and artists against Sanchez de Lozada, appealed at the rally for security forces not to open fire. "We ask the leadership of the armed forces and the government not to fire on the people and union leaders, to avoid a new massacre," she said. Police and troops are reported to have shot and killed demonstrators at rallies in recent days. Hunger strikes at 38 locations in Bolivia Romero was Bolivia's human rights ombudsman. She said hunger strikes were taking place at 38 locations around the country. La Paz is facing serious food and fuel shortages but demonstrators had tried to stop a government food convoy entering the city. Troops fired warning shots as the trucks forced their way through pickets to get into La Paz, which has been brought to a virtual standstill by the unrest. Two military planes believed to be carrying food also landed at nearby El Alto International Airport, closed to commercial traffic since Sunday. President condemns opposition The president said Thursday that opposition leaders Evo Morales and Felipe Quispe were "terrorists" seeking to establish a "narco-dictatorship". "If this subversive movement succeeds, drugs will be Bolivia's one and only export, and the country will become a battlefield, something I am trying to stop," the president said in a broadcast interview. "In no democratic country should the president leave power because of violence in the streets by a minority," he told CNN's Spanish-language service. The opposition rejected his offer on Wednesday of a referendum on a controversial plan for a $5-billion natural gas pipeline through Chile to the US market, a project that sparked the protests. The gas project has already been suspended. But opposition leaders say Sanchez de Lozada must stand down. Foreigners warned to stay away Emergency facilities have been opened up for foreign tourists in La Paz and the United States, Norway and Portugal joined a growing list of countries that have advised their nationals not to go to Bolivia. The US State Department also urged its citizens already there to leave. US condemns protests The United States characterised Bolivian protesters seeking to topple President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada as undemocratic. "We recognise that it's very difficult for any democratic government to deal with this widespread unrest which is being generated, and there are elements in the country that are undemocratic and that want to bring down the government that's democratically elected," the State Department's assistant secretary for Western hemisphere affairs Roger Noriega said in Washington. "However, there's no excuse (in) a democratic system for violence." Noriega refused to say whether those anti-democratic elements included Morales. Ministers, vice ministers resign Sanchez de Lozada's position has been weakened by the resignation of two vice ministers. Four cabinet ministers resigned Monday and his vice president has withdrawn support. The opposition has seized upon the natural gas pipeline to push a series of grievances against the president. Morales is head of a peasant farmers' group that has been infuriated by US-backed attempts to end the growing of coca, from which cocaine is extracted. Many Bolivians are antagonistic to the gas pipeline because it would pass through Chile, which cut Bolivia's access to the sea in an 1879 war.

AP 20 Oct 2003 Bolivia's President Swears in New Cabinet By VANESSA ARRINGTON LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - Days after deadly riots over a gas export plan forced Bolivia's president to flee, his successor swore in a new Cabinet on Sunday, largely fulfilling a promise to name ministers independent of the political establishment. Some of the new ministers once were politicians with the leftist party called Free Bolivia Movement, but most of the 15 ministers named by Carlos Mesa are little-known economists and intellectuals. Mesa created a new ministry, called Ethnic Affairs, to address the problems facing Bolivia's majority indigenous population. It will be led by an Indian from eastern Bolivia. Mesa still must name a 16th minister for mining. Mesa, who took office Friday night after former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada fled to the United States, urged the new Cabinet ministers to watch every step. ``The abyss is still close at hand, and any mistake, any lack of perspective, any stinginess can push us over that abyss,'' he said. Sanchez de Lozada was forced out after 65 people died in rioting sparked by his unpopular plan to export natural gas abroad. Labor leaders and Indian groups used the clashes to express their frustrations that the government has failed to improve living conditions. After decades of rule by elite politicians far removed from the reality of their indigenous constituents, Bolivians hoped Mesa's ministers would address their concerns. But analysts feared the new Cabinet may not be able to counter the opposition. ``Mesa already faces a lot of difficulty because he is an independent, and has no constituency,'' said Frank Boyd, a Latin American expert at Illinois Wesleyan University. ``I don't know how naming independents to his Cabinet helps him. It's a strategy that's fraught with danger.'' The appointment of Juan Ignacio Siles as foreign minister may prove to be Mesa's most controversial. Siles is the nephew of Jaime del Valle, the last foreign minister to serve under former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Meanwhile, piles of rocks, shattered highway toll booths and other debris from days of rioting remained visible in the capital, La Paz. But many of the makeshift street barricades were taken down and life began returning to normal. Vendors flooded the streets, restaurants reopened and children prepared to return to school Monday. Earlier in the day, Mesa attended a military ceremony recognizing his rise to the presidency. He called for justice for the families of the riot victims, and urged Bolivians to act ``without hate or vengeance, but also without forgetting.'' Foes of Sanchez de Lozada want him back in Bolivia to face trial. Evo Morales, the opposition congressman who has championed the cause of Bolivian coca leaf farmers, accused the former government of ``economic genocide'' and said Sanchez de Lozada should be jailed. Morales supported Mesa, but indigenous leader Felipe Quispe warned of new protests within 90 days if Mesa does not institute policies meant to help Bolivia's native, peasant population. ``There will be more blood, more fighting, more rebellions,'' Quispe, also a congressman, told Radio Panamericana. Sanchez de Lozada hoped to tap the country's expansive natural gas reserves and export the gas to Mexico and the United States via Chile to boost economic growth. But many Bolivians distrust Chile, which won a 19th century war and cut Bolivia off from the Pacific Ocean. Siles, a career diplomat, said he would support Bolivians' fight to regain access to the sea. Mesa, a 50-year-old journalist and historian, must reunite South America's poorest country, where the divide between rich and poor widened under the free-market economic policies his predecessor. Unemployment is at 12 percent and many Bolivians earn about $2 a day. ``What we want is for him to listen to the needs of all the workers, of all the organized groups,'' said Juan Quispe, 50, a city construction worker putting cement blocks back into roads torn up in the protests. Mesa, who was vice president under Sanchez de Lozada, withdrew his support for the former president when the government responded to protesters with tear gas and bullets.

NYT 19 Oct 2003 Bolivia's New Leader Takes Over a Chaotic and Angry Nation By LARRY ROHTER Published: October 19, 2003 A PAZ, Bolivia, Oct. 18 — One of the books that Carlos Mesa wrote when he was a historian is titled "Bolivian Presidents: Between the Voting Booth and the Gun." Mr. Mesa is about to experience that situation himself. Mr. Mesa was sworn in as president of South America's poorest and most unstable country late Friday night, following the resignation of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who immediately left for the United States. The country has been paralyzed since mid-September by antigovernment protests that Mr. Sánchez de Lozada had tried to quell with force, leaving more than 80 dead. "Few times has the nation confronted a moment like this," Mr. Mesa, 50, most recently a television journalist highly regarded for his ability to communicate, said after being sworn in. "Give us some space, some time to work," he pleaded. But his practical political experience is limited. He belongs to no political party and had never held public office until Mr. Sánchez de Lozada, looking for someone to bring an image of independence and probity to a seamy environment, asked him to be his running mate. Mr. Mesa tried to make a virtue of that deficiency in his inaugural address on Friday, vowing to lead a government that would be above partisan politics. But in his 15 months as vice president, he seemed to clash with old-style political leaders, including his patron, as often as he was able to compromise with them. During the speech, Mr. Mesa also reiterated several of the concessions that Mr. Sánchez de Lozada had offered this week in a last-ditch effort to remain in power. But legal experts immediately cautioned that the measures were either not constitutional, as in the case of a binding referendum on natural gas exports, or lacking proper guidelines, as in the case of a constituent assembly. It was also not clear how the indigenous and opposition groups that have been energized by their success in toppling the government would respond to Mr. Mesa's call for national unity. Evo Morales, leader of the Movement Toward Socialism and runner-up in last year's election, took a wait-and-see stance, though some of the coca growers whom he nominally leads vowed to continue with blockades of roads. "I think it is important to give him a grace period," Mr. Morales told a television network. "He has expressed the thoughts of the Bolivian people" in the inaugural address, Mr. Morales added, so "let's hope that he organizes his cabinet and representatives" accordingly. In contrast, the country's other powerful indigenous leader, Felipe Quispe, indicated that he would offer no truce at all. As the leader of the federation that initiated the nationwide strike that brought Mr. Sánchez de Lozada down, Mr. Quispe continued to demand that the government meet all 72 of his group's demands and added a new one: that Mr. Mesa not serve out the remainder of his original five-year term but call new elections as soon as possible. Mr. Mesa agreed to that demand in his inaugural speech, but Mr. Quispe said, "In any case, we are going to continue with the blockades." He added, "We are not going to be with the executive, we are always going to be opposition." Saturday at least, there were few signs of the recent unrest. Nevertheless, "there is still a lot of rage in Bolivians, which could lead to even more deaths," warned Carlos Toranzo of the Latin American Institute for Research here. The experience of the last month "has produced a lot of radicalism in some people, who want vengeance."

NYT 20 Oct 2003 Bolivian Peasants' 'Ideology of Fury' Still Smolders By LARRY ROHTER EL ALTO, Bolivia, Oct. 19 — Down in the capital, a new president was settling into office and assembling a cabinet. Up here in the birthplace of the monthlong uprising that overthrew his predecessor, the residents, giddy with satisfaction at the change they had wrought, had but one message: don't get too comfortable in power. "If we did it once, we can do it again," said Elio Argullo, a former miner and 45-year-old father of four who now sells athletic shoes from a cart on the street here. "And if we have to, you can be sure that we will." Mario Roque, editor of the local newspaper El Alteno, calls El Alto — a ramshackle city of 700,000 perched on the Andean plateau overlooking the seat of government in La Paz — "the capital of social protest in Bolivia." Little more than a speck on the map a generation ago, it has become Bolivia's fastest-growing city, its population swelled by migrating Aymara and Quechua-speaking miners and peasant farmers unable to make a living in the countryside. In mid-September, the first demonstrations erupted here against President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and his proposal to export natural gas to the United States through a port in Chile. On Friday, after the protests had grown into a nationwide movement that included labor unions and opposition parties, Mr. Sánchez de Lozada resigned and flew to Miami, leaving the job of healing this sharply divided nation to his inexperienced vice president, 50-year-old Carlos Mesa. Though it accounts for most of Bolivia's eight million people, the Indian majority has been trampled and ignored throughout this country's turbulent history. Racial, economic, social and political grievances have suddenly been combined into what Mr. Mesa on Saturday called "the eruption of deeply held positions, over many centuries, that have been accumulating." But their success in toppling a wealthy and cosmopolitan president has clearly given the indigenous residents of El Alto a sense of power, as well as awakening a long-dormant sense of racial pride. "They may still say that we are only Indians, but now we can see what is happening and what the Aymara nation can do when it is united," said Ezequiel Vera, a 53-year-old unemployed carpenter. Mr. Mesa, a journalist and historian, has much the same background as the rest of the Europeanized elite here, and on Sunday appointed an overwhelmingly white 14-member cabinet, which included a special coordinator for indigenous affairs. Indian leaders say they will not hold the new president's origins against him, so long as he breaks with the failed policies associated with Mr. Sánchez de Lozada. "We indigenous people are willing to give them one more opportunity," said Augusto Mamani Pom, 30, a physician who operates a community health center here. But should Mr. Mesa fail to make good on the reforms he promised in his inaugural address on Friday night, say "within three months," Dr. Mamani warned, then "we will return to our ideology of fury." That prospect makes elites throughout Latin America uneasy. The Indian-led uprising here has reverberated strongly in countries that have similar racial and class tensions between whites and Indians, like Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and even Mexico and nations in Central America. In interviews on the streets and in shops here, residents made it clear that what they want most from the new government is jobs. "We came to El Alto to flee hunger, misery and unemployment, but it followed us here," said María Juturi, 33, a shop clerk who works on commission and earns about $2 a day. Aware of the dangers he faces, Mr. Mesa chose El Alto for his first public appearance as president. Addressing a predominantly Indian group of residents on Saturday afternoon, he praised "the men and women, born of the Aymara blood of El Alto, who offered their blood in defense of a fundamental resource of our country, that of democracy." At a news conference back in the capital on Saturday night, Mr. Mesa repeated his intention to govern for the benefit of the many, though he admitted the odds may be against him. "The risk one may run is the risk of a total shipwreck," he said, if Bolivia loses "this last opportunity." But he added: "That's the only bet I can place. I have no option other than the one I am taking."

washingtonpost.com 21 Oct 2003 President's Ouster Brings Pride to Bolivia's Indians Long Marginalized, Indigenous Majority Finds Political Voice By Jon Jeter Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, October 21, 2003; Page A19 EL ALTO, Bolivia, Oct. 20 -- In this crowded slum that rises high above the capital city of La Paz, Carlos Urquieta leaned on a friend's car chewing coca leaves, struggling to find the words. He is 43, a painter and an Aymara Indian. He can't quite explain how it feels to have participated in the defiant demonstrations last week that drove an unpopular president from office. "I feel. . . . I feel. . . . " Suddenly, he straightens up, abandons his search for words, raises the sleeves of his faded sweatshirt and flexes his biceps, like a bodybuilder in peak form. "That's what I feel like," he said. "I feel that the Aymara nation has exerted itself finally and stood up for its rights. I feel that we are strong now and can never go back to being pushed around and ignored and neglected. We are willing to give our new president a chance, but he needs to understand that if he fails us, we will do the same to him." The protests that drove President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada from office Friday began in this warren of unpaved roads and brick hovels that is home to nearly 700,000 people, most of them members of the Aymara- and Quechua-speaking indigenous groups that account for more than half of Bolivia's 8.5 million people. The triumph of the Indian-led uprising last week has left Bolivia's indigenous groups, impoverished and ignored by their lighter-skinned countrymen for centuries, feeling like dragonslayers, and the discovery of their political voice has become a new source of pride. Carlos Mesa, Sanchez de Lozada's vice president and successor, appears to be keenly aware of the ethnic divisions and forces that propelled him to power -- and could topple him as well. He has promised a government investigation into the killing of more than 65 civilians during the nationwide demonstrations last week. "Bolivia is not yet a country of equals," Mesa, 50, said Saturday in his first presidential address. Mesa appointed a 15-member cabinet over the weekend and although all but two are European-descended Bolivians like himself, he did create a new Ministry for Indigenous Affairs and promised to hold a national referendum on plans to sell the country's vast natural gas reserves abroad. That proposal, which includes building a $5 billion pipeline through Bolivia's rival Chile, is what sparked the protests. Sanchez de Lozada and supporters of the plan had said the sale of natural gas would pump as much as $500 million annually into the treasury of Bolivia. Opponents contend that other privatization projects undertaken by Sanchez de Lozada -- a U.S.-educated millionaire businessman of European extraction -- during his first term in office from 1993 to 1997 benefited only Bolivia's elite and foreign investors and did nothing for the poor. Many Bolivians contend that efforts to open the economy have cost jobs, cut social programs and pensions and raised taxes. In addition, a U.S.-backed policy to eradicate coca has deprived many peasant farmers of a cash crop that they have relied on for years. Coca leaf, used in the production of cocaine, is also a traditional crop, grown as an elixir for energy and to counteract the effects of altitude here in the Andes. La Paz is at about 12,500 feet and El Alto is higher still. In a radio interview over the weekend, protest leader Felipe Quispe warned that demonstrations would resume within 90 days if Mesa did not reverse Bolivia's free-market reforms. "We are going to have problems with Mesa," Quispe said. "He has deals with the gringos of the United States. . . . We can't be happy." While Bolivia's constitution permits Mesa to finish Sanchez de Lozada's term, which ends in 2007, Mesa has said that he plans to hold early presidential elections. Such a plan would favor lawmaker Evo Morales, head of the Movement Toward Socialism, said Eduardo Gamarra, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University. Morales, a coca growers' union leader of Aymara descent, finished a close second in the presidential election last year, when voters sent 22 indigenous candidates to the 157-member Congress, the most ever. "What happened just now in Bolivia is the first real thunderclap," said Nelson Rojas, a demographer in Argentina, referring to growing efforts by impoverished ethnic groups to assert themselves politically. "But the storm clouds have been crackling for a little while now." Justo Guillen, 33, an unemployed construction worker in El Alto who participated in last week's demonstrations, said the ouster of Sanchez de Lozada was personal as well as political. "Twenty years ago, I was a teenager and I went to go visit my mother where she worked as a maid for an older white couple," said Guillen, a Quechua. "They had a gate to their house and I must have forgotten to close it, so he just kicked me in my pants, in front of my mother, calling me a stupid Indian. "I could not do anything. He would have fired my mother and we needed the money, so all I could do was stand there and be humiliated. "But last week, when we heard that [Sanchez de Lozada] had quit and was running off to Miami, for the first time in my life I felt like I was the one doing the kicking."


BBC 6 Oct 2003 Brazil death squads denounced Off duty police officers are blamed for many killings A United Nations envoy investigating extra-judicial killings by Brazilian police has given a damning account of her findings so far. The envoy, Asma Jahangir, said that the state of human rights in Brazil could not be compared with other countries. "In Congo there's a war," she said. "Brazil is a democracy. But what I see here is a wretched, sad situation where there is no justice." Mrs Jahangir was speaking to reporters in Rio de Janeiro after visiting two shanty-towns, known as favelas, where she heard testimonies from about 20 mothers and other relatives of people said to have died at the hands of the police. She arrived in Brazil on 16 September for a three-week investigation into summary executions and other killings allegedly carried out by police. Impunity Human rights groups in Brazil say many killings are carried out by death squads made up of police officers and vigilantes. Unofficial figures compiled by these groups indicate that in 1999, almost 14,000 people were killed by police or death squads. The police cannot fight crime by committing crime UN envoy Asma Jahangir Some of these deaths happened in gun battles between police and criminals, but many of those killed were suspects, innocent bystanders, witnesses or petty crooks. Human rights campaigners say that even when there is an inquiry into such deaths, very few suspected killers are ever brought to trial. Changes On Sunday, Mrs Jahangir spent four hours in the favelas of Borel and Jacarezinho. She said that the government of President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva had made efforts to end police impunity and reduce violence, but that profound changes were needed. She said: "The police cannot fight crime by committing crime." During her investigation, Mrs Jahangir has visited five Brazilian states and the capital, Brasilia. She returns to the UN in Geneva on Wednesday to write her report, which is expected to take three to six months.

Survivial International 8 Oct 2003 10-year-old is latest victim in wave of Indian murders Killing of South American Indians escalates South America celebrates Columbus Day on Sunday 12 October – only days after a ten-year-old Brazilian Indian became the latest victim in a spate of killings and persecution of South American Indians. Júnior Reis Loureiro was found dead on 22 September, with signs of strangulation on his body. He is the latest of twenty-one Brazilian Indians murdered since Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva took over the presidency in January 2003, most of them due to conflicts over land. In Colombia, 118 Indians have been killed in the first half of 2003. Many of these murders took place in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where a group of tourists, including one Briton, is currently held captive by left-wing guerrillas. In Paraguay, bulldozers illegally invaded the land of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe of the Chaco region at the end of September. The Totobiegosode, who are nomadic hunter-gatherers, are seeing their last refuge squeezed from all sides. Ibore, a Totobiegosode woman who came out of the forest in 1998, and whose relatives are still uncontacted, remembers the first time she saw bulldozers approaching: 'We left all our things behind us and ran and ran.' Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'It is a crime that more than five centuries after their lands were first invaded, South America's indigenous people are still being killed, and in such large numbers. Only when their rights to their land are respected will these atrocities stop.'


The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), October 4, 2003 Canadian bids to raise profile of international court: ICC president to speak in Ottawa. Independent body will try cases against people accused of crimes against humanity, SHARON LINDORES, LONDON The Canadian president of the International Criminal Court voiced concern yesterday not enough people know about the new court, which will try individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Philippe Kirsch, a former diplomat who became the first president of the ICC last spring, is trying to change that. Currently based in The Hague, Kirsch spent the past couple of days at speaking engagements in London. He will travel to Ottawa today. "The ICC is by far the most ambitious institution of international criminal justice," Kirsch said in an interview. The court officially came into existence July 1, 2002. The fact that happened to fall on Canada Day is "a happy coincidence, which I never fail to mention," Kirsch said. "No country has done more for the ICC than Canada." Kirsch said Canada was the first country to adopt legislation implementing the Rome Statute, which in 1998 paved the way for the court's establishment, and that both the government and Canadian NGOs have been involved in workshops on the ICC around the world. He also noted such Canadians as Elise Groulx, the first president of the International Bar Association, and Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, whose work led to the indictment of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, are among many individuals who have played major roles in terms of international justice. It is thanks to efforts made by Canada, other countries and organizations there are now 139 signatories to the Rome Statute and 92 countries that have ratified it. Canada is the only North American country that signed and ratified the statute. The United States is actively against the court and Mexico is still considering its position. However, Kirsch believes the U.S. will be won over eventually. In the meantime, the 56-year-old sees part of his job as raising the profile of the court. He also has to oversee the management of the court, which he said "is rather challenging because everything has to be done from scratch." As well, he has to develop external relations with states, international organizations and nongovernmental groups and has a judicial role in establishing a pretrial chamber and an appeal chamber. He generally works 11-hour days. In the past, international criminal courts, such as the tribunals for Rwanda and Bosnia, have been only temporary, so they haven't served as a deterrent. This court aims to pursue cases from member states that occurred after July 1, 2002. They must be cases national legal systems are unable or unwilling to deal with, and deal with genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes. Although the court will also accept applicable cases referred to it by the United Nations Security Council, the court is an independent, nonpolitical body. "The court should have been created decades ago," Kirsch said, adding the Cold War and other factors delayed it. The idea was resurrected after the fall of the Berlin Wall and it gained momentum after the crimes in Bosnia and Rwanda. Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo's office has already received more than 650 communications from 68 countries. His office has to decide which cases the court will hear. The muscle, resources and financial support for the court lie with the member states who contribute to it according to their ability.

Globe and Mail 8 Oct 2003 Ottawa asked to back indictment of Mugabe By OLIVER MOORE G The federal government was asked Wednesday to approve a genocide indictment against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, a case that could be the first real test of Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. A team of lawyers has used the act to craft a wide-ranging indictment that accuses Mr. Mugabe of committing genocide through the deprivation of food. But it will come into force only if Justice Minister Martin Cauchon approves it. Alliance MP Keith Martin, who has made several trips to Zimbabwe among 20 to Africa, said that he is optimistic that the federal government will give the indictment the legal force it needs, pointing to a recent statement by Foreign Minister Bill Graham that such an indictment is "a option to consider." "In order for it to work, the Minister of Justice has to simply say that this indictment, or one like it, will be used against Mr. Mugabe if he sets foot in Canada or if he's extradited to Canada," Dr. Martin told globeandmail.com, adding: "We'll see whether or not our foreign policy has some muscle or whether its just a lot of hot air. We've given the government the path, the question is whether they choose to take it or not." Dr. Martin said that the former guerrilla leader, who took power in 1980, has a vicious track record dating back through most of his long rule. The indictment cites "not only the use of food as a weapon, but the abduction of children into the paramilitary training programs, use of children to commit atrocities, including torture, rape and murder, the use of rape as a tool of terror, gang rape. The murder of civilians." "Here you have one leader, one regime, committing genocide in his own country," he said. "If we don't do anything, a lot of people are going to die ... If we don't do something about Zimbabwe, then our law is just a piece of paper." Zimbabwe teetered to the point of collapse after Mr. Mugabe dispatched his youth brigades to take over white farms in the name of decolonization and black emancipation. Mr. Mugabe appeared blind to the widespread problems this caused, even as the economy crashed and the nation had to import food. He insists that external opponents are racists and that internal opponents are the puppets left over from British imperialism. His actions have split the Commonwealth and led to sanctions by the United States and the European Union. Dr. Martin said Wednesday that the point of the indictment is to hamper Mr. Mugabe's ability to move internationally, and hopefully to break the logjam the issue has caused at the Commonwealth. "The hope is that other countries will do the same thing so he becomes boxed in," he said. "So if he wants to go on his shopping sprees to Paris or London, they will have a similar indictment and that they will serve it to him if he winds up on their shores. On the other hand, they could arrest him and deport him if they chose to do, along the lines of what happened to Pinochet."

AP 28 Oct 2003 Top judge at world war crimes tribunal aims to convince U.S., others to sign up to court, CONSTANT BRAND; Associated Press Writer, BRUSSELS, Belgium The top judge at the world's first permanent war crimes court said Tuesday he was confident his tribunal could win over doubters like the United States after showing that the court will adhere to the highest standard of justice. Judge Philippe Kirsch of Canada, chosen to serve as the first president of the International Criminal Court, said the work of his tribunal would prove skeptics wrong. "We have laid a strong legal foundation," he said. "This is a guarantee of a purely judicial body. Some states do not draw that conclusion, so our job is to demonstrate in practice that indeed we are what we say we are." Kirsch, who was in Brussels to meet with European Union External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, said he hoped the court would eventually be accepted by all governments worldwide. "We need to prove that we meet the high standards of justice ... to demonstrate fairness and effectiveness," Kirsch told reporters. Patten said the EU stood ready to help the court, which he said "represents an enormously important advance for the cause of international justice." He again appealed to the United States to reconsider its opposition to the court. The United States fears that Americans - especially its soldiers - will be singled out for frivolous prosecutions because of its superpower status. To prevent the extradition of its citizens, Washington has signed more than 30 bilateral deals with other countries prohibiting extradition to the court in The Hague, Netherlands, of U.S. soldiers and other Americans charged with crimes against humanity or war crimes. Patten reiterated EU objections to Washington signing bilateral deals, which he said "undermine" the work of the court, adding that American concerns were unfounded. "We still hope that seeing the court in action, seeing that it does not represent a threat, to the legitimate interests of the United States, ... the United States will take a different view," he said. The International Criminal Court was inaugurated March 12 and is charged with intervening only when a country is unable to carry out a trial or lacks the political will to do so. It was signed by about 90 nations and is to prosecute crimes committed after July 1, 2002. Kirsch said some 650 complaints have already been filed with the court and he expects the first case to start sometime next year. .


Amnesty USA 2 Oct 2003 After tremendous pressure from thousands of activists in the US, Guatemala and around the world, and from governments who joined in our calls to action, on September 24, 2003 the Guatemalan Congress passed a law to abolish the EMP (Estado Mayor Presidencial or Presidential Guard). The law transfers its legitimate functions to the Secretariat of Administrative Affairs and Security of the Presidency (SAAS). . . The Estado Mayor Presidencial (Presidential General Staff, also translated as the Presidential Guard or Presidential High Command), and generally referred to as the EMP, has been implicated in many of Guatemala's high profile human rights cases. While officially charged with providing security to the president and the vice-president, the EMP has in practice served as one of the most notorious military intelligence agencies. The 1996 Peace Accords, which officially ended Guatemala's three-decade-long conflict, identified the abolition of the EMP and other reforms to military intelligence as integral components of demilitarization.

AP 7 Oct 2003 Rios Montt Tells AP He'd Obey Moral Code GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Efrain Rios Montt, a former iron-fisted dictator and evangelical minister who is running for president, said in an Associated Press interview Tuesday that he would look to God to solve his country's problems. He also dismissed charges his past administration committed acts of genocide. The 78-year-old brigadier general, who has made campaign stops with a former guerrilla commander by his side, called on Guatemalans to move beyond their bloody past. He said those who accuse him of past atrocities are only attacking him because his government won the country's civil war. ``They are still affected here, today, because they lost the war,'' he said, speaking at his daughter's posh Guatemala City home. ``They are their own victims. I don't want to blame all the victims of the war, but what occurred was a dirty and cruel war fought all over the country, so what they did was very unfair.'' Human rights groups say Rios Montt's government carried out some of the worst atrocities in Latin American history. Rios Montt seized power in a 1982 coup and was deposed in another military uprising the following year. His dictatorship came at the height of a 36-year civil war between the government and leftist, largely Mayan guerrillas. He ordered an anti-insurgency campaign in which soldiers burned down mountain villages to cut the rebels off from civilians accused of supporting them. Peace accords ended the war in December 1996, but not before 200,000 Guatemalans had been killed. Criminal complaints filed in Guatemala and with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica charge Rios Montt with genocide for massacres soldiers carried out during his dictatorship. Rios Montt founded the party that controls Guatemala's presidency, and he served as president of Congress up until Aug. 27 when he took a leave of absence to run for president. A victory on Nov. 9 would extend the immunity from criminal prosecution he enjoys as an elected official. On Tuesday, Rios Montt said he believes Guatemala can battle soaring crime rates, stamp out corruption and improve a sluggish economy by following the Christian code. He refused to give specific policy examples, saying only he ``would not impose anything,'' but added that he would ensure Guatemalan society was ``based on strict values, because if we don't put fundamental norms in place, we lose our way and go backward.'' While in office, Rios Montt enforced a curfew, ordered restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol, and gave podium-pounding television addresses every Sunday, singing the praises of evangelical values for an audience that was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. He said that if he wins the election he would lead ``by example, doing what's appropriate, honest and fair,'' and that he was the only one capable of re-establishing a ``proper moral center'' for his country. ``If we want to maintain an ethical and social system, we should build one based on spiritual, and moral values that transcend any interest,'' he said. ``God is vital.'' Washington was openly supportive of Rios Montt's dictatorship. In December 1982, then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan called him ``a man of great personal integrity'' who was ``getting a bum rap on human rights.'' During the interview, he sat next to a black-and-white photo of him sitting with Reagan. However, the State Department said in May that a second Rios Montt government would jeopardize Washington's relationship with Guatemala, apparently because of his human rights record. Rios Montt is trailing in the latest polls behind Oscar Berger, a conservative former Guatemala City mayor supported by the business community, and Alvaro Colom, a former interior secretary running on a left-leaning ticket. But Rios Montt has gained ground recently in large part because potential voters see him as the most capable of reversing a crime rate that has skyrocketed since the end of the war. ``If you look at my past in a legal light,'' he said, ``You see I followed the law.'"

AP 17 Oct 2003 Reporter Covers Guatemala Despite Threats Friday October 17, 2003 8:01 AM By GEORGE GEDDA WASHINGTON (AP) - Guatemala is not an easy place to be an independent journalist. Marielos Monzon knows firsthand. Since 1998, when she began to expose the abuses of the military and allied groups, Monzon has received threatening phone calls. Her home has been broken into three times. After her two dogs were kidnapped, she received a call warning that her two children would be next. Monzon, 32, was so concerned about safety this past spring that she left Guatemala for three months. Not long after her return, her two cats were kidnapped and killed, their remains delivered to her house. ``The message,'' she says, ``was that that the same thing is going to happen to you and your children.'' Monzon's tenacity earned her a ``Courage in Journalism'' award this week from the International Women's Media Foundation. In an interview, Monzon said not much has changed in Guatemala since a 36-year civil war ended in 1996 with the negotiation of as peace agreement between the government and rebel forces. The war is believed to have killed some 200,000 Guatemalans, the great majority at the hand of the military, according to an independent commission that examined the conflict. Monzon's assessment of the postwar situation is shared by a U.N. mission in Guatemala. In a report issued a year ago, the mission documented assassination threats to human rights activists, church workers, judges, witnesses, journalists, political activists and labor unionists. ``Lynchings and mob violence continued. Illegal groups and clandestine structures operated with impunity,'' according to the report. Monzon, whose children are 9 and 11, outlined her thoughts to a reporter hours before taking part in a ceremony with two other women honored by the foundation: Anne Garrels of National Public Radio and Tatyana Goryachova, editor in chief of an independent weekly newspaper in Ukraine. Monzon started out as host of a radio program that highlighted rights abuses. She now writes a column for the independent newspaper Prensa Libre and is host of a television program that examines the upcoming presidential elections. The candidate of the ruling Republican Guatemalan Front is Efraim Rios Montt. To some, his selection was a surprise, given his role 20 years ago as military dictator during one of the bloodiest periods of the civil war. A Guatemalan truth commission that examined human rights conditions during the war concluded that, under Rios Montt, agents of the state ``committed acts of genocide against groups of Mayan people.'' She says it will not matter much who wins because no candidate is able to neutralize the military. Guatemala has elected civilian presidents since 1986, but Monzon says the country remains backward politically, economically and socially. The blame, she says, rests with the country's military, its oligarchs and, lastly, the United States. She sees as a major turning point a CIA-led coup in 1954 against a leftist president and the installation of a rightist colonel. On the other hand, she says the United States does exert positive influences today, citing its support for human rights groups in Guatemala and for development of civil society. But she has little hope that things will change, at least over the short term. ``I see the situation as very difficult,'' she says. ``I don't believe that the problems will be resolved by the next government."

WP 26 Oct 2003 Social Breakdown Turns Deadly in Guatemala Drugs, Broken Justice System and Resurgent Militarism Are Blamed for Growing Lawlessness By Mary Jordan Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page A21 PUERTO DE SAN JOSE, Guatemala -- Minutes after Elder Anibal Moran and his wife, Veronica Colindres, got into their car to distribute campaign banners last week, the bullets -- a hallmark of the upcoming national elections -- started flying. Moran ran from the car but fell dead 20 feet away, in front of Mery's beauty salon in this small town on the Pacific Ocean. Colindres died on the way to the hospital. Many of the 24 bullets that pierced their red Toyota had hit her, too. It is unclear why the couple's four children were so suddenly orphaned. Family and officials are divided on whether the killings were motivated by politics or drugs. Both have contributed to the alarmingly lawless atmosphere that now reigns in the most populous country in Central America. About 60 people are killed every week in Guatemala City alone, double the murder rate in 2001, according to analysts. They say the violence and bloodshed in this country of 12 million people stems from growing drug trafficking organizations, a broken justice system that investigates as little as 3 percent of all crime and the resurgence of past military leaders. One of the leading candidates for president in the Nov. 9 election is former general Efrain Rios Montt, who was dictator in 1982 and 1983 at the height of Guatemala's bloody civil war. Under his leadership, soldiers and paramilitary squads murdered thousands of unarmed people, mainly Mayan Indians. Human rights activists are now pressing a genocide case against Rios Montt, even as he runs for president. Rights activists say retired soldiers from Rios Montt's era, organized in clandestine gangs, are behind much of the recent violence. Rios Montt supporters paralyzed the capital in July, burning tires, breaking windows and assaulting journalists who had criticized him. "There is anarchy," said Hilario Herrarte, the mayoral candidate in this port, where men fish for snapper and shark and women sell embroidery along the black sandy shore. "We fear we are going backwards to the time of the war." Peace accords signed in 1996 officially ended the civil war in which 200,000 Guatemalans were killed. The war left this country one of the most heavily armed in the hemisphere. Guatemala's independent ombudsman for human rights estimates that there are 2 million unregistered guns in Guatemala, one for every six people. It seems as though nearly everyone carries a gun, from the guard sitting atop a Coca-Cola truck rolling down a city street to the families who live in shacks in the mountainous countryside, rich in coffee and coconuts. The peace accords were followed by relative tranquillity in the late 1990s. But now, murders, kidnappings, lynchings and politically motivated assassinations are more common than at any time since the war, according to human rights activists, who also express the fear that social unrest threatens Guatemalan democracy. Regardless of the outcome of the November election, many believe riots will follow. If Rios Montt doesn't win, he faces possible criminal prosecution for past abuses, as do many of those around him. These stark choices for Rios Montt supporters -- the presidency or jail -- have raised the stakes and the tensions here, electoral officials said. "It's a time bomb about to explode," said Santiago Canton, executive secretary for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States. Although reliable crime statistics are hard to come by, civic groups here estimate that the murder rate has more than doubled in the past two years. During the current campaign, two dozen candidates and political activists have been killed, according to the Mirador Electoral, a private nonprofit funded in part by the United States and European countries. Many acts of violence are similar to the case of Abel Perez, a mayoral candidate in Santo Domingo, who was kidnapped, blindfolded for three days and tossed at the side of the road last month with a warning to quit his campaign. No ransom was asked. Perez has stayed in; others have quit. Herrarte, 38, a business administrator whose party, the rightist Grand National Alliance, is leading in the polls said he, too, has been threatened. He said anonymous, menacing voices on his phone have urged him to quit the race. He said he believes supporters of Rios Montt's party, the Guatemalan Republican Front, which is also the party of outgoing President Alfonso Portillo, are stirring up violence because they fear "their time is up." Drugs are also playing a role. U.S. officials said powerful cartels are taking advantage of Guatemala's weak and underfunded anti-drug forces, while the Bush administration focuses on Colombia. "It's a drug dealer's paradise," said one U.S. law enforcement official. Most drug shipments pass through Guatemala unnoticed. But occasionally there are spectacular cases, such as the $14 million in U.S. currency found hidden at a house in an upscale neighborhood of Guatemala City. Crashed hulks of small planes, believed to belong to drug traffickers, routinely turn up in remote areas of the country. Last month, a Cessna with nearly a ton of cocaine was found on a farm. Some people suspect that the killings of Moran and Colindres were an act of political vengeance. Others, including neighbors and the police chief of Puerto San Jose, said they suspected the couple was mixed up in the drug trade because they had a fancy new car and unusually expensive possessions. The couple's 16-year-old son, Alberto, said he doesn't know why they were killed. But Alberto said crack cocaine and marijuana are flooding into this port, where the Daiquiri Disco and other establishments have signs that say "no illegal drugs are allowed to be consumed here." Whether inspired by politics or drug trafficking, many people agree that poverty is the ultimate source of the violence. "It has never been worse economically," said Miguel Quiej, a national leader representing indigenous peoples, who are a majority in Guatemala. Quiej estimated that unemployment is as high as 40 percent in some poor agricultural zones. Many coffee plantations have closed due to low world coffee prices, idling hundreds of thousands of workers. Much of Rios Montt's support comes from rural Guatemala. But Quiej said the former dictator is trying to manipulate poor people, telling them that even during the days of civil war there were jobs. "If he wins, there will be another war. People won't stand for it," he said. President Portillo, who is closely tied to Rios Montt, has been widely criticized, in Washington and elsewhere, for doing little to stop drug trafficking. U.S. officials have said that drug cartels have ties to the Guatemalan government and military. However, Washington recently recertified Guatemala as a cooperating partner in the fight against drug trafficking. Meanwhile, Rios Montt, 77, is on the campaign trail, casting himself as a man of the poor and a tested leader who can restore order. In an interview earlier this year, the general, as his campaign posters refer to him, said he has done nothing wrong. Rios Montt's daughter, Zury Rios, who is vice president of the Guatemalan Congress, said in a recent interview that her father has been unfairly maligned and that his administration would be "totally democratic." She said her father was looking forward to an election that would vindicate his record. "Let the people decide," she said. There is growing friction between those who supported Rios Montt's "scorched earth" policy against leftist opponents of his military government and candidates who want those responsible for abuses during those years to be held accountable. Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist, has called for genocide charges against Rios Montt. She was shoved and roughed up by Rios Montt supporters earlier this month. The clash between wartime leaders and those pushing for them to go on trial, as well as the rising body count, weigh heavily on merchants on the narrow street where Moran and Colindres were killed. But few in this town of 50,000 were willing to talk about the murder or the upcoming election. "We are so nervous we can't sleep. It's scary," said one shopkeeper, who asked not to be identified by name. She said she had voted for Portillo in 2000. "I had a lot of hope then, but now if I saw him, I would slap him. Look at what has happened to our country." Staff writer Marcela Sanchez in Washington contributed to this report.



LatinAmericaPress.org 1 Oct 2003 Violence casts doubt over Lavalas elections By Jane Regan Despite international intervention, there is no end in sight to the standoff between President Aristide and his opponents. The violent blocking of an anti-government demonstration has again raised doubts about whether Haiti is ready for the parliamentary and local elections that the government vows to hold later this year, with or without opposition parties and despite disapproval from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States. The march, called by opposition parties and civic groups for Sept. 14 in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien to demand the resignation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, had been organized weeks in advance. A few days beforehand, however, the ruling Lavalas Family party announced a counter-march for the same day, the same street and virtually the same hour, saying that if the opposition marched, there would be a "blood bath." Rather than asking the Aristide supporters to choose a different route or time, police allowed the two marches to start about an hour apart at opposite ends of the street. Sept. 14 threatened to turn into a repeat of Nov. 17 2002, when more than 15,000 people took to the same streets with the same slogans: "We are fed up!" and "Aristide must resign!" (LP, Dec. 16, 2002.) As the demonstrators marched down "L Street", their numbers swelled into the thousands. Meanwhile, the pro-government counter-march of several hundred mostly young men approached from the opposite direction. About 40 heavily armed riot police kept the groups apart, but when Aristide supporters began throwing rocks, the police fired pepper gas in all directions. Opposition marchers scattered, while Aristide supporters surrounded houses where opposition leaders had taken cover and set up a burning barricade nearby. A government vehicle delivered fresh Aristide posters and fliers, and for a few hours the agitators controlled L Street. More than a dozen people from both groups suffered slight injuries. OAS representatives, part of a special mission charged with making the police force more professional and brokering a solution to the country's three-year political crisis, worked with police on plans for the two marches, but did not intervene until the afternoon, when they helped rescue the trapped politicians. "The police and the OAS took an open, pro-government position and authorized what was a terrorist demonstration. It was state-sponsored terrorism," said Evans Paul, former mayor of Port-au-Prince and a leader of the Democratic Convergence opposition coalition, who was among those trapped in a house. The march and the violence from Aristide supporters contradict recent government pledges. While visiting newly installed turbines at the state Electricity of Haiti on September 8, Aristide - a former priest who has not lost his grasp of homiletics - thanked the turbines and the sun for electricity, but added "All of the men and women of Haiti, we are all the light of Haiti," and called for the light to dispel "the darkness of ignorance and violence." Violence persists however, and local and international watchdog groups say the human rights situation also remains serious, with police often blamed for abuses. In August, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Haiti as the second most dangerous country in the hemisphere for journalists, on a par with Cuba and trailing Colombia. In the past three years, two journalists have been murdered and more than 30 have fled the country (LP, March 26, 2003). Mario Dupuy, Haiti's secretary of state for communication and director of the state-owned L'Union newspaper, called the CPJ accusation exaggerated and "unfair". "We are in a democratic transition," he said. "All sectors are learning what that means, including the media." There is no end in sight to that transition, however, despite the efforts of the OAS special mission and numerous foreign delegations. The terms of legislators and other elected officials end in January, 2004, but opposition parties - who boycotted the 2000 presidential election over fraud charges (LP, June 12, 2000) - and churches and civil society groups are refusing to participate in elections because of human rights and security concerns. That means that Aristide could soon be ruling by decree. "We are waiting for minimum conditions to be met," Archbishop Hubert Constant, head of the Catholic Church's Council of Bishops, said earlier in Sept. "That minimum isn't something we have demanded. It is what the government agreed to in documents signed with the international community." The government counters that it has met almost all the requirements set in OAS Resolution 822 (LP, Nov. 18, 2002), which was meant to end the stalemate, and that the opposition is holding back the process. "Those who are waiting for the application of 822 in its entirety before the formation of the Electoral Council can dream on," Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Philippe Antonio said in late August. A week later came the government announcement that it would hold elections this year, with or without the opposition and foreign approval. The move comes as Aristide and his Lavalas Family party try to manage dropping popularity amongst a population of nearly 8 million delicately balanced between unrest and despair as they face hunger, unemployment and a deteriorating environment (LP, April 8, 2002). In the past two months, disasters have exacerbated Haiti's political ills. Twenty-four people were killed and about 3,000 left homeless when a river overflowed its banks on Aug. 30. Twenty-two people died in a plane crash that has been blamed on failure to follow proper procedures, and 40 perished the same day when a bus careened off a cliff. A dozen people, many of them babies, died during a strike at the State University Hospital the first week of September, and on July 21, 15 youths in Leogane were electrocuted when two badly spliced electrical cables fell on a neighborhood basketball game.

AFP 3 Oct 2003 Anti-government protest leaves up to eight dead in Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE, Oct 3 (AFP) - Battles between anti-government demonstrators and police left as many as eight people dead in Haiti, local radio stations said Friday. The rioting took place in Gonaives, north of Port-au-Prince. Radio stations in the capital quoted witnesses as saying that eight people had been killed and dozens wounded. Local police commissioner Marc-Andre Cadoscin would not confirm the tolls but said heavily armed demonstrators had opened fire on police as they tried to remove barricades of flaming tires.

Amnesty International Date: 8 Oct 2003 -Human rights abuses on the rise Increased political violence is causing a rise in human rights abuses in Haiti, Amnesty International said today as it launched a new report: "Haiti: Abuse of human rights: political violence as the 200th anniversary of independence approaches." "Killings, violent attacks and threats -- committed by political partisans and armed, politically-motivated groups -- are of growing concern, as are violations committed by security forces in responding to political violence," Amnesty International said. "In addition, attacks on freedom of expression continue." In one ongoing situation of concern to Amnesty International, the coastal city of Gonaives has been racked by days of violent demonstrations following the 21 September 2003 killing of former activist Amiot Métayer. Many of his supporters, accusing the government of responsibility for his death, clashed repeatedly with police officers. According to reports, at least one resident was killed and many more were wounded, while a police station and two other public buildings were burnt down. On 2 October, in a manoeuvre which they claimed was intended to restore order, police supported by Coast Guard units and a helicopter clashed with armed residents in an attempted sweep through the Raboteau area of the city. At least three people were reported to have been killed and others injured during this incident. Ironically, Raboteau was the scene of a notorious 1994 coup-era massacre carried out by army and paramilitary forces, following a failed attempt to apprehend Amiot Métayer. "The lessons of the past must be heeded. The right to life and physical integrity must be guaranteed, even in states of emergency or public disorder," Amnesty International said while reminding the Haitian authorities of their responsibilities under international law. "Protection of human rights confronts one of its greatest challenges in the face of political violence," Amnesty International stressed. "In this context, special vigilance is required to ensure that rights are fully respected; at the very least, abuses committed by one side should not be invoked as justification for violations by the other." The organisation repeated its call for a resolute and public commitment to respect human rights at the highest political levels, as well as prompt and effective investigations and sanctions when violations or abuses are committed. For a full copy of the report: "Haiti: Abuse of human rights: political violence as the 200th anniversary of independence approaches," please click here. (pdf* format - 48 KB)


WP 3 Oct 2003 Probe Ties Ex-President to '68 Massacre in Mexico By Mary Jordan Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, October 3, 2003; Page A19 MEXICO CITY, Oct. 2 -- A special prosecutor is investigating newly revealed information about the role of former president Luis Echeverria in the 1968 massacre of student demonstrators by government troops, one of the most scarring moments in modern Mexican history. "Undoubtedly he knew what was happening," Maria de Los Angeles Magdaleno, an investigator in the special prosecutor's office, said of Echeverria. "It was an operation of the state." Magdaleno said in an interview today that government forces were in an apartment of Echeverria's sister-in-law, Rebeca Zuno de Lima, on Oct. 2, 1968, the day anti-government protesters were attacked at the Tlatelolco Plaza. The special prosecutor's office was created by President Vicente Fox, who has said no official is "untouchable." The office has uncovered documents showing that at least 360 government snipers trained their weapons on thousands of protesters that day. An account of the information was first reported Wednesday by the Associated Press. At the time of the massacre, Echeverria was the interior minister and was in charge of domestic security. He later served as president from 1970 to 1976. Magdaleno said documents show that Echeverria was receiving updates from the armed forces "every five minutes" and then passing that information onto then-President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, who died in 1979. "From Echeverria's sister-in-law's apartment, they were informing the president's security guard that they were fg," Magdaleno said. "The whole world pointed to Echeverria as responsible, but the great merit of the archive is to show it with documents." There has never been an official reckoning of who was responsible for the killings or even how many died. Parents reported that their sons and daughters disappeared and have long maintained that their bodies were clandestinely buried as the government sought to cover up the atrocity. Estimates of the number of those killed range from a few dozen to hundreds, and activists charge that those killed or disappeared were cremated or placed in mass graves. Magdaleno said her team's research indicates that the killings occurred not because of a direct order to fire on the students, but because of the chaos caused by the presence of the large numbers of separate armed groups, including the army, police, presidential security forces and snipers. "It was an operation that went out of control," she said. She said she had no doubt that Echeverria, who has denied any wrongdoing, "knew everything" that was going on. Americo Melendez, another official in the special prosecutor's office, said the criminal investigation into Echeverria's actions involves charges of genocide and deprivation of people's liberty. The results of the probe, officials said, could lead to unprecedented criminal charges against a former president and could be announced as early as January. The new focus on Echeverria, who is rarely seen in public, comes as thousands marched today on the 35th anniversary of the massacre, an event as traumatizing for many here as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was in the United States. The march turned violent as participants looted stores and smashed cars and windows. Some marchers attempted to break down a fence around the Interior Ministry building where Echeverria worked at the time of the massacre. A spokesman for Echeverria said today that he had no comment on the new disclosures. Last year, the special prosecutor called Echeverria, 81, for questioning, but he declined to respond to accusations against him. The massacre occurred days before Mexico hosted the 1968 Summer Olympics. Analysts have said that concern about the protesters and the image they would project led the government to call for the dangerous positioning of armed forces near the students. The fg on unarmed students, as well as government denials of any culpability and assertions that students fired first, became a watershed event in Mexico. Scholars and historians cite the massacre in the declining support for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, which controlled the presidency from 1929 until Fox's election in 2000. David Vega was 22 years old and was speaking at the microphone in the plaza when the gunfire started. Today, Vega joined thousands at the site commemorating the tragedy. He said he was encouraged by the "new information which further implicates Echeverria." "When we were students we hoped we could make a difference," Vega said. "Now that I'm 57 years old, I still hope that things can change and that Echeverria will be brought to justice."

Denver Post October 16, 2003 editorial Justice in Tlatelolco Massacre Thirty-five years ago, student protesters were fired upon in Mexico City, killing anywhere from dozens to hundreds, depending on who's telling the story. But because once-secret documents have been unsealed and obtained by The Associated Press, we now know that military and police squads, under Mexican government command, fired into the crowd in what is known as the Tlatelolco Massacre. The reports finally confirm what surviving student protesters and other civilian witnesses have said all along: The government intentionally fired upon them with the intent to kill. The massacre happened in Mexico City's Tres Culturas Plaza, a public square, 10 days before the start of the Olympics hosted by Mexico in 1968. The shootings followed nine weeks of student strikes throughout Mexico City. The students were protesting against the army's occupation of the university and the lack of democracy in general. About 15,000 students marched through the city. On the evening of Oct. 2, 1968, about 5,000 students and workers, many with their spouses and children, entered the plaza for a peaceful demonstration. Without warning, the crowd was fired on in what has become "La Matanza de Tlatelolco," the Tlatelolco Massacre. Surviving witnesses have described the killing as indiscriminate because people not involved in the demonstration also were present in the plaza. Although accurate figures are still unavailable, it is estimated that about 300 people were killed. Hundreds were injured and thousands were arrested. According to the files recently obtained by the AP, at least 360 gunmen were present, meaning the firepower unleashed on the crowd was excessive and meant to take out a lot of people. At the time, government officials claimed armed dissidents provoked the confrontation. They are not saying much now. Interior Secretary Luis Echeverria - who became Mexico's president in 1970 - and his cohorts are now invoking their constitutional right to remain silent. Imagine that. Last year, photos of the massacre surfaced, indicating that paramilitary units, possibly disguised as students, started the shooting. New information uncovering the shroud of lies and deceit that has shielded the Tlatelolco Massacre for too long should be utilized to its fullest by investigators. Efforts to piece together the puzzle must continue so the truth is revealed and all of the world knows what really happened that day. In addition, the Mexican people and the world community should urge that those who ordered the taking of innocent lives be prosecuted. It's not too late for justice.

Trinidad and Tobago

BBC Monitoring Latin America - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 7, 2003, Tuesday, Trinidad and Tobago urges support for International Criminal Court Text of report by Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) news agency on 7 October United Nations, New York: Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 6 October urged the international community to support the International Criminal Court (ICC). Foreign Affairs Minister Knowlson Gift addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) said that Port of Spain was committed to the "efficient" and "effective" functioning of the ICC. Gift said that the ICC did not represent "victor's justice," but "a universal and shared symbol of morality" based on the fundamental principle that those individuals who commit serious crimes within the jurisdiction of the court will be brought to justice. Earlier this year, the United States announced a suspension of military assistance to a number of countries including Trinidad and Tobago, after they refused to adhere to a US request for American nationals to be excluded from the jurisdiction of the ICC. But Gift deplored all efforts aimed at undermining the integrity of the court and commitments made by states to pursue in good faith the obligations made in Rome Statute establishing the court. "We call for wider adherence to that statute by all states so that it may, one day, have universal application," he said. "Only a universal commitment by all states to strive to eliminate the culture of impunity for such heinous crimes will successfully stem the tide of the horrific events which continue to mar our world," he added. Gift said that while the global community should remain adamant in combating terrorism and maintaining peace and security, success in those initiatives would depend significantly on progress made in alleviating poverty, and tackling injustice, deprivation, and diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He said that HIV/AIDS, virus was a major development challenge to poor developing states, threatening to reverse years of "hard-won" human development gains and increase poverty levels. Gift said that his government has earmarked 2020 as the year to attain "developed country status", but he warned that this could be stymied by challenges posed by globalization and trade liberalization. The Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Affairs Minister joined his other Caribbean Community (Caricom) colleagues in calling for reform at the United Nations in order to make it "more relevant". He said that the reform's ultimate objective must be the consolidation of the United Nations and enhancement of its capacity to respond to new global challenges, adding that the expansion of the Security Council is also necessary to make it "more democratic and representative". "No other institution has the inclusiveness or the legitimacy which the United Nations has," he said. "We must, therefore, spare no effort to make it a more effective instrument in the service of all the peoples of the world." In his wide ranging address, Gift said that it was of "paramount importance" that member states commit to and uphold the multilateral approach in their collective endeavour to attain these goals. "This is a concern particularly of small states which must rely on the international rule of law on the strict observance of all states of the purposes and principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations, and on the collective security mechanism of the Security Council in order to guarantee their right to a secure, sovereign and peaceful existence." ,

United States (see Afghanistan)

Inter Press Service 1 Oct 2003 U.S. TO CUT MORE AID TO GLOBAL COURT'S BACKERS, By Jim Lobe, WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 Countries that refuse to exempt U.S. citizens and soldiers from the jurisdiction of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) could lose almost 90 million dollars in military aid from the United States in fiscal year 2004, which begins today. The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush on July 1 cut some 30 million dollars in military aid to 32 friendly countries -- most of them democracies -- because they refused to sign deals with Washington. Among them were a number of new democracies in Central and East Europe, some of which have contributed troops to bolster the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq. Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, South Africa, and a number of other Latin American and African countries, were also on the list. The cuts were mandated by the 2002 American Servicemembers Protection Act (ASPA), whose purpose is to ensure that the ICC, which began operating at The Hague in the Netherlands last spring, can never gain jurisdiction over U.S. citizens. Among other provisions, the ASPA authorises the president to use all necessary means, including force, to free U.S. service members held by the ICC, the world's first permanent tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The ASPA requires the president to cut off military aid to countries that have ratified the 1998 Rome Statute, which established the ICC, unless they are NATO allies, specially designated non-NATO allies -- such as Argentina, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Israel -- or are given a "waiver" if the president determines that sanctions would harm the national interest. The administration has also determined that signing so-called Article 98 agreements with the United States committing nations not to transfer U.S. citizens to the ICC's custody is sufficient to warrant a waiver. The State Department said Tuesday that over 65 countries had signed Article 98 deals, although spokesman Richard Boucher declined to name them. A number of countries have reportedly signed agreements but have not made them public. Several nations had signed in just the last few days in order to avoid an aid cut-off, according to Boucher. With the exception of Turkey, all of Washington's NATO allies have ratified the Rome Statute, as have Mexico, Costa Rica, all of South America, except Bolivia, and, as of just this past week, Colombia. Both countries are heavily reliant on U.S. aid. A number of new democracies in Africa, including Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, have publicly rejected signing an Article 98 agreement, insisting that doing so would violate their obligations under the Rome Statute. Many English-speaking Caribbean countries have taken a similar position, as have a number of Central and Eastern European nations, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Critics of the administration's campaign against the ICC have pointed out that most of the countries penalised by the ASPA sanctions are emerging democracies that have generally backed U.S. interests and values, making Washington's position counter-productive. "This is the first sanction in U.S. diplomatic history targeted exclusively at democracies," said Heather Hamilton of the World Federalist Association (WFA), one of hundreds of non-governmental groups around the world that make up the global Coalition for the ICC. "The administration's ideological opposition to the ICC is compromising other vital U.S. foreign policy priorities and putting allies and friendly nations in a difficult position," she added in a statement. "These nations cannot be expected to put U.S. nationals above the law that their own leaders abide and live by." The administration's 'campaign against the ICC has also been cited as an example of the unilateral stance that has contributed to a rise in anti-Americanism in many countries. Former President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute in December 2000, just a few weeks before Bush became president. In May of last year, the administration renounced Clinton's signature and withdrew from all negotiations to set up the ICC. Shortly after, it launched its campaign to undermine the ICC by threatening to veto extensions of U.N. peacekeeping operations unless the U.N. Security Council gave all U.S. citizens a one-year exemption from the Court's jurisdiction. The exemption was extended under U.S. pressure -- critics have called it blackmail -- for a second year in June. The administration has argued that the tribunal grants too much discretion to prosecutors who could bring cases against U.S. officials and soldiers for political reasons. With some 120,000 U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq, another 9,000 in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands more in scores of countries across Eurasia and in and around the Gulf, the administration is worried that they could become prime targets for politicised prosecutions. But groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and U.S. allies -- including Britain, which has some 15,000 troops in Iraq -- say these fears are greatly exaggerated and that Washington should ratify the Statute in the interests of expanding the rule of law and making particularly serious human rights atrocities punishable by an international tribunal. Countries that depend heavily on U.S. and multilateral assistance and have signed Article 98 agreements despite also signing the Rome Statute include mainly poorer and smaller nations, such as Central America's Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua and several island states, such as Mauritius, the Dominican Republic, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands. A few Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan and Tajikistan; several Balkan states, including Albania, Bosnia, and Romania; and a scattering of African countries of which Nigeria is the most important, have also made Article 98 deals. A number of these nations also contributed token numbers of troops to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, several others, including the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Slovakia, also contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition only to see their military aid cut off due to their refusal to sign an Article 98 agreement. Each of the five was due to receive between seven million and 10 million dollars in military aid next year. Ecuador, which is playing a key role in the anti-drug war in the Andes, could lose 15 million dollars in military aid next year, while Peru could lose 2.7 million dollars worth of assistance. South Africa, on which Washington has relied for peacekeeping help in Africa, may lose 7.6 million dollars, while Slovakia has about nine million dollars at stake.

New Jersey Jewish News 2 Oct 2003 First conference of Holocaust educators aims to end classroom isolation by Elaine Durbach NJJN Staff Writer Though New Jersey, like many states, mandates that schools provide lessons on the Holocaust, there’s no requirement that teachers must learn how to teach the subject during their training. Those assigned the subject often find themselves working in isolation, having to justify their efforts and struggling to gather the necessary teaching materials. One likely resource, the various Holocaust study centers at colleges and universities, handle a different level of research. Three years ago, Colleen Tambuscio and some fellow educators gathered to address the challenge. “We decided that teachers needed to form a group to help teachers,” said Tambuscio, who teaches special education and mainstream classes at New Milford High School. The result is the Council of Holocaust Educators, which will hold its first conference Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. Organizers say they’re expecting about 180 participants from all over New Jersey, other parts of the United States, and from Israel. “As far as we know, there’s no other group like ours in this country or anywhere else in the world,” said Tambuscio, founder and president of the council. “We’re very excited that we in New Jersey, with our energy and commitment, have made this happen.” The idea took off at a think tank about Holocaust teaching organized by Barbara Wind, director of the Holocaust Council of MetroWest. Many of those attending were involved in rewriting the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Holocaust curriculum for the state, a process centered in MetroWest. Tambuscio, one of the veteran teachers in the field, brought up the idea for a statewide support organization. Wind welcomed the initiative. She said that while the new group was supported by the MetroWest council and the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education, it had an independence that made it open to everyone, regardless of religion or affiliation. Many members of the group are non-Jewish, like Tambuscio herself, who comes from an Irish-Italian background, and they have a grassroots understanding of the community’s need for education about the Shoa. Author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel agreed to be the educators council’s honorary chair. There is a growing need for the council, Wind said, because so many of the older teachers who were familiar with the subject of the Holocaust are retg. The group could provide teachers entering the field with mentoring support and guidance on materials and methods. “It has to be one of the most complex subjects there is to teach,” she said. “It involves religion, philosophy, history — everything. And there is still stuff we don’t know, that we could find out about,” said Wind. Teachers also seek support in dealing with the resistance they encounter in teaching so sensitive and, to some, so “narrow” a topic. “If you’re in a supportive area, like I am, you’re lucky,” Tambuscio said. “But many of us are asked all the time, ‘Why are you spending so much time teaching about the Holocaust?’” Her answer is that Holocaust education touches on every aspect of the core curriculum, which she has proved in the classroom, she said. “My students have been able to demonstrate that they’ve been engaged in meaningful learning that has real impact on their life skills. Every issue we deal with has universal application.” Tambuscio said conference organizers are looking forward to feedback from those attending. It will be their first opportunity to assess the impact of the council’s networking efforts and to gather suggestions for future projects. Educators are coming from all over New Jersey and from Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. A cache of drawings by an artist who was in the Warsaw Ghetto will be on exhibit on the campus, and a panel discussion with survivors will be held. Eight workshops will deal with issues ranging from the use of technology in teaching about the Holocaust, to genocide in the world today, to the treatment of deaf people during the Holocaust, to teaching the Holocaust in Catholic schools. Next year, when a two-day conference is planned, there’ll be more opportunity for those “in the trenches” to describe their classroom experiences and to outline their own suggestions for teaching about the Holocaust and related subjects. “People love to hear about anecdotal accounts of accomplishments,” Tambuscio said. Two projects already in the works include a Web site, due to be launched at the conference, which will provide a venue for such exchanges of experience and suggestions, and a brochure for parents, to provide them with background and suggested resource materials so they can play a part in their children’s learning. Parent education has been one of the bonus results from the Holocaust curriculum, Tambuscio said. “For instance, we hear from the parents how the children talk about their experiences after they’ve been to the [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum] in Washington. For some of them, this is the first time they’ve really thought about these things.” For more information on the conference, call Barbara Wind at 973-929-3066. Elaine Durbach can be reached at edurbach@njjewishnews.com.

WP 2 Oct 2003 Redskins Can Keep Trademark, Judge Rules By Carol D. Leonnig, Page A01 The Washington Redskins football franchise can keep its trademark name and logo because a group of activists did not provide enough evidence that the team's moniker was disparaging to Native Americans, a judge ruled yesterday. U .S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly threw out a federal board's 1999 decision to cancel six highly lucrative Redskins trademarks. She said she was not opining on whether the word "redskin" was insulting or not but concluded that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's board had relied upon partial, dated and irrelevant evidence submitted by the activists. The judge also said Native Americans had little legal grounds to complain because they waited 25 years after the first Redskins trademark was registered to formally object to the team's name and images. The ruling protects millions of dollars in sales of Redskins paraphernalia. With a federal registration for Redskins trademarks, team owner Daniel M. Snyder continues to hold exclusive rights to use the team name and logo on T-shirts, caps and other merchandise worth an estimated $5 million a year. The National Football League franchise had retained its trademark protections while the legal battle was pending. Teams have invested a small fortune in legal fees to protect their trademarks because the trademarks allow them to quickly stop entrepreneurs from selling knock-off clothing and trinkets. Snyder, who had vowed that he would take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, said he was pleased with the ruling. "This team has always treated its trademarks with the utmost respect," Snyder said, "and our fans worldwide understand and respect the tradition of the Washington Redskins." The activists and their attorneys said they are not giving up. Vernon Bellecourt, president of the American Indian Movement's National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, said the decision refuels the fight to challenge the Redskins name. The activists will appeal or find another way to get the name changed, he said. "Judge Kollar-Kotelly brings a new low to the word 'ignorance,' " Bellecourt said, noting that the dictionary lists "redskin" as an example under the definition of "slur." Michael Lindsay, an attorney for the activists, said the case "is really the difference between calling a team the Washington African Americans and calling them the Washington N-Word. And we believe we've proved that, and we will prevail at some later stage." Kollar-Kotelly framed her 83-page opinion on legal and procedural grounds, purposely avoiding the emotional debates over team names and symbols that also have arisen in Cleveland and Atlanta. "This opinion should not be read as making any statement on the appropriateness of Native American imagery for team names," the judge wrote. The legal battle began 11 years ago, when a group of seven Native Americans, led by Cheyenne activist and District resident Suzan Shown Harjo, argued that the team's name and feather-wearing Indian mascot trivialized a tragic time when Indians were victims of genocide and forced off their land by settlers and U.S. soldiers. Hoping to get the team to change its name by making it too costly to keep, Harjo filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1992. That agency's Trial Trademark and Appeal Board sided with her in 1999. Harjo's group had pointed to a 1946 federal law that prohibits the government from registering a trademark that disparages any race, religion or other group. Harjo could not be located for comment yesterday. Pro-Football Inc., the corporation that owns the Redskins, appealed the trademark panel's decision in U.S. District Court. Its attorneys said that the "difficult relations" between Anglo-Americans and Native Americans were certainly unfortunate. But, they argued, in the 21st century, the beloved hometown team has changed the connotation of the word "redskins" to one that is "powerfully positive" -- associated more with touchdowns than tomahawks. Since he bought the franchise in 1999, Snyder has consistently said that he will not change the team's name. In her ruling yesterday, Kollar-Kotelly said the trademark board had one legal question to consider: could the word "redskin," used with the popular football franchise since 1933, disparage a "substantial composite" of Native Americans at the time the first Redskins trademark was registered in 1967? But the judge said the trademark board relied on faulty evidence, including news articles saying Redskins managers or players intended to "scalp" opponents or seek "revenge on the warpath," and videotapes of fans in costumes depicting Native Americans as "savages and buffoons." "At best, this evidence demonstrates that Pro-Football's fans and the media continue to equate the Washington Redskins with Native Americans and not always in a respectful manner," she wrote. Kollar-Kotelly also dismissed a 1996 survey of Native American attitudes that found the word "redskin" disparaged them as irrelevant, because it was too far removed from 1967 and did not relate to the football team. Staff writers Thomas Heath and Mark A. Maske contributed to this report.

WP 5 Oct 2003 Page A22 Lawmaker Links Woes To Muslims' Proximity CHARLOTTE -- Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.) blames the breakup of his 50-year marriage partly on the stress of living near a leading Muslim advocacy group that he and his wife worried was so close to the U.S. Capitol that "they could blow the place up." The nine-term lawmaker, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- whose headquarters are across the street from his Capitol Hill home -- a "fundraising arm" of terrorist groups. He said he reported the group to the FBI and the CIA. Ballenger, 76, said yesterday that he had no problem with Muslims in general, but that he objected to what he believes are ties the group has with terrorists. "The only difference I have is that building across the street. In my opinion, it should never have been leased" to the group, Ballenger said. His wife, Donna, said the couple had kept a close eye on CAIR since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and worried that the group's activities might jeopardize security on Capitol Hill. "This gang across the street is questionable," she said. The council, which looks out for Muslims' civil rights and sponsors interfaith gatherings, urged other Republicans to repudiate what it called Ballenger's "bigoted" statements. Ballenger's "bizarre comments demonstrate the sheer lunacy of his political and religious views," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the council's legal affairs director. In addition to CAIR, Ballenger told the newspaper that another source of stress on the marriage was the 1995 decision by "holier-than-thou Republicans" in the House to ban gifts from lobbyists. The meals and theater tickets from lobbyists once meant "a social life for [congressional] wives," Ballenger said. His wife agreed, saying, "Just a dinner now and then" would do no harm.

Charlotte Observer 4 Oct. 2003 www.charlotte.com Ballenger grouses about Muslims, lobbyist limits Says both contributed to breakup of marriage TIM FUNK Observer Washington Bureau WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Cass Ballenger blames the breakup of his 50-year marriage partly on the stress of living near a leading American Muslim advocacy group that he and his wife worried was so close to the U.S. Capitol that "they could blow the place up." Another stress on their marriage: the decision by "we holier-than-thou Republicans" in the House, Ballenger said, to ban gifts -- including meals and theater tickets from lobbyists -- that once meant "a social life for (congressional) wives." Ballenger, a Republican from Hickory, called the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- whose headquarters are across the street from his Capitol Hill home -- a "fund-raising arm" for terrorist groups and said he reported CAIR to the FBI and CIA. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group, which looks out for Muslims' civil rights and sponsors interfaith gatherings, said Friday that Ballenger's unsubstantiated remarks were bigoted. The nine-term Republican made the comments during a Wednesday evening phone interview with The Observer, in which he discussed his legal separation from his wife, Donna. It was the couple's proximity to CAIR after Sept. 11, 2001,"bugged the hell" out of his wife, he said. "Diagonally across from my house, up goes a sign -- CAIR ... the fund-raising arm for Hezbollah," said Ballenger, 76, referring to a Lebanese militia group the United States has labeled a terrorist organization. "I reported them to the FBI and CIA." Ballenger said in the post 9-11 environment in Washington, his wife, a homemaker, was anxious about all the activity at CAIR, including people unloading boxes and women "wearing hoods," or headscarves, going in and out of the office building on New Jersey Avenue. "That's 2 1/2 blocks from the Capitol," he added, "and they could blow it up." "This is out-and-out bigotry," Hooper said. "It's unworthy of an elected official at the national level. ... You wonder what he's been doing in Congress if this is the kind of analysis he does: `You're a Muslim, so you're guilty.' " This isn't the first time Ballenger has been criticized for comments some consider insensitive. Last December, in another interview with The Observer, he said that then-Rep. Cynthia McKinney, an African American from Georgia known for her abrasive style, had stirred in him "a little bit of a segregationist feeling. I mean, she was such a bitch." He later apologized for what he called "pretty stupid remarks" even as an aide was painting white the black lawn jockey -- a symbol of racial insensitivity to many -- in Ballenger's front yard. CAIR, founded in 1994, has denied suggestions by some conservatives that it has ties to Hezbollah or Hamas or other groups linked to terrorist acts. CAIR took out a full-page ad in The New York Times condemning the Sept. 11 attacks and sponsored an interfaith "Day of National Unity" in Washington on the anniversaries of Sept. 11. "We meet with the FBI quite often," said Hooper. "Our chapters have town hall meetings with the FBI to discuss discrimination and hate crimes (against Muslims)." The group also prints guides for companies that want to better understand Muslim employees. Unloading boxes is no crime, CAIR's spokesman said about Ballenger's suspicions. "Our phone works," Hooper said. "He could call if there's a problem." When asked by The Observer what the FBI and CIA told him when he reported CAIR, Ballenger said, `They said, `Oh, we're watching them.' " But Donna Davis Ballenger, his wife, said the FBI first told Ballenger "it was nothing," then that CAIR "was a religious group." Otherwise, she echoed Ballenger's comments on CAIR and on her feelings about living across the street from the group's headquarters. "It's a very good location if you really wanted to raise trouble," she said. FBI agent John Iannarelli said all reports made to the FBI -- by private citizens or members of Congress -- are kept confidential unless an arrest occurs. "When a congressman calls, we're going to take that as seriously -- or more so -- because of his standing in the community," said Iannarelli. "Some of it turns out to be legitimate. But many times, it's speculative and it turns out that there's nothing there." Ballenger's wife also agreed with him that the GOP-controlled House's 1995 decision to restrict the money spent on members of Congress and their spouses had helped turn Washington into "a lousy place to live. ...It used to be you'd get invitations to the symphony or the theater ... I don't think you should get $1,000 trips to the Bahamas (from lobbyists). But I don't see where a dinner or a theater ticket is that bad. We had friends who are lobbyists." Ballenger said he and his wife got an amicable legal separation in November. "We always argued a lot," he said. "After 50 years, we decided we could get along more happily separated." They have decided not to get a divorce, he said. In Hickory, they live apart, Donna Ballenger said, though "he eats a lot of meals here." The couple continue to work together on the family business, Plastic Packing Inc., and on the Ballenger Foundation, where they pool their Social Security checks to furnish hospitals and schools in Latin America. They have three grown daughters.

NYT 5 Oct 2003 'War Against the Weak': Here Comes the Master Race By DANIEL J. KEVLES Published: October 5, 2003 ugenics -- the idea of manipulating human genes to the end of improving individuals, groups or entire populations -- is strongly associated with the Nazi programs of sterilization, euthanasia and genocide. But during the first third of the 20th century, eugenics movements flourished in many nations, including the United States. In the last few years, newspaper articles have called attention to -- and prompted official apologies for -- state-mandated sterilizations done legally to rid society of its alleged human trash, the ''weak'' in the title of Edwin Black's new book, notably in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon and California. Black is the author previously of ''IBM and the Holocaust,'' a work strongly suggesting that the company, with its punch-card machines, knowingly assisted Hitler's brutalities. His ''War Against the Weak,'' apparently written with similar intent, is a muckraking book about a subject incontestably awash in muck. In the vein of the genre, it is a stew rich in facts and spiced with half- truths, exaggerations and distortions. The most pungent ingredient is its central thesis: eugenic doctrines and policies favoring ''Nordic superiority'' were in fact invented in the United States, were developed in alliance with American wealth and power, and were then exported, inspiring Hitler and achieving their ultimate realization in the Holocaust. Black pursues his thesis across largely familiar ground -- the eugenic theories that attributed costly physical conditions and socially deleterious behaviors to genetics, accounting for many of them as expressions of ''feeble- mindedness''; the claims in the United States that such deficiencies occurred with particularly high frequency among African-Americans and immigrants from eastern and southern Europe; the respectable standing of eugenic science at leading universities, state agencies and institutions, public interest organizations and research installations, notably the Eugenics Record Office, which was part of what became the department of genetics at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and which was financed in the main by the widow of the railroad magnate E. H. Harriman and in part by grants from the Rockefeller philanthropies. Black rightly observes that eugenic research into heredity combined ''equal portions of gossip, race prejudice, sloppy methods and leaps of logic, all caulked together by elements of actual genetic knowledge to create the glitter of a genuine science.'' The eugenics movement provided a biological rationale for the Immigration Act of 1924, which discriminated against immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, and for laws in a number of states that restricted interracial marriage. It scored a major victory with the case of Buck v. Bell in 1927, in which the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 8 to 1, upheld the constitutionality of Virginia's eugenic sterilization law, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. writing for the majority that the principle that upheld vaccination for the good of the community's physical health could sustain cutting the fallopian tubes for the benefit of its social health. Black has used the considerable work on eugenics, assiduously checking sources, including my own, and drawn on original published and archival materials in the United States and Europe, collecting some 50,000 documents, he tells us, with the aid of numerous volunteers working in several dozen repositories. If he covers what is in the main a well-known story, he adds to it substantial new detail, much of it chilling in its exposure of the shameless racism, class prejudice and cruelties of eugenic attitudes and practices in the United States. Some American eugenicists argued for killing the ''unfit,'' and a few indeed practiced it by subjecting newborns to euthanasia (not a merciful death for those in pain, Black points out, but a painless death for those ''deemed unworthy of life''). In support of his main thesis, Black stresses that European eugenicists were linked with their American counterparts through international organizations, meetings, correspondence and visits several made to the United States, some to work at the Eugenics Record Office. German eugenicists praised American policies, research and writings and incorporated accounts of them into their works. In ''Mein Kampf,'' Hitler himself praised America's sterilization laws and immigration restriction act. Black also emphasizes that beginning in the 20's and continuing well into the Nazi period, the Rockefeller Foundation provided sizable funds for research at three eugenically oriented research institutes in Germany. All, he writes, would ''make their mark in the history of medical murder.'' True enough, eugenic actions were pioneered in the United States, and a number of American eugenicists praised the Nazi sterilization law, noting it was devoid of racial intent and robustly consistent with Buck v. Bell. But it greatly oversimplifies matters to say that the American example pointed Nazi Germany down the road to the Holocaust. Many American eugenicists opposed the Nazis outright, and even the most avid enthusiasts of sterilization turned against them after the proclamation of the Nuremberg Laws. Black basically argues that because the mad beast had some American markings, its chief features must have all been bred in the United States. But as he himself acknowledges, the nations of Europe had their own, indigenous eugenics movements. Notions of Nordic superiority had strong, independent roots abroad, and so did ideas of racial improvement through measures like sterilization. The Nazis did draw on American precedents, but Black neglects to weigh the impact of the imports against the force of native impulses. Black writes that in the 30's refugees were denied entry to the United States ''because of the Carnegie Institution's openly racist anti-immigrant activism, '' ignoring the far more powerful forces, including anti-Semitism and economic fears, that kept the gates closed. While some Rockefeller Foundation money did go, at least indirectly, to some anti-Semitic scientists and racially oriented research in Nazi Germany, the foundation increasingly aimed at supporting individuals engaged in objective investigations of the genetics of nonhuman organisms as well as of human beings, part of a broad trend then beginning elsewhere in Europe and in the United States to liberate human genetics from socially prejudicial eugenics. Black deals with these efforts dismissively, writing that the Rockefeller Foundation, for instance, remained committed to the goal of ''creating a superior race.'' More important, the fundamental dynamics of the eugenics movement are only partly illuminated by compilations of its cruelties, its philanthropic patronage and its institutional footholds. Eugenics was an insidious doctrine, unabashed in its aim of deploying up-to-date science to solve social problems, even if that meant writing the ostensible dregs of society out of the American social compact. It nevertheless attracted many adherents among the white middle class, not only conservatives but also a number of disparate progressives, including, for example, Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger and Rabbi Stephen Wise. Despite its imperfections, Black's book does prompt us to wonder what in medical genetics and biotechnology we are taking socially and morally for granted today that our descendants might indict us for tomorrow. Daniel J. Kevles's books include ''In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity.'' He teaches history at Yale.

www.law.umn.edu 8 Oct 2003 OPPORTUNITY: 2004-05 HUMPHREY LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS FELLOWS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA We are pleased to announce an opportunity for five or six fellowships in law and human rights for the August 2004 - May 2005 academic year. The fellowships are open to mid-career human rights advocates and lawyers from designated developing nations and emerging democracies who want to study human rights law, other relevant law courses, public policy, and administration as well as to undertake a professional affiliation in their particular areas of interest. We invite you to consider taking advantage of this opportunity to be a participant in this outstanding fellowship program. The Humphrey Fellowship program was founded over 25 years ago and has had over 3,000 global leaders participate during that time. In 2003, we launched a new law and human rights component to the International Humphrey Fellows program at the University of Minnesota. This collaborative program allows Humphrey Fellows to continue their professional development and career work in the fields of law and human rights as well as to fulfill the program goals in public policy and administration. The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship is a year-long, non-degree program with an emphasis on developing professional affiliations and networking. The five or six Humphrey Law and Human Rights Fellows selected to participate will spend their year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Beyond the academic and professional activities, participants learn about the United States, its society, customs, history, culture, and government. Participants also share knowledge of their own countries. We encourage you to explore the Web sites listed in this announcement and learn about the Human Rights Center (http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/hrcenter.htm) and at the University of Minnesota Law School (http://www.law.umn.edu). You might also want to access the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library (http://www.umn.edu/humanrts) with its core collection of human rights treaties and other human rights materials in Arabic, English, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Applicants need to apply at the U.S. Embassy in their home country. Act quickly as the deadline differs by country. For more information check out this Web site: http://www.iie.org/Template.cfm?&Template=/programs/hhh/fellinf.htm. We would appreciate your help in circulating this announcement on to your international colleagues and friends, who may be interested in this opportunity!

Daily Northwestern (Evanston, IL) 9 Oct 2003 Check out the new kids on the block By Daniel Hess October 09, 2003 Ready to leap into the world of comic books? There's no need for extensive research on the comic culture. Here are two current series that have found their niche by presenting intelligent and interesting stories for all readers -- even new ones. "The Last Man" (Vertigo Comics) "The Last Man" deals with the adventures of Yorick, the last man to survive a catastrophic mass-genocide of all creatures with the Y-chromosome. Author Brian K. Vaughan skips an explanation for this event and instead focuses on insightful political and social commentary. He explores the world a world that women would equally embrace and dread by presenting aspects that the reader would never expect. At the same time, Vaughan smashes the expected male fantasy approach by having Yorick wander the world in search for the love of his life who is stranded on the other side of the world. Part horror, part comedy, this series creates a sci-fi/fantasy world that switches between political thriller, action drama and the traditional road trip story that defies all expectations.

Northwest Indiana News 9 Oct 2003 nwitimes.com Soldiers glad to be home Portage grads reflect on their tour of duty in Iraq, Kuwait BY JOYCE RUSSELL Times Staff Writer ADVERTISEMENT PORTAGE -- Eleven months ago Rick Rodriguez and Adam Ferguson were college students. Then, in November, their lives and that of a third Portage High School graduate, Joe Tarin, changed when the Indiana National Guard's 293rd Infantry was called to active duty. The call to duty came as more of a surprise to Rodriguez than Ferguson. The two gathered around Ferguson's mother's kitchen table Wednesday afternoon to talk about their experiences, recollections and feelings about their nine-month deployment in Kuwait and Iraq. Tarin was out of town visiting friends. The three will report to Camp Atterbury today for the next seven to 10 days before returning home. "If you would have told me back in January I'd be missing this semester of school, I would have thought you were crazy," Rodriguez said. He was a senior at Purdue University studying computer technology when he was called to active duty. Ferguson was starting his freshman year at Southern Indiana University in Evansville. Rodriguez and Tarin are 1999 PHS graduates. They joined the Guard together when they were freshmen in college. They talked Ferguson, a 2002 PHS graduate, into joining. All three were officers in the school's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program. The year before Ferguson joined the Guard, President Clinton signed legislation saying the Guard would serve as a forward force. "That's the reason I joined. I wanted to fight for my country and not leave it up to anyone else," Ferguson said. Deployment The trio, along with the rest of the 293rd, reported to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, south of Indianapolis, and then to Fort Knox in Kentucky. On Jan. 2, they left for Kuwait. While all three were with the 1st Battalion Charlie Company of the 293rd, each was assigned to a different platoon: Ferguson with the 1st; Rodriguez with the 2nd; and Tarin with the 3rd. While they weren't together, they saw each other frequently. The two said it was unique and comforting to have friends from home nearby. Three days before the official start of the war, Rodriguez's and Tarin's platoons left for Iraq. Ferguson's platoon first entered the country April 1 for a four-day mission patrolling the Kuwaiti borders looking for Baath Party members. They returned to Kuwait and began the trek through Iraq again April 8. "Those first couple of weeks of the war were crazy," Rodriguez said, recounting how his platoon raided weapons caches, manned checkpoints and took prisoners of war. "We were a quick reaction force," Rodriguez said, adding they fought and worked side by side with the 3rd Infantry Division. Eventually the battalion was stationed at Talil Air Base -- also called George Bush International Airport -- near Nasariyah, providing security. Ferguson said they lived in foxholes and the temperatures climbed to 135 degrees. There were no luxuries, no bathing, no clean clothes, no ice, no reprieve from the heat, they said. Rodriguez went without showering for 45 consecutive days, Ferguson for 31 days. "The heat would drive you mad at times. There wasn't a whole lot to keep you happy. We'd spend 12-hour shifts watching a line in the sand," Ferguson said. He said there also were concerns about where the soldiers were located. He said Talil was where Saddam Hussein launched chemical weapons to gas his own people. The chemicals may have been remaining in the sand. "Some guys had their fingernails fall off," he said about fellow soldiers. Others had memory loss and bloody noses, he said. In early August, the 293rd was sent back to Kuwait to await a trip home. But they were caught in the discussion about whether or not the military would be extending deployment for the troops, they said. While in Kuwait, they worked security. In mid-September they received word their time wouldn't be extended, and they would be coming home. Changes Being plucked from the Hoosier heartland and landing in the Iraqi desert changes a person, Ferguson said. "We live like a king compared to the people over there," he said, adding many of the Iraqis live with no running water, sewers and little food. "I'm glad to be an American. "What you see on TV is 100 percent less impactive than what you see for yourself," he said. The two also are concerned about conflicts between media coverage and what they've seen with their own eyes. While they encountered a few Iraqis who resented the American presence, that wasn't their predominant experience. "Everybody I encountered was thankful. They'd wave when you go by. They'd try and mob us and shake our hands. They'd say they love George Bush and America," Rodriguez said. "Even people who didn't have a lot of food would offer you something," Ferguson added. Ferguson is especially passionate about doubts of America's involvement in the region. "Didn't getting rid of a tyrant and someone who committed genocide make it worth it? Everyone talks about weapons of mass destruction and wants to know why we haven't found a nuclear bomb. We've found Scud missiles and barrels of nerve gas. It's not a nuclear bomb we are looking for, it is something that will kill a large group of people. We've found weapons of mass destruction, they're just not what the media claims they should be," Ferguson said. The two said they were touched by the support they received from home, including letters from schoolchildren and church organizations and packages from people they never knew. They hope that support continues for the soldiers who remain in Iraq. Their futures When the two returned home this week for a few days, they spent their time with family and close friends. Ferguson said he spent a day talking to students at PHS, telling them his story. "It was great talking to the kids," said Ferguson, who 18 months ago was student at the school. "When I was away, it felt like it was forever, but when I walked those halls and met my teachers, I felt more like I was at home." Rodriguez said he wants to spend time with his family. His absence has been difficult for his mother, as his father, Robert, a U.S. Army Reservist, was called into duty about the same time and remains at Fort Bragg, N.C., with a medical support company. "I went golfing with my brother (Tuesday) and watched the Cubs game," he said. Both Ferguson and Rodriguez are Cubs fans and caught as many of the first round of playoffs via satellite while still in Kuwait. "As much as I love the Army, as much as I'd love to get deployed again, I don't want to go there again," Ferguson said. Instead, he plans to go back to college, initially to Purdue North Central and then to West Lafayette to study computer technology. After getting his degree, he wants to join the Army for two years and become a drill sergeant. After his discharge, he wants to rejoin the Guard and become a JROTC instructor. "I want to mold kids," Ferguson said. Rodriguez will take some time off, get a job and return to school in January to complete his degree, graduating in December 2004. As for his future military career, he's unsure. "I'm not as excited about it as Adam, but we'll see when the time comes, when my contract expires," he said.

Washington Times 9 Oct. 2003 www.washingtontimes.com Amnesty for U.S. citizens boosted By Betsy Pisik NEW YORK - The Bush administration has negotiated agreements protecting Americans from prosecution by the International Criminal Court with more than five dozen nations, knitting together a partial shield to protect U.S. citizens from politically motivated prosecutions. As of this week, 68 governments have signed treaties with the United States promising not to surrender American soldiers, lawmakers or civilians to the court's jurisdiction. About half of these countries are parties to the ICC. The so-called Article 98 agreements have outraged legal analysts who support the ICC. The pacts also have created rifts in the European Union; some governments in the bloc would like to sign them but cannot because of a negotiated common position in support of the court. So sensitive is the issue in some countries that more than a dozen governments, including those of Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan, have signed agreements but declined to announce that to their publics. Other countries that signed such pacts in confidence include Kuwait, Morocco and Bangladesh, U.S. officials told The Washington Times. The officials say the bilateral agreements are not an ironclad protection for U.S. citizens but are the best the Bush administration can do right now. "It covers us in a lot of regions in the world," said John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. "There may be other protections we need to seek - no one says the Article 98 agreements are all we need. But for now, that's what we're pursuing." The two-page agreements - named after Article 98 of the ICC treaty that provides for such exemptions - essentially say that the other government will not turn over to the international court any American soldier, official, businessman, journalist, aid worker or other person accused of a war crime. Some nations have sought, and received, a reciprocal assurance. But other nations that have signed on to the court statute feel they cannot request amnesty for their own citizens. U.S. officials have negotiated immunity deals with roughly one-third of the members of the United Nations, including with nations where U.S. soldiers are deployed, such as Afghanistan, the Philippines and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The State Department announced yesterday that Liberia, which was host to U.S. forces earlier this year, has become the latest country to sign an Article 98 agreement with Washington. Critics say that small nations and recipients of U.S. military aid figure disproportionately on the list. Few agreements have been negotiated with Western European capitals or strategic powers. "I'd feel better if I saw France and Russia on that list instead of, uh, Tuvalu," said one congressional staffer. "Is this significant protection for our soldiers? I don't know." The agreements were reached during two years of intense but low-key military and diplomatic negotiations in which U.S. officials wielded a variety of carrots and sticks. A half-dozen of the agreements were signed last month, and administration officials said a half-dozen more will be inked shortly. A pro-ICC umbrella organization said recently that more than $80 million in U.S. foreign aid and military assistance was jeopardized by the refusal of certain governments to shield Americans from the court's reach. The United States was an early supporter of the ICC, which was conceived as a permanent tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity, genocide and other atrocities of war. But as the court took shape, negotiators gave it "universal jurisdiction," meaning that it has the right to try citizens of nations that have chosen not to recognize the court's jurisdiction. Last year, Congress passed the American Servicemembers Protection Act, which forbids U.S. cooperation with the tribunal and appears to authorize the use of force to rescue U.S. citizens in the dock. That law also cuts off military assistance to non-NATO allies unless they agree not to transfer American citizens to The Hague-based court. Despite significant pressure from the United States, 92 nations have ratified the treaty creating the ICC, called the Rome Statute after the city where the drafting convention was held. There is no statute of limitations for war crimes, but the court cannot hear cases that predate its entry into force on July 1 last year. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has said the court's first investigation will deal with war crimes committed since then in Congo. Since the ICC came into force, Washington has undertaken several negotiations to defang the court. U.S. diplomats have amended U.N. Security Council resolutions to bar ICC prosecution of any citizen or soldier connected to peacekeeping missions in East Timor and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Another U.S.-backed resolution exempts all soldiers in U.N.-authorized peacekeeping missions and multinational forces. That one-year exemption was recently renewed, and the Bush administration says it expects it to be rolled over annually. But the efforts have angered nations that support the court and resent Washington's efforts to protect its citizens. They say the protections are not needed in any case. It would be almost impossible for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq to come before the court, legal experts say, since the country is not a signatory and cannot refer purported crimes to the court. But U.S. officials point out that any country can arrest and turn over a person accused by the court, and warn that as the ICC becomes better established, more governments are likely to join. For that reason, U.S. officials plan to continue negotiating exemptions with any government that will discuss them, even if it is not a party to the court. "If you find a rock with a flag on it, we'll negotiate an agreement," one U.S. official said last week.

UCCLA 13 Oct 2003 www.uccla.ca Campaign Targets The New York Times An international campaign, "Do The Right Thing," directed to the publisher of The New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, began today. Organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in collaboration with Ukrainian organizations from around the world, it hopes to persuade Mr Sulzberger to return the 1932 Pulitzer Prize awarded to the late Walter Duranty. Duranty is now widely recognized as having been a Soviet apologist who filed many misleading reports about conditions in the USSR while writing for The New York Times during the early 1930s. In particular, he has been condemned for covering up the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine. Many millions of people perished during this politically engineered famine. That Duranty knew the truth is evident from the fact that he privately informed the British government, in September 1933, that as many as 10 million people had died as a result of famine conditions during the past year. In public, however, Duranty dismissed all such reports, going even further by vilifying those journalists who courageously reported the truth about this man-made famine. The fourth Saturday of every November has been set aside as an official day of national mourning in Ukraine to recall this Soviet crime against humanity. Commenting on this new campaign, UCCLA's direction of research, Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, said: " In May of this year we requested that the Pulitzer Prize Committee revoke Walter Duranty's prize, given his indisputable role as Stalin's apologist, before, during and after the genocidal Great Famine. We understand that the Committee is considering doing so and will announce its decision in November. Tens of thousands of people from around the world supported our first campaign and millions of Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine now await the Committee's decision, trusting they will do what is right. Certainly revoking Duranty's distinction would ensure that the Pulitzer Prize is not denigrated by being associated with the name of a self-serving apologist for mass murder. We are now also turning to Mr Sulzberger and asking him to return the Duranty award to the Pulitzer Prize Committee, regardless of what the latter might decide, ensuring that The New York Times, a newspaper with an international reputation for the highest standards of reporting, is not befouled by any continuing association with Walter Duranty or a prize that he did not merit, given his betrayal of the most fundamental principles of journalism."

Brattleboro Reformer 14 Oct 2003 www.reformer.com UMass, S.I.T. may join for peace PhD By MICHAEL NEARY Special to the Reformer Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - AMHERST, Mass. -- Striving to bring the study of peace-making and violence-prevention to the tiniest -- and the broadest -- phases of human behavior, officials at the University of Massachusetts have finalized plans to add a doctoral concentration in the "Psychology of Peace and the Prevention of Violence" to the psychology department's offerings next year. Melinda Novak, the chairwoman of the psychology department, said the discipline of psychology contained enormous peace-making potential because of its great breadth. "Psychology is one of the broadest of any disciplines you can find," she said Friday in her office. "It runs the gamut from cells to selves." Department officials say this may be the world's first doctoral concentration in psychology to focus on peace and violence-prevention. "As far as I know," said Ervin Staub, a psychology professor who will direct the concentration, "there is no program like this anywhere." Staub also noted a potential for cooperation with the School for International Training in Brattleboro, which offers master's degrees and conducts short-term programs in conflict resolution. "There is a definite overlap in our interests and objectives," he said, adding that he hoped members of each institution could serve as mutual resources. The new concentration is a first step, according to Novak, to creating a program that cuts across departmental boundaries. "As we add faculty to this area, it may turn into an interdisciplinary program," she said. She noted that the department would admit students to the concentration in the fall and would hire a new faculty member to bolster course offerings and to conduct research. The concentration will be run out of the social-personality psychology division of the department. The new concentration was facilitated by a $2.5 million contribution from two anonymous donors, along with $1 million in matching funds from the state. Staub, who talked extensively with the donors, said several factors led them to choose the University of Massachusetts, including its surrounding community. "They thought this area -- the kind of climate and spirit of this area -- was congenial to (the project)," he said. Staub also said his own research in the field assured the donors that "the program would be in good hands," and he noted that they were impressed with the psychology department as a whole when they visited campus. Novak said the donors were looking at a number of institutions -- including the University of California at Berkeley -- but chose the University of Massachusetts largely on Staub's international reputation. "Erv Staub is the reason they looked at us," she said. "He's the top expert, I believe, in the United States in this kind of work." Staub, whose published work includes the book, "The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence," has forged a bond between psychology and peacemaking by taking his expertise directly to regions traumatized by conflict. He said the proliferation of such work -- along with its documentation -- could constitute a key goal of the university's new concentration. Staub explained in a phone interview a project he and trauma specialist Laurie Pearlman conducted in Rwanda in 2000. He and Pearlman trained a group of Rwandan facilitators -- people who were already working in local organizations -- to counsel people suffering the effects of the catastrophic violence in that country. The people counseled by the facilitators, Staub explained, experienced reductions in trauma and developed more positive attitudes toward other groups within the country. Staub said that when he and others working on the project tried to place the results -- which have not yet been published -- in context with other research, they found a dearth of studies about the effectiveness of peace education in regions of conflict. "They are pretty much non-existent," he said of such studies, noting that the new concentration at the university could spark research in the field. But Staub -- whose research ranges from international conflict to school violence to community-police relations -- added that the new program could treat peace and violence-prevention on local as well as on international levels. Novak said a number of faculty members in the department were already studying areas that could contribute to the concentration. She cited lying, victimization and "automatic prejudice," all as areas under examination by faculty. Nilanjana Dasgupta, an assistant professor in the department whose research lies in automatic prejudice, described the "contact hypothesis" as fertile territory for the study of peace and violence-prevention. She said individuals also tended to amend their attitudes once they learned the history of opposing groups. "When people feel that they see the group that they think is oppressing them in a position of weakness," said Dasgupta, "that's when they probably realize that that group's history is real." Dasgupta cited a talk given earlier Friday at the university by Gavriel Salomon, a psychology professor visiting from the University of Haifa in Israel. Salomon, talking largely about the Middle East, posed the question "Does peace education make a difference in the context of an intractable context?" He concluded that it did, based on studies conducted with Palestinian and Israeli students. But both Salomon and Dasgupta reiterated Friday that little research existed in the area of peace and violence-prevention -- a problem university officials hope the new doctoral concentration will at least begin to confront.

WP 20 Oct 2003 Elite U.S. Unit Killed Hundreds of Vietnamese Civilians, Report Says Army Investigation Into 1967 Rampage Was Closed Without Charges Associated Press Monday, October 20, 2003; Page A02 TOLEDO, Oct. 19 -- An elite unit of U.S. soldiers mutilated and killed hundreds of unarmed villagers over seven months in 1967 during the Vietnam War, and an Army investigation was closed with no charges filed, the Blade newspaper reported. Soldiers of the Tiger Force unit of the Army's 101st Airborne Division dropped grenades into bunkers where villagers -- including women and children -- hid, and shot farmers without warning, the newspaper reported. Soldiers told the Blade that they severed ears from the dead and strung them on shoelaces to wear around their necks. The Army's 41/2-year investigation, never before made public, was initiated by a soldier outraged at the killings. The probe substantiated 20 war crimes by 18 soldiers and reached the Pentagon and White House before it was closed in 1975, the Blade said. William Doyle, a former Tiger Force sergeant now living in Willow Springs, Mo., said he killed so many civilians in 1967 he lost count. "We didn't expect to live. Nobody out there with any brains expected to live," he told the newspaper. "The way to live is to kill because you don't have to worry about anybody who's dead." In an eight-month investigation, the Blade reviewed thousands of classified Army documents, National Archives records and radio logs and interviewed former members of the unit and relatives of those who died. Tiger Force, a unit of 45 volunteers, was created to spy on forces of North Vietnam in South Vietnam's central highlands. The Blade said it is not known how many Vietnamese civilians were killed. Records show at least 78 were shot or stabbed, the newspaper said. Based on interviews with former Tiger Force soldiers and Vietnamese civilians, it is estimated the unit killed hundreds of unarmed people, the Blade said. Army spokesman Joe Burlas said that only three Tiger Force members were on active duty during the investigation. He said their commanders, acting on the advice of military attorneys, determined there was not enough evidence for successful prosecution. The only way to prosecute the soldiers was under court-martial procedures, which apply only to active military members, Burlas said. He also cited a lack of physical evidence and access to the crime scene because a number of years had passed. He would not comment on why the military did not seek the evidence sooner. Investigators took 400 sworn statements from witnesses, Burlas said. Some supported one another and some conflicted, he said. According to the Blade, the rampage began in May 1967. No one knows what set it off. Less than a week after setting up camp in the central highlands, soldiers began torturing and killing prisoners in violation of U.S. military law and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the newspaper said. Sgt. Forrest Miller told Army investigators the killing of prisoners was "an unwritten law." Other soldiers said they sought revenge in the villages after unit members were killed and injured during sniper and grenade attacks. "Everybody was bloodthirsty at the time, saying, 'We're going to get them back,' " former medic Rion Causey of Livermore, Calif., told the Blade. Soldiers often cited conflicting views of commanders as a reason they killed unarmed people. Some commanders told investigators that civilians could be targeted in certain circumstances; others said they could never be attacked. During the Army's investigation, 27 soldiers said severing ears from dead Vietnamese became routine. "There was a period when just about everyone had a necklace of ears," former platoon medic Larry Cottingham told investigators. The atrocities carried out by the unit came just months before the killing of about 500 Vietnamese civilians by an Army unit in 1968 at My Lai. In the years after that, top military officials promised to take war crime accusations seriously. But records from the Tiger Force case show that did not happen, the Blade said. The newspaper found that commanders knew about the platoon's atrocities and in some cases encouraged the soldiers to continue the violence. Two soldiers who tried to stop the attacks were warned by their commanders to remain quiet before transferring to other units, according to military records. The newspaper also said Army investigators learned about the atrocities in 1971 but took a year to interview witnesses. Two investigators pretended to look into the allegations while encouraging soldiers to keep quiet, soldiers told the Blade. Four military legal experts who reviewed the Army's final report for the newspaper questioned the case's abrupt end. "There should have been a [military grand jury] investigation of some kind done on this," said H. Wayne Elliott, a retired Army officer who teaches military law at the University of Virginia. "I just can't believe this wasn't a pretty high-profile thing in the Pentagon." Former platoon members still could be prosecuted or sanctioned by the Army, but legal experts say that is unlikely because of the time that has elapsed. Part of the unit's mission was to force villagers to move to refugee centers so they could not grow rice to feed the enemy. Many refused to go to the centers, which resembled prisons and lacked food. "They wanted to stay on their land. They took no side in the war," Lu Thuan, 67, a farmer, recalled as he sat in his home in the Song Ve Valley. The soldiers began burning villages to force the people to leave, the Blade said. One night, an elderly carpenter was beaten with a rifle before the unit's field commander, Lt. James Hawkins, shot and killed him as he pleaded for his life. Hawkins denied the allegations when questioned by Army investigators in 1973. But he told the Blade he killed the man because his voice was loud enough to draw enemy attention. "I eliminated that right there," said Hawkins, who retired from the Army in 1978 and now lives in Orlando. In another incident, two partially blind men found wandering in the valley were shot to death, records show. While approaching a rice paddy on July 28, 1967, platoon members opened fire on 10 elderly farmers. Four were killed. Kieu Trac, now 72, recalled watching helplessly as his father fell. "All they were doing was working in the fields," he said, pointing to the spot where his father and the others were killed. "They thought the soldiers would leave them alone." William Carpenter, who lives just outside the town of Rayland near the Ohio-West Virginia border, told the newspaper he did not fire his weapon. "It was wrong," he said. "Those people weren't bothering anybody." Villagers said they dug dozens of mass graves after the soldiers moved through the valley. "We wouldn't even have meals because of the smell," said rice farmer Nguyen Dam, 66, interviewed in his home. "I couldn't breathe the air sometimes. There were so many villagers who died, we couldn't bury them one by one." Of the 43 former platoon members interviewed by the Blade, a dozen expressed remorse for either committing or failing to stop the atrocities, and 10 have been diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder.

www.toledoblade.com 19 Oct 2003 Other Vietnam atrocities Navy SEALs Feb. 25, 1969 Before becoming a U.S. senator from Nebraska, Bob Kerrey led a seven-member Navy SEAL team on a midnight raid of an isolated hamlet, Thang Phong, in an unsuccessful search for a Viet Cong leader. The team’s most senior member, Gerhard Klann, said at least 13 unarmed women and children were rounded up and shot. Mr. Kerrey and another SEAL said they fired into huts in self-defense, later finding dead women and children inside. The incident was first chronicled in an April, 2001, article in The New York Times. Army, 173rd Airborne Brigade 1968/1969 Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert, an inspector general and battalion commander, gave interviews to national news media, spoke to Playboy magazine, and wrote a book, Soldier, alleging the Army covered up war crimes by various units in the brigade and forced him out for trying to investigate them. Army criminal investigators probed 21 allegations of misconduct and substantiated seven cases involving the mistreatment of prisoners and civilians. But some Army officials and the CBS show 60 Minutes questioned the colonel’s credibility. The retired colonel sued the show’s producer, resulting in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on plaintiffs’ rights in a libel lawsuit. But his case was later dismissed. 1st Marine Division Feb. 19, 1970 A five-man team went on a search-and-destroy mission for Viet Cong in a small village, Son Thang, ordering 16 women and children from three huts and executing them. Within a day, the Marines began investigating, resulting in convictions of Pvts. Michael Schwarz and Samuel Green. Schwarz was sentenced to life imprisonment and Green to five years. Both sentences later were reduced to one year. One Marine wasn’t tried and two were acquitted, including Pvt. Randall Herrod, who led the team. Private Herrod got help at trial from then-Lt. Oliver North, who credited the private with saving his life in Vietnam http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SRTIGERFORCE

www.toledoblade.com 19 Oct 2003 Experts: Earlier Tiger Force probe could have averted My Lai carnage By MICHAEL D. SALLAH and MITCH WEISS BLADE STAFF WRITERS © THE BLADE, 2003 MY LAI, Vietnam - Just before dawn, the ritual begins. People gather around stone statues, some whispering prayers, others crying. Every year, hundreds of Vietnamese travel to the memorial that marks the day the soldiers swept into the tiny village before sunrise expecting to meet enemy soldiers. Instead, the soldiers found a thriving hamlet. In just 41/2 hours, the U.S. Army's 11th Brigade went on a rampage that shook the American military to its core.When it was over, about 500 people lay dead - unarmed men, women, and children - some herded into a ditch and sprayed with bullets, their bloodied bodies stacked on top of one another. Much has been written about the slaughter on March 16, 1968, that helped turn the American public against the war. The assaults spawned books and magazine articles - with stark images of women and babies in a mass grave. Thirty-five years later, the My Lai massacre shares powerful parallels with the Tiger Force war-crime case. Both Army units patrolled the same province. Both set up their camps in the same military base. Both carried out the same missions: search and destroy - just 10 miles apart. But there was a key difference. Tiger Force arrived in the province six months before the 11th Brigade. Shortly after their arrival, the Tigers began mutilating bodies, killing civilians, and executing prisoners, the soldiers later told investigators. The atrocities, brought to the Army's attention in 1967, now raise a critical question: If the Army had reacted to those complaints, could safeguards have been in place to avert the rampage at My Lai? Military experts say the massacre was merely the culmination of the Army's failure to take steps to stop the violence that had been growing against the people of Quang Ngai province. "There's no doubt that My Lai could have been prevented had the Army cracked down on atrocities," said Michael Belknap, a law professor and Vietnam veteran who authored the 2003 book, The Vietnam War On Trial. "Remember, they heard rumors. They suspected some troops were out of control," he said. Months before the arrival of Lt. William Calley's 11th Brigade unit in Quang Ngai province, Tiger Force already was establishing itself there as a rogue unit. A review of thousands of Army records, including affidavits, battle reports, and logs, shows: w Two soldiers, Lt. Donald Wood and Sgt. Gerald Bruner, told investigators in 1974 they complained to commanders in August, 1967, that Tiger Force platoon leaders were killing unarmed civilians. But the attacks continued. w Tiger Force Sgt. Leo Heaney and two other soldiers were ordered to sign affidavits in May, 1967, that they were not mutilating bodies after a severed ear was discovered in an Army helicopter. But the platoon continued the practice of cutting off the ears of enemy soldiers and civilians. w One battalion officer, Dr. Bradford Mutchler, told investigators in 1975 that commanders were aware of rumors of Tiger Force war crimes in 1967 but did not investigate in fear of what might be uncovered. Beyond the records, other signs existed that could have alerted the Army to Tiger Force's practices. In 1966, journalist Ward Just wrote in the book, To What End, that one Tiger Force soldier was sending the ears of his dead enemies through the mail to his wife in the United States. Jonathan Schell wrote articles for the New Yorker magazine in 1967, saying that soldiers from the 101st Airborne admitted to war crimes in the province but refused to provide details. The articles didn't mention Tiger Force, which was part of the 101st Airborne. Several military historians said they had long suspected a dangerous pattern of abuse against civilians in the province - eventually culminating with the massacre at My Lai. But they said the alleged practices had always been vague and unsubstantiated until now. "It's something we knew was going on, but no one ever came forward with the details," said Dr. David Anderson, editor of the 1998 book, Facing My Lai. The lead Army prosecutor in the My Lai case said he tried to get information about prior war crimes in the province. "We had long suspected that things were getting out of hand there, but it was tough getting the South Vietnamese to cooperate," said William Eckhardt, a law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Prosecutors wanted the information to help bolster their case that My Lai was the consequence of an out-of-control Army in the province, he said. Experts say the Army could have reacted to complaints about Tiger Force by alerting commanders - and investigating the accusations immediately. "That would have sent a clear message that this was not going to be tolerated," said Dr. Anderson, a Vietnam veteran. More intensive training on war crimes and treatment of civilians could have been implemented in Quang Ngai province. Dr. Anderson and others say the troops' exposure to international laws in 1967 was minimal: Soldiers were given a brief lecture and a pocket card with nine rules on the proper way to treat civilians. Until the My Lai massacre, investigating war crimes in Vietnam was not a priority among commanders, records show. In fact, the attack was covered up until an outraged veteran, Ron Ridenhour, wrote letters to congressional and military officials a year later. After an Army probe, Calley and others eventually were charged with war crimes, including murder. Of those tried, only Calley was convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison, but his term eventually was reduced to 10 years. After several appeals, he was paroled in 1975 after serving 31/2 years under house arrest. His assault more than three decades ago is still considered one of the worst U.S. war atrocities of the last century. Mr. Belknap, an Army lieutenant during the Vietnam War, said My Lai continues to be studied by military historians, but perhaps a greater understanding can be gained by looking at the events that led to the massacre. "What [the Army] never learned - until it was too late - is that you can't just kill unarmed civilians."

BBC 20 Oct 2003 US shuns Vietnam war crimes probe The Pentagon says there is no justification for reopening the case The US Defence Department says it will not reopen investigations into alleged Vietnam War atrocities, despite new claims. According to an investigation by the Ohio-based Toledo Blade newspaper, the elite Tiger Force unit of the Army's 101st Airborne Division killed hundreds of unarmed villagers over seven months in 1967. Soldiers told the newspaper they had severed ears from the dead, stringing them on shoelaces to wear around their necks, and had dropped grenades into bunkers where children and women were taking refuge. But a Pentagon statement said the case was more than 30 years old and there was no new or compelling evidence to justify reopening it. An earlier investigation had been closed in 1975, even though it had established that members of the unit had committed war crimes. 'Hundreds killed' The Blade for eight months reviewed thousands of classified army documents, national archive records and radio logs and interviewed former members of the unit and relatives of those who died. Based on interviews with former Tiger Force soldiers it estimated the unit killed hundreds of unarmed people. The way to live is to kill because you don't have to worry about anybody who's dead William Doyle In one incident, two partially blind men found wandering in a valley were shot dead, records show. Platoon members had opened fire on 10 elderly farmers, killing four, on approaching a rice paddy. "We didn't expect to live. Nobody out there with any brains expected to live. The way to live is to kill because you don't have to worry about anybody who's dead," William Doyle, a former Tiger Force sergeant now living in Missouri, told the newspaper. Tiger Force, a unit of 45 volunteers, was created to spy on North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam's central highlands. When the army investigation of the unit's alleged atrocities took place only three members were on active duty, said US army spokesman Joe Burlas. The only way to prosecute the soldiers was under court-martial procedures, which apply only to active military members, he said. Commanders, acting on the advice of military attorneys, determined there was not enough evidence for successful prosecution. Legal experts say former platoon members could still be prosecuted or sanctioned by the army but that this is unlikely because of the time that has elapsed.

NYT October 23, 2003 Times Should Lose Pulitzer From 30's, Consultant to Paper Says By JACQUES STEINBERG A Columbia University history professor hired by The New York Times to make an independent assessment of the coverage of one of its correspondents in the Soviet Union during the 1930's said yesterday that the Pulitzer Prize the reporter received should be rescinded because of his "lack of balance" in covering Stalin's government. The Times had asked the professor, Mark von Hagen, to examine the coverage of the correspondent, Walter Duranty, after receiving a letter in early July from the Pulitzer Prize Board seeking its comment. In its letter to The Times, the board said it was responding to "a new round of demands" that the prize awarded to Mr. Duranty in 1932 be revoked. The most vocal demands came from Ukrainian- Americans who contended that Mr. Duranty should be punished for failing to report on a famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933. In his report to The Times, Professor von Hagen described the coverage for which Mr. Duranty won the Pulitzer — his writing in 1931, a year before the onset of the famine — as a "dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources." "That lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of the Soviet self- justification for its cruel and wasteful regime," the professor wrote, "was a disservice to the American readers of The New York Times and the liberal values they subscribe to and to the historical experience of the peoples of the Russian and Soviet empires and their struggle for a better life." In his eight-page report, Professor von Hagen, an expert on early 20th-century Russian history, did not address whether the Pulitzer Board should revoke the award it gave to Mr. Duranty. Mr. Duranty died in 1957. But in comments first published yesterday in The New York Sun, Professor von Hagen said he believed the board should indeed take such action. He echoed those remarks in an interview last evening with The Times. "They should take it away for the greater honor and glory of The New York Times," he said. "He really was kind of a disgrace in the history of The New York Times." That The Times regretted the lapses in Mr. Duranty's coverage was apparent as early as 1986, in a review of Robert Conquest's "The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine" (Oxford University Press). In the review, Craig R. Whitney, who reported for The Times from Moscow from 1977 to 1980, wrote that Mr. Duranty "denied the existence of the famine in his dispatches until it was almost over, despite much evidence to the contrary that was published in his own paper at the time." Four years later, the author S. J. Taylor wrote in the Oxford book "Stalin's Apologist," a biography sharply critical of the correspondent, that Mr. Duranty had given little credence to the famine. In response, The Times assigned a member of its editorial board, Karl E. Meyer, to write a signed editorial about Mr. Duranty's work. Mr. Meyer concluded that the articles written by Mr. Duranty contained "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper." Around that time, in response to critics of Mr. Duranty's coverage, the Pulitzer Board began an inquiry into whether to rescind his Pulitzer, but ultimately decided to let the award stand. This past July, after the Pulitzer Board began another inquiry, The Times engaged Professor von Hagen and forwarded his report on July 29. In a cover letter accompanying the report, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The Times, wrote that "over the past two decades, The Times has often acknowledged that Duranty's slovenly work should have been recognized for what it was by his editors and by his Pulitzer judges seven decades ago." Mr. Sulzberger wrote that the newspaper did not have Mr. Duranty's prize, and thus could not "return" it. While careful to advise the board that the newspaper would "respect" its decision on whether to rescind the award, Mr. Sulzberger asked the board to consider two things. First, he wrote, such an action might evoke the "Stalinist practice to airbrush purged figures out of official records and histories." He also wrote of his fear that "the board would be setting a precedent for revisiting its judgments over many decades." In an interview last night, Bill Keller, the newspaper's executive editor, said he concurred with Mr. Sulzberger. "It's absolutely true that the work Duranty did, at least as much of it as I've read, was credulous, uncritical parroting of propaganda," said Mr. Keller, who covered the Soviet Union for The Times from 1986 to 1991. And yet, Mr. Keller added, "As someone who spent time in the Soviet Union while it still existed, the notion of airbrushing history kind of gives me the creeps."

WP 23 Oct 2003 N.Y. Times Agrees 1932 Pulitzer Prize Was Not Deserved By Howard Kurtz Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 23, 2003; Page C08 The executive editor of the New York Times said yesterday that the paper has no objection if the Pulitzer Prize board wants to revoke an award granted to one of its reporters 71 years ago. Stepping into a simmering controversy over whether Walter Duranty deserved the prize for his largely favorable reporting on Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, Bill Keller said the paper has notified the board that the Times considers Duranty's work "pretty dreadful . . . . It was a parroting of propaganda." After a review conducted by a history professor, Keller said, the Times essentially told the board in a letter that "it's up to you to decide whether to take it back. We can't unaward it. Here's our assessment of the guy's work: His work was clearly not prizeworthy." Columbia University professor Mark von Hagen said he found that the Moscow correspondent's 1931 work "was a disgrace to the New York Times. There's no one there who disagrees with me. They acknowledged that his is some of the worst journalism they ever published." The Pulitzer board, which is based at Columbia, has been reviewing Duranty's 1932 award for months. Sig Gissler, the board's administrator, said that "this is a confidential internal review and it's ongoing" but declined to elaborate. Duranty has been posthumously under fire for years for whitewashing Stalin's murderous excesses. Von Hagen, confirming a report in the New York Sun, said he was "appalled that the New York Times had a reporter like this who continued to write Stalinist justifications for what was going on there." The Times ordered the study soon after Howell Raines resigned as executive editor in June, in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal. The paper had previously maintained that there was no point in revisiting ancient history. Keller said the Times has long since stopped defending Duranty and posted a note next to his picture in the paper's Pulitzer hallway saying that many people had discredited his work. But the board may face a dilemma. As Keller noted, the prize was awarded for Duranty's work in 1931, which was mostly about Stalin's economic plan and interviews with the Soviet leader. But Duranty is notorious in historical terms for grossly understating the massive famine that killed millions in the Ukraine in 1932-33, during the forced collectivization of Soviet farms. A 1933 article by Duranty was headlined "Famine Toll Heavy in Southern Russia." The lead, however, said: "The excellent harvest about to be gathered shows that any report of a famine in Russia today is an exaggeration or malignant propaganda." Said Keller: "The stuff he wrote in '31 was awful. The stuff he wrote in '33 was shameful. If the Pulitzer board wants to say you can have your prize revoked for subsequent behavior, that's their right." But he said other prize- winners might face similar complaints. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which has led the protests against Duranty's prize and likened it to the Blair saga, says that more than 15,000 postcards and letters have been sent to the board. Von Hagen's study said Duranty's 1931 reporting was "distorted" and displayed a "lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of the Soviet self-justification for its cruel and wasteful regime." The report added that "several foreign correspondents fell under Stalin's spell to a certain extent, as Duranty clearly did, especially if they had been granted the privilege of an interview with the great man." The Pulitzer board decided to examine the Duranty case in April, before Blair's fabrications surfaced. The board looked at the matter once before, in 1990, after publication of "Stalin's Apologist," a book by S.J. Taylor that accused Duranty of covering up for Stalin's brutal regime. At the time, the board said in a statement, it gave "extensive consideration to requests for revocation of the prize to Mr. Duranty -- which would have been unprecedented -- and decided unanimously against withdrawing a prize awarded in a different era and under different circumstances."

www.infoshop.org 24 Oct 2003 [Anarchist, Activist and Alternative News] HOW THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT IS BLOWING IT by Bill Weinberg Raining on a parade--or, in this case, an anti-war march--isn't likely to win one popularity contests. But somebody has got to raise the alarm. The upcoming Oct. 25 march in Washington DC is being billed as a revitalization of the movement which made history with coordinated worldwide protests against the looming US-led assualt on Iraq Feb. 15. But the new mobilization actually represents a dangerous step backwards for the anti-war forces in the US. This effort displays more sanctimony than analysis, and the sloppy thinking in evidence is unlikely to do more than further marginalize opposition to the occupation of Iraq. The new campaign is failing on three broad imperatives that are essential for an effective movement. Without principled alliances and moral consistency we have no authority to criticize Bush's policies. Without a realistic sense of our own power we are dooming ourselves to a cycle of empty (if self-righteous) enthusiasm followed by burn-out and demoralization. And without asking the tough questions we stand zero chance of ever coming up with meaningful answers. 1. Principled Alliances and Moral Consistency One of the reasons Feb. 15 represented such an important step forward for anti- war organizing in the United States was the emergence of the new coalition United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), which coordinated the protests nationally. Prior to this, most national anti-war organizing fell under the auspices of International ANSWER. The dirty open secret on the American left--universally, but rarely openly, acknowledged--is that ANSWER is led at its core by an outfit called the International Action Center (IAC), which is itself a front group for the reactionary and Stalin-nostalgist Workers World Party. What nobody wants to say out loud is clearly evident: IAC and Workers World support genocide. IAC's frontman, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, is a founding member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, and IAC routinely dismissed accounts of the atrocities against Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians as imperialist "lies." Even now, IAC supports Milosevic almost without reservation, portraying him as a defender of socialism. During the worst of the Bosnia bloodshed, IAC4s Clark travelled to Bosnia to meet with Serb strongman Radovan Karadzic (now indicted on war crimes charges) and offer his support. Workers World also supported Deng Xiaoping in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, portraying the protesters as "counter-revolutionaries." In 1991, Workers World split the movement aganst Desert Storm by refusing to condemn Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. In the ensuing years, Clark and IAC dismissed human rights allegations against Saddam as more imperialist propaganda. Workers World Party--whose cadre such as Brian Becker are ANSWER's most visible spokespersons--is a vigorous apologist of mass murder. The progress that was made in the Feb. 15 mobilization towards bringing legitimate leadership to the anti-war movement has now been reversed, as UFPJ and ANSWER have joined forces for the Oct. 25 rally. The movement has squandered its moral credibility by accepting ANSWER's leadership. We have no authority to oppose US occupation and aggression in Iraq when we are literally rallying around leaders who actively supported occupation and aggression in Bosnia and elsewhere--even in Iraq, where Workers World has asserted that Saddam's gassing of the Kurds was just another imperialist lie. The frequent response to this criticism is that nobody will notice that our movement is led by genocide-apologists, and it is more important to oppose the occupation of Iraq. This cowardly and hypocritical position undercuts our effectiveness by giving our enemies an iron-clad accusation of double standards to use against us. Moreover, the willingness to throw principles to the wind makes us look desperate--like what, in fact, we have largely become: a movement with no real faith in its own power. 2. A Realistic Sense of Our Own Power The cynicism which has led to the tactically and ethically disastrous alliance with ANSWER is, paradoxically, the flipside of a naive utopianism. "People marched and demonstrated a whole lot to try to stop the war, and we weren't able to," UFPJ's Leslie Cagan was quoted in the Washington Post Oct. 19. "That had, I think, for some segments of the activist community, a little bit of a demoralizing effect." The notion that the Feb. 15 mobilization was going to "stop the war" is a simple denial of political reality. Equally so is the notion that the mobilization was not worthwhile because it failed to "stop the war." Millions worldwide in the streets clearly would not deter Bush, but it almost certainly helped sway others in positions of power to rein in the worst excesses of what Bush had planned. The "shock and awe" bombardment of Baghdad was to have dwarfed the massive aerial bombardment of 1991's Operation Desert Storm, with Pentagon officials actually calling it a "21st Century Blitzkrieg." In the actual fact, far fewer missiles fell on Baghdad in 2003 than in 1991. The London Times reported May 2 that the Pentagon cut the planned bombing campaign in half after the commander of British forces in the Persian Gulf argued that it would have disastrous political consequences. Many factors doubtless played into this thinking, including the threat of unrest in the Middle East, the risk of defection or destabilization of pro-West Arab regimes-- and, we can safely assume, the global wave of protests. The Feb. 15 mobilizaiton probably saved countless Iraqi lives. And--if we could build on the progress intelligently--it would put us in a stronger position to oppose the current occupation. By setting up unrealistic expectations, we assure our own demoralization and burn-out. We have to accept that the struggle against US imperialism will probably persist for generations, and we are in it for the long haul. This means resisting the temptations of self-delusion and easy answers. 3. Asking the Tough Questions Sound-bight pseudo-analysis is an inherent danger of activism, which must be guarded against at all times. Slogans like "Bring the troops home" and "US out of Iraq" are handy for fitting on a placard, but they inevitably dodge the really tough questions. Having now plunged Iraq into social entropy, destroyed the country's infrastructure and brought to a boil myriad ethnic and religious conflicts which had been simmering under the Saddam dictatorship, it might be the height of irresponsibility for the US to just unilaterally withdraw. It would, in fact, be a violation of the responsibilities of an occupying power under international law. We must be clear that US imperialism will never act in the interests of the Iraqi people, whatever rhetoric about "freedom" and "democracy" is cynically employed. Empires act in the interests of empire: they always have and always will. But a unilateral withdrawal which allows genuinely freedom-hating jihadis to take power would not be in the interests of the Iraqi people either. "US out of Iraq" only works as a demand if we have some kind alternative to offer. We are not going to arrive at answers to such difficult questions merely by thinking about them--and we have largely failed to do even that. We can only begin to find alternatives to support in Iraq by opening a dialogue with pro- democracy, anti-occupation Iraqis, either on the ground in Iraq or in exile. The work of the San Francisco-based Open World Conference of Workers to seek out and support dissident unionists in Iraq is a step in this direction. So is the Independent Media Center network's effort to support a Baghdad IMC. But the mainstream anti-war movement has dodged its responsibility on this front, the leaders being apparently too pre-occupied with maintaining and strengthening their own position of leadership. Whatever happened to CARDRI, the Committee Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq, the progressive London-based exile group that opposed both the Saddam dictatorship and US imperialist designs in the 1980s? Does CARDRI still exist? Are any of its members still vocal and active? It is from such voices that we must seek leadership--not from the self-appointed cadre of Workers World, or even the comparatively innocuous Leslie Cagan. I offer that the alliance with ANSWER may actually make the Oct. 25 mobilization more counter-productive than worthwhile, but I am aware that many dedicated and sincere activists will be attending despite misgivings. At a minimum, I hope I have provided some fodder for serious discussion on the bus ride to Washington.

www.thedenverchannel.com (ABC 7) 27 Oct 2003 Longmont Street Named After Indian Massacre Leader Citizens Form Group To Change Name Of Chivington Drive POSTED: 10:54 a.m. MST October 27, 2003 Some Longmont, Colo., residents don't want to honor the man who lead the Sand Creek Massacre with a street in his name. Chivington Drive is named after Col. John M. Chivington and is located in northwest Longmont. Opponents, calling themselves Longmont Citizens for Justice and Democracy, plan to bring their concerns to the City Council Tuesday. The group wants the council to consider a name that is "less inflammatory and carries less racist implications." The citizen's group hopes the change will take place before the upcoming anniversary of the massacre, which took place Nov. 29, 1864. At least 150 members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes were slaughtered by Col. Chivington's 3rd Volunteer Regiment. The dead included men, women and children. Ultimately, the massacre was condemned following three federal investigations, and the location in Kiowa County is now a National Historic Site. Col. Chivington is also remembered as the 1862 hero of Glorietta Pass, N.M. That's where his Colorado volunteer regiment turned back a Confederate attempt to march north into Colorado to capture gold fields for the confederacy.

www.thehill.com 29 Oct 2003 GOP unity is strained by attacks By Geoff Earle Senior Republicans have begun raising concerns about the administration’s strategy in Iraq amid daily attacks on U.S. forces there. But congressional Republicans still echo President Bush’s overall positive assessment of reconstruction, even as some warn of political trouble unless signs of improvement become clearer fast. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who recently compared aspects of the conflict to Vietnam, yesterday said U.S. forces need to be more proactive. “To set up roadblocks after the bomb goes off is not the answer,” he said. “We’ve got to get into prevention.” The number of attacks on U.S. forces has increased to about 30 a day in recent weeks, and a series of apparently coordinated attacks rocked Baghdad on Monday. Another attack targeted the a-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying. “We need more troops,” said McCain. “We need more special forces. We need more marines. We need more intelligence capabilities.” McCain is often among those Republicans most willing to criticize the administration — although he often refrains from doing so on military and foreign policy matters. But other Republicans joined him in raising questions about U.S. tactics. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was concerned that U.S. forces were unable to anticipate many of the attacks in a situation he described as tantamount to a guerrilla war in which the enemy is able to strike and then quickly retreat into the population. “I can tell you, I’m very worried about the lack of pertinent intelligence to fight that kind of a war,” he said. “It appears we have some real problems.” Asked whether he favored any policy changes in Iraq, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) responded: “We need to have a different mix of troops, is the key. We may need to move some troops around.” Lott suggested moving more troops from the relatively stable south closer to the region around Tikrit, where attacks on U.S. forces have been common. He said there was a need for more trained military police, adding that his comments were not a criticism. “Honestly, it’s a little tougher than I thought it was going to be,” Lott said. In a sign of frustration, he offered an unorthodox military solution: “If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens. You’re dealing with insane suicide bombers who are killing our people, and we need to be very aggressive in taking them out.” Republicans fear they could suffer in the polls if the situation does not improve, since the administration’s Iraq policy is so closely associated with Bush. “Politically, it is difficult,” said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), “because certainly for the American public … they read: ‘Americans killed every day,’ and it hurts. But I, at least at this point, am convinced that we’re doing the right thing, and we’re doing the best we can. “What’s the alternative? It’s not to cut and run.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)said the situation in Iraq “will continue to be a political issue because it will continue to be a matter of public concern as long as there are any casualties.” Results so far had been mixed, he said and cited the recent conference in Madrid which secured loans and pledges to help rebuild Iraq, as well as passage of a new U.N. Security Council resolution. “What I worry about most is that we will simply lose our resolve, and we won’t finish the job,” he added. GOP criticisms have emerged only recently and no Republican has come close to statements by retired Gen. Wesley Clark and other Democrats that the administration has no plan for Iraq. In fact, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) chided the media for focusing on casualties at the exclusion of positive developments in Iraq’s reconstruction. In a sign of the administration’s ability to secure GOP unity, Brownback acknowledged that he probably lacked the votes for a compromise plan to provide some aid to Iraq in the form of loans — an idea the White House opposes. “The opposition, the terrorist groups, the Baathists read our media and read our public opinion polls, and are trying to play to the country’s opinion,” he said. Brownback even said U.S. adversaries were using attacks to drive down support for Bush. “Absolutely,” he said. “No question in my mind. This is an international media. They know the importance of this.” Bush, who was criticized on the Hill yesterday for saying that attacks in Iraq were a sign U.S. progress and the terrorists’ desperation, was resolute at a White House press conference. “This country will stay the course,” he said. “We’ll do our job.”

U.S. Army - Public Affairs (press release) - Oct 28, 2003 www4.army.mil/ocpa Army to retain and expand Peacekeeping Institute October 28, 2003 The Department of the Army announced today that the U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. would be re-established and transformed to fully address all aspects of the stability and support operations the Army conducts. The institute will be renamed the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) to encompass the revised charter. The original PKI charter and structure are being adjusted to meet the future needs of the U.S. Army and the U.S. military across a broad range of peacekeeping and stability operations. Current planning calls for the new organization to have 13 Army positions and a distinguished visiting professor. The PKSOI will have an operating budget of between $1.3 to 1.5 million. The PKSOI mission will be to study the strategic implications of stability operations; support senior Army leaders in understanding and dealing with the implications of stability operations; and study the impact of international organizations and nongovernmental organizations on the Army's conduct of peacekeeping and stability operations. PKSOI will also be required to understand current foreign militaries' objectives and doctrine on stability operations; contribute to evolving stability operations doctrine; and to help educate the next generation of Army strategic leaders on stability operations. PKSOI will have increased “jointness” and interagency focus. The Army plans to approach other services as well as the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development to assist the institute in examining the complex joint, interagency and multinational issues associated with peacekeeping and stability operations. PKSOI will immediately begin its study and product development on stability and support operations, utilizing current War College students with experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. The Army assignment process is currently working to identify personnel with recent field experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans to fill military positions within the new structure. Former Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Gordon Sullivan established the institute at the Army War College in 1993. The decision to retain the capabilities of the PKI and transform the institute into the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute reverses a closure decision announced in January 2003 as part of the Army headquarters realignment study. - 30 - All media queries should be directed to the Carlisle Barracks Public Affairs office at 717-245-4101 or 717-245-4389.


BBC 12 Oct 2003 Columbus 'sparked a genocide' Columbus Day is celebrated with a public holiday in the US Venezuela's populist leader has urged Latin Americans to boycott celebrations for the anniversary of the "discovery" of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. President Hugo Chavez accused the much-lauded adventurer of spearheading a "genocide". The 1492 arrival of the Italian explorer, employed by Spain, triggered a 150-year "invasion" of native Indians by foreign conquerors, who behaved "worse than Hitler", he said. Columbus Day falls on 12 October and is celebrated with a public holiday on Monday in the United States and several Latin American nations. But at a meeting in Caracas - attended by representatives of the indigenous population in South America, President Chavez said: "Christopher Columbus was the spearhead of the biggest invasion and genocide ever seen in the history of humanity." We Venezuelans, we Latin Americans, have no reason to honour Columbus President Chavez Columbus Day should be remembered as the "Day of Indian Resistance", he said. Spanish, Portuguese and other foreign conquerors had massacred South America's Indian inhabitants at an average rate of roughly "one every 10 minutes", he said. He described Spanish conquistadors like Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro, as "worse than Hitler". And he said even the continent's geographical names - such as America and Venezuela - were created and imposed by foreigners. Sitting Bull praised Opponents of Chavez - seeking a referendum to try to vote him out of office - say his real aim is to instal an anti-US communist system. In his speech Chavez praised Indian chiefs who had fought against the invaders, such as Guaicaipuro who resisted the Spanish founders of Caracas, and American Indian chief Sitting Bull, who defeated US General George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. "Long live Sitting Bull!" Chavez declared, drawing applause from his audience, many of whom wore traditional native clothes and head-dresses. The second Monday in October was declared a national public holiday by president Richard Nixon in 1971.



NYT October 4, 2003 Serbia Will Send Troops and Police to Afghanistan By ELAINE SCIOLINO BELGRADE, Oct. 3  The United States has accepted an offer by Serbia and Montenegro to send up to 1,000 combat troops and police officers to Afghanistan to join American forces there, senior Serbian officials and foreign diplomats said today. The Serbian-Montenegrin force, which will have to be trained to function under American operational command, will be based in the Kandahar region near the Pakistani border, the officials said. The troops are expected to be ready for deployment by March. Afghan officials have not reacted to the plan so far. Boris Tadic, the defense minister of Serbia and Montenegro, said at a news conference today that Liberia, Iraq and Afghanistan were discussed as possible destinations for Serbian troops and that "it is more likely that Afghanistan is the potential destination." The deployment will be highly unusual. It raises the question of whether it will include Serbian troops or officers who may have been involved in committing atrocities against Muslims in either the war in Bosnia in the early 1990's or the more recent conflict in Kosovo. Officials said the United States military intended to vet all soldiers and police officers in the all-volunteer force. In addition, the possibility that Serbian troops, who battled Muslims in Bosnia and in Kosovo in the Balkan wars of the 1990's, could be involved in combat operations against Muslims and in antiterrorist operations against members and supporters of Al Qaeda might be seen by both Muslims and non-Muslims as undesirable. Finally, the Serbs were bombed for nearly three months by American forces in NATO's conflict with the then Yugoslavia over Kosovo in 1999  and now they will be serving side by side with Americans. Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, was in Belgrade on Friday, reiterating previous demands that Serbia do more to cooperate in bringing war criminals to justice at the court. She insisted once again that one of the leading fugitives, the former Bosnian Serb military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, was in Serbia. Since Slobodan Milosevic, who is now on trial in The Hague, was ousted three years ago as Serbia's leader, the country's new rulers have sought ways to cooperate with Washington. Like leaders of other former Communist countries seeking acceptance by the West, they are keenly aware of the American need for troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. "I support the idea that our soldiers and the police force become a part of the military contingent in Afghanistan," the Serbian deputy prime minister, Nebojsa Covic, said in an interview with foreign journalists traveling in the Balkans with Richard C. Holbrooke, assistant secretary of state for European affairs under President Clinton. "I think it is a good thing to build up cooperation on a military level after so many years of misunderstandings, conflicts and confrontations. As you know, our soldiers and police forces have experience in fighting terrorism, and I hope that the allied forces can benefit from that experience." The approval of NATO is not necessary for the deployment, since it would be part of the American-run postwar military operation in Afghanistan, not the NATO-led forces keeping the peace in Kabul. Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic of Serbia and Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic of the federation of Serbia and Montenegro first made the offer to send peacekeeping troops to Condoleezza Rice, the White House national security adviser, and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell during a visit to Washington two months ago. One official familiar with the offer said it came "out of the blue." The United States Central Command, which is responsible for American military participation in Afghanistan, swiftly approved the proposal, but told the Serbs that the United States wanted infantry troops rather than lightly armed peacekeepers. The American thinking was that the need for combat troops ready to take casualties in Afghanistan overrode political considerations about the wisdom of such a mission, and that in any case, the Serbs would probably be on their best behavior, officials indicated. About two weeks ago, a delegation from the army and the gendarmerie, or national police force, visited the United States for what Mr. Tadic said today were "technical discussions in connection with possible participation" in a foreign mission. Other officials said that the areas of responsibility and reporting channels were defined and that a Serbian liaison officer had been based at the Central Command headquarters in Florida. An American mission will travel to Belgrade shortly to assess the level of training and equipment of the troops and police officers, these officials said. Mr. Tadic stressed, however, that the final decision to send troops had to be formally approved by the Defense Council, the Council of Ministers and the joint Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro. He is also said to be concerned that he might have to take highly trained troops out of southern Serbia, close to Kosovo, which since the 1999 war has been run by the United Nations and patrolled by foreign peacekeepers, to send them to Afghanistan. According to press reports here, the Serbs originally proposed that Gen. Goran Radosavljevic, chief of the gendarmerie, head the Serb contingent. But the general led teams against armed Albanians during the Kosovo war, and a number of human rights groups have charged that those Serbian teams committed atrocities against civilians. Human Rights Watch contends that members of these teams killed 41 ethnic Albanians in May 1999. Officials familiar with the negotiations on the Serbian force insist that a commander like General Radosavljevic would be unacceptable, and that no decisions have been made on who will join or lead the Serb contingent.

AFP 3 Oct 2003 Six killed in blast near US coalition base in Afghanistan BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Oct 3 (AFP) - Six people were killed and seven others injured Friday in an explosion outside the US-led military coalition's main base in Afghanistan, rescue workers said. "Four bodies have been discovered under the rubble and two others were totally destroyed," said an Afghan interpreter working with the US military and involved in the rescue effort near Bagram Air Base, 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Kabul. Witnesses earlier reported that seven people had died in the blast.


Brisbane Courier- Mail 3 Oct 2003 'Violence' wiped out Aborigines VIOLENCE, not disease, was the major cause of a huge decline in the Aboriginal population of the NSW Hunter Valley during the colonial era, a researcher said today. PHD student Greg Blyton, of Newcastle University's Umulliko Indigenous Higher Education Research Centre, said the impact of disease had been vastly overstated by academics in the so-called history wars over Australia's colonisation. Archival records did not support a common view that disease wiped out two-thirds of the Hunter's Aborigines, he said. "Disease has been vastly overstated in that region and its impact was moderate compared to the impact of violence and force," Mr Blyton told an indigenous researchers forum. "At this stage, the evidence of disease is highly questionable. The weight of evidence points to violence being the main factor." Aborigines in the Hunter numbered in the thousands when a penal settlement was established at Newcastle in 1804, he said. But only a small score were left by the mid-19th century after the free settlers had arrived with sheep and cattle, he said. Despite Newcastle's start as an active sea port, Mr Blyton found no evidence of disease among Aborigines during the first two decades as a convict settlement. Mr Blyton blamed competition for land for the warlike conflicts that allegedly took place. "I don't believe it was ever genocide," Mr Blyton said. "I don't believe that they (settlers) deliberately went up there with an official policy to exterminate the Aboriginals. "I would say it became a conflict over the land and the resources. "I definitely believe there were massacres; I don't believe they were ever in vast numbers." Reports of Aborigines dying from smallpox in the Hunter near Scone and Dungog in 1835 were suspicious in their isolation and lack of corroboration, he said.

Bad Subjects 5 Oct 2003 ( eserver.org/bs/reviews ) With Intent to Destroy Colin Tatz Ron Nachmann Sunday, October 5 2003, 5:20 PM What subject evokes as much pain and resignation as genocide? As a crime against both individual and group potential, it represents unparalleled abstract evil, and as a cyclically occurring event, it randomly tears at the tender flesh of the question of whether "we can all get along." As plainly necessary as the study of genocide may be on the surface, the very idea of a methodology to it seems macabre to us--we picture comparative casualty counts and gory details, the forensics that surround a subject best left far from cocktail parties and vacations. In his wide-ranging book, With Intent to Destroy, Colin Tatz takes such discomfiture out of genocidal studies by simply confronting the issues. As a member of both oppressed and oppressor groups, Tatz--an Australian Jew born and educated in pre-'60s South Africa--uses his unique position to objectively show how genocide starts, what distinguishes it from other forms of oppression, and how we deal with its effects. By focusing chapters on three historical case studies--Germany and its Jews, Australia and its Aborigines, and South Africa and its blacks--Tatz convincingly offers his model of "the anatomy of genocide." In doing so he mitigates what Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel has called "a mystery that passes our comprehension and represents our defeat." Tatz opens by personalizing his journey towards studying genocide: childhood memories of newsreels from Europe's death camps; anti-Semitism and educational struggles in Nationalist-ruled South Africa; and his eventual establishment of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Australia's University of New South Wales. It's an ideal way to enter into such bloody abstracts. Since the definition of genocide hangs over so much of the field, Tatz uses as his base the United Nation's 1948 Convention on the subject, which outlines various methods used with intent to partially or fully destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. This allows Tatz to start his unblinking approach from the historical, philosophical and religious reasons for the Holocaust. His chapter on Germany posits the Holocaust not as an inevitability, but as an "engine"--built out of populist and academic anti-Semitism, scientific racism, emphatic ethnic nationalism and an attraction to fascism--ready to be switched on. Conversely, although South Africa killed, exploited, and abused its black population, Tatz excludes the country from the genocide category because the apartheid regime didn't actually intend to destroy the group. Tatz crucially saves up his critical scrutiny for his home country, and for good reason. Between the arrival of the British in 1788 and the government's extension of protection to its native population in 1911, Australian settlers disposed of between 200,000 and 700,000 Aborigines with the tacit approval of the government. Thousands more were forcibly assimilated in the 20th century, mostly by removal of Aboriginal children from their parents into white foster homes. Tatz maintains that these methods, among others outlined in the UN Convention, were aimed at finishing off the population. It's truly harrowing reading. So is Tatz's subsequent chapter, "Reflecting on Genocide." In it, he evokes aspects of the German and Australian genocides--alongside Turkey's early-20th century genocide of its Armenian population and Rwanda's more recent episode--to examine issues of denialism, memory, apology and restitution. Tatz's ability to pull this off while neither skimming over the subject's inherent profundities nor engaging in the kind of comparisons that trivialize the meaning of genocide speaks to a truth-seeking sensitivity that epitomizes With Intent to Destroy. With Intent to Destroy is available from Verso. Bad Subjects, started in 1998, is a collective that publishes a magazine (Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life) and provides access to both via a public-access website.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 10 Oct 2003 www.abc.net.au Jeffrey says nations must do more than watch bloodshed unfold. (ABC TV) Genocide threat warrants pre-emptive strike: G-G The Governor-General has weighed in to the controversy over pre-emptive military action, arguing the case for such moves to prevent mass bloodshed. Major-General Michael Jeffrey made his comments in a speech delivered in Canberra last night, during which he outline his personal views on the reform of the United Nations Security Council. He says the spread of terrorism is a concern to all. "Collectively we must do more than simply watch - with resignation and a feeling of powerlessness - reports of the evening news about the latest terrorist atrocity," Major-General Jeffrey said. The Governor-General says if the world does not want powerful countries taking unilateral action in response to threats, that may mean giving the United Nations more power to take pre-emptive military action in face of threatened genocide. "It may require the UN to consider cooperative, interventionist action in potential or active trouble spots with a view to pre-empting the genocidal bloodbaths that we have witnessed in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and, indeed, our own region," he said. Major-General Jeffrey says future UN interventions could be modelled on those for East Timor and the Solomon Islands. He is also suggesting Australia strengthen its links with the United States, China and India. After just two months in the role, Major-General Jeffrey's comments appear to indicate the new Governor-General is willing to speak out on military and security issues.

www.gg.gov.au 9 Oct 2003 Excerpt from ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA ON THE OCCASION OF A ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA TRIENNIAL INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR DINNER CANBERRA 9 OCTOBER 2003 "The second matter for possible discussion – and this has already been recognised by the Government – is to take the opportunity to support reform of the Security Council of the United Nations. It seems to me that if the world does not want a superpower of the day to take unilateral or multilateral action against threats that it perceives to be inimical to its national interest, then the UN must be given the authority and the appropriate tools to ensure that human rights and the dignity of the individual under Article 10 are maintained. In time, this may require the UN to consider cooperative, interventionist action in potential or active trouble spots with a view to pre-empting the genocidal bloodbaths that we have witnessed in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and, indeed, our own region. It may well be that the East Timor and Solomon Islands examples will provide possible models for UN intervention." http://www.gg.gov.au/speeches/html/speeches/2003/031009b.html

australianpolitics.com.au 22 June 2003 [excerpts] Major-General Michael Jeffery To Be New Governor-General June 22, 2003 Major-General Michael Jeffery, the former Governor of Western Australia, is to be Australia's 24th Governor-General, replacing Peter Hollingworth. The Prime Minister, John Howard, made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon. . . . Major-General Jeffery was Governor of Western Australia from 1993 until 2000. His official biography says: Major General Philip Michael Jeffery was born in Wiluna, Western Australia, in 1937 and was educated at Cannington and East Victoria Park State Schools and Kent Street High School. At age 16, General Jeffery left Perth to attend the Royal Military College, Duntroon. After graduation in 1958, he served in a number of junior regimental appointments with 17 National Service Training Company and the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in Perth. He was posted to Malaya in 1962 for operational service with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment. In 1964 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of the General Staff after which he was seconded to the British SASR for an operational tour of duty in Borneo. He returned to Australia as Adjutant of the SASR in Perth. From 1966-69 he served in Papua New Guinea with 1st Battalion, The Pacific Islands Regiment and was married during this posting to Marlena Kerr of Manly, Sydney. This was followed by a tour of Vietnam as an infantry company commander with the 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. It was during this tour that he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. In 1972 he was selected to attend the British Army Staff College at Camberley and was then promoted Lieutenant Colonel to command the 2nd Battalion, The Pacific Islands Regiment. In 1975, he assumed command of the SASR in Perth and was then promoted to Colonel as the first Director of the Army's Special Action Forces, for services to which he became a Member of the Order of Australia. From 1981-83 he headed Australia's national counter terrorist co-ordination authority in the rank of Brigadier, after which he was posted as Commander of the 1st Mechanised and Airborne Brigade in Holsworthy, Sydney. He was selected to attend the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1985 and was then promoted Major General and appointed to command the Army's 15,000 man 1st Division. In June 1988, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the Army and in 1989 he was appointed as the Assistant Chief of the General Staff - Logistics. In January 1990 he became Deputy Chief of the General Staff, responsible for the day to day running of a 65,000 man Army. In February 1991 he was appointed Assistant Chief of the General Staff for Materiel which involved the development and management of some 600 Army equipment procurement and building construction projects valued at $3bn. On 1 November 1993, he was sworn in as the 27th Governor of Western Australia, and in June 1996 became a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to the State of Western Australia. The Governor and his wife, Marlena, have four adult children and a grandson from their married daughter. Two of their sons, Craig and David, are serving Army Officers, as is their married daughter, Sarah. Son Simon is an engineer. Both the Governor and his wife are enthusiastic golfers. He is a keen fisherman, Australian Rules football and cricket fan, and enjoys reading and music.

Telegraph UK 22 Oct 2003 Australia told it has too many whites to be part of Asia By Alex Spillius in Bangkok (Filed: 22/10/2003) Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim nations put on matching jackets of the finest Thai silk yesterday at the end of their summit, but this display of sartorial unity could not hide simmering tensions based on wealth, culture or race. Presidents, monarchs and prime ministers as diverse as George W Bush and the Sultan of Brunei, representing 2.5 billion people and half the world's trade, announced broad agreements on promoting free trade and counter-terrorism. It was not the superpower which drew the most flak from vocal Asian members of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Bangkok, but Australia. Goh Chok Tong, Singapore's prime minister, took the first shot when he told a high-powered business leaders' meeting that Australia would be regarded as Asian only when the population "tips over 50 per cent non-whites and the rest whites". Seven per cent of the 19.9 million population is Asian and 92 per cent white. John Howard, the Australian prime minister, bridled at the remarks. "We have a non-discriminatory immigration policy and the idea that we should have our immigration policy determined by the declarations of anybody is ridiculous. We don't seek some kind of rating from anybody as far as our position in the region is concerned." Hassan Wirayuda, Indonesia's foreign minister, said Australia needed to improve its profile in Asia, despite Mr Howard recently saying he felt relations had never been better between Australia and Indonesia, whose police forces have co- operated closely in pursuing terrorists. Mr Howard arrived in Thailand both burdened and buoyed by Mr Bush's description of him as Washington's regional sheriff. Mahathir Mohamad, the outspoken Malaysian prime minister, who retires at the end of the month, said: "Whether it is Asian or not, Australia can make more effort to identify with Asia. "We can't have a partner who is also a policeman. Asian countries don't go around telling other people how to run their countries. "Australians are always casting aspersions on our judicial system, but [unlike Australia] we have a good history with our aboriginals. We didn't shoot them all dead or commit genocide." Mr Howard responded curtly: "It is better to let him [Mahathir] recede gently into retirement. I don't intend to give him any kind of political valediction. I don't intend to talk about him, full stop." The summit's declaration called for the revival of World Trade Organisation talks and agreed measures to increase global security.


Newsday 3 Oct 2003 Putting a Voice to the Unspeakable By Jan Stuart STAFF WRITER October 3, 2003 REVIEW (4 STARS) S21: THE KHMER ROUGE KILLING MACHINE (Unrated). In Khmer with English subtitles. Public screening Sunday at 1:30 p.m., Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center Some were no older than 11 or 12 when they were entrusted with the torture and slaughter of 1.7 million of their fellow countrymen between 1975 and 1979. More than two decades later, a dozen of these former Khmer Rouge fighters met with two of their surviving victims at an empty detention center where they once facilitated the murder of 17,000. In his heart-stopping and necessary documentary, "S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine," Rithy Panh trains an implacable camera on these men as they purge themselves of deeds that defy comprehension. Panh (who lost his sisters and parents during this genocide) allows the pent-up memories to speak for themselves. The stories are related with a stark detail whose terribleness escalates as the film goes along, and they render the viewer speechless. In two extraordinary sequences, a former guard re-enacts his daily tour of duty through a holding pen where ravaged victims slept shoulder-to- shoulder with corpses. "Don't be too free," he and his fellow terrormongers would scrawl on the prison doors. As if anyone had a choice.

China (Hong Kong)

just-style.com 6 Oct 2003 Nazi-Themed Apparel Back On Sale - Paper A fashion retailer forced to withdraw a range of Nazi-themed apparel amid a wave of complaints was on Monday reported to have relaunched the controversial clothing with anti-war messages. The firm, which takes the Internet-style monicker izzue.com, took the original fashions off the shelves in August after protests from furious Israeli and German diplomats in the territory. It also took down a range of store decorations at its 14 outlets which included banners featuring swastikas and flags, but has now relaunched the apparel in an attempt to recoup some of its investment, the South China Monring Post reported. The paper printed a picture of a T-shirt with the word "Nazism" printed on the front crossed out with a black line, while a swastikas on other shirts were partly rubbed out by a "No War" message, it added. www.izzue.com

East Timor

Laksamana.net 5 Oct 2003 E. Timor: Closer to Old Foes East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao said Tuesday the country's armed forces were looking to build closer ties with their former adversaries, the Indonesian military. Gusmao led East Timor's guerrilla struggle against Indonesia's rule in the territory. Speaking to reporters after addressing a business lunch in Singapore, he said had talked with Megawati and had repeated an offer he said he made to her when they last met in Malaysia seven months ago. "We are not establishing an army to fight with each other again. Indonesia is our closest neighbor. It is why we can have more cooperation, even in military terms." But Gusmao warned co-operation would not begin immediately. "Not now, of course, but we have a perspective to co-operate in the future." Though seen as a revolutionary hero, Gusmao has pursued reconciliation and friendship with Indonesia. Meanwhile, back in Dili, the East Timor capital, 17 suspects were indicted for crimes against humanity. The indictments allege that militia leader Laurentino Soares and 13 others, along with three Indonesian soldiers, murdered and attacked supporters of the country's independence campaign in September and October 1999. Arrest warrants are to be forwarded to Indonesian prosecutors and Interpol, according to a media statement by prosecutors. All of the accused are believed to live now in Indonesia, and Jakarta has steadfastly refused to extradite suspects linked to the violence in its former territory. Soares and his men are charged with killing 10 civilians in the Oecussi district. The soldiers are alleged to have murdered two pro-independence activists. The East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence in August 1999, and gained full independence in May last year. The Dili courts have now charged a total of 350 people - including at least 32 Indonesian commanders and officers - for the violence and convicted 35. Most Indonesian suspects remain free, among them would- be presidential candidate General Wiranto, who was armed forces chief during the 1999 violence. Trials of Indonesian suspects have also taken place in Jakarta but only six out of 18 Indonesian government and military officials accused of tolerating the violence have been convicted. They were all given light sentences and remain free pending appeals.


Himal Suth Asian Oct 2003 Justice delayed and denied: Uttar Padesh Can a government declare members of its own Police Force or Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) who are still on the duty rosters and receiving regular pay, ‘absconders’? Can non-bailable warrants issued by competent courts against these accused be returned unserved, not once or twice but 18 times? Further, would it dare to ignore the court’s orders to have their property confiscated? To witness such absurdities one does not have look very far. It can be found in Uttar Pradesh. And the event in question that invited the court’s actions is the massacre at Hashimpura- all of 16 years ago- and its investigation. It was only in 2002 that the Supreme Court had asked for the immediate transfer of the case pertaining to the Hashimpura massacre from the Ghaziabad Sessions Court in UP to the Delhi Sessions Court. There was good reason for the Supreme Court’s sense of urgency. The massacre at Hashimpura, when 42 innocent Muslims were killed in cold blood by the UP police had taken place 16 years ago. The circumstances of the massacre are telling. There was communal violence at Meerut, in 1987, when the Congress Party ruled both in the state and at the centre. Both police and PAC pickets were posted in the town to bring the situation under control. A 1994 confidential report of the Central Bureau of Investigation sheds light on the sordid turn of events: On 22 May 1987 around 8.00 p.m. they herded 40-42 ‘rioters’ in PAC Truck No. UR 1493 at Hashimpura, overtly for taking them to Meerut Civil Lines or Police Lines. However, the Platoon Commander SP Singh drove to the Upper Ganga Canal, Muradnagar (Ghaziabad) ignoring their protests. On reaching there, they started unceremoniously shooting them down. When a few tried to escape they were shot down on the spot and their bodies were cast into the Canal. Rest of them were taken to the Hindon canal and there the sordid show was re-enacted. This action of the police was basically to terrorise and brutalise the minority population, as pointed out in an article on the massacre in the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties’ Bulletin of February 2001. Iqbal A Ansari, Secretary-General, Minorities Council, observed that the massacre took place “while there was no rioting in that area of the city”. That was more than 16 years ago and the delay in judicial proceedings has threatened to make it the “forgotten massacre”. The Supreme Court in its judgement had chastised the concerned authorities in no uncertain terms, because despite the fact that a decade and a half had passed no charges had been framed. This long history of delay smacks of an administrative cover up. The state government had initially directed that the incident be looked into by the Criminal Investigative Department (CID). This internal investigation was completed in 1993, six years after the massacre. Its findings were drawn up a year later. Then there was procrastination in implementing the action recommended. Orders on the matter were issued only in 1995 and 1997. Even these delayed orders were limited in scope since action was only recommended against 19 officials as against the 66 named in the CID Report. Finally, the matter was taken up by the National Minorities Commission, which made its recommendations to the UP government on 12 October 1999, directing it to give adequate compensation to the families of the dead, and to ensure that all those found guilty are punished. Even this had no effect, and eventually the Supreme Court had to intervene to try and expedite the matter. But even this is no guarantee that the guilty will be punished or that the next of kin of those killed will get adequate compensation. The bitter fact is that, while the accused responsible for the killings of Hashimpura are openly moving about, the few surviving witnesses constantly face danger to their lives. So far, the Sessions Court in UP had exhibited a strange reluctance to summon the police top brass in the state. Now that the case has finally been transferred to the Sessions Court in Delhi, how soon justice will be done remains to be seen. Given the tendency on the part of the state administration to brazenly ignore judicial summons, there is little hope for a happy ending.

BBC 9 OCt 2003 Gujarat prosecutors to be vetted The riots left between 1,000 and 2,000 dead - mostly Muslims India's Supreme Court has told the government in the state of Gujarat to appoint new public prosecutors to probe last year's religious violence. And the court says the new appointees must be vetted by the federal government's top lawyers. Last month the court said it had "no faith left" in the Gujarat government's handling of the cases. Official figures said more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, died in the riots. Other estimates put the death toll at around 2,000. Criticism over trial collapse Analysts say Thursday's Supreme Court decision is a further blow to Gujarat's Hindu nationalist government which appoints the lawyers to try those accused of rioting last year. The court said the new prosecutors appointed must be approved by the highest judicial officer in the country - the attorney general. Zaheera Sheikh is demanding a retrial It has also appointed Harish Salve, a former solicitor general, to sit in on the riot trials as a special adviser to the court. The BBC's Jyotsna Singh in Delhi says Mr Salve's appointment is seen as significant as he has a reputation for being tough and independent-minded in public interest cases. The Supreme Court released its decisions while hearing a petition from India's National Human Rights Commission and a teenage Muslim woman, Zaheera Sheikh. They are asking the court to order a retrial following the controversial acquittal of 21 Hindus last June in what has become known as the Best Bakery case. Twelve Muslims, including Ms Sheikh's father, died when a Hindu mob burned down a bakery during the riots. Ms Sheikh was one of a number of witnesses whose decisions not to testify led to the collapse of the case. She later said that she had been intimidated. Ms Sheikh now lives outside Gujarat. Train attack In a separate development, the Gujarat Government said on Thursday that it wanted the Gujarat high court to reopen the Best Bakery case. The Gujarat riots were triggered after a mob, thought to have been Muslim, torched a train carrying Hindus from Ayodhya, a north Indian town where a campaign is being waged for a temple to be built on the site of a demolished mosque. Fifty-nine Hindus died in the train attack.

Press Trust of India 15 Oct 2003 Court reserves further hearing on Gulberg massacre case Ahmedabad, October 15 The city sessions court reserved for October 17 as date for further arguments on the application moved by seven crucial eye witnesses in the Gulberg society massacre case in which 89 persons, including Ex-Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri, were allegedly slaughtered by a mob on March 1 during post-Godhra riots. The application moved by advocate Dawood Desai under section 173 (8) of CrPC stated that the investigating agency should conduct further and impartial probe into the incident and that the Police Commissioner also did not initiate such an action inspite of he being approached in this matter. It also said that the identity of several persons responsible for the massacre, whom the witnesses wanted to name, were not recorded earlier and they would like to implicate them. Around 40 persons, including many alleged VHP and Bajrang Dal activists, are accused in the massacre. Advocate Desai argued that the probe conducted was with a malafide intention and the attitude of the government should also be considered.

BBC 18 Oct 2003 Ayodhya rally leader released Extra police are out in force in Ayodhya A Hindu nationalist leader arrested with thousands of activists in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has been released by the authorities. Praveen Togadia, the general secretary of the hardline World Hindu Council or VHP, was detained in the state capital Lucknow as demonstrators tried to stage a huge illegal rally at a holy site in the city of Ayodhya disputed by Hindus and Muslims. Mr Togadia, along with thousands of released VHP activists, is expected to travel to Ayodhya later on Saturday to go ahead with the rally. On Friday, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to enforce a ban by a local court to prevent any big demonstrations taking place in the holy city. More than 15,000 police and security personnel have been deployed to prevent any trouble. Click here to see a plan of the disputed site Mr Togadia has been arrested in the past when the authorities have feared allowing him to speak at rallies could spark unrest. In April he was arrested in Rajasthan for inciting communal hatred. Ayodhya has been at the centre of religious tension in India since Hindu militants destroyed an ancient mosque there in 1992, saying it had been built on the site of a Hindu temple. The activists had defied an official ban by trying to march in support of demands for the building of a temple on the site in Ayodhya. Strategy Thousands of Hindu nationalists had assembled at a workshop where idols and pillars are being made for a Hindu temple they intend to build. When police asked the activists to surrender, stones and iron bars were thrown at them from inside the workshop. Confrontation in pictures The BBC's Sanjeev Srivastava in Ayodhya says the local administration seems to be allowing some activists to gather in the area. He said they were running special bus services to and from the town in the hope that most of the activists will take a dip in the nearby Saraju river, which many Hindus consider to be holy, pay a quick visit to the disputed religious site spot, and be on their way home. He said the strategy seems to be working. But a few thousand have gathered at the other end of town awaiting the arrival of Mr Togadia. In December 1992 crowds of Hindus demolished a 16th Century mosque at Ayodhya, triggering 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.


AFP 2 Oct 2003 Aceh martial law administrator wants Jakarta to extend status until April JAKARTA, Oct 2 (AFP) - Jakarta should extend martial law in war-torn Aceh province until the end of general election in April next year, martial law chief administrator Major General Endang Suwarya said Thursday. Suwarya was quoted by the Detikcom online news as saying an extension of the status would allow security forces to completely drive the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels out of the province and secure the April 5 election. The government put Aceh under martial law on May 19 and launched a military operation involving 40,000 troops and police to wipe out the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), after peace talks collapsed. "The considerations for this (request) involves security preparations for the general election as part of (our target) to restore security and order. Therefore, if that target is not yet reached, then it has to be completed until the election." "I suggest to the central (government) that as long as GAM exists, there are (issues) that still need to be finished," Suwarya was quoted as saying after a ministerial meeting here led by top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Next April Indonesia will hold only its second free general election since the fall of longtime dictator Suharto in 1998. Voters will also directly choose the president in a separate election next year, at a date still to be fixed. Yudhoyono said last month that the government would carry out a one-month evaluation before deciding whether to extend or replace martial law imposed by Jakarta in Aceh on May 19 with a civil emergency status. The evaluation of the martial law status was ordered by President Megawati Sukarnoputri and should be completed by mid-October. Suwarya said he would not impose a cease-fire during the fasting month of Ramadan which will start in three weeks because GAM "does not recognise" fasting. Armed forces commander General Endriartono Sutarto has said that the military operation -- Indonesia's biggest since the 1975 invasion of East Timor -- will continue as long as GAM poses a security threat. The military says more than 900 GAM rebels have been killed since the operation began and 66 members of the security forces have died. More than 1,800 rebels have been arrested or surrendered, it says. The military has also said that some 304 civilians have died but did not say who was responsible for the deaths.

AFP 2 Oct 2003 Indonesian Aceh crackdown has sparked humanitarian crisis: rights group JAKARTA, Oct 2 (AFP) - Indonesia's military campaign to crush separatist rebels in Aceh province, now in its fifth month, has created a humanitarian crisis, a human rights group said in a report received Thursday. The Commission for Involuntary Disappearances and Victims of Violence in Aceh (Kontras-Aceh) said restrictions imposed by the military on Acehnese have caused a collapse in the people's economy. "There are not any significant results that have been achieved since the martial law began, except a humanitarian crisis," Kontras-Aceh's campaign coordinator Teuku Samsul Bahri said in the report. The government put Aceh under martial law on May 19 and launched a military operation involving 40,000 troops and police to wipe out the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), after peace talks collapsed. Residents in Lokop in the mountains of East Aceh district have suffered greatly from malnutrition because the military has restricted the entry of essential food to the region, the report said. "After three months of military emergency, the condition of the people of Lokop is a cause for great concern." The military allows shopkeepers and traders to carry only three sacks of rice and one sack of sugar per day, Bahri said, and families may only buy one litre of rice and 500 grams of sugar daily. Those who break the rules would be accused of being GAM rebels, the report said. The prices of basic needs such as kerosene for cooking and sugar have skyrocketed and it is very hard for people to work their fields or rice-paddies, the report said. "Crops such as rice, cocoa and coffee are left to rot because of the difficulty of transporting them anywhere," Kontras-Aceh said. The group also said that the military had forced farmers to sell their rice to middlemen whom it appointed to prevent the commodities from being sold to rebels. Fishermen have been allowed to fish for only three hours, making it hard for them to go home with a good catch, it said. Residents at Kuala Simpang Ulim in East Aceh, who are mostly farmers, have been allowed by the military to work their land for only three hours a day, the report said. Soldiers would beat any residents who broke the rule, the report said. The group said human rights workers have also been threatened with arrest. "Monitoring activities have come to a halt because human rights defenders, including the many activists and volunteers spread across Aceh who are working for Kontras, have gone into hiding," it said. Military spokesman Ahmad Yani Basuki described the report as "all lies." "Do you think the TNI (armed forces) want to kill the people of Aceh? We are here to save the people from GAM's stranglehold," he told AFP. "We've heard all of this NGO nonsense. They never appreciate what we're doing in Aceh." Meanwhile, Basuki said residents in Aceh Tamiang and North Aceh districts have discovered two corpses bearing gunshot wounds on Wednesday. He did not say who was responsible for the killings but accused GAM of assaulting and wounding three other civilians -- including a woman -- in a separate incident in South Aceh on Monday. The spokesman said soldiers had arrested a 24-year-old guerilla in Pidie district. The military says more than 900 GAM rebels have been killed since the operation began and 66 members of the security forces have died. More than 1,800 rebels have been arrested or surrendered, it says. The military has also said that some 304 civilians have died but did not say who was responsible for the deaths.

AFP 3 Oct 2003 Eleven killed in new violence in war-torn Aceh province BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Oct 3 (AFP) - Eight separatist rebels and three civilians have been killed in Aceh province where an anti-rebel campaign is in its fifth month, the Indonesian military said Friday. Security forces shot dead the eight Free Aceh Movement (GAM) guerillas in separate clashes in three districts in the province on Thursday, said Aceh military spokesman Ahmad Yani Basuki. One of them was a GAM operational chief for West Aceh district, Basuki said, adding soldiers captured seven rebels in separate raids the same day. The spokesman also accused GAM of killing three civilians -- including a 20-year-old woman -- in Pidie district on Thursday and abducting three men in Aceh Besar district. No GAM officials could be immediately reached for confirmation. The government put Aceh under martial law on May 19 and sent 40,000 troops and police after the rebels, following the collapse of peace talks. The military says more than 900 GAM rebels have been killed since the operation began and 66 members of the security forces have died. More than 1,800 rebels have been arrested or have surrendered, it says.

Laksamana.net 5 Oct 2003 900 Aceh rebels killed Laksamana.Net - The Indonesian military (TNI) said more than 900 suspected rebels have now been killed since May 19 when the large-scale military offensive was launched against the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Soldiers gunned down three suspected GAM rebels in a raid on Monday (29/9/03) on a rebel hideout in North Aceh district, said military operation spokesman Lt. Col. Ahmad Yani Basuki. Five unidentified bodies were found in two separate places in nearby districts, Basuki said, claiming that two rebels also surrendered to the military in the western part of the province. On Wednesday Basuki was back in front of the microphones and cameras to announce that eight more suspected rebels had been killed. He also accused the rebels of murdering four civilians. Four of the eight rebels were shot dead during a raid by soldiers at Lokop in East Aceh on Tuesday, and the others were killed in four separate clashes in three districts the same day, Basuki said. Rights activists as well as GAM allege that many of the suspected rebels are civilians mistaken for guerillas or innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. Basuki said the rebels also killed four civilians -- including a 40-year-old housewife -- in separate incidents in Pidie and East Aceh districts on Tuesday. He said soldiers arrested 12 rebels including two wives of suspected guerrillas in five districts the same day. The chief administrator in Aceh, Major General Endang Suwarya, said Thursday that the government should extend martial law in Aceh until after next year's general election on the grounds that this would allow the military to completely drive out the Free Aceh Movement and help secure the election next year. On Friday Basuki said troops had killed another 12 rebels and arrested seven others during gun battles across the province on Thursday. Hundreds of troops clashed with rebels in eastern, northern, and southeastern Aceh. Troops suffered no casualties and recovered the bodies of 12 rebels, said Basuki. Papua Military Exercise Opposed The start of a four-day military exercise in Biak Numfor regency, Papua, on Monday (29/9/03) was marked by protests from students and a human rights group in Jayapura, the provincial capital. Students staged a rally at the Papua legislative council, urging the military to stop the training exercise, which was causing 'anxiety'. The demonstrators, calling themselves the Association of Biak Students (Himaba), said that the exercise would frighten local people because West Biak was earlier the target of a military operation aimed at finding separatist rebels from the Free Papua Organization (OPM). OPM leader Matias Awom and his supporters live in West Biak and student protest leader Adolof Baransano said that particular operation had led to violent abuse, including extra-judicial killings and rapes. He also questioned the reasons for holding the exercise there given that it was also hindering local villagers from working on their farmland. Another protest was lodged by the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy for West Papua (Els-Ham), a Papuan-based non-governmental organization. Yance Kayame, chairman of Commission A at the Papua legislative council, said the protests were too late anyway as the soldiers had already begun the exercise. He promised, however, to convey the student's protest to the Trikora military commander and to monitor the exercise. Trikora Military Commander Maj. Gen. Nurdin Zainal, in charge of military affairs in Papua, said the exercise was to improve the troops' "stamina and skills" in battle. S. Sulawesi Violence Leaves 4 Dead At least four people were killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the division of Polmas district in South Sulawesi into two regencies - Polewali and Memasa. The creation of the latter regency followed the implementation of Law No. 11/2002 that recommends the inclusion of Aralle, Mambi and Tabulahan as part of the new regency. The South Sulawesi administration has already questioned the Ministry of Home Affairs' decision to include the three sub districts in Memasa regency, claiming there was no consultation with the people prior to making the decision. In the first day of clashes on Monday, two people, Hamdi, 40, and Nurdin, 35 were killed and another went missing. Two more died in brawls on Wednesday. Opponents from the three sub districts have refused to be incorporated in the newly created regency for geographic and historical reasons and because of ethnic and religious differences. They also fear the split could spark conflict among locals. Those opposed to the division had already staged several protests at the Polmas and Central Sulawesi legislative councils to convey their grievances. Two platoons of police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers from Polmas and South Sulawesi were deployed to the area to prevent further attacks and Deputy Polmas Police chief Adj. Comr. Samad Saleh said a manhunt has been launched to find the killers. Another McDonald's Bomber Jailed Khaerul, the third of 16 defendants to be tried in the Makassar bombing case at a McDonald's restaurant last year, was on Thursday sentenced to seven years in jail for his involvement in the bombing in which three people died. The Makassar District Court found Khaerul guilty of violating anti-terrorism laws by helping Agung Hamid, the alleged mastermind of the bombing in Makassar, hide from government authorities. On September 4, the same district court convicted Suriyadi and sentenced him to seven years in prison for illegally storing weapons and hiding suspects of the bombing. On September 25, yet another accomplice, Imal Hamid, was sentenced by the same court to six years in prison on similar charges. Sumbawa Back to Normal Deputy Governor of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Thamrin Rayes, said Tuesday that the situation in the town of Sumbawa Besar, which has been hit by disturbances between the public and police, was back to normal. Police are back on duty and military personnel have been withdrawn. At a meeting on Monday the governor and deputy governor of NTB, along with other local leaders, had agreed that the handling of the situation should be carried out by the police and decided not to arrest those members of the public who were involved in the disturbances on the previous Thursday. The demonstrators had demanded responsibility from the Sumbawa police in relation to the death of Mustakim, a student from the local Samawa University. Maluku Decree President Megawati Sukarnoputri has issued a decree on the handling of post-conflict Maluku and North Maluku. Megawati will order ministers to draw up programs for the two provinces. State Minister for Eastern Indonesian Development Manuel Kaisiepo said Wednesday that the State Policy Guidelines mandated the government to pay special attention to the development of the provinces of Aceh, Papua, Maluku and North Maluku. The government's special attention to Aceh and Papua is outlined in their special autonomy laws, he said, adding that he had also asked the government to pay special attention to Maluku by means of the presidential decree. Kaisiepo said years of sectarian violence in Maluku had caused considerable damage in the province. The conflict, which began in January 1999, claimed thousands of lives and left thousands of others homeless. In July 2000 Jakarta put Maluku under a state of civil emergency, which was lifted last month.

Jakarta Post 14 Oct 2003 www.thejakartapost.com OPINION: Criminal Code revisions and 'Western' values Frans H. Winarta, National Law Commission (KHN), Jakarta There is nothing new about the suggestion that the Criminal Code needs to be revised as it is out of date and fails to meet the needs of the modern nation state. However, we should be careful in accepting the government's recent statement that the Criminal Code is Dutch or Western in origin and is therefore "incompatible with the Indonesian people's sense of justice". The premise that the Criminal Code needs revision because it is Dutch or Western-based makes little sense as many recently drafted bills and enacted legislation were formulated not just based on the national interest but also due to the demands and/or influence of the international community, especially from Western countries. Obvious examples include the laws on money laundering, the revisions to the intellectual property rights law, consumer protection, the environment, human rights including crimes against humanity and many others. It is virtually impossible to formulate a law without some kind of outside or Western influence. If this kind of criteria were to be applied universally, we would have to revise our entire legal system. Even such recent legislation as Law No. 15 of 2002 on Money Laundering had to be amended as it was not acceptable to the international community, especially the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). If the Criminal Code is indeed to be amended, then such amendment needs to be premised on the basis of revisions to meet the needs of a modern state and international standards. We need to ask what the real point is of adding provisions on black magic and casual sex into the Criminal Code. Is it to fulfill the people's sense of justice or to align the Code with customary or Islamic law? The real objective of the criminal law is to reduce and prevent the incidence of crime. The relevant question to be asked here is whether adding provisions on black magic and casual sex into the Criminal Code is really going to reduce and/or prevent criminal behavior. Are black magic and casual sexual relations actually crimes? In most countries, adultery is not a crime proscribed by the state -- let alone sex between two consenting but unmarried adults. To embark on this road would be a backward step. The writer does not condone casual sex, but to make it a criminal offense is a totally different matter. Criminalization is not always the best way of reducing or preventing crime. Inserting black magic and certain sexual acts into the Criminal Code will not necessarily reduce their incidence. The answer to these problems lies more with morality than state regulation. Undesirable activities such as these can only be addressed through better quality education supported by increased public expenditure on education, character-building endeavors, moral and spiritual education and poverty reduction. A poor country can not provide quality education and without quality education a country cannot provide character-building and moral education for its people. For this reason, many developing countries are not wrong in wanting to institute a "welfare state" that sides with the popular interests of the community instead of just the interests of a particular group. Hence the answer to problems associated with black magic and irresponsible sexual behavior lies in the realm of education and not in legal regulation. Those engaging in adultery and free sex, for instance, should be held accountable morally rather than in terms of the law. This is private business in which the state does not need to interfere. Some groups in society regard homosexuality and oral sex as taboo behavior, but few countries nowadays get involved in regulating it. Categorizing such behavior as criminal will not reduce its incidence. These are matters that are too private in nature to be regulated by the state. On the other hand, issues like corruption, bribery, money laundering, crimes against humanity, genocide and terrorism are truly big problems that are worthy of the full attention of the state and need to be tackled together with other nations. The biggest issue that we are facing is weakness in law enforcement resulting in legal uncertainty. It is the joint responsibility of the state and the community to address this problem. Weakness in law enforcement has led us to disarray and caused society to become confused about what is right and wrong, and what is legal and illegal.

Xinhuanet 15 Oct 2003 www.chinaview.cn Blast rocks Indonesia's Poso, gunmen at large JAKARTA, Oct. 15 -- A bomb blast rocked Betania village in Poso regency, Central Sulawesi, as police intensified hunting for masked gunmen who killed at least nine people in recent raids in the violence-torn district, the daily Jakarta Post reported Wednesday. However, no casualties were reported from the bombing which has caused panic among local people who feared further attacks. The bomb exploded Monday evening outside a house in Betania, Poso Pesisir sub-district, causing no damage to the building. The blast came ahead of the arrival of Coordinating Minister for Political, Social and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono atthe religiously divided town. The target was close to the three villages of Saatu, Pantangolemba and Pinedapa, where masked attackers killed nine people, mostly Christians, in simultaneous raids at dawn on Sunday. "We were shocked upon hearing the strong blast. We thought it would be followed by gunfire, so we were prepared to flee for safety," local resident Lucky S. told The Jakarta Post. He said local people stood guard in their mountainous village, even though scores of police officers were deployed there. Spokesman for the Central Sulawesi Police Adj. Sr. Comr. Agus Sugianto on Tuesday confirmed the explosion in Betania, saying thebomb was a "low explosive." Poso was plagued by two years of religious conflicts that began in 2000. However, the violence subsided in December 2001 followinga government-brokered peace accord.

Laksamana.net 17 Oct 2003 Five arrested as Poso unrest continues Laksamana.Net - Police have reportedly arrested five men suspected of involvement in recent deadly attacks on Christian villagers in Central Sulawesi, while violence continued in the province on Friday (17/10/03). Lieutenant General Sudi Silalahi, an official at the Coordinating Ministry for Political and Security Affairs, was quoted by detikcom online news portal as saying police also found attack plan documents from a military-style training camp in the province. At least 11 Christians were killed and 12 wounded after the gunmen wearing balaclavas attacked the villages in Morowali and Poso districts over October 9-12. The killings prompted hundreds of villagers to flee their homes. "With the arrest of the five people suspected of responsibility for the Poso attacks, it is hoped more light can be shed on the motives and crimes," he said. National Police official Major General Dewa Astika said one of the men - a suspected bomb-maker - was arrested a few days ago, while the four others were arrested Friday morning after a brief gunfight and were now being detained for questioning. Meanwhile, state news agency Antara and some local television networks reported that military and police officials on Friday killed several armed men in a forest near Tanah Runtuh village in Poso district. The reports, which could not be immediately confirmed, said three members of the gang were killed while six others captured. National Police spokesman Brigadier General Sunarko D.A. said unidentified gunmen had attacked Tanah Runtuh village at about 3am Friday but there were no casualties. He said the gunmen had fired shots and set fire to a house. Central Sulawesi Police chief Brigadier General Taufik Ridha was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the pre-dawn attack was aimed at inciting new sectarian violence in the area, which was hit by Muslim-Christian fighting that left over 1,000 people dead over 2000-2001. Ridha said the latest attackers were about to burn a truck when police arrived. Officers found bullet shells and drums of kerosene at the scene. "It was obviously the work of provocateurs. They want to provoke Muslims by attacking a Muslim village," he was quoted as saying by AP. Outside Involvement Authorities are yet to name the perpetrators of the recent attacks, but government officials have said they were "well-trained" fighters, consisting of outsiders - possibly foreign terrorists - in cahoots with local residents. The deadly assaults are a strong indicated that there are certain groups desperately seeking to undermine the Malino Peace Accord initiated almost two years ago by Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Coordinating Minister for Social Welfare Yusuf Kalla. Signed by Muslim and Christian leaders on December 4, 2001, in the neutral city of Malino, South Sulawesi, the peace accord resulted in a significant reduction in the carnage in Central Sulawesi. The large-scale violence first erupted in April 2000, following a brawl between a Christian and a Muslim youth. Speaking after opening the Jakarta International Conference at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel on Monday, Kalla said the latest attacks in Poso were not a failure of the Malino agreement. "The Malino declaration has brought about peace and ended the hostilities of the Muslim and Christian sides, whereas the latest riot was conducted by a group of unidentified gunmen, well-trained, with the deliberate intention of creating disturbances in society. So, who are these groups needing to be reconciled this time, since we have no idea who they are or which group [they are from]?" said Kalla. The minister's statement implies the latest attacks were carried out by a third party that was not involved in the 2000-2001 violence in the province. The recent dawn attacks on the three villages of Saatu, Pantangolemba and Pinedapa were reminiscent of an armed assault conducted by a group of masked gunmen on the Christian village of Soya in Maluku province on April 28, 2002, just two months after the signing of the Malino II peace agreement that ended the hostilities between warring Muslim and Christian factions in the Maluku islands. The attack on Soya, in which 12 Christians were brutally murdered, was viewed as an attempt to foil the Malino II agreement and eventually helped prompt authorities to arrest Laskar Jihad leader Ja'afar Umar Thalib. The Malino II pact was signed on February 12 in an effort to end three years of sectarian conflict that had claimed about 7,000 lives in Maluku and North Maluku provinces. Under the pact, both sides agreed to stop fighting, obey laws, expect security forces to be firm yet fair, reject illegal external interference and militia groups, stop slander, and promote reconciliation and respect for all religions and cultures. The two sides also handed in weapons and helped to repatriate some of the thousands of people who became refugees as a result of the conflict. Despite the signing of the Malino accords for Central Sulawesi and the Malukus, sporadic incidents of deadly violence continued over the4 following months. Many analysts accused the military of playing a role in the carnage by taking sides and supplying weapons. A more obvious role in the ongoing violence had been played by the extremist Islamic group Laskar Jihad. Laskar Jihad had attempted to justify its presence in the Malukus and Sulawesi on the pretext of defending Muslims. The group strongly opposed the peace accords and continued to foment attacks on Christians. But Laskar Jihad did not represent the general attitude of Muslim community in the Malukus and Sulawesi which wanted peaceful and harmonious relations with the regions' Christians. Laskar Jihad's attacks were finally brought to a halt when the group officially disbanded after the October 12, 2002, Bali nightclub bombings that left 202 people dead. Laskar Jihad claimed the timing of its disbandment was merely a coincidence, but many analysts speculated it indicated the organization was following orders from certain generals who didn't want to become implicated in the crackdown on terror following the Bali blasts. The latest attacks in Central Sulawesi show disturbing similarities to the first assaults carried out in 2000, when perpetrators used similar methods to provoke anger among Muslim and Christian communities, thus instigating the horizontal conflict. In the first attacks in Poso, Muslims attacked Christians, killing hundreds and destroying hundreds of their homes. Later on, hundreds of Muslims were killed in retaliatory attacks by the so-called Christian "Black Bat" raiders in May 2000. In August 2000, the governors of the provinces in Sulawesi declared a truce, but there was a resurgence of violence in April 2001, when a local court condemned to death three Christian commanders accused of involvement in the previous year's violence. Under Megawati Sukarnoputri's presidency, the conflict took a new turn in August 2001, when Laskar Jihad declared a jihad in Poso and began to send hundreds of fighters to the district. The arrival of Laskar Jihad forces, as they did in Malukus, tilted the balance against the Christians. By the end of November 2001, there were thousands of Muslim paramilitary troops in the district, equipped with Ak-47s, grenade and rocket launchers, bulldozers, and tanker trucks. Laskar Jihad, which was alleged to have close links with former armed forces commander Wiranto, and Muslim irregulars launched a scorched-earth campaign, destroying dozens of Christian villages and forcing 50,000 refugees into the Christian-majority lakeside town of Tentena. Without Laskar Jihad around to do the dirty of provocateurs seeking to destabilize Indonesia, a new group has presumably been brought into Poso to create fresh conflict, while the people themselves remain united. Yudhoyono on Monday said preliminary intelligence gathering indicates the perpetrators of the latest attacks were locals and outsiders. "This [finding] is based on the methodology of the attacks, which were simultaneously launched in four villages, where they knew very well that security in those areas was not sufficient," he said. He did not rule out the possibility there were other masterminds and networks connected with the attacks. After a meeting of senior security officials, Yudhoyono issued an eight-point order to handle the Poso crisis, specifically instructing the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and other intelligence bodies to identify the perpetrators and the masterminds of the attacks. "It is too much, because they are glad [to let] this country fall apart, while the situation right now has been returning to normal," he said. Given that the task of intelligence bodies is to anticipate and prevent efforts by "security disturbance groups" to destabilize the country, Yudhoyono's instruction implies that the intelligence activities coordinated by BIN have not worked very well. Meanwhile, Indonesian Defense Forces commander Endriartono Sutarto and Army chief Ryamizard Ryacudu denied the involvement of their personnel in the Poso violence, despite the finding of weapons and bullets similar to those used by state troops. According to Sutarto, the weapons and bullets used by the perpetrators had been taken from the military, as there as "naughty soldiers" who steal munitions and sell them on the black market. One possibility that neither Sutarto or Ryacudu mentioned was that the unrest may have been masterminded by certain disgruntled generals and deserted troops acting outside the central military command structure.

Laksamana.Net 23 Oct 2003 Kopassus Chief on Trial for Priok Massacre - Army Special Forces (Kopassus) chief Major General Sriyanto Muntarsan on Thursday (23/10/03) went on trial for gross violations of human rights over the slaughter of Muslim protesters at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port 19 years ago. Sriyanto was operations chief of the North Jakarta Military Command when soldiers under his command opened fire on a crowd of about 1,500 unarmed protesters in front of North Jakarta Police headquarters on the night of September 12, 1984. Exactly how many people were killed in the massacre is unclear. Last month, the trial opened of an Army captain and 10 low-ranking military officers accused of murdering at least 14 people and attempting to murder more. But some human rights groups have claimed 400 people were killed, with the corpses secretly trucked away and buried in unmarked mass graves. Others have said corpses were put in fishing nets and thrown into the sea. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has said at least 24 people were killed. In September 1984, Muslims in Tanjung Priok, one of the poorest areas of Jakarta and well known for the Islamic fervor of its residents, had spoken out against then president Suharto’s policy that required all political, social and religious organizations to adopt the Pancasila state ideology as their founding principle. Many Muslim groups felt they were being ordered to place Pancasila above Islam. Others felt Pancasila was being redefined to mean absolute loyalty to the corrupt Suharto regime. The demonstration outside North Jakarta Police headquarters was held after authorities detained four Muslim clerics for “subversion” due to their criticism of Suharto’s policies. Prosecutors accused Sriyanto of crimes against humanity for ordering his troops to fire into a crowd of protesters without first firing warning shots. The indictment said the “systematic and general attack" was a crime against humanity that “intended directly to murder civilians". "As an operational officer, the defendant did not stop his men from carrying out gross human right violations," prosecutor Darmono was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. He told Central Jakarta District Court that shortly before troops fired the first shots, Sriyanto had shouted to the crowd: "Disperse or we will shoot you." Scores of Kopassus soldiers were trucked to the courtroom and provided a strong show of support for their leader as the charges were read out. The indictment against Sriyanto alleges that that at least 10 people were killed and many more wounded. Sriyanto, now aged 52, could face the death penalty if found guilty of responsibility for the massacre. He is the 14th and apparently final defendant to go on trial in the case. Other high-ranking suspects already on trial for the massacre are former North Jakarta Military Command chief Major General (retired) Rudolf Butar-Butar, and Major General (retired) Pranowo, who was head of the Jakarta Military Police in 1984. Many human rights activists have said former military chief Benny Murdani and former vice president Try Sutrisno should have been included on the list of suspects. Murdani was commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces at the time of the bloody killings, while Sutrisno was chief of the Jakarta Military Command. Outside the court, Sriyanto strongly denied any wrongdoing in the Tanjung Priok massacre and said he objected to the charges. "What I did, I believe, was all in accordance with the procedures," he was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald. Sriyanto was to have made an official visit to Australia earlier this month, but the trip was canceled due to the controversy over his status as a suspected violator of human rights.

AFP 27 Oct 2003 Gunmen kill Christian farmer in troubled eastern Indonesian district JAKARTA, Oct 27 (AFP) - Unidentified gunmen on Monday shot dead a farmer in the latest attack on Christians in a religiously-divided Indonesian district. The 22-year-old man was shot dead while walking to work at Pinedapa village in Poso district in Central Sulawesi province, said Rudi Trenggono, deputy police chief of Poso town. A joint unit of paramilitary and regular police has been deployed to hunt the farmer's killers, Trenggono said. Earlier this month masked gunmen killed 10 people in attacks on mainly Christian villages in the district. Eight of them died in raids on three villages on October 12. The killings raised fears of a return to the Muslim-Christian violence which killed about 1,000 people in the Poso district in 2000 and 2001, until a government-brokered truce. Police deployed scores of extra officers to track those behind the earlier attacks, shooting dead six suspects and arresting 13. They will be charged under an anti-terror law. The al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group has eyed Poso as a potential training ground, according to a report by the International Crisis Group of political analysts. Tempo magazine, in its edition published Monday, quoted an anonymous JI member in Poso as saying the October 12 attacks on Christian villages had been carried out by the network to "commemorate one-year anniversary of the Bali bombing." Commenting on the report, Trenggono said: "Until now, we have not yet been able to conclude a possible involvement of a certain group." JI is blamed for the Bali blasts which killed 202 people and a string of other bloody attacks. One of the suspects arrested after the village raids is originally from Lamongan in East Java, the home of Bali bomber Amrozi. At the height of the unrest at least two Islamic militias, Laskar Jihad and Laskar Jundullah, were operating in Central Sulawesi.

Jakarta Post 29 Oct 2003 Govt to impede infiltration of Poso National News - October 16, 2003 La Remmy and Erik W., The Jakarta Post, Poso, Central Sulawesi Jakarta plans to increase security in Poso regency, Central Sulawesi, to prevent outsiders from perpetrating further attacks after the deaths of at least nine people in recent raids there, a senior minister said on Wednesday. Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said three main security measures would be utilized to prevent more deadly violence blamed on "mysterious gunmen" in the past two weeks, which threatens to end the peace deal brokered in December 2001, which effectively put a stop to two years of Muslim-Christian clashes. First, the security forces will intensify patrols in vulnerable areas across the religiously divided district to curb the intrusion of troublemakers from outside. Second, the authorities are determined to cut off communication between Sulawesi-based provocateurs and their accomplices living in other areas. "The central government will strive to tighten security so as to hinder the free movement of outsiders in Poso by strengthening intelligence operations," Susilo told journalists on the sidelines of his visit to the town. Third, the Indonesian Military (TNI) will station soldiers in remote areas that are not inhabited or home to very small communities. Susilo said the deployment of military forces would be concentrated in jungles and mountainous areas. "This operation is to break up the bases of these troublemakers and detect their activities or training camps." He said the three crucial measures were decided as an analysis showed that the latest attacks in Poso and the neighboring regency of Morowali were perpetrated by trained outsiders in cooperation with some local residents. They had formed paramilitary gangs recruited from the local population to launch raids on villages in a very well planned manner, the chief security minister added. However, Susilo could not specify the number of police and military personnel that would be needed in Poso. On Sunday, masked gunmen launched dawn raids on three predominantly Christian villages; Saatu, Pantangolemba and Pinedapa in Poso Pesisir subdistrict, leaving nine people dead. Two days earlier, similar attackers killed three others and burned houses and a church in Beteleme village, Morowali. A bomb blast rocked Betania village in Poso Pesisir on Monday evening, but caused no injuries. The unexpected attacks prompted Susilo and officers from the TNI and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) to fly to Central Sulawesi on Tuesday. He visited Pinedapa, Saatu and Pantangolemba on Wednesday to assess the situation and spoke with victims there. In Poso, the minister was accompanied by Central Sulawesi Governor Aminuddin Ponulele and provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Taufik Ridha. During the talks, local residents asked Susilo to deploy more security personnel to the attacked villages to restore peace and order. "During Sunday's incident, I saw guns like those belonging to security officers who were once on duty here," said the unnamed head of Pantangolemba village. Susilo also held a meeting with local religious and community leaders, as well as government officials at Poso's Torulemba building, where he told them to work together in a sincere way to contain any new conflicts or revenge attacks. Separately on Wednesday, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Jusuf Kalla, who brokered the 2001 peace pact, said there was no need for talks over the recent incidents. "What has happened in Poso is not a conflict but purely an attack by a certain group, so there is no need for a dialog (among Muslim and Christian leaders)," he argued as quoted by Antara. Kalla claimed that the situation in Poso had returned to relative normalcy because local people from both faiths were united in their opposition of the unidentified attackers. Meanwhile, Taufik Ridha said a lack of cooperation on the part of local people was part of the police's difficulties in uncovering a series of recent attacks by mysterious gunmen in Central Sulawesi. Information from people was badly needed to help unravel those cases, he added. Poso's Tadulako military chief Col. M. Slamet admitted that many local civilians still carried firearms and that his office and the local police would step up house-to-house raids and seize any sharp weapons from the villagers. The arms sweeps would also be done in jungle settlements as well, he added.


BBC 8 October, 2003 Iraqis split on Turkish troops plan - Turkish troops may not necessarily be welcomed by Arab Iraqis The Iraqi Governing Council has failed to reach agreement with the US-led coalition that controls the country over Turkey's decision to send troops to Iraq. Opposition to the Turkish deployment threatens to bring about the most serious public split so far between the governing council and the American authorities, correspondents say. After a meeting of several hours with US administrator Paul Bremer, the council said the issue had not yet been resolved. Kurdish representatives on the council have been particularly opposed to the presence of up to 20,000 Turkish troops, given the tension between Iraqi Kurds and Turkey. The two sides are expected to meet again in Baghdad on Thursday, in the search for a compromise. We want Iraq to regain its independence and sovereignty at the earliest possible time and that's why we don't want more and more troops added to those already in Iraq IGC President Iyad Allawi Slow start for Iraqi democracy The issue is exposing disagreements not only between the council and the American-led administration, but also within the council itself. Council member Songul Chapouk told the BBC that widely differing views had been expressed at talks on Wednesday, ranging from those who supported deployment to those who were strongly opposed to troops from any of Iraq's neighbours. "Our Kurdish colleagues have rejected the deployment of Turkish troops on their territory because they fear it could create problems for them," she said. But Ms Chapouk said that other members of the council wanted to continue discussing the issue, and focus on the details of the deployment. Credibility 'at stake' The BBC's Jill McGivering, in Baghdad, says there is strong pressure on both sides to work out a compromise. Although it is in charge, the coalition wants to be seen as sympathetic to Iraqi views. TURKISH ARMED FORCES Total strength of 800,000, with second largest army in Nato - mainly conscripts Staged three coups, in 1960, 1971 and 1980 Repeatedly attacked Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq Defeated PKK Kurdish rebels in Turkey in 1999 after 15-year war Commanded Isaf peacekeepers in Afghanistan from June 2002 to February 2003 The council knows its credibility will be badly damaged if it expressed strong opposition to Turkish troops and they were deployed anyway. This is a highly emotive issue, our correspondent adds, but the fact both sides are planning to carry on talking is itself a positive sign. IGC President Iyad Allawi told Associated Press: "We shall positively take into account the needs of our friends in the coalition who are keen on having the Turkish army here, but at the same time there are important sensitivities that must be considered." The deployment of the troops was approved on Tuesday by Turkey's parliament. Wider significance The United States has been pressing for some time for Turkey to join the international force in Iraq and help on the ground. It would be the first major deployment of troops from a Muslim nation since the war ended. They would be deployed in the Sunni areas of central Iraq - where US troops face almost daily attack from hostile Iraqi elements - and not in the northern Kurdish areas. But BBC Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says the American-led administration appears to have once again underestimated regional and cultural sensitivities in Iraq. Although the vast majority of Iraqis are Muslims, he says, this does not necessarily mean they would welcome troops from neighbouring Muslim countries any more than those from far afield. Our correspondent points out that Arab nationalism in Iraq emerged partly in response to what many there saw as the oppressive rule of the Ottoman Turks during the 19th century.

BBC 9 Oct 2003 Baghdad police station bombed The car was reduced to tangled wreckage A suicide attack on a police station in Baghdad's main Shia Muslim district has left 10 dead and dozens wounded. A car carrying two people sped into the compound in the Sadr City area before exploding near the main building. Gunmen also shot dead a Spanish military attache in the city and a US soldier was killed in an ambush near Baquba, to the north-east of Baghdad. In the Kurdish north of Iraq, gunmen attacked a police patrol, killing two officers and two civilians. The latest violence came six months to the day since US troops took control of Baghdad, toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. 'All I could see was fire' Hundreds of police officers had been waiting to receive salaries in the compound when the car drove at speed through the gate at about around 0845 (0545GMT) on Thursday, despite shots fired by guards. ATTACKS ON IRAQI POLICE July 5: Remote-controlled bomb kills 7 police recruits in Ramadi, 100km west of Baghdad July 13: Bomb explodes near police station in Baghdad suburb, killing 1 Sept 2: Car bomb hits Rasafa police HQ in eastern Baghdad, killing 1 and wounding 15 The blast killed three policemen, five civilians and two men in the car. "I ran and got hit in the leg," said police officer Khalid Sattar Jabar, 25, from his hospital bed. "When I looked back, all I could see was fire. Mr Jabar had caught sight of the driver of the car and described him as a man with a beard and a thick head of hair. Iraq's police force has been the target of a series of attacks since the US-led coalition began running the country. According to one unconfirmed report, US troops who mounted a search after Thursday's bomb attack clashed with armed members of a local Shia militia, leaving one militiaman dead and two wounded. Shot outside home Spanish military attache Jose Antonio Bernal Gomez was shot dead after apparently answering the door to two men at his residence in Baghdad's elite Mansour district at 0800 on Thursday. SIX MONTHS ON The only difference seems to be that they [Iraqis] are dying as free people JFM, UK Send us your comments According to the Spanish foreign ministry, the attackers had arrived in a car bearing foreign licence plates and one was dressed as a Shia cleric. A local guard said Mr Bernal Gomez had tried to run outside when his attackers attempted to grab him and they fired at least six shots. There are about 1,300 Spanish troops in Iraq, the majority deployed in Shia areas south of Baghdad. Mr Bernal Gomez was Spain's second fatality in post-war Iraq. On 19 August, a Spanish naval officer seconded to the UN was one of 23 people killed in a bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. In Thursday's other attacks, Kurdish media report that gunmen in a car opened fire on a police vehicle in Arbil at about 0830, killing two officers as well as two civilians, one of them a woman. Arbil's police chief blamed the attack on "a terrorist group seeking to destabilise the city". In the attack near Baquba, in Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a US military convoy at about 0200, killing a soldier from the 4th Infantry Division.

UPI 16 Oct 2003 Saddam's justice: framework of genocide By P. MITCHELL PROTHERO BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- What's often missed in the discussion about the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein's Baath Party regime, which killed thousands of Iraqis, is that most of the killings took place under the auspices of the rule of law. "The Baath Party regime made their works and their activities legal by their experiences in running the country and with the rules of the law," said Sadeeq Saleem al-Shumari, a local attorney. Shumari knows how these things work. He was a judge assigned to the special security services of Iraqi's legal system. In local parlance, he was a Mukhabarat judge, part of the dread security services that hunted down the perceived enemies of the regime. And in the mind of Saddam and his supporters, anyone could be such an enemy regardless of the evidence. Many ruthless leaders terrorize their populations, but few did so with as much aggression and under as highly organized and codified a framework as Saddam. "They (Saddam's regime) were experts at making whatever they wanted to do sound legal," Shumari said. "Everything they did was legal, that's why so many current judges have to be removed. They were manipulated and threatened by the system to allow the Baathists to do these things." Shumari served for decades as a judge in most branches of the criminal courts, but it was his experience as a Mukhabarat judge that soured his career and sent him to private practice nearly 10 years ago. Although he remained a member of the Baath Party, it would have been dangerous for him to quit over moral objections, he says the behavior of the men he served repulsed him both morally and violated the rule of law he had dedicated his life to serving. "Iraq was famous for its legal system," he says. "It was the highest members of the society that corrupted the system. They compromised the entire system (of justice) throughout all levels of the society. "Despite all that, we have many good judges, only a few were really crooked. Most were just helpless." He says an initially clean system turned bad with time. "The police forces were able to reduce and solve crimes and they would have been mostly free of corruption," he says. "But over time it got worse. If the head of a fish spoils, it's not long before you can't eat the tail." Shumari also dispels the popular belief among Iraqis that under Saddam the streets were free of crime. He says this simply was untrue after 1991. "Crime was rising very fast," he says. "The regime was full of crime and the people saw it. The streets of Baghdad were not as safe from criminals as people say now." It was Saddam's security services, however, that Shumari grew to hate the most. "They would do whatever they wanted," he says. "The didn't distinguish between guilt and innocence. If a judge like myself stood up to them and ruled for innocence. That person was killed anyway." Shumari points to the mass graves that permeate the soil of Iraq. Usually filled with Shiite Muslims, whom Saddam considered a threat because of their religious ties to Iran, these graves were not filled with illegal midnight murders. Instead they were the last step in a well thought out process of insane justice. "Those that were killed and dumped into the mass graves; they were executed as part of a legal system," he says. "They were killed as part of the laws of Iraq - the regime could fake any evidence as part of the general orders for dealing with opposition to the regime." Shumari stands up from his desk and goes to the bookshelf of his shabby office in a primarily Shiite neighborhood to read the law that send so many Shiites to horrible deaths. "Section 156," he intones in the voice of a law profession. "Punishable by execution of anyone who undertakes any activity against the dignity of Iraq, or its unity, or the safety of its land. Or any activities that could lead to this." He says this law, not unlike any law banning treason found in any nation, including the United States, which treats treason as punishable by death, was intended to be used to kill off political opposition. But Saddam used it against the religious Shiites. "If someone joined the Dawa Party (a Shiite political movement promoting a Islamic republic similar to Iran's) maybe you could argue they deserve one or two years in prison because such a party was actually illegal," he says. " But under Section 156, they could kill anyone the Baathists thought might threaten their control of Iraq, not Iraq itself." "Under Islamic law, it is almost impossible for anyone to get more than 20 years in prison unless they kill or rape someone," he says. "That's what (the Americans) were right to get rid of the execution penalty here in Iraq."

AP 15 Oct 2003 House Cuts Aid to Restore Iraq Marshlands By JOHN HEILPRIN Associated Press Writer October 15, 2003, 3:31 PM EDT WASHINGTON -- Restoring an area that is said to have been the biblical Garden of Eden, marshlands that Saddam Hussein turned into an arid salt bed in his purge of Shiite Muslims, was one of President Bush's priorities when he asked Congress for $20.3 billion to help rebuild Iraq. It also was among the few items House Republicans decided to cut, at least for now, if the United States had to pay for it. They chopped $100 million from Bush's bill for resurrecting the Mesopotamian marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., chairman of the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, said the project "certainly passes the smell test" as a legitimate need but is too big for the United States to take on alone. "This is a very long-term project, so it's not likely to be done this coming year," Kolbe said in an interview. "If ever in this whole bill there was any project that cried out for international funding, this is it." Kolbe likened the project to the nearly $8 billion cost of restoring the Florida Everglades. "One hundred million wouldn't even touch a project of this size," he said. Bush administration officials said restoring Iraq's marshes will cost less than one-tenth the Everglades project but added that getting started on it now is critical to currying favor with Iraqis and U.S. allies at a crucial time. Andrew Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said people in the region will not have clean water and food and not be able to support themselves until the marshlands are at least partially restored. "For us, this is first a security matter," Natsios said in an interview. "It's a matter of protecting our troops, to get an area that was unstable stabilized. That's number one." Many biblical scholars believe the Garden of Eden was located in the Mesopotamian marshlands. Bush asked for the money based on a request and cost estimate by L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq. It would finance tearing down dams and building dikes and levees to increase river flow to the once-lush region. "You want to see what Saddam did to the people of Iraq, first go to the marshes," said Natsios. "So there's a political statement we're making here about genocide, about atrocities on a massive scale that's not understood by the outside world. ... This is beginning to repair the damage done to an entire civilization and culture." Until the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the marshes -- the largest wetlands in the Middle East -- performed a critical ecological function, filtering polluted water from northern cities and purifying it before it reached the southern rivers and the city of Basra. As Shiite Muslims in the region revolted, Saddam ordered thousands killed and built new dams, canals and pipelines to dry up the marshes -- the source for fishing, boating and small agriculture that sustained a population of up to 500,000 people. U.S. officials now estimate the remaining population at 20,000 to 40,000. Using satellite photos, United Nations officials concluded that only about 10 percent of the original 8,000 square miles of wetlands -- an area the size of Massachusetts -- still had water by the late 1990s. Restoring the marshes would be headed by Bremer's authority, helped by USAID, the State Department and university hydrologists. "That region is incredibly important to our success and the reconstruction," said Dan Senor, an adviser to Bremer. "From a strategic standpoint, it's critical that we demonstrate to them in a meaningful way that they have a stake in the new free Iraq." Iraqi engineers and tribal people have begun tearing down some dams Saddam erected but their effort only scratches the surface, according to U.S. officials and outside experts, acknowledging that the expertise of a major engineering firm is needed. Natsios said more than half the marshlands may be lost forever but estimated that 25 to 30 percent of them can be restored within two to three years for less than $1 billion. Bush's $100 million would provide the seed funds but Canada, Britain and Italy also have pledged "a substantial amount of money," he said. "This is a cause celebre in Europe," Natsios said, explaining that the marshes will be an issue at the major donors conference next week in Madrid. "For us to cut money out of it sends a terrible message to the Western world." The administration has yet to make that case to Congress, according to Kolbe and others on Capitol Hill. Bush's $100 million request for the marshes is expected to remain in the Senate version of the bill, but Democrats there also want more involvement by the international community. Its fate won't be decided until next week or later when lawmakers try to merge the two bills. * __ On the Net: USAID: http://www.usaid.gov/stories/iraq/iraq_snapshot1.html AMAR foundation: http://www.amarappeal.com Eden Again: http://www.edenagain.org

HRW 21 Oct 2003 Iraq: Civilian Deaths Need U.S. Investigation Report Tallies Civilian Toll in Baghdad (New York, October 21, 2003) The U.S. military is failing to conduct proper investigations into civilian deaths resulting from the excessive or indiscriminate use of force in Baghdad, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today. The 56-page report, Hearts and Minds: Post-War Civilian Casualties in Baghdad by U.S. Forces, confirms twenty deaths in the Iraqi capital alone between May 1 and September 30. In total, Human Rights Watch collected credible reports of 94 civilian deaths in Baghdad, involving questionable legal circumstances that warrant investigation. This number does not include civilians wounded by U.S. troops. The precise number of Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. soldiers since the end of major military operations is unknown, and the U.S. military told Human Rights Watch that it keeps no statistics on civilian deaths. “It’s a tragedy that U.S. soldiers have killed so many civilians in Baghdad,” said Joe Stork, acting executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. “But it’s really incredible that the U.S. military does not even count these deaths. Any time U.S. forces kill an Iraqi civilian in questionable circumstances, they should investigate the incident.” Thus far, the military says it has concluded only five investigations above the division level, ordered by the deputy commanding general, into alleged unlawful deaths. Of these, soldiers were found to have operated “within the rules of engagement” in four cases. In the fifth case, a helicopter pilot and his commander face disciplinary action for trying to tear down a Shi`a banner in Sadr City in Baghdad, an incident that provoked a violent clash with demonstrators on August 13. Human Rights Watch conducted its own investigation of two of these five cases, and found evidence to suggest that soldiers had used excessive force, including shooting a person who had his hands in the air and beating a detainee. In some cases, U.S. forces faced a real threat, which gave them the right to respond with force. But that response was sometimes disproportionate or indiscriminate, harming civilians or putting them at risk. “The cases we documented in this report reveal a pattern of over-aggressive tactics, excessive shooting in residential areas and hasty reliance on lethal force,” Stork said. In compiling its report, Human Rights Watch conducted more than 60 interviews and gathered information from five sources: Iraqi witnesses and family members of victims, police records from all the police stations in Baghdad, local and international human rights groups, media accounts, and the U.S. military. The Human Rights Watch report categorizes civilian deaths in Baghdad since May 1 in three basic groups: during raids, at checkpoints, and after ambushes on convoys. In all three circumstances, soldiers often quickly resorted to the use of lethal force. Their fire was not always directed at the intended target, or proportionate to the threat. “Iraq is clearly a hostile environment for U.S. troops,” said Stork. “But that does not absolve the military from its legal obligations to use force in a restrained and proportionate manner – and only when necessary.” Part of the problem is the deployment of combat troops, such as the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Armored Division, for essentially law enforcement tasks. Many of these soldiers fought their way into Iraq and were then asked to switch from acting as warriors to serving as policemen who must control crowds, pursue thieves and root out insurgents. For these policing tasks they are not properly trained, equipped or psychologically prepared. In some cases, U.S. soldiers have behaved with unnecessary rudeness toward Iraqi civilians. Human Rights Watch strongly recommended that U.S. forces desist from the practice of putting their feet on the heads of Iraqis whom they have detained face-down on the ground. In Iraqi culture, the use of feet against another person is highly insulting and offensive. U.S. military officials told Human Rights Watch they were providing extra training for U.S. forces. Human Rights Watch researchers met many U.S. military personnel who dealt respectfully with Iraqis and were working hard to train Iraqi police, guard facilities and pursue criminals. Some of these soldiers expressed frustration at the behavior of their colleagues. “It takes a while to get the Rambo stuff out,” one officer told Human Rights Watch. In the meantime, the lack of timely and high-level investigations into many questionable incidents has created an atmosphere of impunity. “Soldiers must know they will be held accountable for the improper use of force,” Stork said. “Right now, soldiers feel they can pull the trigger without coming under review.” The Human Rights Watch report proposed concrete ways to reduce civilian deaths in Iraq. Checkpoints should be better marked with signs in Arabic and lights, and interpreters should accompany all raids. The military’s rules of engagement are not made public due to security concerns, but Iraqi civilians have a right to know how they are expected to behave at checkpoints and during raids. Coalition forces should make such information available through the local media, Human Rights Watch urged. Most importantly, U.S. military authorities should investigate all credible allegations of unlawful killings by coalition soldiers, and punish soldiers and commanders found to have used or tolerated the use of excessive or indiscriminate force. http://hrw.org/press/2003/10/iraq102103.htm

Israel/Palestinian Authority

Arutz Sheva 1 Oct 2003 www.israelnationalnews.com Two More Pilots Sign Rebellious Letter 02:22 Oct 01, '03 / 5 Tishrei 5764 (IsraelNN.com) Two additional air force pilots have joined the group of rebellious personnel, a major in the reserves, a former fighter pilot who today is a senior pilot in a civilian company as well as another major who is an inactive chopper pilot. At present, there are 29 signatories to the letter. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz announced earlier this week that any person who signed the letter and expresses remorse may come forward, indicating they will be forgiven. Those who are unwilling to change their position have already been suspended and may be thrown out of the military.

Arutz Sheva 1 Oct 2003 www.israelnationalnews.com MK Calls for a Boycott of El Al Flights Flown by Rebellious Pilots 00:46 Oct 01, '03 / 5 Tishrei 5764 (IsraelNN.com) MK (National Union) Uri Ariel on Tuesday released the names of rebellious former air force pilots who are now employed by El Al. They were among the 27 air force personnel who signed the letter refusing to carryout targeted counter-terrorism offensive strikes. Ariel is calling upon El Al travelers not to travel with pilots who “prefer the lives of terrorists over the lives of Israelis”. He asks that passengers inquire at to the names of the flight crew and boycott flights operated by any of the five, adding if a plane is hijacked, they cannot be relied upon.

JewishPress.com 1 Oct 2003 American Group Behind IAF ‘Refuseniks’ Petition JERUSALEM – The Israeli Air Force moved swiftly last week to punish some of the 27 officers who signed a petition refusing to serve in the territories, grounding nine of them. The petition had been widely circulated among hundreds of Israel’s reserve pilots by two left-wing groups called Yesh Gvul and Courage to Refuse, which reportedly have received more than $250,000 from the Philadelphia-based Shefa Fund over the past two years. A brochure distributed by Yesh Gvul offers financial support for any Israeli soldier who refuses army service anywhere beyond Israel’s 1949/67 cease-fire line. The pilots drew harsh condemnation from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and their fellow reservists. Sharon said the “severe and difficult” issue must “be dealt with and quickly.” He said it is “unacceptable” that officers should “exploit their uniform and rank in the name of the IDF for political purposes.” OC Air Force Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz gave the order to ground the nine, instructors at the Hazterim IAF base and the only active pilots of the refusal movement. They will meet with their commanders soon and will be asked to retract the statement publicly. Those who refuse will be dismissed from active duty. IDF sources indicated that the reservists would likely not be court martialed, mainly because their reserve duty is semi-voluntary and because a majority of the signatories are beyond reserve age. The signatories of the letter, circulated first in the press and then given to Halutz, said that they refused to “continue to harm innocent civilians” and other “immoral and illegal” operations that are “part of the occupation.” In a meticulously planned media campaign, they had cut a deal of exclusivity with Israel’s Channel 2 and Yediot Aharonot prior to the release of their letter. In an effort at damage control, Halutz wrote a letter to all IAF officers, saying the refusal is as immoral as “sticking a knife in the backs of the fighters fulfilling their operational duty... and into democracy.” He also condemned the action coming at a time when “hundreds of civilians and soldiers are killed in terrorist attacks.” Halutz added that there is no more moral an army than the IDF and that never was an order given to target innocent civilians. He also wondered how the reservists could be shown in the media wearing their flight suits without the knowledge of their base commanders. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also slammed the reservists, saying their “refusal has no connection to morality... they are simply using [their] rank and their uniform to issue political statements.” Much of the condemnation, including that of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, focused on their using their status as pilots and their ranks to promote a marginal political viewpoint. Hundreds of reserve pilots, those who conduct targeted killings among them, slammed the letter of refusal as immoral, traitorous, and even dangerous. Some feared that publication of details of their activities could leave pilots exposed to the International War Crimes Tribunal. However, sources close to the refusing pilots reported that since their announcement as many as seven additional pilots signed the letter, one of them a colonel. The IDF is especially piqued at the high rank of some of the reservists. There are two lieutenant-colonels, nine colonels, and Brig.-Gen (res.) Yiftah Spector, a legendary ace, served as a base commander and was at one time Halutz’s flight instructor. Sources in the IAF are also beginning to fret over of what is called “gray refusal,” whereby a small number of pilots express their discomfort with targeted assassinations and are removed from the assignment by their superiors. The deal is conducted quietly, often without the knowledge of senior IAF commanders. The leaders of the refusal movement reportedly approached more than 100 of their active reserve duty colleagues, among them helicopter gunship pilots who are called on for a support role in targeted killings. Most rejected the call to refuse. One, a Black Hawk pilot, said, “I don’t really condone the assassinations... but I thought signing the petition a dangerous line to cross. Orders are orders; they are part of serving in the air force.” -- With reporting by Matthew Gutman of The Jerusalem Post

Arutz Sheva 2 Oct 2003 www.israelnationalnews.com Students vs. Professors The University Students' Union has come out swinging. It publicized a call last night for all students to boycott the 200 professors who signed a petition in support of the "rebel pilots," and not to sign up for their courses. Signed by 22 student union heads from around the country and addressed to the professors, the students' proclamation stated, "We call on the student public to give up on the privilege of hearing your learned doctrine and to boycott your lectures." Igniting the controversy was a letter sent last week to Israel Air Force Chief Gen. Dan Halutz by 27 pilots, including 18 on non-active duty, saying they would refuse to carry out what they called the "unethical" orders to bomb murderous terrorists hiding out amidst Arab civilians. Their many critics stated that they are apparently more concerned with the risk to Arab civilians than that to the Israelis who are targeted by the terrorists. The students' letter did not understate their case: "You [professors], with your confused ideas, are not worthy of imparting knowledge to anyone, and we are ashamed of you. Refusal to carry out orders is against the country's laws and it eats away at the foundations of democracy. It is incumbent on a well-founded state to condemn and uproot phenomena of this nature." In the meanwhile, Education Minister Limor Livnat has called off a debate that had been scheduled for a school in Ashdod between one of the rebel-pilot signatories and a pilot who disagreed with him. She said that schools need not give an open platform to opinions of the nature expressed by the rebel pilots. More excerpts from the students' letter: "The wayward pilots should be made to stand public trial and be stripped of their ranks. By saying that 'the real terrorist infrastructure is the continued occupation of Palestinian lands,' you have 'let the blood' of tens of thousands of students who serve in the reserves for the Israel Defense Forces and who are on the watch night and day to guard the nation and the land." Three pilots have so far withdrawn their signatures from their original letter, and two more have joined. Deputy Education Minister Tzvi Hendel (National Union) told Arutz-7 that he will try to ensure that no writings of those who publicly supported the pilots will be taught in public schools. Also joining the fray today was a group of 25 Jerusalemites calling themselves a "Bus Passengers Group." They called on the Air Force Commander to ignore the pilots' letter, to continue the air strikes against terrorists, and to use even stronger bombs whenever necessary. The group says that these actions are necessary to save their lives, and they even threaten to turn to the Supreme Court if their plea is not met. "The Israel Air Force must consider only the good of Israel's citizens, even at the expense of Palestinian residents," the group wrote.

Jerusalem Post 2 Oct 2003 Bus riders: Don't cut targeted killings By DAN IZENBERG A group of 25 Jerusalem residents who rely on public transportation warned OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Dan Halutz on Thursday they will petition the High Court of Justice unless he immediately declares that he will not give preference to the lives of Palestinians over Israelis. The group, represented by attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, charged that since the air force used a one-ton bomb to kill Hamas military wing commander Salah Shehadeh on July 22, 2002, it has refrained from using such powerful bombs in its attempted targeted killings. Darshan-Leitner blamed the air force's reticence on "treasonous cries" by those calling for an end to the targeted assassination policy because it harmed innocent Palestinians. "These cries have been growing louder in recent months and reached their highest point, so far, in what is called the 'letter of the [pilot] refusers' and the support they have received from intellectuals and academics," wrote Darshan-Leitner. "This trend, the result of defeatism among marginal groups in Israeli society, has caused a grave erosion in the ability of the air force to continue with determination the policy that has been set for it, as is its duty." The petitioners charged that the air force has stopped using heavy bombs since the attack on Shehadeh, in which 13 civilians were killed, more than 150 wounded and many families left homeless. This reticence must stop, the petitioners told Halutz. "The air force must never weigh the harm done to Palestinians against the harm done to Israelis. "When the air force is sent in to kill a senior official in a terrorist organization who is considered a fugitive sought by the army, it is done to prevent the official from perpetrating out terrorist attacks against Israel." .

NYT October 3, 2003 Israel to Build 600 Homes in 3 Settlements; U.S. Officials Are Critical By GREG MYRE and STEVEN R. WEISMAN JERUSALEM, Oct. 2 — Israel indicated on Thursday that it intended to build about 600 new homes in three large West Bank settlements, a move that Bush administration officials in Washington said would undercut the Middle East peace plan and could bring a reduction in American assistance to Israel. The Housing Ministry placed an advertisement seeking bids to build the homes one day after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government took another step that American officials said the administration opposed: approval of the construction of barriers deep inside the West Bank to guard Jewish settlements. Palestinians expressed anger at both decisions, with the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, calling the barrier a "wall of racism." "What does the wall mean?" he asked at his badly damaged headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "It means that this government is destroying and ending the peace process. How long will this silence in the face of Israeli crimes last?" The American-backed peace plan, known as the road map, has stalled as violence has continued; neither side is meeting obligations listed in the first phase of the plan. Under that first phase, Israel is supposed to halt all settlement activity. But Israeli officials take the position that Israel is not required to do so until the Palestinian leadership cracks down on violent Palestinian factions. The latest Israeli moves have put President Bush in a difficult position, American officials said, adding that despite American displeasure, it is not clear that the administration will engage in a public confrontation over the action on settlements and the barrier. While the administration has backed Israel in charging that the failure of the Palestinians to crack down on terrorism is the main cause of the breakdown in the peace plan, American officials also appear to be increasingly impatient with steps taken by Israel. A measure of the current problem is that John S. Wolf, the special administration envoy assigned to monitor progress on the peace plan, has returned to the United States. That is a sign, administration officials say, that there is no progress to monitor. One way the United States is pressing Israel is by threatening to reduce loan guarantees by whatever sum Israel spends on expanding the barrier or the West Bank settlements. Top American officials discussed the issue at the White House on Thursday but did not decide to take such a step, administration officials said. "We're willing to use our leverage," said a senior administration official. "We will be examining what Israel is doing closely and take it into account." Israel's decision to allow the new homes in settlements was made clear in a newspaper advertisement published in Haaretz inviting bids from construction firms for the building of the homes in various parts of the West Bank. The plan calls for 530 additional houses in Betar Ilit, a fast-growing settlement south of Jerusalem, along with 50 new homes in Maale Adumim, to the east of Jerusalem, and 24 more in Ariel, a settlement to the north of Jerusalem. In the government decision on Wednesday, Ariel was one of the settlements to be shielded by the new barrier. "We not only have the right to keep building, it is the obligation of the Jewish state to help us build," said Adi Mintz, director general of the Settlers Council, which represents Israelis living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements. The Bush administration made no formal condemnation of Israel's actions. But in a news conference on Thursday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said that President Bush "continues to believe that the fence presents a problem." "We also have concerns about continuing settlement activity," he said. Mr. Sharon has been a leading proponent of settlement building for decades, and his government includes many ministers who are committed to expanding the nearly 150 settlements scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians want the settlements dismantled, saying they will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to establish a contiguous Palestinian state in peace negotiations. The total number of settlers has reached 230,000, double the figure of a decade ago, when the initial Israeli-Palestinian peace talks began. Palestinian militants have frequently attacked settlers during the past three years of fighting, and residents in the more isolated settlements say they remain vulnerable. However, the larger settlements, which are heavily guarded by Israeli security forces, are comparatively safe and continue to attract new residents. The settlement population has been growing at a rate of about 10,000 annually over the past three years, despite the fighting. "Sharon's definition of a Palestinian state is a bunch of strips of land that have no contiguity," said Dror Etkes, a spokesman for Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors settlements. "Sharon always speaks about a long-term interim solution with the Palestinians," Mr. Etkes said. "But with his policies, there will be nothing left to negotiate in the long term." Haaretz, a liberal daily, recently estimated that annual Israeli government spending on civilian needs in the settlements was more than $500 million, and that the security costs in the West Bank and Gaza were around $900 million a year. The newspaper also estimated that the settlements had cost Israel roughly $10 billion in civilian spending since they began going up after Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war. The Israeli government does not publish figures on the costs of settlements.

BBC 3 Oct 2003 Israeli charged over child deaths By Orla Guerin BBC correspondent in Jerusalem An Israeli army officer has been charged over causing the death of four Palestinians, three of them children. Israeli tanks still patrol Jenin today He is accused of ordering tank units to fire shells and machine guns to enforce a curfew in the West Bank town of Jenin. It was in June of last year that the killings took place. Israeli forces in Jenin started shooting and shelling to get civilians off the streets. According to the indictment against the army officer, a total of 10 tank shells were fired. Two of the dead were young brothers whose case was highlighted by the BBC. 'Trigger-happy' We obtained and broadcast amateur video footage of the last moments of their lives. Ahmad was buried with the chocolate in his hand Youssef Abu Aziz father of two of the dead Tragedy caught on camera It shows the brothers, aged six and 13, running for home. A tank closed in behind fires a shell, even though the boys were clearly visible just a few metres ahead. Their father told us they thought the curfew had been lifted and had gone out to buy chocolate. As well as the two brothers, Israeli fire killed a girl of six and a man of 53 in Jenin that day. Since the beginning of Palestinian uprising three years ago, only nine soldiers have gone on trial for killing Palestinians. All of those trials are ongoing. Israeli human rights workers claim that all too often trigger-happy Israeli troops are not held to account for killing or seriously injuring Palestinian civilians.

IFRC Date: 3 Oct 2003 Three years of Intifada boost PRCS and MDA response capabilities If there is a silver lining to the dark clouds of violence, mistrust and suffering that hang over the Middle East as the Intifada enters its fourth year, it is that the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Israeli national society, Magen David Adom (MDA) have become leaders in the field of delivering assistance to those in need. As the needs of the Palestinian and Israeli population have escalated, so the two National Societies have reinforced their response capacities. "We expanded our team in order to provide first aid services and treat wounded everywhere, whatever their religion, Muslim, Christians or Jew," says Avi Zohar, Secretary General of the MDA. "After what we and the PRCS have gone through, the MDA and PRCS have become among the best emergencies experts in the region," he notes. In the past three years, 2,483 Palestinians have been killed in the autonomous and occupied territories and 23,646 injured. In Israel, 765 lives have been lost and 5,270 people wounded. "The suffering cannot be measured only by counting the number of dead and injured, but by counting the millions of people living in a difficult humanitarian situation," explains Younis Al-Khatib, President of PRCS. "Because of the continuing Israeli army siege and closure we had to expand our teams to reach the most vulnerable anywhere. Because of the 396 Israeli army checkpoints and barriers rericting movement, we have difficulties accessing the sick and wounded. The Gaza Strip continues to be considered a closed military area' said Al-Khatib. The PRCS has expanded its emergency medical services (EMS) and Primary Health Care centres. They also established a system of mobile teams who sometimes have to travel by foot to rural areas to assist isolated people. The two organisations have increased their ambulance services as the hostilities intensified. "At the beginning, we needed more ambulances," says Zohar, "Now we have 700 ambulances, some of which work every day and other that are on standby, ready to respond to an emergency." The MDA, which also runs Israel's main blood centre, can call on a total of 7,000 volunteers and 1,400 staff. The number of PRCS ambulances has also doubled. "One hundred ambulances are functioning every day. This service has allowed the 5,000 active volunteers to care for over 250,000 medical cases over past three years, of which 24,000 were conflict-related injuries," explained Al-Khatib. Since the Intifada began, seven members of the PRCS have been killed as they carried out their duties. Some 192 members of its emergency medical teams have been injured. The PRCS has documented that "300 attacks have happened on its emergency teams", while "100 ambulances have been damaged more than once". The closure of roads has left many Palestinians without medical care. To respond to the needs of these isolated patients, the PRCS established a hotline, were professional medical volunteers could give medical advice over the phone. So far, al-Khatb says, 60,000 people in need have benefited from this service. "Many babies were delivered over the phone because checkpoints did not allow pregnant women to go to hospitals. Forty-two women and newborn babies died because of complications during labour," he adds. The hotline is a good example of how MDA and PRCS collaborate together. Many times, MDA emergency teams were called by the PRCS to pick up an injured Israeli assisted by them. The Israeli national society does the same when they assist a Palestinian. "Sometimes we are transferring injured patients from the Palestinian territories to Israeli hospitals, or to transfer them from a Palestinian area to another' said Zohar. 'Our neighbours, the PRCS carry the same mandate too, and if there is an Israeli casualty, they come for help'. As an example, Zohar remember that "at the beginning of the Intifada, one MDA ambulance carrying three medical staff was hit by a fire bomb in a Palestinian area but a PRCS ambulance was following and saved our team." This was not an isolated incident. On many occasions, Palestinians were assisted by Israeli volunteers and vice-versa. Both national societies abide by the values of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, which have Impartiality as a fundamental principal. Zohar admires the "professionalism of the PRCS. They are doing a marvellous job in saving lives and helping vulnerable. We stand ready to assist them when ever they need us'. Al-Khatib reciprocates: "We respect the MDA's work in the context of saving lives and its humanitarian endeavours."

AFP 3 Oct 2003 Israeli army eases rules of engagement near West Bank barrier JERUSALEM, Oct 3 (AFP) - The Israeli army is easing its rules of engagement near the barrier that is being erected in the West Bank in a bid to further prevent Palestinian attacks, a spokesman said Friday. "In order to prevent terrorists from approaching the fence with the aim of infiltrating Israel or sabotaging the construction work on this fence, the Israeli army has gradually started to ease its rules of engagement near the fence," he told AFP. Israel has completed the construction of the first section of a barrier separating most of the West Bank from Israel in a bid to prevent infiltrations by Palestinian militants. On Wednesday, the Israeli cabinet approved its extension and will build smaller fences deep inside the West Bank which officials say will eventually be linked up to the main barrier. The final route of the barrier will slice up the western edge of the Palestinian territory. It will split villages in two and cut off from the rest of the West Bank tens of thousands of Palestinians and large swathes of some of the region's most fertile land. "The Palestinians will only be allowed to come close to the fence in designated areas where gates are built in and only during opening hours. They will have to coordinate their passage with the local Israeli-Palestinian liaison office," the spokesman said. "The same engagement rules used in the Gaza Strip would apply in the West Bank" near the barrier, he added. "Any Palestinian coming too close to the fence can only have aggressive intentions." The spokesman would not give further details on the revised rules of engagement, but Israeli media reports said soldiers would have more freedom to open fire in the area of the fence. According to the Maariv daily, Israeli troops will be allowed to open fire before the completion of the procedure for arresting suspects, which includes warning shots. The newspaper also said that in recent weeks, the army had experimented with a line 50-metres from the fence within which anybody, whether Israeli or Palestinian, could be shot without warning.

Haifa Suicide Bombing by Islamic Jihad kills 19, including 4 Israeli Arabs:

BBC 4 Oct 2003 Eyewitness: 'Dead children and babies' - The restaurant was popular with both Jews and Arabs Witnesses have described a scene of carnage in a Haifa restaurant after the suicide bomber struck on Saturday. The attack ripped apart a popular seafront restaurant where Jews and Arabs had worked together and lived together for decades. The Maxim restaurant, run jointly by a Christian Arab and a Jewish family, was packed with families having lunch. "Suddenly we heard a tremendous explosion. We saw smoke pour out of the restaurant," said a passing motorist, Navron Hai. We felt a blast and then everyone around us was either wounded or dead Itamar Chizik "Families were dead around the tables, there were children without limbs." He said he and others went to help the injured, but found there was little they could do. "We went in, about five or six of us and started to take the wounded out," he said. "In truth there was not much to take out. There were not a lot of wounded, just a lot of people strewn on the ground. There was nothing to do, no way to help them." Among the diners injured in the packed eatery were members of local football team Maccabi Haifa, including general manager Itamar Chizik. "We were sitting with our sides toward the door of the restaurant, we didn't see who came in," he told Israeli media. "We felt a blast and then everyone around us was either wounded or dead." The emergency workers were a mix of Jews and Arabs, in a city known for its peaceful co-existence. "This was a microcosm of Haifa, how we live and work in harmony despite our differences," said Mayor Yona Yahav. Mooli Nir, 28, one of the Jewish owners whose grandfather opened the restaurant in 1965, said his family was numb with shock. "Most of the people who work here are Arabs. I don't understand why they would do this," he said. One of the Arab owners, Tony Matar, went to Haifa's Ramban hospital, where injured relatives and employees were taken. "I can't hear the words Arab and Jew," he said. "We are all citizens of Israel. The pain is the same and it does not pass over any of us."

WP 6 Oct 2003 For 2 Families in Haifa, 3 Generations of Victims By John Ward Anderson and Molly Moore Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, October 6, 2003; Page A01 HAIFA, Israel, Oct. 5 -- Three generations of the Almog family, headed by the former commander of Israel's Naval Academy, sat at one table, enjoying the Mediterranean and mountain views from one of Haifa's most bustling beachside restaurants. Nearby, three generations of the Zer-Aviv family were dining before heading home to Kibbutz Yagur, eight miles away. The two families shared a calamitous fate Saturday when a young Palestinian woman with a 22-pound bomb walked into their midst and blew herself up in revenge for the killing of her brother and cousin four months ago by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Jenin. Five members from each of the families were killed in what was one of the deadliest suicide blasts in the three-year-long Palestinian uprising. The attack, which killed 19 people, also devastated the small, tight-knit communities that embraced the families -- Israel's navy, an 81-year-old kibbutz with 1,350 residents, and a restaurant renowned for almost four decades as a symbol of Arab-Israeli coexistence. "It's a disaster we're still trying to comprehend," said Avi Bar-Or, who is related by marriage to the Almog family, as he and others gathered at the Rambam Medical Center today to await word on four relatives who survived the attack. "It took one second, and the family is gone." The five deaths in the Almog family sliced through three generations: Zeev Almog, 71, a former submarine commander who headed Israel's Naval Academy in the 1990s; his wife, Ruth, 70; their son, Moshe, 43; Moshe's son, Tomer, 9; and another grandchild, Asaf Shtayer, 11. Moshe's wife and their two other children, as well as Asaf's mother, were wounded in the attack. "I'm not mad or angry, I'm just sad," said Dov Lind, 56, a cousin who had spent the morning at the beach with the family but had gone home because he had not wanted to eat out. Like so many others, he heard about the blast on the radio, then had a feeling of foreboding when he could not reach Zeev or Ruth on their cell phones. Other members of the family reportedly learned about the tragedy when they spotted the family car outside the restaurant during local television coverage of the attack. "I feel helpless," Lind said. "I'm trying to figure out what kind of suffering we're going to go through in the future, because as time goes by it will be more painful." When colleagues called the current head of Israel's Naval Academy, Cmdr. Eli Regev, to check rumors that his predecessor had been killed in the blast, he confirmed the news. He then passed along more bad news: Regev's 25-year-old son, Nir, was also killed in the explosion. Path to a Bombing Israeli police said Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat raised no suspicions when she walked through the front door of the Maxim restaurant at 2:20 p.m. Saturday. The 29-year-old Palestinian lawyer, 23 days shy of finishing an internship and opening her own office in Jenin, wore her thick black hair pulled back in a ponytail. Dark, wide-set eyes peered out from a striking, heart-shaped face. Her lips turned up at the corners, giving her the appearance of having a perpetual smile. Barely seven hours earlier, at 7 a.m., she had left the small two-room house she shared with her parents, four of her five sisters and a brother. She told them she was going to a nearby village to close a real estate sale for her law office. Instead, on a day when the Israeli military had imposed its highest levels of closures on the West Bank because of the approaching Yom Kippur holy day, Jaradat made her way from Jenin to the coastal city of Haifa determined to seek revenge for the deaths of her brother, Fadi, and her cousin, Salah Jaradat, according to interviews with family members and neighbors. Jaradat was the fourth female Palestinian to carry out a suicide bombing from among more than 100 bombers who have launched successful attacks in the three years since the Palestinians launched the current uprising against Israel. At 9 p.m. on June 12, Fadi Jaradat, 23, a produce vendor who supported his ailing father, his mother and his siblings, stepped out the front door of his house with cups of thick, black Arabic coffee for his sister, Hanadi, his cousin, Salah, and Salah's wife, according to Thair Jaradat, Hanadi's 15-year-old brother. Suddenly a Nissan truck approached the house on the dusty, narrow street in eastern Jenin. Israeli security forces wearing civilian clothing bolted out of the truck and opened fire, hitting Salah in the throat and Fadi in the abdomen, Thair said. The security troops then dragged the two men into their jeeps, dumped their bodies at a checkpoint on the edge of town and told neighbors where to find the bodies, said Assad Zahi Zarour, 33, the Jaradats' next-door neighbor and owner of the house the family had rented for the last 18 years. The Israeli military said the two men were Islamic Jihad activists. Hanadi fainted and was hospitalized after the shooting, neighbors said. When she returned home, "She had so much anger and was so bitter at the Jews, she couldn't even cry," said Anas Mohammed Jaradat, the woman's 14-year-old cousin. "She recited the entire Koran four times for her brother," he said. "The night before she left, her sisters told me she spent most of the night reciting the Koran." As soon as Hanadi Jaradat's family heard about the suicide bombing in Haifa on Saturday afternoon, they began calling her cell phone, according to Anas. "When they heard it was a woman from Jenin, and Hanadi was still not answering her phone, the family suspected it was her," Anas said. "Before then, nobody suspected." "She was a reason for pride for the whole neighborhood," said Mohammad Zarour, 20, also a neighbor. "Everyone was happy and proud of her." Around 3 a.m. today, Israeli military demolition forces turned the Jaradats' tiny concrete block house to rubble and uprooted their prized lemon tree from the front yard. Her parents -- who have been given lodging in a neighbor's home -- refused to accept the condolences of relatives, neighbors and friends. "They want congratulations" that their daughter is a martyr, Assad Zarour said. He paused, shaking his head at his own words. "They are trying to show they are happy. But on the inside they are completely wrecked. They have lost the provider for the family and a sister in the space of four months." 'Shock and Deep Sorrow' Like the Almog family and the relatives of the bomber, members of the Zer-Aviv family also became concerned when they could not reach their loved ones by cell phone after the blast, friends of the family said. Bruria Zer-Aviv, 49, her son Bezalel, 30, his wife Keren, 29, and their children Liran, 4, and Noya, 14 months, had gone shopping in Haifa that morning, according to Banjamin Shiloh, 66, the Zer-Avivs' neighbor at Kibbutz Yagur since the family moved there 18 years ago. When they could not be reached on the telephone, Bruria's daughter, Sophie, and Sophie's father, Freddy, who was separated from Bruria, drove to the Maxim restaurant and found the family car in the parking lot, Shiloh said. The father and daughter visited several local hospitals, but found none of their family members alive, he said. Bezalel was studying to be a cook, Keren worked in the kibbutz nursery, and Bruria worked booking public events in the kibbutz community hall, Shiloh said. "They were very well-known and well-liked," he said. Shiloh said he began to fear that they had been victims of the attack after he recognized some of the family's personal belongings while watching the television news coverage. "I saw the baby carriage that every day sat outside their home," he said. "Then I saw a bottle of milk on TV that said 'Noya.' " "Our feeling now is shock and deep sorrow and probably rage or outrage," he said. "It's common to say that we're not the same people as we were yesterday, and it's true. But what sort of people we'll be tomorrow, I don't know."

Guardian UK 6 Oct 2003 Rare haven of coexistence rocked by blast Arabs and Jews grieve in wake of weekend attack Chris McGreal in Ramallah The survivors could only guess at why Hanadi Jaradat chose Maxim's restaurant to create carnage but many concluded the attack was deliberately aimed at a rare oasis of coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Four of the 19 people murdered by the female Palestinian suicide bomber in Haifa on Saturday were Arabs. They died inside the restaurant owned jointly by the same Jewish and Arab families for 40 years; and they all lived in a city more at ease with a mixed population than most in Israel. Jaradat, 27, apparently driven to kill by the shooting of her brother and cousin by the Israeli army in Jenin, wiped out several generations of some families. The youngest victim was just 14 months and three other children were also killed. Bruriya Zer-Aviv was having lunch with her son, his wife and their two children, four and one. They were all murdered. Two of the Arabs killed, Sherbel Matar, 23, and Hanna Fancis, 40, came from the village of Fasouta. Jerayes Jerayes, the village's mayor said: "The village is in shock, no one expected something like this. We, like everyone in this country, like both peoples, are victims." The bomb also claimed the life of an Israeli war hero, Ze'ev Almog, 71, his wife, son and nine-year-old grandson. Three other grandchildren were wounded. Maxim's was founded by two families - one Jewish, the Tayyars; the other Christian Arab, the Matars - at the southern entrance to the port city. It has been in the hands of the same families ever since. "For 40 years we have been one large family, Arabs and Jews," said Orli Nir, the daughter of the restaurant's Jewish founders. "When we heard about the terror attack, I ran to the restaurant and my mother hurried to the hospital, to see what was happening with those who were wounded, to be with the Matar family. I know many of the people who were killed and wounded." One of the restaurant's Arab owners, George Matar, was talking to his wife Ilham on the phone when the bomb went off. "He told me the restaurant was packed and it looked like it was going to be a successful day. Suddenly the call was cut off. A few minutes later I heard that there had been an explosion at the restaurant," Mrs Matar told Yediot Ahronoth newspaper. Mr Matar was severely wounded. It is no coincidence that Amram Mitzna, the Labour party candidate for prime minister who advocated a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, was formerly mayor of Haifa. "Living together alongside each other is the backbone of the city," he said after the bombing. Haifa's unusual coexistence has not saved it in the past. It has endured four bombings over the past two years, claiming 64 lives. The city's mayor, Yona Yahav, said: "The terrorists are trying to ruin Haifa's social fabric, but this fabric is stronger than any terror attack or terrorist."

straitstimes.asia1.com.sg OCT 6, 2003 ISRAEL SUICIDE BOMBING Blast kills both Jews and Arabs HAIFA (Israel) - Jews and Arabs had worked together and eaten together for decades at the popular Maxim restaurant on the beachfront in the Israeli port city of Haifa. On Saturday, they died together. As families sat down for lunch on the Jewish Sabbath, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew herself up inside the crowded restaurant, spewing body parts, blasting out glass windows on all sides and ripping down sections of ceiling. The explosion killed 19 people, injured dozens more and shattered a long-time symbol of coexistence in a mixed city that has struggled to keep a lid on tensions during a three-year-old Palestinian uprising for independence in the West Bank and Gaza. The attack, just before the Yom Kippur fast day, targeted a business co-owned by Christian Arab and Jewish families and frequented by Arabs and Jews for its Middle Eastern cuisine. Even the emergency workers and ambulance crews who rushed to the scene were a mix of Jews and Arabs. 'This was a microcosm of Haifa, where we live and work in harmony despite our differences,' Mayor Yona Yahav said as bodies were pulled from the shattered dining room. 'Terrorists want to provoke us to hate each other but that won't happen.' The suicide bomber was identified as Hanadi Jaradat, a 27-year-old trainee lawyer from the West Bank town of Jenin. Her family said she was distraught over her brother's recent killing by Israeli troops. She timed the bombing for the height of lunch hour - when the restaurant, which overlooks Haifa's scenic shoreline, was packed with beachgoers. 'Suddenly we heard a tremendous explosion. We saw smoke pour out of the restaurant,' said a witness, Navon Hai. 'Families were dead around the tables, there were children without limbs.' For four decades, Maxim has been owned by two families - one Arab, one Jewish. Four of the dead were Arab Israeli workers at the restaurant, including security guard Matanis Karkabi and cook Osama Najar, 39, from the Arab neighbourhood of Wadi Nissnas in Haifa. Two of the dead, Mr Francis Hanah, 39, and his cousin Sharbal Matar, 23, from the village of Fassouta in Galilee, were relatives of the owner and worked as waiters. Arabs make up 12 per cent of Haifa's population. -- Reuters, AP

BBC 6 Oct 2003 Three Israeli generations torn apart By Verity Murphy BBC News Online In one lethal moment that transformed a relaxed beachside restaurant in Haifa into a scene of devastation, two Israeli families each lost three generations. Bruriya Zer-Aviv and her granddaughter Noya were killed instantly The suicide bomb attack on Saturday, dubbed the "Slaughter of Families", which saw grandparents murdered alongside their children and grandchildren has sent shockwaves throughout Israel, a country used to violence. Fifty-nine-year-old Bruriya Zer-Aviv had been having lunch with her son Betzalel, 30, his wife, Keren, 29, and their four-year-old son, Liran, and 14-month-old daughter, Noya, when the bomb exploded, killing them all. On a table nearby was another family, headed by the legendary former commander of Israel's navy officer's school, Ze'ev Almog, 71. He was killed along with his wife Ruth, 70, son Moshe, 43, Moshe's seven-year-old son Tomer and another grandson via daughter Gallit, 10-year-old Assaf. Gallit herself, along with two other grandchildren and Ze'ev's daughter-in-law Orli were all seriously wounded. Community devastated For decades the Maxim restaurant, co-owned by an Israeli and an Arab family had been frequented by a similarly mixed clientele and stood out as an illustration that the region's divided people could operate together in peace. I saw the stroller that sat outside their house every day and the bottle and I knew it was them Benny Shiloh, Zer Aviv neighbour The blast there cut a swathe across religion, age and ethnicity. In the aftermath four Christian Arabs, including two cousins, lay dead alongside Israeli Jews - bringing the death toll for one of the deadliest bomb attacks since the intifada began to 19. For the tight knit community of just 1,350 people at the Yagur Kibbutz, where the Zer Aviv family lived, the deaths have proven particularly devastating. "This is a source of deep pain for the kibbutz," resident Hillel Leviatan said on Israel radio. "It's a very hard blow." The small agricultural village, 13 kilometres (eight miles) north of Haifa, was founded 81 year's ago and is one of country's oldest kibbutz. For 40 years the restaurant was a place where Arabs and Jews could safely mingle Bruriya organised events for the village hall there, her son Betzalel was training as a chef and his wife Keren worked in the kibbutz nursery. "They were very well-known and well-liked," lifelong resident Benny Shilo, 66, said. "They fit in and were all strong members of this community because they had such a good nature. Families like this make you happy to live here." The Zer Avivs had stopped to eat before returning home after a morning of shopping ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kipur. Desperate search Friends at the village became concerned when news of the attack first filtered through and none of the family could be reached by mobile phone. I'm trying to figure out what kind of suffering we're going to go through in the future, because as time goes by it will be more painful Dov Lind, Almog family cousin As their fears grew Bruriya's daughter Sophie and her father Freddy, who was separated from Bruriya, drove to the scene of the blast and spotted the family's vehicle in the car park. They began a desperate search among the wounded who had been taken to local hospitals, but to no avail - the 22-pound bomb strapped to Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat's chest had killed them all instantly. Kibbutz members anxiously watching the television for news had their worst suspicions confirmed when they recognised a pushchair and baby bottle marked with the name of the youngest victim, Noya, lying among the wreckage. "I saw the stroller that sat outside their house every day and the bottle and I knew it was them," Mr Shiloh said. Cancelled birthday party On Sunday the children of the kibbutz had been due to join Liran for his birthday party, instead shocked parents were explaining to their offspring that the boy and his family were dead. With 19 dead the attack was one of the deadliest ever "If one person is killed you have the accepted norms of what to do," neighbour Shlomit Atzmon told the Associated Press. "When an entire family is killed... you mourn for all five, you feel all five of them in your heart and you have five times as much fear." The Almog family also lost five members, also from three generations and another tight knit community - this time the Israeli navy - was devastated. "To lose in one blow, so many family members, the closest family... it is so strange to think of them in the past tense," Rotem Avrutski, Ze'ev Almog's nephew, told Israel radio. TV footage clue The Almog family had spent the morning at the beach in Haifa. Dov Lind, a cousin, had been with them on that fateful morning but had a lucky escape when he opted not to join them for lunch afterwards. In an almost identical experience to the Zer Aviv family, friends and relatives first heard of the blast through media reports. The bomber was able to make her way right into the heart of the restaurant Mr Lind tried unsuccessfully to contact Ze'ev and Ruth on their mobile phones, while the sense of foreboding worsened as other relatives spotted the family's car in television footage of the restaurant car park. Mr Lind said that his main feeling was sadness, not anger, but that he expected that feeling to get worse. "I'm trying to figure out what kind of suffering we're going to go through in the future, because as time goes by it will be more painful," he said. In the Israeli navy, former submarine commander Ze'ev Almog was regarded as a hero. The war veteran had gone on to command the navy officer's training school. As word of his death began to trickle out, pupils and staff at the college began to call the current commander Eli Regev for news. Mr Regev sadly confirmed that the rumours were true, but it did not end there - in another cruel twist of fate Mr Regev's 25-year-old son Nir had been at the restaurant too and was also killed in the blast.

JTA 7 Oct 2003 BEHIND THE HEADLINES In its wake, Haifa bombing leaves families devastated By Dan Baron TEL AVIV, Oct. 7 (JTA) — For Israeli newspaper editors, it’s a macabre convenience. Most terror attacks require gathering up head-shot photographs of the victims in time for publication. But sometimes, as was the case in Saturday’s suicide bombing at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, the dead come prearranged in family photographs that show several victims together. Two families were devastated in the blast — the Almogs of Haifa and the Zer-Avivs of nearby Kibbutz Yagur. Each family lost five members from three generations. Ze’ev Almog, 71, a former submarine captain and commander of the Israel Navy Academy, was a regular at the beachfront steakhouse, at peace among Maxim’s mixed Jewish-Arab staff and clientele. But he was felled by a 29-year-old Palestinian woman wearing a bomb belt — along with Almog’s 70-year-old wife, Ruth; his son, Moshe, 43; and his grandsons, Tomer, 9, and Assaf Staier, 11. Almog’s daughter, Galit, was seriously wounded. The loss drew an uncharacteristically emotive eulogy from a relative and fellow career soldier. “At family gatherings, Ze’evik was the center of it all, like a lighthouse,” Maj. Gen. Doron Almog wrote in the Yediot Achronot newspaper, using a term of endearment for his friend Ze’ev. “If Ze’evik were standing here now among the living, he would command us to continue living and creating and rejoicing and fighting for what is ours — and never to be broken.” The flowers piled high on the fresh graves dug side by side in a Haifa cemetery were mirrored in nearby Yagur, a kibbutz that already had lost 46 of its sons in Israel’s wars. Bezalel Zer-Aviv, 30, and his wife Keren, 29, were killed at Maxim’s — along with their baby daughter, Noya, 1; their son, Liran, 4; and Bezalel’s mother, Bruria, 59. Reporters’ access to the funerals was restricted. But those who had watched television coverage Saturday of the bombing’s aftermath already had seen one of Bezalel Zer-Aviv’s sisters interviewed as she desperately searched hospital emergency rooms for her loved ones. “I don’t have any grandchildren left,” Keren Zer-Aviv’s mother, Margalit Almakias, told reporters. Her grieving son, Shai, demanded an explanation from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the name of an anguished nation. “Are you listening, Sharon? Tell me, what will happen?” But there are no answers, and for the nine others killed in the bombing, their final rites had the silence of resignation. Student Nir Regev, 25, was laid to rest with what appeared to be military honors, but in fact it was a contingent of colleagues who came to support his father, a naval officer. Mark Biano, 29, a television reporter, was buried along with his wife of one year, Naomi, 25. Biano’s colleagues at Haifa’s local station, Matav, scoured archives for stories of Biano’s that might serve as a memorial. Four Arabs who worked at Maxim’s — Osama Najar, 28; Mutanus Karkabi, 31; Hana Francis, 39; and Sharbal Matar, 23 — were laid to rest in their communities amid calls for continued coexistence. They left wives and children behind, as did Zvi Bahat. Bahat, 35, died in the blast, but his daughter Hadar, 3, was left in critical condition. Another daughter, Inbar, escaped with light injuries. One of the mourners at the Bahat funeral was Avi Ohayon, a friend who lost his own wife and two children to a Palestinian shooting spree last year in Kibbutz Metzer. In an odd twist of fate, Israeli special forces killed the terrorist responsible for the Metzer attack only hours before the Maxim bombing. But Ohayon refused to become vindictive. “It did not bring me comfort, only a sense that justice had been done. And then — this terrorist attack,” he said. “Fate has brought us together. This is the first time I am allowing myself to deal with someone else’s pain.” .

BBC 4 Oct 2003 Israel's history of bomb blasts There have been more than 70 Palestinian bomb attacks aimed at Israelis since the current conflict erupted in September 2000. Below are some of the most deadly. 2003 A suicide bomber blows herself up in a packed Haifa restaurant, killing at least 19 people including three children. 9 September: Two separate suicide attacks leave at least 15 people dead and scores wounded in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In the first attack, at least eight people were killed - including the bomber - at the entrance to the Tzrifin Israeli Defence Force base, near Tel Aviv. Hours later, a bomb attack outside a popular cafe in west Jerusalem left at least seven dead. 19 August: A suicide bomber wrecks a bus in Jerusalem, killing at least 20 people and injuring up to 100 others, in a serious blow to peace efforts. Hours later, Israel halts the handover of West Bank towns and cuts off contacts with Palestinians officials. 12 August: At least four people are killed and dozens injured in two suicide attacks by Palestinian bombers in Israel and the West Bank. In the first attack, an explosion rips through a shopping centre in the central Israeli town of Rosh Haayin near Tel Aviv, killing two people and injuring at least 10 others. Shortly afterwards, another suicide bomber blows himself up among a group of Israeli soldiers at a bus stop outside the Jewish settlement of Ariel, in the West Bank. 19 June: A suicide bomber kills himself and an Israeli man, owner of a grocery shop in Sde Trumot, a small village a few kilometres from the West Bank in northern Israel. 11 June: Sixteen people are killed in a bus bomb in Jerusalem, in the first suicide attack since US President Bush's peace summit a week before. It follows an Israeli air strike on 10 June aimed at killing Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al- Rantissi in Gaza. Within an hour of the bus attack, Israeli helicopters launch another attack in Gaza, killing several people, reportedly including a top militant. 19 May: At least three people are killed and 18 injured in a suicide attack on a shopping mall in the northern Israeli town of Afula. The bomber is reported to have been a woman. Earlier, three Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip are injured when a suicide bomber riding a bicycle detonate explosives strapped to his body. 18 May: Seven people are killed when a suicide bomber blows himself up on board a bus in northern Jerusalem. A second attacker kills himself minutes later as emergency crews arrive but no-one else is seriously hurt. The blasts come hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held the first talks with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, better known as Abu Mazen. 17 May: A Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a religious Jew kills an Israeli man and his pregnant wife in the West Bank town of Hebron. An attacker targeted a popular nightspot in Tel Aviv 30 April: A suicide bomber attacks a popular cafe in Tel Aviv, just hours after a new Palestinian cabinet wins approval under Abu Mazen who has pledged to crack down on militants. At least four people including the bomber are killed and dozens more injured. 24 April: An Israeli security guard is killed as he confronts a Palestinian suicide bomber outside a railway station in the town of Kfar Saba. 5 March: A powerful bomb blast ripped through a bus in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing at least 15 people. About 40 people were wounded, some of them seriously, in the explosion. 5 January: At least 23 people are killed and 100 wounded when two suicide attackers set off charges in crowded, parallel and adjacent streets during rush hour in Tel Aviv, echoing an attack in July 2001. 2002 21 November: A suicide bomber blows himself up on a packed rush-hour bus in west Jerusalem, killing 11 passengers and injuring scores more. 21 October:A suicide bomber drives a jeep packed with explosives into a bus near Pardes Hanna, killing at least 14 people, as well as the bomber. 10 October: A suicide bomber kills himself and a woman in an attack on a bus stop near Tel Aviv. 19 September: A suicide attack on a bus in Tel Aviv kills five and injures more than 50. A sixth victim - a medical student from Scotland - dies from his injuries the following day. 18 September: A six-week lull in suicide bombings comes to an end, when an Islamic Jihad militant kills himself and an Israeli policeman in the north of the country. 4 August: At least 10 Israelis are killed in a series of violent incidents, including a suicide bomb attack on a bus near the northern town of Safad. 31 July: A bomb in the students' cafeteria at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem kills seven - five of them Americans - and wounds more than 80. 30 July: A suicide bomber kills himself and wounds several Israelis in a fast- food store in Jerusalem. 17 July: A double suicide bomb attack near the old Tel Aviv bus station leaves five dead, including the two bombers, and injures about 40. 19 June: Eight people die including the bomber and 35 are injured in a suicide attack at a bus stop in the French Hill neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. 18 June: A suicide bomber kills himself and 19 civilians in a bomb attack on a bus in southern Jerusalem. 5 June: At least 14 are people killed in an attack on a bus at Megiddo junction, near the border with the West Bank. A suspected suicide attacker is believed to have driven up in a car behind the bus and detonated a bomb. 19 May: Three Israelis killed and nearly 30 injured when suicide bomber disguised in Israeli army uniform blows himself up at market in Netanya. 7 May: Suicide bomber attacks social club in the town of Rishon Letzion, killing 16 people and injuring more than 50. The attack was claimed by the armed wing of Hamas. 12 April: A suicide bomb attack at a bus stop in West Jerusalem, kills the bomber and six other people and injures about 50 more. 10 April: A suicide attack on a bus travelling near the Israeli city of Haifa kills at least eight people and injures dozens more. 31 March: Bomber attacks restaurant in Haifa, northern Israel, killing himself and 14 Israeli Jews and Arabs. On the same day, another bomber kills himself and wounds four people in an attack on an office for paramedics at the Jewish settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem. 27 March: In the Israeli resort of Netanya, a bomber blows himself up at a hotel, killing 28 Israelis celebrating Passover. The attack claimed by the armed wing of Hamas was the deadliest since the beginning of the uprising. 20 March: Seven people killed in a suicide bomb attack on a bus carrying mainly Arab labourers near the northern town of Umm el-Fahem. 9 March: At least 11 people killed and 50 injured in suicide bomb attack on a crowded cafe in west Jerusalem, near the official residence of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 2 March: Nine people killed including two babies, and 57 injured after suicide bomb attack in an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem. 27 January: Two people - one a female suicide bomber - die in an attack in a busy shopping area of central Jerusalem. 2001 2 December: A Palestinian suicide bomber blows up a bus in the northern coastal city of Haifa, killing 15 people and wounding more than 100 others. 1 December: Twelve people, including two suicide bombers, are killed in an attack on a Jerusalem shopping centre. 29 November: At least four people die in a suicide bomb attack on a bus in the northern town of Hadera. Islamic Jihad claim responsibility. 9 September: Three people are killed in a suicide bombing at a crowded railway station in the town of Naharia. The bomber is the first Israeli Arab to carry out such an attack. 9 August: Fifteen people are killed and about 90 others injured in a suicide attack on a busy restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem. Hamas admits responsibility. 1 June: Suicide bomb attack on a disco in Tel Aviv leaves 21 people dead and more than 60 others injured. Islamic Jihad claim responsibility. 18 May:Five Israelis are killed and around 100 injured when a suicide bomber belonging to Hamas blows himself up outside a shopping centre in Netanya. 28 March: Three people killed and several others severely injured in a nail bomb attack near a bus stop close to the central Israeli town of Kfar Saba. Hamas admits responsibility. 2000 22 November: Two Israelis killed and 55 wounded by a car bomb that explodes during the rush-hour in northern town of Hadera. 2 November: Two Israelis killed by a powerful car bomb at central Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market, a frequent target of attacks.

Background article : JTA 5 Apr 2002 Deadly blast destroys veil of security covering Haifa JESSICA STEINBERG Jewish Telegraphic Agency JERUSALEM -- It was a day of funerals, as Israel buried 14 victims from Sunday's suicide bombing attack in a Haifa restaurant. Three of Monday's funerals were from one family, the Rons, who were out having lunch at Matza, their favorite restaurant and a popular Haifa hangout. Carmit Ron lost her husband, Aviel, her son Ofer, 17, and daughter Anat, 21, in the tremendous blast. Anat had recently completed her army duty and had just returned from an extended trip to the United States, where she had worked with special-needs children. Ofer was a senior in high school, and would have entered the army during the summer. "I knew they liked to eat at the Matza restaurant," said Eldar Imnov, a friend of Ofer's. "When I heard there had been an attack, I called. They didn't answer their cellular and then I realized that they were there." A third of the Israeli victims in the 18-month intifada were killed in March: 125 Israelis, including civilians and security personnel. Excluding wars, it is the largest number of Israelis ever killed in one month. Carlos Wegman, 50, another Matza regular, was also a victim of the deadly suicide bombing in Haifa. A native Argentine who immigrated to Israel in 1973, Wegman had two daughters, Dana, 23, and Maya, 21. Maya said she knew her father was there when she watched the report on television and saw her father's car with a sticker that she had once placed on the vehicle. Wegman had planned to marry his girlfriend this summer, a "wonderful partner for him," said a friend. Many dreams were dashed by Sunday afternoon's bombing during the Passover holiday. Danielle Mantzal, 22, had planned to study in Rome, where she lived until the age of 10 with her parents, Nurit and Doron. She was at the restaurant for a quick lunch after studying for her university entrance exams. "She worked, she studied and she was in love," her mother told Yediot Achronot. "She was planning on studying in Rome, like her father." Orly Ophir, 15, a rising soccer star, was eating at the restaurant with her mother and two sisters. She was severely wounded during the bombing and died later at the hospital. When her father, Yossi, first heard about a bombing, he didn't think it could be at Matza because it is owned by Israeli Arabs from the Haifa area. But as unlikely as it seemed, a Hamas bomber, Shaadi Tubasi, 22, from a Jenin refugee camp, blew himself up in the restaurant. Tubasi was also an Israeli Arab, on his mother's side. He held an Israeli identity card, according to the police, although he lived in a Palestinian refugee camp. The Adawi brothers, from Turan, a village in the western Galilee, have owned and operated Matza for the last 17 years. All three brothers were injured in the bombing. They hadn't hired a security guard for the establishment because they didn't believe the terror could reach them, Abdullah Adawi said in a newspaper interview. "Maybe a security guard would have lessened the disaster," Adawi said. "That question will bother me for the rest of my life." Now, every place of entertainment must have a security guard, according to an order released Sunday by Israel's police force. Until a month ago, only large businesses had to hire security guards. But Sunday's bombing convinced the police to expand the order to include smaller places of business as well. The entire Matza restaurant was destroyed by the blast, which ripped apart the ceiling, windows and floor. One of the restaurant's waiters, Suhil Adawi, 30, was killed in the attack, and left behind a pregnant wife and 3-year-old son. "I still can't believe this actually happened," Rabia Adawi, a nephew of the owners, said in an interview with Israel Radio. "This hurts me like it hurts every Jew who has had a relative die in one of these terrible attacks. It has to stop."

Jerusalem Post 5 Oct 2003 A pilot breaks with his commander - Danny Grossman Yiftach Spector is one of the most inspiring commanders I have ever flown with or served under in my 26 years of flying fighters. He has earned his place in the IAF pantheon as a triple ace (having shot down 15 enemy planes). Spector took part in missions that determined the course of Middle East history. Yet these are not the qualities that come to mind when I think of Yiftach. He has always been a poet in pilot's clothing, an artist whose soul rose above the confines of a flight suit. I will never forget the ceremony at Tel Nof on the eve of Memorial Day many years ago when he, as base commander, addressed a packed auditorium. In his trademark soft voice, he went beyond the canned euphemisms reserved for such occasions and spoke of the father he never knew Zvi Spector, commander of the "23 Lost at Sea" on the eve of Israel's independence. Virtually every fighter pilot in the darkened theater could be seen flipping down his sunglasses, trying to hide tears induced by the commander who had the courage to bare his soul in front his men. I went to see him last week immediately upon his return from abroad. It pained me to see him embark on a path that negated many of the principles for which he stands, as senior signatory to the Pilots' Letter. His ultimate goal is simple: to bring the political question of "separation now" to center stage. He is justifiably concerned that within a very brief time frame, Israel will lose its Jewish identity. To his way of thinking, this lofty goal justifies the means. Unfortunately, his methodology is dead wrong. THROUGHOUT HIS career, Spector gained the trust of those in the chain of command. Discipline by personal example was his way of life. Words like "honesty" and "integrity" were superfluous they permeated his every debriefing. Perhaps that is why it hurts so much to see Spector associated with a letter that was written, orchestrated, and delivered in an underhanded manner that sought to replace a mature discussion of moral issues with a slick PR campaign. Virtually every aspect of the letter was tainted with an ever-so-slight misrepresentation geared to reduce a nuanced discussion of legitimate ethical issues to a sound bite. Spector will be the first to tell you that IAF has the highest standard of moral sensitivity of any air force in the world. Even when the target is a monster out to murder defenseless civilians while hiding behind the shield of innocent mothers and children, we still anguish over the risks and consequences of taking him out. We have no choice. Our democratic values demand no less. Or perhaps it is the product of our Jewish heritage, dating back to Abraham admonishing God Himself not to allow "the righteous to perish with the wicked." In what other country do questions of operational effectiveness versus collateral damage regarding the use of 250- or 1,000-kilo bombs become topics for public scrutiny? After the raid on Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh last year, I wrote that during the process of guiding a precision munition to its destination, the typical pilot checks and rechecks his moral compass as often as any of his aircraft systems. The final responsibility for bomb delivery rests squarely on the shoulders of the aircrews. They are the ones entrusted with the decision to drop a bomb or abort the mission even at the last second if they feel something is not right. The IAF gives full authority to its flight leaders and expects them to exercise judgment in their role as on-scene commanders. Ironically, it was Spector himself who demonstrated for generations of pilots how the IAF High Command will unequivocally back conflicting solutions to the same problem as long as the flight leader can defend his decision-making process. At the height of the Yom Kippur War, as King Hussein sat on the fence monitoring his neighbors' progress, the IAF committed several formations of its premier Phantom to "take it downtown" to the Syrian headquarters in Damascus. With bad weather blocking the route to the target, one formation from Yiftach's rival Bat Squadron gambled in poking a hole through the clouds and successfully attacked the target, gaining the desired outcome of discouraging Jordan from opening a third front. Spector deemed the route impenetrable and led his squadron's formation to a secondary target instead. Both flight leaders were judged to have made correct although opposite decisions. That's why this broad-based non-solution of refusing to hit any targets is so offensive to me, but more importantly to today's young men and women who grapple with their consciences and push themselves to their limits on every single mission. And what of the thousands of soldiers in the infantry who can't cop out and whose daily presence "there" protects us "here" in Tel Aviv? We cannot grant our enemies immunity. We have to do our best to provide optimal solutions in a far-from-perfect world. As a talented painter, Spector should be the first to help us distinguish between shades of moral colors. Instead, he paints with a broad stroke that masks the issues. Ironically, he has endangered military discipline while giving valuable support to those who seek our destruction. Rather than focus with laser-like guidance on the genuine question of how to disengage from the Palestinians, he has diverted our attention to a secondary issue of the need for separation of military and civilian authorities. Like his Biblical namesake, General Yiftach Spector has stumbled on an unnecessary obstacle of his own making. The writer, a retired lieutenant-colonel in the Israeli Air Force, flew Phantom jets in both the IAF and the US Air Force.

WP 7 Oct 2003 Colum Israel Is Losing By Richard Cohen Tuesday, October 7, 2003; Page A25 I talked recently with an American who had just returned from more than 20 years in Israel. We did not talk for the record, so I will withhold his name and what he does for a living. But I will say he is somewhat well-known in Israel and that he loves it dearly but he has left, probably permanently, because he cannot take life there any longer. He is a nonstatistic -- a living victim of terrorism. How many others there are like him I cannot say. He has the most valuable of all commodities in this world, an American passport, and with much regret and with questions about his courage, he used it to get out. His business had gone to hell, his life was always in danger and he simply could not take it any longer. In the perpetual war against Israel, its enemies are winning. The economy is awful. Parents do not want their children to go out. The beach is presumed safe, but not a cafe or restaurant. A commute on a bus (I have done it) is gut-wrenching. You watch everyone. What does a suicide bomber look like? The last one, the one who blew up a Haifa restaurant, was a 29-year-old woman, a law school graduate. She killed Arab and Jew alike. Even safe places are no longer safe. So I cannot blame Israel for striking back. It assassinates Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and militants. It razes the homes of suicide bombers. It has Yasser Arafat bottled up and may deport or kill him. It has bombed purported terrorist camps in Syria. But nothing Israel has done has brought it peace and security. If you read the Israeli press, the despair is palpable. To some, especially those on the left, Israel has become virtually a dysfunctional society. The government can't protect its people. Corruption is endemic. Religious zealots have inordinate influence, and their vision, a Greater Israel, compels the building or thickening of West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements. With every suicide bombing, the rational course -- a withdrawal from Palestinian areas -- seems like weakness rather than wisdom. Israel must return to the so-called Green Line -- the border before the 1967 Six Day War. It must dismantle most of the settlements. It must do this because occupation is corrupting and, in the long run, impossible. The more Israel expands or retains settlements, the more it gets stuck in a quagmire where the enemy is everywhere. From September 2000 until recently, some 17,400 attacks were recorded in the territories -- and 40 percent of all fatalities. Even when terrorists struck in Israel proper, they invariably came from the West Bank. Yet Ariel Sharon recently decided to include two major settlements on the Israeli side of the fence that is being built to separate the Jewish state from the West Bank. By extending the fence to encompass the settlements, Sharon is only ensuring the continuation of his problem. He needs to get out. For a people of the book, for a country created by history as well as by men, Israel acts as if nothing that went before has any bearing on what is happening now. But history admonishes Israel. The only places where a Western culture has successfully transplanted itself are those where great population pressure and genocidal methods were used to extirpate the indigenous peoples. This is what happened in the United States. Genocide is out of the question. Neither the world nor Israeli morality would permit it. Yet Israel keeps lengthening the odds against itself. Instead of withdrawing to where Jews are a clear majority, it continues to cling to settlements where Jews are outnumbered. Every settlement, every day of occupation, puts Israel in greater and greater danger. Each settlement is a provocation. The deportation or killing of Arafat will do nothing but make him a martyr and exacerbate the chaos. The man himself is only a symptom of Israel's problem. The idyllic Zionist dream is in tatters. No one wants to go to Israel. On the contrary, people want to leave. For every suicide bombing, countless others are thwarted -- 22 in the past month, according to Zeev Schiff, the esteemed military correspondent for the newspaper Haaretz. Israel lashes out. It has now bombed Syria. What next? Iran? This is not strategy. It is fury. I can understand. But I can understand, too, why, after more than 20 years, that man I met left Israel. You could say he lost his nerve. He would say he lost hope.

Arutz Sheva 8 Oct 2003 Rebellious Senior Officer Relieved of Duty (IsraelNN.com) Brigadier-General Yiftach Spector, the highest ranking rebellious air force officer who signed the infamous letter, has been relieved of his command of the air force flight academy. It is being reported that Spector stated in retrospect, he regrets having signed the letter refusing to take part in counter-terrorism aerial strikes. The pilots and former pilots stated the preemptive strikes result in injury and death to innocent PA residents and are “immoral” and “illegal”.

Ha'aretz 9 Oct 2003 Listen to the pilots By David Grossman Now that the furor over the pilots' declaration has abated a bit, perhaps the time has come to listen attentively to the essence of what they wanted to say in their protest. Even if, in the end, "the voice of the masses" silences the pilots and even if some of them retract their protest, there is still validity and importance to what they have said. Basic fairness also says that a government and a people that send their sons to carry out the difficult and sometimes dirty work of this particular war on their behalf must listen, for once, in an unbiased way to what the people who are doing these things in their name are saying. The bottom line of the pilots' message is that if the Palestinians are currently capable of carrying out painful attacks on Israel and Israeli citizens, the war that is raging is still, ultimately, a war between a military power and a civilian population. And in a war of this sort, Israel must impose limitations on itself of both a practical and a moral nature. The pilots are reminding the Israelis that even if the aim of the military action is to hit a murderer who is to die, when a state orders its pilots to drop a 1-ton bomb into a residential neighborhood in the most densely populated place in the world, and with the clear knowledge that hundreds of innocent civilians are likely to get hurt, its action, to a significant extent, employs the methods of a terror organization. And when a state orders its pilots to use powerful missiles to hit a car that is driving in the midst of passersby, even if it does not want to harm them intentionally, the nature of the deed, as well as its results, are like those of a terror organization. A state is not entitled to act in the same manner as a terror organization. It is worth remembering this even today, when our blood is boiling after the brutal terror attack in Haifa. One of the reasons for this is the destructive influence that such a mode of action has on the society itself. Another reason is that a state is not entitled to carry out assassinations and murders and executions without trial, because then it loses the legitimacy of its claims against the terror organizations. And when the commander of the Israel Air Force says that "anyone who sets out to murder children in Israel has to take into account that in his own surroundings there are children who could get killed," he must understand that such an argument could serve as a double-edged sword, even if Israel does not harm children on purpose. An obdurate government, which for a long time now has been thwarting any chance of negotiations and is using only force, force and more force with the Palestinians, is condemning its soldiers to torture themselves with unbearable moral dilemmas. Is it entitled to turn its back on them and be insulted and shocked, when these people are beginning, after so many years, to understand the use that is being made of them? Hasn't the time come to face the contents of what they have to say, and look straight into the mirror they have positioned - courageously and with a full willingness to pay the price - in front of all of Israel society? The IDF has always proudly proclaimed that in its air force, it is not the aircraft that is the main thing, but the pilot, the man inside the machine. Every Israeli soldier grew up on the (oxymornonic) principle of purity of arms and every Isreli grew up on the belief that the IDF is the most humane and moral army in the world. How can the IDF top brass today deny that there are people there, inside the planes and the helicopters? What is the reason for the hermetic insensitivity of the majority of the public, which is not even prepared to listen for a moment to the distress of the people from whom it demands - not only to pursue a war against the enemy, but also to take upon their consciences, for their entire lives, the unnecessary killing of innocent men, women and children? Something in the public's stormy and almost hysterical reaction that gives the impression that the "lynch mob" after the pilots does not derive only from the fact of the refusal to carry out missions: It seems that the more difficult thing, the unbearably difficult thing, that the pilots have done is that, in total surprise, they have torn off most Israelis the protective layer in which they have wrapped themselves for years so as not to know or understand what is really being done in their name. This, perhaps, is also what is behind the absurd accusation of treason that is being cast at the pilots: If they have betrayed at all, they have betrayed only the huge, consensual denial, the collective blindness. For one moment, the pilots succeeded in creating the frightening, electrifying connection between what Israel has been doing in the territories for 36 years now and the terror attacks, and for this, apparently, it is hard to forgive them. It is possible to choose not to read the reports by Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, but when Hebrew pilots, the flesh of the flesh of the Israeli consensus and the jewel in its crown, force us to look, if only for a fleeting moment, into the heart of the darkness - the first instinct is to get out of there in a panic, patch up the rent that has been torn in the sophisticated flak jacket that protects us from the knowledge and understanding, and immediately - as we were taught in the IDF - to attack and fight back, this time against the pilots. Top Articles Kinneret three meters higher than last summer But levels still not covering the hydrologic 'deficits' resulting from recent years of drought and over-pumping. By Zafrir Rinat Time of reckoning NRP Minister Zevulun Orlev will continue to wonder what is the connection between Karnei Shomron, Immanuel and Hebron and the economic and societal collapse of the past three years. By Nehemia Strasler More Headlines 21:30 IDF to call up four battalions of reservists after Sukkot 23:10 Three IDF soldiers wounded in West Bank shooting attack 23:43 Sharon: Left-wing is collaborating with the Palestinians 23:05 NRP MKs to urge coalition exit over Religious Ministry row 21:46 Report: MIAs from 1982 battle to be declared killed in action 22:40 U.S. pushes Syria sanctions bill; Damascus downplays threat 19:09 Treasury, Histadrut in war of words as port strike heats up

Ha'aretz 9 Oct 2003 Letter to the Editor Applause for the morality of the refusenik pilots For their refusal to bomb civilian areas, the 27 Israeli pilots are truly not just national but international heroes.I dare say that if any national parliament were to have the moral spirit of those pilots, it would be a brilliant beacon not only in these troubled times but also in the future of humankind. The pilots have risked both punishment and ostracism in their courageous objection to their country's immoral military strategy, materially and politically supported by the United States. Just as those who give support to al-Quaida are rightly judged by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft as accessory to terrorist crimes, so is the United States an accessory to the Israeli bombing of civilian areas in Palestine. It is indeed ironic that while Pentagon officials proudly announce that their efforts to avoid collateral bomb damage in Afghanistan reflected traditional American values,they remained mute about their simultaneous furnishing of ordnance used by Israel to bomb civilian areas. The Israeli pilots have manifested the noblest of human values - compassion. How different is the reaction of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who appears more humane than his Pentagon counterparts. Still, in all, recently referring to Israeli bombing, Powell objected not to the civilian deaths but merely voiced the pragmatic point that such military action gives rise to more terrorists in the future. Oh the banality of evil! How many have forgotten that it is a monstrosity to torture or recklessly kill even one person on whatever grounds! If I could meet your 27 pilots, it would be an honor to shake their hands. And I would also tell them how, after the honorable defense by my country of human rights during the Second World War, I became so disillusioned. The historically naive Bush who rants about sending abroad "universal American values" seems to ignore the Vietnamese War; the direct and indirect CIA killings of civilians in Central America; the two dozen American vetoes of proposed United Nations sanctions against the South African apartheid regime; the CIA killing of a duly elected prime minister in Iran in the 1970s and, abominably, so on. The White House doesn't dare mention your heroic airmen - sometimes ideals are frightening. Patrick J. Mahony Fellow, Royal Society of
Canada .

BBC 9 October 2003 Arabs seek UN action on barrier By Greg Barrow BBC correspondent at the UN in New York Arab diplomats at the United Nations say they have requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Israeli Government's construction of a security barrier between Israel and the West Bank. Israel says it needs the structure to protect it from Palestinian attacks A draft resolution obtained by the BBC declares that the structure is illegal under international law and must be halted. Arab diplomats have been threatening for some time to request action from the UN Security Council in relation to construction of the "wall". The Israelis say the barrier is necessary to protect Israeli civilians from attacks by Palestinian gunmen and suicide bombers. But Palestinians argue that it is encroaching on more Palestinian land and making a number of Israeli settlements in the border areas permanent. Israel’s Security barrier: 245 km (150-mile) long 3m high 150 km built so far In pictures A draft resolution which Arab diplomats say they will present to the Security Council declares that the construction is illegal under international law and must be ceased and reversed. The resolution also calls on the UN Secretary-General to submit periodic reports to the Security Council on whether Israel is complying with this demand. Some members of the Middle East "quartet", the body which has been mediating in the region, have been calling on the Israeli Government to end construction of the fence. But the US - Israel's closest ally - has been less than vocal on this topic. While the draft Arab resolution may draw sympathy from many on the Security Council, it does not meet up to the standards demanded by US diplomats, who argue that any resolution on the Middle East has to include a robust condemnation of the activities of militant groups including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Jerusalem Post Oct. 16, 2003 PA blames Israel for Gaza bombing By KHALED ABU TOAMEH In a series of articles, interviews, and cartoons, the Palestinian Authority media on Thursday claimed that Israel was behind the attack on the American convoy in the northern Gaza Strip in which three US guards were killed. The allegations came as the PA announced that its security forces arrested a number of Palestinians from the Jabalya refugee camp on suspicion of involvement. Eyewitnesses said policemen raided the homes of five members of the Popular Resistance Committees, the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing, early Thursday morning. One of the detainees was identified as Ahmed Saker, 25. Sources in the camp reported a brief exchange of gunfire during the raids. At least seven people were wounded, five of them policemen. PA Chairman Yasser Arafat named Saeb al-Ajez, a commander of the northern Gaza Strip district in the National Security Forces, as head of an inquiry commission into the attack. Asked about allegations by some Palestinians that Israel was behind the attack, Arafat told reporters in Ramallah that it was premature to say who was responsible. "[Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon and his generals are responsible," columnist Ali Sadek wrote in the daily Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda. "I don't rule out the possibility that they detonated the bomb with a remote control because their actions in the past, especially against the Americans, are known. "They are the ones who killed 70 US Marines who were aboard the Liberty ship during the June 1967 war... The Israelis were also responsible for a series of bombings against US and British cultural centers in Cairo and Alexandria in order to create a crisis between Egypt and America." Basem Abu Sumayah, director of Voice of Palestine, the official PA radio station, said: "This is a suspicious attack carried out by an anonymous group backed by a non-local party that has the experience, capability, and expertise in manufacturing and preparing land mines." He said the purpose of the attack was to provide the Sharon government with a green light to "expand its war of genocide" against the Palestinians and their leaders. "It's possible that the explosive device was part of a pure Israeli operation designed to accuse the Palestinians of being hostile to the Americans and to create the false impression that there are al-Qaida cells here," Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda editor-in-chief Hafez Barghouti wrote in his daily column. Fuad Abu Hijleh, a leading Palestinian political analyst living in Amman, claimed in an article published in Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda that he is confident that the attack on the US convoy was the work of the Mossad. "Israel benefits from this explosion so it could convince the world about the effectiveness of the separation wall," he said. "Israel also benefits from this bombing so it could push toward expanding the war against so-called terrorism. Perhaps American citizens are so na ve to believe the Israeli accusations against us, but we are confidant that the American administration is aware that we know that the crime against the American citizens is an Israeli plot masterminded by the minds in the Mossad." A cartoon in Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda depicts an American vehicle driving toward Gaza. The wheels have been replaced with bombs carrying the Star of David – a clear statement that Israel was behind the explosion. Talal Okal, an analyst from the Gaza Strip, pointed out in Al-Ayyam that the PA has officially accused Israel of attacking the American convoy. He expressed doubts that Palestinians were behind the bombing, saying only Israel benefits from it. Al-Ayyam quoted representatives of different Palestinian factions as denying any involvement in the attack and accusing Israel of being behind it. Dr. Mahmoud Muhareb, a respected political analyst from Jerusalem, also believes Israel planned and carried out the attack. "First, all the Palestinian factions have denied any relationship to this attack," he said. "Second, I don't think that a Palestinian individual or group would commit such an action because this does not serve the cause. On the contrary, it serves Israel. "I have many doubts about who perpetrated it. History shows that Israel in the past attacked American and British targets in Egypt in order to drive a wedge between Egypt and the US. Only Israel benefits from such attacks. We have no interest in fighting the US."

AFP 17 Oct 2003 Israel removes roadblocks paralysing Gaza Strip GAZA CITY, Oct 17 (AFP) - The Israeli army on Friday removed roadblocks which had split the Gaza Strip into four parts and completely paralysed the territory, security sources on both sides said. The army set up three major roadblocks on the Gaza Strip's main north-south road following a suicide bombing in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa on October 5.

BBC 20 Oct 2003 Israel to speed up barrier work Israel says the fence is to stop attacks from the West Bank Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has promised to speed up building the controversial security barrier separating Israel from Palestinian areas in the West Bank. Opening the new session of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Mr Sharon said the fence, including the areas around Jerusalem, would be finished in a year. "This fence is the best way of foiling terrorism," he said, adding that the internationally criticised wall "was not a political border". Fighting to make himself heard above the heckling of the MPs, Mr Sharon spoke of a breakthrough in the peace efforts in the coming months, without specifying. But at the same time, Israeli forces would continue to confront Palestinian "terrorism", the prime minister said, hours after a series of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City left at least three Palestinians dead and 24 others wounded. GAZA RAIDS House hit in Shajaiya: at least 14 wounded Car destroyed in city centre: 3 dead, 10 wounded Building hit near Shajaiya: no casualties The BBC's James Rodgers in Gaza says the attacks appear to be another attempt by Israel to strike at those it believes are planning attacks on Israeli targets. The military wing of the Palestinian radical group Hamas issued a statement warning Israel that the retaliation would hit hard. With diplomatic moves to end the conflict currently at a standstill both sides are increasingly relying on bombs and bullets to make their point, our correspondent says. Other points in Mr Sharon's speech: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat remained the "greatest obstacle to peace" and Israel stood by its decision to "remove" him. "There must be no deviation from the roadmap," Mr Sharon said. "Any deviation will relieve the Palestinians of the responsibilities they took upon themselves... to uproot terrorism. Any deviation will only encourage terrorist organisations." Gaza strikes Crowds gathered for the funerals of the three men vowed revenge and professed their loyalty to Hamas and to Islam as Israeli aircraft roared through the skies over Gaza City as they had for much of the day. The three strikes came in the space of less than four hours. Israel’s Security barrier: 245 km (150-mile) long 3m high 150 km built so far In pictures At 0800 local time (0600 GMT), Israeli F-16 fighter planes struck in Shajaiya neighbourhood, east of the Gaza City centre. A two-storey building - said to belong to a family with close links to Hamas - was destroyed. Palestinian rescue workers said at least 14 people - including two children - were injured in what Israel described as "a Hamas workshop" used to manufacture rockets and other weaponry. Three hours later two missiles were fired on a white Peugeot lorry as it was travelling through the centre of Gaza. Two bodies were removed from the wrecked lorry, and Hamas sources were later quoted as saying the dead were members of the Hamas military wing. A bystander was killed and seven people injured. The third strike took place an hour later, when helicopters attacked a farmhouse in a field north or Shajaiya. There were no casualties. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei condemned the strikes, saying they made it harder for Israel and the Palestinians to hold talks on ending violence. This man [Yasser Arafat] is the greatest obstacle to peace Ariel Sharon Israeli Prime Minister The Israeli military action comes a day after three Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush near the West Bank town of Ramallah - an attack claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. Also on Sunday, mortars were fired from Gaza into southern Israel - no casualties were reported. The leaders of all the main Palestinian militant groups have been in hiding since the attempts by Israel on their lives.

www.palestinemonitor.org 20 Oct 2003 Israel carrying out policy of ethnic cleansing by inducing poverty, starvation, and cases of forceful expulsion October 20, 2003 The Israeli construction of the West Bank apartheid wall is clearly a politically motivated maneuver intent on reshaping the West Bank, rendering a viable Palestinian state, and with it any lasting peace through a two state solution, impossible. In reshaping the West Bank and slicing off huge portions of Palestinian land east of the 1967 border, Israel has also annexed thousands of Palestinians – Palestinians it is now trying to expel through forceful expulsion but also through destroying any remaining quality of life within this isolated area of land. On October 2, the Israeli military released an order declaring all occupied West Bank land between the “security” wall and Israel’s pre-occupation 1967 border a “Closed Zone”. The order states that “no person will enter the (Closed Zone) and no one will remain there.” Free access to the Closed Zone will only be granted to “Israelis”. In this October 2nd order, General Moshe Kaplinski defines “Israelis” as any citizen of the state of Israel, resident of the state of Israel, and any one eligible to emigrate to Israel in accordance with the Law of Return, 1950. This means therefore, that while the 15,300 Palestinian residents in this 115 square km area, or those in adjoining communities who own agricultural land here (180,000 people) must now obtain highly unreliable permits to validate their existence, any Jewish person from anywhere in the world is quite free to come and settle on this land. The order stipulates that all crossing into the isolated areas is prohibited unless a “permit” from the Occupation “Civil Administration” is obtained, which can only be done by land owners who “prove” that they have land residing behind the Wall or are “officially registered” workers. Farmers and residents are fearful however that were they to apply for “permits” the well-grounded reality is that they would be denied on the basis that their Jordanian land certificates will not be recognized – Israeli authorities are all too aware that the majority of Palestinian certificates are Jordanian since land registration in the West Bank took place under Jordanian rule prior to the 1967 Occupation. On the ground this policy is already causing extensive suffering. The prevention of access to land has meant that many families are losing their livelihoods – farmers prevented access to their crops are forced to watch their untended crops rot – either that or see their produce stolen by settlers free to wonder through Palestinian lands. The idea of applying for a permit to be on one's own land is rejected by Palestinians who have been on these lands for generations. Those few who have sought permits have been confronted with a haphazard policy of discrimination which randomly rejects applications for permits citing various criteria yet at the same time failing to establish any formal set of guidelines. Many heads of households for instance have already been denied permits to reside in their villages on the grounds that they were not born there. Furthermore those who are granted permits are not assured permanent residency rights – the permits are to be renewed from “time to time” as demanded by the Occupation Civil Administration. Palestinan efforts to protest this latest stunt in Israel’s ongoing colonization process have been met with severe punishment. The community of Jubara for instance lies west of the apartheid wall and is completely isolated within the de facto annexed area. Jubara has no schools or health facilities of its own, residents have always depended on reaching nearby Kafryat for such services yet residents are doing their utmost to defy the Occupation’s system of expulsion and permits. As a result the village has remained under closure for more than sixteen days—no one is allowed in or out which, considering that all services are only available outside the village, is having stark consequences for the residents. The obvious intention of the Israeli government is to see that the reality of forced poverty and starvation, brought on by the imposition of the wall and the new “closed zones” become so unbearable for communities in the northern West Bank that people choose to leave in the hope of finding a better life. The village of Jubara is just one of many cases being fatally affected in this latest attempt by Israel and it’s military to cleanse the recently seized “ closed zone” of all its Palestinian inhabitants and thus annex the land, and its existing illegal settlers to Israel proper.

BBC 20 Oct 2003 Israeli warplanes strike in Gaza Israeli warplanes have bombed a house in Gaza city, witnesses say. A loud explosion was heard in the east of the city as Israeli F-16 fighter planes flew overhead, they said. Initial reports suggest they may have been targeting the home of an Islamic Jihad leader, Abdullah Shami. Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes against Palestinian militants, including targeted killings of wanted men. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 20 Israelis earlier this month in the port city of Haifa.

WP 21 Oct 2003 Strikes by Israeli Aircraft Kill at Least 11 in Gaza More Than 135 Hurt, Many Women and Children By John Ward Anderson Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, October 21, 2003; Page A19 JERUSALEM, Oct. 20 -- At least 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 135 were injured Monday in five attacks by Israeli military aircraft on Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip. Most of the casualties were women, children and other bystanders, Palestinian hospital officials and witnesses said. The attacks began early in the morning and continued off and on for almost 15 hours. The deadliest was the fourth -- a 9:45 p.m. missile strike by Israeli AH-64 Apache attack helicopters on a car in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. That attack killed at least eight people and wounded more than 100, hospital officials and witnesses said. Many of the casualties reportedly were injured when a missile slammed into a street where rescuers were trying to help people wounded by a missile that had hit moments before. According to an Israeli military spokesman, the attack on the refugee camp was precipitated by a group of Palestinian militants who were caught by Israeli soldiers trying to infiltrate Israel near Nakhal Oz, a kibbutz southeast of Gaza City. Israeli soldiers shot and are believed to have killed two of the militants near the border; others jumped into a car and tried to escape, the spokesman said. Israeli helicopters pursued the car "deep into the Gaza Strip" and finally "fired a number of missiles towards the vehicle, and the people in it were hit," the spokesman said. Witnesses said, however, that the people in the car fled after the first missile struck and that those killed were not militants. Afterward, hundreds of people converged on the scene, many holding pieces of the vehicle aloft while chanting "Revenge! Revenge!" the Associated Press reported. The five attacks, some of which targeted the weapons infrastructure of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, came a day after the Palestinian group fired eight homemade Qassam rockets from Gaza toward the Israeli community of Sderot, just beyond the northeastern edge of the Gaza Strip. Most of the rockets, which are often inaccurate, landed in fields outside the town, and no one was injured. The Israeli strikes also followed the killing of three Israeli soldiers in an ambush in the West Bank on Sunday night. Palestinian officials condemned what they said was Israel's indiscriminate and disproportionate response. "These Israeli acts do not help cease-fire talks, they discourage them," Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told reporters in Ramallah. "We have been facing the most disproportionate use of force since Adam and Eve," said Saeb Erekat, a member of Qureia's cabinet. "Israeli F-16s are launching missiles at crowded neighborhoods in Gaza and the world is silent. . . . Such attacks only add to the complications and lead to more violence." "We don't choose the arena for combating terrorism, and unfortunately terrorists are making use of the Palestinian population to hide behind," said an Israeli military spokeswoman, Maj. Sharon Feingold. In densely populated urban areas, "innocent bystanders are liable to be hurt, and we regret that very much, but we cannot stand by and allow the continuation of the flow of weapons and ammunition and explosives . . . and not do what we have to do." The series of attacks began at about 8 a.m., when an Israeli F-16 fighter jet apparently dropped a bomb on an unfinished house in Gaza City's Sajaiye neighborhood. An Israeli military spokesman said Hamas used the house as a workshop, mainly to produce Qassam rockets and mortar shells, but also antitank missiles. Palestinian security officials said the building apparently was used by Hamas as a weapons storehouse. No one was killed in the strike, but at least 10 people were injured, including four children -- one age 2, another 4 -- and three women, Palestinian hospital officials said. At 11 a.m., Israeli Apache helicopters swooped over central Gaza City and fired at least two missiles at a white Peugeot pickup truck on Al-Jala Street, killing two masked Hamas militants and a 35-year-old motorist, hospital officials and witnesses said. At least 15 other people, most of them pedestrians, were wounded, hospital officials said. Palestinian security sources said the two militants apparently had gone to the site of the first blast to collect any undamaged materials. They said it appeared that the men were spotted by Israeli forces. "Suddenly a big flame came from the sky and hit the car in front of me," Ahmed Sobeh, a bus driver, told the AP. Schools had just let out, and "children were trying to cross the road. . . . I saw a person in the car being evacuated, and his body was completely burned." A statement by Hamas identified the two dead men as Iyad Hilu, a local leader of the al-Qassam Brigades, and a Hamas operative, Khaled Masri. A statement by the Israeli military said that Masri, who was about 36, was a senior member on the production line of Qassam rockets and mortar shells for Hamas. Hamas identified the slain motorist as Marwan Khatib. An hour later, Israeli Apaches returned to the eastern edge of Gaza City and fired more missiles at a two-room shack that the Israeli military said was used by Hamas to store weapons. Palestinian officials said they believed Hamas members may have moved some of the materials from the first targeted house to the shack, or at least visited it. No one was injured. Late Monday night, in the fifth attack of the day, Israeli F-16s returned to the scene of the first bombing "to complete the attack," an Israeli military spokesman said. Palestinian hospital officials said 12 people were injured. In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Israeli parliament that he would accelerate the pace of construction of a controversial fence being built between Israel and much of the West Bank. "This fence is the best way of foiling terrorism," said Sharon, who also reiterated his cabinet's recent vow to remove Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from the peace process.

BBC 21 Oct 2003, Israel ministers blast Gaza strikes By Barbara Plett BBC correspondent in Jerusalem Palestinian support for militants is increasing Deadly Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip have prompted rare internal criticism of the military's activity. At least 10 Palestinians were killed and about 100 wounded in missile attacks on Monday, with most of the dead civilians. The army said it was targeting Palestinian militia leaders and stores of weapons as part of its regular counter insurgency operations. The strikes took place as the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon delivered a speech to parliament in which he vowed to go on attacking the militants as long as the Palestinian Authority (PA) failed to crack down on them. 'Mass killings' The operation appears to have been triggered by Palestinian rocket attacks against an Israeli town close to Gaza. These are primitive weapons that do not do much damage, but Israel views them as a strategic threat it cannot tolerate. Israeli commentators also suggested that the army had been "letting off steam" after Palestinians killed three soldiers in the West Bank on Sunday. However, Israel's response was so disproportionate that it extracted unusually harsh criticism from within the governing coalition. Most people killed in the strikes were civilians "We should not carry out mass killings in order to strike two or three terrorists," said Interior Minister Avraham Poraz, of the Shinui Party. "I would rather [the militants] escape." Yosef Paritzky, the Minister of Infrastructure who is also from the Shinui Party, urged Israel to apologise to, and compensate, the victims. "We are not at war with the Palestinian population," he said. One military correspondent was not so sure. Popular backlash "Is it conceivable that somebody on our side has decided that all of Palestinian society is the target?" Alex Fishman wrote in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Many Palestinians would say yes - that Monday's carnage was the result of an ongoing strategy of deliberate, collective punishment. Some Israelis also agree. Dr Shmuel Bar, a military analyst quoted in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, said the strikes were intended to create a "living hell" for Palestinians, with the aim of fomenting a popular backlash against the Islamic fighters who take refuge amongst them. So far this approach has failed. Opinion polls suggest that during the course of the three-year Palestinian uprising the popularity of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has increased by 60%. We should not carry out mass killings in order to strike two or three terrorists Avraham Poraz, Israeli minister According to a recent survey 75% of Palestinians saw the devastating suicide bombing carried out in Haifa several weeks ago as a just response to what Israel was doing to them. It is likely there would be similar support for any Palestinian retaliation for the Gaza strikes. An army spokeswoman expressed regret for the civilian deaths. But there was no sign of retreat from Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian militants, which is supported by a majority of Israelis. The PA, on the other hand, says it wants to organise a mutual cessation of violence. Palestinian officials are now in the United States trying to win support for this strategy, which is backed by a strong majority of Palestinians. The recent survey also suggested that 59% would accept PA measures to prevent anti-Israeli attacks if there is a mutual cease fire. Mr Sharon has rejected such a truce, insisting that the PA first disarm and dismantle the militias. Palestinian analysts say in the current circumstances that is politically impossible to do, short of risking a civil war.

Jerusalem Post 23 Oct 2003 Trigger happy By ERIK SCHECHTER Without a gun permit issued by the Interior Ministry, the official tells me, I will only be able to pick up my consignment of 500 Uzis at the port. The submachine-guns, along with an old M-48 tank or two, will all be purchased from government stockpiles, and then shipped to a Latin American country - care of Erik Schechter, Ltd. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Around one o'clock in the afternoon, the fax machine had spat out my free, seven-page application from Sibat, the Defense Ministry's arms export control agency. It only took an anonymous telephone call to get the application to be an international arms dealer, but the information requested in the paperwork is far more invasive. Besides personal and army records, it demands police confirmation of a clean criminal record. The approval process for the one-year license to negotiate arms sales will take about a month. And I will still need to apply for an export license once I am close to clinching the deal. That in turn will entail a high-level foreign official - from a country not on Sibat's blacklist - signing an end-user certificate which promises that the purchased weapons will not end up in an enemy state - say, Syria. Why sell arms? Everyone else is. According to Defense News, Israel did at least $3.7 billion worth of business in arms deals in 2002 - making it the world's third-largest defense exporter, following the United States and Russia. About 90 percent of that profit was netted by large arms manufacturers, which sell high-end materiel to the United States, Turkey, India, and Europe [see box]. Trailing behind them come 600 small, private security companies which devote their arms and expertise to Third World clients. Most of these operations are overseen by Sibat, but the road to perdition is greased with gun oil. Most private security firms are headed by ex-senior officers who take early retirement and then start a lucrative second career. "If you did not reach the rank of lieutenant-colonel or head a directorate in the Mossad or Shin Bet, no one will take you seriously," says Isaac Levy, vice president of operations for the Sherutey Hashomrim firm and former divisional head of security for the Shin Bet [see box]. As for the personnel, they have their roots in elite IDF outfits such as the counter-terror unit Lotar Eilat or bomb disposal unit Yachsap. Fresh out of the IDF, they start in already established companies, working on individual projects such as training and arming the bodyguards of some Caribbean official. "It starts with referrals," says Tal Hanan, a demolition expert and CEO of Demoman International. "A friend brings a friend." The years pass, and once an employee in an arms firm makes enough political connections, he starts his own business. Fortunately, even small Israeli dealers benefit from the Mossad mystique, which still has a hold in the Third World. "A lot of these countries do not realize they are dealing with private individuals," says Hanan. "The client will say, 'You're Mossad, right?' and the dealers will deny it - but in a way that makes the client think they are working for Israeli intelligence." SIBAT IS supposed to license and oversee legal arms dealers, but it is hard to stay squeaky clean in the arms business; with so much money at stake, the use of bribes to win a contract is commonplace. For example, in 1997, IAF Brig.- Gen. (res.) Rami Dotan, a former military attache serving in the US, was jailed for taking $10 million in bribes from American arms manufacturers. According to a Defense Ministry spokeswoman, Israeli firms are prohibited from selling arms and military advice to non-state actors, but it is rare for the law to actually catch up with violators. In 1989, Columbian officials accused Lt.-Col. (res.) Yair Klein, a former paratrooper who headed Spearhead Ltd., of arming and training drug traffickers. Skipping the country before he could be arrested, Klein claimed that he only trained the private militia of right-wing cattle ranchers. Two years later, an Israeli court found him guilty of illegally exporting military arms and information. Though his company was based in Miami, and therefore did not have to be licensed with Sibat, the weapons he sold were Israeli - Galil and Uzi rifles. Klein was fined $13,400. Had he sold Russian-made AK-47s, the government would have been powerless to give him even that slap on the wrist. Israel never extradited Klein to Columbia because - according to the Extradition Law, which was most recently amended in 2002 - a citizen and resident of the country cannot be handed over to a foreign government. This allows illegal dealers to get away with murder. Israeli arms sellers played a supportive role in the Rwandan genocide, says Brian Wood, coordinator for Amnesty International's project to limit the worldwide proliferation of small arms. Despite a government ban on dealing to civil war-torn countries, "two of the seven arms flights that landed in Rwanda during the period of the genocide came from Tel Aviv," says Wood. No one was arrested. The intelligence community tolerates shady dealers because of the information they can provide. "They are not the sons of rabbis," says one former Mossad official, "but they are interesting to us because they allow us to find out who is shopping for weapons and why." Ex-paratrooper and businessman Nahum Manbar, who would be sentenced in 1994 to 16 years in prison, sold arms to Iran with the knowledge and blessing of the Shin Bet - despite Sibat regulations. Manbar used his contacts in Teheran to discover the whereabouts of IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad, downed over Lebanon in 1986. In fact, a number of Israeli firms - major defense manufacturers like Elbit and Soltam - approached Manbar to broker export deals with Iran. But it is hard to rein in the greed. When the Mossad - which from the start was never keen about the operation - pulled the plug, Manbar had already promised Majed Abasbur, head of the Iranian chemical weapons program, information and equipment for producing mustard and nerve gas. Manbar ran afoul of the government when he tried to complete the deal. But a gun dealer is more likely to get into trouble with unstable, rebellion- prone Third World authorities than with Israel. "When you get to your client's country," one source told me, one CEO to another, "plan your escape route." Lethal advice Not everyone in the security export business is looking to sell a boatload of old Uzis to some Third World country. Many operators, both private and quasi- government, also market what could be termed "military intellectual property" - that is, the fighting and intelligence skills they picked up while in the service. Take Rafael, for example. Besides missiles and other military hardware, the semi-public arms manufacturer sells a combat simulation program called ABS-2010 that pits military commanders against each other. As in real life, the players do not see the whole battlefield, but make decisions based on maps, reports and communication networks. "We factored in everything, from the morale of special forces units to the trajectory of artillery shells," says Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Ben-Yitzhak, who worked on the program's earlier incarnation. Not just a game, the ABS-2010 teaches foreign armies how to wage war more effectively - illustrating the inherent danger in military intellectual property. "You can buy weapons anywhere," says Isaac Levy. "You want a Russian T-62 tank? You can find a seller on the Internet. But finding an expert to teach you how to operate it properly is another thing altogether." A former divisional head of security for the Shin Bet, Levy is vice president of operations for the Sherutey Hashomrim firm. The Petah-Tikva company trains local and foreign security personnel for a variety of tasks, from protecting VIPs to guarding oil refineries to foiling plane hijackers. Of course, his company is not the only one in the security business. With so many intelligence and military retirees, there are plenty of firms registering their Web sites and contact numbers with Sibat - and plenty more which keep a low profile. Security and Intelligence Advising (SIA), in Tel Aviv, seems to have carved out a niche for itself in training anti-terrorism and anti-narcotics units in Latin America. Its Web site carries excerpts from the Spanish- and Portgugese- language press as testimonials to its expertise. According to Haaretz, Silver Shadow Advanced Security Services maintains close ties with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. There is something quite fitting about its Web site playing the electronic Big Beat music of Fatboy Slim to armed action sequences. Co-managed by Lt.-Col. (res.) Amos Golan, the Kfar Azar company does seem to play on the outer rim of propriety, training foreign combat and intelligence units. "If people in Spain, or Africa or where-have-you, want to fight against the government... and they are willing to pay," the Associated Press quoted one Silver Shadow employee as saying, "then those people are freedom fighters in my eyes, and I will do everything to help them." But unlike non-Israeli firms such as Sandline International and The White Legion, the folks at Silver Shadow do not actually fight for their African clients. So countries may employ them without violating the 1989 UN Convention banning the "recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries." Still, it's a close call. In 1997, Silver Shadow offered to create a special protection unit for the president of the strife-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), according to the DC-based Center for Public Integrity. The Israeli government quashed the deal. Silver Shadow did not respond to a call from The Jerusalem Post. It all sounds pretty stringent. But so long as a client country has been approved, firms are effectively on the honor system once they go abroad, says Tal Hanan, a demolitions expert and CEO of Demoman International. "Suppose you got permission from Sibat to teach only topics A and B to your client," asks Hanan, "and you teach A, B and C. Will the client really go to the government and complain?" Running with the big boys 'Foreign arms sales are a priority of every Israeli government," says Aharon Kleiman, Tel Aviv University professor of political science and author of Israel's Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy. These deals bring money, via taxes, to public coffers and help cement desperately sought-after foreign alliances. So it should come as no surprise that when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India in early September, he was accompanied by an entourage of defense manufacturers - both semi-public concerns such as Rafael and Israel Military Industries, and private ones like Elbit and Tadiran. And it is not just Sharon. "Almost every head of state acts as a salesman for his own arms industry," says Kleinman. Last year, British Prime Minister Tony Blair made his pitch to the Indians on behalf of BAE Systems, England's largest arms manufacturer. While publicly pleading with the Indians to ratchet down tensions with Pakistan, Blair privately pushed for the sale of 40 to 60 Hawk flight-training jets to New Delhi. Such behavior may seem hypocritical, but illustrates the cut-throat nature of the competition; if you don't sell, someone else will. When the Swedes hesitated over exporting arms to India or Pakistan, the Yokne'am-based company Soltam Systems (which also makes kitchenware) happily sold 200 artillery pieces to New Delhi. American defense companies are especially unhappy that Israel, which receives $2 billion in foreign military aid, has squeezed them out of some lucrative markets and penetrated others, such as China and India, which are legally off- limits to Americans. "Israel is allowed to use $500 million of its US aid to buy its own weaponry," notes Joel Johnson, VP of International Affairs for the Aerospace Industries Association of America. "This frees up funds for local R&D. Israel then claims it can sell its own defense products to whomever it wants." Still, Washington has in the past flexed some political muscle. In July 2000, Israel was forced to cancel a contract to sell the Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) to China. But Israeli defense contractors have found a clever way of immunizing themselves against such influences: by going into partnership with foreign firms, such as Rafael's joint project with Lockheed- Martin to produce the Python air-to-air missile.

AP 25 Oct 2003 Israel accused of violating international law over Gaza demolitions GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - October 25, 2003 - Israeli forces retaliated Sunday for a deadly attack by militants on a nearby Jewish settlement, blowing up three large, empty buildings in Gaza after evacuating 2,000 Palestinians from their homes. Huge blasts rocked the area for miles around, sending plumes of black smoke and debris into the air, and damaging nearby structures. The operation came as tensions rose once again in the three-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The developments, coupled with continued political uncertainty in the Palestinian leadership, pushed Mideast peace efforts further into the background. The Israelis targeted three unfinished 12-story buildings on a sandy hill overlooking the heavily guarded settlement of Netzarim, where two Palestinian gunmen infiltrated early Friday morning and killed three Israeli soldiers, including two women. One of the gunmen escaped, while the other was shot and killed by other soldiers. The Israelis first blew up a Palestinian police post where the Israeli military said the attacker fled. They then set off explosives in and around the three tall buildings, which belong to Palestinian Preventive Security, the main Palestinian force in Gaza. Before the huge blasts, Israeli soldiers ordered nearby residents in southern Gaza City out of their homes. The military said the evacuation was for their protection, to avoid harming civilians during the destruction of the three buildings. Mohammed Hassan Ali, 39, a father of five, said, "I can see dozens of people from the building leaving, mostly on foot. We don't know where to go." Residents said soldiers told the people to move toward the Nusseirat refugee camp, about two miles away. Maj. Sharon Feingold, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said it was a "temporary evacuation for their own safety," and after the operation ended, the residents were permitted to return to their homes. When residents came back, they found considerable damage, said Moreed Naim, 29, an off-duty Palestinian firefighter who lives in the neighborhood. "All the windows were broken, some of the furniture was damaged, and my car was destroyed," he said. Residents said soldiers fired rifles and machine guns, wounding two people and damaging walls. Palestinian militants used the unfinished buildings as lookout points to help prepare the deadly Friday infiltration into Netzarim, an isolated settlement southwest of Gaza City, the Israelis said. As Palestinians left their homes, the settlers at Netzarim moved into bomb shelters for protection, the military said. On Saturday, a Palestinian wounded in Monday's Israeli missile strike in the Nusseirat camp died, raising the toll to 11. Israeli helicopters targeted a car carrying suspected militants, killing and wounding bystanders. The military moves overshadowed the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan meant to stop the violence and lead to a Palestinian state in 2005. Contacts over the plan have been frozen for weeks, both because of the violence and because of internal Palestinian political turmoil. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia has threatened to resign Nov. 4, when a one-month mandate of his emergency Cabinet, appointed by Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), expires. Israel and the United States are boycotting Arafat, charging that he is responsible for Palestinian violence, and the absence of a stable Palestinian government has stymied contacts between the two sides as violence continues. In Jerusalem on Saturday night, Israeli peace activists blamed Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) for the stalemate and bloodshed. About 4,000 Peace Now demonstrators gathered in front of Sharon's residence, chanting "Sharon, Go Home" and carrying torches. One banner read "Sharon: Terminator of Israel," an expression of the crowd's anger at the prime minister's frequent crackdowns on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (news - web sites). "The economy is in a grave decline. There is no security. Civilians and soldiers are killed every day," said Ran Cohen, a legislator from the dovish Meretz party. In the West Bank, meanwhile, masked Israeli troops raided two Palestinian hospitals Saturday, arresting two suspected militants — one of them in critical condition — in a commando-style operation the army said would be replicated in other hospitals where there might be terror suspects. The troops, wearing black ski masks and carrying assault rifles, entered the Nablus hospitals before dawn Saturday, snatching one militant from his hospital bed and finding a second hiding in a basement with pistol in hand, the army said. One militant belonged to Hamas and the other the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a militant group with links to Yasser Arafat's Fatah (news - web sites) faction. Human rights groups and Palestinians condemned the raids, fearing hospitals no longer are neutral ground in the ongoing fighting and saying international law bans military operations in medical facilities. The army countered that international law prevents militants from seeking refuge in a hospital. Including Saturday's raids, the army has carried out four hospital raids in the last two months, and army officials said they were planning more. GAZA CITY (AFP) - Octobet 26, 2003 - Israel was accused of violating international law after troops blew up scores of apartments in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites) in the wake of a deadly attack on soldiers guarding a nearby Jewish settlement. Meanwhile Damascus threatened to attack Israelis living in the occupied Golan Heights if Israel launched further attacks on Syrian soil like the one earlier this month. Some 2,000 Palestinians residents of the Gaza town of Al-Zahara were evacuated from their homes as three nearby 13-storey buildings were dynamited at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) Sunday in a single massive explosion. Several hundred Jewish residents of the adjacent Netzarim settlement also took refuge in bomb shelters during the operation. Israeli security sources said the partially-constructed buildings had been used by Palestinian militants to spy on Israeli troop movements in Netzarim. Witnesses said the impact of the blast shook the ground several kilometers (miles) away. "I hope it will be a good message to the Palestinian Authority (news - web sites) not to let civilian infrastructure be used for terror," said Brigadier General Gadi Shammi, the Israeli military commander in the Gaza Strip. Three soldiers, including two women, were killed Friday in a pre-dawn ambush on Israeli army barracks around Netzarim claimed by the two radical Palestinian movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat called the demolition a "war crime", adding that more than 140 apartments had been destroyed. "What the Israeli army has done this morning -- destroying three housing projects -- is a war crime and a major violation of the Geneva Convention," Erakat told AFP. "Destroying property as a punitive measure is a clear violation of the rules of international law," he said in a statement. "Such actions are also counterproductive towards Israel's legitimate security concerns, for they foster anger and despair among Palestinians." However the Israelis were unrepentant, with one senior source saying that plans to demolish the buildings had been drawn up 11 months ago but had been put on hold to allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) time to stop militants from using them as observation posts. "We expect buildings owned by the PA will not be used for terrorist activities but after the raid on Friday we saw that we could not let this go on," the source said. Also in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, at least one Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops. "A Palestinian armed with an assault rifle was spotted and killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers at dawn Sunday near an army position close to the Gush Katif settlement bloc," an Israeli military source said. Two other Palestinians were also shot by Israeli forces as they approached a military position in the area, but there were no reports on the Israeli or Palestinian sides that more bodies had been recovered. Earlier a hospital source in Gaza City said a 17-year-old Palestinian died of wounds received in an Israeli raid in Gaza City on Wednesday. Doctors in the West Bank town of Nablus also said that a 39-year-old man who was shot by Israeli forces on Saturday had died of his injuries. The Israelis denied knowledge of any such incident. Meanwhile, Syria's foreign minister warned Damascus could attack Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights if Israel launched another attack on its territory. "If we are attacked again our people will not stand for it and we have to carry out the will of the people," Faruq al-Shara told Britain's Sunday Telegraph. "Don't forget there are many Israeli settlements in the Golan. I am not exaggerating but I am describing things as they might happen." On October 5, Israel bombed what it said was a training camp near Damascus allegedly used by the hardline Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. Damascus insisted the attack had targeted a civilian area. .

Jerusalem Post 27 Oct 2003 Tony Judt is pandering to genocide Andrea Levin As columnist Charles Krauthammer recently observed: "The world is experiencing the worst resurgence of anti-Semitism in 50 years. Its main objective is the demonization and delegitimation of Israel, to the point that the idea of eradicating... the world's only Jewish state becomes respectable, indeed laudable. The psychological grounds for the final solution are being prepared." Party to this grim preparation is one Tony Judt, former Oxford don and now a history professor at New York University. Accomplished in the academy, where Israel is widely vilified, he has evidently, as a Jew, suffered discomfiting criticism among his colleagues - perhaps even at dinner parties. He doesn't appreciate this, and so publicly advocates the dismantling of Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation. In an October 10 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times and a longer version in the October 23 New York Review of Books, he terms Israel an "anachronism" to be done away with. The Jewish state is "bad for the Jews," writes Judt, explaining "the behavior of a self-described Jewish state affects the way everyone else looks at Jews." He opines that "non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable for things they didn't do." Not surprisingly, the professor's argument for the abolition of the Jewish state in favor of a binational one shared with the Palestinians - an entity soon to leave Jews a minority - is an extremist diatribe filled with distortion. Judt parrots Palestinian allegations, charging Israel has, for example, "consistently and blatantly flouted UN resolutions requiring it to withdraw from land seized and occupied in war." But there is only one currently relevant UN resolution, 242, and that requires Israel to withdraw to negotiated "secure and recognized boundaries." Israel has, of course, pulled back from large areas of land, including the Sinai and southern Lebanon. On the other hand, Arab states blatantly violate Resolution 242's demand that states in the region terminate "belligerency," and respect the right of "every State in the area... to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, free from threats or acts of force." Judt attacks Israel as outmoded in an age of individual rights and multi-ethnicity because it is a Jewish state. Disregarding the 22 Muslim Arab states in which Islam and its hundreds of millions of adherents are given privileged status, and from which in varying degrees Jews are prohibited from owning property, praying or even setting foot, the author lambastes Israel as "a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded." In fact, in Israel as nowhere else in the Middle East, people of all faiths live, work, vote, worship and prosper. Jews do enjoy unique access to citizenship under the Law of Return - just as other democratic nations offer citizenship privileges to particular ethnic groups. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Greece, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Bulgaria and the Baltic and Balkan nations are just a few. Judt is equally hypocritical about recent key events. He complains: "Israeli liberals and moderate Palestinians have for two decades been thanklessly insisting that the only hope was for Israel to dismantle nearly all the settlements and return to the 1967 borders, in exchange for real Arab recognition of those frontiers and a stable, terrorist-free Palestinian state..." Literally unmentioned are the Camp David/Taba negotiations, with their offer to dismantle settlements and return virtually to the 1967 lines - and Palestinian rejection of statehood in favor of terror. Thus the professor is silent regarding Arab rejection of nationhood alongside the Jews. Nor are the Arabs faulted for their "anachronistic" dictatorial regimes - while the Jewish state is to be destroyed for its supposed imperfections. Arafat and his associates have long advocated the "single state" solution Judt embraces, and have made clear what that would entail. "Every Palestinian must clearly understand that the independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, is not the end of the process but rather a stage on the road to a democratic state in the whole of Palestine," Fatah ideologue and PA director of political indoctrination Othman Abu Gharbiya stated in November, 1999. "This will be followed by a third phase, namely Palestine's complete amalgamation in the Arab and Islamic cultural, national, historic, and geographic environment. This is the permanent-status solution." In becoming a cheerleader for this solution, Judt offers the Jews of Israel the fate of other ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab Middle East, all of whom are beleaguered and persecuted in some degree, and in the worst cases subjected to genocidal assault. Indeed, Palestinian leaders, including PA religious figures, have repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel. But submitting Israel's Jews to the murderous designs of Arafat and his cronies apparently means little to Judt when weighed against the prospect of being freed in the eyes of his academic colleagues from the "guilt" by ethnic association with Israel's battle for survival. Andrea Levin is Executive Director of CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

WP 31 Oct 2003 Top Israeli Officer Says Tactics Are Backfiring By Molly Moore Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, October 31, 2003; Page A01 JERUSALEM, Oct. 30 -- Israel's senior military commander told columnists for three leading newspapers this week that Israel's military tactics against the Palestinian population were too repressive and were fomenting explosive levels of "hatred and terrorism" that might become impossible to control. In remarks that suggest a dramatic split with the approach of the current government, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, chief of staff of the Israeli armed forces, said that crackdowns, curfews and roadblocks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were crippling the lives of innocent Palestinians and that the military's tactics were now threatening Israel's own interests. The military chief directed most of his complaints at restrictions imposed on the West Bank four weeks ago, after a suicide bomber from the West Bank city of Jenin killed 21 people in a restaurant in the Israeli port of Haifa. Yaalon said the current curfews and travel restrictions, some of the tightest since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, were preventing Palestinians from carrying out critical olive and other agricultural harvests, hampering thousands of children from attending school, increasing hatred for Israel and strengthening terrorist organizations. "In our tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interests," Nahum Barnea, columnist for the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper, quoted Yaalon as telling him. Yaalon also said he believed the Israeli government contributed to the failure of Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian prime minister because it was too "stingy" and was unwilling to make concessions to bolster his authority. Yaalon took his complaints public after several weeks of security staff meetings in which he advocated easing the military restrictions on Palestinians. But in each session he was overruled by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and the intelligence chief, Avi Dichter, who argued that loosening controls on travel in the territories could allow Palestinian militants to slip into Israel, according to two military officers familiar with the internal disagreements. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the final arbiter in the meetings, sided with Mofaz and Dichter, the officers said. "He felt it was his public duty to say that if we don't do something about this, then it will explode in our face," said one senior military official. "The war against terror is taking place on the backs of civilians." Sharon and Mofaz, who both advocate stringent and wide-ranging responses to Palestinian suicide bombings and other attacks, reportedly were infuriated that the chief of staff aired his complaints publicly. An official of Sharon's government, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that what Yaalon said "is legitimate," but that by making his case to the news media, "I don't think he said the right thing to the right people." He added that Sharon and Mofaz were "not happy" and that "it would not happen again." But Yaalon's remarks, echoed by equally vociferous criticism from other military officers interviewed Thursday, revealed a schism between military and political leaders over the government's handling of a conflict that many officers and soldiers say they believe is not winnable through military force, incites more terrorism than it prevents and mistreats innocent Palestinians. Almost 900 Israeli citizens or foreign residents of Israel have been killed in attacks by Palestinians, and Israeli military forces have killed about 2,500 Palestinians. "We're in a more serious situation that the U.S. was in Vietnam," said reserve Brig. Gen. Yiftah Spector, one of the most decorated fighter pilots in Israeli military history. Spector was grounded as a flight instructor last month after signing a letter, along with 26 other reserve pilots, calling the military's targeted killings of militants in crowded civilian neighborhoods "illegal and immoral." Israel's military policies in the Palestinian territories, Spector said, are "opposing everything I was raised on" during his career in the air force. While Yaalon's staff attempted to make a distinction between his concerns and those of the pilots, military officials and analysts said frustration and disillusionment within the military -- not only over tactics that punish innocent civilians but also with the stalled peace process -- had spurred large numbers of troops, from infantrymen in the field to reserve officers to the chief of staff, to speak more openly against the policies of Sharon's government. "We feel there's a real problem here," said one military officer, who agreed with the chief of staff's assessment. "The public should be made aware how we feel. There should be a public debate in Israel on where we're going and how far we can push the Palestinian public." Yaalon also criticized the government's decision to expand the barrier being built between the West Bank and Israel deep into Palestinian territory to encompass more Jewish settlements and cut off tens of thousands of Palestinians from their agricultural lands and families. The Finance Ministry estimated this week that the barrier would cost about $2.3 billion, more than three times the original estimate. A civilian government official accused Yaalon of hypocrisy, alleging that the military commander carried out many of the orders that hampered Abbas without raising objections. Some military analysts and officials also note that Yaalon has supported some of the armed forces' most controversial tactics in the Palestinian territories, including targeted killings. Human rights groups have criticized such killings because they impose a death sentence on a suspect without due process. In addition, bystanders are frequently killed in such operations. Mofaz summoned Yaalon to his office for a reprimand on Wednesday, the day the Israeli newspapers printed their first accounts of his remarks, according to government officials familiar with the meeting. Although Yaalon was not identified by name in the news columns, which referred to him as a senior official, the army's chief spokeswoman, Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron, monitored the meeting with the journalists, and defense officials did not try to hide the source of the story when Israeli radio and television identified the source as the chief of staff. Two military officials said Mofaz ordered Yaalon to release a statement that said: "No uniformed officer has expressed criticism of the government. The articles reflect the fundamental deliberations and the discussions that take place in light of a complex situation. The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is subordinate to the political echelon and carries out its orders precisely." On Thursday, a military officer familiar with the dispute said that Yaalon "stands behind everything he said." Mofaz's office did not respond to a request for comment. Sharon's office made no official response to the controversy. The prime minister spent almost seven hours under interrogation Thursday by police investigators probing allegations of bribery and illegal campaign donations involving him and his two sons in his 1999 election campaign. One military official said Yaalon expressed reservations about the government's treatment of Abbas, who was Palestinian prime minister from April 30 until Sept. 6, because his nominated successor, Ahmed Qureia, must decide next week whether he would accept the position. Yaalon and other military officials fear that if a second Palestinian government fails, the Palestinian Authority could disintegrate, creating chaos in the territories, the official said.


AP 11 Oct 2003 Islamic Nations Call for U.S. Out of Iraq By PATRICK McDOWELL Associated Press Writer PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) - Delegates to the world's largest gathering of Islamic nations opened their biggest meeting in three years Saturday with calls for the eviction of U.S. troops from Iraq and fears that the recent Israeli air strike in Syria could spark a larger Mideast war. The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council also sought to get backing for its effort to prevent the deployment of Turkish peacekeepers to its territory. ``We don't like to have any peacekeeping troops from neighboring countries, because it might cause problems inside Iraq,'' said Riyadh al-Fadhli, an Iraqi delegate attending preparatory meetings for next week's summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. ``The situation now in Iraq is very sensitive,'' al-Fadhli said. ``It cannot take more difficulties and more dangerous situations inside Iraq.'' The gathering of the 57 countries in the Islamic Conference, the world's biggest Muslim political grouping, is its first regular summit since the Sept. 11 attacks brought terrorism to the center of world politics. Divisions over Iraq threatened to prevent Islamic leaders from finding a unified voice to address a widespread feeling that the war against terrorism has turned into a war against Muslims. Senior officials opened discussions with a prayer Saturday in Malaysia's new administrative capital, Putrajaya. They will lay out positions for their foreign ministers and national leaders to consider later in the week, ranging from Israel's airstrike on Syria to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But Iraq took center stage. Musa Braiza, head of the Jordanian delegation, said a resolution would acknowledge that positive change was underway in Iraq but would emphasize the full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty. Abdelouahed Belkaziz, the OIC's secretary general, said Islamic nations ``are still under the strain of extremely difficult challenges and unprecedented threats to our countries' independence, sovereignty, security and courses.'' Top priority should go to ``the eviction of foreign forces from Iraq, allowing the United Nations to administer Iraqi affairs (as a) prelude to restoration of Iraq's independence, and to the rebuilding of what has been destroyed over the past 20 years, all in accordance with a clear and short timetable,'' he said. Host Malaysia, led by blunt-spoken Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, had attempted to keep the U.S.-picked Iraqi council from taking the seat formerly held by Saddam's government, viewing the council as puppets. Mahathir denounced Israel and the United States for allegedly trying to spark a Mideast war with the Israeli air strike against an alleged terrorist camp in Syria in retaliation for a suicide terrorist bombing the day before that killed 19 people. ``Israel has been urging America to invade Syria, and Americans seemed to be reluctant, so in order to force the hand of America, Israel invades Syria,'' Mahathir said. The prime minister said there wasn't much the Islamic nations could do. ``Well, we can go to war,'' he said sarcastically ``but we have no capacity to go to war. That's the problem. Because we allow ourselves to become weak, people bully us.'' Malaysia has said Muslim states should not heed U.S. calls to send peacekeepers to Iraq unless the United Nations takes control of such operations. Washington wants troops from other countries to help relieve the burden on its 130,000 troops there. Turkey has given the green light to send troops, raising objections among the Iraqi Governing Council, which fears the troops would interfere in Iraq's internal affairs and that Turkey's conflict with its Kurdish minority could spill over to engulf Kurds in northern Iraq. Tahsin Burcuoglu, head of Turkey's delegation, said his country was assuming its neighborly responsibility and suggested that countries that wait for U.N. cover that may never materialize were satisfied with doing nothing. ``Everybody among the Islamic countries has to make a choice,'' Burcuoglu said. ``If there is no such resolution, then what should be the position of Islamic countries - to stay out and wait for something else and to just observe the tragedy going on?'' But Iran's deputy foreign minister, Gholamali Khoshroo, said that Muslim countries were unanimous in feeling that the United States should leave Iraq and hand over power to Iraqis. Striking a common position on peacekeepers would not be on the summit agenda, he said. The OIC has been dismissed by critics as a toothless talk shop with few concrete achievements. Malaysian officials say their nation, as OIC chair for the next three years, will strive to transform the organization into an effective advocate.

english.aljazeera.net 16 Oct 2003 Impotent OIC struggles for relevance Plenty of problems but OIC impotent to offer solutions Related: OIC summit ends in puff of inaction OIC for eviction of foreign forces from Iraq OIC welcomes Iraq council Tools: Email Article Print Article Send Your Feedback The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) will open its 10th three-yearly summit of leaders in Malaysia on Thursday but observers have low expectations of a body struggling for relevance. The Arab-Israeli conflict is high on the agenda of the summit in Malaysia’s new administrative capital of Putrajaya. But analysts have said the Palestinians should not expect much more than comforting words. "It will be the usual meet, make a speech and publish a final statement," said Waheed Abd al-Majid, deputy director of the Egypt-based al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. He told AFP Muslim states were not in a position to put pressure on the US to rein in Israel. This was partly because the Palestinian political landscape had become chaotic and OIC members had no discernible influence on it. "The Islamic world cannot take any initiative because no one knows what is happening on the Palestinian scene, armed groups are in control of the streets and everyone is doing what he pleases," said Abd al-Majid. Muslim governments have increasingly found themselves out of step with the Palestinian independence movement as power has swung in the Occupied Territories from Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Outmanoeuvred on Palestine The OIC was founded in 1969 with the intention of boosting Islamic solidarity and supporting the Palestinian struggle in particular. But the fact that Yasir Arafat is now threatened by Israel with expulsion or even assassination highlights the inability of the OIC to do anything but issue yet another ritual condemnation of Israel. Egyptian diplomatic efforts earlier this year helped persuade the Palestinians to declare a unilateral truce. This was designed to encourage the implementation of the US-backed peace plan known as the "roadmap". Muslim world body seems unable to influence events in Palestine But Israel refused to stop an assassination campaign targeting leaders of Palestinian groups, prompting them to end the ceasefire. Abd al-Majid expressed a common view in the Muslim world in particular that Israel was not interested in implementing the "road map", which envisages the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005. And by resuming human bombings, "the Palestinians did what Israel hoped they would do" he said. The bombings helped draw the US even closer to the Israeli state. In contrast, Arab and Muslim diplomacy, such as it is, has been left looking outmanoeuvred and irrelevant. Seeking coherent strategy The organisation has been under increasing pressure in recent years as it struggles to come up with a coherent strategy in the post 9/11 world order. Although most members opposed the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, both countries will be represented in Malaysia by officials installed by occupying US-led authorities. Another member, Syria, was recently hit by an Israeli air strike allegedly targeting a Palestinian guerrilla training camp. Putrajaya meeting signals Asian Muslim states' rising importance But although the OIC groups 1.3 billion people – about 20% of the earth’s population – and controls two thirds of the world’s oil reserves, it has been unable to stop Washington consolidating its support of Israel and moving to impose sanctions on Damascus. Instead, some Muslim leaders, such as Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf are expected to echo political priorities drafted in Western capitals. "President Musharraf will speak on the idea of enlightened moderation in the Muslim world and closer cooperation among Muslim states to combat extremism and terrorism," a Pakistani Foreign Ministry offical told AFP. General Musharraf came to power in a coup against Pakistan's elected government four years ago. Asian future This will be the first time the OIC has met in southeast Asia, a region that contains the biggest Muslim state, Indonesia, as well as the most economically developed host country, Malaysia. The failure of oil-rich Arab states to lead the bloc to greater power and prosperity has, analysts say, left them vulnerable to a reassessment of their role and a potential shift of power to the east. “Asia is the future for Islam,” Rohan Gunatra, an associate professor at the Singapore-based Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. “There has been a massive failure on the part of the Middle East. “Muslim countries have failed in modernising because their rulers have lacked vision and foresight; oil wealth hasn’t helped the Arab countries at all.” Malaysian Premier Mahathir Muhammad, a strong critic of the US invasion of Iraq, is expected to take a stronger line against the West while pressing for greater unity and development.

Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia 16 Oct 2003 www.pmo.gov.my [Full text] Oleh/By : DATO' SERI DR.MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD Tempat/Venue : PUTRAJAYA CONVENTION CENTRE, PUTRAJAYA Tarikh/Date : 16/10/2003 Tajuk/Title : THE OPENING OF THE TENTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE Alhamdulillah, All Praise be to Allah, by whose Grace and Blessings we, the leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Conference countries are gathered here today to confer and hopefully to plot a course for the future of Islam and the Muslim ummah worldwide. 2. On behalf of the Government and the people of many races and religions of Malaysia, may I extend a warm welcome to all and everyone to this Tenth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital. 3. It is indeed a great honour for Malaysia to host this Session and to assume the Chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). I thank the members for their confidence in Malaysia's Chairmanship. 4. May I also take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to the State of Qatar, in particular His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa AI-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, for his outstanding stewardship of our Organisation over the past three years. 5. As host, Malaysia is gratified at the high level of participation from member countries. This clearly demonstrates our continued and abiding faith in, and commitment to our Organisation and our collective wish and determination to strengthen our role for the dignity and benefit of the ummah. 6. I would also like to welcome the leaders and representatives of the many countries who wish to become observers at this meeting because of their substantial Muslim population. Whether they are Muslims or not, their presence at this meeting will help towards greater understanding of Islam and the Muslims, thus helping to disprove the perception of Islam as a religion of backwardness and terror. 7. The whole world is looking at us. Certainly 1.3 billion Muslims, one-sixth of the world's population are placing their hopes in us, in this meeting, even though they may be cynical about our will and capacity to even decide to restore the honour of Islam and the Muslims, much less to free their brothers and sisters from the oppression and humiliation from which they suffer today. 8. I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation and oppression, nor will I once again condemn our detractors and oppressors. It would be an exercise in futility because they are not going to change their attitudes just because we condemn them. If we are to recover our dignity and that of Islam, our religion, it is we who must decide, it is we who must act. 9. To begin with, the Governments of all the Muslim countries can close ranks and have a common stand if not on all issues, at least on some major ones, such as on Palestine. We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. But we who have been raised by Allah above our fellow Muslims to rule our countries have never really tried to act in concert in order to exhibit at our level the brotherhood and unity that Islam enjoins upon us. 10. But not only are our Governments divided, the Muslim ummah is also divided, and divided again and again. Over the last 1400 years the interpreters of Islam, the learned ones, the ulamas have interpreted and reinterpreted the single Islamic religion brought by Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, so differently that now we have a thousand religions which are often so much at odds with one another that we often fight and kill each other. 11. From being a single ummah we have allowed ourselves to be divided into numerous sects, mazhabs and tarikats, each more concerned with claiming to be the true Islam than our oneness as the Islamic ummah. We fail to notice that our detractors and enemies do not care whether we are true Muslims or not. To them we are all Muslims, followers of a religion and a Prophet whom they declare promotes terrorism, and we are all their sworn enemies. They will attack and kill us, invade our lands, bring down our Governments whether we are Sunnis or Syiahs, Alawait or Druze or whatever. And we aid and abet them by attacking and weakening each other, and sometimes by doing their bidding, acting as their proxies to attack fellow Muslims. We try to bring down our Governments through violence, succeeding to weaken and impoverish our countries. 12. We ignore entirely and we continue to ignore the Islamic injunction to unite and to be brothers to each other, we the Governments of the Islamic countries and the ummah. 13. But this is not all that we ignore about the teachings of Islam. We are enjoined to Read, Iqraq i.e. to acquire knowledge. The early Muslims took this to mean translating and studying the works of the Greeks and other scholars before Islam. And these Muslim scholars added to the body of knowledge through their own studies. 14. The early Muslims produced great mathematicians and scientists, scholars, physicians and astronomers etc. and they excelled in all the fields of knowledge of their times, besides studying and practising their own religion of Islam. As a result the Muslims were able to develop and extract wealth from their lands and through their world trade, able to strengthen their defences, protect their people and give them the Islamic way of life, Addin, as prescribed by Islam. At the time the Europeans of the Middle Ages were still superstitious and backward, the enlightened Muslims had already built a great Muslim civilisation, respected and powerful, more than able to compete with the rest of the world and able to protect the ummah from foreign aggression. The Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage. 15. The Muslims were lead by great leaders like Abdul Rahman III, AI-Mansur, Salah El Din AI Ayubi and others who took to the battlefields at the head of their forces to protect Muslim land and the ummah. 16. But halfway through the building of the great Islamic civilisation came new interpreters of Islam who taught that acquisition of knowledge by Muslims meant only the study of Islamic theology. The study of science, medicine etc. was discouraged. 17. Intellectually the Muslims began to regress. With intellectual regression the great Muslim civilisation began to falter and wither. But for the emergence of the Ottoman warriors, Muslim civilisation would have disappeared with the fall of Granada in 1492. 18. The early successes of the Ottomans were not accompanied by an intellectual renaissance. Instead they became more and more preoccupied with minor issues such as whether tight trousers and peak caps were Islamic, whether printing machines should be allowed or electricity used to light mosques. The Industrial Revolution was totally missed by the Muslims. And the regression continued until the British and French instigated rebellion against Turkish rule brought about the downfall of the Ottomans, the last Muslim world power and replaced it with European colonies and not independent states as promised. It was only after World War II that these colonies became independent. 19. Apart from the new nation-states we also accepted the western democratic system. This also divided us because of the political parties and groups that we form, some of which claim Islam for themselves, reject the Islam of other parties and refuse to accept the results of the practice of democracy if they fail to gain power for themselves. They resort to violence, thus destabilising and weakening Muslim countries. 20. With all these developments over the centuries the ummah and the Muslim civilisation became so weak that at one time there was not a single Muslim country which was not colonised or hegemonised by the Europeans. But regaining independence did not help to strengthen the Muslims. Their states were weak and badly administered, constantly in a state of turmoil. The Europeans could do what they liked with Muslim territories. It is not surprising that they should excise Muslim land to create the state of Israel to solve their Jewish problem. Divided, the Muslims could do nothing effective to stop the Balfour and Zionist transgression. 21. Some would have us believe that, despite all these, our life is better than that of our detractors. Some believe that poverty is Islamic, sufferings and being oppressed are Islamic. This world is not for us. Ours are the joys of heaven in the afterlife. All that we have to do is to perform certain rituals, wear certain garments and put up a certain appearance. Our weakness, our backwardness and our inability to help our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed are part of the Will of Allah, the sufferings that we must endure before enjoying heaven in the hereafter. We must accept this fate that befalls us. We need not do anything. We can do nothing against the Will of Allah. 22. But is it true that it is the Will of Allah and that we can and should do nothing? Allah has said in Surah Ar- Ra'd verse 11 that He will not change the fate of a community until the community has tried to change its fate itself. 23. The early Muslims were as oppressed as we are presently. But after their sincere and determined efforts to help themselves in accordance with the teachings of Islam, Allah had helped them to defeat their enemies and to create a great and powerful Muslim civilisation. But what effort have we made especially with the resources that He has endowed us with. 24. We are now 1.3 billion strong. We have the biggest oil reserve in the world. We have great wealth. We are not as ignorant as the Jahilliah who embraced Islam. We are familiar with the workings of the world's economy and finances. We control 57 out of the 180 countries in the world. Our votes can make or break international organisations. Yet we seem more helpless than the small number of Jahilliah converts who accepted the Prophet as their leader. Why? Is it because of Allah's will or is it because we have interpreted our religion wrongly, or failed to abide by the correct teachings of our religion, or done the wrong things? 25. We are enjoined by our religion to prepare for the defence of the ummah. Unfortunately we stress not defence but the weapons of the time of the Prophet. Those weapons and horses cannot help to defend us any more. We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships for our defence. But because we discouraged the learning of science and mathematics etc. as giving no merit for the akhirat, today we have no capacity to produce our own weapons for our defence. We have to buy our weapons from our detractors and enemies. This is what comes from the superficial interpretation of the Quran, stressing not the substance of the Prophet's sunnah and the Quran's injunctions but rather the form, the manner and the means used in the 1st Century of the Hijrah. And it is the same with the other teachings of Islam. We are more concerned with the forms rather than the substance of the words of Allah and adhering only to the literal interpretation of the traditions of the Prophet. 26. We may want to recreate the first century of the Hijrah, the way of life in those times, in order to practise what we think to be the true Islamic way of life. But we will not be allowed to do so. Our detractors and enemies will take advantage of the resulting backwardness and weakness in order to dominate us. Islam is not just for the 7th Century A.D. Islam is for all times. And times have changed. Whether we like it or not we have to change, not by changing our religion but by applying its teachings in the context of a world that is radically different from that of the first century of the Hijrah. Islam is not wrong but the interpretations by our scholars, who are not prophets even though they may be very learned can be wrong. We have a need to go back to the fundamental teachings of Islam to find out whether we are indeed believing in and practising the Islam that the Prophet preached. It cannot be that we are all practising the correct and true Islam when our beliefs are so different from one another. 27. Today we, the whole Muslim ummah are treated with contempt and dishonour. Our religion is denigrated. Our holy places desecrated. Our countries are occupied. Our people starved and killed. 28. None of our countries are truly independent. We are under pressure to conform to our oppressors' wishes about how we should behave, how we should govern our lands, how we should think even. 29. Today if they want to raid our country, kill our people, destroy our villages and towns, there is nothing substantial that we can do. Is it Islam which has caused all these? Or is it that we have failed to do our duty according to our religion? 30. Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly. And so we find some of our people reacting irrationally. They launch their own attacks, killing just about anybody including fellow Muslims to vent their anger and frustration. Their Governments can do nothing to stop them. The enemy retaliates and puts more pressure on the Governments. And the Governments have no choice but to give in, to accept the directions of the enemy, literally to give up their independence of action. 31. With this their people and the ummah become angrier and turn against their own Governments. Every attempt at a peaceful solution is sabotaged by more indiscriminate attacks calculated to anger the enemy and prevent any peaceful settlement. But the attacks solve nothing. The Muslims simply get more oppressed. 32. There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right. They believe that things can only get worse. The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews. They will forever be poor, backward and weak. Some believe, as I have said, this is the Will of Allah, that the proper state of the Muslims is to be poor and oppressed in this world. 33. But is it true that we should do and can do nothing for ourselves? Is it true that 1.3 billion people can exert no power to save themselves from the humiliation and oppression inflicted upon them by a much smaller enemy? Can they only lash back blindly in anger? Is there no other way than to ask our young people to blow themselves up and kill people and invite the massacre of more of our own people? 34. It cannot be that there is no other way. 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategise and then to counter attack. As Muslims we must seek guidance from the Al-Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Surely the 23 years' struggle of the Prophet can provide us with some guidance as to what we can and should do. 35. We know he and his early followers were oppressed by the Qhuraish. Did he launch retaliatory strikes? No. He was prepared to make strategic retreats. He sent his early followers to a Christian country and he himself later migrated to Madinah. There he gathered followers, built up his defence capability and ensured the security of his people. At Hudaibiyah he was prepared to accept an unfair treaty, against the wishes of his companions and followers. During the peace that followed he consolidated his strength and eventually he was able to enter Mecca and claim it for Islam. Even then he did not seek revenge. And the peoples of Mecca accepted Islam and many became his most powerful supporters, defending the Muslims against all their enemies. 36. That briefly is the story of the struggle of the Prophet. We talk so much about following the sunnah of the Prophet. We quote the instances and the traditions profusely. But we actually ignore all of them. 37. If we use the faculty to think that Allah has given us then we should know that we are acting irrationally. We fight without any objective, without any goal other than to hurt the enemy because they hurt us. Naively we expect them to surrender. We sacrifice lives unnecessarily, achieving nothing other than to attract more massive retaliation and humiliation. 38. It is surety time that we pause to think. But will this be wasting time? For well over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory. Pausing and thinking calmly is not a waste of time. We have a need to make a strategic retreat and to calmly assess our situation. 39. We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them. 40. We may not be able to do that. We may not be able to unite all the 1.3 billion Muslims. We may not be able to get all the Muslim Governments to act in concert. But even if we can get a third of the ummah and a third of the Muslim states to act together, we can already do something. Remember that the Prophet did not have many followers when he went to Madinah. But he united the Ansars and the Muhajirins and eventually he became strong enough to defend Islam. 41. Apart from the partial unity that we need, we must take stock of our assets. I have already mentioned our numbers and our oil wealth. In today's world we wield a lot of political, economic and financial clout, enough to make up for our weakness in military terms. 42. We also know that not all non-Muslims are against us. Some are welldisposed towards us. Some even see our enemies as their enemies. Even among the Jews there are many who do not approve of what the Israelis are doing. 43. We must not antagonise everyone. We must win their hearts and minds. We must win them to our side not by begging for help from them but by the honourable way that we struggle to help ourselves. We must not strengthen the enemy by pushing everyone into their camps through irresponsible and unIslamic acts. Remember Salah El Din and the way he fought against the so called Crusaders, King Richard of England in particular. Remember the considerateness of the Prophet to the enemies of Islam. We must do the same. It is winning the struggle that is important, not angry retaliation, not revenge. 44. We must build up our strength in every field, not just in armed might. Our countries must be stable and well administered, must be economically and financially strong, industrially competent and technologically advanced. This will take time, but it can be done and it will be time well spent. We are enjoined by our religion to be patient. Innallahamaasabirin. Obviously there is virtue in being patient. 45. But the defence of the ummah, the counter attack need not start only after we have put our houses in order. Even today we have sufficient assets to deploy against our detractors. It remains for us to identify them and to work out how to make use of them to stop the carnage caused by the enemy. This is entirely possible if we stop to think, to plan, to strategise and to take the first few critical steps. Even these few steps can yield positive results. 46. We know that the Jahilliah Arabs were given to feuding, to killing each other simply because they were from different tribes. The Prophet preached the brotherhood of Islam to them and they were able to overcome their hatred for each other, become united and helped towards the establishment of the great Muslim civilisation. Can we say that what the Jahilliah (the ignorant) could do we, the modern Muslims cannot do? If not all at least some of us can do. If not the renaissance of our great civilisation, at least ensuring the security of the ummah. 47. To do the things that are suggested will not even require all of us to give up our differences with each other. We need only to call a truce so we can act together in tackling only certain problems of common interests, the Palestine problem for example. 48. In any struggle, in any war, nothing is more important than concerted and coordinated action. A degree of discipline is all that is needed. The Prophet lost in Jabal Uhud because his forces broke rank. We know that, yet we are unwilling to discipline ourselves and to give up our irregular and uncoordinated actions. We need to be brave but not foolhardy. We need to think not just of our reward in the afterlife but also of the worldly results of our mission. 49. The Quran tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True the treaty offered is not favourable to us. But we can negotiate. The Prophet did, at Hudaibiyah. And in the end he triumphed. 50. I am aware that all these ideas will not be popular. Those who are angry would want to reject it out of hand. They would even want to silence anyone who makes or supports this line of action. They would want to send more young men and women to make the supreme sacrifice. But where will all these lead to? Certainly not victory. Over the past 50 years of fighting in Palestine we have not achieved any result. We have in fact worsened our situation. 51. The enemy will probably welcome these proposals and we will conclude that the promoters are working for the enemy. But think. We are up against a people who think. They survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also. 52. Of late because of their power and their apparent success they have become arrogant. And arrogant people, like angry people will make mistakes, will forget to think. 53. They are already beginning to make mistakes. And they will make more mistakes. There may be windows of opportunity for us now and in the future. We must seize these opportunities. 54. But to do so we must get our acts right. Rhetoric is good. It helps us to expose the wrongs perpetrated against us, perhaps win us some sympathy and support. It may strengthen our spirit, our will and resolve, to face the enemy. 55. We can and we should pray to Allah S.W.T. for in the end it is He who will determine whether we succeed or fail. We need His blessings and His help in our endeavours, 56. But it is how we act and what we do which will determine whether He would help us and give us victory or not. He has already said so in the Quran. Again Surah Ar-Ra'd verse 11. 57. As I said at the beginning, the whole world is looking at us, the whole Muslim ummah is placing their hopes in this conference of the leaders of Islamic nations. They expect us not just to vent our frustrations and anger, through words and gestures; not just to pray for Allah's blessings. They expect us to do something, to act. We cannot say we cannot do anything, we the leaders of the Muslim nations. We cannot say we cannot unite even when faced with the destruction of our religion and the ummah. 58. We know we can. There are many things that we can do. There are many resources that we have at our disposal. What is needed is merely-the will to do it, As Muslims, we must be grateful for the guidance of our religion, we must do what needs to be done, willingly and with determination. Allah has not raised us, the leaders, above the others so we may enjoy power for ourselves only. The power we wield is for our people, for the ummah, for Islam. We must have the will to make use of this power judiciously, prudently, concertedly. Insyaallah we will triumph in the end. 59. I pray to Allah that this 10th Conference of the OIC in Putrajaya, Malaysia will give a new and positive direction to us, will be blessed with success by Him, Almighty Allah, Arahman, Arahirn. [ See also Organization of Islamic conferences www.oic-oci.org OR http://www.oicsummit2003.org.my/speech_03.php ]

Simon Wiesenthal Center October 16, 2003 SWC: "MAHATIR'S OIC DIATRIBE WOULD MAKE HITLER AND GOEBBELS PROUD AND IS A WARRANT FOR ANTISEMITIC TERRORISM The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights agency condemned a speech made by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the at the opening session of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit as "a diatribe that would have made Hitler and Goebbels proud". Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, blasted Mahatir as a "dangerous racist whose hateful rhetoric is a virtual invitation for further antisemitic attacks”. “Is this the best a so-called moderate Moslem leader can do to inspire his co-religionists - by slandering the Jewish people and the State of Israel with false stereotypes that have led to genocide and terrorism in the past?” said Cooper. “In today's environment, his speech constitutes nothing less than a warrant for antisemitic terrorism. We hope that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and other leaders will swiftly condemn this hateful attack against the Jewish people", he concluded.

AFP 17 Oct 2003 Suicide bombings won’t solve anything: Mahathir PUTRAJAYA: Muslim leaders voiced support at the opening of their summit here for beleaguered Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Palestinians should stop suicide bombings because they lead nowhere. Mahathir hinted in his speech at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit that the Palestinians should drop all violence against the Israelis and negotiate even if the terms are unfair. The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad ben Khalifa al-Thani, opened the summit by calling on the international community to provide protection for the Palestinians and a condemnation of Israel’s decision to expel Arafat. He repeated the standard OIC line that Israel should pull out from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Syria’s Golan heights and territories claimed by Lebanon, for peace to be achieved. Support for the Palestinian cause is a central tenet of the OIC, which was formed in 1969 after the burning of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Syrian President Bachar al-Assad said: “The persecution, which Israel is practising against the Palestinian people...has naturally to invite a Palestinian reaction that took the form of resistance which is a legitimate act of self-defence safeguarded by the UN Charter.” Of the Muslim leaders who spoke in the opening session, only Mahathir deviated from the usual OIC line on the 50-year Arab-Israeli conflict. “I am aware that all these ideas will not be popular. Those who are angry would want to reject it out of hand. They would even want to silence anyone who makes or supports this line of action.” “They would want to send more young men and women to make the supreme sacrifice. But where will all these lead to? Certainly not victory. Over the past 50 years of fighting in Palestine we have not achieved any result. We have in fact worsened our situation.” He said the Muslims’ holy book, the Koran, “tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True, the treaty offered is not favourable to us. But we can negotiate.” It was not clear to which treaty he was referring. The Palestinians accepted in June the US-designed international plan known as the “roadmap” for Middle East peace, which provides for a Palestinian state by 2005. Mahathir called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression in Europe. “We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also.” Initial reaction to his speech was positive. “I think it was a very shrewd, very deep assessment of the situation,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher. “I hope the Islamic countries will be able to follow this roadmap. This one is a good roadmap by the way.” Arab League chief Amr Mussa also voiced support for Mahathir’s comments, adding that the Islamic states have already said they wanted peace. The draft resolution approved by OIC foreign ministers, obtained by AFP, did not reflect the Malaysian leader’s views. Rather it pays tribute to the three-year “heroic uprising” against Israel. It also condemns Israel for its “continuing crimes, slaughters and its repressive acts against the Palestinian people”. It applauds the “legitimate leadership commanded by president Yasser Arafat in the face of Israeli aggression” and demands the immediate lifting of restrictions imposed against Arafat and the Palestinian people. Israel and its ally the United States have been attempting to sideline Arafat in favour of other Palestinian leaders it considers more moderate and Israel has threatened to “remove” Arafat after previously placing him under siege in his Ramallah headquarters. The 57-member OIC will ask the European Union, Russia, the UN and the United States to continue working towards peace in the Middle East and implementation of the roadmap, the draft says. And it demands Israel stop “aggression, killing, destruction and violation of holy Islamic and Christian places” and reaffirms its goal of achieving an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

CNN 17 Oct 2003 Malaysia defends Jewish remarks "We (Muslims) are actually very strong, 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them -- Dr. Mahathir Mohamad" PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia -- Malaysia's foreign minister has apologized for what he described as any misunderstandings over Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's assertion that Jews "rule the world", saying no offence from the remarks was intended. Fighting to rein in a surge of international outrage that followed the Malaysian leader's comments Thursday, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Friday that Mahathir had been misunderstood. Syed Hamid said it was important to realize that Islam was not anti-Jewish and the problem was with Israel. In his wide-ranging speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference, the often-controversial Mahathir launched a blistering attack on Jews and Israel saying, "Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." Assertions of Jewish dominance dominated Mahathir's speech, which also called for a modernization of Islam and the embracing of technology and progress to lift the Muslim world out of -- as Mahathir described -- a self-induced state of "oppression." "I'm sorry that they have misunderstood the whole thing," Syed Hamid told The Associated Press. "The intention is not to create controversy. His intention is to show that if you ponder and sit down to think, you can be very powerful." "Please forget about anti-Semitism," Syed Hamid told reporters. "Islam has never advocated being anti anybody including the Jews." "The only problem with the Jews is when the State of Israel was created," he said, adding that Jews worked and were welcomed in Malaysia. "The PM's message is to stop violence, which is not the answer for us to succeed in our struggle. People may not be very happy but this is the reality: the Jews are very powerful." Syed Hamid also noted that Malaysia has a state policy of religious harmony, in which the ethnic Malay Muslim majority lives alongside large non-Muslim Chinese and Indian minorities. Mahathir, who steps down at the end of the month, has become notorious for controversial speeches during his 22 years as leader. He has been a key proponent of a unified political stance among Muslim nations, often taking aim at Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territory and the U.S. for its Middle East policy. He told leaders from 57 Islamic nations at the conference -- the biggest gathering of Muslim leaders since the September 11, 2001 -- that the Muslim world had achieved "nothing" in its 50 years struggle against Israel. He called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, arguing the Jewish people had "survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking." Mahathir said, "They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. "With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. "We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains, also." Mahathir said the world's "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews," but suggested the use of political and economic tactics, not violence, to achieve what he called a "final victory." "In today's world, we wield a lot of political, economic and financial clout, enough to make up for our weaknesses in military terms," Mahathir said. Condemnation While his speech drew a standing ovation from leaders at the summit, it also sparked an angry response from the United States, Europe, Israel and Australia. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled told CNN, "We deeply regret and reject the statement made by Prime Minister Mahathir," but added that Israel is still studying the statement. "We find it especially discomfiting that, at a time like this, instead of calling for peace and reconciliation among peoples and nations, there are statements fueling further hatred and misunderstanding. "It comes as no surprise that in a summit like this there is a search for the lowest common denominator among the members, which is Israeli-bashing." Mahathir's comments came on the eve of U.S. President George W. Bush's trip to Asia, although administration officials took pains Thursday to make clear that a formal meeting between the two leaders is not on the cards. "Prime Minister Mahathir's bluster and polarizing rhetoric are not new," a senior administration official said. "But his most recent hate-filled remarks further cement his legacy of outrageous and misguided public statements. We urge leaders of all faiths to publicly condemn these vile statements." Bush has no plans to meet with Mahathir, although the two may "bump into each other" at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, the official said. In Brussels, European Union leaders concluded a two-day summit with a statement accusing Mahathir of spreading falsehoods and sowing ethnic and religious divisions. "His unacceptable comments hinder all our efforts to further interethnic and religious harmony, and have no place in a decent world," the EU leaders said. In Britain, the Foreign Office summoned Malaysia's top diplomat in London to express concern about Mahathir's remarks. Malaysian High Commissioner Mohammed Dato'Abdul Aziz was summoned Friday to meet Minister of State Mike O'Brien "to raise our concerns directly about Prime Minister Mahathir's speech," the Foreign Office said. "It's unfortunate that Mahathir chose to make these remarks which we regard as unacceptable. It's particularly regrettable that some of his positive and welcome messages, such as negotiation being the right path to peace and the futility of terrorism, have been obscured and overshadowed by racist remarks," the Foreign Office said.

english.aljazeera.net 18 Oct 2003 OIC summit ends in puff of inaction Saturday Mahathir's comments about Jews has caused much controversy Related: Malaysia defends Mahathir speech Impotent OIC struggles for relevance Tools: Email Article Print Article Send Your Feedback Islamic leaders ended an their summit in Malaysia without either passing a planned resolution on Iraq or endorsing the three-year-old intifada in Palestine. Instead the meeting, which ended on Friday, was largely overshadowed by host Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad's controversial remarks about Jews. The 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) tempered calls for a US pull out from Iraq, opting instead to call for the rapid restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty. It also slammed Israel and a US congressional vote for trade sanctions on Syria, though took no concrete action. OIC deliberations on Iraq were largely overtaken by events in New York, where the UN unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at internationalising the military presence in Iraq - a diplomatic victory for US efforts to broaden backing for its occupation. Conspiracy theory Mahathir, who retires on 31 October after some 22 years in power, urged delegates to push for peace after decades of conflict with Israel in a typically blunt speech that included jibes about the influence of Jews over Western powers. “It's not our job to raise money. The main responsibility is the responsibility of the occupying power” Ahmad Mahir, Egyptian foreign minister His speech on Thursday said Muslims should start using brains rather than brawn to defeat Israel. He went on to accuse the Jewish people of an increasing arrogance and said this could and should be exploited to promote the cause of Muslim peoples. The final communiqué “condemned the perpetration by Israel of crimes, murder, detention, destruction of homes, demolition of infrastructure and imposition of collective sanctions on the Palestinian people”. It branded as “apartheid” the Jewish settlements in occupied Arab territory and the construction by Israel of a wall through the West Bank. It also condemned the “Judaisation” of Jerusalem. Intifada omission Still, neither the communiqué, nor a separate declaration on East Jerusalem and Palestine mentioned the intifada. Ayad Allawi (L) represented Iraq at the Muslim states' summit On Thursday at UN headquarters in New York, a reluctant Security Council backed the text of the resolution at the last moment, though France, Russia and Germany said it conceded too little on their demands for a greater UN role in Iraq for them to commit further troops or cash. Muslim nations agonised over the past week over how to word a resolution intended for inclusion in their OIC communiqué, deciding in the end to drop it altogether at the request of a delegation from Iraq's US-picked Provisional Governing Council. Delegates, who earlier called for an increased UN role and a set timetable for US-led forces to pull out of Iraq, settled instead for a call “to accelerate the restoration of the full sovereignty of Iraq”. Iraq reconstruction With regards financial contributions to Iraq’s reconstruction, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Mahir told reporters that it was the US responsibility to fix Iraq. “It's not our job to raise money. The main responsibility is the responsibility of the occupying power,” he said on the way into the meeting. The meeting was held at a time of high emotion with an occupied Iraq, rising tensions in the Israel-Palestinian conflict as well as Israel's 5 October strike into Syrian territory.

Arutz 7 19 Oct 2003 www.israelnationalnews.com It’s Official: Jews Are Smarter Than Muslims by Beth Goodtree You gotta love these anti-Semites. Their hearts are so filled with hatred that it overwhelms the little common sense given to an amoeba and makes them admit to things they would never say otherwise if you threatened them with death. It hasn’t yet been a month since the leading legal mind in the Arab world admitted that the Hebrew bible was fact. Of course, the man did this to justify suing every Jew in the world for a trillion gazillion dollars. But in his lust and greed and hatred, he overlooked the fact that by admitting the Bible was true and accurate history, we Jews could use him as our chief witness to reclaim the Temple Mount, all of Jerusalem, and parts of Syria, Jordan and other Arab countries. You’d think these haters would learn to keep their mouths shut so we wouldn’t know their true agendas. But no-ooooo-oo.... Along comes Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister and Chairman of the Islamic Conference. In his haste to condemn the Jews, he actually praised them and condemned Muslims and Arabs. Here is some of what he said and what it implies. Quote: "(Jews) survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking." Translation: Jews are smart and Jews (including Zionists) are non-aggressive and non-violent. Quote: "We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships for our defense." Translation: We are planning an all-out war on Jews and their western allies. Quote: "For well over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory." Translation: We are non-thinking idiots, spinning our wheels, who have been defeated by a handful of Jews who actually use their brains. And we must change this to finally conquer the Jews. Quote: "The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews." Translation: We are not responsible for our backwardness and lack of civilization. It is all the fault of the Jews and the Europeans. Quote: "We are actually very strong, 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." Translation: Apparently, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed thinks that all Jews are out to eradicate Islam. He also thinks we Jews, small though our numbers may be, are a mighty power. Quote: "It cannot be that there is no other way. 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews." Translation: (Along with the above) Muslims should unite to wipe out the Jews that the Holocaust didn’t get. Quote: "The Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage." Translation: I wish this would happen again. Quote: "They invented... human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others." Translation: Jews were smart enough to invent human rights and democracy, but they are not our equals and persecuting them is perfectly acceptable. Quote: "The Quran tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True the treaty offered is not favorable to us. But we can negotiate. The Prophet did, at Hudaibiyah. And in the end he triumphed." Translation: Sign any peace treaty they offer, because we’re never going to honor it. It is merely a tactical maneuver towards total conquest of our enemies. Given the above statements, Dr. Mohamed has made it abundantly clear that Islam is at war with all Jews and Western civilization in general. But, he has also made statements that make him a candidate for prosecution under the "Crimes of Genocide" laws. Also, as chairman of the OIC, he has made such statements official policy and, at the very least, the United Nations should kick them the heck out (they have an office there). Also, every individual, group and country that fails to condemn Dr. Mohamed’s speech is in fact giving their silent support and may thus be complicit in incitement to crimes of genocide. And lastly, I urge everyone to read Dr. Mohamed’s speech in full to understand the depth of his vitriol and what he is asking the Islamic world to do. He has just issued a cry to unite and conquer, first the Jews, and then the Western world. He has also stated that signing any peace treaty is merely a tactical move designed to buy time before total conquest. Meanwhile, as of this writing, not a single one of the 52 member countries or their guests back-peddled in the very least on his anti-Semitic statements. There is never going to be a clearer wake-up call that isn’t accompanied by blood.


RFE/RL 28 Oct 2003 Kazakhstan: Former KGB Headquarters Reopened As A Museum By Antoine Blua A museum dedicated to the victims of Soviet-era oppression has opened in Kazakhstan's former KGB headquarters in Almaty, offering visitors a first-hand look at a dark chapter in the Central Asian republic's past. Two former Kazakh detainees recently shared their feelings with RFE/RL about the museum. Prague, 28 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan has taken an important step toward exploring some of the darker elements of its recent past. The Kazakh Association of Repressed People this month opened a "Museum of the Victims of Soviet Oppression." The building is especially significant. It once housed the KGB. Thousands of people were imprisoned and killed in the building by the successive organizations responsible for the harsh internal security system. Ninety-five-year old Bekbolat Mustafin is the chairman of the association and director of the new museum. His connection to the building is strong. He spent three years in cell number 14 after being arrested in 1938. He later spent 20 years in a Soviet labor camp. He tells RFE/RL, "This is where people's blood was shed. This is the place where people were tortured." One floor is open to the public, exhibiting cells where prisoners were held and tortured. Also on display are pictures of those arrested and documents ordering their execution. Mustafin said more about the building's gruesome past. "In 1937, every day, [some] 50 to 60 people were shot in this building. For example, between 25 February and 12 March that year -- in only 10 days -- 560 people were shot here, in the building," he said. Hasen Qojahmet was held in the building for eight months in 1977, before being sent to a labor camp. He says the museum is the culmination of a more than decade-long dream. He remembers a speech he made in front of the building in 1991, just before the Soviet Union collapsed. "This is a KGB building [where] many people died. It has 22 cells. It is still a functioning jail. Many people can find their [former] jails there -- the Soviet Union was still alive at that time. At that meeting, I raised the issue and asked that the building be turned into a museum," he said. The Almaty museum is not the first to be established at a KGB headquarters. In 1992, the former KGB headquarters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius was turned into the "Genocide and Resistance Center" -- although it's still known locally as the "KGB Museum." Many other former Soviet republics have created museums and memorials to pay tribute to the millions of victims of communist oppression. In Uzbekistan, the "Museum of the Victims of Repression" was opened in 2001 to raise awareness of repression during the tsarist and Soviet eras. Laura Adams is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University in Washington. She says museums -- as well as street names, monuments, and memorials -- reflect a society's need to remember and form a collective identity. According to Adams, there is a personal need to get the truth out in public as part of the integration of one's personal family history and the nation's history. "The openings of these museums in Almaty and in Tashkent are both expressions of the need to come to some sort of understanding of the bad parts of the Soviet past because for a lot of people the Soviet past still holds a lot of nostalgia. At the same time, I think people need to have some sort of recognition of the trauma that the Soviet past often imposes upon them," Adams said. Adams continues, "This is a very hopeful expression, I think, in terms of coming to understand and acknowledge the past, and in a way to put perspective on it and perhaps to put it behind them somewhat after some period of time. But of course, museums are also a way of educating people who may not have directly experienced these repressions." So far, the Almaty museum has attracted mostly old-timers, but hopes are that younger generations too will take an interest. (RFE/RL Kazakh Service's Merkhat Sharipzhanov contributed to this report.)


BBC 3 Oct 2003 US sanctions 'hit Burma hard' By Larry Jagan BBC Burma analyst The Burmese economy has already begun to feel the effects of United States sanctions, according to a diplomat in Washington. There are fears that sanctions hurt the most vulnerable In a congressional committee report, US deputy assistant secretary of state Matthew Daley said the sanctions - imposed in late July - had immediately disrupted Burma's industry. He added that the country's military rulers had been unable or unwilling to help the affected businesses. The country's garment industry was hardest hit, according to Mr Daley, and more than 40,000 people may have been thrown out of work, many of them ending up in the sex industry. Beleaguered economy Businessmen in Rangoon say the economy began to dip badly within days of the sanctions coming into effect. Import and export industries, already hard hit by licensing problems, almost ground to a complete stop overnight. Prices of imported goods skyrocketed. Even the newspaper and magazine industry was hard hit. The price of newsprint increased by almost 50% within the first month that the sanctions were implemented, the editor of the Myanmar Times told the BBC. But it was the garment and textile industry that were worst affected. More than 100 of the small factories around the outskirts of Rangoon have closed in the last two months, according to Burmese businessmen. As a result, they say, more than 80,000 workers - mainly young women - have been thrown out of work. International development organisations working in Burma say that many of the young women who found themselves jobless have entered the illegal sex and entertainment industries. There has certainly been an increase in the number of prostitutes in Rangoon seeking customers in the city's hotels, bars and karaoke clubs. There has also been a visible increase in the number of working women on the streets of the city after dark. The government has acknowledged that the US sanctions have deprived thousands of Burmese workers of a regular source of income. But the authorities do not admit that many of them may have ended up working on the streets. Government officials say there are plans to generate alternative employment for those who have been made unemployed, but nothing has been put into effect as yet.

BBC 30 Oct 2003 '1,000 dead' in 60 days in Nepal The army and police are accused of most of the killing More than 1,000 people have died in Nepal since Maoist rebels ended their ceasefire two months ago, according to a human rights group. It said two-thirds of the victims had died at the hands of security forces, while rebels had killed the rest. The report, by the Informal Sector Service Centre (Insec) said abductions and arrests had also risen recently. The Maoists left talks in August to resume their struggle which has claimed 8,000 lives in nearly eight years. Daily clashes The report by the leading Nepalese human rights group said nothing was known about many individuals who had been arbitrarily arrested by the security forces. Insec said that the rebels have also been holding many social and political workers after abducting them. Violence has risen sharply since the rebels ended a seven-month truce in late August, after apparent deadlock over the future of the monarchy. The rebels want the monarchy abolished in favour of a communist republic, but the government insists it must stay. Clashes between the security forces and the rebels have become an almost daily event since then. Human rights groups say many civilians have been caught in the cross-fire. Both sides have said that they are ready for a peaceful resolution, but there has been no indication yet of an early resumption of the peace talks which failed twice over the past two years. .


BBC 3 Oct 2003 Five die in Pakistan bus attack - Karachi police said it was a highly organised act of terrorism Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslim worshippers in Pakistan's city of Karachi, killing five and wounding seven, police said. The bus was carrying about 20 Shia Muslims to Friday afternoon prayers, said police official Athar Rashid Butt. No one has yet said they carried out the attack in the west of the city. However in recent years, sectarian violence between Sunni Muslims and minority Shias has killed hundreds. Karachi police said the latest attack was a highly organised act of terrorism. The bus had been carrying both Sunnis and Shias but the raid occurred after the Sunnis had been dropped off at their mosque. Police said the gunmen tracked the bus on two motorcycles and fired dozens of rounds before escaping. Three of the wounded were in a critical condition. Mosque raid The worshippers were employees of a defence department research body called the Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Organisation, police said. No arrests have yet been made. Pakistan's Shia and Sunni Muslim communities have suffered many attacks by extremist groups in recent years. The worst attack this year came in July when 50 Shia worshippers were killed in a mosque in the north-western city of Quetta. The banned Sunni militant organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi said three of its suicide attackers were responsible. In June, two gunmen on a motorbike opened fire on a vehicle containing Shia police recruits in Quetta, killing 11.

Reuters 4 Oct 2003 16:17:53 GMT Angry Pakistan Shi'ite Muslims protest at killings KARACHI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Pakistani police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of angry Shi'ite Muslim mourners who went on a rampage in the southern city of Karachi on Saturday, a day after six Shi'ites were killed in an attack on a bus. "We will avenge the killings," shouted the crowd of about 1,000 mourners during a funeral procession for one of the six people killed in Friday's attack. Two or three gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire with automatic weapons on a bus carrying Shi'ite Muslims to a mosque for main Friday prayers, killing five on the spot. A sixth man died in hospital. Eight people were wounded. No group claimed responsibility but police blame Sunni Muslim militants for most of the sectarian bloodletting in Pakistan. On Saturday, young men and boys burnt tyres to block a main road and side lanes in Karachi's central district, threw stones at cars and motorcycles and damaged police vehicles, a police post and petrol stations. Witnesses said some of the protesters suffered minor injuries in scuffles with police, who struggled to control the crowd. Police said they had detained at least eight people. "The situation is now under control," city police chief Tariq Jamil told Reuters. Meanwhile, the Pakistani military said it had dismantled a suspected "terrorist training camp" involved in sectarian violence in the country. Military spokesman Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan said the suspected militant training camp was being run in remote Diamir district in the North West Frontier Province. "The camp was being used to impart training to terrorists for terrorist activities inside the country...for sectarian killings," he told Reuters. He said there had neither been any casualties nor any arrests in the "search operation". Most of the dead and wounded in the Friday attack in Karachi were employees of Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission, using a company bus. Hundreds of people, most of them minority Shi'ites, have been killed in sectarian violence in Pakistan in recent years. At least 57 Shi'ite worshippers were killed in July in an attack on a mosque in the southwestern city of Quetta. Pakistan is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, with Shi'ites accounting for about 15 percent of its 149 million people. (Additional reporting by Zeeshan Haider)

BBC 6 Oct 2003 Pakistan's Shia-Sunni divide A policeman tends to an injured worshipper in Quetta Differences between Pakistan's Sunni majority and Shia minority go back to the Islamic schism following the prophet's death. But in the past two decades those differences have been manifest in repeated violence wrought by Sunni and Shia extremists. The violence, which worsened after 11 September and the expulsion of the Taleban from Afghanistan, led President Pervez Musharraf to ban a number of militant groups. However, the BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Islamabad says recent attacks show the extremists who were forced into hiding by the clampdown are now resurfacing. Tribal dimension Most of the violence has occurred in the province of Punjab and in Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi, in Sindh province. But two of the worst recent attacks have taken place in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province. In June, 11 Shia police cadets were shot dead by motorcycle gunmen. Shias in the city blamed Sunni extremist groups for the attack. And in July Shia worshippers were killed during Friday prayers at a Quetta mosque. The Quetta attacks also add a tribal dimension to the conflict. Most of the Shia victims are Hazaras originally from Afghanistan but who have been living in Quetta for generations. However, Zaffar Abbas says senior security officials believe this is a case of domestic sectarian violence and the victims' Afghan origin is a coincidence. Zia's legacy General Musharraf was swift to condemn the mosque attack. "We have to act very strong against them," he said, describing extremists in Pakistan as being a "small minority... able to derail or undermine national feelings". Thus one military leader finds himself still beset with problems that originated during the rule of military dictator, General Zia ul-Haq. Most analysts agree the current hostilities began in 1979 when General Zia began Islamicising Pakistani politics to legitimise his military rule. As a result, hardline religious groups were strengthened. This coincided with a period when parts of Pakistan came to be awash with weaponry as a result of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979. US arms and Saudi funds allowed General Zia to mount a proxy war in Afghanistan with mujahideen, or holy warriors. Drawn from Pakistani as well as Afghan and Arab youths mostly educated at religious schools, the mujahideen and their patrons were to become influential actors in Pakistan. Because Sunnis form a large majority in Pakistan, most of the mujahideen were Sunni too. Radical Sunni Islamists were able to establish armed groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba. Revolutionary zeal Shia fighters too joined the jihad, or holy war, against the Soviets in Afghanistan, although their bands were smaller. In Karachi, doctors have been targeted They received help from Iran where the Islamic revolution earlier in 1979 had boosted Shia confidence. The growth of Shia militancy led to the establishment of groups such as Tehrik-e-Jafria. Once the Soviets left Afghanistan, Pakistani militants returned home and began looking for a new jihad. Many were encouraged to take their combat skills to Indian-administered Kashmir. Others stayed home to begin a campaign against fellow-Muslims they considered heretics or against Westerners and Christians. After dozens were killed in sectarian attacks, General Musharraf launched a campaign against extremism in January 2002, banning the worst-offending groups. However, continuing attacks have shown the limitations of the government's policy. And violence in Balochistan puts a further strain on Pakistan's security forces which are faced with challenges from the Taleban and remnants of al-Qaeda, and have to deal with confrontations with India over Kashmir.

english.aljazeera.net 7 Oct 2003 Pakistani MP killed in car shooting A Pakistani member of Parliament was among the five killed in an attack on a vehicle on the outskirts of the capital Islamabad on Monday. Moulana Rashid Farqqi, an official for the sectarian Sunni Muslim group Sipah-e-Sahaba said he had seen Azam Tariq’s dead body among those killed in the attack by unidentified gunmen. "Yes, it was Tariq...the others were his driver and colleagues." Tariq's personal secretary, Rashid Mahmud Faruqi, told Reuters the lawmaker had been travelling to Islamabad in a government vehicle, the same one witnesses saw at the scene full of bullet holes. The killing comes after a spate of sectarian violence in Pakistan, culminating in the worst attack in years in July when suspected Sunni Muslims killed at least 57 Shia worshippers in an attack on a mosque, in the southwestern city of Quetta. On Friday, six Shia Muslims were gunned down while on their way to the mosque for Friday prayers. Two or three gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the bus carrying the six. Five were killed on the spot and a sixth died in hospital. Groupings banned Tariq's group, was one of seven groups outlawed by President Pervez Musharraf in a crackdown on religious violence in the area. Sipah-e-Sahaba has been accused of involvement in a wave of violence between Pakistan's dominant Sunni Muslims and the smaller Shia community, who account for about 15% of the 149 million population. Tariq said he had been unfairly branded a terrorist But like other outfits, Sipah-e-Sahaba now officially works under a new name and its leader, Tariq, was allowed to contest successfully a parliamentary election in October 2002. In an interview in February, Tariq told Reuters he had been unfairly branded a terrorist by the Western media. Tariq was born in Punjab in 1962 and went on to study at a religious seminaries in Faisalabad and Karachi before setting up SSP in 1986. In 1997, Tariq was injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack in the city of Lahore in which 23 people, including an SSP leader, were killed. The attack was blamed on Shias.

AFP 7 Oct 2003 Mourners vow to avenge Pakistani MP's death Hundreds of emotionally charged mourners have rampaged through the Pakistani capital, following funeral prayers for member of Parliament, Azam Tariq who was gunned down on Monday. Police gave chase to the angry mobs after they pelted cars with rocks, torched a cinema in the Melody market and set ablaze a Shia mosque in the Aabpara neighbourhood. An employee of the Melody cinema, identified as Ghafoor, was killed. He was sleeping inside when mobs set the cinema on fire. "He was brought to the hospital dead," said Dr Rashid Qurashi. Another six people were being treated at the Polyclinic hospital for burns, smoke inhalation and cuts sustained when they tried to flee the blazing cinema. Smoke was billowing from a petrol station where crowds had set fire to jerry cans full of petrol, an AFP reporter at the scene said. At least a dozen vehicles were damaged near the cinema. "We will revenge your martyrdom, we will revenge your killing," mourners chanted earlier at the funeral prayers. Sunni leader Maulana Abd al-Hafeez Hazari led the funeral prayers, which were followed by fiery speeches from fellow clerics close to Tariq. "Those who are behind this killing will not be spared," Maulana Masud al-Rahman Osmani told the crowd. Other speakers appealed for calm. Tariq, the leader of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba organisation, was killed after occupants of an unmarked vehicle opened fire on the car Tariq was travelling in. Tariq, his driver and three bodyguards were killed. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the killing. Tariq was the leader of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba organisation Spate of killings The killing comes after a spate of sectarian violence in Pakistan, culminating in the worst attack in years in July when suspected members of a sectarian Sunni group killed at least 57 Shia worshippers in an attack on a mosque, in the southwestern city of Quetta. On Friday, six Shia Muslims were gunned down while on their way to the mosque for Friday prayers. Two or three gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the bus carrying the six. Five were killed on the spot and the sixth died in hospital. Groupings banned Tariq's group was one of seven groups outlawed by President Pervez Musharraf in a crackdown on religious violence in the area. Sipah-e-Sahaba has been accused of involvement in a wave of violence between Pakistan's dominant Sunni Muslims and the smaller Shia community, who account for about 15% of the 149 million population. But like other outfits, Sipah-e-Sahaba now officially works under a new name and its leader, Tariq, was allowed to contest successfully a parliamentary election in October 2002. In an interview in February, Tariq told Reuters he had been unfairly branded a terrorist by the Western media. Tariq was born in Punjab in 1962 and went on to study at a religious seminaries in Faisalabad and Karachi, before setting up SSP in 1986. In 1997, Tariq was injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack in the city of Lahore in which 23 people, including an SSP leader, were killed. The attack was blamed on Shias.

www.hipakistan.com 7 oct 2003 Curbing sectarian violence - By Sadia Saeed -- The fg in Karachi on Friday was apparently a sectarian attack as those killed and injured in the incident, according to DIG operations, Karachi, were Shias. Two men riding on a motorbike opened fire when the employees of the Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Organization (SUPARCO) were returning from their Friday prayer. The Tehrik Nafaz-i-Fiqah Jafariya, in a statement, expressed shock on this incident and termed it as an open act of terrorism and a challenge for the government. This brutal killing is the reminder of the Sariab incident which took place on 8th June, 2003 in which 13 police cadets returning to the Police Training School Sariab Road, were killed by motorcyclists. Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, has been nearly singled out for sectarian Shia killings. The first ever sectarian killing in Quetta in July proved that this sectarian menace had spread to Balochistan and Punjab as well. When the Taliban were in power in Kabul before October 2001, they had carried out large-scale massacres of the Hazaras in central Afghanistan with the help of al-Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the militant wing of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan. The Hazaras were targeted as the Taliban suspected their collaboration with the Northern Alliance and Iranian intelligence. The massacre of 53 members of the Hazara tribe in an imambargah, at Quetta, on July 4, by three unidentified gunmen showed that the Al-Qaeda remnants were active against their alleged rivals. On February 22, three terrorists opened fire on Shia watching a World Cup cricket match, outside an imambargah in Karachi. Nine persons were killed, eight of them Shia belonging to Gilgit. Subsequently, there were violent disturbances in Gilgit when the bodies were taken there for burial. In 2002, 11 persons were killed and over 19 others injured when three terrorists opened fire on a group of approximately 40 worshippers in Shah Najaf Mosque in Rawalpindi. In another major attack, seven women and five children were killed, while 25 others were injured in a bomb explosion in the women’s section of a Shia religious ceremony at Bhakkar in Lahore on April 25. The first clear sign of a shift in the Government’s attitudes towards the religious extremists came in a televised speech by General Musharraf to the nation on 12 January 2002. The Chief Executive announced a campaign to eradicate the sectarian menace. He banned three sectarian groups, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Jafria Pakistan, and the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi, and put the Sunni Tehrik on notice. He also announced a reform programme for religious madrassahs - breeding grounds for religious extremism and sectarianism. The sectarian killing is on the rise. Between 1994-2002, 194 cases of sectarian killing were registered in Karachi alone. According to estimates by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Muslim sectarian violence killed 69 people in the year 1999, against 119 a year earlier. Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia is also believed to have helped the numerous Sunni militant groups that grew up in Pakistan around this time. The Iranian revolution is said to have helped a small number of Shia militant groups in Pakistan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The two main rival Muslim militant groups in Pakistan are the ‘Shia Tehreek-i-Jaffria’ and the Sipah-e-Sahaba. To curb terrorism and the sectarian violence, on 14th August 2001, President Musharraf amended the Anti-Terrorism Act and banned two sectarian organizations namely, Lashkar-I-Jhangvi and Sipah-I-Muhammad. These organizations could file a review application against the government order in 30 days. Now a police officer can arrest a member of the banned organization without any warrant, if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was guilty of an offence under the anti- terrorism law, but will have to produce him before the magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. Under the amended law, giving directions for the terrorist activities while living abroad, is an offence punishable with seven years of imprisonment. To protect the judges and witnesses, the law provides for closed door proceedings. Under the law the government has power to seal the office of the banned organizations, freeze their accounts and seize literature, posters and banners to be used for fanning sectarianism. All the religious groups under watch are required to disclose their funding sources by submitting all accounts of their income and expenditure. The Anti-Terrorism Law, which was first introduced in 1997 was subjected to complete review by the military government as it failed to curb terrorism in the country. The sectarian killings and the terrorist activities have almost assumed the same form. The banned groups are also coined as the terrorist organizations. The definitions of “terrorism” and “sectarian killing” slightly overlap as terrorism is the practice of using violent and intimidating methods especially to secure political ends and sectarian killing is carried out because of religious narrow-mindedness. Terrorists target the life of every human being mostly on the basis of religion and nationality, whereas, the sectarian killers target the individuals of the opposite sect and in their attempt to exterminate the lives of the targeted individuals they kill many other human beings who may not belong to that sect. The Najaf blast in Iraq on 29th August, killed 82 people including Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim and 125 people were wounded in that attack. After this attack the Iraqi top Shia religious authority “Hawza” issued warning to the Sunni community in Iraq. This attack on the Shia population can be called a blatant terrorist act under the cover of sectarian violence. Different sects of Muslims are instigated against each other under the formula of “divide and rule”. As terrorism is carried out for some political end, similarly sectarianism is fanned to achieve political motives. Every malady has a physic. Sectarianism in Pakistan is not only a provincial problem but a national menace. It is becoming more chronic by the day. It has struck deep roots and effective measures are required to curb it. As the Bush administration has established a new organization - the Department of Homeland Security - to combat terrorism in the US, a special and permanent Anti Terrorism Task Force needs to be established, which should include trained investigators, intelligence specialists, experienced police officers, political analysts, psychologists, and technical experts. The masses should immediately report any suspected activity and religious tolerance on their part can ensure sectarian harmony. Therefore, curbing terrorism and sectarianism is a pronged ideal which can only be achieved when the people and the government join hands.

Background: BBC 13 January, 2002 Pakistan's militant Islamic groups Majority Sunnis are often blamed for violence against Shi'as The militant Islamic groups banned in Pakistan include two groups which have been often blamed for a stream of sectarian violence in the country. The Islamic Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Shia Tehrik-e-Jafria have been accused of attacking followers of the rival sects. President Pervez Musharraf says about 400 people were killed in the country in sectarian violence last year. Sipah-e-Sahaba Sipah-e-Sahaba or the Army of Prophet Mohammad's companions is a radical group from the majority Sunni sect of Islam. Sectarian violence killed 400 people last year The group was founded by a Sunni cleric - Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi - in the 1980s and it wants Pakistan to be officially declared a Sunni Muslim state. Sipah-e-Sahaba has strongholds in southern districts of the populous central province of Punjab and the volatile port city of Karachi. Maulana Jhangvi was assassinated in a suspected sectarian attack in 1990. The killing led to the formation of a breakaway and more radical Jhangvi group which was banned last year. Sipah-e-Sahaba is now led by another cleric, Maulana Azam Tariq. Maulana Tariq was detained by the authorities in October last year at the height of violent protests by hardline Islamic groups in support of Afghanistan's Taleban regime. Tehrik-e-Jafria Tehrik-e-Jafria or the Movement of Followers of Shia Sect was founded in 1979. Tehrik-e-Jafria is reported to have links with Iranian clergy Its creation coincided with the enforcement of controversial Islamic laws by the military ruler of Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq. The Islamic revolution in predominantly Shia Iran around the same time gave an added boost to the organisation. Its leader, Allama Arif Hussain al-Hussaini was a student of the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini. Tanzeem-e-Nifaz Another group banned is the Tanzeem-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi. This radical Sunni Muslim group was founded by Maulana Sufi Mohammad. The ban on the groups was announced in a televised speech He was a follower of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi school of thought. The group has been engaged in violent agitation for the enforcement of Islamic laws in its stronghold of Malakhand in northwestern Pakistan. In the late 1980s, then-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto ordered paramilitary forces to crush a revolt by the group. In October last year, Sufi Mohammad crossed into Afghanistan with thousands of his followers to help the Taleban fight the US-led forces. But he returned soon following the collapse of the Taleban. He has since been under detention. Tit-for-Tat Attacks by rival Shia and Sunni groups intensified in 1990 with the murder of the Sipah-e-Sahaba founder, Maulana Jhangvi. This was also the year when an Iranian diplomat, Sadiq Ganji, was killed in Lahore. Thousands of people have been killed in vendetta attacks since the 1980s.


Reuters 3 Oct 2003 Grenade in Philippine Mosque Kills at Least Two MANILA (Reuters) - A man hurled a grenade into a mosque in the southern Philippines during weekly prayers on Friday, killing four people and wounding at least 17 in what officials said appeared to be the result of a personal feud. The attack took place at a mosque in a compound of the government's National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Midsayap town in the southern region of Mindanao, considered the homeland of minority Muslims in the mainly Catholic Philippines. The mosque was full of officials and employees of the NIA, officials and police said. ``This is not a religious war,'' provincial governor Emmanuel Pinol told Reuters. ``The angle we are looking at is this is a struggle for power within the NIA. There is an internal struggle as to who would head the office.'' Pinol said one of the dead was the director of the local NIA office. The area army commander told Reuters four people had been killed and at least 17 wounded. A radio station reported that as many as 36 were wounded. The spokesman for the country's largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said his group was not responsible. ``They are our fellow Muslims and we belong to the same tribe. We cannot do such actions,'' Eid Kabalu said. Police said there was apparently only one attacker. ``We are still conducting an investigation. We still do not know the motive or the identity of the perpetrator. I believe it was done by only one person because a witness said so,'' said the area's police chief, Eduardo Marquez. Four Muslim militant groups, including the MILF and the Abu Sayyaf, have been fighting for an Islamic state in Mindanao. Malaysia is brokering attempts to restart talks to end a three-decade separatist conflict between the government and Muslim rebels in which at least 120,000 people have been killed.

BusinessWorld 13 Oct 2003 ICC ratification The Philippines should take the lead among Asian countries in ratifying the statute creating the International Criminal Court (ICC), the British government said. "We look forward to the Philippines joining us and many other nations in ratifying the Rome Statute of the ICC. In doing so, the Philippines will be setting the pace in a region which is poorly represented at the ICC," UK Parliament's Undersecretary for Constitutional Affairs David Lammy said in a recent forum. Mr. Lammy noted that the Philippines' reaffirmation of its part in the ICC would mean that it is backing the ideals of international justice and human rights. The Philippines' role in the creation of the ICC was seen to be clouded by the signing of the bilateral non-surrender agreement with the US last May. Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople signed the agreement with US Secretary of State Colin Powell providing the non-surrender of their nationals to third parties without the consent of the other. The ICC is a permanent judicial body mandated to prosecute individuals who have committed genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression.

whitehouse.gov 18 Oct 2003 Office of the Press Secretary October 18, 2003 Remarks by the President to the Philippine Congress Philippine Congress Manila, Philippines 4:50 P.M. (Local) PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you all very much. Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Congress, distinguished guests, I thank you for your gracious welcome to the Republic of the Philippines. I also want to thank the citizens of Manila who lined the streets today for their warm and gracious welcome to Laura and me. It warmed our hearts. And I want to thank you for inviting me to be the first American President since Dwight Eisenhower to address this body. Earlier this year, Laura and I hosted President and Attorney Arroyo at the White House, the first state visit from an Asian country during my administration. (Applause.) Today we are honored to visit America's oldest ally in Asia, and one of America's most valued friends in the world. (Applause.) The great patriot, Jose Rizal, said that nations win their freedom by deserving it, by loving what is just, what is good, what is great to the point of dying for it. In the 107 years since that good man's heroic death, Filipinos have fought for justice, you have sacrificed for democracy -- you have earned your freedom. America is proud of its part in the great story of the Filipino people. Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule. Together we rescued the islands from invasion and occupation. The names of Bataan, Corregidor, Leyte, Luzon evoke the memories of shared struggle and shared loss and shared victory. Veterans of those battles are here today. I salute your courage and your service. (Applause.) Along the way and through the years, Americans have gained an abiding respect for the character of your nation and for the decency and courage of the Filipino people. The Pacific is wide, but it does not divide us. Over 2 million American citizens trace their ancestry to these islands. The commerce between us is vibrant and growing. We work together each day in law enforcement and economic development and government reform. Our young people study at each other's universities. Many Filipinos teach in American public schools. And just this week, our two governments launched a six-year effort to extend greater educational opportunities to children in some of the poorest regions of this country. We understand -- we both know that education helps defeat poverty. The United States and the Philippines are warm friends. We cherish that friendship, and we will keep it strong. (Applause.) Our countries are joined by more than a market, even more than an alliance. This friendship is rooted in the deepest convictions we hold. We believe in free enterprise, disciplined by humanity and compassion. We believe in the importance of religious faith, protected by religious liberty. We believe in the rule of law, made legitimate by the will of the people. And we believe that democracy is the only form of government fully compatible with human dignity. These ideals speak to men and women in every culture; yet they are under attack in many cultures in many parts of the world. A new totalitarian threat has risen against civilization. Like other militarists and fascists before them, the terrorists and their allies seek to control every mind and soul. They seek to spread chaos and fear, intimidate whole societies and silence all opposition. They seek weapons of mass destruction to complete their hatred and genocide. The terrorists will continue their missions of murder and suicide until they're stopped, and we will stop them. Every nation in Asia and across the world now faces a choice. Nations that choose to support terror are complicit in a war against civilization. Nations that try to ignore terror and hope it will only strike others are deluding themselves, undermining our common defense, and inviting a future of catastrophic violence. Nations that choose to fight terror are defending their own safety and the safety of free people everywhere. (Applause.) The Philippines and the United States has seen the enemy on our own soil. Americans witnessed the murder of thousands on a single day. Filipinos have known bombings and kidnapping and brutal murders of the innocent. We've endured the violence and grief of terror. We know the enemy wants to spread fear and chaos. Our two nations have made our choice. We will defend ourselves, our civilization and the peace of the world. We will not be intimidated by the terrorists. (Applause.) We're on the offensive against the terrorists, draining their funds, disrupting their plans and bringing them to justice, one person at a time. Here in the Philippines, one face of the enemy is the Abu Sayyaf group. These killers torture and behead their victims, while acting -- or claiming to act -- in the name of God. But murder has no home in any religious faith. And these terrorists must find no home in the Philippines. My government and your government pursue a common objective: We will bring Abu Sayyaf to justice. (Applause.) And we will continue to work together, along with our friends in Southeast Asia, to dismantle Jamaah Islamiya -- the terrorist network, as well as other groups that traffic in violence and chaos. As we fight the terrorists, we're also determined to end conflicts that spread hopelessness and feed terror. The United States supports President Arroyo's campaign to establish a lasting peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Shortly before his death, Ustaz Hashim Salamat wrote a letter to me professing his rejection of terrorism. Only that commitment to peace can bring a better future to the people in Mindanao. I call on all the members of the MILF to reject terror and to move forward with political negotiations. When a lasting peace is established, the United States is prepared to provide development assistance to Mindanao. (Applause.) Yet there can be no compromise with terror. Philippine security forces have the right and the duty to protect local communities and to defeat terrorism in every form. In the war on terror, U.S.-Philippines military alliance is a rock of stability in the Pacific. (Applause.) And this afternoon, President Arroyo and I agreed to update our defense cooperation. We completed the comprehensive review of Philippine security requirements announced last May. Today, President Arroyo and her government committed to a five-year plan to modernize and reform your military. (Applause.) I commend the President and your military leadership for taking this bold action. (Applause.) My country will provide technical assistance and field expertise and funding. But success requires more than American assistance. The members of this body must invest in the Philippine military to ensure that your forces have the resources needed to win the war on terror, and to protect the Philippine people. Free nations -- free nations have faced a great challenge all around the world and a great challenge in Iraq. Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass destruction, sponsored terrorism, oppressed his people, and for 12 years defied the demands of the United Nations. Finally, the U.N. Security Council in Resolution 1441 demanded that Saddam disarm, prove his disarmament to the world, or face serious consequences. Saddam Hussein chose defiance, and President Arroyo was one of the first world leaders to recognize the need for action. The Philippines joined the United States in supporting and enforcing the serious consequences. You rose to the moment, and the American people respect your courageous and principled stand. (Applause.) Since the liberation of Iraq, we have discovered Saddam's clandestine laboratories suitable for biological and chemical weapons research, his design work on prohibited long-range missiles, his elaborate campaign to hide his illegal weapons programs. We've shut down terror camps, denied terrorists a sanctuary. By our actions, our coalition removed a grave and gathering danger. We also ended one of the cruelest regimes in our time. Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers and children's prisons are closed forever. His mass graves will claim no victims. The world was right to confront the regime of Saddam Hussein, and we were right to end the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Applause.) Now that the dictator is gone, Americans and Filipinos and many others share a common vision for that country. Coalition forces, including Filipino peacekeepers and medical workers, are working for the rise of freedom and self-government in Iraq. We're helping to build a free Iraq, because the long-suffering Iraqi people deserve lives of opportunity and dignity. And we're helping to build a free Iraq, because free nations do not threaten others or breed the ideologies of murder. By working for democracy, we serve the cause of peace. Democracy always has skeptics. Some say the culture of the Middle East will not sustain the institutions of democracy. The same doubts were once expressed about the culture of Asia. These doubts were proven wrong nearly six decades ago, when the Republic of the Philippines became the first democratic nation in Asia. (Applause.) Since then, liberty has reached nearly every shore of the Western Pacific. In this region of the world, and in every other, let no one doubt the power of democracy, because freedom is the desire of every human heart. (Applause.) Sustaining liberty is not always easy. The world saw this last July here in the Philippines. And all free nations rejoiced when the mutiny against this government failed. People of this land fought too hard, too long to surrender your freedom to the conspiracy of a few. (Applause.) All of you in this chamber are the protectors of Philippine democracy, charged with upholding the legacy of Rizal and Quezon. Member of the Philippine Armed Forces are commissioned to fight for freedom, not to contend for power. (Applause.) I'm certain that in the coming election, this nation will show its deep commitment to democracy and continue to inspire people throughout Asia. In this city, on a January morning in 1995, Pope John Paul II addressed millions of the faithful. He spoke of the goodness of the Filipino people, and the strength of your democracy and the example this nation has set for others. He said, "May your life spread out from Manila to the farthest corners of the world, like the great light which shone in the night at Bethlehem." Ladies and gentlemen, the world needs the Philippines to continue as a light to all of Asia and beyond. (Applause.) There is so much to be proud of in your beloved country: your commitments to democracy and peace, and your willingness to oppose terrorism and tyranny. The United States and the Philippines have a proud history. And we face the future bound by the strongest ties two nations can share. We stand for liberty, and we stand together. May God bless. Thank you all, very much. (Applause.) END 5:09 P.M. (Local) .

Saudi Arabia

Arab News, Saudi Arabia 15 Oct 2003 www.arabnews.com Editorial: Dangers of Demonization It was inevitable that Iraq should be the center of attention in the run-up meetings to the Islamic summit, the main session of which gets under way in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. Inevitable but regrettable. Criticism of Turkey for agreeing to send troops and demands for the “eviction” of US forces sound like fighting talk, but what Iraq requires is positive ideas and practical help. What makes the concentration on Iraq even more regrettable is that there is a far more dangerous issue facing the Islamic world — the demonization of Islam in the West. If not faced and destroyed, it could result in a new holocaust, the victims this time Muslims. That is no far-fetched fantasy. The warning signs are all there. There has been no letup in the defamation of Muslims in the international media. Muslim equals terrorist; Muslim equals killer; Muslim equals fanatic; Muslims want to take over the world, to kill Americans, to kill Westerners; they have the money behind them to carry out these plans. The message is constant and is getting through to an ignorant and frightened Western public. Unfortunately it has been further fueled by the words and deeds of the handful of alienated Muslim bigots and associated psychopaths who indeed want to lash out at the West. That has added to its power and poison. What is worst about it is that, instead of focusing on Islam’s message of peace and tolerance, it makes Muslims appear inhuman, or even worse, subhuman. From that can flow catastrophe. The experience of Europe’s Jews in the first half of the 20th century provides a frightening parallel. In newspapers and books, on the radio, at public meetings, from pulpits, in restaurants and cafes, they were similarly demonized: The Jews killed and ate babies; they were plotting to take over the world; they used their wealth to further such plans. The message was persistent and went deep into the public psyche. That led to the gas ovens. Those who think that it could not happen again are willfully blind. The world did not suddenly become a better, more civilized place in 1945. Genocide is very much with us as the people of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and most recently Liberia can testify. And as for demonization of Muslims, we have already seen what it can do in Bosnia. The Secretary-General of the OIC, Abdelouahed Belkaziz, this week sounded alarm bells about the “unprecedented” dangers facing Muslims abroad, “considered with suspicion, besieged, and deprived of their rights.” That warning must be heeded. If nothing is done, there will be new pogroms, new deportations, new genocide. Complaining is not enough. The demonization has to be persistently exposed and destroyed.

Arab News, Saudi Arabia 19 Oct 2003 Why Do They Hate Us? Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi • kbatarfi@al-madina.com “But you burn your women after their husbands die, how dare you claim you have women’s rights in such a barbaric environment?” shouted my feminist colleague. I was the only Arab/Muslim at an American school in a class with people who thought we burn women and marry hordes of women. I don’t blame them. Wherever they turn, we look bad. Hollywood, for one, keeps showing us as terrorists, womanizers and idiots. My kids had to explain a lot to their colleagues who had such ideas about sand niggers, camel kissers, oil diggers, and the “desert Kingdom.” Some of my university professors and many foreign correspondents think of us as primitive Bedouin with too much oil and cash that we use to terrorize the world. I bet these people think Africa is one country, Latin America is another, and people there live in Jungle Land. I deal with similar assumptions all the time. People ask me: Why do you kill Jews, beat women, and hate us? I would tell them about how Jews escaped from Spain to Morocco and other Arab countries after the fall of the Islamic rule, because they faced forced conversion to Christianity and genocide; and how Jews in our midst still live in peaceful coexistence with their cousins, the Arabs. Some listen, some just don’t care. I would invite them to meet my wife and her Arab and Muslim friends and ask them in my absence whether they feel oppressed or denied any God-given rights; whether they would prefer to exchange their conservative, family-oriented kind of life with the Western liberal, individualistic model. Some come, some don’t, because they believe our women are not free to express their feelings and thoughts, or are hopelessly brainwashed. Who is responsible for this distorted image of Arabs and Muslims? Mostly us. We should have done what our cousins, the Jews, learnt to do after centuries of misrepresentation and execution — good communication, that is. In this failure we are guilty, but we are also victims. Our political, racial and religious rivals did what they had done to the Jews and are leading us to the same end. From Crusaders to Orientalists, from Zionists to evangelists, our history, culture, character and religion are intentionally misrepresented. With the international media in hand and all the power tools (money, technology and communication) in the other, the job was a piece of cake. How to face this challenge? First, we should learn how to communicate in a sophisticated, positive way. If we start today, we have a long way to go. Since we have no option, we should take the first step — now.

Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia 27 Oct 2003 english.daralhayat.com In Iraq And Elsewhere: Dealing With Legacies Of Atrocious Violence Helena Cobban Al-Hayat 2003/10/27 I have thought a lot about my friends in Iraq recently, and I have been very concerned that they find a way to escape from the rampant insecurity and uncertainty in which they find themselves. They have so many, such very urgent challenges to deal with on a daily basis! I have argued for a long time now that any act of war constitutes a broad assault on the most basic human rights of civilians living in the areas affected; and Donald Rumsfeld's war in Iraq proved to be no exception to that rule. But the men and women of Iraq are dealing not only with the chaotic and complicated legacy of that assault but also with the very deep and difficult legacies of 35 years of Baathist misrule and authoritarianism. Iraq's Baathist regime turned group and group, neighbor against neighbor, and child against parents, thus violating some of the most basic norms of decent living and leaving a terrifying legacy of mistrust. How can all those legacies be dealt with in a way that enables the country's people to move forward and build a future based on cooperation and trust? I am sure that everyone concerned about this challenge will have some portion of wisdom to offer that comes from their own life-view, religion, and experience. I have a little bit of wisdom that comes from my own experience in the Arab world (including living in Lebanon for several years of its civil war), from my abiding belief in the fundamental equality of all of God's children, my work in the fields of human rights and conflict resolution, and-most recently-three years of fairly intense study I have carried out into how three different countries in Africa sought to deal with just this exact problem of trying to deal with and overcome deep legacies of atrocious violence. At this point do you say: Africa-- what does that have to do with us? I urge you not to. I understand that there are cultural specificities in the Arab and Muslim worlds that are important (and Muslim influence is not, after all, totally absent from Africa…) But in addition, the three countries I have been studying in Africa-South Africa, Mozambique, and Rwanda-- are all vastly different from each other; and from my study of their situations-and of post-WW1 and post-WWII Germany-I have been able to tease out some lessons regarding what is needed as societies work to overcome legacies of violence that have, I believe, a degree of universal relevance. For example, in Iraq today, one of the burning issues is "How broadly should perpetrators of Baathist-era atrocities be punished?" The whole question of "punishment", and of having criminal trials of accused perpetrators of atrocities is very important in the discourse of most of the international human-rights movement. In addition, it fits well with many deeply-held ideas about the need for "revenge". My advice? The mechanism of "punishment" and of "criminal prosecutions" should be used only sparingly, for a few of the very top Baathist perpetrators; and it cannot be the major mechanism through which Iraqis try to overcome the legacies of the Baathist past. According to my study of the approach of using politically-inspired, broad-scale "punishment"-whether in Germany after World War I, or in Rwanda after the horrific genocide of 1994-is that this approach merely perpetuates inter-group polarizations and hatreds, and it does little or nothing to help build a new period of trust and cooperation. Indeed, Hitler probably would never have come to power in Germany in the 1930s if in 1918-1919 the victorious Allies had not tried to impose broad-scale punishment on the entire German people. The approach the Allies adopted in 1945, which was basically the approach of trying to rehabilitate German society and the German economy while using only a restrained form of punishment against a tiny number of top Nazi leaders, was much, much more successful at bringing stability to Germany and harmony to its relations with the outside world. That same lesson certainly seems valid today when considering how to deal with the broad social group (Sunni Arabs) in which Saddamist rule was based. In South Africa, which is another country I've studied, the country's many very culturally diverse peoples made a stunningly successful transition from the atrocity-laden, minority-controlled rule of the apartheid era to a situation of full-scale, one-person-one-vote democracy without going through the bloodbath of revenge that so many people had feared. How did they do that? One essential part of how they did it was by deliberately not pressing for full prosecutions of all the perpetrators of apartheid-era atrocities. In the negotiations for the transition, Nelson Mandela's African National Congress and its allies agreed to grant individual amnesties to perpetrators of earlier, politically motivated atrocities, in return for those individuals giving a full public accounting of the facts of what they had done. As a result of that negotiated agreement, everyone in South Africa's powerful but fearful White community agreed to allow the one-person-one-vote elections of 1994 go ahead. Not even the extremists in that community decided to retreat to a "White" heartland and mount any last-ditch effort to impede the move to full democracy through violence, as they had earlier threatened to do. Did that agreement give full satisfaction to the family members of Black activists who had suffered terribly at the hands of their apartheid-era torturers before they were finally tortured to death and their bodies horribly mutilated? No, it did not. But still, the fact of the country's basically peaceful transition to full democracy gave all South Africans, of all social groups, a much better situation after 1994 than they had had before. One leading Black activist there told me a couple of years ago, "Anyway, we could never inflict on the Whites as much pain as they inflicted on us. That kind of 'justice' we have to leave for the Almighty. What was important for us to do was to build the new order." What has happened in Rwanda since the end of the horrifying genocide there in 1994 provides another lesson. The first thing to remember about the Rwandan genocide is just how violent and atrocious it was-and how many of Rwanda's people were involved. In 100 days there between early April and early July 1994, an estimated one million people were killed. Eighty percent of them were Tutsis, and most of the rest were moderate Hutus. The killing rate per day was around five times the daily killing rate at the height of the anti-Jewish Holocaust in Europe, but the hate-filled Hutu people who did the killing did not have the "benefit" of Nazi-style technology: they killed with their bare hands, with knives, and clubs. Literally two or three million of the country's seven million Hutus were closely involved in that ghastly killing spree. How can such a society as that ever be put together? Well, the present government, which is dominated by Tutsis who in 1994 returned as an armed force from exile and managed to throw out the pro-genocide regime, has been trying to make peace between Tutsis and Hutus. But it has been hard. The government started out by trying to prosecute all the Hutus who had been involved in the genocide-but soon it became clear that that was literally impossible. At one point there were 135,000 genocide suspects in the country's over-full jails-and no way at all to bring them to trial. The fact that all the detainees were Hutus while the government was dominated by Tutsis meanwhile served to keep the old inter-group hatreds alive. Two or three years ago, the government started out on another course: trying to get as many of the lower-level perpetrators as possible back into their communities, and offering faster freedom in return for confessions and truth-telling… Are such lessons important for Iraq or other Arab countries trying to build new communities that are not burdened by hatred and vengefulness from the past? I certainly believe that they are. As I will explore in a future article, a key part of this issue is who gets to make such decisions-the people of the country in question, themselves-or the so-called "international community". At the end of the day, the internationals can all go back to their own homes. It is the people of the country concerned who have to live with the results.

Solomon Islands

People First Network 6 Oct 2003 Morrell encourages displaced Weathercoast people to return home HONIARA, Solomon Islands (PFnet News) - The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, William Morrell encourages people of Guadalcanal's remote Weathercoast area to return home. It is understood that more than 1500 people of the Weathercoast area fled violence in the area to the capital, Honiara months after an escalation in violence alleged to have been that of the former rebel leader Harold Keke. The Regional Assistance Mission has been providing emergency food supplies to those who had remained on the Weathercoast, as of last month. Morrell encourages those remaining in Honiara to return home and rebuild their lives. He cites that with the reopening of schools in the areas signifies positive signs of life back in the remote Weathercoast, acknowledging, "because of all the difficulties in the last few years, it's going to take time to help heal some of the rifts as well."

BBC 9 Oct 2003 Solomons warlord faces new charges Harold Keke is blamed for dozens of deaths Australian police say the Solomon Islands rebel leader Harold Keke will be prosecuted for the murder of seven missionaries who were taken hostage in the remote Weathercoast region. Australia's most senior police officer in the Solomons, Ben McDevitt, said Mr Keke's Guadalcanal Liberation Front was responsible for kidnapping and killing the missionaries. Mr McDevitt said that although the rebel warlord was not directly involved and was not at the scene of any of the murders, he was the supreme commander of the group that killed them. The seven hostages were members of an indigenous Anglican order called the Melanesian Brotherhood. They were held by rebels for several months and at one stage were shown on Australian television smiling and sharing a meal with the rebel leader. Growing anarchy in the Solomons prompted the sending of an Australian-led multinational intervention force to the islands in July - and the following month, the diplomat in charge of the force said he had learned of the missionaries' deaths. Mr Keke was one of several gang leaders who surrendered to the intervention force. Last month he appeared in court in the capital, Honiara, charged with the murder of Father Augustine Geve, a Roman Catholic priest and member of parliament.

AFP27 Oct 2003 Call for Solomons truth and reconciliation commission to probe civil war by Bruce Edwards HONIARA, Oct 27 (AFP) A former Solomon Islands Police Commissioner has called for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to probe the causes of years of civil unrest in the troubled Pacific nation. Former Police Commissioner Frank Short has said the country needs to quickly set up the panel to look into four years of strife surrounding the 2000 coup that overthrew the elected government of Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu. The ethnic conflict ended in August with Australian military intervention. Short, a British citizen who served in the Solomon Islands in the late 1990s, said now was the best time to set up the commission without prejudicing the rights to a fair trial of individuals already in custody. Short said ethnic fighting between militant groups from the provinces of Guadalcanal and Malaita had brought great misery, bloodshed and economic and social disruption to a country that had held the promise of a better future. Meanwhile, a peace monitor claims refugees displaced from their villages on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal due to the former reign of terror of notorious militant leader Harold Keke have been threatened, harassed and assaulted when attempting to return to their homes. National Peace Council monitor Margaret Vogho reported during a radio programme Weathercoast refugees trying to return to deserted villages in the Mbanmbanakira area were met with resistance from members of the supposedly disbanded Guadalcanal Liberation Front (GLF). Returnees claim to have been beaten, threatened, harassed and sworn at. Vogho also claimed National Peace Council monitors have had their freedom of movement restricted in the region, a former Keke stronghold. She said such reports have caused fear among refugees wanting to return and appealed to the Australian military's Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) task-force to arrest people involved in the reported incidents. Deputy Police Commissioner Ben McDevitt, however, disputed the reports, saying GLF followers claimed they had been threatened by returning villagers. McDevitt said police had intercepted the parties involved in the reported incidents and the problem had been amicably resolved. Vogho also recommended Royal Solomon Islands Police officers should be posted alongside RAMSI officers to improve communication among rural communities. Intervention chief Nick Warner has said RAMSI holds no responsibility, role or mandate to move the refugees back home. Warner repeated previous comments that although there may be some animosity, tension and minor incidents reported in the area, generally the situation is safe enough for people to return to their villages.

Sri Lanka

AP 3 Oct 2003 United States re-designates Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels as terrorists, rebels regret Krishan Francis, Associated Press, 10/3/03 The United States has re-designated the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization, the U.S. Embassy said Friday, despite an ongoing peace process between the Sri Lankan government and the rebels. The guerrillas said they regretted that the move was made at a critical time in the peace process. "Although the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam are engaged in a peace process with the government of Sri Lanka ... the United States has determined that the LTT continues to engage in terrorist activities," the embassy said, quoting U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher in Washington. "The United States therefore today re-designated the LTT as a foreign terrorist organization," the embassy said in a statement released in Colombo, capital of a country that has endured 20 years of civil war. Norwegian-brokered peace talks began in 2002, but the Tamil Tigers have refused to meet with the government since April. "We view the U.S. decision with great regret," said Sudha Thangan, the rebels' deputy political head in Kilinochchi, the Tamil Tigers' headquarters town in northern Sri Lanka. "We are at a critical time when efforts are being made to take the peace process forward." It was not immediately clear what difference the U.S. announcement would make to the Tamil Tigers, although it will be a setback for them. The rebel group had hoped that the U.S. government would not include it on a list of foreign terrorist organizations this year. "We would like the U.S. to realize the positive steps that are being taken. Although the talks have been suspended, the process is intact," Thangan told a ceremony to open a rehabilitation center for child soldiers released by the Tigers. Tamil Tiger rebels are outlawed in five countries, including the United States, which first banned the group in 1997. India outlawed the group after Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber in 1991. Tamil Tiger officials are barred from entering the countries where the group is banned, and prohibited from collecting funds or engaging in propaganda activities. The rebels began fighting the Sri Lankan government in 1983 to create a separate state for minority Tamils of this island nation off India's southern tip. About 65,000 people were killed in the fighting before a cease-fire was signed by the rebels and the government in February 2002. Peace talks began last October during which the rebels agreed to limited autonomy instead of total independence. However, talks were stalled in April when the rebels walked out, accusing the government of not doing enough to rehabilitate Tamils displaced in the war. They have not resumed fighting but the Tigers are accused of political killings, abductions and extortion. Washington warned the rebels last month to abandon terrorism, make realistic demands and resume talks with the government. The Tigers have refused to begin talks unless they are given wide administrative and financial powers to govern the Tamil-majority northeast.


AP 20 Oct 2003 Syria accuses Israel of 'genocide' with American 'protection, support and care' By ASSOCIATED PRESS DAMASCUS, Syria Israel could not have committed "terrorist acts and ... genocide" against the Palestinians without the American support of the Jewish state, Syria's vice president said Monday. Speaking at the opening of a conference on the Arabic language, Zuhair Masharqa called on the international community to exert more pressure on Israel "to force Israel to comply with peace requirements and commit itself to peace obligations" that would lead to security and stability in the region. "The Zionist enemy couldn't have committed acts of terrorism against Palestinians and waged a war of genocide against them had it not enjoyed the protection, support and care of the American administration," Masharqa was quoted as saying by Syria's official news agency, SANA. SANA said Masharqa reiterated Syria's desire for peace "in accordance with respective UN Security Council resolutions." His comments at the second conference of the Arabic Language Assembly come amid increasing violence in the Palestinian territories and two weeks after Israel attacked an area near the Syrian capital of Damascus. It was the first such Israeli attack in Syria in three decades. Israel said it was attacking a Palestinian militant camp in response to a suicide bombing. Syria said the camp had been abandoned for years. Masharqa also criticized the US-led war on Iraq. "Iraq was a victim of a war whose wagers tried to justify with unpersuasive justifications," Masharqa said. "This war undermined Iraq's pillars and spread destruction and anarchy on its landscapes."


AFP 9 Oct 2003 Tajik pariament ratifies deal with US on international court, DUSHANBE Tajikistan's parliament has ratified a controversial agreement with Washington that pledges not to send US citizens for prosecution at the newly-created United Nations International Criminal Court (ICC), a deputy told AFP Thursday. "The Tajik-US agreement is valid for five years," Abdullo Khabibov said. The impoverished former Soviet republic in Central Asia signed the agreement with the United States in August 2002. The ICC, the world's first permanent international court to try cases of warcrimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, began operating in July this year after 60 countries ratified the treaty creating it in 2002. The United States had originally signed the Statute of Rome, which created the court, but then reversed itself and has been pressuring countries that receive US aid not to sign or ratify the treaty. In July Washington froze military aid to 35 countries around the globe for refusing to sign so-called "Article 98" agreements granting immunity for US citizens. Several of those countries, including Colombia and Malawi, then signed the agreement. The United States fears the court could become a forum for politically motivated prosecutions of US citizens and has been on a worldwide campaign to sign immunity deals.


Bangkok Post 2 Oct 2003 Jesse Jackson to promote peace here through a series of events 10 Nobel laureates among guest speakers Preeyanat Phanayanggoor US rights campaigner Jesse Jackson will kick off a series of talks, seminars, workshops and artistic performances to promote a culture of peace to be held in Thailand between November and April next year. Thailand has been chosen to host this year's ``Bridge _ Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace'', the tradition of peace summits which have been held in Europe since 1993. Rev Jackson will give a keynote speech on ``Can the United States become a Force for Peace _ the US after the War on Iraq'' on Nov 6 at Thammasat University's auditorium. Other guest speakers include more than 10 Nobel prize laureates for peace, physics, chemistry, medicine and literature, leading figures in international politics, economy, science, culture and religion, and international artists and opera singers. The topics range from ``the role of science and technology in the quest for a world at peace'' to ``conflict resolution and humanitarian intervention in response to genocide'' and ``Muslim faith in non-Arab countries.'' Uwe Morawetz, chairman of the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation, the main organiser, said Thailand was selected because Thai people's self-confidence, open-mindedness and tolerance could provide a creative pathway towards peace. Thailand was also well known for its King, who has worked tirelessly for peace and prosperity of all peoples, cultures and religions, he said. Anand Panyarachun, chairman of the Thai advisory board for the events, said the conference would broaden Thai people's vision on global issues, generate new thoughts and create new cooperation with leading experts and academics. He said the events were aimed at people from all walks of life, and that was why admission to all programmes would be free of charge. Mr Anand said Thai translations might be provided for some talks to be held at educational institutes to attract wider audiences. A series of talks will be held in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Songkhla from November to April next year.


BBC 21 Oct 2003 Hanoi muted on US 'war crimes' The US said there was no reason to reopen the case Vietnam has played down new reports of a massacre by US soldiers in the Vietnam War by saying it wants to put the conflict behind it. A Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Le Dung, was responding to reports in the Toledo Blade newspaper that an elite unit of US soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed villagers in Vietnam's Central Highlands over seven months in 1967. Le Dung said Vietnam did not want to dwell on the past, and better bilateral relations were the best way to solve its consequences. The statement came as Hanoi announced the first visit by a Vietnamese Defence Minister to the United States. We advocate strengthening mutual understanding... that is the basis to solve the consequences left by the past. Le Dung Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Pham Van Tra is due to travel in November. The Toledo Blade newspaper reported that soldiers from the Tiger Force unit of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division had admitted to a series of atrocities, including wearing severed ears as trophies and dropping grenades into bunkers where children and women were taking refuge. The Toledo Blade said that the US army conducted a four year investigation into the allegations, but it was closed in 1975 and never made public. The US Defence Department said the case was more than 30 years old and there was no new or compelling evidence to justify reopening it. Pham Van Tra said his US trip would help enhance military links between the two countries and allow issues to be discussed like the effects of Agent Orange, the defoliant used by the US military to destroy the jungle in which Vietnamese forces operated. Military links have lagged behind growing cooperation between the two countries in other areas. They restored diplomatic ties in 1995 and signed a trade agreement which took effect in December 2001.



www.expatica.com 20 Oct. 2003 Belgium's Heart of Darkness The Royal Museum of Central Africa has long been criticised for glorifying Belgium’s colonial past. The museum’s director wants that to change, but not everyone agrees. Jean o’Connor reports. Joseph Conrad called Belgium’s colonial rule of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the “Heart of Darkness’” – as went the title of his famous book. The legacy of those dark times can be found in the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, a place often criticised for glorifying Belgium’s colonial past. Step in the door of the imposing, almost palace-like purpose-built museum, and you will be met with a statue under the foyer’s dome inscribed “Belgium brings civilisation to the Congo”. The museum was built in 1898 by King Leopold II following an exhibition which celebrated his rule over the African territory. Tervuren’s director, Guido Gryseels, wants to vamp up the museum’s image, bringing it bang up to date and out of the colonial doldrums. As is stands, the museum is a colonial throwback in its purest form – pushing a paternalistic image of Belgium, caring for a backwater and showing it the light of modernity, conveniently omitting any reference to violent wrongdoings. You will be hard pushed to find one mention of the Congo’s painful independence from Belgium in 1960 or the more recent Rwandan genocide. “The museum presented the story that the white men went to the Congo to civilize the society there and that the Congolese were a wild horde that rampaged through the region with spears and shields and needed to be civilized,” Gryseels told Deutsche Welle. But Gryseels aims to set the historical record straight by conceiving a major exhibition due to open in 2005. But there is opposition to Gryseels’ plan — not only from former colonialists who continue to see only the good Belgium brought to deepest darkest Africa, but also to historical purists. The Royal African museum is a timepiece in itself — a capsule of memories and attitudes giving the public the truest sense of what Belgian’s really thought of Zaire and their rule of the country during colonial times. Tervuren could remain the legacy of a colonial mindset which prevailed during the scramble for Africa, rather than an edifice glorifying a colonial past. But the subject seems too delicate in the hearts of many Belgians not to use the museum as a stage on which to exhibit the truth behind Belgium’s 80-year colonial history and the face of those former territories today. King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschild, was published last year, portraying Leopold II as a plunderer who regarded all Congolese as his personal slaves. The book alleged that up to 10,000 men women and children perished under his rule. And in February of this year, the government made a belated apology for its involvement in the assassination of independent Congo’s first elected prime minister, Patrick Lumumba in 1961. Belgium was stunned – they were stories which had never made it to Tervuren.


October 7, 2003 U.S. Presses Bosnia for Karadzic Arrest By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 2:57 p.m. ET BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) -- Bosnia's hope of someday joining the European Union and NATO hinges on the arrest of war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Pierre Richard Prosper, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, met Tuesday with Bosnian Serb officials in the northern city of Banja Luka. Among ethnic groups in the region, the Bosnian Serbs have so far showed the least willingness to cooperate with a U.N. war-crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Bosnia hopes to join NATO and the European Union. Reforms are under way to erase decades of communist rule, the ravages of ethnic wars in the 1990s and the legacy of hatred affecting Bosnia's Serbs, Croats and Muslims. However, ``the critical factor for full integration into Europe, for becoming a member in the Partnership for Peace Program and NATO is the arrest of Radovan Karadzic,'' the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, Prosper told reporters. Karadzic and his former general, Ratko Mladic, top the tribunal's list of wanted suspects. Both have been indicted for alleged genocide and other alleged war crimes in connection with the 1992-1995 war, Europe's bloodiest post-World War II conflict. Bosnian Serb authorities have been accused of covertly supporting the two, as well as other suspects, something they deny. The U.N. tribunal was established in 1993 to prosecute war criminals in what was then Yugoslavia and its former republics. Authorities in the region are obliged to cooperate with it and hand over indicted suspects. But the Bosnian Serbs continue dragging their feet, according to U.S. officials. Only recently, and under intense international pressure, have Serb authorities lent verbal support to the idea of arresting Karadzic and Mladic. On Tuesday, Prosper and Bosnian Serb President Dragan Cavic jointly urged all suspects to surrender. War-crimes fugitives, including Karadzic and Mladic, ``who are still at large are an obstacle to the full integration of Bosnia-Herzegovina into Euro-Atlantic institutions,'' the statement said. ``Among others, we regard such persons to be Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.'' NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia have tried several times to arrest Karadzic but failed each time. The organization claims Karadzic has developed a network of supporters and financiers who make sure he is well hidden and warned in time to avoid apprehension. The U.S. government has promised $5 million for information leading to arrest of the two.

NYT 12 Oct 2003 Officers Say Bosnian Massacre Was Deliberate By MARLISE SIMONS THE HAGUE, Oct. 8 — Eight years after the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnians, doubts have lingered about the degree to which the killings were coldly planned, or were improvised in chaos. Most of those killed were unarmed prisoners, boys and men, shot in groups, or sometimes one by one. Among the executioners, only a few foot soldiers have talked about the events that turned Srebrenica — its name means the "place of silver" — into a symbol of a modern European nightmare. No architect of the crime has ever explained in public what was in the killers' minds, or what made them believe that the murderous frenzy was acceptable to their own society and to their leaders. But now, two senior Bosnian Serb officers, both crucial figures involved in organizing the bloodshed at Srebrenica, have spoken out at the war crimes tribunal here, describing the countdown to the massacre and depicting a well-planned and deliberate killing operation. They say it was largely coordinated by the military security and intelligence branch of the Bosnian Serb Army and militarized police, forces that were on Serbia's payroll. The two, an intelligence chief and a brigade commander, recently pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity and have now given evidence against two fellow officers. They provided so many names, firsthand accounts, documents and even a military log of the crucial days, that one court official blurted, "They've practically written the judgment." One of the insiders referred to a directive he received, which said that "the life of the enemy has to be made unbearable." He also said it was his role to coordinate "the separation, detention and killings of the men." This officer, Momir Nikolic, a former intelligence chief, described with cool precision the steps he took in coordinating the logistics, moving between army and police units, avoiding phones and radios, as preparations for the mass executions were under way. The second officer, a brigade commander, Dragan Obrenovic, recounted how in the final hours, prisoners were moved to different detention and killing sites, in a deliberate move to avoid detection by the Red Cross and the United Nations mission, which were active in the area. The officers' behind-the-scenes accounts from the Bosnian war represent sharp departures from persistent denials on the part of the Bosnian Serbs, including a recent government report maintaining that most of the men found in mass graves — many with their hands tied behind their backs — were killed in combat. The first officer to speak out, Mr. Nikolic, 48, the former chief of intelligence and security of the Bratunac Brigade, said the countdown to Srebrenica's capture began a year earlier, in June 1994. During eight days of testimony, he said his brigade commander sent out a directive detailing Bosnian Serb policy toward the Muslims in the enclave protected by United Nations peacekeepers. "The life of the enemy has to be made unbearable and his temporary stay in the enclave made impossible so that they leave en masse as soon as possible, realizing they cannot survive there," said the directive, as it was quoted and read in court. That policy was carried out, said Mr. Nikolic, speaking with the precision of a math teacher, which he once was. Civilians were fired at, aid was blocked and fuel, food and other supplies for the United Nations peacekeepers were halted so "they could not be ready for combat," he said. The harassment went on for a year, until late May 1995, Mr. Nikolic said, and then the military began to prepare its final assault. Bosnian Serb troops, aided by militarized police officers and paramilitary fighters from Serbia, overran the enclave on July 11. "They had been expecting Muslim forces to put up fierce resistance," said Mr. Nikolic. "No one thought the resistance would be so short-lived." Instead, he said, there was chaos, with thousands of civilians fleeing, many hoping for safety near a United Nations base at Potocari. The next day, at an early morning meeting at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, Gen. Ratko Mladic announced his plan to kill the prisoners, according to the testimony. Mr. Nikolic said he learned about it from two of his superiors coming out of the meeting. One of them, Col. Vujadin Popovic, "told me that women and children had to be deported to Kladanj and the men had to separated and temporarily detained," Mr. Nikolic said. "When I asked him what would happen then, he said that all balija had to be killed," he said. Balija is a derogatory name for Muslims. "I was told my task would be to coordinate the different forces." Orders were to concentrate prisoners in Bratunac, a nearby town under Bosnian Serb control, Mr. Nikolic continued, and he and his two superiors talked about suitable places, including several schools, a sports complex and a hangar. Then the discussion turned to sites for executions, including a brick factory and a mine, he said. Mr. Nikolic also described an encounter on July 13 at which General Mladic addressed several hundred Muslims who had surrendered in Konjevic Polje. The general told the Muslims not to worry, that transport would be organized for them, according to the testimony. Later as General Mladic greeted him, Mr. Nikolic said, he asked what was to be done with the men. General Mladic, who has been indicted by the war crimes tribunal and is a fugitive, responded with a gesture, Mr. Nikolic said, and he repeated it in court, moving his hand from left to right, palm down, in a cutting motion. The prosecutor, Peter McCloskey, asked, "What did you think would happen to the prisoners?" Mr. Nikolic said: "I did not think. I knew." That same day, orders came that the executions would take place, not in Bratunac, but near Zvornik, some 25 miles farther north. Mr. Nikolic said he moved from place to place, informing regional commanders personally, avoiding telephones and radios. His version was corroborated in court by the second insider witness, Mr. Obrenovic, at the time the acting commander of the Zvornik Brigade. Mr. Obrenovic said his brigade's intelligence chief told him to prepare for some 3,000 prisoners in his area. Mr. Obrenovic said he asked why the prisoners were coming to Zvornik, instead of going to the prisoner-of-war camp at Batkovici. The response, he told the court, was that orders were to evade the Red Cross and the United Nations peacekeepers. "The order was to take the prisoners and execute them in Zvornik," Mr. Obrenovic said. When he questioned the order again, he was informed that it came from General Mladic, the head of the army. The prosecutor asked why he cooperated. Mr. Obrenovic replied that once he understood the order was coming from the top. "I became afraid," he said. "I thought there was no point in standing up to it." That same night of July 13, the small town of Bratunac was extremely tense, Mr. Nikolic said. About 3,500 to 4,500 prisoners were held in overcrowded schools, a warehouse and a gym, and piled in buses and trucks parked around town, as more were arriving. Soldiers, police officers and armed local volunteers were mobilized to guard them. During the night, Mr. Nikolic said, 80 to 100 prisoners were taken off buses and from a hangar and shot. In the early hours of July 14, Mr. Nikolic said, he watched a long column of buses and trucks pull out of Bratunac, heading for Zvornik. At the head of the column, as a decoy, was a white United Nations armored personnel carrier, one of the vehicles stolen from peacekeepers. On board were Bosnian Serb soldiers and police officers, Mr. Nikolic said. In their testimony, the two officers said they were not present at the mass executions around Zvornik that began on July 14 and lasted four days, but that like most members of the forces in the area, they knew of them. Mr. Obrenovic said he understood when he was asked to send engineers to dig mass graves. Mr. Nikolic said he became part of the cover-up that followed the killings. He said that later on, in September, he helped to oversee the operations to dig up uncounted bodies and rebury them at secret sites. During lengthy cross-examination a defense lawyer for Col. Vidoje Blagojevic challenged Mr. Nikolic's credibility, reminding him of a lie. He said that earlier this year, when negotiating a plea agreement with prosecutors, Mr. Nikolic confessed to his role in Srebrenica but also claimed a role in another massacre at which he was not present. Before the agreement was completed, he retracted that statement. Mr. Nikolic provided an answer, in a show of emotion that is rather exceptional at a tribunal where perpetrators' toughness and denial are far more common. At the time, he said, he accepted more guilt, fearing that the plea agreement might fall through. During his confessions, he said, he had lived through "a terrible" period he did not want to remember, let alone talk about. "Everything that happened in and around Srebrenica was always present in my mind," he said. "I did not want to go through that process again and face a trial." Michael Karnavas, the defense lawyer, also asked why he ignored the army's rule to grant protection to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. Mr. Nikolic responded sharply: "Do you really think that in an operation where 7,000 people were killed that somebody was adhering to the Geneva Conventions? First of all, they were captured, then killed and then buried, exhumed once again, and buried again. Nobody, Mr. Karnavas, adhered to Geneva Conventions."

AP 19 Oct 2003 Former Bosnian President Izetbegovic Dies By AIDA CERKEZ-ROBINSON Associated Press Writer SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP)--Former President Alija Izetbegovic, a reluctant warrior who steered Bosnia through independence and the worst bloodshed in Europe after World War II, died Sunday. He was 78. The beloved leader of Bosnia's Muslims--called Dedo, or ``Grandpa,'' by his followers--died in a Sarajevo hospital of long-standing heart disease complicated by fractured ribs he suffered in a fall at home, cardiology chief Dr. Amila Arslanagic told The Associated Press. The low-key Izetbegovic was a father figure to many Muslims, particularly those in rural areas who backed his Party of Democratic Action in November 1990 elections. The vote brought him to power in the multiethnic republic of Bosnia, then a part of Yugoslavia, and helped set the scene for ethnic war less than two years later. Bosnian Serbs, deeply suspicious of his religious background, accused Izetbegovic of trying to establish an Islamic republic in Europe, a cry adopted by radical Bosnian Croat nationalists and used to fuel ethnic passions that led to what primarily was a war over territory. Initially, Izetbegovic won a reputation as a moderate by steering Bosnia-Herzegovina on a neutral course as the feud between Serbia and Croatia tore the Yugoslav federation apart in 1991. But after the republics of Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia declared independence, Izetbegovic finally supported the idea of an independent Bosnia. That infuriated Bosnia's Serbs, one-third of the republic's people, who wanted to remain within a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia. After Muslims and Croats voted for independence Feb. 29, 1992, Serb rebels--led by President Slobodan Milosevic--began fighting for Bosnian territory. The bloodshed engulfed Bosnia, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a 3 1/2 year war that ended with 260,000 people killed or missing and 2.5 million refugees, who fled or were evicted in ethnic purges. Born Aug. 8, 1925, Izetbegovic earned a law degree from Sarajevo University in 1956. He was sentenced twice, in 1946 and 1983, for his political views and spent nearly nine years in jails in communist Yugoslavia _ the state created by Josip Broz Tito. Under the motto ``Brotherhood and Unity,'' Tito and his successors stamped on expressions of nationalism, and Izetbegovic spent five of his years in jail for writing an ``Islamic Declaration.'' The Muslim card was key to his political career. In the run-up to the 1990 elections, Izetbegovic rallied Bosnia's Muslims behind him, convincing them that in talks about the future of Yugoslavia, Milosevic would represent the Serbs and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, the Croats. ``And who will speak for you?'' Izetbegovic asked. This led to unrivaled authority and influence among Bosnia's Muslims--44 percent of the 4.3 million prewar population. Conjuring memories of massacres in Yugoslavia's civil war during World War II, Izetbegovic predicted--wrongly--that fear of a bloodbath would prevent his republic's three ethnic groups from going to war again if Bosnia seceded. In its final year, the 1992-1995 war saw Europe's worst massacre since the Holocaust in the Bosnia Serb slaughter of thousands of Muslims, mostly boys and men, in the town of Srebrenica. The mass killings became a symbol of Balkan brutality. A memorial to the victims was dedicated in September at a ceremony attended by former President Bill Clinton, who condemned the ``genocidal madness'' that fed the ethnic war. Clinton's administration led NATO to bomb Bosnian Serb positions and later cajoled Izetbegovic to negotiate with Tudjman and Milosevic in talks in Dayton, Ohio. His face lined with the years of worry and war, Izetbegovic joined his enemies in total silence to sign the accord in Paris on Dec. 14, 1995. The deal conceived present-day Bosnia--made up of a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation, run by a three-person collective presidency. Izetbegovic was the first Muslim representative in the new government, stepping down in 2000 after a decade of leadership. Of the three men in charge as the Bosnian war broke out, Izetbegovic lasted the longest. Milosevic, ousted as Yugoslav president in 2000, is standing trial for Balkan war crimes, including genocide, at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Tudjman died in office in 1999. While Izetbegovic's fight for Bosnian independence enjoyed broad Western support, some former allies criticized him later, suggesting his courting of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries during let Islamic radicals gain a toehold in his republic. Hundreds of Islamic warriors joined the fledgling Bosnian army in fighting the Serbs and Croats. Shrugging off Western concerns that they could be linked to terrorism, a grateful Izetbegovic allowed some of those fighters to settle in Bosnia, exposing him to criticism in the wake of Sept. 11. He denied wrongdoing. In 2001, he backed the U.S. war against terrorism as ``legal, legitimate and necessary,'' yet suggested that Washington's Mideast policies could have motivated anti-American sentiment. Izetbegovic is survived by his wife, Halida, and children Sabina, Lejla and Bakir.

AP 30 Oct 2003 Bosnia Gets $18.4M for War Crimes Court THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The United States and 29 other countries pledged $18.4 million on Thursday to create a new war crimes court in Bosnia that will lighten the load at the U.N. tribunal in the Netherlands. The United States -- which also is the largest funder of the war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague -- will give $11 million to support the new War Crimes Chamber. It will operate within Bosnia's state court system and prosecute lower-level offenders from the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. The money promised so far ``meets the requirement for the first two years,'' said Oleg Milisic of the Office of the High Representative, the civilian organization that oversees peace-building in Bosnia. ``Many donor countries also promised to supply other resources such as judges and support staff,'' he said, adding that around $44.5 million will be needed in the first five years. Britain, Germany and Italy also pledged funds at the donor conference held at the U.N. court in The Hague. The conference was attended by officials from nearly every European country, the EU Commission, the United States, Canada and Japan. The new tribunal -- scheduled to open as late as 2004 -- will have a staff of around 100, with seven prosecutors and 11 judges. It will initially be run by international employees, but power will gradually be handed over to Bosnian officials and the court will become fully national after five years. As the U.N. tribunal struggles to handle dozens of cases in just three courtrooms, the special court in Bosnia will help meet deadlines for wrapping up all trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010. Tribunal president Theodor Meron has already warned that deadline is overly optimistic with 17 suspects still at large and more indictments expected. The most prominent suspect on trial in The Hague is former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who faces 66 counts of war crimes for alleged atrocities including genocide during a decade of wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. The court has held or is holding 28 trials, involving 44 defendants, with 31 more defendants in pretrial proceedings. Among suspects still at large are former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his wartime commander, Ratko Mladic, both wanted on genocide charges for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when 7,500 Muslims were executed at the end of the Bosnian war. The new court, to be based in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, is initially expected to take over around 15 lower-level cases from the tribunal, established in 1993 by the U.N. Security Council to prosecute military and political leaders responsible for Balkan atrocities since 1991. The court will have its own security staff, detention facility, witness protection program and investigators and will fall under the authority of the Bosnian justice department. Despite the gradual reestablishment of democratic institutions and the return of peace to Bosnia, local courts still face serious difficulties, including a lack of cooperation between the Bosnian Serb-controlled half of the country and the Muslim-Croat federation. Political opposition also remains a major obstacle.


BBC 9 Oct 2003 US reward for Croatian fugitive Gotovina: Accused of the murder and disappearance of hundreds of Serbs The United States Government has offered a reward of up to $5m for the capture of a Croatian general accused of war crimes. Ante Gotovina is the Hague tribunal's third most wanted man. News of the reward came as Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan held talks in Brussels about his country's bid for European Union membership. Croatia's chances of joining the EU could depend on its willingness to hunt for Mr Gotovina and hand him over. We are ready to help the Croatian Government to arrest Gotovina by offering a reward to anyone who furnishes information on where he is located Pierre-Richard Prosper US US ambassador at large for war crimes issues In a visit to Zagreb last week the tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, urged Mr Gotovina to surrender. Ms del Ponte says she believes he is still in Croatia but the government says he has probably fled the country. She is due to report to the UN Security Council later on Thursday on the co-operation by former Yugoslav republics with the tribunal. The EU has said it will attach great significance to the report. 'Ready to help' The US reward is part of the State Department's Rewards for Justice programme, which is also offering money for the first two on the UN list, Bosnian Serb wartime leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. The reward was announced by Pierre-Richard Prosper, US ambassador at large for war crimes issues, in the Zagreb daily Jutarnji List on Thursday. Del Ponte believes Gotovina is in Croatia "We are ready to help the Croatian Government to arrest Gotovina by offering a reward ... to anyone who furnishes information on where he is located," he said. Mr Prosper added that Washington had information that he was hiding in Croatia under the protection of a network of people, some of whom were involved in criminal activity. Fuelling tension Mr Gotovina is accused of arranging the killing of at least 150 Serb civilians and the expulsion of 150,000 others following a government operation in 1995 to recapture territory held by rebels. Croatia has said it will hand him over without hesitation if he is found. But correspondents say the government knows Mr Gotovina's arrest would be deeply unpopular with many Croats. Mr Racan is hoping to persuade European officials that Croatia is fit to join the EU in 2007 along with Romania and Bulgaria. "Croatia has set itself a number of tasks that it wishes to fulfill," he said after meeting EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Meanwhile Mr Solana praised Mr Racan's efforts to "move his country closer to the EU". The European Commission is due to rule early next year on whether to include Croatia as an official candidate country. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands have already said they will not ratify the first stage of the process until Mr Gotovina is handed over.

East Timor

BBC 18 Oct 2003 Timorese gain control of border The United Nations will remain in East Timor until at least 2004 East Timor is taking another step towards becoming less dependent on the United Nations, by taking over responsibility for border crossings. The UN has been guarding and managing East Timor's border since it gained independence from Indonesia in 1999. The Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, told the BBC it was a significant step for East Timor, which became the world's newest country last May. But East Timor insists it still needs international help. Mr Ramos Horta told the BBC's World Today programme that thanks to help from the UN and countries like Australia, East Timor's police and border control staff were being trained. But he said that what East Timor wanted was to become "less and less dependent on international assistance". "The international community is called upon to other emerging problems, and other ongoing problems, like Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and elsewhere," he said, "East Timor cannot pretend to have a monopoly on international sympathy and support." Appeal for money But in an interview with the Associated Press news agency, the country's Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, said East Timor still needed foreign donors to keep up their current level of financial assistance. The US has proposed cutting next year's aid from $25m to $13m - denying suggestions from some Timorese officials that increased costs in Iraq was behind the proposal. Mr Alkatiri urged Washington not to cut its assistance. "It's nothing compared to what the United States gives to Iraq," he said. "This is a new democracy and it has to be consolidated." Next month, East Timor is due to begin negotiations with Australia over maritime borders. East Timor hopes to gain control of a vast oil and gas field in the Timor Sea, known as Greater Sunrise, which could bring in $7bn for East Timor over the next two decades. The two countries have already signed an agreement to divide up oil and gas reserves from another huge area under the Timor Sea.


Telegraph UK 17 Oct 2003 Vichy mentally ill patients 'were not murdered' By Philip Delves Broughton (Filed: 17/10/2003) A two-year investigation into the deaths of 50,000 mentally ill patients under France's Vichy regime has found they mostly starved to death, rather than being intentionally killed following the Nazi example. French historians have argued recently that the Vichy government deliberately created appalling conditions in its asylums as a form of "gentle genocide". They supported their arguments with horrific reports written by the doctors working in the asylums during the war, describing patients eating their own hands and books, causing stomach ruptures and death. The latest research by a team of academics in Lyons concluded that the malnutrition was similar to that experienced by all of France during the war. They argue that if there had been a secret plan to kill the mentally ill there would have been some record of it. In Germany, the murder of the mentally ill was kept top secret but there are still thousands of documents.


Yirkir www.yerkir.am October 03, 2003 Ethnic Armenians formulate their expectations from Georgian political parties The Council of Armenian Organizations of Javakhk has formulated the provisions based on which the ethnic Armenians would vote for candidates and parties in the upcoming parliamentary election in Georgia. So far the Akunk and A-Info unions of Akhalkalak, the Sports and Culture Union of Javakhk, the Lernashkhar Union of Ninotsminda and the Charles Aznavour Culture Union of Akhaltskha have undersigned the statement containing the provisions. It is provided in the statement that "Ethnic Armenian citizens of Georgia have the right to live freely and fully on the entire territory of Georgia." Noting that ethnic Armenian citizens should unconditionally contribute to the strengthening of the Georgian state, the statement calls on the Georgian government to honor the rights of all of its citizens, create favorable conditions for their political, educational, cultural, social, economic and other needs." The statement also mentions that a higher level of self-government should be ensured in the regions compactly populated by Armenians. The Armenian organizations also demand that the Georgian government recognized the Armenian Genocide carried out in the Ottoman Empire. As part of Georgia's economic policy, the Armenians suggest that the Georgian authorities should focus on setting up banks in the Samtskhe-Javakhk and Kvemo-Kartli regions – with predominant Armenian population – to encourage development of industries, agriculture as well as small and medium-size businesses. In the educational field, increasing teachers' salaries, as well as teaching the Armenian history in schools, opening of the Yerevan State University branch in Akhalkalak, as well as preserving the cultural values are seen as crucial. The statement also provides that the government should provide Armenian youth with opportunities to receive esthetic, sports, cultural education, as well as provide them with an opportunity to participate in the government of Georgia. In the social and healthcare fields, the importance of increasing pensions and salaries, as well as gradual return of lost savings to the population is emphasized. Armenian Online Newspaper, Armenia.


Deutsche Welle, 27 Oct 2003 www.dw-world.de Insight 27.10.2003 16:30 Namibia’s Herero demand reparations for colonial-era genocide Henrik Witboi, one of the Herero chiefs who rose up against the German forces At the beginning of the last century, thousands of indigenous Herero were murdered by German colonial forces in what is today Namibia. In this week’s edition of Insight, Ludger Schadomsky looks at how both Herero survivors and Namibians of German decent are coming to terms with the past. Ever since the end of the Second World War, Germany has been struggling to come to terms with its Nazi past. The country has done a great deal to atone for the atrocities it committed during the Third Reich, both financially and in terms of publicly asking for forgiveness. What is little known both inside and outside of Germany are the atrocities committed in Africa during the country‘s colonial history. On January 12, 1904 the Herero nation under its leader Samuel Maherero rose against the savage rule of the German occupational force. They were defeated at the battle of the Waterberg some six months later, and driven into the Omaheke desert. Those who didn’t manage to escape to British Betchuanaland where sent into concentration camps. It is estimated that up to 60.000 Herero, or two thirds of the entire population, were killed by the Germans. Some are now seeking reparations similar to those paid to European victims of Nazi persecution.


NYT 6 Oct 2003 Kosovo offers police as peacekeepers, and is politely refused October 06, 2003 YU by Elaine Sciolino PRISTINA, Kosovo-- At a time when the Bush administration is having little success persuading its major allies to send troops and police officers to postwar Iraq, offers of help are coming from some very unusual -- and very small -- places. On Sunday, Ibrahim Rugova, the president of the semiautonomous province of Kosovo, said he was eager to send several hundred police officers to help -- anywhere they were needed. ''I don't have soldiers; however, I have offered police officers -- to Iraq, to Afghanistan'' or other places, Mr. Rugova told Richard C. Holbrooke, a former American ambassador to the United Nations and former assistant secretary of state, and journalists traveling with him. ''We have very good police forces.'' Mr. Rugova's announcement follows the news that the United States has recently accepted an unusual offer by Serbia and Montenegro to send up to 1,000 combat troops and police officers to Afghanistan to work with American forces. Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations and protected by NATO troops since 1999, when NATO waged war against the Serbs after Serbia's wave of atrocities against the largely ethnic Albanian population there. When it came to winning points with the Bush administration, Mr. Rugova was not to be outdone by the Serbs. Mr. Rugova said he made the offer to the State Department during a visit to Washington in February. He followed up with a letter to President Bush before the United States went to war against Iraq in March, saying, ''As your country prepares for possible action in Iraq, you have our full political support.'' He also wrote, ''We would be pleased and honored to provide tangible assistance in the form of any practicable sphere that you require.'' He said he never got an answer. Reached on Sunday, a State Department official said the administration had said thank you very much, but no thanks. Mr. Rugova received a reply from the assistant secretary of state for European affairs, Elizabeth Jones, that said the best thing he could do to contribute to the campaign against terrorism was to build a stable democratic Kosovo, this official said. Mr. Rugova's gesture is rooted more in symbolism than in reality. Enforcing law and order, which includes the police, is a power reserved by the United Nations administration in Kosovo. But Mr. Rugova, who favors Kosovo's independence from Serbia and Montenegro, is big on symbols. As is his habit with important visitors, he gave Mr. Holbrooke a large mineral rock flecked with gold. He proudly showed the visitors the three large flags hanging in his home: the flag of Albania, the flag of the United Nations and in the middle, the flag of Dardania, or Land of Pears, the ancient name for Kosovo. ''That,'' he said, ''is the flag of the president of Kosovo.'' Nexhat Daci, the speaker of Kosovo's legislative assembly, repeated the offer last week in Washington during a visit with lawmakers including Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Democrat, and Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican of Iowa. ''When we were first starting our police force, we didn't understand why they had to go to school until they learned lessons in respecting the human rights of the citizens and how to avoid taking revenge,'' Mr. Daci said in an interview. ''We could teach the Iraqi police the lessons we learned.'' Kosovo's fledgling police force has been trained here in a European and North American training operation under American control. While most of the force of 5,600 locally recruited police officers is ethnic Albanian, 16 percent is non-Albanian, including Serbs. A potential peacekeeping force would be multiethnic, which in the view of politicians here, would prove that Albanians and Serbs can live and work in peace. There is so much willingness to please Washington that Gen. Agim Ceku, the commander of Kosovo's emergency disaster relief corps, has also offered his forces in the American-led campaign against terrorism. Although the force of 3,000 is seen by ethnic Albanians as a fledgling army, fewer than 100 bear arms. ''We run refugee camps, deliver humanitarian aid, do search and rescue missions, guard key sites,'' General Ceku said in an interview. As Muslims, he added, his forces would have credibility in Iraq and Afghanistan.


ICG 23 Oct 2003 Macedonia: No Time for Complacency Macedonia is not yet the “success story” of the Balkans as it is often portrayed. In fact, it is an underperforming post-conflict country still very much at risk from ethnic tensions, rampant criminality, pervasive corruption, and economic feebleness. A more realistic assessment is necessary for a country that narrowly avoided war in 2001 to secure long-term stability, especially after a string of violent events this year. The Macedonian government needs to ask the European Union to keep its “Concordia” military mission in country beyond the 15 December end date – at least until the EU’s “Proxima” police mission is fully established. Without a more concerted effort to implement the Ohrid peace agreement, establish law and order, fight corruption, and stimulate the economy, the relative calm could soon unravel. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.crisisweb.org a


AP 1 Oct 2003 New War Crimes Law Starts in Netherlands ANTHONY DEUTSCH AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A new war crimes law took effect Wednesday, enabling prosecutors to bring charges against Dutch residents suspected of atrocities including those committed on foreign soil. The legislation bundles old Dutch laws against genocide, torture, enslavement and deportation and includes for the first time "crimes against humanity" as defined in international law. Designed to root out war crimes suspects taking refuge in the Netherlands, it grants immunity to heads of state and diplomats in office, said a Justice Ministry statement. The maximum prison sentence would be life or 30 years. The Netherlands tailored its legislation to the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal which opened in July 2002 and is headquartered in The Hague. Under the 1998 treaty, countries that endorse the court should have the legal framework to prosecute their own war criminals. The ICC would step in only when a country refuses to take action. "The law was adopted in view of the arrival of the ICC. This enables Dutch authorities to act when the perpetrator of such crimes is in the Netherlands," said Justice Ministry spokesman Wibbe Alkema. The Dutch law differs from a controversial Belgian law that claimed "universal jurisdiction," allowing national courts to prosecute foreign suspects, even if they were in other countries. That law led to suits against figures such as former President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Under U.S. pressure, Belgium amended the law in August to prevent such politically motivated cases.

english.aljazeera.net 8 Oct 2003 Bosnian Serb admits to murder of Muslims A Bosnian Serb has admitted sexually assaulting and murdering Muslim men held in a notorious Serb-run detention camp during the Bosnian war. Ranco Cesic, 39, became the 16th war crimes suspect to plead guilty at a special hearing of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, which has indicted about 77 people for atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the early 1990s. “He entered a guilty plea on all 12 counts and the trial chamber entered a finding of guilt on all 12 counts,” said Jim Landale, spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Cesic, who entered the Luka camp near Brcko in 1992, with the apparent authority of local police, confessed to shooting and beating 10 prisoners to death and forcing two Muslim brothers to perform sexual acts on each other at gunpoint in May 1992. "During the time Luka operated, the Serb authorities killed hundreds of Muslim and Croat detainees" Extract of indictment The camp was set up by Bosnian Serb forces in May 1992 as part of their campaign of genocide. Cesic was arrested in May 2002 and transferred to The Hague where he initially entered a not guilty plea in June 2002. “From about 7 May 1992 until early July 1992, Serb forces confined hundreds of Muslim and Croat men, and a few women, at Luka camp in inhumane conditions and under armed guard,” the indictment against Cesic said. “During the time Luka camp operated, the Serb authorities killed hundreds of Muslim and Croat detainees.” Cesic is expected to be sentenced in the coming months. Former Yuglosav leader at large Cesic's co-accused Coran Jelisic, who styled himself the "Serb Adolf Hitler", was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1999 for the murder and torture of Muslims at the Luka camp. Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is currently on trial at the UN tribunal, but two other wartime leaders in Bosnia, Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic, remain at large.


Scotsman UK www.news.scotsman.com 23 Oct 2003 Poland Seeks Auschwitz Survivor for Genocide Poland is seeking the extradition from Israel of an 83-year-old Polish-born Jew on charges of genocide for the deaths of German prisoners in a communist camp he commanded after World War II. Israel previously refused Poland’s request to extradite Auschwitz survivor Solomon Morel, who was the commander of a camp for German prisoners from February-November 1945, to face charges of torture in 1998, saying the statute of limitations had run out. Polish special prosecutors have upgraded the charges to genocide, for which there is no statute of limitation, based on new testimony from former German inmates at the defunct Swietochlowice camp, near the southern city of Katowice. Andrzej Arseniuk, a spokesman for prosecutors at the Institute of National Remembrance, which investigates World War II and communist-era crimes, said: “The testimony from former inmates living now in Germany significantly enriched the evidence. It documented Morel’s torture of at least 13 inmates known by name,” Leon Kieres, the head of the institute, said: “Now the charges say his intention was to exterminate for national and political reasons.” Mr Kieres said the extradition request, which will be made by a regional court in Katowice in coming weeks, will be Poland’s last attempt to bring Morel to justice. The new charges accuse Morel of seeking to exterminate German prisoners by starving them to death and depriving them of basic medical care as well as carrying out and sanctioning torture by his subordinates – including imprisoning prisoners in small cells filled with water, trampling them or making them stand for long hours, singing Nazi songs. Mr Kieres said Morel is believed to be responsible for at least 1,538 deaths at the camp. The investigation against Morel, begun in 1992, is the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans after their defeat. Morel was an inmate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp where he lost his parents and two brothers. He moved to Israel in 1994 to flee Poland’s justice. Polish historians generally agree that the communist government imprisoned 100,000 Germans, mostly civilians, deemed threats to the state after World War II. At least 15,000 died due to ill treatment, and the rest were freed by 1950.

AP 23 Oct 2003 Auschwitz survivor facing genocide charges Poland is seeking the extradition from Israel of a Jewish Auschwitz survivor on charges of genocide. Solomon Morel, 83, a Polish-born Jew, is facing the charges for the deaths of German prisoners in a communist camp he commanded after the Second World War. Morel was the commander of a camp near the Polish city of Katowice, for German prisoners from February to November 1945. Israel previously refused Poland's request to extradite him to face charges of torture in 1998, saying the statute of limitations had run out. Polish special prosecutors have now upgraded the charges to genocide, for which there is no statute of limitation, based on new testimony from former German inmates at the defunct Swietochlowice camp. Andrzej Arseniuk, a spokesman for prosecutors at the Institute of National Remembrance, which investigates Second World War and communist-era crimes, said: "The testimony from former inmates living now in Germany significantly enriched the evidence." He said the fresh evidence documents Morel's alleged torture of at least 13 inmates known by name. Leon Kieres, the head of the institute, said: "Now the charges say his intention was to exterminate for national and political reasons." Mr Kieres said the extradition request, which will be made by a regional court in Katowice in the coming weeks, will be Poland's last attempt to bring Morel to justice. The new charges accuse Morel of seeking to kill German prisoners by starving them to death and depriving them of basic medical care as well as carrying out and sanctioning torture by his subordinates - including imprisoning inmates in small cells filled with water, trampling on them or making them stand for hours, singing Nazi songs. Mr Kieres said Morel is believed to be responsible for at least 1,538 deaths at the camp. The investigation against Morel, begun in 1992, is the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans after their defeat. Morel was an inmate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, where he lost his parents and two brothers. He moved to Israel in 1994 to flee Poland's justice.

Serbia (see Afghanistan)

AP 5 Oct 2003 Grim Serbians Mark Milosevic's Ouster By MISHA SAVIC Associated Press Writer BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP)--In a bittersweet reminder of the dramatic ouster of Slobodan Milosevic three years ago, thousands of people marched through central Belgrade late Sunday in a rally organized by the student-led Otpor (Resistance) movement. The group played a key role in toppling Milosevic, but now there is little of the optimism that followed the immediate end of the Milosevic era. Serbia's grim picture includes nationalists trying to mount a comeback, a shaky economy, and two failed presidential elections. Ordinary people are wondering if their republic will ever get on the right track. ``I don't know any more ... maybe our hopes were too high,'' said Natasa Pavlovic, a 38-year-old dentist, remembering the euphoria of October 2000. Back then she and other protesters charged Milosevic's police, braving tear gas to help replace his autocratic rule with a coalition of 18 democratic parties. ``What I do know is that life hasn't got much better,'' says Pavlovic, who struggles to make ends meet on her $360 monthly salary from a state-run hospital. Even more painful than financial woes, she says, is ``this awful political climate'' where once-united democratic leaders engage in daily mudslinging. The feuds worsened after the March 12 assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, the architect of Milosevic's ouster and his extradition to the U.N. war crimes in the Netherlands for genocide charges in three Balkan wars. Dozens of suspects--many of them underworld figures--have been indicted in Djindjic's slaying, apparently an attempt to destabilize Serbia and derail attempts to impose law and order. Although Milosevic himself is politically and physically out of the picture, his Socialists and nationalist allies lurk in the wings, hoping to capitalize on disillusionment with the current leadership. They scored an important symbolic victory in local elections last month in Pozarevac, the former Yugoslav president's hometown in eastern Serbia. The next test comes Nov. 16, with elections for Serbia's president: It is the third attempt to fill the post left vacant since a Milosevic ally stepped down last year. Two previous votes failed because of insufficient turnout. Picking Sunday to launch his election campaign, Tomislav Nikolic, candidate of the ultrationalist opposition Serbian Radical Party, vowed to triumph over ``the traitors who run the country now.'' Several thousand people attended his rally in the northern city of Novi Sad. Government officials say the past three years have brought positive changes. ``October 5th (2000) was a beginning of a democratic transformation of Serbia,'' said the republic's deputy prime minister, Zarko Korac. ``As such, it has fully met expectations.'' Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic said the government has ``brought Serbia back to the civilized world,'' suggesting that foreign ties have been mended after years of isolation under Milosevic. Zivkovic, who took power after Djindjic's assassination, claims to have had success in cracking down on crime and lawlessness. The living standard has increased and strategic partnerships with the United States and the European Union have been secured, Zivkovic said, describing his republic as a ``small boat that needs to be tied to a solid, big ship.'' But not everyone is happy with the course, and his Cabinet faces daily accusations of corruption, cronyism and incompetence. In 2001, Vuk Obradovic resigned, amid accusations of sexually harassing a female colleague. And last year, another deputy prime minister, Momcilo Perisic, stepped down after being allegedly caught selling military secrets to a U.S. diplomat. On Oct. 14, parliament is to discuss an initiative for a no-confidence vote against the government--a move that could bring it down. The challenge is being launched by the party of Vojislav Kostunica, a former Djindjic ally and Milosevic's successor as president of Yugoslavia--Serbia-Montenegro's predecessor. Others share the disillusionment. ``October 5th needs to be defended from those who misused it to grab power,'' said Ivan Marovic, the head of the Otpor (Resistance) student movement.

BBC 15 Oct 2003 Serbs sue Germany over bridge attack There are doubts about the military significance of Varvarin bridge Relatives of civilians killed when Nato aircraft bombed a Serbian town in 1999 have put their claims for compensation to a court in Germany, despite the fact that no German planes were involved in the action. Ten civilians were killed when Nato jets targeted a bridge near a busy market place in the town of Varvarin, as part of efforts to put pressure on the then Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. The relatives claimed a million euros in damages at the state court in Bonn. The least important thing is the money, it's about someone saying that what happened was wrong Guel Pinar Victims' lawyer They say Germany must take responsibility as a member of Nato. Berlin has argued that it is not liable since neither German planes nor German pilots were involved. Lawyers say a German court was chosen because the families have had support from human rights activists in Germany. Some media in Germany have suggested that the country's foreign policy itself is on trial. The suit could serve as a test case for others seeking damages from Nato countries. 'Legitimate target' The claimants scaled down their original request for 3.5 million euros when the proceedings opened, to bring it in line with other similar settlements in Germany. Three people were killed and five injured in initial raids by F-16 fighters on the bridge in Varvarin, 110 miles (180km) south-east of Belgrade. That was murder, bombing ordinary civilians in brought daylight Zoran Milenkovic Victim's father The aircraft returned minutes later, killing seven more and injuring another 12, among them people who were trying to help victims of the first attack. Nato said that the bridge was a legitimate target and denied targeting civilians. However, the claimants argue that the raid violated the Geneva Conventions, since it came without warning and was carried out on a busy market day. "That was murder, bombing ordinary civilians in brought daylight," Zoran Milenkovic, whose 15-year-old daughter was killed in the raid, told the Associated Press news agency. Doubts have also been raised about the military significance of the bridge, which has a maximum capacity of 12 metric tons. Lawyers for the victims say the most important thing for the claimants is to get an admission of wrongdoing. "The least important thing is the money, it's about someone saying that what happened was wrong," said lawyer Guel Pinar.

AP 20 Oct 2003 Balkans' Wartime Leaders Remain Heroes Monday October 20, 2003 10:16 AM By VANESSA GERA Associated Press Writer BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Like many Serbs across the Balkans, Sinisa Espek reveres a man accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. He considers Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic a defender of his people. ``Thirty-seven members of my family were killed in World War II,'' said Espek, 34, the owner of a popular bakery in Belgrade. ``I owe my thanks to Karadzic for keeping something like that from happening again.'' Espek, a Serb from Sarajevo who rebuilt his life in Belgrade after the 1992-95 Bosnian war, says that crimes were simply committed on all sides - and he credits Karadzic with keeping him and other Serbs from perishing. Such devotion, which often goes hand-in-hand with virulent anti-Western rhetoric, is hampering the efforts of Serbia's democratic leaders and foreign powers to stabilize the republic and integrate it into Europe. But few of the Serbs who idolize Karadzic and other top suspects wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal - most notably Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military chief during the war in Bosnia - hope for renewed warfare. Instead, most are average people convinced that the world is against them. They express their anger over that sense of oppression by idolizing ex-leaders like Karadzic, Mladic and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic is now on trial by the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Kosovo. But Karadzic and Mladic have eluded capture since their indictments in 1995. They are accused of masterminding the worst massacre in Europe since World War II: the slaughter of up to 8,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica. They also are accused of organizing the 44-month siege of Sarajevo, in which 12,000 people were either fatally shot or starved to death. Those horrors were underlined anew in late September when a former Bosnian Serb captain described how he separated Muslim men from their families in Srebrenica. Momir Nikolic, 48, told the war crimes tribunal that Mladic had discussed practical arrangements for killing the prisoners at a meeting before the systematic killings began. The horror of such testimony, however, hasn't tainted Mladic or Karadzic in the eyes of many Serbs. ``When the war started, Muslims came and kicked me out of my home where my family had lived for 300 years,'' Espek said. ``Karadzic had warned us this would happen and saved us. He is a defender of Serbs.'' Espek expresses his gratitude by keeping a small photo of Karadzic above the counter in his bakery alongside a painting of Serbs fleeing the Turks in the 17th century. Such reverence for the wartime Serb leaders results in part from a deep-seated sense of Serb victimhood nurtured by Milosevic-era propaganda. During the Bosnian war, which killed an estimated 260,000 people and made refugees of 1.8 million others, the Milosevic regime claimed that Serb attacks on rival Muslims and Croats were purely defensive. They said the thousands of civilians who fled in fear were ``voluntarily emigrating'' - what the United Nations called ``ethnic cleansing.'' Such beliefs persist, feeding a conviction that Serbs are perpetual victims: of the Turks who ruled over them in centuries past; of the Nazis and their Croat allies during World War II; of Croats, Bosnian Muslims and ethnic Albanians for opposing Belgrade's authoritarian rule in the 1990s; and of the United States for leading efforts to end the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo by bombing Serbs. A popular postcard sold these days shows a drawing of a Serb soldier urinating on a U.S. flag with the caption: ``You can't beat the feeling.'' T-shirts bear the images of Karadzic and Mladic with the words ``Serbian Heroes.'' In addition, ultranationalist leaders repeat wartime claims that Muslims massacred their own people to win the world's sympathy. ``The Sarajevo market bombing was a fabrication,'' Dragan Markovic, parliamentary leader of the Serbian Unity Party, said in a recent interview, referring to the notorious 1994 mortar attack on a downtown marketplace that killed 68 and wounded 200. ``Muslims placed corpses and dummies there to make it seem like they were the victims and to blame the Serbs,'' Markovic said. ``A reason had to be found for NATO to bomb the Serb population.'' James Lyon, a Belgrade-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, dismisses such notions as ``typical Milosevic-era propaganda.'' ``It continues to generate a certain level of paranoia,'' he said. Milan Protic, a historian and prominent anti-communist who had a key role in ousting Milosevic in 2000, said the same perceived sense of Serb victimhood which justified Belgrade's wars in the 1990s now feeds the worship of war crimes suspects. ``Karadzic and Mladic have become symbols of the Serbian fight to get revenge for what happened 50 years ago in World War II,'' Protic said. ``They don't see them as war criminals, but rather those who got revenge in a blood feud.''

AP 24 Oct 2003 Milosevic had 'secret pre-war deal' From correspondents in Amsterdam, Netherlands October 24, 2003 SLOBODAN Milosevic and the former Croatian president had a secret plan to split Bosnia between them before the outbreak of war in the Balkans in 1991, a key witness testified in the former Yugoslav president's war crimes trial overnight. Ante Markovic, the last prime minister of Yugoslavia before its violent breakup, testified as a prosecution witness about the agreement between Franjo Tudjman and Milosevic. Markovic said the plans, of which various accounts have been circulating for years, were worked out at a meeting in March 1991 in Karadjordjevo, northern Serbia. "Tudjman and Milosevic agreed to divide Bosnia. They also wanted to bump me from my position because I was in their way," Markovic said. "The two envisaged an enclave for the Muslims in which they would be 'left to live peacefully'." Milosevic, who held power for 13 years, is defending himself against 66 counts of alleged war crimes, including genocide, for the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. In his cross-examination of Markovic, Milosevic, acting as his own lawyer, denied the meeting with Tudjman had ever taken place. He produced as evidence an agenda of Markovic's daily activities while in office, on which no such meeting was recorded. The cross-examination was to continue tomorrow. Markovic, a Croat who was considered a liberal reformer, brought Yugoslavia to the threshold of the European Union, and radically increased living standards. Too liberal for Milosevic and Tudjman, he was eventually ousted by nationalists. He said he told Milosevic and Tudjman he would do "everything in my limited power to stop the plan" and warned that it would result in bloodshed. They were indifferent to his warnings, he said. Markovic, who favoured economic and political reforms to war, said Milosevic's tactics instilled such fear in him that he slept with a pistol under his pillow. He said Milosevic ruthlessly sidelined political opponents to secure his personal power. "Slobodan Milosevic used everything to ensure power for himself and power over the people," said Markovic. "In principle, he wasn't a nationalist. He was, quite simply, someone who would use everything at his disposal to ensure power for himself." Markovic also testified about intelligence intercepts of conversations between Milosevic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic about the Serbian preparations for the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. In recordings from 1991 aired in court today, voices identified as those of Milosevic and Karadzic discussed troop movements, military supplies and war strategy before the outbreak of hostilities. "It's very clear these were preparations for war in Bosnia and Herzegovina," said the former politician. "They were discussing the arming of men, helicopters and so on." Milosevic has always denied having any control over events outside Serbia. Presiding Judge Richard May of England asked the witness if he had the perception that Milosevic had held absolute political power. "In everything, I never encountered a single example that someone did anything different or even dared to think anything different" from what Milosevic wanted, Markovic answered. "A person like that wouldn't last for more than 24 hours." He described Milosevic as having been indifferent to the suffering of war victims and said he was unpredictable because he kept his thoughts to himself. "Milosevic was the absolute despot of Serbia and nothing, not a single thing, could happen in Serbia without his knowledge or consent," Markovic said.

www.csmonitor.com 29 Oct 2003 War crimes to get a hearing in Serbia BELGRADE, SERBIA-MONTENEGRO - Serbia's leaders opened a special court last week to try high-profile cases of organized crime and wartime atrocities committed under former President Slobodan Milosevic. The maximum-security court building in downtown Belgrade, newly renovated with the help of $850,000 from the US government, will also house a special prosecutor's office. Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic said the special court may also try four Serb generals indicted earlier this week by the UN war crimes court in The Hague. Prosecutors in The Hague, however, insisted Friday that the generals, including current Assistant Interior Minister Sreten Lukic, must be arrested and extradited to the Netherlands for trial there. Government officials have ruled out arresting the four anytime soon, saying the latest indictments came at a delicate time for Serbia's pro-democracy government as it faces a no-confidence vote launched by nationalist lawmakers opposed to the UN tribunal. Under Western pressure, the government that ousted Mr. Milosevic in 2000 extradited him to the UN tribunal, where he faces charges including genocide for the 1990s Balkan wars.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, October 2, 2003, USA TEMPORARILY STOPS MILITARY FUNDS FOR SLOVENIA OVER ICC Washington, 2 October: Since Slovenia refused to sign a bilateral agreement on non-extradition of U.S. citizens to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Washington will freeze the military funds earmarked for the country until it becomes a NATO member, STA has learnt from the sources in the State Department, as the Congress goes on adopting the 2004 fiscal year budget. In order to continue receiving U.S. funds for military purposes, the states that signed the Rome Statute on the ICC establishment were asked to strike the non-extradition agreement with Washington by 1 July this year. An exception to the rule were the current NATO members and some allied countries. According to the sources in the State Department, this does not mean though that Slovenia will lose the funds, as they will merely be frozen. Once Slovenia officially becomes member of the alliance next year, it will be automatically treated as an exception and once again entitled to the funds. Slovenia has been financed from two programmes, namely the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and the Military Education and Training Program (IMET). The U.S. budget for the fiscal year 2003, stretching from 1 October 2002 to 30 September 2003, envisaged 5M dollars to be handed out to Ljubljana within the FMF and 950M dollars within the IMET. The State Department officials told STA that Slovenia has still not used 3.75M dollars earmarked within the FMF for 2003, while the figures regarding the IMET funds were currently not available. Regardless of all, the Slovene Armed Forces will not be deprived of anything as the country will receive the entire sum promised once it joins NATO.


Reuters 9 Oct 2003 Dalai Lama condemns 'cultural genocide' in Tibet Reuters Madrid, October 9 Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday that "cultural genocide" was taking place in his homeland, with a wave of ethnic Chinese migrants making Tibetans a minority in their own region. "Some kind of cultural genocide is taking place," the Nobel Peace Prize winner told a conference in Madrid. "The culture (in danger) is very relevant to today's world." Ethnic Chinese now outnumber Tibetans in most large towns and probably overall in the Tibet Autonomous Region, he said, adding that it was difficult to get reliable data. The Dalai Lama, who has run a government-in-exile from India since fleeing Tibet following a failed uprising in 1959, says he wants greater autonomy, not independence, for the Himalayan region. However, he said when a native population becomes a minority, autonomy becomes meaningless, adding he had discussed his concerns about Tibet's growing ethnic Chinese population with US President George W Bush during a September meeting. Speaking during a two-day visit to Spain where he will accept a prize for promoting human rights, he said any damage to Tibetan culture would be a loss for all of China. China, whose troops marched in to Tibet in 1951, says the Dalai Lama is using his religious prominence to try and split Tibet from the motherland. The Chinese embassy in Madrid could not be immediately reached for comment. The Dalai Lama, who is speaking at a number of private events in Madrid, said his visit was non-political and he had not requested a meeting with the Spanish government.

Switzerland (see Turkey)

Swissinfo 1 Oct 2003 Protest against Turkey Switzerland has protested against Turkey's cancellation of a planned visit by the Swiss foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey. Her spokesman said the Turkish ambassador to Bern was summoned to the foreign ministry, but no further details were released. On Tuesday, Turkey withdrew its invitation to Calmy-Rey in response to a decision by a regional parliament in Switzerland labelling as genocide the World War One-era killing of Armenians in eastern Turkey. However, Turkish officials later said Calmy-Rey's visit had merely been postponed. She was due to travel to Ankara and Kurdish regions of the country next week. Switzerland has not recognised the killings of ethnic Armenians as genocide, but two cantons, Vaud and Geneva, have done so.

turkishpress.com 2 Oct 2003 ROW OVER “GENOCIDE” RECOGNITION COULD DERAIL SWISS FOREIGN MINISTER’S VISIT In the wake of a recent recognition by a Swiss canton of the so-called Armenian genocide, the Foreign Ministry has demanded the cancellation of a visit by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey scheduled for next week. The action by the canton of Vaud late last month follows a similar recognition two years ago by the canton of Geneva and reportedly also calls into question the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which provided a basis for the modern Turkish Republic. Calling Ankara’s protest “exaggerated” Calmy-Rey said yesterday, “This decision ill serves the progress in bilateral relations achieved in recent years.” /Sabah/

Sissinfo 2 Oct 2003 Swiss play down Turkish rebuff swissinfo October 1, 2003 4:36 PM Micheline Calmy-Rey was initially riled by the Turkish decision (Keystone) Switzerland is refusing to become embroiled in a row with Turkey after Ankara cancelled a visit by the Swiss foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey. Turkey claimed on Wednesday that next week’s visit had only been postponed, while Bern declined to comment on the diplomatic snub. RELATED ITEMS "Turkey is completely overreacting." Turkey snubs Calmy-Rey over genocide decision Swiss Turks found not guilty of violating anti-racism laws On Thursday, a Swiss parliamentary committee said it was postponing a visit to Turkey planned for next month. The Senate foreign affairs committee said the time was not right for dialogue with Ankara. The Turkish government withdrew the Calmy-Rey's invitation shortly after a Swiss cantonal parliament officially recognised the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 as genocide. Switzerland demanded explanations from the Turkish ambassador to Bern, Metin Örnekol, who was summoned to the foreign ministry on Wednesday. The ministry refused to comment on the talks. Turkish sensibilities were offended last week when Vaud became the second Swiss canton to recognise the Armenian deaths as genocide. However, Ankara has denied that the visit was cancelled, claiming it merely requested that it be put back to a less politically sensitive date. Denial Kurt Wyss, the Swiss ambassador to Turkey, described the decision as an “affront” to the foreign minister and Switzerland. But he added that relations between the two countries were far from dead. Wyss said the Turks feared Calmy-Rey’s visit would be used for political ends ahead of Switzerland’s parliamentary elections on October 19. “We hope that Turkey will suggest some new dates soon,” he added. In an initial response, Calmy-Rey told Swiss radio on Tuesday that the Turkish government’s reaction was “exaggerated”, and had complicated bilateral relations between the two countries. "In my opinion, Turkey is completely overreacting, and I would say that we should not do as they have done and respond in an over-the-top manner," she said. "Turkey’s relationship with its past is difficult and painful, but it’s up to the country to deal with this past itself. It’s not up to us to lecture Turkey, but dealing with the past is part of what it means to be European." It’s not up to us to lecture Turkey. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Swiss foreign minister Error Swiss parliamentarian Hans-Rudolf Merz was in no doubt that Turkey had made a mistake. “They should have invited Calmy-Rey to discuss the issue, to give the Turkish government’s viewpoint,” he told Swiss radio on Wednesday. Merz added that with Turkey keen to join an enlarged European Union, it was in its interests to keep up amicable relations with western European nations such as Switzerland. Hans Ulrich Jost, a historian at Lausanne University, said he was not surprised by the Swiss government’s low-key reaction. “When Switzerland has problems with a more powerful nation, the authorities usually choose not to rock the boat to protect Swiss business and financial interests,” he told swissinfo. Jost said the muted Swiss response also showed that Micheline Calmy-Rey had toned down her political views. “When she first started in her job as foreign minister, she thought she could play a political role on the international scene,” he said. “Now she has begun to realise you to have shed some of your principles and come to an arrangement with your partners.” Strained relations It is not the first time diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Turkey have been strained. In June 1993, a guard inside the Turkish embassy in Bern opened fire on Kurdish protesters, killing one person and injuring nine others, including a Swiss police officer. The suspect claimed diplomatic immunity and left the country. The cantons of Geneva and Vaud have now recognised the slaughter of Armenians as genocide, following the lead of nations such as France and Russia, as well the United Nations human rights panel. The Swiss parliament narrowly turned down a similar proposal two years ago. swissinfo with agencies.

Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation P.O. Box 8300 San Francisco, CA 94128 Press Release Press Release Press Release For Immediate Release: Contact: Tim McHugh October 17, 2003 202 686-4111 Immediate Allocation of $60 Million for Holocaust Survivors Sought by Special Master, Lead Settlement Counsel Interim Report Also Outlines Further Allocation Considerations New York, NY USA - Special Master Judah Gribetz and Lead Settlement Counsel Burt Neuborne have requested that Chief Judge Edward R. Korman of: In re Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation, No. CV-96-4849 (ERK) (MDG), to take the following steps in response to the Interim Report of the Special Master, filed on October 2, 2003, and available to view in full at www.swissbankclaims.com 1. Order the immediate allocation of $60 million from available interest on the settlement fund to the Looted Assets class for the provision of food, clothing, medicine, shelter and the necessities of life directly to the poorest survivors of the Holocaust over a 7-year period approximating their life expectancies, utilizing the same allocation formula and the same distribution agencies that were used in connection with the original allocation and first supplemental distribution in 2002. 2. Request the Claims Resolution Tribunal in Zurich to provide information to the Special Masters and the Court on or about March 15, 2004, as to the probable existence and amount of unclaimed funds, if any, that will be available for possible re-allocation and distribution. 3. Re-allocate substantially all unclaimed funds, if any, to the Looted Assets class to be used to support the poorest Holocaust survivors during the remainder of their lives. 4. Invite interested members of the community to submit, by December 31, 2003, further suggestions and reliable information concerning the fairest and most efficient allocation and distribution of unclaimed funds, if any, including information concerning demographic studies on the geographical dispersion of poor survivors, and social and economic data on the relative needs of poor survivors residing in different parts of the world, together with suggestions concerning the agencies to be entrusted with the distribution of the necessities of life to the poorest survivors. Suggestions concerning the allocation and distribution of unclaimed funds, if any, should be postmarked on or before December 31, 2003, and mailed to the following address: Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation P.O. Box 8300 San Francisco, California 94128-8300 U.S.A. For additional information contact: Burt Neuborne Lead Settlement Counsel New York University Law School New York, New York 10012 USA Tel.: (212) 998-6172 E-mail: neuborne@juris.law.nyu.edu . Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation P.O. Box 8300 San Francisco, CA 94128

BBC 20 Oct 2003 Strong gains for Swiss right-wing SVP leader Christoph Blocher wants a cabinet seat Early results from Switzerland's parliamentary elections show that the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) has the biggest share of the vote. Final exit polls from Swiss television indicate the party won more than 27% - even more than had been predicted. The party, once the smallest of the four governing parties in the coalition, is now the largest. Exit polls also indicated an unexpected decline in support for centre-right parties. The SVP, which opposes Swiss membership of the European Union, is likely to win an extra 11 seats in the 200-seat House of Representatives. The fact that the Swiss have expressed such trust in the SVP means they want a change in policy SVP leader Christoph Blocher The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Bern says the party's anti-foreigner campaign, in which asylum seekers were portrayed as criminals and drug dealers, seems to have found favour with more voters than it offended. Now the party will put forward Christoph Blocher, its most controversial and outspoken figure, for a second seat in the seven-member cabinet. That would disrupt the coalition which has governed Switzerland for almost 50 years. The official results due on Monday are also expected to show strong levels of support for the Social Democrats (SDP) on the left. Anti-foreign propaganda "The SVP is winning voters in all cantons, about 1-8% more," election analyst Claude Longchamp told Swiss TV. Mr Blocher, a billionaire industrialist, said the result "looks superb for Switzerland". The election campaign focused on immigration "The fact that the Swiss have expressed such trust in the SVP means they want a change in policy." Switzerland's once strong economy is heading for a slump, unemployment is rising, and social benefits are being cut back. The election campaign was dominated by the SVP's anti-foreigner propaganda, overshadowing concerns about the economy. The party has doubled its share of the popular vote in the last 10 years. Its campaign, including posters portraying asylum seekers as criminals, was sharply criticised by anti-racism groups. Centre-right Liberal Party parliamentarian Barbara Polla said she had sensed that many elderly people felt more was being done to help immigrants than pensioners. "I think there is a very large amount of work that needs to be done to reassure people, and to show that the presence of foreigners... is a positive factor, especially for the economy," she said. The United Nations refugee agency also said the party's propaganda contained some of the most anti-asylum advertisements ever seen in Europe.

Turkey (see Switzerland)

Yirkir www.yerkir.am Armenian Patriarch denied a trip to Van 02.10.2003 06:45 YEREVAN. (YERKIR). For the second time the Turkish authorities have prevented Constantinople Patriarch Archbishop Mesrop Mutafian from making a trip to Van to participate in the pilgrimage dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Narek, the Armenian newspaper Marmara, published in Istanbul reported. Despite the previous agreement, the Patriarch was told at the airport that there were no seats available on the plane and was suggested to make a trip using unacceptable means which was denied by the religious leader. The Patriarch told Marmara that this was the second time he was denied a trip to Van. "The Patriarch is asking, 'Are some people concerned about the trip'," Marmara wrote. Archbishop Mutafian expressed disappointment that he was not able to participate in a pilgrimage he had organized and which will be attended by hundreds of pilgrims from Armenia and Diaspora.

NYT 14 Oct 2003 Turk Cautions on Peril From Kurds ISTANBUL, Oct. 13 — A senior Turkish Army officer said Monday that military leaders are considering basing peacekeeping troops they are sending to Iraq in the central or western part of the country. To get there, however, they would need to cross through the Kurdish north. The official, Gen. Ilker Basbug, deputy chief of staff of the Turkish Army, seemed to raise the possibility of a conflict between Turkish troops and Iraqi Kurds when he spoke at a news conference in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Monday. "If there is a situation in which Kurdish groups in the region attack our convoys while crossing through northern Iraq, then the necessary response will be given," he said. "It's something that they need to think about." The deployment of several thousand Turkish troops was approved last week by Turkey's Parliament, and Turkish and American officials are working out the details. The Bush administration is eager have the troops of this predominantly Muslim nation join occupation forces, but the prospect is raising difficult issues. Turkey, with a large Kurdish minority that straddles the Iraq border, has battled a movement by Kurds living in Turkey to create an independent state. . Thousands died during a guerrilla war that broke out in the 1990's.


www.ukrweekly.com 5 Oct 2003 Site and design of Famine-Genocide memorial in Ukraine's capital stir controversy among public by Roman Woronowycz Kyiv Press Bureau KYIV - After a fiery 90-minute debate during a public hearing in Kyiv dedicated to review the status of a project to finally develop a proper memorial center dedicated to the Great Famine, the consensus seemed obvious: discard it all, including the chosen site, and start from scratch. Among the members of the planning committee only state and city officials expressed any inclination to disagree with that overriding opinion. Nonetheless, even among them the lasting impression was that officials would have to take a fresh look at how the effort was developing. "After today and what we have heard, the result will probably be that we have to make some changes and pursue other ways of going forward," acknowledged Vasyl Romanchuk, assistant minister of culture, one of the project's leaders. Several months after the city of Kyiv and the national government joined forces to develop a site in Navodnytskyi Park, located on the right bank of the Dnipro River below the highest of Kyiv's seven hills - which coincidentally or not lies beneath the long controversial Soviet-era monument to "Rodina Mat" (the Motherland) - a stormy debate has arisen over whether the dedicated plot of land is a suitable site for the memorial. National Deputy Ivan Drach, a member of the planning committee who also sits on the jury that will pick the final design, vehemently and vociferously voiced his opposition to the site, saying he is "absolutely against" it. "It simply does not reflect the largesse of the tragedy, which broke the back of the Ukrainian nation in 1932-1933," noted Mr. Drach. "How can we stick this memorial at the bottom of a hill near nothing in particular?" . Ukrainian Weekly, October 5, 2003, No. 40, Vol. LXXI

JTA 24 Oct 2003 Ukraine To Get Holocaust Museum Daniel MacIsaac Special to the Jewish Times OCTOBER 24, 2003 Kiev, Ukraine Ukrainian Jewish leaders have unveiled plans for a new major Holocaust museum and Jewish education center in the former Soviet Union. On Monday, representatives of the Dneprpetrovsk-based Tkuma Holocaust Research, Education and Memorial Center were in Kiev along with the planned institution's sponsors — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Claims Conference and the Jewish community of Dneprpetrovsk — to provide details about the $3 million center, which will be known as the Ukrainian Holocaust Memorial Museum. Construction is scheduled to begin Oct. 29 in Dneprpetrovsk. The Ukrainian government also is providing some funding for the project, though the amount is unclear. The multistory, multifunction complex, which incorporates a historic restored synagogue on the site, will serve as a memorial, community center and conference center, and will host lectures and seminars. "The Holocaust and the history of the Jewish communities of Ukraine are the main themes of the future museum," Tkuma official Mark Shlyak said. "The tragedy the Jewish people survived is one of the most significant events of 20th-century European history," he noted, but "there's no museum in Ukraine that tells the history of Jewish life in Ukraine and about the Holocaust." Nearly a million Ukrainian Jews were murdered during World War II. The director of Tkuma, Igor Shchupak, stressed that the complex will place the Holocaust within the wider context of Jewish life in Ukraine while simultaneously promoting religious tolerance. Part of the exhibition will be devoted to Jewish life in Ukraine from the middle of the 18th century to the present, while also covering events like the Great Famine of 1932-1933, which affected all Ukrainians. Displays also will show Jewish life in other parts of the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1991. A wide range of sources, including Jewish community members, are contributing photographs, documents and other artifacts. "It will be a complex not only for Jews but for all Ukrainians," Shchupak said. "The nature of totalitarianism is the foundation of genocide." Among the major international organizations contributing to the project is the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, one of the biggest providers of assistance to Jews in the former Soviet Union. Shchupak said Tkuma hopes the Dneprpetrovsk museum complex will be completed within two years.

United Kingdom

Independent UK4 Oct 2003 Minister under fire for Middle East-Holocaust comparison By Pippa Crerar 04 October 2003 The Government minister responsible for Holocaust memorial day has been accused of making "irresponsible and insensitive" remarks linking the Nazi genocide to the troubles in the Middle East. Comments by Fiona Mactaggart, a junior Home Office minister, at a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton earlier this week, have caused outrage in the Jewish community. Lord Janner of Braunstone, a Labour peer and chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, has written to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, demanding an explanation. Speaking at a function of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, Ms Mactaggart said: "The fact Holocaust memorial day is being celebrated in Belfast this year and is focusing on Rwanda is something we should enthusiastically join in and at the same time say we have solidarity with you in remembering this genocide, but that does not mean that we support what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today. Indeed you could draw some parallels." Lord Janner said: "It is especially inappropriate for the Home Office minister in charge of community policy to draw parallels between the Holocaust and any aspect of the situation between Israel and Palestine. "It is also gravely offensive and shows a lack of historical perspective. It is both irresponsible and insensitive to make statements likely to stir up tensions between our Jewish and Muslim communities." Gena Turgel, 80, a holocaust survivor now living in London, told PA News: "I am absolutely shocked ... How could she make such an inappropriate comparison?" But in a statement to totallyjewish.com, the news website, Ms Mactaggart said: "I was not seeking to draw a parallel between the Holocaust and what's happening in the Middle East. I'm saying there are parallels in how a community which feels assaulted by an experience feels, in order to make somebody in my audience understand why he, as someone who strongly opposed the actions of the government of Israel, should strongly support Holocaust memorial day." She stressed that she did not speak for the Government on foreign affairs.

BBC 28 October, 2003 Gypsy effigies burnt on bonfire The Firle bonfire party has been criticised Residents were shocked after a caravan with effigies of Gypsies was burnt at a village bonfire party. The caravan was wheeled through a street in Firle, East Sussex, before being torched. Now the Commission for Racial Equality has called for those responsible to be prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred - which can lead to a jail term of up to seven years. One resident has said she was sickened by the show on Saturday and that many others were shocked by what they saw. Patricia Knight, who was at the bonfire with her seven-year-old daughter, said: "A caravan was wheeled down the street which portrayed women and children inside, with 'pikey' written on the back and the image of a scantily-clad woman standing in the door. "I could see other people looking shocked and I could hear shouts of 'racists' directed at the bonfire society and 'shame'." Villagers chose the effigies after gypsies were evicted from the area Part of the celebration at Firle is said to be that no-one knows in advance what the effigy is going to be. Villagers, who have asked not to be named, have said the effigy was chosen after the recent eviction of travellers from a nearby field. After the event, images of the event were posted on the internet. But Richard Gravett, chairman of Firle Bonfire Society, said: "There was no racist slant towards anyone from the Travelling community. If anything, it's actually completely the other way. "It is to try to make people sit up and listen and realise that these people obviously - as all of us do - need somewhere to live." 'Racial hatred' Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), said the organisers of the bonfire should be prosecuted. He said: "Gypsies and Travellers probably suffer the most discrimination in this country. "This is clearly an example of incitement to racial hatred. You couldn't really get more provocative than this. "The police have to take it seriously. If we are asked at the CRE, we will say this case should be pursued and the people involved should be punished - which can lead to seven years in prison. "The idea that you can carry out an act like this and then apologise and get away with it, is exactly what produces a culture that says racism and discrimination and victimisation of people, because of what they are, is OK."

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

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