Prevent Genocide International 

News Monitor for August 2004
Tracking current news on genocide and items related to past and present ethnic, national, racial and religious violence.

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The East African Standard (Nairobi) OPINION August 22, 2004 African Union And Nepad Should Rein in the Tyrants By Makau Mutua Nairobi Last year, amid doom and gloom, Eritreans observed 10 years of their independ ent republic, born after the bitter divorce with Ethiopia in 1993. Although a decade is a fleeting moment in the life of a nation, the future of Eritrea does not augur well. The problem is all too familiar. After three decades of a deadly war for independence from Ethiopia, Eritreans now find themselves in the claws of a maniacal dictator who has dashed their hopes of paradise. What is sad is that Eritrea is bucking the trend of more open, democratic, and progressive states that are steadily growing in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last decade, we have witnessed an irreversible, if uneven, movement towards more accountable governments in many formally one-party or military dictatorships in Africa. Even veiled dictators like President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda have been subjected to elective politics. At the continental level, new institutions for regional governance are more openly, even if only rhetorically, committed to democracy. Two important continental initiatives bear this out. In June 2002, in Durban, South Africa, African states formally buried the Organisation of African Unity and triumphantly inaugurated the African Union, on which all hopes for a renaissance have been pinned. The other equally interesting initiative is the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which is supposed to lead to good governance and economic renewal. The bet by African states is that if you clean house, more assistance and better terms of trade and investment will be forthcoming from the West. But neither the African Union nor Nepad, touted as the master plan for Africa's rebirth, will deliver the continent from damnation if leaders like President Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea continue to be the rule rather than the exception in Africa. Africa's hands are already full with the negative effects of globalisation. African states have little choice today in the global market. They have to remove whatever obstacles exist for development. But Mr Afewerki, a freedom-fighter-turned-despot, is not alone in defying popular demands for democratic reform. Several long time African dictators, such as Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Omar Bashir of Sudan, have made a career out of pillaging their own states. In Rwanda, the post-genocide state is busy entrenching Tutsi exceptionalism and domination, a basis for a future genocide. What is shocking is that Mr Afewerki, dubbed in the 1990s by the Clinton administration as one of a new breed of African leaders, has turned out to be more Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and nothing like Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Eritrea was much admired both in Africa and the West after it gained freedom from an oppressive and backward Ethiopian state. But everything has been downhill ever since. Led by the then popular Mr Afewerki, Eritreans and their supporters abroad viewed the new state as tabula rasa on which a utopian democracy would be established, a shining example to other African states. But in the last six years, Mr Afewerki has dashed those hopes, instead bucking the democratic trend that has haltingly swept most of Africa in the last decade. In 1997, after Eritreans ratified the country's first democratic constitution, Mr Afewerki refused to promulgate it. He has rejected free elections, and now rules by fiat. Since 2001, he has instituted a sweeping crackdown on democratic reformers and outspoken government critics. He has detained without trial senior government officials. Afewerki has closed down all independent media and employed the Judiciary as an instrument of repression. Yet it is Afewerki and his ilk who the African Union and Nepad must target if the continent is to be pulled back from the abyss. Unlike the defunct OAU, the African Union promises not to be a club of dictators. A new African Army should have the authority to enter member states to stop genocide, war crimes, and other gross violations of human rights. These are commitments of enormous significance because they most probably would have stemmed the Rwandan genocide of 1994 or helped prevent the catastrophic dismemberment of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The African Union hopes that the democratisation of African states will open the way to regional economic integration. That is why member states have agreed to establish an African Central Bank, a common currency, a Pan-African Parliament, and a regional security council. But African leaders must be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Theories of regional economic integration presume the existence of viable, legitimate states. That is why the African Union cannot simply mimic the European Union. It is absolutely essential that the internal structures of African states be rewritten. Otherwise, there will not be any political and economic revival. Both the African Union and Nepad must not be cost free receptacles, ready to embrace any and all African states. Nepad requires that member states establish democratic, honest, and accountable governments to be eligible for participation. The African Union should follow suit. The peer review system of Nepad - in which African states oversee the compliance of each other to the tenets of the body - must be extended to the African Union so that unfaithful member states are excluded. It will be counterproductive to launch these new bodies, only to allow Afewerki and his fellow travellers to hijack them. The African Union and Nepad will only succeed if the West forgives Africa's crushing debts, substitutes fair trade and investment for aid, removes domestic subsidies for agriculture, and gives Africa a larger voice within the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organisation. But defiant and recalcitrant leaders like Mugabe and Afewerki are first and foremost the responsibility of the African Union and Nepad, and not the West. In the case of Zimbabwe, for example, the African Union ought to kick Mugabe out of the club. African leaders such as President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa should not, as he did at the Commonwealth, defend the decrepit and totally objectionable Mugabe. The case of Afewerki is equally blatant. In the past two years, he has embarked on the construction of a republic of fear, a police state. All independent media has been vanquished. Political opponents rot in jail. The judiciary is completely meaningless. Unless something is done, both the African Union and Nepad will become sad shadows of the OAU. It is true that running a liberation movement is not the same as ruling a state. The guerrilla freedom fighter must be transformed into a statesman. This is a difficult transition to make. Just look at the slow mutation of former freedom fighters or guerrillas like President Museveni when they capture power. We should appreciate these difficulties. But we should not use them as an excuse to apologise for dictatorships. The AU and Nepad must squeeze Afewerki - and hard - if they are to fulfill their mission. Mutua is Professor of Law at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Chair of the Kenya Human Rights Commission.


BBC 9 Aug 2004 Arab League backs Sudan on Darfur The UN says Darfur is the world's worst humanitarian crisis The Arab League has rejected any sanctions or international military intervention as a response to the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. Arab foreign ministers at an emergency session in Cairo backed Khartoum's measures to disarm Arab militias and punish human rights violators. They called on the UN to give Sudan more time to resolve the conflict. And Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha said he thought the UN's end of August deadline was impractical. He told the BBC's Hard Talk programme that Khartoum was committed to disarming all militia forces in Darfur. He said 6,000 Sudanese police and government troops were currently in Darfur, and there were plans to expand the force to 12,000. "We are really committed to disarm whoever is acting outside the law," he said, adding that comprehensive stability was only possible if both the Arab Janjaweed militia and rebel groups disarmed. But he added that logistical problems were hampering deployment, which meant that fully disarming the Arab Janjaweed militia, and other forces, by the end of August would not be possible. "We cannot have comprehensive stability without disarming both sides," No surprises On 30 July, a UN resolution gave Sudan 30 days to bring Arab militia under control or face international action. About one million people have fled their homes in a crisis exacerbated by the pro-government Janjaweed militia. DARFUR CONFLICT 1m displaced Up to 50,000 killed More at risk from disease and starvation Arab militias accused of ethnic cleansing Sudan blames rebels for starting conflict Arab press split on Darfur Text: UN Darfur agreement Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League attended the meeting, which was chaired by the group's Secretary General Amr Moussa. Mr Moussa said before the talks that the group was inclined towards helping Sudan avoid sanctions. The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi in Cairo said there were no surprises in the Arab League statement and Khartoum got what it wanted. The statement welcomed measures already taken by the Sudanese government to disarm the Janjaweed and bring those responsible for human rights violations in Darfur to justice. The Arab foreign ministers also pledged to assist Sudan and the international community in resolving the conflict peacefully. Our correspondent says the statement was very much in line with a report by an Arab League fact-finding mission to Darfur earlier this year, which largely exonerated the Sudanese government from responsibility and laid the blame on a combination of factors, including protracted drought, tribal conflict and under-development in western Sudan. Peace talks Top officials from the UN and African Union were also meeting on the sidelines of the talks. UN aid officials in Darfur have warned of severe outbreaks of disease in refugee camps for displaced people. On Saturday, the African Union announced that Sudan's government would try to resume peace talks with two rebel groups in the Nigerian capital Abuja later in August. Khatoum has denied it supports the militia and has angrily rejected the threat of foreign intervention, trying to draw parallels with the invasion of Iraq which was opposed by many Arab countries. Human Rights Watch has demanded the Arab League "stand behind the victims" in Darfur. Its Africa division chief Peter Takirambudde accused Sudan of "trying to manipulate opinion in the Arab world to hide the massive crimes it has committed against Sudanese citizens"


Survival International 4 Aug 2004 www.survival-international.org NEWS RELEASE 4 August 2004 BUSHMEN DESCRIBE EVICTION HORROR IN COURT Botswana's High Court has heard the first Bushman witnesses in their case against the government tell their harrowing stories of eviction from their ancestral land. Tshokodiso Botshilwane from Metsiamenong in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve gave evidence on 27 and 28 July. He told the court how government officers arrived in trucks and ordered everyone to move. He watched helplessly as they dismantled his huts, but refused to leave the reserve himself, sleeping instead under a tree for many days. He implied that whatever the statutes said, the Bushmen have always lived in the CKGR, and said the government of Botswana could not claim to respect the Bushmen's opinion when their views had not been taken into consideration. 'I prefer death to relocation,' he told judges. Amogelang Segootsane from Gugama described how government officials had emptied the tank that had held his community's water, leaving them 'having to rely on desert melons as their source of water.' The land 'belongs to my forefathers and all my children who were born there,' he told the court. Segootsane gave evidence on 26 and 27 July. Motsoko Ramahoko on 30 July described the government officers who forcibly relocated he and his community from Gope to the resettlement camp Kauduane as 'arrogant and so vicious that they could even kill a person.' They told him nobody would give him water if he refused to move. Kauduane, he said, was noisy, with no job opportunities, and was full of drunkards. People there had to eat dogs, and HIV/AIDS was spreading. The government 'removed us from the graves of our fathers,' he said. He wanted to return to Gope and to be able to hunt and gather, even without government services like water: 'I want my land back.' The Bushmen's case has now been adjourned until November. 'We want the case to be concluded as soon as possible, so that we can return to our land,' said a Bushman representative today.


IRIN 4 Aug 2004 Burundi-DRC: Army repels Interahamwe militiamen [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 4 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - Burundian government troops have succeeded in repelling an unknown number of Rwandan militiamen who crossed into Burundi from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, army spokesman Maj Adolphe Manirakiza said on Tuesday. He said the Interahamwe militiamen had fled across the River Rusizi at the Buganda Commune of Burundi's northwestern Cibitoke Province, bordering Congo. He said the invaders were flushed out after security forces prevented them from getting food supplies from the Congo. The army engaged the Interahamwe on Sunday after local residents reported the rebel presence in the area, he said. The army seized a rocket launcher, three sacks of ammunition, and cooking materials. A Buganda resident told IRIN that the army had used heavy machine guns against the Interahamwe, prompting some residents to flee momentarily. Cibitoke Governor Antoine Buzuguri said on Wednesday that villagers had since returned to their homes because the fighting had stopped. In July, some 160 Interahamwe militiamen entered Burundi from the Congo but soon retreated into the Burundi's Kibira Forest, via the Cibitoke communes of Rugombo, Mugina and Mabayi. Thousands of Interahamwe militiamen, and Rwandan government soldiers now known as the ex-FAR, fled their country in 1994 fearing prosecution for their involvement in the genocide in which, according to the most recent government statistics, 937,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed. During his visit to Burundi in June, Congolese Vice-President Azarias Ruberwa proposed a joint security programme involving Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo to help neutralise what he called "negative forces", including the Interahamwe militia. Since 1994, the ex-FAR and the Interahamwe have been using eastern Congo to staging attacks on Rwanda. The government in Kigali has, on more several occasions, threatened to re-enter Congo if the UN peacekeeping mission there, known as MONUC, and the Congolese government fail to take stronger action to neutralise the Rwandan rebels.

IRIN 6 Aug 2004 First Nepalese peacekeepers arrive [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 6 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - The first 170 Nepalese peacekeeping troops for the UN Operation in Burundi arrived in the capital Bujumbura on Friday, ONUB military spokesman Maj Modisane Masebe said at a weekly news conference. They are part of the 900-man Nepalese contingent expected to join the mission next week. They are also the first non-African troops to arrive but will be joined by Pakistanis in a few days. Masebe said equipment for a Pakistani second level hospital had already reached Burundi. ONUB Chief of Public Information Isabelle Abric said these contingents would join the 2,900 UN African troops already in Burundi. Those troops - from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa - had previously served in the African Mission in Burundi until 1 June, when they began operating under a UN mandate. That mandate, which the UN delegated to them on 21 May, authorises the deployment of 5,650 peacekeepers. The troops are due to deploy to several parts of the country, especially Bujumbura Rural Province, where there is sporadic fighting between government forces and those of the Front national de liberation loyal to Agathon Rwasa. Rwasa’s Hutu movement is the only rebel faction that has rejected negotiations with the transitional government, demanding instead direct talks with members of the Tutsi community.

IRIN 9 Aug 2004 Main rebel group turns into political party [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 9 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - Around 500 members of the former rebel movement the Conseil national de défense de la démocratie-Forces de défense de la démocratie (CNDD-FDD), took a formal decision of becoming a political party at a congress held from 7 to 8 August in the central province of Gitega. In accordance with a ceasefire agreement, Burundi’s Ministry of Home Affairs will automatically approve the new political party once combatants begin cantonment. The ceasefire agreement was reached in November 2003 between the government and the CNDD-FDD, in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. Several foreign delegates also took part, including members of the ruling parties from Rwanda, Tanzania and South Africa. The CNDD-FDD also held elections for positions within the party. The leader of the former rebel movement, Pierre Nkurunziza, was re-elected president. Hussein Radjabu was also re-elected secretary-general and Pasteur Mpawenayo was elected executive secretary. The event was the third congress held by the CNDD-FDD but the first since November 2003 when it joined the peace process. Some 300,000 people have died in Burundi since rebels took up arms in 1993.

Regional leaders to meet on power sharing deal [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] KAMPALA, 9 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - Regional leaders are to hold a two-day summit beginning on Wednesday on the latest power sharing agreement that 19 political parties signed in Pretoria, South Africa, last week. Ten Tutsi-dominated parties refused to sign. The acting permanent secretary in the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Julius Onen, told IRIN on Monday that the Dar es Salaam summit was expected to ratify the Pretoria agreement and reconfirm Burundi's election process and timetable. "The summit will also receive reports from both the facilitator, [South African] Deputy President Jacob Zuma and the United Nations special envoy in Burundi who recently held talks with one of the rebels groups," Onen said. The UN envoy, Carolyn McAskie, held a meeting recently with the Forces nationales de liberation. Heads of states from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are due to attend the summit, Onen said. The leaders are expected to reaffirm the deadline for holding elections at the end of the transitional government’s three-year period on 31 October. Officials from the UN, African Union and European Union are also expected to attend. Uganda chairs a group of regional states overseeing efforts to attain peace in Burundi. South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who has mediated between the various parties, hailed Friday’s agreement of Burundi’s political parties in Pretoria. According to the South African Independent Online he called the agreement "a decision taken by the majority of parties and therefore a decision taken for the Burundian people". The Burundi news agency, ABP, reported that Zuma would present a report on the agreement to the summit. The agreement is to serve as a draft for the country’s constitution. Zuma had traveled to Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, to try to settle issues raised by the Tutsi-dominated political parties. Last week’s meeting in Pretoria was the second he had held there with political parties in less than a month. Rejecting the latest agreement, Jean Baptiste Manwangari, the party chairman of the main Tutsi party Union pour le progrès national, said the country’s constitution could not be imposed from outside and that a mediator had to listen to more than one side. The agreement provides for a government and national assembly composed of 60 percent Hutu and 40 percent Tutsi. It also provides for two vice-presidents from different ethnic communities and political families. Some 300,000 people have died in Burundi since rebels from the Hutu majority took up arms in 1993 against the Tutsi-led government and army.

AFP 10 Aug 2004 Tutsi parties threaten to pull out of peace accord over power-sharing deal BUJUMBURA, Aug 10 (AFP) - The Tutsi minority threatened Tuesday to pull out of Burundi's peace process over a new power-sharing deal between the nation's two ethnic groups. The agreement, brokered by South Africa, was signed Friday in Pretoria to pave the way for elections and end a decade-long civil war fueled by ethnic rivalries between Hutus and Tutsis. Deo Niyonzima, president of the Reconciliation of the People (PRP) party said, "If this document is imposed, we will end our participation in the peace process." The PRP was one of 10 Tutsi groups that signed a communique rejecting the Pretoria deal. Jean-Baptiste Manwangari, president of the main Tutsi party, the Union for National Progress, said Niyonzima was speaking on behalf of all the Tutsi groups. The power-sharing deal is intended to become part of the constitution that is theoretically due to come into effect November 1 as part of the nation's transition toward democracy. Twenty of the 30 parties represented at the talks signed up to the document, including the principle ex-rebel Hutu group in Burundi, the Forces for the Defense of Democracy. Niyonzima warned that the dissident Tutsi parties would not recognize the constitution, nor participate in the elections and the institutions that result from them. "We're going to pull out of the process," he warned, "and the peace process cannot continue without us." The dissident groups control most of the 40 percent of seats reserved for Tutsis in the national assembly, as well as about half the seats in the senate. Saying "everything is not lost," Niyonzima called fora dialogue with other political forces to achieve a real consensus. Although the Tutsis make up only 14 percent of the population, they controlled the government and the military almost without interruption until the Arusha peace agreement of 2000.

ICRC 16 Aug 2004 ICRC News 04/96 Burundi: Help for the victims of attack on Gatumba refugee camp Bujumbura (15 August 2004) – During the night from 13th to 14th August, the Gatumba refugee camp in Bujumbura rural province, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, was attacked. At least 150 persons were reported killed in the attack, and at least 100 were wounded including many women and children. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemns this attack on the civilian population, which, according to the rules of international humanitarian law, must not be targeted. The ICRC calls attention to the fact that all direct or indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population are prohibited, as are acts of retaliation. Confronted with the influx of wounded persons, the ICRC, working in coordination with the Ministry of Health and other humanitarian organisations, immediately provided drugs, surgical materials and blankets to the Prince Régent Charles Hospital and to the Prince Louis Rwagasore clinic in order to ensure treatment for about 60 victims currently hospitalised. The ICRC also used tanker trucks to provide drinking water for the refugees who were transferred to a school near the refugee camp. At Gatumba camp, the ICRC provided body bags while volunteers of the Burundi Red Cross Society helped to collect the remains of the victims. The ICRC continues to closely follow the situation at Gatumba camp as well as the situation of the wounded treated in the hospitals of Bujumbura.

BBC 20 Aug 2004 Burundi survivors to be relocated The massacre victims had already fled violence in DR Congo Survivors of a massacre in a Burundi refugee camp are to be relocated away from the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN says. Burundi's government and the UNHCR have agreed to open two new camps for the 20,000 Congolese Tutsi refugees, who fled fighting in DR Congo in June. Last Friday, attackers crossed over the border from DR Congo and killed more than 160 in Gatumba camp. Fearing more attacks, refugees are leaving camps in search of shelter. Food burnt According to the UN's World Food Programme, conditions in Gatumba camp are very difficult for the 1,000 survivors. "After the attack, all the food was burnt. There was a lot of destruction and they're very frightened," Peter Smerdon of the WFP told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme. He said the WFP was providing food for the refugees and a 15-day ration had been given to more than 100 wounded refugees being cared for in hospitals in the capital, Bujumbura. DR Congo press fears war The new sites for the camps are in Muramvya and Rutana provinces, south-east of Bujumbura, the UNHCR says. Mr Smerdon said he hoped all Congolese refugees in the three camps along the border would be moved to the new centres in the near future. A Burundi Hutu rebel group claimed responsibility for last week's attack, but some sources say they were aided by Hutu militias operating inside DR Congo. The head of UN peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno, has warned that the massacre has brought the central African region to the brink of war. Speaking to the UN Security Council on Thursday, he asked all parties to show "maximum restraint", saying "there has to be justice, not revenge". "This horrific massacre of Gatumba [refugee camp] must not lead to a cycle of revenge," Mr Guehenno said. Negotiation Meanwhile, a dissident general in eastern DR Congo has backed down from the threat he made earlier this week to overthrow the Congolese government in response to the massacre. Speaking in the Congolese border town of Goma late on Thursday, Gen Laurent Nkunda said war could still be avoided through negotiation. Gen Nkunda took over the town of Bukavu in June, saying he was saving the Tutsi population, but later withdrew, admitting there had been no genocide. Violence between the majority Hutu tribe and the minority Tutsis has afflicted the Great Lakes region of central Africa for more than a decade.

AFP 21 Aug 2004 Burundi rebel group ready to appear before international tribunal BUJUMBURA : The Hutu rebel movement which has claimed responsibility for last week's massacre of about 160 Congolese Tutsis at a refugee camp in Burundi said it was ready to appear before an international tribunal. "We are never going to present ourselves in front of the Tutsi justice of Burundi... but we are ready to respond in front of an international tribunal," Pasteur Habimana, spokesman for the Hutu National Liberation Forces (FNL) told AFP by phone. Advertisement He said he backed the establishment of an "international tribunal which would judge all the crimes committed by Hutus and Tutsis in the region since the independence of Burundi" in 1962. Burundi has issued international arrest warrants for Habimana as well as FNL leader, Agathon Rwasa for crimes against humanity and war crimes following the killings at Gatumba on August 13. Burundi was plunged into civil war in 1993 when rebel groups drawn from the Hutu majority rose up against the government and army, then dominated by the Tutsis, who make up around 15 percent of the population. The FNL is the last remaining Burundian rebel group still active.

Cote d'Ivoire

AP 7 Aug 2004 Dozens dead in box in Ivory Coast INFIGHTING REBELS LOCK MORE THAN 100 IN SHIPPING CONTAINER; U.N. FINDS MASS GRAVES By Sidibe Oumar ASSOCIATED PRESS KORHOGO, Ivory Coast - Dozens of boys and men suffocated in an airless, sweltering shipping container in which rebels locked more than 100 people for days, two survivors told The Associated Press, backing accounts of atrocities during factional fighting in Ivory Coast's rebel-held north. With detainees packed in too tightly to move -- or even breathe -- one man, named Siaka, said he survived by gasping air through a small hole in the top of the container. When the 40-foot-long by 9-foot-high container was opened, 75 bodies were pulled out, a second survivor, Amadou, said yesterday. "I thought I was going to die," said Amadou, a 25-year-old herdsman, speaking on the condition that he not be identified further. Surviving was "a miracle. It's due to God." The accounts -- along with others describing numerous missing men -- support U.N. and Amnesty International findings on three newly discovered mass graves in rebel territory. The graves hold 99 bodies, some of whom suffocated, the United Nations said Monday. "We were in difficult conditions: no water, no food, no air. Sometimes they pumped tear gas into the container," said Siaka, who also refused to allow his full name to be used. The allegations represent the most serious charges of rights abuses lodged against Ivory Coast's rebels since a nine-month civil war, which officially ended in July 2003. The killings occurred during a flare-up of factional fighting in June, when the main rebel leader, Guillaume Soro, put down an uprising by followers of dissident Ibrahim Coulibaly.

AP 8 Aug 2004 Survivors recount mass killings in Ivory Coast THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 8, 2004 KORHOGO, Ivory Coast - Dozens of boys and men suffocated in an airless, sweltering shipping container in which rebels locked more than 100 people for days, two survivors told reporters this week, backing accounts of atrocities during factional fighting in Ivory Coast's rebel-held north. With detainees packed in too tightly to move - or even breathe - one man named Siaka said he survived by gasping air through a small hole in the top of the container. When the 40-foot-long by 9-foot-high container was opened, 75 bodies were pulled out, a second survivor, Amadou, told reporters Friday. "I thought I was going to die," said Amadou, 25, a herdsman who spoke on condition he not be identified further. Surviving was "a miracle ..." The accounts - along with others describing numerous missing men - support UN and Amnesty International findings on three newly discovered mass graves in rebel territory. The graves hold 99 bodies, some of whom suffocated, the United Nations said Monday. The UN Security Council called the killings a massacre. "We were in difficult conditions: no water, no food, no air. Sometimes they pumped tear gas into the container," said Siaka, who also did not want his full name to be used for fear of reprisal. The allegations represent the most serious rights-abuse charges against Ivory Coast's rebels since they took control of the north in a nine-month civil war that officially ended in July 2003. The killings occurred during a flare-up of factional fighting in June, when top rebel leader Guillaume Soro put down an uprising by followers of dissident Ibrahim Coulibaly. Soro's forces said 22 people died in the uprising. Rebel spokesman Alain Lobognon denied the container was used to imprison people and would not comment on the other allegations. Rebels have controlled the north of cocoa-rich Ivory Coast - once one of West Africa's most stable and prosperous nations - since an unsuccessful coup attempt in September 2002. The civil war that followed split the country between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian and animist south. During the past year, troops and militias loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo have been accused of numerous abuses, including the killings of at least 120 people during and after an attempted March opposition rally in the commercial capital, Abidjan. However, survivors and others now accuse the chief rebel movement of killing dozens of prisoners during and after the June uprising. Amnesty International said it believes some of the 99 mass grave victims had their hands tied behind their backs before being beheaded, while others suffocated in shipping containers. Korhogo residents said a metal shipping container that stood at the entrance of the town's rebel-held army base was used as a prison by rebel commander Fofie Kouakou. Siaka and Amadou said they were confined there before Coulibaly's uprising began June 20, locked up by Kouakou's men on unrelated complaints - Siaka in a violent family dispute and Amadou in an alleged motorcycle theft. Rebel leaders opened the container two days later - at 3 a.m. on June 22, Amadou said. By that time, it was filled with dead people.

IRIN 9 Aug 2004 Power sharing cabinet meets for first time in four months [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN/Karene Bassompierre Prime Minister Seydou Diarra flanked by rebel leader Guillaume Soro and Justice Minister Henriette Diabete make their way to Monday's cabinet meeting ABIDJAN, 9 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - The cabinet of Cote d'Ivoire's government of national reconciliation met on Monday for the first time in four months following a peace summit in Accra to put the country's deadlocked peace process back on track. President Laurent Gbagbo sat at the same table as nine ministers representing the rebel movement, which has occupied the north of Cote d'Ivoire for the past two years, and 17 others ministers representing the four main opposition parties in parliament. All 26 had walked out of the broad-based cabinet following the security forces' bloody repression of a banned opposition demonstration in Abidjan on 25 March. UN investigators have said at least 120 people died in the political violence which followed. Rebel leader Guillaume Soro, who holds the portfolio of Communications Minister, was present at Monday's hour-long cabinet meeting, along with two other ministers who Gbagbo had tried to sack on May 19. Diplomats said the fact that the G7 opposition alliance had returned to government represented an important first step back to political normality. A statement from the presidency issued after the cabinet meeting said Gbagbo had passed three decrees -- one to let the three previously-fired ministers back into the government and another naming a new government spokesman. The third decree delegated certain powers to politically independent Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, as Gbagbo had agreed at Accra. In the Ghanaian capital last month, UN General Kofi Annan and 12 African heads of state worked hard for two days with the leaders of Cote d'Ivoire's rival factions to stop a slide back to conflict. However, the cabinet appears to have made little substantive progress towards legislating political reforms by 31 August, the target date agreed after the Accra talks. The legislation of these reforms is due to clear the way for a long-delayed disarmament programme to start on 15 October. Gbagbo and Diarra, told reporters that Monday's cabinet meeting was just a first get-together to re-establish contact. The president's office said the cabinet would meet again on Thursday and twice more next week. Since they signed up to the Accra agreement on 30 July, all the various parties to the Ivorian conflict have maintained a low profile in their public statements. But it is clear that Gbagbo and the rebels still have very different ideas about how some of the key provisions of the agreement should be implemented. During a speech on Friday to mark Cote d'Ivoire's 44th anniversary of independence from France, Gbagbo pleaded for more time to work out the details of what had been agreed at Accra. "I ask you to give me the time to finish the round of talks which I have decided to undertake before I speak about the road we have run, about the outcome of the various negotiations, and, in particular, about the agreement signed at the end of the meeting which has just taken place in Accra," he said. Soro was equally cautious and low-key in his own independence day speech in the rebel capital Bouake in central Cote d'Ivoire on Saturday. "You see that this morning I have not inspected soldiers and I haven't trodden upon a red carpet. This is what reconciliation and peace demand," Soro said. But the rebel leader made clear that his forces would only disarm if all the political reforms promised by the January 2003 Linas Marcoussis peace agreement were in place first and that UN peacekeeping forces were fully deployed to maintain security throughout the country. "There are several conditions for disarmament," Soro said. "We did not just take up arms just to hand them over to our adversary so that a second later he would be able to shoot us dead. Laws must be voted through the national assembly first... These fighters that you see before you, the day they are given a national identity card, it will be easier to ask them to lay down their weapons." One of the key reforms demanded by the French-brokered Marcoussis peace deal is a revision of the nationality law to make it easier for immigrants to Cote d'Ivoire from other West African countries and their descendents to gain Ivorian nationality. Before the outbreak of civil war in September 2002, about a quarter of Cote d'Ivoire's 16 million population was of immigrant origin. Most of the incomers came from Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea. Another key reform called for by the Marcoussis peace agreement is an amendment to article 35 of the constitution to make it easier for Ivorians of immigrant descent to stand for the presidency. This article was invoked to ban former prime minister Alassane Ouattara, who is popular in northern Cote d'Ivoire, from standing against Gbagbo in the 2000 presidential election. Key advisers of Gbagbo are sticking to the line that any change to article 35 must be approved by a nationwide referendum after disarmament has taken place. However, since the Accra summit, Ouattara's own party, the Rally for the Republic (RDR), has said it expects Gbagbo to use emergency powers provided for in the constitution to dispense with the need for a referendum in this instance.

Reuters 10 Aug 2004 UN report draft details Ivory Coast killings By Peter Murphy ABIDJAN, Aug 10 (Reuters) - At least 60 people were left to die of suffocation in a crammed transport container after June clashes between rebels in northern Ivory Coast, according to witnesses quoted in a draft report by U.N. human rights experts. The preliminary report, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, detailed the findings of a U.N. team which last month discovered three mass graves containing the bodies of at least 99 people -- some of whom had been beheaded -- in the rebel-held town of Korhogo. The victims were killed during or in the wake of two days of fighting between rival rebel factions on June 20-21. Scores of people were arrested after fighters loyal to the rebels' political leader, Guillaume Soro, prevailed. The draft report -- which a U.N. spokesman said could differ from the final document expected to be published soon -- said it was not possible as yet to say who was responsible for the killings and said more investigation was needed. The draft quoted survivors as saying detainees were left with no water or food in at least two transport containers that were used as a makeshift prison. The survivors said between 60 and 70 people had suffocated in one of the containers, which was in the sun and had no air vents. There were instances when prisoners begging for food and water were sprayed with teargas. "To drink, the detainees licked their own sweat or that of other prisoners," the report quoted witnesses as saying. One prisoner who survived was unable to walk as his feet were infected after being trapped underneath other prisoners' corpses for several days. Other witnesses said three groups of about 15 people were taken out of the containers and executed. One witness told the U.N. team he could hear people screaming as shots were fired in one of the containers. Residents also reported seeing a four-wheel drive vehicle from which blood was dripping being driven to a cemetery, where the investigators said clothing was seen sticking out of a freshly dug mass grave. The rebels, who have so far refused to comment on the U.N. team's findings, say the June clashes broke out after a failed assassination attempt against Soro. They blamed fighters loyal to a Paris-based rebel military chief, Ibrahim Coulibaly, for the fighting. Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, has been split in two since a civil war which began in September 2002 after a failed coup. Human rights groups say serious abuses and killings have taken place in both the rebel-held north and government-controlled south.

DR Congo

ICC 30 July 2004 www.icc-cpi.int PRESS RELEASE 30 July 2004 FIRST MISSION TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO The Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry of the International Criminal Court organised a first official visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 26 to 30 July 2004. The delegation composed of the Deputy Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz and other representatives of the Registry, held meetings with senior political and judicial Congolese authorities in order to discuss mechanisms of cooperation between the DRC and the Organs of the ICC. The delegation held consultations with representatives of international organisations and embassies present in DRC, and with members of the civil society. On this occasion, the difficulties of the operation of the Court in the field were assessed and how important justice and fight against impunity are for the Congolese population. The delegation welcomes the very fruitful exchange of views with all interlocutors, and the cooperation, bearing in mind the development of the investigation process in the coming months.

Reuters 21 Aug 2004 CONGO WITHDRAWS DIPLOMATS Congo has pulled all of its diplomats out of neighboring Burundi, its foreign minister said. The decision was made after protests outside Congo's embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi's capital, earlier in the week in which windows were broken and the Congolese flag shredded. Tensions between the countries have increased since the massacre of 160 Congolese refugees a week ago at a camp in western Burundi. A Hutu rebel group fighting in Burundi claimed responsibility, but Tutsi rebels in Congo have accused the Congolese Army of playing a role.

NYT 23 Aug 2004 Congo VP Boycots National Unity Government By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 10:02 p.m. ET GOMA, Congo (AP) -- One of Congo's four vice presidents announced Monday he was boycotting the country's national unity government, saying genocide was being committed against his ethnic Tutsi kinsmen and questioning the success of peace accords ending the country's civil war. Azarias Ruberwa, who was awarded his post under the accords ending Congo's 1998-2003 war, said he will not join cabinet meetings in Kinshasa, the capital, while his ex-rebel group decides whether the peace deals are working. Ruberwa, a leader of the former rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy, insisted he had not permanently withdrawn from the government, but he refused to say when -- or if -- he would return to his post. He also did not say what would happen if he and other former rebels decided the peace deals have failed. Ruberwa said his boycott was prompted by the recent massacre of Congolese Tutsi refugees at a U.N. camp in neighboring Burundi. At least 163 Tutsi refugees were killed in an Aug. 13 raid on a camp just over Congo's eastern border with Burundi -- an attack that Ruberwa said shows Congo's central government, army and security forces cannot provide security in the vast nation. ``Genocide is being committed,'' he told reporters in the eastern city of Goma, where his rebel group once was based. A Burundian Hutu rebel group claimed responsibility for the massacre, but Ruberwa and Burundian and Rwandan officials say the attacks were carried out with the aid of ethnic Hutu extremists based in Congo. Conflicts between Hutus, who comprise a majority in Burundi and Rwanda, and Tutsis, a minority in those two countries and in eastern Congo, have wracked this region of Africa for more than a decade, spawning a civil war in Burundi, the 1994 Rwandan genocide and two rebellions in Congo since 1996. The last rebellion in Congo began in 1998 with Rwanda backing the Congolese Rally for Democracy. It eventually turned into a war fought by six African countries in which an estimated 3.5 million people died, most through war-induced hunger and disease.

ICG 26 Aug 2004 Maintaining Momentum in the Congo: The Ituri Problem The collapse of the peace process in the Congo (DRC) and a return to war are real possibilities. While last week's massacre of Congolese refugees in Burundi focused attention on the Kivus region of the Congo, the closely related situation in Ituri is equally worrying. The Security Council must strengthen the Un Mission in the Congo (MONUC) when it is up for renewal on 1 October. It is vital to clarify when and for what purposes MONUC should be prepared to use force and to improve the capabilities of its Ituri Brigade. MONUC needs a clearer mandate and more resources to encourage it to go proactively after armed groups and to devise a diplomatic and political strategy that can help the fragile Transitional Government in Kinshasa assert control before it is too late. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To find out more about the crisis in the Congo, go to www.icg.org and follow the link to "Conflict in Congo". This page has details of ICG's reports and opinion pieces on the conflict, details of our advocacy efforts to date, information on what you can do to support ICG's efforts, and links to other resources on the conflict. ------------------------------------- ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.icg.org


Al-Ahram Weekly 19 - 25 August 2004 Issue No. 704 weekly.ahram.org.eg Dragging feet over Darfur Egyptian NGOs have sent a fact-finding mission to Darfur. But to what end, asks Gamal Nkrumah At a time when civil society organisations in Egypt are still struggling to establish a convincing domestic role, they are being called upon to pull their weight in Sudan, and particularly over the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. "Arab governments, like governments everywhere, usually have a predictable agenda and set of vested interests. Arab civil rights organisations, on the other hand, often seem to lack a coherent agenda," Baheieddin Hassan, head of the Cairo Centre for Human Rights told Al- Ahram Weekly. "Civil society organisations must have some clout and influence in Egypt before they can be expected to exert pressure on Sudanese affairs," says Hassan. "In many instances they seem to take their cue from Arab governments, something that is particularly pronounced when it comes to criticising other Arabs. The deafening silence over Darfur is similar to that which prevailed when Saddam Hussein was slaughtering 185,000 Kurds in Iraq." Media and civil society organisations have always reacted passionately to the plight of the Palestinians, and are now doing the same for the Iraqi people, both of whom suffer under foreign -- read non- Arab -- occupation. And, according to Hassan, Arab governments are quick to exploit the overriding sentiments of the Arab street for their own benefit. But while events in Palestine and Iraq meet with a vociferous response, the same media and civil society organisations have shied away from the seemingly more prickly issue of genocide and gross human rights abuse in Darfur largely because non- Arab victims are being oppressed by people labelled as Arab. But the fact is that both oppressed and oppressor in Darfur are black Africans and predominantly Muslim, whether they identify themselves as Arab or not. "It is more convenient to criticise non-Arabs than to scrutinise the Arab record on human rights. The Arab public seems more attuned to jingoistic songs, flag- waving and the rhetoric of patriotism. It is easier for it to sympathise with Palestinians and Iraqis than with Kurds and Darfurians," says Hassan. Western media, governments and even charitable and humanitarian relief agencies are often accused of trying to drive a wedge between Arab and non-Arab in Africa, portraying the Darfur conflict as between black Africans and Arabs. "The Western media labelled the insurgents in Darfur as non-Arab. So Arab media and civil society organisations began to view the Darfur conflict largely in terms of foreign intervention, as a conspiracy to dismember Sudan and dilute its Arab identity," said Helmi Shaarawi, director of the Arab-African Research and Studies Institute. In an attempt to clarify their own position Arab civil society organisations have finally organised a fact-finding mission to Darfur. A delegation of representatives of Arab civil societies, organised by the Arab Lawyers Union, was dispatched on a fact-finding mission on 15 August. The NGOs will assess the humanitarian needs of the people of Darfur and see how they can be of assistance. They include the doctors and pharmacists syndicates, two organisations that are seen as having a potentially useful role in Darfur. But while the final report of the mission has yet to be completed many commentators suspect that it is an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs rather than rethinking the destination. "The vast majority of the most effective and dynamic Arab civil society organisations are Islamist in orientation. These organisations rushed to the help of the people of Bosnia -- assistance at the material and moral levels was tremendous," says Hassan. "But there are no non- Islamist organisations with similar resources and capabilities." But the shortage of resources and funding is not the only explanation for the lack of concerted action over Darfur. The Arab media and NGOs reflect a view of the Darfur conflict that is prevalent in Arab world. There is widespread suspicion over the motives of the US despite the fact that many Arab governments have been happy to accommodate themselves within the Pax Americana. For their part many Sudanese express growing frustration with Arab governments and NGOs, in particular the wealthy oil-rich states of the Gulf who, following increases in the price of oil, are in a position to fund development projects and relief operations in Darfur. Hassan believes that Arab NGOs have entered a stage of denial when faced with information released by Western humanitarian groups. "Most of Arab civil society dismisses the claims of Western humanitarian and rights groups as a gross exaggeration," he says. There is also much ambiguity concerning the local Darfur Arab Janjaweed militias blamed for the escalating violence and the humanitarian crisis. Islamist-oriented NGOs in Egypt for example, many dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, are loath to criticise the Janjaweed which is closely aligned to the Sudanese government. "We must first assess the material resources, human capacity and technical expertise of Arab civil society organisations," believes Ibrahim Nasreddin, professor of political science at Cairo University and a member of the board of Usrat Wadi Al-Nil (The Family of the Nile Valley), an Egyptian-based NGO that caters to Sudanese refugees in Egypt and on strengthening Egyptian-Sudanese social and cultural ties. But given the lack of available resources among local NGOs or, where resources exist, the lack of any desire to find out what is really happening, hopes that the delegation will have any real impact are slim.

Al-Ahram Weekly 19 - 25 August 2004 Issue No. 704 weekly.ahram.org.eg 19 - 25 August 2004 Issue No. 704 Sudan in the dock Fresh violence breaks out in Darfur as Africa seeks to end the continent's most serious political crisis, writes Gamal Nkrumah - The conflict in Darfur, one of Sudan's poorest and least developed regions, has a military dimension. But the primary struggle is political, ideological and economic. Oil reserves have been discovered in commercial quantities in Darfur, and the protracted oil-fuelled war in Darfur is far from over. There is a lot of money at stake. Fighting has recently escalated in several parts of Darfur, a sprawling area the size of France. The Sudanese government and the armed opposition groups have accused each other of instigating the new bout of fighting. The two main armed groups in Darfur -- the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) -- point an accusing finger at the local Arab militias, better known as the Janjaweed, claiming that the militiamen are masquerading in Sudanese government troop outfits, and that many of the 6,000 government policemen ostensibly keeping the peace in the province are actually Janjaweed. Widespread protests by the indigenous non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur have in the past been put down with brutal military force. And contrary to popular misconception, the conflict had simmered for a long time before breaking into the open in February 2003. According to United Nations figures the conflict has cost the lives of 50,000 people and rendered one million homeless. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) -- the umbrella opposition organisation grouping the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Amy (SPLA), led by John Garang, and other mainly northern Sudanese opposition parties -- has adopted the cause of Darfur. The SLA is a fully-fledged NDA member and representatives of the SLA are meeting next week in Cairo with other NDA groups to discuss Darfur and political reform in the country. JEM which has so far stayed away from the NDA is closely aligned to Hassan Al-Turabi's Islamist opposition Popular Congress Party. Moreover, the Sudanese regime itself appears now to be split between doves and hawks. The doves, allegedly led by President Omar Hassan Al-Beshir himself, want to see the Darfur crisis resolved quickly -- which in practical terms implies stabbing the government's Janjaweed allies in the back. Al-Beshir has not hesitated to do so in the past whenever he deemed it politically expedient. For example, in 2001, Al-Beshir jailed his mentor Hassan Al-Turabi, Sudan's former speaker of parliament and chief Islamist ideologue. The hawks, on the other hand, are claiming that it would be impossible to meet the UN deadline and are more reluctant to bring the Janjaweed to book. The problem is not simply that the Janjaweed are being sheltered from justice. It is that the Sudanese government appears to be trying to protect itself from the consequences of chastising the Janjaweed. The Sudanese government has staked its political future on disarming the Janjaweed accused of war crimes in Darfur. Observers, however, note that it would be very difficult for either doves or hawks to castigate the Janjaweed. Such a move could be tantamount to political suicide, for the Janjaweed are an important component of the Sudanese regime's constituency. "The Sudanese authorities have a moral obligation to protect the Janjaweed. They know the type of weapons they armed the Janjaweed with. They find it difficult to turn against the Janjaweed, when the latter have so faithfully served the Sudanese government interests in Darfur," Farouk Abu Issa, former head of the Cairo-based Arab Lawyers Union and official spokesman for the NDA told Al- Ahram Weekly. "The Sudanese regime turned to the Janjaweed for help only after the army failed to quell the Darfur uprising. The Janjaweed came to the government's rescue," he added. As often happens within such contexts, infighting among former allies could get out of hand. Already there are signs of tension. The hawks are even persuading the Janjaweed militias, who are accused by the UN and human rights groups of war crimes, to dissolve quietly into the Sudanese army. But will the international community condone such flagrant disregard of international law? The African Union (AU) fact-finding mission to Darfur has already noted continuing gross violations of human rights and atrocities committed by the Janjaweed against the civilian population. The AU observers sent to monitor a cease-fire agreement in April between the Sudanese government and the SLA and JEM are now considering concentrating instead on disarming the Janjaweed. Khartoum, however, is resisting any move to upgrade the AU peace-keeping force in Darfur. Indeed the Sudanese regime insists that the force's main task is not to keep the peace in the war-torn region. "The Nigerian and Rwandan forces of 300 troops, which are now arriving in Darfur, were assigned only to maintain protection for the 80 AU observers deployed in Darfur," Sudanese army spokesman General Mohamed Said Soleiman told reporters in Khartoum. The AU protests that security in Darfur must not be sought by returning to repression. In a flurry of diplomatic activity, Libya hosted talks in Sirte last week to try and resolve the crisis. And next week peace talks in Nigeria are scheduled to take place. On 30 July, the UN Security Council passed a resolution urging Sudan to disarm the Janjaweed militia or face sanctions. The UN has so far ruled out military intervention even though both the United States and the European Union have signalled that if a peaceful diplomatic settlement to the Darfur crisis is not reached and the humanitarian situation does not improve then international military intervention would have to be considered an option. The Security Council is to decide on 29 August whether to indict the Sudanese authorities for failing to contain the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur and for arming the Janjaweed. Khartoum now appears to be sending conflicting signals. President Al-Beshir sounded optimistic about Sudan's chances of meeting the deadline set by the UN. Sudanese Vice-President Ali Othman Mohamed Taha, on the other hand, seems to think that it is impossible to meet the deadline. "We are doing our best to meet that deadline but definitely due to the logistical problems and limitations we have at the moment, I don't think the time frame is practical," warned the Sudanese vice-president.


news.minnesota.publicradio.org 2 Aug 2004 Anuak in Minnesota fear for homeland August 2, 2004 An Anuak man sits in front of his burned-out home, which he claims was one of many burned as part of a campaign against the Anuak in Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Doug McGill) Widespread ethnic killings in Darfur, Sudan, have been in the news lately, but another human crisis is taking place next door, in Ethiopia. A group of Minnesota immigrants is struggling to alert the world to what they call an Ethiopian genocide. This is in east Africa -- and involves the Anuak ethnic group, which numbers about 100,000 people. Many Anuak have immigrated to southern Minnesota. They insist their Anuak parents, siblings, cousins and friends still in Ethiopia are being systematically killed by the Ethiopian army, and by other ethnic groups incited to violence by the army. The Anuak say they believe the government is trying to exterminate their small community to get hold of their homeland, and to send a message to separatist groups active in Ethiopia. By Doug McGill Rochester, Minn. — Telephones in Rochester, Burnsville and other towns where Anuak immigrants have settled in Minnesota started ringing urgently Dec. 13, 2003. Many Anuak had moved here from Ethiopia over the last decade, to escape persecution by the Ethiopian army and other ethnic groups in the region. But just before Christmas, the calls from their home region, Gambella state in western Ethiopia, brought new fear. Map Ethiopian government soldiers reportedly were going door to door, calling out Anuak men by name and shooting them in the street, said Obang Jobi, an Anuak immigrant living in Burnsville, who heard the news in a telephone call from a friend. "She's so scared because ... people are being killed on the street and she don't want to talk on the phone," Jobi said. "And I said, 'Just stay o nthe phone. Just keep talking, just keep talking to me and tell me what's going on.' She was crying, and she was nervous, and she couldn't talk. She couldn't talk. She is saying that nobody is going to survive." Jobi rushed to call a friend of his, Omot Bowar from Austin, Minnesota, who was visiting relatives in Gambella. "While we are talking I heard the noise that the military, they are coming to get Omot. They came to the door, and Omot told me that, 'Obang! Obang! They are coming to get me! They are coming to get me! They are coming to get me!'" Jobi recalled. Obang Ojobi "I said, 'Keep talking to me! Keep talking to me! Just don't hang up the phone! Don't hang up the phone!' And he kept talking to me, and they came and just took the phone and threw it down. And we were silent for almost 30 minutes in the house, without talking to my wife. I thought that Omot has been killed," Jobi said. More than 425 Anuak were slaughtered from Dec. 13-16, according to lists compiled by Anuak survivors. Bowar survived by showing his U.S. passport to the soldiers, and was later rescued by a team of U.S. embassy officials who drove to Gambella on Dec. 17. Since the killings, 8,500 Anuak fled their homes in Gambella and walked for days through the malaria-infested scrubland to Pochalla, a village across the border in Sudan. Survivors tell of massacre Refugees At Pochalla, the Anuak live in a camp, a slum of lean-tos made of sticks and white plastic sheeting, which is ripped from United Nations food packages dropped by planes. The air drops, every six weeks or so, are not enough to feed the thousands of Anuak who have gathered in the camp. There are very few older people at the camp. Many died en route. Obang Ojok worked as an office messenger in Gambella until the Dec. 13 massacre. He stood on crutches in a dirt-stained Lakers T-shirt, the stump of a missing leg resting on the crossbar of one crutch. "I lost my leg during the massacre in Gambella last December," Ojok says through a translator. "And not only my leg, but that day I lost my children, my wife, and many other relatives." Obang Ojok Ojok explained that while he was running away, he was shot from behind in the arm and leg. His left arm has a small round hole on the back, and a jagged three-inch wound on the front where the bullet exited. He says he was saved by local missionaries who found him, persuaded the soldiers not to kill him, and later amputated his leg. "I don't have hope. I don't think I will live much longer," Ojok said. "Even if the government doesn't come here to this camp to kill me, I don't have any food to eat. I survived the massacre but now starvation may kill me. Other people go to the bush to get leaves to eat. But I have only one leg now. I can't go out to get food." Under a giant tree filled with birds that provides rare shade in the camp, Obang Opara, in a tan cap and a loosely buttoned dress shirt, limped over to a white plastic chair. He arrived in Pochalla from his trek in the bush in mid-April. He says both of his legs were broken during the Dec. 13 massacre. Oboge Opara had to heal in hiding for four months, before making the long walk to the camp. He says groups of ethnic Ethiopians known as highlanders, who have lighter colored skin than the Anuak, attacked him. "They came carrying knives and spears and clubs, and the government forces themselves carrying guns, rifles," Opara said. Like all the Anuak refugees here, Opara says the highlanders worked together with armed Ethiopian troops in twos and threes. "If you try to run away, just, they will shoot you," said Opara. A thin and striking young man named Oboge danced around the Pochalla camp in his underwear, singing. He recited bits of poetry and struck poses of people shooting guns, and then of people writhing and falling. Oboge was a soccer star in Ethiopia. But he lost his family on Dec. 13, and now somme refugees say, he has lost his mind. Collecting food "Other people dance with me, but they think I lost my mind," Oboge said through a translator. "But I haven't lost my mind. When I sing a song I feel really happy." His song questioned why the massacre happened: "You people, you people, you people, Tell me what did we do wrong?" Some Anuak say they know why the Ethiopian government is driving their tiny tribe from its homeland. The government wants their rich farmland for economic development, and as a place to resettle Ethiopians from larger tribes who were driven out of their own homelands by famine, the Anuak say. The Anuak home in Gambella also has active gold mines and potential oil reserves. And, recently, the Anuak have pushed for more autonomy over the region. Looking for water The Ethiopian government may have a deeper, political reason for pursuing the Anuak. The government is struggling to bind together a country composed of many ethnically distinct regions. It faces armed separatist movements. Anuak leaders in Minnesota say the Ethiopian government may be using ethnic cleansing on their relatively small tribe as a warning to the larger separatist groups that the government will use violence, if necessary, to keep the country unified. Government denies involvement Ethiopian officials like Barnabas Gebre-ab vigorously deny any involvement in the Dec. 13 massacre, or the subsequent devastation of about a dozen Anuak villages. Gebre-ab is the minister of federal affairs for Gambella, and he insists the Ethiopian army is not killing its civilians. "It is not an army that changes to heinous thugs all of a sudden when it reaches to Gambella. I just don't buy that." Lean-tos Gebre-ab is the civilian chief of the country's military in Gambella. Anuak were killed on Dec. 13, Gabre-Ab acknowledged, but he blamed the problem on ethnic tension, not his soldiers. The morning of Dec. 13, unknown attackers sprayed an official state vehicle carrying eight highlanders with bullets, killing all the occupants. Later that morning, the victims' bodies were put on display in Gambella town, and Anuak separatists were blamed for the killings. A mob mainly composed of highlanders started attacking Anuak neighbors in revenge, Gebre-Ab said. "They assumed the Anuak were the ones who killed these guys on the road," Gabre-Ab said. "So when you see it on face value, this is a gut reaction. But it's also something that's related to animosity. It's hatred, you know. Why couldn't they control themselves? Why did they go into this emotional outburst and start to kill? Because they are social scums." Asked why the Anuak and the government versions of the massacre differ, Gebre-Ab said, "This is something we have to probe." Doug McGill Gebre-Ab denied the Anuak claim that up to a dozen of their villages have been razed by Ethiopian troops. But the army is seeking out armed Anuak rebels who hide in Anuak villages and who occasionally kill Ethiopian troops and civilians, he said. "There is an Anuak group that claims to have formed a liberation front," Gebre-Ab said. "They kill health workers. They kill teachers. If they are highlanders, they kill them. Deliberately. So what do we do with these people? We have to hunt them down." The Anuak respond In the Anuak refugee camp in Pochalla, several men admitted to being members of the liberation force. One of them, a recent recruit who studied at South Central Technical College in Mankato, Minnesota, said that after Dec. 13 he moved to Pochalla to help the Gambella People's Liberation Force. Shot-up ambulance "The Ethiopian government is in the pursuit of killing our people, so we are defending our interest," said the man, who requested anonymity. After 20 years of persecution, only now have the Anuak raised a militia, he said. "There is a time, even in the Bible -- I've heard the Bible, been going to the Bible college -- there is a time for everything," he said. "A time for war, a time for peace. A time for life and a time to die." But armed resistance is the last thing on most refugees' minds. They are obsessed with simple survival. And for many of them, survival is synonymous with Minnesota. They either want to contact relatives in Minnesota who can send them money, food and clothes, or they want to immigrate to the safety of the state. Anuak immigrants already in Minnesota are trying to help. They have been meeting in cramped apartments, trying to figure out how to focus the world's attention on their tribe's crisis. They organized a protest rally at the state Capitol in December. They convinced U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., to write to the U.S. ambassador in Ethiopia and urge her to pressure Ethiopia to stop the killings. Denies government involvement Most Anuak are churchgoing Christians, the result of missionary work in Africa, and they are trying to mobilize their ministers and congregations throughout the state. Some churches have organized fundraising campaigns and sent relief funds to Anuak victims. "Our goal is actually to try to educate people here so they can stand with us together," said Omot Ochan, executive director of the Anuak Community Association of North America. Based in St. Paul, the association represents the roughly 1,500 Anuak who live in the state. "If you speak out and explain the situation clearly to the people here, people really will come to your aid, and be able to stand up with you together," Ochan said. So far, the Anuak appeals have not been heard. The United States and the United Nations are more involved with a larger ethnic cleansing occurring in Sudan, where 1.3 million refugees in Darfur have been driven from their homes, and 30,000 killed by Sudanese soldiers and Arab militias. Anuak king Several human rights organizations, such as Genocide Watch and the World Organization Against Torture, have researched the Anuak stories and declared that the Ethiopian government is using ethnic cleansing against the Anuak. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the two largest human rights groups, say they are aware of the Anuak crisis, but their attention has been largely diverted to Darfur. The U.S. embassy in Ethiopia said it deplores the killings, and called on Ethiopia's government to investigate the claims against its military. An inquiry commission appointed by the Ethiopian Parliament on July 6 absolved the army of wrongdoing, the official Ethiopian News Agency reported. The commission also found that 65 people were killed in Gambella, contrary to Western reports that put the number of dead at more than 400. Meanwhile, roughly $300 million in U.S. foreign aid continues to flow each year to the Ethiopian government. And the Anuak immigrants in Minnesota continue to send money to their relatives in refugee camps, to write letters to U.S. officials, and to worry that their small culture may be wiped out while the world's attention is on other matters.


DPA 4 Aug 2004 UNMIL concerned as conflict within Liberian government deepens Monrovia (dpa) - Concerns are mounting in the war-torn Liberian capital Monrovia about the possibility of another round of fighting as the leadership rift within the Liberian government deepens. Addressing journalists Wednesday, the head of the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Ambassador Jacques Klein blamed the confusion in the country on warring faction representatives who he said "want to maintain their factional identity while serving in the transitional government". He said this was creating the impression in the international community that the government is not unified. "Everytime we have such incidents here, the donor money goes away. That's the reality we are facing here. Every time this happens there is the perception that the government is not united, that it is factionalized," Klein emphasized. Information Minister William Allen told journalists in Monrovia that the transitional government was concerned about the internal wrangling with the rebel group Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). "The confusion in the rebel LURD leadership is slowly spilling over to the peace process, and the government is considering it a security threat," the minister said. Similar confusion within the defunct ULIMO-J and exiled former president Charles Taylor's erstwhile NPFL led to outbreak of hostilities in Monrovia in April 1996 that claimed many lives. The remarks come against the background of clashes between revile groups over the past two days.

August 7, 2004 TV REVIEW | 'LIBERIA: AN UNCIVIL WAR' Close Relationship to U.S. Did Not Help Liberia Much By JOHN SHATTUCK In their brave film "Liberia: An Uncivil War" Jonathan Stack and James Brabazon make us witnesses to the continuing implosion in one of Africa's failed states. But they do something else as well in the documentary that has its premiere tonight on the Discovery Times Channel. They also show how the United States has turned its back on the land it created as a colony in 1821. In one of the film's many riveting images, three United States warships loom in the haze off Liberia's coast while thousands of civilians are slaughtered on shore by a ragtag army wielding American-made weapons. "For the last 13 or 14 years," a resident of Monrovia remarks as the shooting rages around him, "America has washed its hands of Liberia." Meanwhile, a couple of United States marines are shown scrambling outside the American Embassy to protect an incoming beer delivery. Mr. Stack and Mr. Brabazon show Liberia's agony during the civil war in the summer of 2003. Everything is filmed in real time. Terror, uncertainty and despair, mixed with humor and bravery, are captured in the faces of people imprisoned by chaos. The strength of the documentary is its immersion in the violence of the moment, and its extraordinary access to all sides of the conflict. Charles Taylor, a former convict who escaped from a Massachusetts prison to lead a revolt in 1989 against the brutal regime of Samuel Doe, terrorizing Liberia and Sierra Leone in the years that followed, is the film's central actor. Mr. Taylor resists entreaties from the United States and other countries to leave office and spare the country the mass killings that are predicted once a rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, reaches the capital. When President Bush embarks on an African trip in July 2003, he comes under pressure to resolve the Liberian crisis and vaguely promises to send in peacekeepers after Mr. Taylor has left. But Mr. Taylor perfectly plays President Bush, asserting that to leave before the peacekeepers arrive would be irresponsible. Buoyed by his countrymen's hope that United States marines are on the way, Mr. Taylor maneuvers himself into a position to buy time for a better deal (he's eventually given asylum in Nigeria) while blaming the United States for not intervening (the marines wait for Mr. Taylor's departure before landing shortly after the bloodbath and staying for about a month). The film makes clear how easy it would have been to prevent the spasm of violence that swept through Monrovia, Liberia's capital, in July 2003. With President Bush in Africa and United States troopships in Liberian waters, the stars seemed aligned for the United States to help the people of its historically closest African ally. Rebel youths on bridges aimlessly firing a few mortars and grenade launchers would certainly have been no match for the heavily armed marines for whom the streets were lined with cheering, expectant citizens. But all hopes were dashed when the rebels arrived. One of the film's most wrenching moments comes when the United States Embassy compound, where thousands of Liberians had sought refuge, takes a direct mortar hit, wreaking mass death and havoc. In a poignant comment after the bombing, a Liberian peace worker tells the filmmaker, "Those of us with the blue passport that says, `Love of liberty brought us here,' are doomed. But you Americans can get out." Of all the countries in Africa, Liberia has long had the closest relationship with the United States. A republic of liberty was founded there as a refuge for freed slaves by the American Colonization Society. In 1847 Liberia declared its independence, and for the next 133 years freed slaves and their descendants dominated the country's political life. In 1980 longstanding tensions between "Americo-Liberians" and the country's indigenous population exploded into a bloody conflict that led to a series of brutal governments, cost over a quarter of a million lives and tore the country apart. Liberia is a minor star in a growing constellation of failed states, but its historic connection to the United States should make it more accessible to Americans struggling to understand the forces of disintegration that threaten global security. "Liberia: An Uncivil War" is a powerful film that warns about the future by showing a version of the present. It explores the appeal of violence to those who are desperate and the lure of chaos to those who plan violence. For more than a decade, Washington has been skittish about mobilizing efforts to stop the deadly progress of civil war, crimes against humanity and genocide as these man-made disasters have engulfed whole countries in sub-Saharan Africa, from Rwanda to Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan, to name just a few. The result has been unstable societies and havens for terrorism, drug trafficking and corruption, to say nothing of untold human suffering. The prosecutor of the Special War Crimes Tribunal that has indicted Charles Taylor for crimes against humanity asserts that a disintegrating Liberia has become an attractive refuge for Al Qaeda. "War gives young men with no future a strange dignity," a Liberian intellectual says. A Liberian doctor overwhelmed by casualties at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia simply says, "How much time we have to live depends on the international community." "We consider ourselves a 51st state," observes a wistful Liberian when the marines don't come, "but maybe it's a one-sided thing." LIBERIA An Uncivil War Discovery Times, tonight at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time. Jonathan Stack, producer and director; James Brabazon, co-producer and co-director; Michael Kovalenko, editor; Christopher Luchini, assistant editor. Produced by Gabriel Films for Discovery Times Channel. John Shattuck, former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, is chief executive of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and author of "Freedom on Fire: Human Rights Wars and America's Response."


Internews 5 Aug 2004 Remembering Germany's African Genocide The largely forgotten 1904 Herero massacre is one of the worst atrocities in colonial history Alexander Krabbe (internews) German soldiers encamped in Southwest Africa at the turn of the 20th century. ©2004 BLZ "We demand a place where the sun is shining," Heinrich Goring (1885) These words of Heinrich Goring, the father of Hitler's "Reichsmarschall" Hermann Goring, mark the initiation of the bloodiest period in German-African history. During the colonial push of Great Britain and France, the German public, encouraged by the conservative media of the time, called for colonial engagement. Two Hereros ©2004 In the 1890s, Southwest Africa was marked as Germany's own imperial "run for Africa" which was in line with Social Darwinism. Many were arguing for the "civilizing role of imperialism." The major tribe living in Southwest Africa -- the Hereros -- were quickly defeated by German troops dispatched by Emperor Wilhelm II. Berlin immediately began to take the natives' land and sell it to German farmers. Hereros and Namas were abused as slaves, their societies were crushed, poverty and despair took hold, and the weak and the handicapped were left to die. "The great general of the German troops, sends this letter to the Herero people. Hereros are no longer German subjects ... All the Hereros must leave the land. If the people do not want this, then I will force them to do it with great guns. Any Herero found within the German borders with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall no longer receive any women or children; I will drive them back to their people -- otherwise I shall order shots to be fired at them ... No male prisoners will be taken. I will shoot them. This is my decision for the Herero people," wrote the German military commander of Southwest Africa Lothar von Trotha (1848-1920). "I know enough tribes in Africa. What they have in common is that they all just yield to violence. To exercise this violence with terror, and even with cruelty, was and is my policy," he once said. Lothar von Trotha ©2004 On January 12, 1904, the Hereros began an uprising against the occupation in the city of Okahandja, a German military operation base. Railways near the city of Osona were blown up in order to stop the reinforcement for German troops. The Hereros fought the occupation for four years, but the German counterstrike decimated at least 80 percent of their population. 65,000 Hereros died in combat or concentration camps. In the view of many experts on world history, Germany's war against the Hereros stands for the beginning of genocide as a part of geopolitical strategy. For the first time in German history, concentration camps were established, inspired by the "invention" of such camps by England in its own Boer War in 1900. During detainment, at least half of the prisoners were executed by hanging or firing squad, starved or died of infectious diseases. On August 11 to 12, 1904, the counterstrike against the Hereros' uprising became a war of extermination. Thousands of fighting Hereros were killed in a bloody battle by German artillery cannons and machine-gun fire. The survivors, surrounded by German troops, were left to die of hunger and thirst. Southwest Africa later became a colony of the Republic of South Africa and gained independence in 1990. It is now the nation of Namibia. To ordinary Germans, the genocide of 1904-1908 is largely unknown. I wouldn't have been able to write this article without the engagement of my old history teacher in school, a man with a wide range of knowledge. The focus of history teachers in Germany is concentrated mostly on World War 2. So most German history teachers don't tell their pupils about war crimes in Southwest Africa. Often they don't even know anything about the genocide themselves. Naturally Germany's political class, the media and the public do not remember the crimes committed in Africa 100 years ago. In 1995, former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl refused a meeting with Herero officials while making a state visit to Namibia. Roman Herzog, Germany's president from 1994 to 1999, also refused to issue an official apology for the Herero genocide during a state visit in 1998. While visiting Namibia four weeks ago, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer also avoided a gesture of reconciliation and confession of guilt. Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroder doesn't seem to have realized the problem yet. There is only one famous book describing the horror of the Herero genocide: Gerhard Seyfried's "Herero" (2001), by the publishing house "Eichborn." Israel Kaunatjike, a descendant of a German soldier who assaulted his grandmother ©2004 No official commemoration ceremonies, no apologies, no regrets -- no memory. 100 years after German troops killed, raped and humiliated Southwest Africa's natives, there seems to be no interest within German society to remember and regret its first genocide. The mass murder was not even recognized by the German Parliament as what it was -- a genocide. There are no memorials for the brave Hereros, neither in Germany's capital city of Berlin, nor in any other German city. Only some diligent German magazines publish articles retelling the story of Germany's first steps towards "nation building" which later imploded into one of the most horrifying war crimes in history. Since 1990, Herero representatives have struggled for an official German apology and for financial compensation. In September 2001, the "Herero People's Reparation Corporation" submitted a claim for compensation in a U.S. court totaling US$2 billion against the Federal Republic of Germany, Deutsche Bank and several other companies which profited from slavery and the war in Southwest Africa. Experts on German law are sure there is at least a good chance for a financial compensation package to be approved for the 30,000 living descendants of children of African women who were raped by German soldiers during the occupation. Map of the Herero Rebellion 1904-5

SAPA 5 Aug 2004 Germany urges Hereros to drop lawsuit August 05 2004 at 09:31AM Windhoek - Germany's ambassador to Namibia has called on the Herero people to drop a $4-billion (about R25-billion) lawsuit filed three years ago in American courts for atrocities committed under colonial rule. Ambassador Wolfgang Massing told a panel discussion on the 1904 Herero uprising against German rule that the case filed in a US court would "lead us nowhere" and proposed that other ways be found to deal with the "wounds of the past". "The German side will not move as long as this court case is on the roll. It will not lead to any results," Massing said late on Wednesday. "While it is necessary to remember the past we should move forward together and find projects that will heal the wounds of the past," Massing said. 'The German side will not move as long as this court case is on the roll' About 200 ethnic Herero filed a lawsuit in the US court of the district of Columbia in September 2001 demanding $2-billion (about R12-billion) from the German government for atrocities committed under colonial rule. Germany ruled Namibia, then called German South West Africa, between 1884 to 1915 before handing over the territory to South Africa after its defeat in World War 1. Namibia won independence in 1990. Between 45 000 and 65 000 Hereros died after German officers issued an extermination order against the tribe in 1904 to crush an uprising against colonial rule. The tragedy is remembered by Namibia's 120 000 Hereros as genocide. The lawsuit lodged by the Herero Peoples' Reparation Corporation is also seeking $2-billion from several German companies including Deutsche Bank, mining company Terex Corporation, formerly Orenstein-Koppel, and the shipping company Deutsche Afrika Linie, formerly Woermann Linie. The district court of Columbia was chosen as it has a 215-year-old law on its books, the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789, that allows for such civil action. Several Herero representatives reiterated calls for a formal apology from Germany and negotiations on a settlement. "We want an apology and Germany should start a serious dialogue with us. The Herero issue will not stop, it will continue ad infinitum," said Festus Muinjo, one of the panelists. To break the deadlock, a law professor proposed the establishment of a reconciliation commission. "We should think of a reconciliation commission with leaders of the Herero people and Germany to work out an appropriate form of apology and possible reparation and hopefully an out of court settlement," Manfred Hinz proposed. - Sapa-AFP

The Namibian (Windhoek) 6 Aug 2004 Germany Mulls Remedy Other Than Reparations By Petros Kuteeue Windhoek GERMANY has hinted that it is ready to open dialogue with Namibia's Herero people who are suing Berlin for their near-extermination by colonial troops a century ago. Addressing a panel debate in Windhoek on Wednesday about the German-Herero war of 1904-1907, Germany's Ambassador to Namibia asserted that the lawsuit filed by the Herero "would not bring any solution" to the current stand-off between his government and the tribe. "What is needed is dialogue between all parties; we have to listen to each other and find a common solution. Forget about the court case, it will not help anything. There are many other possibilities to settle this matter," said Wolfgang Massing. Massing's comment came in the wake of a proposal by the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Namibia, Professor Manfred Hinz, for a reconciliation commission to be established to seek a negotiated settlement to the reparation issue. The Herero have filed lawsuits seeking US$4 billion from Germany and German companies they say profited from slavery and exploitation in what was then German South West Africa. Though Berlin has assumed moral responsibility for the massacre of about 65 000 of the 80 000-strong Herero tribe by German colonial soldiers, it has ruled out paying direct compensation and making a formal apology. Successive German leaders who have visited Namibia in recent years, including former President Roman Herzog in 1998, have refused to meet representatives of the Herero people. Massing's remarks on Wednesday, and his Government's decision to send its Minister for Economic and Technical Co-operation, Heidi Wieczorek-Zeul, to the centenary commemoration of the Herero genocide later this month, appear to point to a softening in Berlin's hard-line stance on the issue. "We want to move forward. This year is the first time that Germany recognises and sends a high-ranking official to these commemoration... this is a positive step," the diplomat said. The Ambassador, however, irked many people in the audience, including some German citizens, when he remarked that a recent resolution on the 1904 genocide by the German parliament was a "positive step forward". "Not all Germans feel the same about this issue. The resolution failed at the least to recognise that there was genocide or give a formal apology. I find it a slap in the face of the victims. The remarks of the ambassador are even a slap in my face by my own government," responded German journalist Henning Hintze. The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) welcomed Germany's willingness to negotiate but said the former colonial power should not expect the Herero to discontinue their court case as a pre-condition for a negotiated settlement of the reparations dispute. The NSHR then took a swipe at the Namibian Government's continuous snubbing of activities to commemorate the 1904 war. "Such an attitude is probably one of the clearest indicators of the discriminatory and exclusionist fashion in which German development aid is implemented in Namibia," NSHR Executive Director Phil ya Nangoloh charged. During the debate, a prominent member of the Herero People's Reparation Corporation and historian, Festus Muundjua, warned of a Zimbabwean-style land grab if Germany did not heed his people's demands for reparation. He said Herero leaders constantly had to restrain their people because tensions were running high in the Herero community as land that was forcefully taken from them was still occupied by descendants of German settlers. "If these people, out of frustration, start getting out of hand, maybe it would be too late and the consequences would not be desirable," Muundjua warned. Experts say the Herero suit filed in a US federal court has a limited chance of success as international conventions against genocide were not agreed to until decades after the Herero war. Some believe the genocide was a foretaste of Nazi Germany's Jewish holocaust more than three decades later and that Germany should compensate the Herero like the Jewish community. Since their final defeat by German troops in 1907, Herero survivors have been scattered over Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Thousands of Herero are expected to gather at Ohamakari in the Otjozondjupa Region, the scene of the last battle against the Germans, on August 14 as part of year-long activities to commemorate this year's 100th anniversary of the war.

AFP 7 Aug 2004 German minister to visit Namibian massacre site BERLIN - A German minister will for the first time attend commemoration ceremonies to remember Imperial Germany's extermination campaign against the Herero people of Namibia one hundred years ago, the government said. Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul will attend the ceremonies on August 14 in Okakarara, the site in 1904 of one of the most significant battles between the German military and rebelling Herero. Between 45,000 and 65,000 Herero died after German officers issued an extermination order against the tribe in 1904 to crush an uprising against colonial rule. The tragedy is remembered by Namibia's 120,000 Herero as genocide. In a sign of continuing tensions over how to atone for the past, the president of the organising committee for the events slammed Germany for retaining colonial attitudes towards its former African possession. Arnold Tjihuiko told the Monday edition of the Spiegel news weekly that the Germans were "masters of racism" and accused them of having "a lack of respect for black people". "We want the Germans to say: we are sorry," he said. In January, Germany's ambassador expressed deep regret over the massacre, the closest a German government representative has come to an apology. Germany has resisted mounting calls from the Herero for it to pay reparations for the massacres, but has given Namibia 500 million euros (600 million dollars) in aid since 1990. Germany ruled Namibia, then called German South West Africa, between 1884 to 1915 before handing over the territory to South Africa after its defeat in World War I. Namibia won independence in 1990.

New Era (Windhoek) 23 Aug 2004 OPINION August 23, 2004 The Genocide - is German Aid Enough Reparation? By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro Okakarara "As a show of reverence and gratitude to the heroes and heroines of this day (the day of the Battle of Ohamakari), our animosities and divisions must give way to confession, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and harmony in Namibia," the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, Reverend Zephania Kameeta, led close to 10 000 people in a meditation to pave the way for the beginning of the 100th commemoration of the Battle of Ohamakari last Saturday. As if those present might have read his benedictory wishes before the time, the day had all the ingredients of Bishop Kameeta's benediction. Reconciliation, peace and harmony were clearly manifested. Confession and forgiveness followed later from the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. "Today, I want to acknowledge the violence inflicted by the German colonial powers on your ancestors, particularly the Herero and the Nama," came the confession. "And so in the words of the Lord's Prayer that we share, I ask you to forgive us our trespasses," came the plea for forgiveness albeit via a line from the Lord's Prayer. In turn some of Namibia's leaders accepted the plea for forgiveness, notably Chief Kuaima Riruako of the Ovaherero who was "calmed down" by the German minister's sorrowful and forgiveness-inducing speech. Lands, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Minister Hifikepunye Pohamba apparently had to skip a section in his speech in view of the forgiveness appealing speech of Wieczorek-Zeul. Bishop Kameeta further mediated that the day should not be for commemoration only but also for the liberation of the spirits, minds and hearts as the moment of change and renewal had arrived. "Those who are not willing to recognise and embrace this Kairos will loose it forever," he said. It was also the hour for the current German government to recognise in unambiguous terms the atrocities committed by the past imperial colonial government, and to reach out an honest hand of friendship and solidarity of reconciliation, reconstruction, development and peace. Yes, reconstruction because after everything has been said and done, as is the case now when the apology may have come and gone, what the descendants of the victims would want to see is assistance to help them pick themselves up. "This committee must just keep in mind that our struggle for justice and economic emancipation has just started. The journey will be long and demanding sacrifices in numerous ways but you should never and never give up," Ovambanderu Chief Munjuku II aptly sent home the message in a statement given to the German minister at Ohamakari. To Chief Munjuku II and his people and indeed to all the victims of German colonial atrocities, the apology, as much as it has been awaited with alacrity, is not an end but a means to an end. "I am not advocating for the total dispossession of the land from those with surplus but for equitable re-distribution of it. It is on the background of this information, I feel the government of Germany should first make an apology for the injustices inflicted on the Herero and Mbanderu communities. And secondly pay for all the things we lost in the process." The Ovambanderu Chief goes on to address the often-trumpeted bilateral relations between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and Germany. "We do not want a repetition of the chorus of the development aid to Namibia, a bilateral arrangement that Germany is enjoying with other governments worldwide with which it had bitter past involvement as it had with the Herero and Mbanderu scattered in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa," comes the message loud and clear from the Ovambanderu Chief. If there is any issue with which the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu, and Ovaherero and Ovambanderu leaders speak with one voice, it is the issue of their sufferings at the hands of German colonial troops, and the need to recognise these wrongs and look beyond their mere acknowledgement to their eventual rectification. "An important basis, if not a primary one, for Germany's 'special political and moral responsibility' to Namibia are the wrongs that the German Imperial Forces committed against the Namibian people, and the Ovaherero in particular. This is a historical fact that the German government must first recognise before anything else," Chief Riruako would have reminded the German minister had she not seduced him emotionally with her tears-soaked speech at Ohamakari. The chief would have maintained that there could not be a meaningful and constructive "German engagement with Namibia until the German categorically recognises that the Ovaherero were grossly wronged by various acts of imperial forces." And that is the context, Riruako would have impressed on Wieczorek-Zeul, that her government should view its special bilateral relationship with Namibia. "These people" meaning the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu who were wronged by colonial Germany's excesses and attritions, "sill exist and live in Namibia. They have their own leadership structures through which the German government can engage them. Truthfully and on an equal footing to help them in their reconstruction." It all comes back to reconstruction and axiomatically to compensation. "The assistance that the German government has been providing to Namibia on a bilateral basis does not take away the pain and deprivation my people suffered during their colonial subjugation, robbery of their land and confiscation of their cattle, subjecting them to slave labour," the German government once would have been reminded about its popular song about its development assistance to Namibia. "If the German government is to convince the Ovaherero that the assistance it provides is also intended for them, we would wish for a more direct link between this assistance and the direct victims of German colonialism if we were to by-pass the tribal hurdle that seems to lurk behind development assistance in this country," the appeal would have sounded. "We recognise and appreciate the existing bilateral development cooperation between the governments of the Republic of Namibia and the Federal Republic of Germany. However, we are equally alarmed and regret the fact that the latter government has opted to hide behind the excuse of blanket development," Chief Kaihepovazandu Maharero solidifies the position appealing to both the Namibian and German governments to work towards a future framework for bilateral cooperation that reflects "the aspirations of the various affected communities, in accordance with the intensities of the losses and suffering that they were subjected to". Chief Maharero also warns against statements that may "send conflicting messages" on the matter. From the Diaspora in Botswana, Ovaherero Chief Johannes Kaumo Maharero joins in noting the tears of sorrow of the German minister but cautioning that his people need more than tears of sorrow. He reminds the minister that the descendants of thousands and thousands of Ovaherero and Ovambanderu who died are still scattered in the Diaspora despite the fact that the land of their ancestors is free today. And worst, they are minus the language of the ancestors. "Germans and Hereros should work together to find an amicable solution to both sides of the equation," Chief Kamutuaa Hosea Kandorozu of the Ovaherero in the Diaspora in South Africa adds his voice, expressing land hunger among his people and the need to acquire it. "Experts and gurus who once dealt with cases of this nature should be quested to deal with this case. A permanent solution without trying to beat about the bush is needed, or trying out court settlement should be avoided," he says. These are the laments of the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu in unison, but which seem to go against the Otjozondjupa Region's host, Governor Theophelus Eiseb, who in his welcoming remarks at Ohamakari was of the opinion that German development assistance to Namibia was more than these lamenters could hope for. But not for the lamenters who decided to swim against the stream created by their host. Or should one say, the host swam against the stream?


Reuters 4 Aug 2004 Nigeria says 258,000 still displaced after killings By Shuaibu Mohammed JOS, Nigeria, Aug 4 (Reuters) - More than 258,000 people are still displaced from religious clashes in Nigeria that killed hundreds of people in the central state of Plateau three months ago, officials said on Wednesday. Christian militia massacred hundreds of Muslims in Plateau in early May after a series of tit-for-tat killings over land and political power, forcing thousands to flee and prompting President Olusegun Obasanjo to assume emergency powers. "Over 258,000 persons in the state (Plateau) have been identified as having been displaced during the state's ethno-religious crisis," said Thomas Kangnaan, Chairman of the Plateau State Committee on the Census of Displaced Persons. The majority have remained in Plateau and had no access to aid, relying mostly on family and friends to survive, aid agencies said. About 60,000 people in camps in neighbouring Bauchi state have received medical attention, water and access to makeshift schooling. Nigerian authorities said they were trying to supply relief materials to those displaced not in camps. "The camps are overcrowded and not ideal, but the others (not in camps) are much worse off, in very difficult conditions. Many have had their homes burned down," said United Nations Development Programme director Tegegnework Gettu. "It is a serious situation," he added. Ethnic, religious and communal violence has killed more than 11,000 people since Africa's most populous nation and biggest oil producer emerged from 15 years of military rule in 1999. Competition for resources in a stagnant economy has exacerbated religious and ethnic rivalries, and orchestrated purges on minority groups in several states are frequent. The country's population of 130 million is equally divided between Christians and Muslims belonging to hundreds of tribes scattered across the country.


Reuters 2 Aug 2004 Rwanda vows probe of French genocide role KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwanda will probe accusations France helped train killers who took part in the central African nation's 1994 genocide, Rwanda's foreign minister says. Charles Murigande told reporters on Monday:"It will be an objective exercise, we will share the findings with the French government.," A draft law approved by the Rwandan cabinet on Friday created an independent commission to investigate France's role. The law must be passed by parliament before the commission can start its work. "The commission will collect testimony from survivors and from ex-FAR (former army) and Interahamwe who were involved," Murigande said. While marking the 10th anniversary of the genocide in April, Rwandan President Paul Kagame told mourners France had helped train fighters knowing that they would commit genocide. France strongly denies this. "France takes note of the Rwandan government's decision to set up a national commission to 'gather evidence of France's implication in the genocide carried out in Rwanda in 1994," French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Cecile Pozzo di Borgo said. MEETING IN PRETORIA French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier and Murigande discussed the matter last Wednesday during a meeting in the South African capital Pretoria, she said. France and Rwanda have long been at odds over the French role in the genocide in which some 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus died in 100 days of ethnic slaughter. Murigande denied the move was in retaliation for previous accusations by France over Kagame's involvement in triggering the killings, saying the two countries were trying to improve relations. Kagame accused France of taking part in the genocide after the Paris newspaper Le Monde published articles blaming him for ordering the shooting down of the plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana and the Burundian president. Habyarimana's death triggered Rwanda's mass killings and plunged the heart of the continent into a decade of war and upheaval that is only now slowly abating. The newspaper reports were based on a six-year inquiry by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who was asked to investigate the crash by relatives of the French flight crew.

Xinhuanet 2 Aug 2004 Two survivors killed by Rwandan genocide participants www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-02 17:04:32 KIGALI, Aug. 2 () -- Two genocide survivors in Rwanda's southern Butare province were slaughtered Sunday by the 1994 genocide participants, a state-run radio reported here Monday. The killings occurred in Nyamure district where more than 50,000 Tutsi were killed by the Hutu extremists who killed an estimated million of Rwandans in 1994. Police have arrested 10 culprits and in the wake of cracking them, two were shot dead on Sunday morning, said Regional Police Commander Eugen Kajeguhakwa. The officer added that the guilty party were all former inmateswho will face the traditional Gacaca courts and tried to kill the genocide survivors who would give out testimonies of their reprobate. Police are deeply investigating other features that would be behind the cause of the killings and ensure serious measures to the culprits, Kajeguhakwa underscored. Last week several houses of the survivors were burnt to ashes and many of them left their homes in fear of their lives. Other two related cases were reported in mid June and tension is gripping to the genocide perpetrators who ought to face Gacaca courts. While officially inaugurating the commencement of the long awaited trials of the genocide related crimes committed between October 1990 and December 1994, President Paul Kagame assured the survivors that their security would be maintained during Gacaca proceedings.

The Monitor (Kampala) 18 Aug 2004 ICTR to Refer 45 Cases to Rwanda By Nasra Bishumba Kigali The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will next year begin transferring to Rwanda 45 cases of people accused of masterminding the 1994 genocide. Mr Hassan Aboubacar Jallow, the Chief Prosecutor of the Arusha-based court, told reporters on Monday that his court and the Rwandan government would finalise talks of the transfers by December. The cases would include those of indicted suspects and those still at large. Jallow said there were modalities to be agreed upon before the effecting the transfers. They include scrapping the death sentence. Jallow has been in Rwanda for the past one week. "There is no way we are going to hit the 2008 deadline if we keep all the cases. We have to transfer some of the cases to Rwanda for national jurisdiction," he said. He said the court was facing a financial crisis after the nations which had pledged support had not delivered any on their promises.


UN News Centre 30 July 2004 Sudan must act on Darfur in 30 days or face measures, Security Council warns 30 July 2004 – The Security Council today adopted a resolution paving the way for action against Sudan in 30 days if it does not make progress on pledges to disarm the militias accused of indiscriminate murders, rapes and other attacks against civilians in the Darfur region – a move that was welcomed immediately by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. With China and Pakistan abstaining, and the other 13 members approving the text, the Council agreed to impose an arms embargo against the Janjaweed militias and all other non-governmental forces in Darfur, which has been described as the site of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The resolution says the Council might take measures against Sudan if it does not show progress on achieving the commitments – most notably the pledges to disarm the Janjaweed and restore security to Darfur – it outlined in a joint communiqué with the UN on 3 July. Those measures include steps allowed under the UN Charter, such as issuing economic penalties, restricting transport and communications, and severing diplomatic relations. The resolution also calls for the resumption of political dialogue between the government and Darfur’s two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Mr. Annan, who visited Darfur earlier this month and was present at the signing of the communiqué, “looks forward to the swift and sustained implementation” by Sudan of its commitments, and hopes the resolution will ensure that a humanitarian catastrophe is avoided in Darfur, according to a statement read out by UN spokesperson Marie Okabe. The Secretary-General also welcomed the Council’s backing of the efforts of the African Union (AU), which is trying to mediate a political solution to the crisis and has deployed human rights monitors as part of a mission in Darfur, a region roughly equal to the size of France. In Accra, Ghana, African leaders said they discussed plans to significantly expand the number of troops in the AU’s observer mission given the deteriorating security situation in Darfur. They also called on the international community to give financial and logistic support to that mission. Ambassador John Danforth of the United States, one of the sponsors of today’s resolution, said the Council had been forced to act because Government forces and the Janjaweed, which are allied to Khartoum, had killed 30,000 people since February last year. “The last thing we wanted to do was lay the groundwork for sanctions, but the Government of Sudan has left us no choice,” he told the Council after it voted, calling the resolution essential to global efforts to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Humanitarian agencies estimate that 1.2 million people have become internally displaced within Darfur and another 200,000 live as refugees in neighbouring Chad because of the Janjaweed attacks and the fighting between Sudanese forces and the SLM/A and the JEM. Sudan’s Ambassador Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa told the Council his Government was in a “race with time” to implement the commitments laid out in the 3 July communiqué, adding it was extremely difficult to disarm the Janjaweed because Darfur is a region where almost everyone carries arms. Mr. Erwa said Khartoum had already made much progress, citing the deployment of more than 4,800 police to bolster security, the arrest and trial of 200 Janjaweed members, and the dispatch of rape investigation teams headed by female judges. Accusing the United States of pre-determining the facts, he said that when the joint communiqué with the UN was signed, it never occurred to Sudan that it would be used “as a springboard” to punish Khartoum. Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, announcing his country’s abstention before the role, said the adoption of mandatory measures if commitments are not met is “not helpful in resolving the situation in Darfur and may further complicate the situation.” Mr. Wang stressed the importance of listening to and supporting the AU as it attempted to resolve the Darfur dispute.

UN Security Council 30/07/2004 Press Release SC/8160 Security Council 5015th Meeting (AM) SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS SUDAN DISARM MILITIAS IN DARFUR, ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1556 (2004) BY VOTE OF 13–0–2 Requests Report in 30 Days on Progress, With Intention to Take Further Action in Event of Non-Compliance The Security Council today, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, demanded that the Government of the Sudan disarm the Janjaweed militias, apprehend and bring to justice its leaders and their associates who had incited and carried out violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as other atrocities in the country’s Darfur region. Adopting resolution 1556 (2004) by 13 votes in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Pakistan), the Council further requested the Secretary-General to report in 30 days, and monthly thereafter, on the Government’s progress or otherwise on that matter and expressed its intention to consider further actions, including measures under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter, in the event of non-compliance. [According to Article 41, the Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, including complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.] It called on the Government to fulfil immediately all the commitments made in the joint communiqué issued by itself and the Secretary-General on 3 July 2004, particularly by facilitating international relief for the humanitarian disaster by means of a moratorium on all restrictions that might hinder the provision of assistance and access to the affected populations. The Government would also advance the independent investigation, in cooperation with the United Nations, of human rights violations and international humanitarian law; establish credible security conditions for the protection of the civilian population and humanitarian actors; and resume political talks with dissident groups from Darfur, specifically the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLM/A). The Council decided that all States would take the necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply to all non-governmental entities and individuals, including the Janjaweed, operating in North, South and West Darfur by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft and related materials of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts, whether or not originating in their territories. However, the Council decided, those measures would not apply to supplies and related technical training and assistance to monitoring, verification or peace support operations; supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian and human rights monitoring or protective use; and protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, for the personal use of United Nations personnel, human rights monitors, media representatives, as well as development workers and associated personnel. Endorsing the deployment of international monitors, under the leadership of the African Union, to Darfur, the Council urged the international community to support those efforts. It welcomed the progress made in deploying monitors, and stressed the need for the Government of Sudan and all involved parties to facilitate their work in accordance with the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April 2004, and with the Addis Ababa agreement of 28 May 2004 on the modalities of establishing an observer mission to monitor the ceasefire. The Council urged Member States to reinforce the international monitoring team by providing personnel and other assistance, including financing, supplies, transport, vehicles, command support, communications and headquarters support. It welcomed the contributions already made by the European Union and the United States to support the African Union-led operation. Urging the parties to the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement to conclude a political agreement without delay, the Council noted with regret the failure of senior rebel leaders to participate in the 15 July talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, describing it as unhelpful to the process. It called for renewed talks under the leadership of the African Union and its chief mediator, Hamid Algabid, to reach a political solution to the tensions in Darfur. In addition, the Council strongly urged rebel groups to respect the ceasefire, end the violence immediately and act in a positive and constructive manner to end the conflict. Reiterating its support for the Naivasha Agreement signed by the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the Council looked forwards to its effective implementation and a peaceful, unified Sudan working in harmony with all other States for development. Statements were made by the representatives of China, United States, United Kingdom, Algeria (also on behalf of Angola and Benin), Russian Federation, Germany, Spain, Brazil, France, Pakistan, Chile, Philippines and Romania. In response to the text’s adoption, the representative of the Sudan said that as of yesterday, 4,812 police officers had been deployed in Darfur and 200 members of the Janjaweed militias had been arrested. Some of them had been sentenced to death. The Government had dispatched a high-level delegation to negotiate without preconditions, but the talks had collapsed, because the rebels had insisted on preconditions. When the Government had signed the joint communiqué, it had not thought that it would be used to punish the Sudan, regardless of whether it had implemented its commitments. The Government was fully aware that some activists in the United States administration had worked to foster the rebellion. He said that the consultations on the resolution had shown a division in the Council between those members that wished to allow adequate time for the African Union’s efforts and those insisting on adopting the resolution irrespective of the decision taken by African leaders. To the latter group, the resolution had become an end in itself. It had been determined in the United States Congress, before it had been discussed in the Council. That Congress had decided that genocide and ethnic cleansing were taking place in Darfur, contrary to the judgement of the African Union Summit. The meeting convened at 11:13 a.m. and adjourned at 12:40 p.m. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/sc8160.doc.htm.

NYT 3 Aug 2004 Evicted From Camp, Sudan Refugees Suffer in Limbo By MARC LACEY EL FASHER, Sudan, Aug. 2 - Aid workers call them "Kofi Annan's group.'' When Mr. Annan, the United Nations secretary general, pulled up at the dismal Meshtel refugee camp during a visit to Darfur on the afternoon of July 1, to his surprise every last person was gone. "Where are the people?" he was heard to ask. A month later, he and other dignitaries have come and gone, but some 1,500 people from Meshtel remain in limbo. They were sent to another camp, Abushouk, but have not been completely welcomed and live a few degrees of destitution below the rest of the 50,000 displaced people there. The new residents have yet to be formally registered, despite a month of waiting. That means they have not been entitled to plastic sheeting, free blankets or food rations from aid agencies, no matter what tragedies they may have endured. Among the others in Abushouk, these down-and-out people are referred to with the same Arabic word given to used clothes. The nickname, Abu Janguer, comes from their hovels, many of which feature garments as roofs. "We feel awful when they call us that," said Sara Abubakar Musa, 24, who was displaced by armed militias from her village several hours north of El Fasher. "How can they give us such a name?" Ms. Musa was among those whom Mr. Annan never got to meet. On the eve of his visit, she recalled, government trucks showed up at Meshtel, a camp generally more squalid and unsightly. She said people had been ordered to grab their possessions and go - not home, but to Abushouk, on the outskirts of town, ensuring that Mr. Annan would not see their severe hardship. Such forced relocations have occurred here and in other parts of Darfur, Sudan's troubled western region, where more than a million people have been driven from their homes. As recently as this week, government officials were offering cash, food and other incentives to lure people living in resettlement camps back to their villages. Then there are those like Ms. Musa who are simply made to move. The aid workers condemn the government practice of trying to lure the displaced people back to their villages, but it is the residents themselves who typically speak out the loudest. Most say they will not go home until they are assured that Darfur is safe. By nearly all accounts, a month after the high-profile visits from Mr. Annan and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, it is not. This is so despite increasing pressure - including a United Nations Security Council resolution implying sanctions - on Sudan's government to rein in marauding militias, known as the Janjaweed. The United States Congress and others have called the killings in Darfur genocide. This vast region of scrub and sand is still marked by tension, insecurity and lawlessness, driven either by run-of-the-mill bandits or the Janjaweed militias, which the government has armed and backed in its conflict with two rebel groups. The rebels have fought since early 2003 for more resources for the black African majority in Darfur, which they say has been neglected by a government in Khartoum dominated by Arabs. Camps like Abushouk are where the thousands caught in the middle of the conflict find refuge in neat rows of huts, each covered with plastic sheeting to keep out the rains. Mr. Powell came to Abushouk in late June and suggested afterward that he knew that conditions elsewhere in Darfur were much worse, despite the government's best efforts to hide the worst of camps, like Meshtel. There are two health clinics in Abushouk, and evenly spaced latrines. So organized is this camp that road signs have been stuck in the sand. But Abushouk has a bad neighborhood too. That is where Ms. Musa and the others transferred from Meshtel continue to live in squalor compared with their compatriots in other parts of the camp. Old clothes hung on wooden poles are all that protect them from the elements. They relieve themselves in the sand. Many here lived with relatives in El Fasher after being forced out of their villages by armed militias. But when they saw other displaced people receiving benefits, they began camping out at Meshtel. Their approach failed, and they were moved once again. The other day, several hundred of those moved from the Meshtel camp looked on as aid workers gave out rations to other residents of Abushouk. When people from Meshtel would step forward, without the required registration card, the authorities would push them back. The giveaway finished, and the only people left, unfed, were those from Meshtel. Help may be on the way. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which coordinates aid in the camp, says it intends to begin providing assistance to the people from Meshtel soon. "These people were brought in all of a sudden, with no organization," said Jean-François Sonnay, head of the Red Cross office in El Fasher. "We hope to start distributing to them in the next few days." And officials at the World Food Program said the people from Meshtel will soon be added to its ration list. But the people themselves have heard nothing, which is by design. Aid workers fear that if word gets out, residents of the nearby town will flock to Abushouk. Until the aid does arrive, the outcasts whom Mr. Annan almost met are confused by the treatment they are receiving. "We don't know why we don't get the same as everyone else," said Ms. Musa, whose two children are recovering from malaria. "No one wants to register us. It's not fair. Everybody is suffering, but we're suffering even more."

Xinhua 3 Aug 2004 Sudan deploys 5000 police in Darfur BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua via COMTEX)-- A senior Sudanese police official says the Sudanese government has deployed 5000 police in its Darfur region. Vice Police Inspector General Hussein Osman made the announcement in Khartoum on Monday. He added the number will be increased to 6000 in a few days. Their major task is to maintain law and order in the region, CRIENGLISH.com reported Tuesday. He noted some local police stations have been reconstructed and re-opened.The government says it will provide them with communication tools and other equipment.

AFP 4 Aug 2004 African Union to deploy peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region: AU NAIROBI, Aug 4 (AFP) - The African Union plans to transform a small force it was due to send to Sudan's troubled Darfur region into a 2,000-strong peacekeeping mission, an AU official said on Wednesday. The pan-African body was already planning to send some 300 troops to Darfur to protect its team of observers and monitors overseeing the implementation of a shaky ceasefire deal between government-backed militia and rebel groups. The United Nations estimates 50,000 people have died in the Darfur conflict involving government forces and their Janjaweed allies against two rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement.

4 Aug 2004 Darfur's ragtag rebels vow to fight for all 'marginalised' Sudanese by Aymeric Vincenot NORTH DARFUR, Sudan, Aug 4 (AFP) - The students, farmers and former soldiers who make up the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel force battling government-backed militias in the Darfur region say they fight for all Sudanese marginalised by the Khartoum government. "The key jobs are monopolised by the elite of the north," the outfit's secretary general, Bahan Idriss Abu-Garda, told AFP as he sat in a camp in a "liberated zone" in the desert of North Darfur region. "We want all the Sudanese people to share all the jobs in Sudan, from president to the lowest jobs, according to their qualifications and not their origins," he said. The JEM, along with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), rose up in February last year to fight for the rights of black African ethnic minorities in the western region. Since then, the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum has come under massive diplomatic pressure to rein in the government-backed Janjaweed militia who are accused of terrorizing the region's minorities since the launch of the uprising. The United Nations describes the humanitarian crisis in Darfur as currently the world's worst, with up to 50,000 people dead and more than a million driven from their villages. "The marginalised areas have been marginalised for 50 years," complained Abu-Garda. The men who fight alongside him were students, teachers, farmers or soldiers before they joined the rebel ranks. Some are dressed in combat gear, others in the region's traditional long robe and loose trousers. All wear the country's trademark headscarf, which protects them from both the sun and desert dust. Each man has an assault rifle, most of which the rebels say were seized after battles with the horse- and camel-riding Janjaweed. Their four-wheel drive vehicles sometimes sport rocket-propelled grenade launchers or machine guns. One rebel who gave his name as Omar said he used to be a captain in the Sudanese military. "I couldn't stay in army while my brothers in Darfur were joining the rebellion to fight the Janjawwed," the 37-year-old told AFP. Jamal, another rebel, said he was so outraged by reports of massacres that he gave up an easy life in Khartoum, where he lived with his wife and children and ran a business, to return to his native Darfur to become as a rebel in the harsh desert. The rebels of the JEM, which says it has about 7,000 fighters, live a nomadic life, frequently moving their camps or taking refuge in villages abandoned after attacks by the Janjajweed. They say about 800 villages have been burned down and some 70,000 civilians killed in what they call a genocide. Here in this desert camp, as a few men head off on a patrol, others sit around and play cards or chess as they listen to one fighter making melancholy music from a harp he had fashioned out of an old oil can and a bit of wood. JEM secretary general Abu-Garda compares the situation in Darfur with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. "The government arms some tribes to kill other tribes. The first time it happened in Rwanda, now it's in Sudan," he said. The rebel leader, whose group insists it is not seeking independence for Darfur, said he wanted his oil-rich nation to take full advantage of its natural resources and provide development for all its people. "Sudan is not a poor country considering the resources. (But) All the developed areas are in the north. We need equal development and equal distribution of the wealth in Sudan." The MEJ says it has respected a ceasefire it signed with the Khartoum government in April along with the second rebel group. The rebel forces say they control all the rural areas of Darfur, with government troops confined to the region's towns. The Sudanese government in May signed a deal with another rebel group to end more than 20 years of civil war in southern Sudan, which was also fuelled by claims of discrimination against non-Arabs. The accord included power-sharing and deals on the division of oil wealth. Observers say that the Darfur rebels are hoping they can secure a similar deal.

AFP 4 Aug 2004 Fierce fighting in Sudan's Darfur: rebel group N'DJAMENA, Aug 4 (AFP) - Fierce fighting has broken out between rebel groups and government backed Arab militia in the crisis-hit Sudanese region of Darfur, a rebel leader said on Wednesday. "Since last night (Tuesday) about 5000 Janjaweed have been attacking our two movements in Mahadjiria and Cheeria, between Nyala and El-Fasher in the south of Darfur," a spokesman of the rebel Movement for Justice and Equality (MJE) said. Ahmat Toggo said a number of rebels had been killed or wounded, but would not be more specific. He said the fighting was still going on at Midday on Wednesday. "These clashes, which have been exceptionally intense, have meant that observers from the ceasefire commission based in El-Fasher have not been able to reach the front line," said Toggo. "This attack against our positions calls into the question the overall ceasefire and proves once again that Sudan is violating the ceasefire," he added. Toggo said his group would issue a statement regarding its position with respect to the ceasefire after a meeting of his rebel group. The ceasefire was signed on April 8 in the Chadian capital by the rebels and the Sudanese government. Tens of thousands of people have died and more than a million been driven from their homes since the rebels, fighting for the rights of the ethnic African minority, launched an uprising against the Sudanese army and its Arab militia allies. The Arab militias, also known as Janjaweed, have been accused by rights groups and locals in Darfur of ethnic cleansing. The African Union said on Wednesday it was planning to send a 2,000-strong peacekeeping force to Sudan's troubled Darfur region, which the United Nations says is the scene of the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

World Food Programme 4 Aug 2004 Skies rain food bombs over hungry Darfur FUR BURANGA, WEST DARFUR, August 4 - Food bombs in 50-kilogram bags have started to rain down over Sudan's West Darfur state as WFP starts air dropping supplies for of tens of thousands of people cut off by insecurity and the rainy season. WFP's four-engined Antonov-12 and larger Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft screamed low over the farming town of Fur Buranga, 150 kilometres south of the West Darfur capital of El-Geneina, to drop 202 tons of food in the first three days of the operation that started August 2. On a drop run, the aircraft suddenly raises its nose once it reaches an altitude of 200 metres, allowing gravity to pull the 50-kilogram bags of food tied in one large bundle out of the rear ramp. As they fall, the bags break up into individual sacks before slamming into the second half of the clearly marked drop zone, the size of about 1.5 soccer fields. ONLY OPTION "Dropping food by air is always an expensive last resort, but for many parts of Darfur we simply have no other option at this time of year," said Ramiro Lopes da Silva, WFP's Country Director in Sudan. "The start of these air drops, which require an enormous amount of planning and resources, is a further sign of our commitment to ensure that the people of Darfur are given all possible assistance to survive this most appalling crisis. But to do this properly we still urgently need contributions of food and money," he added. Fur Buranga, 10 kilometres east of the border with Chad, has been totally cut off by road since July 19 - although for weeks before then commercial truckers refused to take WFP food and other aid there because of the risks from insecurity and their trucks becoming bogged down on dirt roads turned into mud traps by the rains. UNDERLYING TENSION "Before this food arrived, we ate one meal a day every two days," said one woman, cradling her baby son after receiving a one-month WFP ration of the local sorghum staple, wheat, corn-soya blend (CSB) enriched food, dried peas and salt for her family. "There was food in the market but we couldn't afford it." Reflecting underlying tension, she declined to be named because plainclothes local intelligence officers were loitering nearby, listening to what she said. "I and my father worked to try to end money to buy food. Asked whether she now felt safe in Fur Buranga, the plainclothes intelligence officers terminated the interview. People in Fur Buranga driven from their homes by attacks by the Janjaweed militia said that they would only return to their home areas when they received concrete and real guarantees that they would be safe. DONKEYS AND CARTS Their obvious delight at receiving food is clear as teams of men and carts drawn by donkeys stream into the drop zone after each run to collect the bags and move to the nearby distribution point. Men shouted and laughed as they spread out over the zone strewn with hundreds of large bags. Very few split on impact with the ground, but whenever they do teams of women painstakingly sweep up every grain with brushes and sift them to remove debris. WFP has long experience at air dropping food. For more than a decade, WFP has mounted massive food airdrops into southern Sudan as a means of reaching the most vulnerable. In Darfur, WFP uses a Mi-8 helicopter to ferry in eight-person preparation teams to clear the drop site and inform the beneficiaries. After the food is dropped, eight-person teams from WFP and partner Save the Children Fund United States oversee food distributions on the same day. SEVEN DROPS The Janjaweed raided and looted Fur Buranga last year and all civilians fled. Some have since returned, their numbers swelled by displaced people seeking sanctuary. The town now has an estimated population of 50,000, of which 26,000 will receive food from the WFP air drops - the first to a total of seven places with a total population of 72,000 over the next four weeks. A total of 1,400 tonnes of food will be dropped at the seven sites. Scattered throughout the grounds of Fur Buranga's new hospital, which was caught up in the violence before it could even open, hundreds of new arrivals live in cramped and dirty conditions inside makeshift huts made of branches precariously holding up sheets of plastic. Elders told WFP staff that many were too old or busy with their families to make it to the food distribution. So WFP said that the food would be transported to the hospital camp. PLANTING SEASON PASSED Asked whether they would go home, most people said they couldn't because the Janjaweed were still around. Even if their security could be guaranteed, almost all of them said they expected to be stuck in Fur Buranga into next year because the May-June planting season had passed this year so they would have to wait until the next. A temporary shortage of jet fuel in Sudan has hindered both the airdrop operation and an on-going WFP airlift from Addis Ababa of thousands of tonnes of CSB to the Darfur states. The government of Sudan has recently imported 10,000 tons of jet fuel to address the shortage. WFP is discussing with the government measures to guarantee sufficient fuel for its humanitarian operation. Unless the low levels of jet fuel force a temporary suspension of the air drops, WFP plans to continue them throughout the rainy season into September, by which time all the locations should once again be accessible by road -- the mainstay of WFP's campaign to get food to the hungry people of the three Darfur states.

Al-Ahram Weekly (Cairo) 5 Aug 2004 weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004 Against the clock Can Sudan meet a 30-day deadline to end the political deadlock in Darfur, asks Gamal Nkrumah It is make-or-break for the Sudanese government. Last Friday the United Nations Security Council passed a US-sponsored resolution giving the Sudanese government a 30-day deadline to end the bloody conflict between Sudanese government forces and allied Arab militias known as the Janjaweed on the one hand, and indigenous non-Arab armed opposition groups on the other. If Sudan fails to meet the deadline it will face diplomatic and economic sanctions, and possibly military intervention in the war- torn province of Darfur. The big question is whether Sudan will oblige. The Sudanese government must not now exhibit its by now familiar cynical refusal to own up to the consequences of its policies, one- sided intervention and in some instances inaction, in Darfur. There are signs that the Sudanese government is acquiescing to some of the West's demands. But Sudanese government officials are sending conflicting signals. "The door of jihad is still open, and if it has been closed in the south it will be opened in Darfur," warned the Sudanese armed forces spokesman General Mohamed Beshir Soleiman this week. "Some government officials are posturing and acting as if they can take on the superpowers and challenge the UN resolution, which they claim is an act of war," former Sudanese foreign minister Mansour Khalid told Al-Ahram Weekly. Other officials, he said, are making conciliatory gestures. "This does not help the government's cause," Khalid said. "We are ready to share power and resources in Darfur. We are ready to reach an agreement as we have done in resolving the conflict in southern Sudan," Sudan's Information Minister Al- Zahawi Ibrahim Malik told reporters in Khartoum recently. But Khalid thinks that comparisons cannot be drawn between southern and western Sudan. "In southern Sudan there are religious and cultural dimensions to the conflict. The people of Darfur, Arab and non- Arab, are Muslim. Moreover, there have been traditional claims to separation in southern Sudan, which is not the case in Darfur," he added. Sudanese officials complain that the country's sovereignty is being eroded. At the risk of losing the peace dividend from concluding a deal with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), some Sudanese officials are speaking of jihad in Darfur. Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Beshir's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) must institute constitutional democracy. The UN resolution provides an opportunity for the Sudanese government to make good its pledges of political reform. Sudanese armed forces must not only halt all hostilities in Darfur and end 18 months of counter- insurgency measures in a region the size of France, but it must also disarm and bring to book the Arab Janjaweed militias that helped the Sudanese army quell the uprising in Darfur. Disarming the Janjaweed will not be easy. They are well armed and have close ties with government circles and they share the government's religious zealotry. The African Union's first external contingent of armed troops has arrived in Darfur. The French, meanwhile, are policing the Chadian-Sudanese border. The world is scrutinising steps taken by the Sudanese government to defuse the crisis in Darfur. Last month Sudanese authorities dispatched 6,000 policemen to Darfur and they signalled that they would be increasing the number to 12,000 by the end of August. The US remains unimpressed. Should the Sudanese government fail to reconcile Arab and non-Arab in Darfur, it will be exposed as politically bankrupt as the nation is economically. "They must address the problems that have been simmering for a long time in Darfur such as poverty, underdevelopment and political marginalisation. The people of Darfur want political and economic empowerment," Khalid said. The Sudanese authorities seem increasingly impotent as the situation deteriorates. And the foot- dragging and duplicity have only made the security situation more explosive. In this sense the UN Security Council's resolution was a victory for common sense. Sudan now needs to use its remaining political capital effectively. Khartoum has sensibly promised to disarm the Janjaweed. Sudan sits on a vast reservoir of oil. "There is an external factor, and there are axe-grinders," Khalid said. "But the main dynamic is domestic," he added. The main armed opposition groups in Darfur are the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) affiliated to Al-Turabi's opposition Popular National Congress Party (PNC) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Both want a bigger say in the running of the affairs of Darfur. Meanwhile, a second conflict is threatening to break out as the Beja people of eastern Sudan begin to take up arms against the Sudanese authorities. With restive outlying regions the centre itself is on the verge of collapse. Can the Sudanese authorities bring order to this chaos? "Khartoum should realise that only through the unbanning of all Sudanese political parties and the lifting of all restrictions on political freedoms does Sudan stand a chance of getting to its own elections, due in three years time according to the Machakos Protocols," says Khalid. But rekindling the spirit of a united Sudan will entail a massive round of reconciliation. The Sudanese government is under tremendous international pressure to cease hostilities in Darfur. The US and the European Union are both determined to see Sudan defuse the crisis in Darfur so that the one million displaced people and refugees return to their homesteads and villages. But it is wrong to pretend that simply pressuring the Sudanese government is a solution when it is by no means clear that the Sudanese authorities are capable of policing their state. Caption: A Sudanese woman with her child in the Kounougo refugee camp in eastern Chad. According to UN estimates, up to 50,000 people have been killed in Darfur and more than one million have fled their homes, 200,000 of whom are seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad C a p t i o n 2: A Sudanese woman with her child in the Kounougo refugee camp in eastern Chad. According to UN estimates, up to 50,000 people have been killed in Darfur and more than one million have fled their homes, 200,000 of whom are seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad

NYT 6 Aug 2004 Sudanese Suffer as Militias Hide in Plain Sight By MARC LACEY NYALA, Sudan, Aug. 5 - Sudan's government lined up 50 prisoners at the main jail here recently and offered them as evidence to the world that it was cracking down on the militias that have stained so much of the desert sand of Darfur, the country's western region, with blood. But when the men spoke and when their court files were reviewed, it quickly became clear that many of them were not members of the militias, which have displaced a million villagers in the last year and a half and killed tens of thousands in what the United States Congress calls a genocide. Among the group were petty criminals who had already been in jail as long as four years. One man's charge was drinking wine in a country that forbids it. The United Nations Security Council has given Sudan until Aug. 30 to rein in the militias, called the Janjaweed, Arab tribesmen whom the government armed and then unleashed in Darfur to quell a rebellion among darker-skinned Africans that began in early 2003. Failure to disarm the militias could mean sanctions against the government in Khartoum. But Janjaweed is a fluid identity, and diplomats here say the government has exploited the ambiguity. First it armed the militias, rallied them and set them loose in Darfur. Then it gave many of the same men uniforms and declared them upholders of the law. Sometimes the Janjaweed have served as law enforcement officers by day and reverted to pillaging at night. The government says it has sent thousands of security officers to Darfur to impose order and plans to send thousands more. But whether the government is bringing the Janjaweed to heel, or even if it can, is far from clear. "If you sent 200 soldiers out to get the Janjaweed, maybe 50 of them would probably be Janjaweed themselves,'' said Osman Mirghani, a prominent columnist for the Sudanese newspaper Al Rayaam who has written frequently and frankly about the conflict in Darfur, sometimes incurring the wrath of the government. "A Janjaweed is a Janjaweed when he is on his horse with his gun, going to burn and kill,'' Mr. Mirghani said. "But when he comes back to his village and hides his gun he is no different than anyone else. Maybe he's a policeman during the day and a Janjaweed at night.'' Indeed, in many cases the government has provided the Janjaweed with uniforms, identification cards and commissions in the police, army or popular defense force, according to interviews with aid workers, local human rights advocates and others. As far as the government is concerned they are no longer Janjaweed. "I'm a soldier now,'' said one such new recruit, a Arab teenager who was smiling as he cradled his assault rifle. He was speaking to his schoolteacher, a black African, who had seen him with Janjaweed leaders. Without their guns and horses, without the head wraps they use to shield themselves from Darfur's searing heat and blowing wind, the Janjaweed blend easily into the local population. When not in government-issued camouflage uniforms, they wear the long white robes common among Sudanese. Some sit behind desks when they are not pillaging. Others herd camels by day but do unspeakable things once the desert turns dark at night. Further muddying things, the government accuses the rebels, who call themselves the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, of using camels during some of their attacks, pretending to be Janjaweed in an attempt to smear officials in Khartoum. To avoid confusion, some have stopped using the term Janjaweed altogether. The term itself is an amalgam of Arabic words that roughly translates as "a devil on horseback with a gun.'' No one would ever admit to being one. " 'Janjaweed' is a catchall phrase that means different things to different people,'' said William Patey, the British ambassador to Sudan. "We need to be specific about what we mean, namely bandits, tribal militias or elements of the popular defense forces.'' Not all of the Arab fighters one encounters in Darfur have followed the government's script. Some are loyal only to themselves, roaming the countryside as criminals always have and taking advantage of the chaos. They take on anyone they encounter, including other Janjaweed. As for the convicts squatting in the dirt in Nyala's jail, there were drug dealers, murderers and thieves. Just who was a Janjaweed militiaman remained a matter of interpretation. None of the men would acknowledge having been a part of the loose bands of Arab fighters. It was far easier to pick out who had nothing to do with Darfur's current chaos. There were prisoners who had been arrested two, three, even four years ago. Many others were picked up for the kinds of theft, killing and other crime that has always been a part of this long-neglected part of Sudan. There were six men, including two fathers and their sons, who were accused torching a village north of Nyala called Haloof, killing 23 villagers, wounding 9 others and stealing all of the residents' cows and goats. "They say I am a Janjaweed,'' said Suleiman Muhammad Shariff, 74, an elder in an Arab tribe accused of attacking Haloof. "It's not true.'' Only the villagers who have been the victims of the Janjaweed's wrath, who have heard their horses coming and experienced their ruthless attacks, seem to have no trouble identifying the militiamen. "A Janjaweed came right over my fence, pointed a gun at me and took my horse,'' said Abdallah Ibrahim, who was robbed last weekend right inside a camp for displaced people in Geneina, a town near Sudan's border with Chad. The very same day, another woman was shot by a man she considered a Janjaweed in the same camp. He made away with her cow. Earlier that day a teenage boy was shot in the foot after three Janjaweed accosted him as he tended cattle outside the same settlement. They made away with the entire herd. As Darfur is now, a fifth of the population has been displaced and is living in such camps. Most have been stripped of their belongings. Their villages have been torched to the ground. How many bodies remain buried in Darfur remains an unknown, although estimates range from 30,000 to five times that. There have long been tribal clashes in Darfur between Arab animal herders and the black Africans who plant crops in the dry soil. Their different livelihoods have led to disputes over land, over stolen animals, over any number of infractions. "We are camel herders, and we have always had guns to defend ourselves,'' said Juma Dagalow Musa, a tribal leader north of Nyala, where torched villages dot the landscape for miles. Mr. Musa said he was no Janjaweed but understood why Arab tribes had friction with the black Africans. His tribe lost 1,400 camels in February and March of this year, he said, all pilfered by armed rebels from black African tribes. "We wanted to go recover them,'' he said, insisting that he had persuaded his tribal fighters to stay put. Many fighters, all over Darfur, could not be contained. The United States government has begun preparing a list of Janjaweed leaders, relying on information culled from private relief organizations working in Darfur. Others in Darfur are tallying their own informal Janjaweed rosters. "There is no shortage of names,'' said one official who is tracking them. "There are thousands of them, but how many thousands is anybody's guess.'' At one squatter settlement in the remote reaches of Northern Darfur, a man who was forced from his village by the Janjaweed months ago keeps his own tally of local Janjaweed leaders, names he receives from word of mouth from area villagers. The man, who whispered his name but insisted that it not appear in print, disappeared into a tiny makeshift hut and came out holding a well-worn notebook that he keeps hidden from the local authorities. He has become the camp's security monitor, a fact that he keeps quiet when government officials are around. He writes down Janjaweed offenses. On July 14 a group of Janjaweed on camels and horses stole 30 animals. The next day a group of Janjaweed came near the camp and fired their guns into the air to prevent some people from collecting firewood. Two days later Janjaweed intimidated some people trying to plant seeds near the camp by firing into the air. The next day Janjaweed returned and stole 80 goats and a donkey. At the top of this man's Janjaweed list was Musa Hilal, one of the men whose names Pierre-Richard Prosper, the American ambassador for war crimes issues, uttered in testimony before Congress. Mr. Hilal is said to control thousands of fighters and to enjoy close relations with top government officials. "Musa Hilal is the man behind the Janjaweed around here,'' said the villager who logs the attacks. Mr. Hilal, a tribal leader from farther north, in El Fasher, admits that he has rallied his Arab tribe's vast network of fighters against black Africans. But in conversations with reporters and diplomats, he rejects the term Janjaweed, which he says applies to outlaws, not agents of the government like him. " 'Janjaweed' is an insult,'' he told Reuters. Mr. Hilal says he is acting on behalf of the government, protecting Arabs against the black African rebels. "They rebelled, threatened us, tried to sow discord between us,'' he said. "We retaliated, and we are criminals?" Caught in the middle of the conflict have been villagers going about their lives. They accuse Mr. Hilal's militias of torching their huts and killing indiscriminately, as well as raping and looting at will. He says his fighters have focused their efforts on rebels, not civilians. One thing is clear: it will be difficult for the government to turn back the clock in Darfur and take away all of the guns. Many allies of the Janjaweed are allies of the government, not people the authorities in Khartoum will be inclined to offend. Perhaps more realistic than total disarmament, elders in Darfur say, is some kind of truce, but even that remains a tricky prospect, particularly given that there are countless Janjaweed militiamen whose identities are uncertain. "Those are Janjaweed,'' a black African villager said along the main street in the town of Kitum, pointing to a pickup truck roaring past with men piled into the back. The truck was outfitted with a high-caliber gun, and many of the men wore camouflage.

AP 7 Aug 2004 U.N. Blames Sudan for Civilian Atrocities By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 3:02 a.m. ET GENEVA (AP) -- A top U.N. human rights investigator Friday released a scathing report that blames the Sudanese government for atrocities against its civilians in the Darfur region and says ``millions of civilians'' could die. ``It is beyond doubt that the Government of the Sudan is responsible for extrajudicial and summary executions of large numbers of people over the last several months in the Darfur region, as well as in the Shilook Kingdom in Upper Nile State,'' said Asma Jahangir, the U.N. investigator on executions, in a report based on a 13-day visit to the region in June. ``The current humanitarian disaster unfolding in Darfur, for which the government is largely responsible, has put millions of civilians at risk, and it is very likely that many will die in the months to come as a result of starvation and disease,'' said Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer. Jahangir said there was ``overwhelming evidence'' that the killing was carried out ``in a coordinated manner by the armed forces of the government and government-backed militias. They appear to be carried out in a systematic manner.'' The scale of violations means they ``could constitute crimes against humanity for which the government of the Sudan must bear responsibility,'' she said in the 26-page report to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. A leading U.S. lawmaker toured camps in eastern Chad holding hundreds of thousands of refugees and said he would investigate the relationship between the Sudan government and the militias. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist also said the threat of U.N. sanctions against Sudan was not enough to end the violence. The Tennessee Republican said he planned to talk with other U.S. lawmakers about remedying that, but he did not elaborate. The U.S. Congress has labeled the atrocities genocide. The United Nations has described the conflict in Darfur, which began with a rebellion early last year, as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Last week the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution giving Sudan 30 days to curb the pro-government Arab militias blamed for the violence in Darfur or face diplomatic and economic penalties. The militias, called the Janjaweed, have been blamed for violence that has killed 30,000 people, forced a million from their homes and left an estimated 2.2 million in urgent need of relief aid. ``I remain seriously concerned at the very slow and negligent reaction of the government toward the situation unfolding in Darfur,'' Jahangir said. ``Such a reaction despite the huge international outcry would appear to indicate either complete disrespect for the right to life of the population of Darfur, or, at worst, complicity in the events.'' She said all attacks against the civilian population must stop and that the government must disarm all militias. The government also must assure that aid workers have complete access to people in need, Jahangir said. The African Union worked Friday to boost the number of troops it plans to send to the region, asking Rwanda to increase its contribution from about 150 soldiers to nearly 1,000. The AU said last month it would send 300 soldiers to Darfur to protect its monitors. But Wednesday it announced plans to increase the number of soldiers to as many as 1,800. In New York, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said the Sudanese government and the United Nations would sign an agreement Monday outlining steps Sudan must take this month to start disarming the militias and other outlawed groups and to improve security in western Darfur. He said the agreement reached Wednesday night by Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail and U.N. special representative Jan Pronk ``has now been finalized by the Sudanese government.'' A copy of the agreement was given to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who was expected to send it to the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council. It was not made public. ``A formal copy will be signed by Mr. Pronk and the foreign minister and officially issued on Monday,'' Eckhard said. But it wasn't clear whether the Sudanese Cabinet had officially approved the agreement. Officials in Khartoum said the Cabinet was expected to discuss the agreement during a meeting on Sunday. Ismail said Thursday in Khartoum that foreign military intervention to end the Darfur crisis was unlikely. He said the government ``will do our best'' to meet Security Council demands to end the region's violence although he called the resolution ``unfair.'' His comments followed a mass state-organized protest on Wednesday to condemn the U.N. resolution. John Danforth, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Thursday the clock was ticking for Sudan and it must show by the end of the month that it is making ``a good faith effort'' to comply with the council resolution. Jahangir said the government was sponsoring militias to fight the rebels ``and, more distressingly, to terrorize and kill civilians suspected of supporting the rebels.'' She said she had met a large number of people who ``had a strong perception'' that the government ``was pursuing a policy of 'Arabization''' of the country, especially the Darfur region. ``Allegedly, those of Arab descent seek to portray themselves as 'pure' Muslims as opposed to Muslims of African ethnicity,'' she said. Jahangir said she had ``credible information'' that members of the armed forces, the volunteer Popular Defense Force and government-sponsored militias ``had in recent months attacked villages and summarily executed civilians, looted homes and forcibly displaced the inhabitants.'' ``The most often heard report was of villages being surrounded by military vehicles accompanied by Arab militia riding horses. The local population was plundered, looted, tortured, raped and often shot at in a random manner; however, adult men seemed often to be specifically targeted. ``Before leaving, the Arab militia would burn down the villages. In some cases, helicopters or Antonov airplanes were used to bomb or attack the villages or to provide cover for ground operations, including operations carried out by Arab militia.'' She said the government ``appeared oblivious to the dramatic and disastrous proportions and the magnitude'' of the crisis. ``The persistent denial of the current humanitarian disaster in Darfur by most government officials was shocking, Jahangir said.

AP 7 Aug 2004 U.N. - Sudan Deal Calls for Safety Zones By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 7, 2004 Filed at 4:29 a.m. ET UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A new agreement between the United Nations and Sudan requires the government to create safe areas in the crisis-ridden Darfur region within 30 days so civilians can search for food and water and work their land without fear of attack. The ``Plan of Action for Darfur'' would halt all military operations by government forces, militias, and rebel groups in these safe areas, which are likely to be set up in camps where thousands of Sudanese have taken refuge and around towns and villages which still have large populations. The agreement, which was reached Wednesday night by Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail and U.N. special representative Jan Pronk, ``has now been finalized by the Sudanese government,'' U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Friday. It will be signed Monday by the two officials in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, he said. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes the agreement and ``attaches great importance to substantive and verifiable progress being made during the next 30 days towards restoring full security for the Darfur region,'' Eckhard said. The agreement outlines specific steps that the government of Sudan must take to demonstrate to the U.N. Security Council that it is moving to end the 17-month conflict in the western Darfur region. The United States estimates that up to 30,000 people have been killed and the United Nations says 1 million people have been forced to flee their homes and an estimated 2.2 million people are in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter. The U.S. Congress and some humanitarian groups have accused Sudan of genocide. On July 30, the Security Council passed a resolution giving Sudan 30 days to curb pro-government Arab militias known as the Janjaweed, which have been accused of attacking black African farmers in Darfur, and to improve security and humanitarian access. Otherwise, the council warned that Sudan could face possible diplomatic and economic penalties, which the United States insists will be sanctions. ``Signing agreements and more promises won't do much for the people on the ground,'' said Richard Grenell, spokesman for U.S. Ambassador John Danforth. ``What we need is action and that's what the council will be evaluating in roughly 20 days.'' Under the agreement, the government's first action must be the creation of safe areas, which would then be linked by secure roads. ``These tasks should be carried out by Sudan police forces to maintain confidence already created by redeployment of (the government's) armed forces,'' the agreement says. The creation of safe areas will provide a safe haven for those who fled and allow them to search for water and food, take care of animals and work on their land, it says. To control the activities of the Sudanese armed forces, the agreement calls for a halt to all offensive military operations in the proposed safe areas, including government action against rebel groups. Under the plan, the government must also ``instruct'' armed militias ``over which it has influence'' to halt their activities and lay down their weapons. The government will also ask rebel groups participating in peace talks to immediately halt offensive military operations in the proposed safe areas, in accordance with an April ceasefire agreement. The agreement also requires the Sudanese government to allow African Union military observers to monitor its performance and to make ``an unequivocal declaration of commitment to start the Darfur peace talks as soon as possible'' and bring them ``to a successful and speedy conclusion."

washingtonpost.com 7 Aug 2004 Monitor Blames Sudan For Darfur Militia Killings U.N. Awaits Pact on Steps to Halt Atrocities By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, August 7, 2004; Page A14 UNITED NATIONS, Aug 6 -- An independent U.N. human rights monitor said Friday that it is "beyond a doubt" that Sudan bears responsibility "for extrajudicial and summary executions of large numbers of people" in the country's Darfur region. In a sharply critical 26-page report, Asma Jahangir, the United Nations' special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, also said that members of government-backed Arab militias responsible for some of the worst excesses have been incorporated into the Sudanese police and armed forces. "Some of the militia leaders have been integrated into the Sudanese armed forces and given official military ranks," Jahangir wrote. The Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, are believed to have killed as many as 50,000 black civilians in Darfur over the past 18 months and to have driven more than 1 million from their homes. The Security Council adopted a resolution July 30 warning Sudan that it could face sanctions if it failed to demonstrate a commitment to disarm, arrest and prosecute militia members within 30 days. The violence in Darfur began in February 2003, when two black rebel groups launched an offensive against the government, citing discrimination against the region's three main black tribes. The government armed and trained local Arab militias to put down the rebellion and drive thousands of potential backers from their villages, according to U.S. officials and human rights groups. Sudan has repeatedly denied that it supports the militias and maintains that its attempts to halt their activities have been undermined by rebel activities. Sudan's U.N. ambassador, Elfatih Erwa, was unavailable for comment. The report's release came as the Sudanese government finalized an agreement with the United Nations to establish a series of "safe areas" in Darfur within 30 days to protect displaced civilians. Sudanese authorities are required to "provide secure routes" to the havens and immediately cease all offensive military operations against the rebels in those areas, according to the agreement. The two-page accord, to be signed Monday in Khartoum by the United Nations' top envoy, Jan Pronk, and Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustaf Osman Ismail, notes that Sudan may not be able to fully meet the Security Council's demand to disarm the militia within 30 days. It outlined a series of actions Sudan could take to "demonstrate its commitment to comply" and escape sanctions. The Sudanese government pledges to "identify and declare those militias over which it has influence and instruct them to cease their activities forthwith," the accord states. "They would then lay down their weapons." Jahangir's findings, drawn from a 13-day trip to Sudan in June, echo recent reports of Sudanese complicity in Darfur atrocities by human rights organizations and the U.N. high commissioner for human rights. Jahangir said that eyewitnesses reported the presence of mass graves in some villages and charged that government-backed militias routinely looted houses, killed unarmed civilians, raped women and visited local hospitals, where they executed the wounded. She said that it was too dangerous to verify the reports of mass graves. While Jahangir stopped short of declaring the violence in Darfur genocide, she said, "I have to conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that extrajudicial killings of civilians in Darfur have been carried out, with some exceptions, in a coordinated manner by the armed forces of the government and government-backed militias."

Sunday Times (Johannesburg) ANALYSIS August 8, 2004 Darfur Genocide Reveals World's Quiet Savagery Johannesburg Indifference condemns hundreds of thousands of people, with nobody willing to 'claim' the victims - not even their oppressors, writes David Nally 'In the whole world no poor devil is lynched, no wretch is tortured, in whom I am not degraded and murdered." - Aimé Césaire Genocide is defined in a 1948 UN Convention as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by "killing members of the group"; "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group"; or "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part". With this in mind consider just a fraction of the chilling evidence that continues to trickle in from Darfur. Amnesty International recently released a report that documents the experiences of hundreds of women who have been systematically raped (for no reason other than they are black African women) or sold as sex slaves. Monitors from the African Union said that in an incident three weeks ago, militiamen killed villagers by chaining them up and then burning them alive. The Washington Post published an interview with Musa Hilal, a sheikh who along with six other individuals is accused of organising the Janjaweed militia's terror tactics in Darfur. In 1997 Hilal was jailed for killing 17 Africans in Darfur; when the region erupted in rebellion in early 2003 the Arab-led government in Khartoum released Hilal on instruction to organise his militia. To date 1.5 million people have been displaced, 2.2 million are in desperate need of food and medicine, and it is (conservatively) estimated that 350 000 might die before the end of this year. The list of government-sponsored crimes against humanity could go on and on. The point worth stressing is this: on the charge of genocide there is no fear of crying wolf in Darfur. However, in refusing to call the crimes in Darfur "genocide", the world has opted to mimic the policy of the Sudanese Foreign Office, which recently declared that while there are "problems" in Darfur, "there is no famine, no epidemic diseases". Of course, it should also be made clear that such apathy-masquerading-as-prudence is not unique to the West. To their immense discredit many Arab regimes have refused to condemn the Sudanese government. Given the "benumbing indifference" (the Times of India) that characterises the international scene, it seems alarmingly easy to agree that the killing in Darfur "has exposed the quiet savagery of the rest of the world" (the Washington Post). In fact, some analysts (for example, the New York Times journalist who declared: "Western public opinion will not be as moved by the plight of the Sudanese as by that of the Kosovars") outwardly endorse this "quiet savagery" (the New York Times). Few have adequately questioned whether such "benumbing indifference" and "quiet savagery" are a cause or an effect of these atrocities. In a chapter of great import to the situation in Darfur (entitled "The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man"), Hannah Arendt writes about how totalitarian politics visibly exposed "the sufferings of more and more groups of people to whom suddenly the rules of the world around them had ceased to apply". Arendt continues: "It was precisely the seeming stability of the surrounding world that made each group forced out of its protective boundaries look like an unfortunate exception to an otherwise sane and normal rule, and which filled with equal cynicism victims and observers of an apparently unjust and abnormal fate." History recalls that the lives of various minority peoples in Europe - most notably the Jews and Gypsies - were threatened only after "a condition of complete rightlessness was created". The huge irony, which Arendt explains, is that these "stateless minorities" ought to have been able to fall back on their supposedly "inalienable" human rights. In fact, for these unfortunates it was, in a sense, not that they were oppressed but that nobody wanted to oppress them: "Only in the last stage of a rather lengthy process is their right to live threatened; only if they remain perfectly 'superfluous', if nobody can be found to 'claim' them, may their lives be in danger." The mass deportation of "undesirables" from country after country during World War Two exposed - with shameless clarity - the naivety of those who claimed that "inalienable" human rights would save the many who had had their national rights removed. In other words, when human beings lost the protections afforded by citizenship, when they were stripped down to sheer biological existence (or "bare life"), they became at the same time utterly expendable. To the extent that we are all reducible to bare bio logical existence, to the extent that human-made protections like citi zenship can be created and suspended, we are all potentially rightless and "super fluous". Once again genocide has exposed the plight of an ever-increasing number of people who find themselves stripped of their national rights and thus - in the eyes of the rest of the world - of the right to have rights (the Khartoum government has, after all, turned against its own people, and the survivors in the camps frankly admit that going home isn't an option). But perhaps the greatest tragedy - evident in the rising normality of camp life (think not only of the camps in Darfur and Chad but also of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib) and the disturbing stability of the surrounding world - is the sad knowledge that the present prolongation of Sudanese lives is due to charity and not to right. "For no law exists which could force nations to feed them; their freedom of movement, if they have it at all, gives them no right to residence which even the jailed criminal enjoys as a matter of course; and their freedom of opinion is a fool's freedom, for nothing they think matters anyhow," says Arendt. In his interview with the Washington Post, Sheikh Musa Hilal responded to the charge of genocide in frighteningly plain language. "No one can wipe out an ethnicity," he said. "Never, never, never. No massacres," echoed Abdul-Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Minister of the Interior, and the man tasked by Sudan's president with resolving the crisis. "There have been no massive massacres - and no one can prove there have been." Here in plain speech the essential issue seems to lie: no one is willing to "claim" the victims in Darfur - not even their oppressors. We thus have an almost preposterous situation of victims without oppressors and massacres without crimes. It is notoriously difficult to explain why genocide happens - at least in the sense of what motivates one group of people to systematically liquidate another group - but we can begin to assess the conditions that make human liquidation possible. One confirmed system is to create political-juridical exceptions (for example: refugees, "enemy combatants", "stateless minorities".) These people stand beyond the pale of the law and the protections it affords. As the "Final Solution" demonstrates, once human beings are stripped of their national protections - once they appear before the court of human opinion as human beings (bare biological existence) and not "citizens" - far from being protected, their very biological existence may now be challenged. According to political philosopher Giorgio Agamben this "state of exception" is the only legitimate way to explain the increased normalisation of camp life which connects the refugee tents in Darfur and Chad to the internment camps of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. This also makes clear the racism behind the belief that "Western public opinion will not be as moved by the plight of the Sudanese as by that of the Kosovars". Nally is working on his PhD in Geography at the University of British Columbia in Canada

washingtonpost.com As Darfur's People Die Sunday, August 8, 2004; Page B06 FOUR MONTHS AGO, President Bush urged Sudan's Arab-led government to end the destruction of ethnic African villages in its western province of Darfur and to do so "immediately." Sudan's government put its name to a cease-fire, then carried on killing civilians as though nothing had happened. Eighteen days after the president issued his warning, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell telephoned his Sudanese counterpart to express concern over Darfur; again the killing continued. In June Mr. Powell announced that State Department lawyers were considering whether Darfur's violence qualified for the term "genocide," and at the end of that month he visited Darfur in person, extracting fresh promises from Sudan's government to bring the violence under control. Explaining the seriousness of Mr. Powell's message, Charles R. Snyder, acting assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said, "We're talking days, weeks, not months -- not a month -- to see whether or not they do what they said they would do." One month and six days after that assurance, the question is what the United States is going to do. The Sudanese government's intentions are obvious: to stall the international community by half-complying with its ultimatums, all the while sticking to the goal of destroying Darfur's African population. To defuse foreign pressure, the government has made a show of punishing members of the Janjaweed militia that it armed to destroy villagers, but reports from the region suggest that many of these supposed militiamen are common criminals fished out of the local jails. Likewise the government has made a show of deploying more police officers in Darfur, supposedly to protect civilians, but some of these new police officers turn out to be Janjaweed killers wearing a different uniform. As Mr. Powell himself wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Sudan has not taken decisive steps to end the violence. The administration's response, and that of the United Nations, is still predicated on the hope that this will change. The U.N. Security Council has passed a resolution demanding that Sudan's government end the violence by Aug. 30. But the new deadline seems no more serious than the past ones: Jan Pronk, the United Nations' point man for the crisis, has been at pains to emphasize that "a full solution" is not expected. Mr. Pronk's declaration reflects the truth that a solution is beyond the government's capacity. Even if, by some miracle, Sudan's rulers resolved to stop the violence, the Janjaweed death squads are too amorphous to be controllable. And even if Sudan tried to protect Darfur's civilians, the memory of government helicopters attacking Darfuri villages would not be eradicated. Darfur's 1.2 million refugees will not feel safe to return to their villages if the only protection offered comes from the government that poisoned their wells, killed their menfolk and raped their women. The solution is to press much harder for the deployment of African peacekeepers. So far, the African Union has promised to send 300 troops to the province, but their arrival has been held up because the civilian contractors hired to provide logistical support say they need time to organize the soldiers' accommodations. The Africans are also talking about a larger commitment: Nigeria and Rwanda have each offered to send 1,000 troops, and Tanzania and Botswana may join together to form a third 1,000-strong contingent. The extra troops will also need logistical support, and the time to start arranging that is now. The United States has done more to help Darfur than any other country; France, which for a long time was reluctant to antagonize Sudan's government, has now used its military base in neighboring Chad to assist Darfuri refugees; the Netherlands has given generously, most recently to finance relief helicopters. But the leaders of these countries should not be measuring their efforts against one another, still less calibrating their actions to avoid the blame for genocide in future historical accounting. The task for the Bush administration and its allies is more concrete: to get relief and peacekeepers to Darfur's people before hundreds of thousands of them die.

english.aljazeera.net ' 9 Aug 2004 Sudan says UN's Darfur toll inflated by Monday 09 August 2004 4:23 PM GMT Ismail says 5000 people have died, not 50,000 like the UN says Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Uthman Ismail has strongly disputed UN figures regarding the toll in Darfur, saying they have been multiplied up to 10 times, while the EU says there is no genocide in Darfur. Ismail said in Cairo the 17-month conflict in the Darfur region had led to the loss of approximately 5000 lives. Of these, 486 were Sudanese policemen. The UN says up to 50,000 people have died in Darfur, with a further 1.2 million displaced from their homes and more than 130,000 forced to flee to neighbouring Chad. Ismail said these figures were out of proportion and challenged the UN to give details, saying: "Tell us their names or show us their graves." The government has sent its forces into Darfur to stabilise the area, protect the people and head off a civil war, which had threatened to engulf the region after the rebels took up arms and began terrorising the people, he added. Rebels to blame Sudan says rebels have political motives for destabilising Darfur "There is a humanitarian, security and political problem in Darfur as a result of the war that was started by the rebels for political reasons," said Ismail. The situation had been misrepresented in media reports as "ethnic cleansing or genocide" of tribes by the so-called "Arab" Janjawid, he added. He said there was no need for an international peacekeeping force in the region, but added: "We do not have any problem with any number of observers or forces to protect them." Observers could actually "contribute to confidence-building", he said. No genocide In another development, the European Union said on Monday its fact-finding mission to Sudan had found no evidence of genocide in the Darfur region. "We are not in the situation of genocide there. But it is clear there is widespread killing going on and village burning of a fairly large scale" Pieter Feith, EU foreign policy adviser "We are not in the situation of genocide there," Pieter Feith, an adviser to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said upon returning from a visit to Sudan. "But it is clear there is widespread killing going on and village burning of a fairly large scale." Ismail confirmed on Monday that Khartoum would send a high-level delegation to Abuja in Nigeria for negotiations with the rebels, sponsored by the African Union (AU), but stressed it would not accept any preconditions. "We welcome the announcement about the resumption of the negotiations and we will participate at the time and place stated," he said. The AU had earlier said that peace talks would take place in the Nigerian capital on 23 August. An earlier AU effort to persuade the rebels to engage in direct political negotiations failed in mid-July when the two rebel groups walked out, insisting they would not participate in talks until their conditions were met. Aljazeera + Agencies

washingtonpost.com 18 Aug 2004 Targeting the Teachers of Darfur Assault on Educated Class an Effort to Erase History, Observers Say By Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page A12 OURE CASSONI, Chad She pulled tattered socks over her bony legs and stared at the ground, trying to hide the dirty, torn clothing she is so embarrassed to wear. Before a militia drove her African tribe off its farmland in western Sudan, before she had to wait in line for food rations in this refugee camp in the desert, Armani Tinjany was a high school agriculture teacher. Now she is a woman whose pride and energy are disintegrating. Six months ago, when she first arrived in Chad, Tinjany, her sister and a group of friends sat and wrote indignant letters to U.S., British and Chadian officials. They asked for help in Darfur, the region of western Sudan where a conflict has displaced 1.5 million Africans and left nearly 50,000 dead, according to aid groups. In an interview in February with The Washington Post, Tinjany said she had faith that she would return to Sudan, to the spacious compound of stone-walled huts where she lived at the edge of the Sahara desert, to her diet of fresh fruits and meat, to her job as a teacher. Today, she has no hope. She writes no letters. She becomes sick easily. She has lost weight, and her skeletal shoulder pokes through her dress. "I am a refugee now," she said, letting the words sink in. "Are they going to leave us like this forever? My life, as I knew it, is finished." Standing in line for a ration of millet, she started to cry. Violence began in Darfur about 18 months ago, when African groups rebelled against the government by attacking a military installation. The government responded by bombing areas of Darfur and by arming a marauding Arab militia called the Janjaweed, human rights and aid groups say. Since then, the African residents of Darfur have been uprooted, beaten, raped and left hungry. But the educated among them -- teachers, students and community leaders -- say they are being particularly targeted. They have been singled out by the government, they say, accused of treason and support for the rebellion, and prevented from speaking out about the crisis. Human rights investigators have called the assault on the educated an attempt to silence the residents of Darfur and a way to erase the community's collective memory and destroy its political strength. "If you are a farmer, they will take your crops and kill you. If you are a woman, they will rape you. But if you are a teacher, then you have to run," said Sharif Ishag, who once taught geography and now helps run the camp's food distribution center for the International Rescue Committee. "They think anyone who can read and write and who can organize people and inspire minds are rebels." Schools have been burned, desks broken and books shredded. In some areas, children have not been able to attend classes for nearly two years. Olivier Bercault, a Human Rights Watch team member who spent three weeks touring Darfur, called the targeting of teachers and schools "a nasty way to stop a culture and prevent people from being educated." "People are not able to send their child to school. They are now sitting in refugee camps," he said. "That lack of education, to me, is one of the purposes of ethnic cleansing. People keep debating if it's genocide -- we can leave that to the courts. But these are crimes against humanity." Darfur residents and human rights investigators said there had long been a pattern of discrimination in the region's education system, as well as in employment and health care, with Arab Sudanese generally favored over their African countrymen. African tribal leaders have also been excluded from positions in the government and in civil society, they said. "Africans have told me that if they were to call the police, no one would come if the accused were an Arab family," said Kelly D. Askin, a senior legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, a group that is studying discrimination in the region. "If they were to try and send their child to school, an Arab family would get the slot first." Amnesty International released a report Aug. 9 that said scores of people had been arrested since June in various parts of Darfur for speaking about atrocities to visiting foreign journalists and officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and members of an African Union commission. Sudanese security forces arrested 15 men from the Abu Shouk refugee camp after Powell visited on June 30, according to the Amnesty report. Many of those detained have been students, teachers and community leaders, investigators said. Buthayna Mohamed Ahmed, a teacher and a member of the Sudanese Women's Union, a professional organization, was arrested July 29 and detained in Nyala, a city in Darfur, apparently because she had advocated peace and the disarmament of the Janjaweed militia, the report said. In January, 10 students were arrested and beaten after holding a symposium on Darfur, according to the report. "If you are in position of respect and power and you challenge what the security says, you become a risk," said Benedicte Gogeriaux, a researcher for Amnesty International. "For students and teachers and others, if you are viewed as someone who speaks out, you can be arrested, beaten or even worse." At Oure Cassoni, a sand-swept camp in Chad, just across the border from Sudan, about 135 teachers live among the 17,000 refugees. Many of them said their Arab friends and co-workers had urged them to leave Darfur months ago. "There are many teachers here because the schools were destroyed by the government," Abdul Jabar, a camp leader, said at a community meeting. "All the teachers and educated people were wanted by the government of Sudan." Tinjany and other teachers who arrived in February spoke with The Washington Post in an open field in the nearby town of Bahai. The 30 women, all with university degrees, had suddenly been reduced to begging for dates and sorghum, shreds of clothing and bowls of water from Chad's already desperately poor population. Tinjany said she eventually found work hand-washing laundry and used the money she earned to open a school for 100 Sudanese students. But at the end of July, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, concerned that the coming rains would flood the camps, moved the refugees 17 miles northeast to a remote stretch of desert. Hababa Saleh, 32, a primary school teacher, sat in Tinjany's tent recently with the other teachers, fiddling with a piece of straw. Hababa has four children, but she had to leave her 6-year-old daughter behind with an aunt when she fled the attacks in Darfur. "I want to see my child," she said, folding her arms around her body and rocking gently. "We had such a good life. Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes I just feel angry." Sitadour Ali, a preschool teacher with a round face, said she left her village when friends warned her about the rumors of attack. "They told me to run," she said, looking down. "Sometimes I dream about my students. I dream of them every day." Ali tries to be optimistic, she said, and has encouraged the teachers to open a school in the new camp. The teachers said they hoped that when the stream of arrivals to the camp slowed, the United Nations would help them start one. "We would just need a few tents for schools, some papers and pens, a blackboard," Tinjany said. They will teach math, science, reading and writing, she said -- and history. "The Sudanese children will want to know why they are living in Chad," Tinjany said.

washingtonpost.com 19 Aug 2004 Politics of Misery By Jim Hoagland Thursday, August 19, 2004; Page A25 The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan has usefully drawn the world's attention to the plight of a million or more refugees and to the lifesaving assistance many of them receive from relief organizations. It also spotlights the brutality of a weak national government fighting multiple local rebellions. But the Darfur moment in global consciousness also raises troubling questions about Africa's tenuous relationship with the outside world. That relationship is now dominated by the politics of misery, a poor base on which to build a partnership or a future. Europeans and Americans pay attention to the continent's massacres, famines, epidemics and other forms of vast suffering, but heed little else. Policy responses are dominated by emotion and temporary fixes that are left to wither until the next crisis demands fresh bursts of concern and action. The pattern is unlikely to change until Africans themselves take the lead in preventing or resolving the continent's potential or festering Darfurs. Africa has for too long relied on the uncertain kindness and intentions of outside powers. The continent's organization of political leaders, the African Union, must take charge of any campaign of intervention or economic sanctions that are needed to protect the dispossessed of Darfur. Since it inspired an initial wave of euphoria and self-congratulation on ending colonial rule, Africa has been typecast as too hard, too remote or too primitive for world power centers to allot it sustained time and energy. It is tempting, then, to see Darfur as tragedy-as-usual. Journalists and relief organizations have thrown around the term genocide to overcome that ingrained Western apathy, even though the conflict is both more complex and more basic than that trigger word suggests. Conflicts in the remote wastelands of the Sudan-Chad frontier region center more often on land and water than on religion or race. But the focus on suffering also inevitably gives a boost to the political fortunes of the rebel organizations fighting the Sudanese government, which has grudgingly accepted African Union cease-fire observers and a small protective force and says it will talk to the rebels. I first directly encountered the politics of misery in the Biafran civil war in Nigeria about three decades ago. Relief organizations that helped the starving Biafrans were denounced and then openly threatened by Nigeria's central government. They were not accepted as independent, legitimate actors. The same was true of journalists who covered the Biafran cause. Darfur is a measure of the constancy of Africa's problems. But it also measures the change in the international context of disaster relief. The reach and power of the media and humanitarian organizations have grown enormously. The invisible influence they exert is rarely challenged now, even though aid workers and journalists frequently work in an unacknowledged symbiosis that complicates the habits of diplomacy and statecraft. When he was Britain's foreign secretary in the 1990s, Douglas Hurd bridled at what he called "the CNN effect." Why was I so supportive of humanitarian intervention in Bosnia and Iraq, he asked whenever our paths crossed, when there was just as much unpublicized suffering and injustice in remote corners of, say, Sudan? Now that CNN can reach Darfur, I got an updated version of Hurd's question the other day from an alert reader in Minneapolis named Dan Israel: Didn't Darfur refugees deserve protection as much as the Kurds and others I championed in the past? "Yes" is the simple answer, Dan. But historical and strategic circumstances argue against the United States leading a humanitarian military intervention in Sudan. Successive administrations took on grave moral responsibility in Iraq by supporting and then betraying the Kurds in their struggle against Saddam Hussein, then supporting that dictator against Iran before going to war against him in 1991 over Kuwait, and then imposing more than a decade of sanctions and airstrikes on Iraq. That responsibility, which grew over two decades, could not be deferred forever. Sudan possesses neither that history nor the strategic position of Iraq in regional politics and conflict. The United States should be ready to play a supporting role in Darfur by helping African Union troops and leaders protect the dispossessed and endangered there. Washington should actively support a diplomatic process that is only beginning, not exhausted as was the case with Iraq. The attention and palliatives that Africa gains through the politics of misery can never atone for the huge costs in life and dignity that the continent's episodic crises extract. Darfur offers Africa's leaders the chance to begin to change a continent's destiny.

ICG 23 Aug 2004 Darfur Deadline: A New International Action Plan One week before the UN Security Council's Darfur deadline expires, it is clear the international community needs to get much tougher. Failure now would not only mean many tens of thousands more dead, but likely condemn Sudan to more years of war and further spread instability to its neighbours. Khartoum has not met its commitments to neutralise the government-supported Janjaweed militias responsible for the massive human rights violations and humanitarian disaster. The Security Council should authorise the African Union to send a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. To demonstrate seriousness and help persuade Khartoum to accept it, the Council should also impose an arms embargo, target sanctions against regime officials and ruling-party businesses, and establish an international commission to investigate mass atrocities. ------------------------------------- ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.icg.org

AP 23 Aug 2004 Sudan Rejects More African Peacekeepers By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 23, 2004 Filed at 8:52 p.m. ET ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Sudan rejected a wider role for African peacekeepers in putting down violence and disarming militiamen in the Darfur region, as Sudanese and rebel officials opened peace talks Monday under heavy international pressure to find a solution to the crisis. The African Union proposed ahead of the talks to send nearly 2,000 peacekeepers to Darfur, where a pro-government mostly Arab militia known as the Janjaweed is accused of killing tens of thousands of black Africans and pushing more than 1.2 million from their homes. Advertisement Sudan is under international pressure to rein in and disarm the Janjaweed. The United Nations has given the government until the end of August to start doing so or else face possible economic or diplomatic punishment. A Sudanese official rejected the African Union proposal, saying only his government was allowed to keep security in the sprawling Darfur region of western Sudan. ``Nobody agreed about that (a peacekeeping force). There was an agreement about a force to protect observers,'' Agriculture Minister Majzoub al-Khalifa Ahmad said. ``The security role is the role of the government of Sudan and its security forces.'' He said Sudan might consider an expanded African Union role later. ``If there's a need, it will be discussed.'' His comments appeared to be a setback for the international community's hopes that the African Union could devise an African solution to the 18-month-old conflict that the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis and others say amounts to genocide. More than 150 African Union troops from Rwanda are in Darfur protecting some 80 union monitors observing a largely ignored cease-fire, and another 150 soldiers from Nigeria are expected to arrive in coming weeks. The troops are operating under a vague mandate that does not spell out how far they can go to protect targeted civilians. Rwandan officials have said the troops would protect civilians, and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, the current African Union chairman, offered on Sunday to have the soldiers help disarm rebels while the government reins in the militia. Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday that his government was ready to help finance an enlarged African Union force for Darfur. ``The government of Sudan may need more assistance from the AU, and it's our job to facilitate it,'' he told reporters while traveling to Sudan for talks. Straw met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail on Monday night, saying he was pleased with the progress Sudan had made in ensuring humanitarian groups' access to Darfur. Ismail said Sudan was ready to work with the international community and insisted his government had made progress in tackling the humanitarian crisis. He also urged donor nations to fulfill aid pledges to prevent a famine in Darfur. During his two-day visit, Straw was to meet with Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir before visiting a relief camp in Darfur. The violence in Darfur is rooted in tensions between nomadic Arab tribes and non-Arab African villagers. Two rebel black African rebel groups launched a revolt in February 2003 over what they regard as unjust treatment by the government in their struggle with Arab countrymen. The Janjaweed then unleashed a ferocious campaign of violence against Darfur's black Africans -- who like the Arabs are Muslims -- with armed horsemen sweeping into villages, killing and raping. Sudan denies backing the Janjaweed, but many accuse it of using the militiamen to put down the rebels and strengthen the Arab hold on the region. The peace talks in Nigeria are between the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. Going into the negotiations, rebel officials accused the government of failing to provide security and failing to deliver on its promises to disarm the Janjaweed. ``The government is yet to put a stop to the activities of the Janjaweed, who are still killing people and attacking people,'' said Tacudi Bashi Nyan, a top Justice and Equality Movement delegate. ``There is no security in the area. If these things are corrected, then we can have a good atmosphere for the talks. So a lot depends on circumstance.'' The U.N. Security Council is due to consider what action to take at the end of August, with options ranging from extending the deadline for another 30 days to imposing punitive measures. Straw's aides said most council members oppose heavy sanctions. Aid groups and both houses of U.S. Congress have declared the crisis in Sudan ``genocide."

NYT 24 Aug 2004 U.S. Report on Violence in Sudan Finds a 'Pattern of Atrocities' By MARC LACEY AIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 24 - A preliminary State Department review of the violence waged in the Darfur region of Sudan has implicated government-backed militias in "a consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities," including murder, torture, rape and ethnic humiliation. The study, based on 257 interviews conducted in refugee settlements in neighboring Chad in the last two weeks of July, is part of the Bush administration's investigation of whether the killing in Darfur amounts to genocide. The report does not address that question directly but analyzes the chilling testimony of refugees driven from their homes in western Sudan. The study, conducted by State Department officials together with outside legal experts, found that nearly one-third of the refugees interviewed reported hearing racial epithets while under attack, and that nearly 60 percent of them reported witnessed the killing of a family member. Twenty percent of the respondents said they had witnessed a rape and another 25 percent had witnessed beatings. "The purpose of the report is not to come to a determination on genocide," said a State Department official. "What these guys are doing is collecting firsthand information that would serve as the documentary evidence on whether the legal standard has been met." Genocide is defined as a calculated effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Congress has already declared that what has happened in Darfur, where more than million black Africans have been driven from their villages by armed Arabs, amounts to genocide. A separate review by the European Union, however, disputed that. The Bush administration is treading carefully on the issue, wanting to pressure the Sudanese government to disarm the militias but without ruining the progress made in peace talks aimed at ending a separate civil war with southern rebels. In the preliminary study, roughly half of the respondents said government soldiers had joined Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, in attacking black African villages. One quarter of the refugees said they were attacked by soldiers alone. Another 17 percent said militias alone attacked them. Based on the testimony, the survey declared that "the primary cleavage defining this conflict appears to be ethnic," with Arab soldiers and militia attacking non-Arab villagers. "Numerous credible reports point to the use of racial and ethnic epithets by both the Jingaweit and GOS military personnel," the report said, using an alternative spelling for the militias and an abbreviation for the Government of Sudan. Among the epithets that the interviewers reported were "Kill the slaves" and "We have orders to kill all the blacks." One refugee reported that a militia member had stated, "We kill all blacks and even kill our cattle when they have black calves." The report indicated that the extent of the killing in Darfur, which ranges from 30,000 victims to many times more, is difficult to pin down. "Numerous accounts point to mass abductions; the respondents usually do not know the abductees' fate," the report said. "A few respondents have indicated personal knowledge of mass executions and gravesites." The report, dated Aug. 5, is the first part of the genocide review. It will be followed up in the coming weeks by a more thorough review of 1,100 refugee interviews. To conduct them, the surveyors, known as an Atrocities Documentation Team, select each 10th dwelling and conduct their talks without the presence of any outsiders, besides an independent translator.


Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) NEWS August 18, 2004 4Evaluation of Evidence On RPF Crimes to Continue Until 2005 Arusha The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Hassan Bubacar Jallow will evaluate evidence concerning alleged war crimes committed in 1994 by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) until next year, he announced on Wednesday. Jallow, who was addressing a press conference at the Arusha-based Tribunal after returning from a routine visit to Rwanda, said, "We are in the process of evaluation of evidence at the moment, hopefully by early next year we will have completed." Jallow held talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the Attorney General, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, during his visit. The legal objective of the evaluation process, Jallow said, is to determine from a legal perspective whether there is evidence which can be used "against whom and for what offence". Jallow however was non-committal whether his office will indict soldiers of the current Rwandan army if it finds sufficient evidence. "I do not want to speculate on what we will do or not. Let us wait until we finish the evaluation then see if we have any cases," the prosecutor stated. The prosecutor added that he is optimistic that the process of examining the evidence on the alleged RPA crimes will not affect an earlier recommendation by the Un Security Council that he complete investigations into earlier cases by the end of this year. The 2005 deadline would only apply to 16 new cases, which he did not name. Soldiers in the former Tutsi-led rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Army are alleged to have committed war crimes prior to and during their ousting of the government during the 1994 genocide, which claimed the lives of an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Transfer of cases Concerning the transfer of cases to Rwanda and other national jurisdictions, Jallow said that 45 cases have been identified. Five of the cases are of detainees already in UN custody in Arusha, while the others are still at large. It would be prejudicial to name the cases and detainees, he added. Jallow also disclosed that the Tribunal was negotiating with seven other countries in Europe and Africa to have some of the cases transferred there. Although the prosecutor is optimistic that his office will complete its work by the UN Security Council's deadline of 2008, he still views the arrest of those who have been accused, but are still on the run, as a significant factor. "The major challenge is that we still have 15 fugitives who are still at large who have been indicted." His office is preparing to start prosecution of new cases involving thirteen accused by next year. It also plans to close its cases in three trials which are currently on going at the Tribunal. The trials are 'Butare' which involves six individuals from Butare region, Southern Rwanda; the 'Military One' trial involving four former senior military officers; and the 'Government Two' trial which groups together four former ministers of the interim government.


The Monitor (Kampala) 30 July 2004 Kony World Court Probe Starts By Frank Nyakairu & Izama Angelo Kampala The International Criminal Court has started investigating the LRA rebels and their leader, Joseph Kony, for alleged crimes against humanity. The court's Chief Prosecutor, Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, yesterday said he had determined that there was a reasonable basis to open an investigation into the situation concerning northern Uganda. He has notified the ICC and other concerned parties of his investigations against Kony, in accordance with article 18 of the Rome Statute. A group of local and international NGOs, during a meeting on Wednesday, warned that Kony could retaliate against innocent civilians and families of persons named as witnesses in the trial. The meeting, which took place at Hotel Africana in Kampala, included the Human Rights Watch and the UK-based Christian Aid. But the Minister of Information, Dr James Nsaba Buturo, said on Wednesday the intended prosecution of Kony was properly planned without posing any risk to civilians. The army spokesman, Maj. Shaban Bantariza, told The Monitor by telephone yesterday that Kony could not pose any threat following, the recent UPDF offensive on his forces inside Sudan. The chairman of the Amnesty Commission, Justice Peter Onega, said the government's intended amendment of the Amnesty Act to exclude LRA leaders from pardon, would jeopardise any opportunity for a peaceful solution to the conflict. '

AFP 25 Aug 2004 U.N. War Crimes Team To Probe Atrocities In Northern Ugandan War AFP: 8/25/2004 KAMPALA, Aug 25 (AFP) - A team from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is in Uganda to investigate alleged atrocities committed in the war between government troops and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the north of the country, UN officials said Wednesday. "A team of nine ICC people is in Uganda," Andrew Timpson, who works for UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told AFP by telephone from the northern town of Gulu. "They have started soliciting for interpreters for the local Luo language and Swahili and have also met human rights groups and non-governmental organisations," Timpson added. "The real investigations will start after logistics have been put in place," Timpson said, but could not confirm when the investigators arrived and for how long they would be in the east African nation. In July, the ICC said it had launched an investigation into atrocities in Uganda from July 1, 2002, including the February slaughter of more than 200 internally displaced people in a camp in northern Uganda. The massacre was blamed on the LRA, which has been fighting to oust the government of President Yoweri Museveni since 1988 to replace it with one based on the biblical Ten Commandments.



www.theglobeandmail.com 6 Aug 2004 To our great shame, 'Canada doesn't do Africa' By GERALD CAPLAN Globe and Mail, Opinion page Friday, August 6, 2004 - Page A13 Some seven weeks into the 1994 Rwanda genocide, perhaps 500,000 Rwandan Tutsis had been murdered, maimed or raped by Hutu extremists determined to win sole control over the tiny nation. That an unmitigated genocide was in process was doubted by no one, and acknowledged formally by no Western government. To that date, like the rest of the world, the Canadian government had been a passive bystander to the Rwandan tragedy, despite pleas for support from Canadian general Roméo Dallaire. Gen. Dallaire was the commander of the United Nations mission to Rwanda. As he reports in his memoir, two senior Canadian officials -- Robert Fowler, then deputy minister of defence, and Admiral Larry Murray -- flew into the country for a 24-hour visit to assess the situation for themselves. That's all the Dallaire book tells us. In fact, Mr. Fowler was so shaken by what he learned that he poured his heart into a 17-page cri de coeur, pleading with the Chrétien government to send Gen. Dallaire the reinforcements he desperately needed. Mr. Fowler's passionate memo was duly passed along the government's chain of command. When it was last seen, there was a handwritten comment in the margin: "Canada doesn't do Africa." Canada never intervened to help stop this most easily preventable of genocides. No rich country did. The shock of this story is that Canadians and Africans alike believed then, as they do now, that Canada does "do" Africa. Just as medicare is the embodiment of Canadians' sense of their values at home, so humanitarian aid and peacekeeping represents our sense of self abroad. The truth, alas, shatters the self-satisfied myth. Rather than being a world leader, as of the end of June, 18 countries contributed more personnel to UN peacekeeping operations than Canada. As for official development assistance, of 22 OECD countries -- the richest nations in the world -- Canada ranks a mediocre 12th, based on 2002 data. Most Canadians never knew that Paul Martin's signal accomplishment as finance minister, the elimination of the deficit, was facilitated by massive cuts to our foreign aid budget. Canada's standing pledge, routinely renewed by the government, is to dedicate 0.7 per cent of gross national product to official development assistance. Instead, the Chrétien-Martin government budgeted the lowest percentage in decades -- 0.28 per cent in 2002, compared to Denmark's 0.96 per cent, Norway's 0.91 per cent, the Netherlands' 0.82 per cent and Sweden's 0.74 per cent. Even with recent increases, official development assistance remains under 0.3 per cent. At this rate, Canada won't meet its commitment to the world's poorest citizens for another 35 years. Canadians will also be surprised that the first- and second-largest recipients of Canadian aid these days are Afghanistan and Iraq. These two countries, with 50 million people, receive half of our entire official development assistance. The other half goes to the rest of the world, including Africa's 800 million people. Now the world is focused on Darfur in Sudan, the worst humanitarian disaster on Earth. "Another Rwanda," as it's routinely described. Human-rights and aid agencies tried to draw attention to Darfur throughout 2003. No one who counted paid attention. Meantime, many thousands died, many thousands of girls and women were raped, and hundreds of thousands became refugees. Earlier this year, Darfur finally captured the imagination of the media and, as a result, the attention of the world's powers. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan actually visited the region at the end of June. Many demands followed, while more people died. Last week, a month later, a resolution was at last passed at the Security Council giving the government of Sudan another month before consideration is given to taking action of some kind, some time after that. Meantime, more die in Dafur. Reputable voices describe a genocide in progress or imminent, while the world depends on a treacherous government of war criminals to stop the killing, burning and rape. Where is Canada's voice? There is mostly the conspicuous sound of silence. We are apparently fighting the scourge of genocide with sporadic, even rare, press releases -- two from the Department of Foreign Affairs in the past month and one from CIDA. The Minister of International Co-operation actually boasts that Canada is giving $14.6-million "to alleviate the suffering" in Darfur; the UN reports that $180-million is required. A government member insists that the Prime Minister and ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence are meeting "practically every day" on the crisis. If so, these are uncharacteristically invisible politicians. We have the right to be skeptical. Despite all the "lessons learned" from Rwanda, there is reason to fear that Canada still doesn't do Africa. Gerald Caplan is author of Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide, the report of the international panel of eminent persons, appointed by the Organization of African Unity to investigate the Rwandan genocide.


BBC 25 Aug 2004 Pinochet to testify in Jara case Víctor Jara's music was popular throughout South America A Chilean judge has ordered former dictator Augusto Pinochet to testify in writing in the murder case of Chilean singer and composer Victor Jara. Mr Jara was allegedly tortured and killed shortly after the military coup in September 1973 in a sports stadium, in the capital, Santiago. Prosecutors hope to determine who was in charge of the stadium at the time. The judge also ordered a number of former army generals to provide testimony concerning the case. 'He kept singing' The judge's decision came as General Pinochet faces an investigation into allegations that he hid millions of dollars in secret bank accounts while in power. The Chilean Supreme Court is also expected to rule on an appeal by his lawyers following a court decision to strip him of his immunity from prosecution in connection with Operation Condor - a drive against opponents of South American military regimes. Mr Jara was one of the founding fathers of Chile's New Song movement and a supporter of President Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in the coup. Jara, who was 38 when he was tortured and killed, was reportedly held with other people who the military considered "dangerous". Other prisoners were later quoted as saying that he did not stop singing even when guards burnt and broke his hands. His wife, Joan, left the country in secret after his death with tapes of his music, which became widely known internationally.

El Salvador

NYT 28 Aug 2004 Judge to Rule on Salvadoran Bishop Murder By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 5:34 a.m. ET FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- In an unusual application of federal law, a judge will rule early next month whether a retired Salvadoran air force captain living in California conspired to kill El Salvador's archbishop 24 years ago. A hearing in the case Friday was marked by emotional testimony that the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero helped launch the Salvadoran civil war and marked an era of violence and disrespect for human rights in Latin America. The court is being asked to determine if the evidence presented was enough to show that Alvaro Rafael Saravia, last known to be living in Modesto, could be held liable for Romero's death. Romero, an outspoken human rights activist, was killed by a sniper in 1980 as he conducted Mass, and no one was ever held responsible for his death. If Saravia is found liable in the civil case, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger can ask for monetary damages to reflect the loss suffered by Romero's family, by the country, and by the international human rights community. The suit was brought by one of Romero's siblings, who has not been identified because the judge agreed that there was still significant danger of retaliation. Saravia has not responded to the lawsuit filed by the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability, although the judge ruled that an adequate effort had been made to reach him, and that the suit should continue without him. Saravia has no attorney or other representation in the trial. Investigations by independent human rights organizations have shown that Saravia, as the chief of security to Maj. Roberto D'Aubuisson -- a key figure in steering El Salvador's government toward the extreme right in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- conspired to kill the archbishop. D'Aubuisson appeared on national Salvadoran television days before the archbishop's death condemning Romero's public criticism of violence, which Romero blamed in large part on agents of the Salvadoran government. The deposition of Saravia's chauffeur, Amado Garay, who drove the sniper to the door of the chapel, is key to determining Saravia's liability in this case. Garay broke down repeatedly as he testified on Thursday, saying he did not know it was ``the famous Monsignor Romero'' that the sniper had been sent to shoot. Garay testified that when he returned the sniper to a house where Saravia was waiting, they found Saravia listening to the news. ``Saravia said to the shooter, 'I think you killed him. The news said he died instantly,''' Garay testified. The plaintiff's attorneys showed photos of the panic-stricken parishioners holding up the archbishop's body moments after he was shot, and played a recording of the last sermon until the moment of the shooting. All attempts to bring the case to Salvadoran courts were silenced by threats or political opposition, witnesses said. A United Nations truth committee linked D'Aubuisson and Saravia to Romero's death, but no one was charged with a crime, in part because of an amnesty law passed in El Salvador in 1993. This lawsuit relies on federal statutes that allow foreign nationals with U.S. connections to be sued for crimes like torture or genocide. The party founded by D'Aubuisson, now known as ARENA, has been in power since 1989. The current president, Tony Saca, said he served as an altar boy for Romero. On Sept. 3 The judge will issue his decision about Saravia's liability, and any damages might be ordered to pay. -------- Associated Press writer Laura Wides contributed to this report.


RightsAction 30 July 2004 rightsaction.org. CHIXOY: BACK TO THE FUTURE By Simon Archer and Tina Piper(1), for Rights Action, July 22, 2004 THE ANNOUNCEMENT On the bus winding its way through the verdant hills outside Salama, we opened the July 19, 2004 edition of Prensa Libre, a Guatemalan daily. In the business section, we discovered that the recently-elected government under President Oscar Berger announced a major new initiative, the privatization and construction of three new hydro-electric dam projects, two along the Rio Negro, above and below the Pueblo-Viejo (or Chixoy) Dam. This initiative is yet another example of a hemispheric trend in energy policy that seeks to privatize state assets and promote so called public-private partnerships in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy, a trend that in itself is fraught with problems and contradictions. But this initiative is particularly noteworthy for another reason: the proposal literally brackets a history of violent oppression against local communities in the construction of hydro-electric projects in Guatemala. The Government's proposal will (and should) be the focus of activism and community development struggles in the near future. It provides an excellent opportunity to highlight past injustices, the need for reparations, and for local communities to meaningfully participate in future development decisions. Whether these opportunities are realized will depend in part on the ability of activists and community workers to anticipate problems, coordinate their efforts and pursue an effective strategy for change. A VIOLENT HISTORY OF REPRESSION OF MAYAN CULTURE AND PEOPLE Our educational delegation (July 2004), led by a group of activists from Rights Action, focused on education about the history of the local Maya Achi communities whose geographical epicenter is Rabinal. One of the most important elements of that history is the series of massacres of the communities around Rabinal, in particular that of Rio Negro, which effectively facilitated the construction of the Chixoy Dam. We met with Carlos Chen and Jesus Tecu Osorio, two survivors of the massacres at the Rio Negro, and now community leaders amongst the survivors. These two provided a detailed eyewitness account of the massacres and of the community's struggle for justice since 1982, and the community's efforts since then to recover, re-unite and seek reparations. Our next meeting was with Fernando Suazo, a psycho-social counselor in the Rabinal area who has worked with the Maya Achi communities for close to 20 years. Suazo has worked with the UN Truth Commission and other organizations, and is known throughout Guatemala for his work. Suazo led a discussion on the political, economic and social factors affecting the Maya Achi communities of the Rabinal area, and Guatemala as a whole, leading up to the civil war and repression of the 70s and 80s. In the early 1960s the Guatemalan government of the day permitted the U.S. to use Guatemala as a training centre to mount its attack on the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, in response to the revolution there in 1959. A group of nationalist army leaders disagreed with this policy, and formed a guerrilla movement with the objective of overthrowing the standing government. In this context,(2) Mayan communities were beginning to emancipate themselves and form groups and present demands to the standing government. As the military government became increasingly threatened by these groups, they employed more and more repressive tactics to control their growth and political expression, which included terrorizing civilian populations. This culminated in scorched earth campaigns of the countryside where Mayan leaders were equated with guerrilla leaders. After the outbreak of an internal armed conflict in 1962, Guatemala faced 34 years of violence resulting in the deaths and disappearances of over 200,000 people. The massacres at Rio Negro occurred during the worst years of state repression - a period known as la violencia, which extended from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. During these years, the military was aided by community-based organized Civil Defence Patrols (PACs), many of whom were forced into recruitment and were required to attack neighboring communities with whom they had peacefully lived for many years. The Guatemalan government's stated intention was to fight guerrilla groups who were infiltrating Guatemala's rural communities. However, many civilians were either wrongly accused of such guerrilla activity or were only involved in non-violent popular education campaigns. Many people consequently fled to camps in Mexico, while others hid in the mountains. The tactics used in these campaigns were anything but selective - they often included mass killings of women and children. Importantly, the Commission for Historical Clarification established through the Accord of Oslo on June 23, 1994, found that in certain, Mayan-dominated regions of Guatemala, genocide was planned and carried out against different Mayan peoples by the State. As well, the CEH reported that, during the conflict, the state was responsible for 93% of human rights violations and the guerrillas for 3%. During this period of dam construction within the political context of a civil war, the community of Rio Negro suffered a series of massacres, which resulted in the deaths of approximately half (440 out of 800) of the community's residents.(3) Several non-governmental organizations have asserted that the Rio Negro community faced violence specifically due to their resistance to displacement from the Chixoy Dam. In 1996, the US-based organization Witness for Peace released a report entitled "A People Damned", in which they concluded: "Although the massacres were attributed to the counterinsurgency war, a careful analysis of the Rio Negro events leads to the conclusion that the local residents were killed because they blocked the progress of the Chixoy project."(4) Our group visited these communities 20 years after these events took place, and 10 years after the first mass graves of these massacres were exhumed by the Foundation for Forensic Anthropology (FAFG), a group formed to conduct official exhumations, in part as a result of the Peace Accords of 1996. We visited the FAFG offices for a discussion with the Director, Leonel Paiz on their work. The UN Truth Commission investigated over 600 massacres occurred in Guatemala during the civil unrest, and the FAFG has performed some 350 exhumations to date. The findings of each exhumation are reviewed by both forensic and social anthropologists in order to establish an identity and a profile of the victim, including probable cause of death and circumstances surrounding the death. These reports are then filed with the Ministerio Publico - the public prosecutor responsible for bringing charges - where they are routinely shelved. This has been a major frustration in the work of the FAFG. The UN Truth Commission identified four "paradigmatic cases" in which the worst elements of genocide were allegedly practiced, and despite exhumations and reports by the FAFG, none has resulted in a prosecution. Only four of the 350 post-exhumation reports have led to a prosecution so far, and only against low-level actors, such as the PAC patrollers, and not against a military authority of the time. Paiz reports that in conducting these exhumations, a climate of fear still remains as a palpable legacy of the terrorist activities of the military regimes in the 70s and 80s. The process of the exhumations unearths years of repressed emotions in the survivors, and along with them, memories and testimonies of the massacres. THE CHIXOY DAM The problems with big dam projects are abundant and well-documented, so much so that in May 1998 the World Commission on Dams began to study the effect and propose new means by which dams would be constructed. A current notorious example is the Narmada dam in India, so dogged with scandal and of dubious benefit to the millions of people it is displacing that even the World Bank pulled out of funding it. There are many noted problems with big dams. They cause environmental devastation by flooding fertile river-side plains, they displace people living in the path of the dam, they rarely if ever generate as much electricity as they promise and may flood traditional indigenous lands, including sites of archaeological and religious significance. Their promised returns of regional development, job creation, and fostering an industry base with export capability rarely materialize. Dam projects have disproportionately targeted indigenous and rural poor communities. As the construction of the Chixoy dam demonstrates, generating huge quantities of electricity provides no assurance whatsoever that the local communities will be able to afford or access electricity (for example the community of Rio Negro does not currently have electricity). Big dams support the dominant model of development that suggests trickle-down benefits from modernization projects, while ignoring smaller, community based and developed alternatives. The money from the Chixoy project largely went into the hands of the private contractors engaged in its construction; only one of the 11 private contractors engaged was Guatemalan. In 1978, initial project costs for construction of the Chixoy dam were estimated at $372.7 million. However, by July 1981, project costs had increased to $631.8 million, due to numerous construction and design failures, including greater than expected geological shifting revealed by an earthquake on February 4, 1976 and the complex geology of the environment that led to the undermining of the main power tunnel and its partial collapse by December 1983. Repairs to the tunnel necessitated a complete shutdown of the generating plant for almost three years. In addition to the resulting increased costs, the faulty construction leaves estimates of the remaining life of the dam at only 20 to 50 years while the dam has never run at more than 70% capacity.(5) As we were told recently by the World Bank representative in Guatemala, the projected lifespan of the dam is 20 years and it will be rendered inactive within a few years due to siltification. The IDB recently had to provide the Guatemalan government with a further grant to de-siltify the Chixoy dam, an expense not anticipated by the initial project. Roberto Balsells, the former president of INDE, told El Grafico newspaper in an interview in December 1986 that the Chixoy Dam was "a financial disaster" which "never should have been built". And in 1991, the World Bank concluded that the Chixoy dam "had proved to be an unwise and uneconomic investment". World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn in an 18 June 1998 letter to the NGOs concerned about the Rio Negro case acknowledged that "this was a very weak project on technical and economic grounds." By 1988, the estimated construction cost increased to $823.1 million, a 120% increase from original estimates (excluding financing costs). Including financing costs and an additional $57 million given by the IDB for repairs, the total cost of the project was $955 million. This final cost represented approximately 40% of Guatemala's external debt in the late 1980s. In 1991, 45% of Guatemala's foreign debt was derived from the Chixoy dam and in 1995, 51% of INDE's revenues were used to service this debt. The World Bank and IDB loans have been fully paid by the Guatemalan government. THE PROPOSED DAMS Against this background of on-going injustice and impunity of the perpetrators, the Oscar Berger Government has proposed three new dam projects. Privatization of state assets (along with de-regulation) is part of the tired and now discredited neo-liberal vision of economic development. This vision of development, which in the past emphasized large-scale mega projects like hydroelectric dams, has been the favoured model of economic development of U.S. policy-makers and multi-national development agencies like the World Bank Group. It came, in the 1990s, to be called the Washington Consensus, after the location of the major institutions promoting its agenda. After long-standing criticism and challenges by activists and others, the Washington Consensus eventually became questioned by its own institutions, by investigations like the World Commission on Dams, and even some Northern governments and conservative policy wonks (for example, Francis Fukuyama recently repudiated its central tenets - see The Guardian, July, 2004). It remains, however, the dominant development model, and that informing the Berger government's proposals. The proposals are that the Institutio Nacional de Electrification (INDE) solicits proposals for the development of three new hydroelectric dam projects to provide a total of 905 megawatts of generation by 2008. The three projects are to be in Chulac, on the Cahabon river between Alta Verapaz and Izabal regions, in Serchil, on the Rio Negro above the Chixoy Dam and Xalala on the Rio Negro below the Chixoy Dam.(6) It is estimated that the dams will affect at least 21 river-side communities. These dams are part of the Government´s larger stated plan to reduce dependence on thermal generation of electricity (for example oil-fired generation) by replacing it with more renewable sources of electricity, namely, hydro-electric generation. La Prensa reports that, apart from generation, INDE will also seek to privatize the transmission of electricity. INDE was formerly a government agency that was effectively privatized in the 1980s. It appears that INDE holds the power to license private corporations to generate electricity. In effect, the generation of power will be privatized by this initiative. A key lobby group in this process is likely to be the National Association of Power Generators (Asociacion Nacional de Generadores). The Berger Government (through the Minister of Energy and Mines, Roberto Gonzalez, and the INDE Director, Luis Ortiz) have proposed a four-phase privatization process. Phase one includes technical and economic feasibility studies, including environmental assessments, and is projected to be completed by February of 2005. Phase two will determine the terms of reference of the requests for proposals and the regulatory requirements associated with the private operation of the projects. Phase two is to be completed by December, 2005. Phase three will provide a maximum of one year for financing of these projects to be put in place by the state and private actors, and phase four will be the construction of the projects themselves, both to be completed by 2008. Each of these phases provides an opportunity for intervention by activists and community members. It is relevant to note that although the regulatory regimes differ in each jurisdiction, the privatization of electricity generation and transmission has been attempted in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., among others countries. In each jurisdiction this process has met with difficult and sometimes disastrous results. ENRON was able to manipulate the private market for the generation of power to create vast profits at the expense of consumers. The actual causes of the blackout in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada in 2003 are not yet clear, but it appears to be the result of a lack of monitoring and maintenance by private power generation and transmission companies. Privatization of electricity utilities in Canada has been accompanied by massive corruption and scandal (for example Ontario Hydro). LEGAL ACTION AND INACTION The issue of impunity looms large in Guatemalan society. Two separate national cases are being brought against Rios Montt and Lucas Garcia for atrocities and genocide, and include the massacres at Rio Negro. These cases are officially being conducted by the Ministerio Publico, the government body responsible for the prosecution of crimes. However, in reality, they are being pushed forward by the Centro de Accion Legal en Derechos Humanos (CALDH). Fernando Lopez, the lawyer responsible for the file at CALDH, reports that the prosecutions are moving at the slowest possible pace, but that he remains optimistic that they have a winning case if it goes forward. However, impunity still remains a pressing issue as can be seen by the fact that the Constitutional Court allowed former army general and intellectual author of the genocide, Efrain Rios Montt, to run in the 2003 presidential elections. The Supreme Court was of the opinion that the 1985 Constitution, which prohibits former dictators from running for office, did not apply to Rios Montt. The topicality and importance of the announcements of the new dam projects - indeed as a major new initiative of the Berger Government - is highlighted by the fact that an NGO, the Center for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), is currently preparing a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), seeking damages from the Government of Guatemala via INDE, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for the human rights violations occasioned by the construction of the initial Chixoy Dam. COHRE is attempting, in this petition, to make the case that the state actors and in particular, the international financial institutions and the U.S., are complicit in the human rights violations in Chixoy by virtue of their funding of the project, even after they became aware, or ought to have been aware, of the massacres occurring in the Rabinal area. While states have from time to time been found responsible for human rights violations like those in the Chixoy case, to date the World Bank and other international financial institutions, who have financially supported many of these governments (and had their loans paid back), have never been held accountable for their role. In fact, the World Bank and IDB (also known as International Financial Institutions or IFIs) require member states to enact legislation granting them immunity from prosecution in that state. This requirement, along with other immunities they have granted themselves in their Articles of Agreement, place these institutions effectively above the law in the countries they loan money to. This is a terrible contradiction, because these very IFIs insist upon conditions for their loans that include privatization, de-regulation, and most particularly, enforcing a "rule of law" through improvements to "legal institutions of the market economy". In other words, these IFIs insist that borrowing nations improve their legal systems to accommodate private capital, but refuse to submit themselves to that same rule of law. Privately, officials in these institutions acknowledge this contradiction and even sympathize with victims of the projects they have funded. They have never, however, committed to full accountability either through the courts or some other process. This makes their support of these projects specious at best. When damages and appropriate reparations for dam-related human rights violations is only effectively being pursued over 20 years after the initial events, this raises questions as to whether new dams should in fact be constructed. If they are, the new dams also raise the question of how the benefits of the dams will be distributed. Recent Guatemalan governments have been privatizing state owned utilities, such as Empresa Electrica, an electricity distributor and Telgua, a telecommunications operation. Recent reports suggest that the profits from these privatizations have been allocated to various uses including the financing of Fontierra (the land redistribution scheme put in place by the Peace Accords, received Q75M) to less democratic initiatives, such as capitalizing the Banco de Ejercito (Q150M) and to demobilizing certain portions of the army (Q360M). RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESEARCH AND ACTION The Berger Government's proposals are an opportunity to organize. As each of the four projected phases of the dam initiative is rolled out, there will be opportunities to intervene in the process and attempt to influence its outcomes. -- Work with the communities. From the perspective of the affected communities, one option is to link the benefits of the new dams to the outstanding injustices of the Chixoy Dam project, and to incorporate compensation for the past injustices into the terms of reference of the proposed dam constructions. Other resource development projects have at times established a compensation fund controlled by the communities, or a negotiated form of profit-sharing with those communities. -- Develop an understanding of the available tools. From an NGO perspective, there may be an opportunity to work with affected communities to ensure that the lessons of the past have been internalized and form part of the process in the implementation of these new projects. For example, the World Commission on Dams issued a comprehensive report on the proper incorporations of all actors and all rights into the development process, and it could serve as a set of standards to ensure a participatory process is used. In addition, where there are indigenous communities affected, Guatemala is a signatory to ILO 169, a set of non-binding prescriptions on the proper process for consultation (among other things) with indigenous groups where development projects may affect their rights. -- Get to know the players. Activists and NGOs will also want to monitor the parties involved in this privatization scheme in order to expose conflicts of interest and prevent problems before they manifest themselves in bad development outcomes. In a privatization this will include the government ministries in charge of the privatization, their legal teams and any special legislation required to privatize a public asset. Legislation may require committee hearings. Private companies will bid on these projects, and although those processes are usually confidential, leaks occur. Some aspects ought not to be private, and should be transparent. NGOs may also consider pooling their strengths by creating an NGO coalition to coordinate efforts. -- Understand the financing. Tracking those public officials and private companies involved in the dam bidding and construction, and their forms of financing, is important so that interventions can be made in a timely manner. It is our experience that private capital in such ventures is most effectively influenced by education and information of the true risks before it has been invested. If quasi-public sources of financing are used, it is useful to monitor those processes and where possible, use the public interest or public accountability of public moneys to influence the conditions of the project and the distribution of the benefits. If a particular process appears to be corrupt, attempting to expose this at the financing stage may be an effective way to influence the process. In particular with large infrastructure projects, up-front financing can be a serious barrier for private firms because it requires an outlay of a significant investment before any profits begin to flow. Firms may try to raise this money from financers and public markets, which provides an opportunity to share information about the risks of such a project. -- Monitor the processes and challenge those that are a sham. Phase one will certainly require an environmental and social impact assessment under Guatemalan environmental laws. In our experience these impact assessments are very weak processes that will not result in, for instance, the termination of a bad project (for example, the recent Bacongo case in Belize, or the San Miguel mining project in Izabal). However, the process does provide two opportunities: the first, to expose the poor process itself, and attempt to challenge it. The second is to use this process as a negotiating tool in order to require better distribution of benefits to the affected communities. Learning from other experience and models (e.g., the Cree Nation and the dam projects in Canada) may help in forming appropriate demands. -- Keep records. One of the lessons of the Chixoy Case is that good reports, good record keeping, whether testimonies or community visits and delegations or land titles or meeting minutes or interviews with company officials, are all invaluable in the advocacy and activism procedures at later dates. Records save hundreds of hours of work. === FOOTNOTES: 1- This is a preliminary report on the July, 2004 Rights Action Human Rights delegation to Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. The authors participated in the delegation's visit to Rabinal, the largest community in proximity to the Chixoy dam and the village of Rio Negro. The authors welcome and solicit any comments, reports, updates or other information on the issues raised in this report, particularly information about the implementation of the new dam projects. They can be reached at sarcher@torys.com and tina.piper@gmail.com. 2- Several other factors were influencing events. The Second Vatican Council had endorsed "liberation theology", and local clergy were supporting self-determination and preaching the "preferential share". Mayans were participating in this process. The abolition of the debt peonage system a generation earlier (in the 1940s) had permitted some Mayans to own businesses and slowly increased Mayan economic independence. President Kennedy had launched the Alliance for Progress in the 1960s in response to the Cuban Revolution, and resistance movements were growing throughout Latin America. 3- These numbers have been disputed, however, as an approximation, they are valid. 4- Witness for Peace, "A People Damned", 1996, p.18. 5- Interview with INDE representatives, November 2, 2000 6- We use the Rio Negro for convenience, the watercourses are in fact a series of tributaries from the mountainous region into basins, which at certain points, can be dammed. SOURCES CITED IN THIS ARTICLE AND OTHER RESOURCES Witness for Peace, A People Damned (Witness for Peace, 1996) early profile of the massacres and the role of the World Bank. http://www.witnessforpeace.org/add2.pdf. J. Tecu Osorio, The Rio Negro Massacres (Guatemala, 2002). J. Schirmer, The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy, (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998). W. LaFaber, Inevitable Revolutions (1990). M. Hirsch, The Responsibility of International Organization Toward Third Parties: Some Basic Principles (Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1995). M. Gonzalez Morada y V. Guidel, "Hidroeléctrica de Chixoy, cada vez más amenazada", Prensa Libre, May 27, 2004. M. Manza, "Planean concesión de hidroeléctricas", Prensa Libre, July 19, 2004. V. Guidel, "Finanzas: Se agota dinero de privatización", Prensa Libre, July 20, 2004. D. Clarke, "The World Bank and Human Rights: the Need for Greater Accountability" (2002) Harvard Human Rights Jour. 205. The Working Group on Multilateral Institution Accountability Graduate Policy Workshop The Chixoy Dam And The Massacres At Rio Negro, Agua Fria And Los Encuentros: A Report on Multilateral Financial Institution Accountability (Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 2000) on treating IFIs as U.N. agencies. U. Baxi, "What Happens Next Is Up To You: Human Rights At Risk in Dams and Development" (2001) 16:6 American University International Law Review 1507. Rights Action, http://www.rightsaction.org Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: http://www.cidh.org American Convention on Human Rights:http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/Treaties/b-32.htm World Bank/IBRD: http://www.worldbank.org IADB: http://www.iadb.org Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions: http://www.cohre.org International Rivers Network: http://www.irn.org/index.html Centre for International Environmental Law: http://www.ciel.org/ World Commission on Dams: http://www.dams.org United Nations Environment Program, Dams in Development: http://www.unep-dams.org === GET INVOLVED Come on an educational-activist delegation to Guatemala/ Chiapas/ Honduras to learn more about these issues: info@rightsaction.org.

NYT 23 Aug 2004 500 Tragic Years of Mayan Life, Shown in an Exhibition of Outreach and Hope By CATHERINE ELTON GUATEMALA CITY, Aug. 22 - Guatemala is known by most of the world for the soaring pyramids of the ancient Maya and the colorful weavings of their contemporary descendants. Folkloric images of the Maya Indians have been used to help attract tourism to a nation that was until eight years ago ravaged by a three-decade civil war. But within Guatemala, the Maya are often treated with no such respect. Many Mayan leaders say they are disappointed with the scarce improvements in opportunities for the Maya, who make up roughly half of Guatemala's population and who most keenly suffered the war's wrath. But now a traveling exhibition titled "Why Are We the Way We Are?," which opened in Guatemala's capital last week and will continue until June of next year, is trying to prompt a long-overdue national dialogue between the country's dominant nonindigenous population and the Maya. Created by the Guatemala-based Center for Mesoamerican Research with the collaboration of some top American museologists, the show has rallied support from business groups, media and government itself, elevating it to nothing less than a national event. At the exhibition's inauguration, Vice President Eduardo Stein of Guatemala hailed it as a "watershed in history." "The significance of most shows comes from superlatives: the most beautiful Fabergé eggs, the only intact tyrannosaurus rex, the most Monets in one place at a time," said Jim Volkert, the associate director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, who was a consultant on the exhibition. "This show isn't that at all. Its significance is that it has the ability to affect the culture of a country, and that is rare in a museum context," he said. Some indigenous activists say the Maya are the victims of a de facto apartheid instigated by Guatemala's non-Maya, while other Guatemalans deny that racism exists. What is certain, however, is that Guatemala is the country with the second-greatest income disparity between rich and poor in Latin America, behind only Brazil, according to the World Bank. And on which side of the divide citizens here find themselves depends largely on whether they are Indian. United Nations statistics reveal that for every 10 Guatemalans who live in extreme poverty, seven are indigenous. Guatemala's version of a truth commission, the Historical Clarification Commission, concluded that during the country's armed conflict the vast majority of those who were killed, raped or tortured or who disappeared were Maya Indians. Some 200,000 were killed in the 36-year conflict. The commission also concluded that the military's scorched earth campaign amounted to genocide against the Mayas. The show material is based on scholarly research on inter-ethnic relations and feedback from focus groups, and it forms part of a larger educational campaign here devoted to diversity. But for Tani Adams, the show's executive director, an exhibition format was the most logical way to promote a profound reckoning with a social ill that 500 years of history has rendered acceptable and even invisible to much of the population, indigenous and nonindigenous alike. "Thousands of thousands of books have been written about this and are clearly not making a difference," said Ms. Adams, who is also the director of the Center for Mesoamerican Research, which created the show. "It's not like you read a book and say 'I'm never going to be racist again.' And I think a lot of training to deal with racism or ethnocentrism basically tells people, 'It's bad that you are racist, do something different.' But if you don't understand how you inherited these ideas you can't let them go. You need to go through a personal, transformative experience, a disorganizing experience, something that makes you question ideas you have always held unconsciously." Claudio Tam Muro, an Argentine artist and designer, assumed the challenge of producing that experience in a 500-square-foot show that could be packed up on the back of a flatbed and taken to some of the most far-flung parts of the country after its six weeks in the capital. As a result, the show is almost devoid of the objects or artifacts that are the backbone of most museum shows. Rather, it relies on life-size photography (providing some visitors with their first experience of looking eye to eye with an indigenous person), graphics, video, audio, short texts and interactive tools. Mr. Muro set out to use different sensory media to communicate the show's message. The result is a roughly hourlong zigzagging circuit divided into two sections. The bulk of the first section addresses the historical construction of discrimination. It is careful not to omit mentions of the discrimination that existed in pre-Colombian societies, before moving on to the violence of the Spanish conquest, the segregated society of the colonial years, and the crusade for assimilation during the Republican era. This section is filled with tightly spaced areas whose walls are painted in rich, dark colors. It culminates in a small black space with a low ceiling that produces for the visitor the claustrophobia that Mr. Muro says is "what discrimination feels like." Afterward the visitor emerges into the second section, which addresses modern-day Guatemalan race relations. It explores stereotypes and their effects; the staggering statistics of how the two Guatemalans live; and it features testimonies about how many Guatemalans see their identity. In this section the spaces get progressively larger and the colors brighter, while the content becomes a more upbeat message about diversity. "The easiest thing to create is a polemic or an exhibit of anger, but that will only work for the committed," said Elaine Heumann Gurian, former deputy director of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, who was a consultant on the show. "This exhibit points no fingers,'' she said. "It says we are all in this together and have to solve it together." The text in the show is spare, understated, almost simple. But the the creators hope that conversations and debates will emerge from it. For instance, Juan Luis Hernandez left the exhibition recently with ideas he said he hadn't ever considered. The Maya Indians who crouch over the earth on his father's plantation and the servant who cleans his room are the only indigenous people this 17-year-old has ever talked to. And he admits, he's never even talked much to any of them. He said that what struck him most was a video in which an Indian woman "says that indigenous people do want to be included in society and progress, but don't feel they are allowed to." "I had always thought Indians were poor because they didn't want to get ahead in life," Mr. Hernandez said, "but the truth is, I've never asked them what they wanted."


NYT 20 Aug 2004 Justice Scorned in Haiti When the Bush administration pushed for the ouster of Haiti's democratically elected president earlier this year, one of its main complaints was his reliance on armed political gangs to sustain his rule. Now the new government that Washington helped install in Jean-Bertrand Aristide's place has permitted a scandalous judicial exoneration of one of Haiti's most notorious political gangsters, Louis-Jodel Chamblain. Mr. Chamblain just happens to have been a leading force in the February rebellion that helped force Mr. Aristide from office. Mr. Chamblain's violent history goes back more than a decade. Under the military government of the early 1990's, he was one of the leaders of a death squad that is alleged to have murdered thousands of people. After American troops restored democracy to Haiti in 1994, Mr. Chamblain fled to the Dominican Republic. Haitian courts twice convicted him in absentia for politically motivated killings - once for organizing the 1993 assassination of Antoine Izméry, a pro-Aristide business leader who was dragged from a church service and shot, and another time for complicity in the death squad massacre of residents of Raboteau, a slum on the outskirts of Gonaïves. Under Haitian law, Mr. Chamblain was entitled to new trials after his return from exile. The first, in the Izméry case, was held this week. In a quickly convened overnight proceeding, the prosecution produced just one witness - who claimed to know nothing about the case - and Mr. Chamblain was promptly acquitted. Washington rightly deplored the haste and "procedural deficiencies" of the Chamblain retrial. But it should not have been particularly surprised. Haiti's justice minister, Bernard Gousse, earlier suggested that Mr. Chamblain might be pardoned "for his great services to the nation" as a leader of the anti-Aristide rebellion in February. Before that, Prime Minister Gérard Latortue had publicly hailed another rebel leader, who had also been convicted in the Raboteau massacre, as a "freedom fighter.'' Mr. Chamblain's earlier trials in absentia may have been flawed as well, although they were less hastily prepared and conducted. A poorly staffed, unprofessional and highly politicized judicial system has been a serious problem in Haiti for decades. But the current Haitian government - sponsored by Washington, led by internationally known technocrats like Mr. Latortue and protected by a U.N. peacekeeping force - is supposed to be setting a better example. Instead, it has given another ugly example of a Haitian government that shields its political gangster allies from justice.


NYT 6 Aug 2004 Mexican Rights Abuses To the Editor: Re "Justice for Mexico's 'Dirty War' " (editorial, July 29): Since President Vicente Fox took office, his commitment to reviewing the incidents that took place in the 1960's and 70's, known as the "dirty war," has been unwavering. In November 2001, President Fox created the Special Prosecutor's Office, headed by me, to investigate crimes of the past and has shown his respect for the special prosecutor's decisions. The fight against impunity has been one of the main objectives of President Fox's administration. President Fox has given his wholehearted support to the work performed by the special prosecutor. The legal reasoning of genocide that the Special Prosecutor's Office has submitted to the consideration of the judiciary and the incidents this office has investigated, despite the amount of time elapsed, are sufficient to prove the responsibility of public officials in the commission of crime. Today, Mexico is a democracy in which the executive branch recognizes and respects the other branches of government. It is within this system and within the rule of law that action has been taken. The highest interests of the Mexican state and the protection of the human rights of its citizens are involved. Ignacio Carrillo Prieto Special Prosecutor for Social and Political Movements of the Past

Reuters 27 Aug 2004 Mexico asks highest court to take 'dirty war' case By Lorraine Orlandi MEXICO CITY, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Mexican prosecutors asked the nation's highest court on Friday to review criminal charges against a former president who they say ordered a 1971 student massacre. The attorney general asked the Supreme Court to take up the case against ex-President Luis Echeverria and former members of his government, after a lower court dismissed the case last month, said a spokesman for the special prosecutor handling the case. A criminal court judge dismissed genocide charges against them in the killing of as many as 40 students by a band of thugs linked to the government, saying the statute of limitations on the crime had run out. Echeverria, 82, is the first former president in Mexico's modern history to face possible indictment. If the high court agrees to take the case, its review could take months. Mexican President Vicente Fox's government is pushing the case in a drive to punish state atrocities committed under the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until Fox's 2000 election. Echeverria governed from 1970-76, the cruelest years of the "dirty war" against leftists, when hundreds of activists died or disappeared at the hands of the army and PRI-backed forces. Special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo says Echeverria supported a paramilitary band that attacked students with guns, clubs and chains at the June 10, 1971 rally. Victims and rights groups say some 40 people were killed, and the prosecutor says he has evidence of dozens of deaths. Echeverria says he was not responsible for the killings or other bloodshed of the era. The prosecutor says the charge of genocide applies because the victims were targeted as members of a national movement. He contends the crime is exempt from the statute of limitations and has also appealed the July ruling before a lower appeals court. The Supreme Court apparently would consider only the question of the statute of limitations and not the substance of the charge. It has already ruled in Carrillo's favor on a similar issue in another dirty war trial. In that case as in this one, a judge initially refused to issue arrest orders for Mexico's former spy chief and other suspects in the 1975 kidnapping of an urban rebel in Monterrey. ruling that the statute of limitations had expired. The Supreme Court overturned the decision, saying the crime was ongoing as long as the victim was missing, making way for the arrest of Miguel Nazar Haro in February. He faces trial in two kidnappings, while fellow suspects remain at large.


The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia 9 Aug 2004 www.theage.com.au Genocide action over Paraguay blaze By Clinton Porteous Santiago August 9, 2004 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format A doctor who lost his son in the Paraguayan shopping centre blaze has launched legal action against the owners of the complex, accusing them of genocide under a United Nations convention. The action is expected to be part of a wave of civil lawsuits resulting from the fire that killed at least 369 people and where witnesses claimed the doors were closed in an apparent bid to stop looting. A lawyer for Dr Roberto Almiron told reporters the genocide convention was relevant as it related to the disregard of human life and it was not limited to political or social leaders. State prosecutors have filed manslaughter charges against the majority owner of the store, Juan Pio Paiva, and his son, Daniel, as well as four security guards. All have been jailed pending the outcome of the investigation. While the genocide lawsuit is an important step, most of the focus is on prosecutors, who have less than four months to prove the manslaughter charges. All the signs are that Daniel Paiva will be a key witness in trying to decide the culprits in the fire, the worst civilian disaster in Paraguayan history. He was at the shopping centre on the day of the fire, but says he was out of the administrative office buying food when the fire started. Daniel Paiva told journalists, and later repeated to a judge, that if anyone gave an order to close the doors, it was store manager Vicente Ruiz. "I didn't order the doors to be closed and I wasn't there," he said. "The highest authority in my absence was Vicente Ruiz." Mr Ruiz died in the fire. However, prosecutors have taken possession of a closed circuit television system and if the recordings have survived, this will provide crucial evidence. So far, prosecutors say one of the guards has confessed that he heard a command over the radio system to close the doors, but he does not know who gave the order. Investigators will also be examining the management and operation of the shopping centre that was dominated by a giant supermarket. The complex was built three years ago. Aside from guards on the door, there was an internal radio system and closed-circuit television. It appears security was a top priority. The overwhelming culture was to maximise profit by all means. Fire investigators and the architect who designed the store said that the emergency exits were either locked or unusable. Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part today in a memorial march in the capital Asuncion for the fire victims.

United States

NYT 1 Aug 2004 Holocaust Museum Calls Crisis in Sudan 'Genocide Emergency' By COURTNEY C. RADSCH Published: August 1, 2004 WASHINGTON, July 31 - The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has elevated its assessment of the crisis in the Darfur region in western Sudan to a "genocide emergency" in response to the increasing level of violence and death. This is the first time in the museum's 11-year history that it has made such a declaration, which is intended to draw world attention to the situation and to apply pressure for a response from Sudan's government. Museum officials say they will open a display about Darfur on Monday to allow to the public to view the devastation in the Darfur region, where government-backed Arab militia members have been attacking black residents, most of them also Muslims. After a unanimous decision by both houses of Congress last week to call the deteriorating situation in Darfur genocide, the designation by the nation's official Holocaust memorial further underscores the urgency of the situation. Representative Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who is the only Holocaust survivor in Congress, said the designation carried "unique moral weight." "I hope it will make people in a decision making position feel morally obligated and inspired to take action," he said, referring to NATO and European countries. The designation of a genocide emergency is the most serious characterization the museum's Committee on Conscience may convey. The designation means that, in its view, genocide is imminent or is occurring. In 2000, the committee issued a genocide watch on Chechnya and a genocide warning on the Congo-Great Lakes region of Africa. Those designations are the two other levels the committee uses to draw attention to such situations. In 2003, the committee also issued a warning for southern Sudan, and earlier this year made the same declaration for Darfur. The three-tiered scale was developed by the museum committee partly in response to the massacres in Rwanda a decade ago. Last Monday, the museum halted normal operations in the Hall of Remembrance to draw attention to Darfur, an area a third of the size of the United States, where experts estimate that 30,000 to 100,000 people have died this year and 1.2 million have been displaced from their homes. In a speech at the museum last Monday, Amal Allogabo, who left Sudan in 1999, said she did not know if her family was alive or dead. Another speaker, Nesse Godin, a Holocaust survivor, urged international action. Jerry Fowler, the staff director of the Committee on Conscience, recently returned from Chad, where he interviewed refugees from Darfur. He said the situation there met the international definition of genocide because the attacks on certain groups by the Janjaweed militias could result in the "physical destruction" of the refugees. See http://www.ushmm.org/conscience/sudan/dafur/

washingtonpost.com Evangelicals Urge Bush to Do More for Sudan By Alan Cooperman Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, August 3, 2004; Page A13 Thirty-five evangelical Christian leaders have signed a letter urging President Bush to provide massive humanitarian aid and consider sending U.S. troops to stop what they called the "genocide" taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Aug. 1 letter marks a shift in focus for the evangelical movement, which previously was interested primarily in halting violence against Christians in southern Sudan. The victims in Darfur, a western province, are mostly Muslim. "We view this as an opportunity to reach out to Muslims in the name of Jesus," the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said yesterday. "Christian people are appalled by this kind of genocide, and we don't want it taking place in our generation." Evangelicals are part of Bush's political base, and because his reelection may depend on whether they turn out at the polls, the letter adds a domestic political element to an international humanitarian crisis. In the past, evangelical Christian activism has helped spur the Bush White House into major efforts to combat HIV-AIDS, to fight the international trafficking of women and to champion peace talks between Christian rebels in southern Sudan and the Islamic government in Khartoum, the capital. After two years of diplomatic pressure, those talks appear to be close to success. And if U.S. evangelicals mount a grass-roots campaign for action in Darfur, it could be a turning point toward a comprehensive peace agreement for the whole country, some experts said. "The base is speaking up on the question of Sudan," said Chester A. Crocker, a professor of strategic studies at Georgetown University who was assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Reagan administration. "This will add to existing pressures for the administration to do what it can to, if necessary, use a two-by-four to gain the attention of Khartoum's authorities." Among the letter's signers were the leaders of several denominations, such as the Assemblies of God and the Church of the Nazarene. They also included the heads of the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Evangelical Alliance and several seminaries, relief groups and evangelical publications. "Now is . . . the time for the United States government to take a more decisive role to prevent further slaughter and death," the letter said. In addition to sending "massive humanitarian aid," the letter called for "active exploration of all available intervention options -- including sending troops to Darfur as has been proposed by the United Kingdom and Australia -- in order to stop the killing."

NYT August 3, 2004 NYC Putting Price on Holocaust? Not Even Close By CLYDE HABERMAN THIS is about money. But not exactly. This is about righting an old wrong. But not entirely. This is about making peace with history. But not really. That's how it goes with a subject like the long aftermath of the Nazis' industrialized effort to exterminate Europe's Jews. It would be nice if everything were tidy. But life does not run like that. With the Holocaust, neither does death. Another chapter in this ineffably sad tale was written yesterday with an announcement in New York that 130,681 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust would receive $401 million from a restitution fund created by the German government and industry. It comes to roughly $3,000 per person, hardly a fortune but for some a helping hand. About 33,500 survivors live in the United States, many in and around New York City. Many times that number were made slave laborers by the Third Reich in concentration camps, ghettoes and factories. Six decades later, most are no longer around to collect. The Germans created the fund in 2000 to compensate not only Jews but also other Europeans forced into labor. The Nazis may have had a singular obsession with Jews, but they were quite catholic in selecting victims. Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, people with physical or mental disabilities - the Nazis despised them all. This German acknowledgment of responsibility may have come slowly, but it had to be made, said Johannes Rau, the country's president in 2000. "I pay tribute to all those who were subjected to slave and forced labor under German rule, and in the name of the German people beg forgiveness," Mr. Rau said then. "We will not forget their suffering." The $401 million payment is being distributed by a group based in New York, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, commonly known as the Claims Conference. Its officials call this the largest compensation package stemming from the Holocaust that has ever been made in a single day. It also pretty much wraps up the slave-labor portion of the Nazis' evil, at least as far as Jews are concerned. But financial fallout from the Holocaust continues. There is an array of compensation plans. An important one, supervised by a federal judge in Brooklyn, is a $1.25 billion fund created by Swiss banks, which profited from the Holocaust by holding onto victims' property and laundering Nazi profits from slave labor. There are other programs, too, enough of them that some Holocaust survivors say they get dizzy trying to keep them all straight. To complicate matters, emotional disputes have erupted over who should speak for survivors. Israel demands a bigger role than it now has. Various Jewish groups want more of a say, too. As if that were not enough, American survivors have complained to the Brooklyn judge, Edward R. Korman, that he parceled out too much money to Jews in the former Soviet Union, at the expense of those living here. IT is, some survivors agree, an unseemly display, one that can reinforce an impression that it all boils down to who gets paid, and how much. Sure, they say, this is about money. But not exactly. "We're not restituting money," said Gideon Taylor, the Claims Conference's executive vice president. "We're restituting history." The painstaking research that went into verifying survivors' claims, he said, produced a wealth of new information about the extent of the Nazis' slave-labor network and the depths of their depravity in conducting medical experiments. "This is going to be a tool for historians for generations to come," Mr. Taylor said. Yes, it is about righting a wrong. But not entirely, Aron Krell said. Mr. Krell, born in Poland in 1927, was a slave laborer for nearly five years, including at Auschwitz. He was on hand for the announcement yesterday, at the Manhattan headquarters of UJA-Federation of New York. "This money," he said, "can never compensate me for my lost family and childhood." Is it, then, about making peace with history? Not really, said Roman Kent. He also lived through the horrors of Auschwitz and is chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Don't ask survivors to make peace with the past by forgiving and forgetting, Mr. Kent said: "There must be limits to everything, even forgiveness." Germany's compensation may be accepted, but "we will never equate morality and ethics in terms of dollars and cents," he said. For him, "it is a muted justice."

www.ascribe.org Aug 3 07:20:46 2004 Pacific Time Diverse Coalition Issues Unity Statement and Call to Action on Sudan NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (AScribe Newswire) -- The Save Darfur Coalition, comprised of a broadly diverse group of faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations, has issued a Unity Statement and Call to Action in response to the massive humanitarian and human rights crisis in Darfur, Sudan. The purpose of the statement and of the newly formed Coalition is to raise public awareness and to mobilize North Americans and members of the international community to respond to and help end the atrocities that threaten the lives of two million people in the region. The Save Darfur Coalition presently consists of more than 70 organizations, including representation from all the major faiths and the Sudanese community, as well as a number of humanitarian and human rights organizations. Save Darfur will pursue several united actions to help stop the displacement of the ethnic tribal Africans, end the crimes against humanity and provide massive humanitarian support. In addition to the Unity Statement, which can be found in its entirety below, the Coalition is organizing a national Interfaith Day of Conscience on Wednesday, August 25 in churches, synagogues, mosques and community centers throughout the country. The Coalition began on July 14 when the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and American Jewish World Service organized a Darfur Emergency Summit at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan featuring Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel. Mr. Wiesel inspired the group with his impassioned remarks about the suffering being inflicted on Darfurians: "How can I hope to move people from indifference if I remain indifferent to the plight of others? I cannot stand idly by or all my endeavors will be unworthy." To learn more about the crisis in Sudan and further actions people can take, or to add your group to the Coalition, contact David Rubenstein at 202-368-6100 or any of the member groups listed below. Additionally, the Save Darfur Coalition is building a Web site due to launch by the end of this week:www.savedarfur.org. UNITY STATEMENT AND CALL TO ACTION The emergency in Sudan's western region of Darfur presents the starkest challenge to the world since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. A government-backed Arab militia known as Janjaweed has been engaging in campaigns to displace and wipe out communities of African tribal farmers. Villages have been razed, women and girls are systematically raped and branded, men and boys murdered, and food and water supplies targeted and destroyed. Government aerial bombardments support the Janjaweed by hurling explosives as well as barrels of nails, car chassis and old appliances from planes to crush people and property. Tens of thousands have died. Well over a million people have been driven from their homes, and only in the past few weeks have humanitarian agencies gained limited access to some of the affected region. Mukesh Kapila, the former United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, said on March 19 that the violence in Darfur is "more than a conflict, it's an organized attempt to do away with one set of people." The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has issued its first ever genocide emergency. John Prendergast of International Crisis Group warns, "We have not yet hit the apex of the crisis." The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that 350,000 people or more could die in the coming months. Ongoing assessments by independent organizations such as Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) suggest that USAID's estimate may be conservative. If aid is denied or unavailable, as many as a million people could perish. Lives are hanging in the balance on a massive scale. Call to Action We commend the efforts of the U.S. government in brokering a peace deal to end the gruesome 21-year Civil War in the South and its generous pledge of $300 million in U.S. humanitarian aid. We also applaud the recent visits of Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to the region of Darfur to assess the atrocities human rights organizations are calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. And we congratulate Congress for taking decisive legislative action. But we must not wait for a legal determination of "genocide" to ensure a massive worldwide humanitarian response and call to end the violence and investigate crimes against humanity. As Elie Wiesel passionately declared at our Darfur Emergency Summit on July 14, "the perils of indifference enable killers to kill and tormentors to torment...we cannot stand idly by [the crimes against humanity being committed in Sudan] or all our endeavors will be unworthy...We must act." We therefore call on people of conscience everywhere to take any and all actions permitted by each individual's or organization's abilities and constraints to: - encourage worldwide efforts to stop the displacement and end the crimes against humanity - demand massive worldwide governmental humanitarian support and access to match the need - help in the relief efforts by supporting organizations giving aid - promote efforts to rebuild villages and return the displaced - call for a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide This statement is hereby signed and endorsed by the leaders of faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations joining together as the Save Darfur Coalition. Tommy Calvert American Anti-Slavery Group Tony Hileman American Humanist Association David A. Harris American Jewish Committee Ruth W. Messinger American Jewish World Service Dr. William F. Schulz Amnesty International USA Barbara B. Balser Abraham H. Foxman Anti-Defamation League Archbishop Khajag Barsamian Bishop Vicken Aykazian The Armenian Church of America Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf ASMA Society: American Sufi Muslim Association Reverend David Beckmann Bread for the World Reverend Alan Senauke Buddhist Peace Fellowship Arsalan Iftikhar CAIR: Council on American-Islamic Relations Norman L. Epstein M.D. CASTS: Canadians Against Slavery and Torture in Sudan Rabbi Paul J. Menitoff Central Conference of American Rabbis Dr. John Eibner Reverend Dr. Keith Roderick Christian Solidarity International Faith J. H. McDonnell Church Alliance for a New Sudan, Institute on Religion and Democracy Reverend John McCullough Church World Service Aaron M. Knight Citizens for Global Solutions Rabbi Marla J. Feldman Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism Mansour Kane The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Mauritania Reverend Ronald D. Witherup, SS Reverend Ted Keating, SM Reverend Stan De Boe, OSST Conference of Major Superiors of Men James S. Tisch Malcolm Hoenlein Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Suliman Giddo Darfur Peace and Development Reverend Jeffrey Haggray District of Columbia Baptist Convention Rabbi Saul J. Berman Edah Edward W. Stowe III Friends Committee on National Legislation Adam Taylor Global Justice Naim Baig Mohammed Tariq Rahman ICNA: Islamic Circle of North America Gareth Evans International Crisis Group Sharon Cohn International Justice Mission Lavinia Limon IRSA/USCR: Immigration and Refugee Services of America/U.S. Committee for Refugees Dr. Fatten El-Komy Omar Moad Islamic American Relief Agency Felice D. Gaer Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights Marie Abrams Hannah Rosenthal Martin Raffel Jewish Council for Public Affairs Joyce Neu Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Constance Phelps, SCL Carole Shinnick, SSND Marie Lucey, OSF Leadership Conference of Women Religious Kathryn Wolford Lutheran World Relief H. Eric Schockman, Ph.D MAZON: A Jewish Response To Hunger Mahdi Bray Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Reverend Richard Cizik National Association of Evangelicals Reverend Anthony Evans National Black Church Initiative Reverend Robert Edgar Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA Dr. Robert C. Henderson National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States Anne Curtis Maureen Fenlon NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby David Robinson Pax Christi USA Louise Diamond The Peace Company Holly Atkinson Physicians for Human Rights Reverend Peter Laarman Progressive Christians Uniting Daniel Sokatch Progressive Jewish Alliance Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank The Rabbinical Assembly Rabbi Richard Hirsh The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Rabbi David Saperstein Mark J. Pelavin Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Mohamed Yahya Representatives of the Massaleit Community in Exile Ricken Patel Res Publica Jim Wallis Sojourners Daniel Nagashima Soka Gakkai International USA Buddhist Association Sabit Alley South Sudanese Community in America Reverend Walter Fauntroy Joe Madison Sudan Campaign Elnour Adam Sudan Peace Advocates Network Morris W. Offit John Ruskay UJA-Federation of New York Rabbi Eric Yoffie Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Reverend William G. Sinkford Unitarian Universalist Association Charlie Clements Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Robert Goldberg Morton B. Plant Stephen Hoffman United Jewish Communities Fr. Michael A. Perry, O.F.M. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Fred S. Zeidman Tom A. Bernstein Sara J. Bloomfield United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Rabbi Jerome Epstein Mark Waldman United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Avrum Rosensweig Ve'ahavta: The Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee Sandra K. Krause Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children Shelley Lindauer Women of Reform Judaism Richard M. Joel Yeshiva University CONTACTS: David Rubenstein, 202-368-6100, david@savedarfur.org Ronni Strongin, 212-273-1657, rstrongin@ajws.org

BET - Washington,DC,USA 4 Aug 2004 BET.co Black Leaders Highlight Crisis in Sudan By Ed Wiley III, BET.com Staff Writer Posted August 4, 2004 -- The United Nations Security Council has voted to give the Arab-led Sudanese government 30 days to stop slaughtering its Black African population, but international human rights groups say that thousands more could be dead by then. The U.N. says that more than 1 million people have been displaced from their homes, and as many as 50,000 people died from preventable deaths. Without immediate action, say relief agencies, the death toll will likely reach the hundreds of thousands. In a recent report, Amnesty International found that “…girls as young as 8 are being raped and used as sex slaves in Western Sudan.” The U.N.’s resolution comes nearly four months after the Bush administration labeled the crisis in the western region of Sudan, known as Darfur, the "worst humanitarian crisis of our time," and both chambers of the U.S. Congress unanimously condemned the actions of the government in Khartoum. However, little has been done to bring the deaths to a halt, say leading Black leaders in the United States. “As Black people, we ought to know that we are having a devastating replay of a 500-year-old story – one of genocide and displacement whenever Black, Brown or Red people are found to be living on land with value,” says the Rev. Walter Faunteroy, the former delegate to Congress from Washington, D.C. “Once these people have been driven off the land … they are kept in poverty and maintained as a source of cheap labor.” In the case of Sudan, the Arab-controlled government has been slaughtering and raping thousands of Black-skinned Sudanese to clear them off the oil-rich lands says Faunteroy – who along with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, entertainers, and activists -- have been blasting the Bush administration and the American public for their lack of outrage over the Sudanese crisis. “We ought to do wheat we did in Kosovo, when the Serbs started killing Croats and raping their women,” he says, referring to then-President Clinton’s acknowledgment that the atrocities amounted to genocide and his decision to send in U.S. troops. But even then, Faunteroy notes, Clinton’s actions followed his earlier refusal to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda, perhaps the most devastating human-inflicted disaster in modern history. “Our mandate is to stop the killing and put government on trial. I want to see [Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al] Bashir before a tribunal the way [Slobodan] Milosevic and Saddam [Hussein] have been made to accept responsibility for their crimes against humanity.” And if you’re an American – particularly an African American – Faunteroy adds, you should be showing up “every day at high noon and saying, ‘Stop it!’ We ought to be putting pressure on President Bush. You don’t have to go it alone, Mr. Bush, but you can provide the helicopters to fly the troops in, pay for the gas, and use our satellites to help gather intelligence. We can help bring this tragedy to an end.” Meanwhile, talk show host/activist Joe Madison, who was arrested at the Sudan embassy for the second time in six weeks on Friday, says he “will continue my protest against the second genocide on the African continent in recent years.” He has vowed not to eat solid food until the people of Darfur are fed. That was 27 days ago. Arrested thus far at the Sudanese Embassy are: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream; Rep. Charles Rangel, New York; Fmr. Rep. Bob Edgar, current President of the National Council of Churches; Rep. Bobby Rush, Illinois; Rep. Joe Hoeffel, Pennsylvania; Activist Dick Gregory; former Congressional Delegate Walter Fauntroy; and four Washington area grandmothers and teachers. Joia Nuri, a spokeswoman for the Sudan Campaign, which has led many of the protests at the embassy, said her group's demonstrations will continue. Referring to the 50 to 75 people who have been showing up at the embassy almost daily, Nuri says, "There would have been 100,000 people protesting if those had been Europeans being slaughtered and raped. The embassy would not have been big enough to hold the protestors, and the steps of the Capitol and the White House would have been covered with people.

NYT 18 Aug 2004 MUSEUM REVIEW Slavery's Harsh History Is Portrayed in Promised Land By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN CINCINNATI - Gaze out the southern windows of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and it is easy to see why this new museum devoted to slavery and resistance has found such a resonant home here. A suspension bridge - John A. Roebling's rococo prelude to his Brooklyn Bridge - stretches away from the museum, spanning the Ohio River. On the bridge's far side, in Kentucky, human beings were once owned and inherited, bought and sold. But on this spot in Ohio, now inside the curved walls of the handsome buildings whose shape echoes the river's meanderings, those same slaves would have been free. Before the Civil War, the Ohio River marked the borderland dividing the Southern slave states from the North. The Ohio was, in song and lore, the Jordan; across it lay the Promised Land. That promised land is where the museum stands. One achievement of this center through much of its three floors of film, activity and exhibition is to maintain the reach of the bridge, touching the darkness of what once was and the light that might yet be. The center's chief architect was Walter Blackburn, the grandson of slaves. The center's exhibits also promise "to promote an understanding of the horrors of slavery, the active resistance movements, and the achievement of freedom against the odds." And despite some problems in their conception, they do: slavery's evil becomes palpable; so does a sense of progressive enlightenment. On the museum's second floor, for example, is its central exhibit: a 19th-century slave pen, moved from a nearby Kentucky farm, whose rough-hewn walls once held human chattel. It functioned as a 20-foot-by-30-foot warehouse, in which live human merchandise would be stored until it could be sold at a profit. Next to the pen is a list of its former owner's possessions, which included 32 slaves, like "one Negro child, Matilda" (value: $200), along with a kitchen cupboard and a copper kettle. Yet the harshness of the slave pen also gives way to something more uplifting. The film "Brothers of the Borderland," introduced by Oprah Winfrey and shown in a surround-sound theater, is a tale of interracial redemption: a white minister and a free black man join forces to help a slave escape. Enslavement and liberation: those are the museum's recurring juxtapositions, accomplished even with its slim collection. Finding balance between these main poles is no mean feat in a subject as vexed as American slavery. This does not mean the museum is free of missteps. There is, for example, too much interference with the spare effect of the slave pen, which now includes an intrusive wooden slab, inscribed with ineffectual verse. Other matters are too overwrought, like the labels for the museum buildings: "Pavilion of Courage" and "Pavilion of Perseverance." There are also more serious problems as the museum's suggested exhibition path leads toward the modern day. Such problems are worth examining closely, if only because of the museum's importance. Its executive director is Spencer R. Crew, formerly director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. It had already raised more than $102 million before opening earlier this month. And its influence is expected to be significant, with at least 25 African-American cultural buildings planned across the United States, including the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Here the balance that is the museum's greatest virtue may also be associated with its greatest flaw. The museum's notion seems to be that everything must ultimately offer an entertaining and inspirational lesson. As a result, the subject's darkness becomes fairly uniform; so does the quality of the light. It can seem as if the center were endorsing a new pop political culture: not the culture of identity and pride, nor the culture of anger and restitution, but a political culture of therapeutic activism. According to the center's mission statement, for example, its stories are meant to illustrate "courage, cooperation and perseverance in the pursuit of freedom." The center is meant to "encourage every individual to take a journey that advances freedom and personal growth." Mr. Crew writes, "We hope to inspire similar efforts on behalf of freedom in the modern-day world," an effort to which half the third floor is devoted. The Underground Railroad, this museum's primary focus, is put in service to that vision. In recent years the Underground Railroad - the networks of safe houses and guides that helped slaves escape north (40 percent of them crossing the Ohio) - has spurred a renaissance of scholarly and popular interest, with its portrayal of the races bound in a single liberatory project. It provided a great healing metaphor for the American psyche, and it is meant to do that duty here as well. The Underground Railroad knit the races together in a single project, white abolitionists working alongside free blacks and fleeing slaves. In conjunction with Smithsonian Books, the center is even publishing a richly illustrated anthology edited by the historian David W. Blight: "Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory." Many of the exhibits, even those for younger children, are informed by this scholarship. Yet in its emphasis on activism, the center regularly taps at the same time into melodrama and myth. In the film "Brothers of the Borderland," for example, the fleeing slaves are set upon by drooling hounds and drawling slave hunters. Elsewhere, organized resistance is stressed and codes and hiding places described, even though many scholars, some in the center's own book, point out that such conceptions were largely overturned by a 1961 classic, "The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad," by Larry Gara (reissued in 1996, University Press of Kentucky). Later scholarship has modified points and emphases, but the force of Mr. Gara's argument remains. Much that is assumed about the Underground Railroad, he argued, is more folklore than fact. After Emancipation, for example, whites wanted to exaggerate the accomplishments of the Underground Railroad; before Emancipation, slave owners wanted to exaggerate its threat. But there is no evidence, Mr. Gara insisted, of a systematically organized enterprise. The numbers of escaped slaves were fewer than believed. And the slaves were hardly passive fugitives helped by heroic whites. Nor, Mr. Gara argued, was the Railroad centrally important in overturning slavery. In the center's exhibits, the slaves may not be passive but many of the old myths have been resurrected without a hint of qualification. The theme of political liberation overshadows nuance. The result is almost the opposite of what we expect from a classical museum: specificity is filtered away. Then comes another twist: the ultimate point is to spur political action. So on the third floor, after a sober, heavily textual history of slavery, comes the Hall of Everyday Freedom Heroes, which offers portraits of heroes, some of whom are linked to African-American history in its long struggles: Muhammad Ali or the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or Frederick Douglass. But the list has broader ambitions. Harvey Milk, who fought for gay rights, is present; so is Mother Jones, who fought for labor unions; and Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, who ended up in the Soviet gulag. The list of heroes includes Pablo Casals, who refused to play his cello in Franco's Spain; Todd Beamer, the airline passenger who fought against the 9/11 hijackers; Syed Ali, the Brooklyn man who stopped a fellow Muslim from burning a synagogue; and the Navajo code talkers, whose native language stymied the Japanese in World War II. Is this, then, what it all comes down to? Acting decently, dissenting when necessary, taking risks for beliefs? Perhaps, but there is something about the gross disparities of scale in this list that undermines the center's main project, almost reducing slavery to a civil liberties issue. The final series of exhibits, "The Struggle Continues," pushes the lessons even further. In a long hall, multimedia images flash on walls and ceiling, showing what are meant to be contemporary examples of racism and oppression: Palestinians fleeing Israeli soldiers; women working at a cigarette factory; the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross. On touch screens are examples of continuing struggles for freedom. Touch the categories slavery, hunger, illiteracy, tyranny, racism and genocide, and contemporary examples appear. The Sudan, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are found. But the United States appears under the category of hunger. Under racism appears the "increased suspicion" of Muslims or those of Middle Eastern background at airports. The large and the small, the clear and the questionable and the wrongheaded, are combined in a smorgasbord of injustices and discontents. At one time the risk in a museum about persecution would have been identity politics and the nursing of resentment; now, as if in correction, the risk is in treating the wounds as part of an undifferentiated political miasma. At the exhibit's end, in a room called Dialogue Zone, a social worker greets visitors, who may feel overwhelmed by the trauma - or perhaps even upset that the original subject, so powerfully touched upon, has been so lost in a cloud of righteous feeling. One posted ground rule reads, "Avoid terms and phrases which define, demean or devalue others, and use words that are affirmative and reflect a positive attitude." Right!

washingtonpost.com 18 Aug 2004 Bittersweet Oasis In Baltimore, an Uncertain Life for a Sudanese Family Who Fled the Killing Fields By Lynne Duke Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page C01 BALTIMORE It is just a robe, an expanse of fine white cotton. But each time Ahmed Abdelhameed Ibrahim wears his jalabia, sweet, melancholy memories spill from the robe's soft folds. The cloth takes him home, to Sudan. It is a place that is lovely and rich and at peace -- the romanticized Sudan of the homesick refugee. The spell lasts just a moment. In that smidgen of time, he can forget that slaughter, pillage and rape have overtaken his home region, Darfur, in western Sudan, where government-backed militias are accused of killing scores of thousands of villagers. And he can forget, for just a moment, all the struggles of this new life, for it is foreign, forbidding and costly to be a refugee with a wife and three children. The bills pile up. And Ibrahim can barely read them, even with a neighbor's help in translating them, English to Arabic. And he can barely pay them -- the rent, the telephone, the electric -- on his $8.50-an-hour wage. Back in the city of El Fasher, before the trouble came, he was an electrician. Now, he washes cars on a BWI rental lot. "It is never easy," says Ibrahim, 39. His smile fades to chagrin. His friend James Chiracol, a fellow Sudanese and a refugee advocate, translates as Ibrahim says, "It is really very hard. But I have to hang on." His wife, 36-year-old Wahida Adam Rahib, a woman of sharp features and sharper wit, gently rocks the 2-year-old, Mohamed, in the folds of her bright green head cloth and wrap, or toube. She does not work outside the home. Child care would eat up her wages. So she tends the children here in their Baltimore apartment. Two bedrooms and one bath, furnished with hand-me-downs and plastic flowers. It is nothing like Sudan, a place that seems even sweeter as a memory. In the apartment of Omayma Ahmad, the neighbor who translates the mail, Ibrahim shows off his jalabia one day, pulling it over his shirt and slacks. He stands in the middle of the living room and strokes the soft fabric. "I feel I am in Sudan when I wear it," he says. And he tells of a life when he rode his horse across the endless sands at the edge of the Sahara as a boy. And he tended a gray goat, his own goat, a fertile one who bore four kids. And he herded the family's camels and tended its plots of millet and nuts and sesame. There was no electricity, no telephone, no running water or paved roads. "There is no such luxury, my dear," Wahida says with a laugh. Still, once upon a time in Sudan, the family flourished in a place that seemed rich -- and now has disappeared like a desert mirage. A Cause in Common Ibrahim lay on the thick grass. Hundreds of others did the same that steamy July day at Lafayette Square, though they were mostly Americans, not Sudanese. In the patois of protest, the action was dubbed a "die-in." And Ibrahim did his duty. He phoned his boss and said he had a very important personal issue to attend to. He climbed into the 10-year-old forest green Lincoln Continental he'd bought for $2,000, using money borrowed from fellow refugees. He drove from Baltimore to the District with three other Darfurians. And he lay there, prone on the grass, as protest leaders from the Sudan Campaign and other groups decried the violence in Darfur and called for international action. And each day for a month, members of Congress -- Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., for instance -- other prominent personalities (Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream) and ordinary people (four District grandmothers) served themselves up for arrest at the Sudanese Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue NW. Just as campaigners of the Free South Africa movement did more than a decade ago against the old apartheid regime there, Sudan activists are hoping the arrests will spur change. The protests astonish Ibrahim. He knows Americans don't know much of the world, at least not his part of it. And yet, they keep showing up to protest. "Darfur is a remote area in a remote country, and people are protesting for the sake of its people," Ibrahim would say later with amazement. "That is a very nice feeling." That day at Lafayette Square, speaker after speaker called the Darfur killings a genocide. And later that day, Congress would agree and officially label Darfur a place of genocide. Not surprisingly, the Sudanese government criticized that action. The allegation of genocide makes no sense, says Sudanese Ambassador Khidir Haroun Ahmed, considering that "more than 40 percent of the national army is drawn from these tribes" from Darfur. The term "genocide" is in dispute, much as it was 10 years ago when another African nation, Rwanda, was besieged by mass killing while the world debated (and 800,000 Rwandans died). The Bush administration has declined to call Darfur a genocide. The European Union takes the same position. No one disputes that mass killing has occurred. What is unclear, though, is whether the killings were fueled by the intent required by U.N. Genocide Convention: the intent to wipe out a people. For Ibrahim and Rahib, there is no debate. They are Zaghawa. Along with the Fur and the Masalit, their people are the targets of the killings in Darfur. To them, genocide is no abstraction. Shifting Sands Afro-Arab marauders, known as the Janjaweed ("devils on horseback" is the loose translation of this Arabic colloquialism), swept into the village of Koushainy, not far from El Fasher. Ibrahim's extended family lived there, and many died that day earlier this year -- uncles, aunts, cousins. The sheep were slaughtered, too. And the Janjaweed threw the animal carcasses down the wells, contaminating the water supply. That is the account that Ibrahim and Rahib heard from survivors. Though they were never directly attacked before they left Darfur four years ago, they lived with the specter of Janjaweed raids. And even here, they feel the terror of Darfur through the telephone accounts from relatives and from newscasts that show the carnage and suffering. The Darfur crisis has gripped the world's attention. It ranks among the globe's worst humanitarian crises and challenges us once again to understand a distant, complex region, a land filled with words and names we can barely pronounce. The Sahara, it seems, is the best place to begin. It is one of Africa's rumbling geo-cultural fault lines as its desert sands creep southward and ignite human conflict. In Sudan, Africa's largest nation, the desert's relentless spread has pushed nomadic Afro-Arab tribes and their cattle and camels farther south in search of more grazing lands. And that has put them in direct conflict with the more sedentary African farming villages of those lands, such as Darfur, on the Sahara's edge. That is where Ibrahim and Rahib once lived, in a beleaguered, desolate region the size of Texas. There are few schools, few amenities, few roads compared with Sudan's Arab north. There isn't even a road from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, to Khartoum. Amid the patchwork of African and Arab tribes and villages, Darfur is a region of Islam. Everyone is Muslim. And everyone speaks Arabic. In color, they range through the various shades of brown. Some of the Afro-Arabs are as dark as some of the non-Arab Africans. Intermixing has occurred for centuries. But this apparently has not diluted the views of Arab supremacists in the region. With an Arab central government setting the tone, some analysts say, the Afro-Arabs of Darfur have lorded over their non-Arab countrymen for years. In the 1980s, a group known as the "Arab Gathering" emerged in Darfur and espoused the supremacy of the "Arab race," according to a report by the International Crisis Group, a conflict-resolution network. Many non-Arabs feared the sedentary tribes of the region would be displaced by nomadic Arab tribes in need of land. That Arab-Afro tension had led to waves of violence between tribes on both sides over the years. Darfur has been under a state of emergency since 1999. Then, last year, a pair of rebel groups exploded onto the scene to fight against the marginalization of Darfur's people. They were composed mostly of Zaghawa, Fur and Masalit guerrillas, and their first attack was a bold strike against a central government military garrison in El Fasher. The government of President Omar al-Bashir hit back with fury -- not through its regular army, half of whose troops are from Darfur, but through its hated and feared militia, the Janjaweed. Human Rights Watch has reported uncovering official documents that confirm the Janjaweed's role as a government proxy force, though Sudan continues to deny it. The Janjaweed targeted Darfurian civilians with a campaign of rape, slaughter and pillage that cut a hellish path through the region. Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced, including 200,000 who have fled into Chad. As many as 50,000 people have been killed, according to the United Nations. All told, some 400 Darfurian villages have been burned or otherwise destroyed, the U.S. Agency for International Development determined from examining satellite imagery. The rebel campaign set this tragedy in motion, says Ahmed, the Sudanese ambassador. "People are concentrating on the reaction rather than the action of who caused this in the first place," he says. But the U.N. Security Council is holding Sudan's government accountable. It has given Khartoum until Aug. 30 to disarm the Janjaweed. Sanctions could come next. Ibrahim does not believe the government is disarming the Janjaweed. And reports from reporters in the region as well as human rights groups say that many Janjaweed now are camouflaged in army or police uniforms. "In 30 days," says Ibrahim, "hundreds of thousands of people might have died." Ibrahim's parents long ago took refuge in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, as did two of his brothers. Rahib's parents already lived there. With the exception of a sister who lives in Omaha, others in the family fled to Abeche, a town in Chad. In a chilling report from relatives in the region several weeks ago, Ibrahim and Rahib learned of the deaths of five cousins. The Janjaweed ambushed them outside El Fasher. The men were slain along with their donkeys. "Dead donkeys were put over them," Rahib laments, outraged at the final insult to her interred relatives. Friends and Enemies It is difficult to discuss the causes underlying the conflict, especially in mixed company. For instance, Ibrahim's neighbors, Omayma Ahmad and Mubarak Mohamed, are Afro-Arabs from Sudan, though Mohamed's skin is darker than Ibrahim's. Asked what is the problem between Africans and Arabs, Mohamed shrugs and shakes his head and says simply, "We are all black," as if the problem does not or ought not exist. He did not amplify. And in his presence, Rahib and Ibrahim's comments on the subject are muted. Later, Chiracol translated. He is not Arab. And Rahib and Ibrahim's bitterness became clear, prompting the question: Do they hate as much as they say they are hated? "You hate somebody who keeps on doing bad things," says Ibrahim. "Somebody who kills my father, kills my mother, how can they be good people?" (He is speaking rhetorically; his parents are both alive.) He even says: "All the Arabs are Janjaweed. The government are Arabs, and they're giving arms to the Arabs." Rahib, who was raised in Omdurman, near Khartoum, feels that Arabs "treat us like third-class citizens." She says, pointing to Ibrahim, "If he is to marry an Arab . . . the girl would say okay, but the [girl's] father would say, 'How can you marry a slave?' " That is what some of Sudan's Arabs call its Africans: slaves. Rahib and Ibrahim's invective seems out of step with their cordial relations with their Arab neighbors. But the two couples don't discuss these issues, says Ibrahim. The neighbors aren't political, aren't involved with the Sudan cause. Later, as she stands in the lobby of their building, Rahib seems to try to blunt the sharpness of their views. She points to the mailbox (where there are envelopes with words that she and Ibrahim cannot read without the help of their Arab neighbors). Apologetically, she says of Mohamed and Ahmad, "Very good neighbors. Veeery good neighbors." A Long and Winding Road Ibrahim hunches over a map on his coffee table. He points to El Fasher, his home town. And he points to the spot along the White Nile where he began his journey into exile. He fled the insecurity of Darfur, but, more pressingly, he fled a government attempt to force him into a national militia to fight against the southern Christians. "Those people in the south are my brothers," he says now. "I am not going to kill them." For his refusal, he lost his job. And when he moved to Khartoum, he was jailed for 40 days and tortured, he says. On his release, he headed to Taiba, along the Nile, and boarded a truck that took him north to Wadi Halfa, on the border with Egypt. There, he boarded a Nile River ferry up to Aswan, where he caught a train to Cairo. Rahib, who stayed behind in Khartoum with her family, took a similar journey a month later with the children. Cairo bustles with Sudanese seeking asylum. For some 20 years, those refugees had been mainly from Sudan's southern war. But Darfurians also had begun to flee the conflict in their region. In Cairo, they go to the offices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. They apply for eligibility for asylum, then they wait for an appointment to make their case. It can take months. It can take years. For Ibrahim and Rahib, it took three. Their family grew while they waited, with the birth of Mohamed. Ibrahim worked in the Sudanese exile community as an organizer and advocate. Finally they received their refugee status, and the State Department declared them eligible to enter the country. They arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Jan. 26. "For the first time, I see the snow!" Ibrahim says, laughing, though both say they suffered in their first experience with wintry cold. An agency that sponsors refugees greeted them and escorted them to Baltimore, to their new apartment. They knew no one but their contact from the Ethiopian Community Development Council, their sponsoring group, which provided the apartment and the rent for several months. And then they met Chiracol, who is a kind of nexus for Sudanese refugees in the area. Though he works for a refugee services group, he is not a caseworker for Ibrahim and Rahib. Just a guardian angel. He helped them apply for food stamps, to contact schools and organized donations from the small Sudanese community to help Ibrahim buy his car. The community is like that -- its members help pull each other along, even across religious and ethnic lines. Like Ahmad, the Arab, who helps them. Like the Sudanese Christians to whom Sudanese Muslims gave donations for an Easter feast. Ibrahim doesn't have much to give. But he drives people, for instance, to prayer at a local mosque. Through word of mouth, Ibrahim heard about a job opening. Three months ago, he started work: washing cars for the National and Alamo rental car lots at BWI. He will receive health insurance for the family after six months on the job. Cloaked in Sadness What passes for normalcy, in the United States, is slowly settling over this Sudanese family. Work. Cable TV. Health insurance. It does not escape Ibrahim that he is quite fortunate compared with those in Darfur, where some people "aren't even able to get a cup of water," he says. "In America, I may have everything, but I'm not going to be happy because of all the people I know who are suffering." And he will always be a foreigner, caught between a new home and a home he longs for but is gone. He can be forgiven for holding tight to the romance of his jalabia, to the memories of his gray goat, of his horse racing across the sands. That is the hurting part, the yearning part. He describes it in an English word that he himself speaks. The pain, he says sadly, is "very."

NYTimes.com 19 Aug 2004 Opinion Stem Cells and Moral Questions To the Editor: The moral objection to embryonic stem cell research arises from scientific evidence, not religious beliefs. The DNA of a fertilized egg contains a full human being, the same way a compressed computer file may contain a full file of many megabytes. To deny the human condition of the fertilized egg or embryo is to decide arbitrarily, irrespective of scientific evidence, when life begins and ends, and may eventually support genocide based on physical characteristics, sex, ethnic origin or age. The objection that these frozen embryos would otherwise be destroyed is an indictment of in vitro fertilization, not a justification of embryonic stem cell research. While a lot of time, effort and money are wasted in a political debate, a very sensible and promising form of research, related to adult stem cells, is taking the back seat. Lodovico Balducci, M.D. Tampa, Fla., Aug. 15, 2004 The writer is a professor of oncology and medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine.

The Washington Times 24 Aug 2004 www.washingtontimes.com Embassy Row By James Morrison Published August 24, 2004 Sudan embassy shut The Embassy of Sudan, the site of daily protests over the massacres in the Darfur region of the African nation, closed yesterday for an indefinite period. The closure comes as a vast coalition of demonstrators is planning nationwide protests for tomorrow. Actor Danny Glover, the latest celebrity to join the movement, is expected at the noon demonstration outside the embassy at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW. The embassy Web site (www.sudanembassy.org) issued this brief announcement: "This is to inform that the embassy will be closed starting from Monday, Aug. 23, 2004, until further notice." However, the demonstrators say they are not concerned whether the embassy is open or closed. The building is symbolic of the government that Congress last month condemned for "genocide" against black African farmers in Darfur by Arab militias initially armed by the government to fight rebels. "We have demonstrated every day since June 29, and we will continue to demonstrate whether they are inside [the embassy] or not. They never answered the door, anyway," said protest leader and radio talk-show host Joe Madison, who is in his sixth week of a hunger strike to draw attention to the crisis in Darfur. "What we want them to shut down is not the embassy. We want them to shut down the genocide. We want them to shut down the refugee camps. We want them to shut down the atrocities that are taking place." Mr. Madison said the Washington-based Sudan Campaign wants President Bush to heed the congressional resolution and declare Sudan guilty of genocide. The militias, called the Janjaweed, are blamed for killing 50,000 people and displacing 1 million. The U.N. Security Council on July 30 gave the Sudanese government 30 days to stop the bloodshed. Meanwhile, another group, the Save Darfur Coalition, is urging communities throughout North America to stage demonstrations tomorrow. Calling the protest a "Day of Conscience," the coalition said it wants to "raise public awareness about the horrific situation in Darfur and to demand that the international community take immediate and decisive action to stop the killing, the rape and the destruction of villages and to assure that humanitarian relief reaches all those in need." In Washington, Mr. Glover intends to add his name to a long list of elected leaders and average citizens who have been arrested on embassy grounds for unlawful assembly, a charge that carries a $50 fine. Mr. Madison said the list includes an 82-year-old grandmother and a 75-year-old woman who got arrested last week on her birthday. Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and several members of Congress also have been arrested. Mr. Madison, who continues to host his show on WOL-AM from 6 to 10 p.m. on weekdays, has consumed only chicken broth on his hunger strike. Leaders of the think tanks TransAfrica Forum and Africa Action also plan to be arrested tomorrow. Afghan deaths The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan apologized for the deaths of three Afghan civilians killed by U.S. soldiers after they failed to stop at a vehicle checkpoint on Saturday. "I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims of the tragic incident," Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. "The Combined Forces Command has launched an investigation into the events that resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Our thoughts and prayers to out to the victims and to the families who have suffered a terrible loss as a result of this development." Two women and a man were killed when they failed to stop their pickup truck at the checkpoint in the central province of Ghazni, the embassy said. Two other men were critically injured.

August 28, 2004 at 12:47 AM Bones found in Bloomington; Indians hold vigil Kevin Duchschere, Star Tribune August 28, 2004 BONES0828 The partial remains of a Dakota Indian, discovered this week in the heart of a booming development zone in Bloomington, have placed at odds the state's official guardian of Indian life against one of its tribal bands. On Friday, members of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota community set up a tepee and took up vigil near the grassy area where archaeologists uncovered the bones. They want the digging stopped, the hole refilled and the remains left undisturbed in perpetuity. "Our duty as Dakota is to preserve this area as it is," said Jim Anderson, cultural chairman and historian for the Mendota Dakota. But the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the liaison between the state and 11 tribal governments, intends to ceremoniously move the remains and others yet to be found across 34th Avenue S. to a certified Indian mound for reburial. It's the best way to protect the remains from further disturbance, said Jim Jones, the council's cultural resource specialist. And it also would clear the way for construction on the site by McGough Companies, which is planning a $700 million transit-oriented development between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. The project tentatively is named Bloomington Central Station, after the nearby light-rail stop that begins operation in December. Tim McGough, vice president of the Roseville-based company, said that they don't intend to proceed with the project until the matter of the remains is resolved. Construction in any event won't begin at least until next year, he said, since developers haven't yet decided just what they want to build there. Options include a hotel, water park, condominiums and offices. Is it essential to build on the plot where the remains were found, which makes up less than an acre of the 45-acre parcel McGough is developing? "No," McGough said Friday. He added: "Is it something we'd like to make use of? Absolutely." That would require removal of the remains, thought to be part of one of a number of burial mounds the Dakota built on the bluffs high above the Minnesota River. Some Indians consider that sacrilegious. The soil itself is sacred, they believe, because it has absorbed the flesh and blood of their ancestors, Anderson said. "Every time they destroy one of these places, it's a continuation of the cultural genocide that happened here," he said. The Mendota band and other groups succeeded in preserving a spring in south Minneapolis -- thought to be used in Dakota burial ceremonies -- that had been endangered by the rerouting of Hwy. 55. Similar protests have been lodged about a planned housing development on Pilot Knob, an old Indian burial ground high above the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers in Mendota Heights. Protesters visit Indian activists Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt joined about 40 others at the site Friday afternoon to oppose removing the remains. "We're drawing the line right here, and this practice must halt," Vernon Bellecourt said. Clyde Bellecourt led protesters up to the dig site, covered by a white tent and surrounded by a chain-link fence. Security guards yelled when a young woman crawled below the fence, grabbed a few quick snapshots of the tent's interior and hurried back out. A guard marched up to Bellecourt. "The owners say you're trespassing," he said. "You've been trespassing for 500 years," Bellecourt replied. After a few minutes of debate, the protesters returned to the tepee, rising along 34th Avenue S. in stark contrast to the light-rail line sweeping nearby. Jones said he has helped rebury the remains of 200 Indians. He said he's "100 percent" certain the remains found in Bloomington are those of an Indian, based on the site's history and comparisons to other skeletons. In answer to Mendota band members who said they didn't want the remains disturbed, Jones said the remains already have been -- by a water line. He called the protesters' tactics "disrespectful" of the burial site. "The remains have been impacted and the ground they're resting in has been disturbed," he said. "If [the protesters'] true heartfelt [intent] was to treat the remains respectfully, that wouldn't be happening."

Montreal Gazette 27 Aug 2004 U.S. drops red, white and blue curtain. Canadian landed immigrants will face security gauntlet Americans beef up crossing with curious questionnaire and hi-tech gizmos CATHERINE SOLYOM The Gazette Friday, August 27, 2004 Check this box if you're a terrorist: "Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities or genocide?" "Are you a drug abuser or addict?" These are the kinds of questions landed immigrants living in Canada are expected to answer - honestly - when they cross the border into the U.S. So much for our fancy new permanent resident cards, which cost $50 and are used only by Canadian officials. U.S. border guards have their own tactics to weed out smugglers and terrorists - a system that at first glance seems absurd, but is about to get a lot less funny as high-tech security measures are added to the arsenal. Starting Sept. 30, all landed immigrants in Canada - whether from Britain or Uzbekistan - will have their digital photo taken, along with two "inkless" (digital) fingerprints, when they arrive in the U.S. by sea or air. By the end of the year, those arriving at the 50 busiest U.S. land border crossings - from Tijuana, Mexico, to Lacolle, - will also have to submit to being photographed and printed. It's all part of the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT), devised after two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were found to have violated the terms of their visas. The process is expected to take about 10 seconds, then another five seconds to check the biometric data against an FBI watch-list of terrorists, criminals and deportees. US-VISIT doesn't replace the low-tech green arrival/departure form. But it puts a digital face to the answers people give to seven questions about any history they may have of drug trafficking and genocide, links to Nazi Germany, or other crimes "involving moral turpitude." "If you answer yes, you're inadmissible," explained Danielle Sheahan, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, adding that she hoped visitors would answer truthfully. "But if we don't ask the question and the person has committed genocide, we don't have any recourse. This way we can say (the person) lied." In other words, the false declarations, if nothing else, can be used as evidence to quickly prosecute or deport a visitor to the U.S. Ditto for the former Nazis that may be hiding in South America - or the U.S. for that matter. Sheahan said the photographs and fingerprints build on past requirements for visitors to the U.S., and treat all visitors, except Canadian citizens and some Mexicans, equally. Immigrants from 27 different countries included in the Visa Waiver program, for example, will still be able to enter the U.S. without a visa, but they will be fingerprinted and photographed like other landed immigrants. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is currently testing ways to monitor not just those entering the country, but those leaving it as well. Eventually, the program could be expanded to Canadian citizens, U.S. permanent residents and even U.S. citizens, Sheahan said. "People are very worried about security and most people we've spoken to are very happy about it. I know I am." The new measures, however, do not please everyone. Stephan Reichhold, a German-born landed immigrant in Montreal, says the U.S. border has become harder to cross than now-defunct Checkpoint Charlie, the former dividing line between East and West Berlin. "I don't go to the States anymore," said Reichhold, the director of the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes refugiees et immigrants. "Every time it's fill in forms, pay money. It's very unpleasant. And you can't even ask any questions or contest their decision. Either you're sent back right away or your car is confiscated." Indeed, the "non-immigrant visa waiver arrival/departure form" stipulates that those entering the U.S. waive their rights to appeal an immigration officer's refusal to admit them, or contest their deportation. The new digital photos and fingerprints force landed immigrants, unlike other Canadians, to hand over their privacy, Reichhold said. "It's the only country in the world to do that," he said. "It's not acceptable and the's no sense of how this information will be handled. Who has access to your personal information, and will it be destroyed after? We don't know." Homeland Security's Sheahan said the FBI and Canadian law enforcement officials could have access to visitors' information, as well as unspecified others on a "need to know" basis.

washingtonpost.com 28 Aug 2004 Bosnian Refugee Accused of Lying For Immigration By Jonathan Finer Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, August 28, 2004; Page A03 BOSTON, Aug. 27 -- Prosecutors here say a construction worker who lives in a suburb north of Boston was part of a military unit that executed hundreds of Muslim civilians in the former Yugoslavia during the conflict there in the 1990s. Marko Boskic was arrested Wednesday at his home in Peabody, Mass., according to the office of U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan. He was charged Thursday with two counts of making false statements on immigration forms to conceal his membership in the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a Serb military unit that carried out the slaughter near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for each count. He also could be deported. "Lying to gain safe harbor in the United States undermines the integrity of our immigration policies and will not be tolerated," Sullivan said in a statement. "We continue to aggressively pursue this investigation both here and abroad." The Boston Globe reported Friday that Boskic is believed to be one of eight men who carried out orders to kill 1,200 unarmed men and boys near the village of Pilica, part of a wave of violence that claimed some 8,000 lives in just over a week. It is considered the largest-scale massacre of civilians in Europe since World War II. But a spokeswoman for Sullivan's office said that so far Boskic, a 40-year-old Bosnian Croat, had not been identified as one of the killers. According to an affidavit submitted by a federal investigator, Boskic entered the United States from Germany in April 2000 after seeking refugee status by claiming he had avoided military service. "I didn't want to fight in an ethnic war against people I lived with," he wrote on an immigration form, according to the affidavit. A soldier from the 10th Sabotage Detachment identified Boskic in a video of an awards ceremony for the unit. The video was provided by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a U.N. organization that prosecutes war crimes, according to the affidavit. Boskic's name came up last year during the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, when Drazen Erdemovic, who pleaded guilty to involvement in the killings at Pilica, identified Boskic as a participant. Boskic's attorney, Max D. Stern, of Boston, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. Since arriving in the United States, Boskic has had several brushes with law enforcement, including arrests for assault and drunken driving. Arthur Liaperdos, who lives next door to Boskic, called him "unfriendly" and said he often heard Boskic fighting with a girlfriend and saw him pushing her.



www9.sbs.com.au 22 Aug 2004 SUDANESE AUSTRALIANS RALLY FOR DARFUR 22.8.2004. 08:42:32 Members of Melbourne's Sudanese community have rallied, calling for the immediate dispatch of an international peacekeeping force to Darfur in western Sudan. About 100 protesters said the international community has been too slow to act on stopping Arab militias from killing thousands and driving a million black Africans from their homes in the western state. The chairman of the Sudanese community in Australia, Ezekiel Arop, says they want the Australian federal Government to play its part in putting more pressure on the Sudanese Government to stop the violence. So far, only a small contingent of 300 African Union troops have gone into Darfur to protect international observers and Mr Arop says only an international force will stop genocide similar to that which happened in Rwanda ten years ago. "We are arguing for more, not just the African because we don't want what happened in Rwanda to be repeated again in Darfur and what happened in the South Sudan." Another community member, Elhafiz Adal, says the international community is acting too slowly to help refugees fleeing to camps in Chad. "Whenever we act so slowly people are dying and we know people are dying right now, so we need people to act more quickly. "There are also people who have got stranded in the jungles, in deserts and in mountains and there is no way of making it to neighbouring countries, so their situation is much worse." The United Nations Security Council has given the Sudanese Government a month to clamp down on the militias and resisted United States calls to impose further sanctions on Sudan.

www.abc.net.au 26 Aug 2004 Townsville labelled racist city The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress has declared Townsville, in north Queensland, a racist city. However, the Mayor of Townsville has dismissed the accusations. Congress director Errol Wyles says local authorities are condoning racial hatred by turning a blind eye to social problems. He says he is aware of three racially-motivated hit-and-run attacks on young Indigenous people in the past year. He says the police, council and justice system are refusing to act. "I keep hearing of incidences of kids that are getting bashed by a mob of angry Caucasian kids that just want to belt them up and it's wrong," he said. "The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress believes in equality to everybody but the sad fact of the situation is that we are not getting equality." The congress will hold a protest meeting in Townsville next month. "Aboriginal families and Indigenous families are sick and tired of being swept under the carpet," Mr Wyles said. "It's time now for some sort of action to happen and I believe that this town is a racist town because of the elements that prevail in it they let things keep happening." But Mayor Tony Mooney says the claims are outlandish and untrue. "I thought it was April Fool's Day when I read those comments," he said. "They're just laughable and we are not a racist city."

www.abc.net.au 27 Aug 2004 (AEST) Townsville genocide claims 'laughable': Mayor The Mayor of Townsville, in north Queensland, has dismissed accusations the city is racist. The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress says Townsville authorities are condoning racial hatred. The congress' director, Errol Wyles, says Indigenous youth are being targeted in racially motivated hit and run attacks and he has likened the situation to genocide. "Our kids are being killed on the streets, our families are crying out for help, we're not getting any help from the government and people are getting away with all these injustices," he said. The congress has declared Townsville racist. But Mayor Tony Mooney says the claims are outlandish and untrue. "I thought it was April Fools Day when I read those comments, they're just laughable and we are not a racist city," he said. The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress will hold a rally in Townsville next month.


AP 26 Aug 2004 Rape victim seeks healing as new Khmer Rouge atrocities exposed (AP) 26 August 2004 PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Clad in white with her head shaved bald, Tang Kim looks like any of the other Buddhist nuns praying by her side. But within, she suffers deep wounds. She is a “killing fields” survivor searching for internal healing, having lived with the trauma of gang rape the Khmer Rouge inflicted on her nearly 30 years ago. For the first time, her story is being told in a 30-minute documentary about rape against women by the Khmer Rouge, who prided themselves on adhering to a strict code of sexual conduct during their otherwise brutal 1975-79 rule. The film, by the genocide research group Documentation Center of Cambodia, thus offers another piece of evidence to a long-delayed tribunal to try surviving Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity. The ultra-communist regime attempted to carry out radical policies, leading to the death of some 1.7 million Cambodians from starvation, overwork, diseases and execution. The incidence of rape during the Khmer Rouge era was widely known, but has so far received little publicity or research in part because survivors are reluctant to tell their stories, said Youk Chhang, director of the documentation center. Tang Kim, 51, decided to become a nun at a pagoda in Kampong Chhnang province in central Cambodia in January. “I’m happy living here. At the pagoda, I hear only the sounds of chanting every day. Everyone strives to seek the truth” by praying, she says in the film. Before entering the monastery, the peasant woman felt that only revenge against her tormentors could help ease her pain. She recounts in the film that three days after the Khmer Rouge killed her first husband in May 1975, she and seven other women were herded by the regime’s soldiers to be raped and murdered near a village in Kampong Chhnang. Three of them “pulled me away like animals tearing at their prey. They raped me so violently that I was bleeding profusely,” she said, adding that she was expected to be murdered. But she said she managed to flee when the soldiers, after raping her, set about killing a pregnant woman whose abdomen they cut open to take out the fetus. “Only if you experienced it could you know how fearful it was, knowing your death was coming,” Tang Kim says. Her story speaks of the hypocrisy of a movement that laid down a strict code of conduct for its adherents and those it enslaved. Angkar, the regime’s faceless but terrifying ruling machine, banned romance, forced many men and women into mass marriages and tortured or killed those who engaged in unsanctioned sexual relations. The rules could be evaded, however, by accusing women of being the regime’s enemies and thus subject to rape and execution, Youk Chhang said. He said the center has so far identified some 168 cases of rape committed against women during the murderous regime. But Tang Kiom is the first survivor to have her experiences properly documented. “We’ve found a few others but they did not come forward to tell their stories because of a fear of shame,” he said. Rachana Phat, the film’s director, said she had learned about the case - but without knowing that Tang Kim was still alive - from the center’s files, began her search and, by coincidence, ran into Tang Kim last August. She said Tang Kim confirmed the killing of seven other women. But Rachana said the woman was reluctant to talk about her own agony until she was convinced how important it would be for educating a new Cambodian generation about the extent of the Khmer Rouge’s inhumanity. In the film, Tang Kim says she also didn’t tell her second husband, whom she married in 1980 but left four years later. She cries as she recalls sucking juice from a cornstalk to survive during her escape. Struggling for reconciliation, she nonetheless admits she can never stop feeling vindictive toward her Khmer Rouge attackers. If any are still alive, she says, she would like them “taken to be killed so that I can have some peace of mind.” “Blood must be paid by blood. I want my dignity back,” she says, her voice rising in anger. Youk Chhang said the film would be released Aug. 30 and shown with English, French and Japanese subtitles. It will also be screened daily to visitors at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former Khmer Rouge prison in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh where some 16,000 people were jailed before execution.


washingtonpost.com Calling on China Thursday, August 5, 2004; Page A18 The United States should press France to act on Darfur as a July 25 editorial advocated, but it also should seek action from China. China is Sudan's largest trading partner and the main foreign investor in Sudan's oil industry. China National Petroleum Corp. has a 40 percent share in the international consortium extracting oil in Sudan, and it is building refineries and pipelines, enabling Sudan to benefit from oil export revenue since 1999. Although most Western oil companies have withdrawn from Sudan under pressure from human rights organizations, Chinese companies have turned a blind eye to the brutal way in which Sudan forced 200,000 to 300,000 of its citizens from oil-rich lands without compensation. Nor have these companies shown concern that Sudan uses oil revenue to purchase arms for its wars against its black African population. As a member of the U.N. Security Council, China should be called upon to dispatch its foreign minister to Darfur to join international expressions of alarm at the unfolding genocide. It also should consider reducing its oil purchases from Sudan, should the Security Council decide upon sanctions. Were China to use even a small part of its leverage to call Sudan to account, it would go a long way toward saving lives in Sudan. ROBERTA COHEN Co-Director Project on Internal Displacement Brookings Institution-Johns Hopkins SAIS Washington

China - Tibet

www.chinadaily.com.cn British invasion of Tibet leaves pain 2004-08-07 06:38 No eyewitness to the barbarity of the British invaders into Tibet - the roof of the world - is alive after the bloody war. But the anguish lingers on the 100th anniversary of the invasion and occupation by the invading forces. At the Nalnying Monastery, Lama Qamba keeps a box of spent bullets. They were left by British invaders who looted the monastery situated in Kangmar County of the Tibet Autonomous Region in Southwest China. The 41-year-old head lama of the temple says the bullets which he collected in 1984, shall be kept and passed on from lamasery generation to serve as a reminder of the dark events of 1904 . The monastery, which Qamba says boasts a history of some 12 centuries, was severely damaged during the British invasion led by Francis Young Husband in 1904, who marched his army over the border from India Lamas in the Nalnying Monastery and residents in the neighborhood - together with the people of the region - took up arms with Tibetan soldiers in attempt to repel the invaders at Gyangze, a county 10 kilometres from the monastery. The British had Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, in their sights. The struggle to defend strategically important Gyangze, lasted from April to July. To ensure a clear transit, the invaders dispatched large numbers of infantry and cavalry one day in late June to assault the Nalnying Monastery, near which 300 Tibetan soldiers and 500 monks and local residents had constructed fortifications. Despite their bravery, the poorly armed Tibetan resistance was eventually overwhelmed. The aggressors burnt down the monastery's five-storey scripture hall, and its ruins today silently accuse the British of their barbarity. Qamba says 44 monks were killed in the battle. Bullet holes can still be clearly seen on the walls and wooden doors of monastery. Lama Qoinjor arrived at the Nalnying in 1984 and says he has heard many stories about the invasion from an 80-year-old lama. The one account which sticks in his mind is that of the arson attack by British troops on the five-storey scripture hall. "The scar is there and you cannot forget it," says 41-year-old Qoinjor. "It was a pity that so many scriptures and Buddha statues were lost in the war. And it took three years before the monastery had another hall built, but it could not afford the older one's magnificence. The new one is smaller, with only two storeys." There is no official lecture on the history of the monastery given to new lamas, Qoinjor says, but all the 20 lamas, old and young, know of the horror stories that took place a century ago. "Seeing the bullet holes and the ruins every day, a newcomer cannot help but ask why," Qoinjor says. Lamas in the temple hope more people become aware and remember the history of their monastery. They have proposed to the local government to declare the monastery a base for historical education for local students and youngsters. "No Tibetans, wherever he or she lives, should ever forget this period of history," says Qamba. Unforgotten history Several other temples were also assaulted and damaged by the British invaders, including Zeqen and Baiqoi monasteries in Gyangze. There are numerous stories about monks who rose up to fight against the invaders. Puncog Togme, a 27-year-old lama from Sera Monastery in Lhasa, says he doesn't think "we Tibetans remember the history in order to harbour hatred in our hearts." But he asks: "How can we forget such a mayhem unleashed on all Tibetans? As people who cherish the value of peace and tolerance, we can forgive the British, but forgetting the history would mean betrayal." To Zhandui, a researcher of Tibetan religion at the Beijing-based China Tibetology Centre (CTC), the trauma caused by the British invaders belongs to the whole world. He points out that not only Tibetans but people outside "the roof of the world" should remember the events of 1904. "As the world is still far from being peaceful, and interventionists still play Tibet like a card to serve their own good, it is quite necessary for the international community to remember the bloody British invasion and take a lesson from it," says the 39-year-old Tibetan scholar who was born and brought up in historical Gyangze. "The indelible record that a peace-loving oriental race was injured by a western power was actually a humiliation to all races," Zhandui says. Basang Wangdui, a researcher with the Academy of Social Sciences of the Tibet Autonomous Region, notes that the British invasion, though disguised as "seeking negotiations on trade and so-called border problems with Tibetan authorities in Lhasa," was waged with the attempt to bring Tibet under its control and serve its strategic interest in its colonial competition with tsarist Russia. After the then British Empire forced open the door of China with its gunboats in the 1840s, and the Qing regime, the central ruler of China from 1644 to 1911, suffered continuous decline, Tibet, though isolated by its high altitude and adverse natural environment, could not escape falling prey to western colonists. Basang Wangdui points out that it was a plot by the British, who occupied much territory in south Asia, to strengthen its presence in central Asia by making Tibet a buffer zone. The British themselves made it known this was their contemptible scheme. In his book, "The Opening of Tibet" published in 1906 by Doubleday, Page & Co, former Times special correspondent, Perceval Landon, clearly stated that the increasing Russian influence in Tibet made it imperative for Britain to take action. Basang Wangdui observes that the wolf would always concoct a justified excuse for his malicious plan before he jumps on a lamb. "The Tibetans had encroached upon our territory in Sikkim, they had established a customs post and forbidden British subjects to pass their outposts there," said Perceval Landon in his report. He was referring to Tibetan shepherds who grazed their sheep in Gangba Zong, a Tibetan territory. Brutal aggression Following the deceitful excuse was a bare account on the real reason why British troops would invade Tibet. "These insults would never have given rise to the dispatch of an expedition if the Tibetans had not added injury to them by their dalliance with Russia. As it was, there was nothing else to do but intervene, and that speedily," wrote the reporter. The British troops advanced into Tibet under the guise of negotiations, but as Basang Wangdui questions: "Was it necessary for a negotiation delegation to be escorted by a troop of over 5,000 soldiers who were equipped with rifles and powerful cannons?" One legacy of the invasion, a worst consequence, researchers believe, is the so-called "Tibet issue" that gradually emerged. The British invasion, says Ngagwang Cering, a colleague of Basang Wangdui, planted the seeds of today's so-called Tibet issue. After studying historical documents, the Tibetan researcher and his colleagues found that there was no such a word as "independence" in the Tibetan vocabulary before the British invasion. "The concept of Tibet independence was nothing but a product of British scheme to alienate Tibet from China, and to serve the interest of the colonial empire which hoped at that time to put Tibet at its beck and call." Xu Tiebing, a professor of international relations with the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, says that while an Anglomaniac force was formed as a result of the Tibetan aristocrat class' disintegration after the British invasion, the British also began to advocate on the international stage so-called suzerain ties between the central government of the Qing Dynasty and Tibet, aiming to deny the centuries-old sovereignty of China's central government over Tibet. Some Tibetan nobles were impressed by the power of guns and cannons from the war and began to turn to the British, seeking protection over their privileges and assets, Xu says. These Tibetan nobles gradually constituted to the force of the splittists who try to separate Tibet from China. At the same time, Xu notes, the power of the central government in Tibet was weakened or even crippled with the presence of the British influence after the invasion. The Tibet Viceroy sent by the Qing regime became an ornament without any influence in Tibet. But China's sovereignty over Tibet is never deniable, says Lobsang Dainzin, a Tibetan professor of the Beijing-based Central University of Ethnic Studies. When the British troops marched into Lhasa in August 1904 and forced the local Tibetan government to sign a treaty in September, the central government of the Qing Dynasty rejected and refused to sign, which Losang Dainzin says, rendered the covenant illegal. However, the British invasion, which marked the beginning of foreign intervention into Tibet that never stopped in the following century, brought with it an evil consequence to the relationship between the central government of China and Tibet, says Xu Tiebing. Ngagwang Cering, a researcher with the regional Academy of Social Sciences, notes that the British incursion into Tibet and other Himalayan areas also caused border disputes with people who had enjoyed a peaceful living for centuries. So, Lobsang Dainzin echoes the view of CTC researcher Zhandui, that the whole world, not only Tibetans, should not forget the history of the British invasion. But it seems that none of the bullies from the colonial era and the interventionists in modern times have good recollections of this period of history. However, the events a century ago have become an unerasable memory to Zhandui. "I may not be able to tell detailed stories about it, but the history that took place a century ago will always be imprinted in my mind, as it has become part of my hometown like the Zongshan castle in Gyangze, which suffered a British assault during the invasion. As long as the castle stands there in serenity, it serves as a reminder to us."

english.peopledaily.com.cn 20 Aug 2004 WWII massacre proof sent to Nanjing A museum official in Nanjing Thursday shows diaries written by a military doctor and letters written by senior officials of the then-ruling Kuomintang on the Japanese atrocities. (newsphoto) - New evidence of the Japanese atrocities committed in the Nanjing Massacre has been uncovered in diaries written by a military doctor in 1937 and 1938. The diaries and some letters were sent anonymously to Zhu Chengshan, head of the Nanjing Massacre museum, who opened the package on Wednesday afternoon. The diaries were written by Jiang Gonggu, a Chinese military doctor from December 23, 1937 till February 27, 1938. Jiang was a member of the Chinese army in Nanjing. When the city was invaded by Japanese soldiers, he hid in the safety zone and eventually fled in February 1938. The diaries record the atrocities he witnessed. The package also contained letters written by 11 senior officials of the Kuomintang government, including Zhang Zhizhong, Chen Bulei, Bai Chongxi and Jiang Dingwen. The letters were written after reading the diaries. "It is a record of the blood, it is the reality, and it shows the Japanese invaders' cruelty and violence..." says one of Zhang's letters. Zhang Yiping, secretary of the Collectors' Association of East China's Jiangsu Province, has seen the letters and is treating them as genuine. "It is the first time the museum has had such materials of the massacre written by Kuomintang officials themselves," said Zhu. The donor of the letters and diaries remains a mystery. Zhu said the meseum would do its best find out who it was that sent them.


AFP 30 July 2004 Violence was to bring Kashmir to world attention: ex-rebel chief (AFP) 30 July 2004 SRINAGAR - When Javed Mir took up arms with a few other young Kashmiris in 1988 to turn Kashmir into an ”independent country”, he felt it was going to be a long battle. He was right. Sixteen years later, the scenic Himalayan region continues to be racked by deadly violence, despite separatist leaders like Mir having renounced bloodshed and turned to politics to pursue their cause. “We knew India was a big power and we couldn’t match its army,” he told AFP in an interview in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, for the 16th anniversary of the start of the conflict. “The purpose of taking up guns was to bring the issue of Kashmir out of cold storage—our goal was to bring world attention to Kashmir,” he said. “We’ve succeeded in what we wanted. Now every country talks about Kashmir and presses for its resolution.” But this success has come at a cost: at least 40,000 dead in rebel-related violence by the official tally and more than 90,000 killed according to the separatist toll. Mir was among nearly a dozen Kashmiris who in 1987 dodged Indian troops to cross over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir for training in a militant camp set up by the pro-independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). The following year the fighters were ready to begin their violent campaign in the Indian Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. On the night of July 31, 1988 two bombs planted by the JKLF exploded at a telegraph office and recreation club in Srinagar. “This heralds the beginning of the freedom struggle in Kashmir,” the JKLF said, claiming responsibility for the bombs that grabbed public attention but caused no casualties. The revolt did not get fully under way until late 1989 as the level of violence rose and India deployed more soldiers to suppress unrest in the region. The spark for the insurgency is widely seen as the 1987 Kashmir state polls that even Indian government officials now acknowledge were rigged in favour of the then ruling National Conference Party. The opposition cried foul and Mir and other young separatists turned to violence. The ex-commander, who once figured on the Indian security force’s list of “most wanted militants” and says he has stared death in the face at least half-a-dozen times, gave up arms in 1994, the year he was arrested inSrinagar. After his arrest, the JKLF also announced a ceasefire and vowed to wage its independence struggle on the political front. Mir, who was jailed for two years, wants unification of the Indian and Pakistani zones of Kashmir followed by its independence, which both South Asian nations oppose. Kashmir was independent before the end of British colonial rule in 1947 when Britain split the subcontinent into mainly Hindu but secular India and Islamic Pakistan. After partition, Kashmir’s Hindu ruler wanted the region to remain independent. But confronted with an invasion by Pakistan-backed Muslim tribesmen, he acceded to India, a move seen by critics as a betrayal of his Muslim subjects. The two nuclear rivals now hold Kashmir in part but claim it in full. They have fought two of their three wars over its ownership and nearly waged another two years ago. “We consider both parts of Kashmir as one,” Mir said. “We don’t recognise any border or Line of Control,” he said, referring to the military line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. But Mir’s goal of an independent, secular Kashmir looks elusive. Soon after the revolt took flight in 1989, it came under the influence of militants who wanted Indian Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. All rebel outfits now active in Indian Kashmir want it to be folded into Pakistan. Still, Mir said, he believes militant violence would cease if India “accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and takes steps to resolve it according to the wishes of Kashmiris.” But until then, he said, peace will remain elusive. India and Pakistan have begun a peace effort over Kashmir but Mir said the two nations must sit together with Kashmiris to resolve the issue under the “supervision” of a third country. “Until a third country is involved, there can be no serious talks on Kashmir.” India, which sees retaining Kashmir as central to its secular identity, has consistently rejected third-party involvement.

www.indianexpress.com 3 Aug 2004 Finally, Soren turns in, sent to custody MANOJ PRASAD JAMTARA, AUGUST 2 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren, made to resign from the Cabinet by the Prime Minister, landed in jail today when the Jamtara court, seeking his arrest in the 29-year-old Chirrudih massacre case, rejected his bail plea and sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. Ordered by the Jharkhand high court to surrender in the Jamtara court, Soren was dealt a second blow when a Giridih court rejected his revision petition against a non-bailable arrest warrant. Soren’s lawyers may move the High Court tomorrow for bail. Hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the Jamtara court as he walked in to surrender, waving to the crowds. Fearing a law and order problem, the state government beefed up security and deployed Rapid Action Force at several places. The room of the principal of the Jamtara Women’s College will serve as Soren’s temporary jail. He is likely to be shifted to the Hazaribagh jail. Of the 69 accused in the Chirrudih massacre case, 59 were already facing trial while Soren was among the 10 who hadn’t been committed to face trial. Soren’s counsel R K Jain argued that his client was not an absconder: ‘‘He cannot abscond or tamper with evidence. He is an MP and is not running away from justice. Since he has appeared before the court to commit himself to face trial, no purpose of law will be served if he is sent to jail.’’ As he starting dictating his order, judge Mishra asked Jain to take the accused out of the courtroom. Soren was taken to the next room where he was surrounded by mediapersons. ‘‘Whatever be the verdict, I will welcome it,’’ Soren said. Minutes later, the judge ruled: ‘‘I have denied him bail on the ground of misuse of bail granted to him earlier.’’ This left JMM supporters speechless.‘‘What’s there to say now,’’ said party MP Teklal Mahato who had accompanied Soren to the court. ‘‘Now we will fight the case in the higher court,’’ said Junaid Ansari, JMM’s Jamtara unit secretary. The Soren case is all set to rock the Assembly session which got underway today. ‘‘We are going to demand the resignation of Chief Minister Arjun Munda. We will also demand the withdrawal of all cases against Soren who has been a leader of the Jharkhand movement,’’ Mahato said.

rediff.com The Rediff Interview/Shibhu Soren August 04, 2004 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren enjoys a good fight. Having fought all his life for tribal rights, it is almost second nature for him. So, when a non-bailable warrant was issued against him by a Jamtara court in Jharkhand in the 30-year-old Chirudih massacre case, the thought of surrendering probably never crossed his mind. What he did was what his tribal instincts told him to do -- disappear into the thick jungles of Jharkhand and surround himself with people who worship him. For nearly a fortnight the JMM leader remained hidden, awaiting the Jharkhand high court's verdict on his bail application. But there was a problem -- Soren was also a minister in the Union government. The laws of jungle do not apply in Delhi, where politicians hunt on prime-time television. As the Opposition pressure mounted, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Soren to step down. Soren complied, knowing fully well that his supporters would easily make the resignation look like a sacrifice. A few days later, on July 29, as the high court rejected Soren's bail plea and asked him to surrender, his supporters were in action immediately -- there were rallies all over Jamtara, Ranchi and other parts of the state. JMM workers were on the streets armed with bows and arrows, threatening violence if Guruji, as Soren is called in Jharkhand, was arrested. So has Soren blown the bugle for the Jharkhand assembly election? Have his political opponents overplayed their hand? Is Guruji close to achieving his ultimate political dream -- the chief ministership of Jharkhand? Chief Correspondent Tara Shankar Sahay spoke to him over the phone to get some answers: [The interview was conducted on August 1, just hours before the JMM leader was to address a rally. He surrendered before the Jamtara court on August 2.] You are addressing your supporters just a day before your scheduled surrender before the Jamtara court. Are you trying to make political capital out of it? Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party hatched this conspiracy to humiliate and embarrass me, my supporters have been insistent that I should not take it lying down. Imagine digging out something that happened 30 years ago! My point is: Why wasn't this massacre case raked up when my party was in the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP? It is cheap, political vendetta at its ugliest and [Jharkhand Chief Minister] Arjun Munda is sparing no effort to ensure that I am cornered. But I tell you, there is this groundswell of dissent against this cheap BJP move. Also Read The tribal messiah My party activists and supporters are saying I must address them because they are not willing to see their leader victimised. Of course, I will address them and tell them that while the BJP's state administration might use strong-arm tactics, I have the people of Jharkhand with me. They have been with me right from the time my tribal movement started fighting mahajan soshan [moneylenders' exploitation]. My basic aim in addressing this rally [at Kanchan Bera village, about 4 km from Jamtara] is to tell my people that when I appear in the court on Monday, I should be on my own and they should not accompany me. I have already told some state officials that there will be no law and order problem when I appear in the Jamtara court. But I can assure you that my supporters are angry, very angry. What will be your message to your supporters? That they should not abandon the faith in our struggle, which aspires to defeat the forces of exploitation and political opportunism. I will tell them that they should guard against the BJP's attempt to turn Jharkhand into another Gujarat. In Gujarat too, the forces backed by the BJP instigated tribal people against Muslims. The BJP leaders are now saying that Muslims were also killed in Chirudih. Everybody knows that tribals in Jharkhand are dead against moneylenders' exploitation. There are cases of such exploitation wherein three generations of poor tribals have paid through their nose to these greedy mahajans. Everybody knows my struggle was against such exploitation. Your disappearance after the non-bailable warrant was issued against you. Where were you and why were you hiding? I was among my people, my supporters. I was told they will not allow anybody to touch me, come what may. I was happy to see the tribals' fighting spirit intact. Is it a crime to be with my people in the jungles? Even Union home minister [Shivraj Patil] refused to label me an absconder. I have every right to go to any part of the country. That should answer your question. Your party was once an ally of the NDA, so what happened? If the JMM today is in the United Progressive Alliance, it is because of the opportunism and greed of the BJP leaders. Whether it is Babulal Marandi or Arjun Munda, each excels the other in his pursuit of power. Tribal concerns are their last worry. I think the BJP leadership has not been able to digest the fact that the JMM and Congress have joined hands in Jharkhand. That is why its leaders have embarked on a 'destroy Soren' campaign. They will get a befitting reply. What made you compare Gujarat and Jharkhand? What are the common factors? Why is the BJP suddenly harping on the fact that Muslims were also killed in Chirudih? Their game plan is to instigate the tribals against Muslims in Jharkhand so that another Gujarat-like situation can be created. But I want to tell my political rivals that the Muslim-tribal unity in our state is very much a fact of life, however distasteful it might seem to the BJP and its allies. What is your impression of the BJP in Jharkhand now? The BJP has squandered a chance and swung the axe on its foot as it tried to sacrifice the aspirations of the tribal people. In Jharkhand, you don't make good by bartering away tribal interests for your selfish motives. That is exactly what the BJP has done. Also Read: Soren has eyes set on Jharkhand assembly There is some talk that you want to start a new chapter in Jharkhand. Of course, I want to see the tribals in Jharkhand given a fresh deal. For that, the BJP's corrupt administration must go. I will ensure that if my party assumes power after the [February] 2005 assembly election in our state. I have been telling my people it is imperative to vote a JMM government to power in Jharkhand if the state has to progress. Does that mean you could be the next chief minister of Jharkhand? Perhaps. In that case, what happens to the ministerial slot you vacated in the UPA government when you resigned as Union coal and mines minister? The JMM destiny must be put back on the rails in Jharkhand. The tribals are up in arms that their rights, as guaranteed in the Constitution, are being usurped by communal forces represented by the BJP. Our party will be meeting very soon to take stock of the situation. Image: Rahil Shaikh Article Tools Email this article Top emailed links Print this article Write us a letter Discuss this article Related Stories BJP hails PM's order to Soren

AFP 08 August 2004 India bans film on anti-Muslim bloodshed in Gujarat NEW DELHI : India has banned an internationally acclaimed film documenting bloody anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in the Hindu nationalist-ruled state of Gujarat, the director said. Rakesh Sharma said the censor board told him it would not issue a certificate for public screening of his three-hour documentary, "The Final Solution," because the film could incite fresh religious tension. Sharma said he would fight the ban by distributing thousands of video CDs to be shown in private homes, which are not affected by the censor board. He said he also hoped to organise illegal public screenings with prominent directors to "challenge the authorities to come and arrest us." "When we are faced with this kind of action, we have to find innovative methods of civil disobedience," Sharma told AFP. "The Final Solution" -- the title a reference to the Holocaust -- uses interviews and archive footage to recount the grisly violence and continued religious polarization in the western state, where 2,000 people died in riots. "The Final Solution" won two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and has since been screened extensively overseas. Sharma will tour with the movie across the United States and Canada from mid-September to late October. The Gujarat violence broke out after an allegedly Muslim mob torched a train carrying Hindu activists, killing 59 people. Most of the subsequent victims were Muslim and human rights groups accused the right-wing state government of abetting the vigilante violence. Sharma said the censor board was dominated by allies of India's former Hindu nationalist government which lost power in an election upset in May. No censor board official was immediately available for comment Saturday. The director said he would appeal against the ban either through the courts or India's new left-leaning government, which has vowed to speed up prosecution of perpetrators of the Gujarat bloodletting. Sharma said he had already held up to 100 private screenings of "The Final Solution" in India without incident, belying censor board claims that the movie could stir trouble. The director said he hoped to force a debate about censorship in India. The censor board regularly asks Bollywood producers to cut out material, particularly of a sexual nature, although outright bans on films are rare. "If Indians have the right to vote and decide who governs them, it is rather silly that they don't have the right to choose what to watch," Sharma said.

India News 24 Aug 2004 Gujarat cop arrested in riots case: [India News] Ahmedabad, Aug 24 : The Gujarat police Tuesday arrested a police official for his alleged role in the killing of 11 people during the sectarian violence of 2002. The special investigating team arrested sub-inspector R.J. Patil, currently serving in Kutch district, for allegedly siding with those accused of setting ablaze 11 people in Kalol, Mehsana district, 40 km from here. Patil, who was posted in Kalol at the time, also allegedly tampered with the evidence of the incident that has come to be known as the Kalol massacre. All the victims were from the Ambica Society, which was attacked by a marauding mob during the riots of 2002 in which at least 1,000 people were killed. More than 30 people, including a personal assistant of a Gujarat minister, have been arrested so far in the case. The burning of a train in Godhra, 150 km from here, on Feb 27, 2002 had triggered the terrible sectarian violence that carried on for more than two months. Patil's arrest comes amid increasing questions over the Gujarat administration's role in aiding and shielding those responsible for the communal violence. --Indo-Asian News Service

www.indianexpress.com Friday, August 27, 2004 Columns Reading the riot act Is an anti-communal law the answer to the Gujarat violence? Pamela Philipose The voices from the Gujarat abyss are breaking out. They provide valuable clues as to how a situation developed which saw the violation of every canon of civilisation in 16 of the state’s 25 districts. This exercise of exposing to public scrutiny the events of those turbulent days may perhaps never have taken place if it were not for some persistent civil libertarians, a media that was at least partially engaged and a responsive Supreme Court. It is fortuitous, this combination of factors. While the anti-Sikh riots of 84, the ’89 Bhagalpur riots, the Mumbai carnage of ’92-’93 have been allowed to disappear from public view, we have now as a nation — possibly for the first time — a valuable opportunity to understand why Gujarat happened and what we can do to ensure that it does not happen again. As the trials in the Best Bakery and Bilkis Rasool cases take place in Mumbai; as testimonies before the Nanavati-Shah inquiry commission appointed to look into the Godhra carnage and its aftermath continue; as closed cases are hopefully revived in Gujarat, we may be able to plot the points of constitutional breakdown and hold to account those responsible. For instance, we now know from a former Gujarat additional chief secretary, that the decision to bring the charred remains of the kar sevaks killed in the Godhra outrage to the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad for the arthi, against the usual procedure of sending bodies back home, was taken by the chief minister himself. We now know, thanks to records maintained by the additional director-general in charge of intelligence and now made public, that FIRs filed by riot-affected Muslims were being systematically suborned by the police. We now know that a senior police officer at the site of Gulbarg Society burning did not call the police control room because he was told not to “clog” up police phone lines and that another thought it fit to burn the bodies of 13 Muslim victims and destroy evidence of a massacre. The jagged pieces of this complex jigsaw, as they fall into place, will hopefully provide definitive clues to pivotal queries, especially those relating to that crucial first phase which set the stage for what followed: How did coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express catch fire? Why were just two constables despatched to disperse the mob that had attacked the train, even though Godhra had its own force of railway police numbering over a 100? Why did it take so long for the Modi government to call in the army? What transpired at that meeting the CM held on the evening of February 27 with senior police officers? To state that Gujarat represents a gigantic failure of the criminal justice system, from the lowliest police chowki to the high court, is to state the obvious. Would an anti-communal law have prevented this? We have at present, according an estimate, no less than 15 different laws applicable in a riot situation. Section 153A of the Penal Code, for instance, specifically bans the promotion of “communal disharmony” and the “disturbance of public peace”. Yet another law may become just a decorative device to testify to the “secular” credentials of a government, at best; or a powerful weapon of control in the hands of the state, at worst. The scope for misuse is always present because all laws cut both ways. Section 153 A has been used more effectively to ban scholarly works than to quell communal disturbances. Besides, a federal law of this nature would be useless if state governments do not enact similar laws since law and order falls under their jurisdiction. Given these realities, does it still make sense to enact a anti-communal law? The debate on the issue has just begun. A group of citizens has already come out with a Draft Model Law, tentatively termed the ‘Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity Act, 2004’ and the Law Commission is possibly working on a draft as well. One argument in favour of such a law is a very obvious lacuna that exists despite our numerous anti-riot laws. Nowhere do existing laws specifically target hate crimes and communal violence. Could a law, for instance, have prevented the forcible displacement of Kashmiri Pandits? The economic boycott of Muslims in Gujarat? The physical and mental torture perpetrated on a group of people who appear “different”, as the forcible tonsuring and killing of Sikhs during the riots of ’84 witnessed? Possibly. Several international referents exist for such a law. In the US, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999 seeks to fight crimes motivated by hatred based on race, religion, national origin, or colour. It was the existence of such laws, incidentally, that enabled quick justice to be done in the case of Sikhs who were attacked in the US after the 9/11 strikes. ‘Genocide’, as opposed to ‘hate crimes’, is of course a more substantive categorisation. It was first used by the Nuremberg tribunal. In 1946, the UN General Assembly took up an item entitled ‘Prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide’. It was to result in a Convention that came into force in 1951. Article I of the Convention condemns genocide — in peace or in war. Article II defined it as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical or religious group”. The definition included “killing” members; causing serious bodily/mental harm to them and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole, or in part. Punishment was to be meted out, not just for the acts themselves but even for those that were preparatory in nature. It upheld the principle of individual criminal responsibility of the “constitutionally responsible rulers”, “public officials” or “private individuals”. Of course, even the best law is only as good as the institutions that deploy them. Also no law can replace the complex process of building a civil society that is humane and sensitive to human rights. Getting such legislation into the statute books would, without doubt, be an arduous and contentious process. But it would help build a social consensus on the absolute unacceptability of acts such as those Gujarat witnessed so recently. It would signal that India is serious and uncompromising in its intent to fight crimes of hate, crimes against humanityIndonesia

BBC 17 July, 2004 Ex-Timor governor starts sentence By Rachel Harvey BBC correspondent in Jakarta Abilio Soares says he is being made a scapegoat A former governor of East Timor convicted of human rights abuses has begun serving his prison sentence in Jakarta, a day later than scheduled. Abilio Soares failed to report to the attorney general on Friday - but after a further summons he has now complied. He was found guilty in 2002 of failing to prevent violence during East Timor's transition to independence in 1999. Mr Soares says he is being made a scapegoat while top security officials have been allowed to go free. Mr Soares has become the first person convicted by Indonesia's special human rights tribunal to go to prison for his crimes. But it has taken almost two years. Disappointment After the failure of his appeal, Indonesia's supreme court ordered Mr Soares to begin serving his three-year sentence in a Jakarta jail on 16 July. The deadline came and went. Mr Soares was at home in Indonesian West Timor, a six-hour flight away. The prosecutor's office contacted him and made clear that if he failed to comply with the summons Mr Soares would be taken by force. Speaking to the BBC as he signed his prison papers, Mr Soares said he was deeply disappointed but not angry. "I've sacrificed so much for my country," he said, "now I feel I'm the one being sacrificed." He went on to say that searching for justice in Indonesia was like looking for fresh water in a desert. Many victims of the violence which swept East Timor during its vote for independence from Jakarta would certainly agree with that.

AFP 5 Aug 2004 Indonesian military claims four civilians killed by Aceh rebels BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Aug 5 (AFP) - The Indonesian military on Thursday claimed separatist guerrillas in the conflict-hit province of Aceh shot dead four civilians and seriously wounded another. Aceh military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Asep Sapari said that about a dozen gunmen from the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) shot at a car in the North Aceh district on Wednesday, killing four of its passengers and wounding another. A military convoy had passed the same road about 15 minutes prior to the victims, who were plantation workers, Sapari said. Security forces were hunting down the gunmen, he said. The rebels' spokesman for the area, Tengku Jamaika, could not be immediately reached. GAM has previously denied targeting civilians. Sapari said a suspected guerilla was shot dead in a skirmish in southern Aceh Wednesday and 12 others surrendered to the authorities the same day. The military launched a major operation to crush GAM in May 2003 after the collapse of a brief truce. Military and police figures show about 2,200 rebels have been killed since then. Human rights groups have said many of the dead are ordinary civilians. GAM has been fighting for independence since 1976.

BBC 6 Aug 2004 Jakarta rejects Timor convictions One of the four was accused of gross human rights crimes Indonesia's appeal court has overturned the convictions of four security officials found guilty of crimes against humanity in East Timor in 1999. The ruling means no Indonesian security official faces jail for the violence, which left more than 1,000 people dead. The court also cut in half a 10-year sentence for notorious militia leader Eurico Guterres. Human rights groups attacked the ruling and said Jakarta had never wanted justice done over its former province. The four cleared men include former regional military commander Major General Adam Damiri, who was last year found guilty of "gross human rights violations" and sentenced to three years in jail. The other men cleared are ex-military chief Colonel Nur Muis, former police Chief Commissioner Hulman Gultom and Lieutenant Colonel Soejarwo. The appeal court reportedly handed down its judgement last month, and the grounds for its decision were not immediately clear. Court criticism They had all been found guilty by a special human rights court which Indonesia set up to deflect international criticism of its handling of the violence in East Timor, triggered by the former province's 1999 vote for independence. Human rights groups doubted the court from the start. They now point out that of 18 original defendants, only two have now been found guilty - both of which are ethnic Timorese. These include Guterres, who human rights groups have alleged acted with the complicity of the Indonesian security forces. Although convicted, he is still free pending an appeal. The other man, former governor Abilio Soares, began serving a three year jail sentence in July. A BBC correspondent in Jakarta, Tim Johnston, says many Indonesians still regard the loss of East Timor as a blow to their national pride and pursuing those responsible for the carnage has never been popular domestically. Many of the military officers who served in East Timor in 1999 have been promoted, our correspondent says, and one of the men acquitted in the recent court decision is currently running the ethics programme at Indonesia's army staff training college. One human rights campaigner, Hendardi, told BBC News Online the appeal court's verdicts were a sham. "There is no justice in Indonesia," he said.

BBC 6 August, 2003, Surprise at E Timor guilty verdict By Louise Waters BBC Indonesian General Adam Damiri was the last of 18 suspects to appear in the special human rights tribunal, set up to investigate abuses committed during the 1999 East Timor independence vote. Only five other suspects have been convicted - all of whom are still free pending appeals. Analysts had therefore widely expected that the general would be acquitted, especially since the prosecution itself had requested that the charges be dropped due to lack of evidence. Instead the court on Tuesday found him guilty of human rights violations and sentenced him to three years in jail. General Damiri said he was very disappointed by the verdict Patrick Burgess, former director of human rights in the United Nations transitional authority in East Timor, is amazed at General Damiri's conviction. "This was the last of the trials to go ahead, it was the most senior of the Indonesian military officers charged, and the prosecution itself had said they didn't have enough evidence to convict him," Mr Burgess said. The case of General Damiri - who in 1999 was commander of the region which at the time included East Timor - has been particularly controversial. The indictment against him said he should have stopped the bands of armed militia who carried out the majority of the killings after the independence vote. 'Not enough' This is just more evidence that the whole exercise was window dressing Joaquin Fonseca, HAC human rights group Tuesday's verdict was hailed by some legal rights activists, but Joaquin Fonseca, from the Timorese human rights group HAC, said he was disappointed that the general only got a comparatively short sentence. "I don't think this is enough," he said. "This is just more evidence that the whole exercise was window dressing. These people have committed serious crimes and gross human rights violations. "In terms of serving as a deterrent, this does nothing, because the Indonesian army who have committed the same crimes over the years will not learn from this event." But Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Marti Natelegawa was quick to reject these claims. "We have obviously heard continued concern about how the trial process has been carried out," said Mr Natelegawa. "But it is, after all, a newly instituted process - unprecedented, not only in Indonesia, but probably in the region as well. More than 1,000 people died in the East Timor violence "I think it would be rather unfair to describe the 18 cases that have been brought to the trial as being unsatisfactory in their outcome." The human rights court was set up to deflect pressure for an international inquiry into the East Timor violence, in which more than 1,000 people died. At the beginning of 2000, the United Nations Security Council agreed not to pursue the possibility of international proceedings, to give Indonesia a chance to show that it could carry out its own justice. The UN has since raised the possibility of setting up a war crimes tribunal for East Timor, like those held for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Ian Martin, the head of the UN in East Timor during the 1999 violence, says that such a tribunal is unlikely to be set up as the security council is too involved with matters in Iraq. "I don't think it has an appetite (for an international tribunal) at all," he said. "I'm afraid memories are very short, and the crimes that happened in East Timor are no longer a matter of great concern to the council". But he added that, if the principles of international justice are to be taken seriously, then now is the time for the UN to step in. "It's very clearly the responsibility of the UN to look at what happened in a territory for which it was exercising a very particular responsibility in 1999," he said. General Damiri has said he will appeal the verdict against him, and some legal experts predict that the ruling will be quietly overturned by a higher court. Meanwhile the general, like those convicted before him, remains free.

NYT 7 Aug 2004 Indonesia Court Voids 4 Convictions in 1999 East Timor Strife By EVELYN RUSLI Published: August 7, 2004 JAKARTA, Indonesia, Aug. 6 — An Indonesian appeals court has overturned the convictions of three army officers and one policeman for crimes against humanity during violence in 1999 over East Timor's independence that left some 1,500 people dead. The court has also reduced to 5 years from 10 years the prison sentence of Eurico Guterres, who led paramilitary gangs recruited by the Indonesian Army to suppress East Timor's independence movement. Mr. Guterres was convicted in 2002 but had been free pending the outcome of the appeal, as had the army and police officers. Advertisement The decisions, delivered two weeks ago but released only on Friday, may mark the end of legal processes against 18 people in all — 16 security officers and 2 civilians — indicted by an Indonesian human rights tribunal on East Timor. Prosecutors may appeal the decisions to the Supreme Court, but they made no indication on Friday whether they would. Mr. Guterres may also appeal to further shorten his term. In all, four sentences have been overturned and one reduced. Twelve others were were acquitted. Only one person — East Timor's former governor, Abílio José Soares — is serving a prison sentence, a three-year term that started last month. The massacres that occurred in 1999 have been well documented by human rights groups and official investigators in both Indonesia and East Timor. Many more suspects have been identified than tried. The Indonesian military organized, supplied and commanded Timorese militias to try to derail a vote on independence, which was conducted by the United Nations. But 80 percent of voters chose to break from the 24 years of Indonesian rule, and the militias went on a campaign of death and destruction. Most of East Timor's buildings were destroyed; some 250,000 people — out of a population of 800,000 — were forced into militia-controlled camps in the Indonesian territory of West Timor. Under international pressure, Indonesia established a tribunal to try those responsible, but Western diplomats have said the Indonesian government did not seem to take it very seriously. On Friday, the Indonesian military applauded the appeals court's decision. Col. Ahmad Yani Basuki, a military spokesman, said, "We believe the process was handled professionally." But the criticism was immediate. Hendardi, one of Indonesia's leading human rights advocates, called the verdicts "theater," and said the United Nations should establish an independent tribunal. John M. Miller, a spokesman for the East Timor Action Network, a New York-based advocacy group, said the "whole process has been a farce." Sam Zarifi, the deputy director of the Asian Department for Human Rights Watch, said: "For the enormity of everything that happened in East Timor, it's just a tragedy that it seems like that there will be no accountability for any of the people responsible." Mr. Zarifi said the overturned convictions in particular had profound ramifications. "Because all the Indonesians are acquitted and only the convictions of the two ethnic East Timorese stand, Indonesia can perpetuate the fiction that the violence was only East Timorese against East Timorese," Mr. Zarifi said. He took the United Nations to task, saying the tribunal "was created under United Nations Security Council auspices, but now the U.N. has let this whole process fall apart." Steven L. Pike, a United States State Department spokesman, said the United States was "dismayed" by the appeals court decision and "profoundly disappointed" with the Indonesian process over all. "With this appeals decision, the court has convicted only 2 of 18 defendants," he said. "Both individuals convicted are ethnic Timorese civilians and received sentences below the 10-year minimum set by law. We believe the overall process was seriously flawed and lacked credibility." Among those whose convictions were overturned was Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri, the highest-ranking military official to face trial for crimes against humanity in East Timor. He had been convicted of failing to control subordinates in a September 1999 case in which at least 15 people were killed in a diocesan headquarters in the capital, Dili. Brig. Gen. M. Noer Muis, an East Timor military commander, had been convicted in the killings of at least a dozen Catholics in the city of Suai. Lt. Col. Sujarwo, the Dili military commander, was convicted in the attack on the diocesan headquarters. The former Dili police chief, Col. Hulman Goeltom, was convicted in an attack on the home of a prominent family that sheltered refugees in which at least 12 people were killed in April 1999. Mr. Guterres was also convicted in that case. For all but Mr. Guterres, the initial sentences were less than half the 10-year minimum prescribed by the tribunal's statutes.

BBC 12 Aug 2004 Jakarta clears officer of killings Maj Gen Sriyanto now heads the elite Kopassus forces The head of Indonesia's special forces has been cleared of gross human rights violations over the 1984 killings of a crowd of Muslim activists. Maj Gen Sriyanto Muntrasan was accused of telling soldiers to shoot into a crowd of demonstrators near Jakarta's Tanjung Priok port. But a court in Jakarta ruled the incident was a "spontaneous clash", and therefore not a human rights violation. He is the latest in a series of senior officers to be acquitted in such cases. Maj Gen Sriyanto, who is now head of Indonesia's elite Kopassus special forces, was an army captain at the time of the 1984 demonstration. The clash took place spontaneously between the people and (army) personnel Herman Heller Hutapea, chief judge Protesters at the rally were demanding the release of activists detained by the regime of former strongman Suharto. Prosecutors said the troops opened fire on the crowd without warning, killing at least 10 people, and as many as 23. But the trial's chief judge, Herman Heller Hutapea, said Maj Gen Sriyanto had tried to prevent the clash "by shouting 'stop' and 'stop shooting'". "There was no proof of a systematic attack. The clash took place spontaneously between the people and (army) personnel," the judge said. Maj Gen Sriyanto was acquitted on all charges and left court to a hero's welcome from his troops, waiting outside. The BBC's Tim Johnston, in Jakarta, says the so-called Tanjung Priok massacres have come to be seen as a litmus test of Indonesia's willingness to address the alleged crimes committed by the army during Suharto's 30-year rule. While he was in power the army was above criticism, a dispensation that campaigners say was exploited to commit numerous human rights abuses. Some of those incidents have recently come to court, but human rights activists have complained that the country's judicial institutions are not strong enough to see justice done. Earlier this week, the same court acquitted the former head of Jakarta's military police on charges of failing to prevent the torture of activists during the 1984 incident. Last week, the appeal court overturned the verdicts on four Indonesian security officials in connection with 1999 human rights violations in East Timor.

Xinhua 21 Aug 2004 11 Indonesian soldiers jailed for 1984 massacre The Central Jakarta District Courthas found 11 soldiers guilty of committing crimes against humanity for opening fire on a group of protesters in 1984, killing at least 24 people, a local newspaper reported Saturday. Capt. Sutrisno Mascung, who was the commander of the Air Defense Artillery Battalion from the North Jakarta District Military Command, was sentenced to three years in jail and his 10 subordinates in 1984 were sentenced to three years in prison on Friday for the bloody Tandjung Priok incident, reported The Jakarta Post. The judge panel said the firing by the troops "was not an act of self-defense, but intentional murder," said Andi. The sentences handed down to Sutrisno and his soldiers were much lower than the minimum 10 years stipulated in Law No. 26/2000on the human rights court. Earlier, prosecutor Widodo Supriyadi demanded 10 years in prison for the soldiers respectively.

AFP 23 Aug 2004 Home-made bomb explodes in violence-hit Indonesian town JAKARTA, Aug 23 (AFP) - A small home-made bomb exploded in eastern Indonesia's sectarian violence-plagued town of Poso but there were no casualties, a report said Monday. The device detonated late Sunday in the garden of a private house in downtown Poso, shattering windows, local district police chief Abdi Dharma said, according to the state Antara news agency. Dharma, who could not be immediately reached for comment, said that the blast from a small home-made device was the work of "a provocator who wants to stir up unrest again." The targeted house had previously been rented by a member of the local police but had recently changed occupants, residents said. More than 1,000 people were killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians in Poso in 2000-2001. The government brokered a peace deal in December 2001 but sporadic violence continues


BBC 28 July, 2004, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Scores killed in Iraq bomb attack Dozens of Iraqis were injured in the car bombing At least 68 people have been killed in a car bomb explosion outside a police station in Iraq, exactly one month after the transfer of sovereignty. Witnesses said a suicide bomber drove a car into a crowded market area, as men queued to join the police. Dozens of people were also injured in the morning attack in Baquba, 65km (40 miles) north-east of Baghdad. More than 160 Iraqis have been killed in attacks since the interim Iraqi government took power on 28 June. In other violence: seven Iraqi soldiers and 35 insurgents were killed in a joint multinational and Iraqi raid near the town of Suwariya, south of Baghdad two soldiers serving with multinational forces were killed in clashes with insurgents in Anbar province, the US military said a US soldier was killed and three others were wounded by a roadside bomb in north-west Baghdad, the US military said eleven US soldiers were wounded and at least on Iraqi insurgent was killed in an attack on a US army camp outside Ramadi, west of the capital at least one person was killed in a rocket explosion on a busy street in Baghdad an Iraqi policeman was shot dead in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Burning wreckage The latest attack was the bloodiest since a blast in the holy city of Najaf last August killed more than 80 people. Among those killed in Wednesday's car bombing were 21 people travelling in a minibus, a health ministry official said. BAQUBA ATTACKS 25 July - Clashes with police leave 13 insurgents dead 7 July - Car bomb during memorial service kills nine 27 June - Six national guards killed at checkpoint 26 June - Three die in grenade attack on political party offices 25 June - Three die in police station attack 24 June - 13 die in town amid co-ordinated blasts across Iraq In pictures: Baquba attack Have Your Say "I saw a car overtake a minibus and it slammed right into the queue of people," said Riad Abdul Latif, an internal affairs officer at the police station, who was 100m away when the bomb went off. Police said young men had come to the police station to join the force. Because of the number of applicants, some had to queue outside. After the blast, police put the dead and wounded in the back of pick-up trucks and drove them to hospital. Men used hoses to douse the burning wreckage at the scene. Several bodies were also on fire amid the debris in what correspondents said were horrific scenes. "God bless them, what have they done?" shouted one man. Security forces have been a frequent target of attacks by groups opposed to the new government and US-led forces. Baquba, a mixed Sunni and Shia Muslim town, has experienced many attacks. "We are facing people who are fanatic," Iraq's Deputy Foreign Minister Labeed Abbawi told the BBC after the Baquba bombing. "They will do anything to inflict heavy casualties on our people."

NYT 2 Aug 2004 Bombings strike at Christians in Iraq By Somini Sengupta and Ian Fisher BAGHDAD, Iraq - In the first significant attacks against Iraq's Christian minority since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government, assailants staged a series of coordinated car bombings Sunday evening near four churches in Baghdad and another in the northern city of Mosul. In Baghdad, at least 11 people, including two children, were killed in the explosions timed to coincide with Sunday evening Mass, and at least 20 people were injured, witnesses and hospital officials said. One person died in the Mosul attack, and seven people were injured, according to a U.S. military report. At least one church, in a lively Christian enclave in the Karrada neighborhood of downtown Baghdad, was struck as the priest was giving Communion. Next door, a Muslim family of five was killed by the blast, which was powerful enough to rip a row of bricks from the building's top floor and shatter the windows inside a courtyard well down the block. A hospital official said a Muslim passer-by also was killed in one of the blasts. ``It is a crime,'' Monsignor Raphael Kutemi said in front of the rectory of the Syrian Catholic church, Notre Dame of Deliverance. ``It is Sunday, and we were in prayer.'' The bombings Sunday seemed to mark another turning point in the already terrifying violence that has wracked Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion last year. Even in this long-secular capital city, a growing tide of Islamist extremism since the fall of Saddam's government has shuttered liquor stores, often owned by Christians, and beauty salons and compelled women and girls to cover their heads. It was not clear if the attacks on the churches were an extension of fundamentalist fervor or a calculated escalation by insurgents who have shown a willingness to broaden their attacks, even on fellow Muslims, in their fight against the U.S. presence here and the new interim Iraqi government. A few minutes before the Syrian Catholic church was struck, another car bomb exploded in front of the nearby Armenian church as Mass was under way. And inside a seminary compound in the south Baghdad neighborhood of Doura, two cars loaded with explosives blew up. A fourth explosion was set off across town in an enclave called New Baghdad when a car carrying explosives crashed into the car in front of it and blew up yards from a Catholic church but in front of a mosque. Across Baghdad, the evening sky was laced with plumes of thick black smoke. U.S. military helicopters hovered over the blast sites. The smell of charred metal lingered in the air long after the fires were extinguished and darkness fell. About the same time Sunday evening, in Mosul, about 220 miles north of Baghdad, parishioners were coming out of a Catholic church Mass when a car bomb detonated. A U.S. military report said the blast was caused by a bomb in a four-door Toyota Supra. "It is terrible and worrying because it is the first time that Christian churches are being targeted in Iraq,'' Vatican deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini told Reuters News Service. ``There seems to be an attempt to heighten tensions by trying to affect all social groups, including churches.'' The church bombings struck a singular note in the history of the 15-month insurgency. It is the first time since the March 2003 invasion that Christians, who represent less than 5 percent of the country's 24 million citizens, have come under fire in such a direct way. Guerrillas have largely directed their wrath toward Iraqi government representatives and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign workers, translators and anyone else accused of collaborating with the 140,000-strong U.S. troop presence here. But the U.S.-led invasion unleashed Islamist hard-liners, long suppressed during Saddam's rule. In Baghdad, a militia loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been blamed for many of the attacks against the largely Christian-owned liquor stores. At the same time, the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been accused by U.S. officials of assembling a core of Sunni Muslim extremists, some from outside Iraq, to foment sectarian violence. Sunday's coordinated strikes sent shock waves through ordinary Christians and Muslims alike. ``Never, I'm never going to church again on Sunday,'' said Khawla Yawo Odishah, who had escaped the bombing because a family medical emergency had caused her to miss Mass. As darkness fell, Odishah, 50, lingered across the street from the compound of St. Peter Seminary in Doura, where two car bombs blew up, torching several other cars and filling the night air with the heat and stench of burning metal. This was the Mass many of her friends usually attended, she said. Faris Talis, a Muslim, said he was in his tire repair store Sunday evening when the first car bomb exploded on the street, spattering bits of glass and metal. He said he looked up to see a man, who he believes was involved in the attack, run into the seminary's parking lot. Then the second blast went off inside the seminary compound. He ran inside to help what he said were scores of injured and dead. ``I am a Muslim and I was evacuating them,'' he said. ``I feel terrible about this. Whatever did this is a criminal. He doesn't have any mercy in his heart.'' In the seminary parking lot, about a dozen cars sat scorched and smoking just inside the front wall, at least one tipped up on its side. Glass, ash and car parts were strewn around the lot, about 50 yards from the main building. Heat radiated off the blackened metal, as several men carried a blanket to one of the cars, apparently to retrieve the body of someone who had been trapped inside. In the Karada neighborhood in central Baghdad, worshippers had gathered for mass at the Armenian church, when, according to one witness, a Volkswagen Passat pulled up and exploded. The engine flew 200 feet and landed in the street. Flames raced to the sky in front of the church. Minutes later, a few blocks away, a second explosion erupted in front of the Syrian Catholic church, sending people running, engulfed in smoke. Safaa Michael, who was at the service, heard the first explosion. When the second blast came, ``all the glass fell down over our heads.'' There were blood stains on his temple. The church went suddenly dark. The explosion had cut the electricity. Zaid Gazee Al-Janabi, 30, a security guard and a Muslim who lives down the street, watched the bomb blow off the roof of a house next to the church. He pulled five bodies, including those of two children, from the ground floor. They were Muslims. They were his friends. Fadel Aziz, 38, a Christian businessman who lives on the block, said he watched as the car exploded in front of him. Glass shattered along the block and a hunk of blackened metal careened into his yard. ``It was very big,'' he said. He said he saw six or seven injured, and helped two of them into his house. Like many others, he blamed the carnage on foreigners. ``We have lived with Muslims for thousands of years,'' he said. ``Nothing like this ever happened before. They cannot be Iraqis. They came to make trouble in the country."

AP 2 Aug 2004 Muslim cleric condemns church bombings Sunni cleric Mohammed Bashar al Faydi holds a communique denouncing the church bombings Source: AP Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, described yesterday’s coordinated bomb attacks on five churches in Baghdad and Mosul as "hideous crimes", and called for the unity between Christians and Muslims in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani said in a statement that the Sunday assaults on Christian churches "targeted Iraq's unity, stability and independence." Many of Iraq's Christians have already fled to neighboring Jordan and Syria, and the attack that killed 11 people. "We condemn and reproach these hideous crimes and deem necessary the collaboration of everyone the government and the people in putting an end to aggression on Iraqis," said the Muslim cleric, who is based in the southern city of Najaf. In other incidents on Sunday, 24 people were killed, including an American soldier, and wounded dozens more. Also a bomb exploded outside a Mosul police station that killed five people and wounded 53, and clashes in Fallujah between U.S. troops and anti occupation fighters that killed 12 Iraqis and wounded 39 others. No group has claimed responsibility for the Christian church attacks. Recent wave of bombings at least four of them car bombings began after 6 p.m. as parishioners gathered inside their neighborhood churches for services. The blasts shattered stained-glass windows and sent churchgoers screaming into the streets. The attacks came just minutes apart and hit four churches in Baghdad two in Karada, one in the Dora neighborhood and one in New Baghdad. A fifth church was hit in Mosul, about 220 miles north of the capital. The attacks did not appear to be suicide bombings, U.S. military and Iraqi officials have confirmed. The Baghdad church bombing killed 10 people and injured more than 40 others, according to a U.S. military. The Mosul blast killed one person and injured 11 others, police Maj. Fawaz Fanaan said. The Vatican denounced the attacks as "terrible and worrisome," said spokesman Rev. Ciro Benedettini. Muslim clerics condemned the violence and offered condolences to their Christian brothers. "This is a cowardly act and targets all Iraqis," Abdul Hadi al-Daraji, spokesman for Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, told Al-Jazeera television. In Mosul on Sunday, a white sport utility vehicle sped toward barriers at the Summar police station and a police guard opened fire, killing the driver, the police and U.S. military said. The vehicle crashed into the concrete barriers around the station and exploded, Five people were killed including three police officers, said AbdelAzil Hafoudi, an official at al-Salam hospital. He said 53 people were injured. Also, a roadside bombing near the town of Samarra hit a passing patrol, killing two U.S. soldiers and wounding one other, the military said. In central Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed two civilians and wounded two others, said Fawad Allah, an officer at Karada police station. Another roadside bomb, along a southern Baghdad highway, killed one man Sunday and wounded two others, said police Lt. Col. Assad Ibrahim Hameed.

www.islam-online.net/English 2 Aug 2004 Iraqi Muslim Leaders Denounce Church Blasts Smoke drifts after an explosion next to an Assyrian church in Baghdad By Mazen Ghazi, IOL Correspondent BAGHDAD , August 2 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Iraqi Muslim leaders strongly condemned Monday, August 2, a series of church bombings in Baghdad and Mosul that killed at least 15 people, saying the aim was to spark religious strife. The Muslim Scholars Association, Iraq ’s highest Sunni body, denounced the bombings as an “inhumane” bid to disrupt Iraq ’s national unity by targeting the country’s Christian minority. “We regret that such criminal acts have targeted our Christian brothers and we urge them to display restraint as did before their Muslim brothers, when their mosques and holy places were targeted as well,” spokesman Mohammad Bashar Al-Faidi told a press conference in Baghdad . Offering his heartfelt condolences for the Iraqi Christian community, he said targeting places of worship was in no way the work of Iraqis, stressing the unprecedented nature of such attacks throughout the centuries. Faidi also said he is pretty sure that the bombings glaringly bear the hallmarks of foreign powers that benefit from the country’s current state of anarchy. Association member Sheikh Abdul Jalai Al-Fahdawi said Islam is strictly against targeting civilians, including Christians and Jews. Under Islamic Shari `ah, non-Muslims possess special rights irrespective of whether they constitute a minority or a majority. Islam makes it clear that Muslims are not allowed under any circumstances to burn holy places or books of non-Muslims or to abuse them. Fahdawi said the terrorists strike indiscriminately, noting that one of the car bombs taking its toll on a nearby mosque was a case in point. Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the country's most revered Shiite Muslim spiritual leader, also condemned the attacks. “We denounce and condemn those terrible crimes... We should all, government and people, be working together in order to put an end to the attacks against Iraqis,” said a statement from his office in the holy city of Najaf . So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But the interim Iraqi government blamed Al-Zarqawi for the grisly bombings. "There is no shadow of a doubt that this bears the blueprint of Zarqawi," National Security Adviser Muwaffaq Al-Rubaie told Reuters news agency. "Zarqawi and his extremists are basically trying to drive a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Iraq . It's clear they want to drive Christians out of the country," he added. The coordinated car bombings were timed for Sunday evening services in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul . Car bombs exploded outside around five churches, killing at least 15 people and wounding many more. An Interior Ministry source told Reuters there had been four blasts at churches in Baghdad and two in Mosul . In the deadliest attack, a car bomber drove into the car park of a Chaldean church in southern Baghdad before detonating his vehicle, killing at least 12 people as worshippers left the building, witnesses said. A US military spokesman said three of the four attacks in Baghdad were known to be car bombings. An explosion at the Armenian Church in Baghdad shattered stained glass windows and hurled chunks of hot metal. Another bomb exploded 15 minutes later at a nearby Assyrian church. In Mosul , officials said at least one person was killed in a blast at a church and 15 wounded. The US military said the attackers fired a rocket at the Mar Polis Catholic Church before detonating a car bomb and put the toll from the attack at one dead and seven wounded. Iraqi Christians flee the site of two car bombs (AFP) United Front Emmanuel Delly, the patriarch of the Chaldean church, the largest Christian denomination in Iraq , also appealed for a united front. “Christians and Muslims must stand together for the good of Iraq because we are one family,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). Most Christians pointed the finger at foreign fighters for waging the attacks. “This was not done by Iraqis. It was done by people who don't know who God is,” said Marie Butros, 35, a hospital secretary in the smart Karada district, targeted by two of the bombs. “Our borders are open and a lot of foreigners can enter,” she added. The Vatican has also condemned the blasts -- the first attacks on churches during the 15-month US occupation -- echoing same concerns among Muslim leaders that they aimed to inflame religious tensions. "It is terrible and worrying because it is the first time that Christian churches are being targeted in Iraq ," Vatican deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini told Reuters news agency. Christians account for about three percent of the population of Iraq (around 800,000 people), where attempts to provoke conflict have mainly focused on Sunni Muslims and members of the Shiite Muslim majority. In March, coordinated bombings during a Shiite religious ceremony killed more than 180 in Baghdad and Karbala . '

AFP 5 Aug 2004 Saddam 'hopes for Swedish jail' From correspondents in Stockholm August 5, 2004 DEPOSED Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who faces trial on charges of crimes against humanity, hopes to stay in a Swedish jail until his trial gets under way, his lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet today. "Sweden is one of the three countries where Saddam Hussein could await the trial, if there will be one," Mr Di Stefano said in an exclusive interview with the paper. Saddam's legal team indicated last month that it would attempt to have the ex-Iraqi leader moved to a "neutral" country like Austria or Switzerland before the trial. Mr Di Stefano meanwhile insisted that there may in fact be no trial, since Saddam as Iraq's leader enjoys immunity. Sweden's humane penal system explains why the Scandinavian country figures at the top of Saddam's list of countries he'd prefer to stay in, according to Mr Di Stefano. "You have short sentences and the prisons seem more comfortable than in other places. Sweden also has a history of being neutral," he told Aftonbladet. He said that his request for permission to temporarily stay in Sweden had been sent to the Swedish government. "We have not received any such request. We have also checked with the ministry of justice, and I can assure you that they haven't received such a request either," Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Norman said. Saddam, arrested by US troops in December 2003 and held at a secret location under US protection, appeared before an Iraqi court on July 1 and was charged with committing "crimes against humanity".

IPS 7 Aug 2004 Anguished Christians Flee to Syria George Baghdadi DAMASCUS, Aug 7 (IPS) - George Lutfi's voice trembled with emotion as thought back of Iraq and his family there. The 32-year-old deacon of the Chaldean Solaqa Church in Baghdad fled to Syria last week after the bombings at churches in Baghdad and Mosul that killed at least 11 people. "I can do nothing but cry and pray to God to save my family," he said. "It is really hard to imagine what might happen." Lutfi, who left Damascus alone, is trying to bring his wife and three children to Syria. He struggled with feelings of anger, fear and uncertainty. And with guilt that he was safe in Syria while his family may not be as safe in Baghdad. Scared of lawlessness and the crumbling secular atmosphere within Iraq, thousands of Christians have fled to Syria. Saddam Hussein had enforced secularism with often brutal purges of Islamic groups. Now Christians fear the day might come when they are no longer welcome in Iraq. "Iraq is my country," Lutfi said. "It is my land. I drank from the rivers of that country and my heart is in Iraq." But now he does not want to return. Khalil Massouh, a refugee from Mosul says "the pressure comes from Muslim extremists, not from the interim Iraqi government, which has a Christian as minister of immigration and refugees." The bombings during mass last Sunday evening were the first significant strike on Iraq's Christians, who make up about five percent of Iraq's 25 million people. A previously unknown group, the Committee of Planning and Follow-up in Iraq claimed responsibility for the bombings, and warned more attacks would follow. Islamic militants have asked Christian owners of liquor stores to close down their businesses. They have also threatened Christians who run beauty salons and shops selling fashionable clothes. Hundreds of Iraqi Christian families move to Syria and Jordan every day, says Emanuel Khoshaba, a representative of the Iraqi Assyrian Democratic Movement in Syria. Khoshaba says there are now 10,000 Iraqi Christians in Syria, and 90 percent of them arrived after the Iraqi war began in March last year. Officials could not confirm the estimates because Syrian and Jordanian immigration forms do not ask a person's religion. "I had to flee to Syria to escape the threats," says Joseph Kaldo, 41. "This is the first step. I will apply this week to emigrate to Canada, the United States or other Western countries." John Rabah who has also fled Iraq, cannot believe what is happening now. "We have lived with them (Muslims) for generations, we socialise and work with them on a daily basis," he says. "We sometimes marry them, we both belong to the same nation, and we have always enjoyed the calls to prayer by the muezzins. An integral part of our culture reminds believers that there is only one God, the same God we both worship in our own way. Can you tell me what is going on?" Senior Muslim clerics and political leaders have united behind Iraq's Christian community, condemning the attacks as a dangerous escalation of the war and an assault on centuries of coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Syria's grand mufti Sheikh Ahmed Kiftaru called the bombings "hideous crimes" that "targeted Iraq's unity, stability and independence." Muslim militants have tried to paint the struggle within Iraq as a war between "true believers and infidels." They have succeeded at some places, but such groups have never succeeded in Syria. Christians in Syria have never been persecuted, and have no fear they could become a proxy target for those angry with the West. Comprising almost 12 percent of Syria's 17 million population, Christians have adopted many Muslim traditions such as the greeting 'salaam aleikum' ('peace be upon you'). They also use Arabic names such as Sami, Samir or Bassam. Christians within Iraq include the Chaldean-Assyrians who are the majority, Armenians, Syrian Catholics and the Syrian Orthodox.

www.dailystar.com.lbKirkuk: A piece of Yugoslavia in northern Iraq? By Philip Robins Special to The Daily Star Saturday, August 07, 2004 When interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar paid his first official visit to Iraqi Kurdistan recently, it was the fate of the multiethnic oil city of Kirkuk that dominated proceedings. Of all the vexed security problems with which post-Saddam Hussein Iraq is afflicted, it is Kirkuk that is most evocative of the Yugoslav civil war of a decade ago. The sensitivities of the situation were clear from Yawar's public pronouncements. Standing next to his host, the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, Yawar danced on the head of the proverbial pin. He stated that it was the "natural right" of Kurds who had been removed from the Kirkuk area as part of Saddam's "Arabization" strategy, to reclaim their old land. He further said that financial incentives would be provided to those Arabs (estimated at anywhere between 125,000 and 280,000 and mostly of Shiite background) who had been brought to Kirkuk since 1968 and who wanted to return to their place of origin. In spite of these encouraging sentiments, Yawar stopped short of suggesting that the demographic reversal would be anything other than voluntary. He had already gone on record during an earlier visit to Kirkuk as saying that nobody would be forced to leave his or her home in the new Iraq. Yawar sought to mollify his hosts for this disappointment by redoubling his commitment to the vision of a federal future for Iraq, which would give the Kurds the sort of political veto over policymaking in Baghdad that they lacked under the previous regime. For the Kurdish leadership in northern Iraq, Yawar is probably as good as it gets. A senior figure in the Shammar tribe, whose lands abut Iraqi Kurdistan to the west, Yawar is at least aware of the importance of Kirkuk. Moreover, having received crucial political support from Barzani in becoming Iraq's interim president, Yawar ought to be well-disposed toward his ally. Yet, Yawar knows as much as anyone that trying to push such a combustible issue any further would potentially pit him against majority Shiite and Arab opinion; occupying a post that is meant to represent all Iraqis, his position would quickly become untenable. In addressing this marginalization, the Kurds have tried to reach out to other communities, holding two sessions of a Turkish-Arab dialogue in the spring, and supporting the return of Turkmens, Kirkuk's third main ethnic group, also expelled from the city under the former regime. To date, however, such gestures have generated limited political capital. If the Kurds enjoy little support on the Kirkuk question inside Iraq, the same is true as far as their closest international allies are concerned. In spite of the Iraqi Kurds' pride in their membership in the anti-Saddam coalition, and their happy insistence that British and American forces were liberators in Iraq, London and Washington have refused to be indulgent over the issue. During its short tenure, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) did little more than manage the Kirkuk problem. A property claims commission was established to look into ownership disputes, alongside a Kirkuk development fund aimed at increasing the prosperity of the area as a whole. In truth, however, such action was not much more than a holding operation. Little progress has been made on the ground. With the CPA now no more, coalition officials admit in private that the main priority is to avoid taking precipitous decisions that might trigger inter-communal bloodletting of Yugoslav proportions. Iraq, they say, has enough centers of violence as it is, and coalition troops are overstretched. But the "creative ambiguity" that is used in coalition circles to characterize their stance over Kirkuk is not policy neutral. In reality, it is little more than shorthand for the Kurds not getting what they want. Frustrated and angry, Kurds on the Kirkuk municipal council have for the last month boycotted its deliberations. At a time of fluid national politics, and with the Iraqi Kurds the best organized and armed of all of the communities in the country, giving up on what is regarded as such a just goal is difficult to stomach. What will be pivotal in compelling Iraqi Kurds to come to accept the realities of Iraq as they are, is the stance of Iraq's regional neighbors and the resultant imbalance of power. While Yawar was visiting Iraqi Kurdistan, the foreign ministers of eight of Iraq's neighbors were holding their sixth summit in Cairo to discuss the Iraqi situation. This rare example of successful, regular regional cooperation has been forged out of a common concern on the part of such states at the future unity and security of Iraq. For the prime movers of the initiative - Iran, Syria and Turkey - it is the Iraqi Kurds who present the greatest challenge to the status quo, and because of these countries' own substantial Kurdish populations, to the prospects for domestic unity and stability. What's more, Kirkuk's considerable hydrocarbons fields threaten to give the notion of Kurdish independence an alluring viability. For such states Kirkuk is, consequently, of enormous symbolic significance. The presence of Shiites, Arabs and Turkmens gives each regional player potential leverage in the city. In the run-up to Cairo, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sounded an ominous note in his warnings about the potential for Kirkuk to be a flashpoint for conflict. The presence of such regional gatherings has inflamed public opinion in Iraqi Kurdistan, where visitors are as likely to have their ears burned by university professors as party hacks on the issue of Kirkuk. Argue with this, and Kurdish interlocutors will invoke the iniquities of colonial history, or quote like Serbs from the nationalist myths of old. As one popular song goes: "Kurds will either have Kirkuk and Khanaqin (another disputed area) or the Kurds will fight forever." It is with such widely held and passionate sentiments that the two main leaders of the Iraqi Kurds, Barzani and Jalal Talabani, are now having to grapple. For one senior official in Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, the single biggest challenge that the Kurdish leadership faces is in managing expectations, especially as far as the twin issues of Kirkuk and independence are concerned. For the flamboyant Talabani, the Kurds should not assume that, because Kirkuk is not right, "everything is dark." Both men emphasize that the task of responsible leadership is to deliver the possible. An all or nothing struggle, says Talabani, will leave Kurds with nothing. Such sentiments suggest that compromise is possible over Kirkuk. With much to play for in a new Iraq - federal arrangements, the allocation of senior posts, territorial adjustments - tradeoffs that may benefit the Kurds certainly exist. But with the blood boiling and a jumble of local, national and regional factors involved, the potential for miscalculation is high. With its inter-ethnic tensions, Kirkuk may yet come to be a piece of Yugoslavia in northern Iraq. Philip Robins is a lecturer in politics and international relations at the Oxford University and a fellow of St. Anthony's College. His "Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War" (Hurst & University of Washington Press) was published last year. He recently returned from a visit to northern Iraq. This commentary was written for THE DAILY STAr

NYT 9 Aug 2004 Iraq judge has reason for his fear John F. Burns His caselaod covers the one for Saddam BAGHDAD American troops with M-16 rifles patrol the corridors outside his office. At his door, Iraqi bodyguards lurk with holstered pistols. Outside, Humvees wait to escort him to his home, where his wife and their three small boys live behind concrete blast walls designed to withstand rockets and vehicle bombs. If Raid Juhi al-Saadi is not the world's most endangered judge, he must be close. His current load of 12 cases, for mass murder and other crimes, begins with Saddam Hussein and includes many of the men most feared by Iraqis until Saddam was toppled by American troops last year. Collectively, the 12 defendants are being investigated for the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqis during Saddam's 24 years in power. To Iraqi guerrillas who are fighting the Americans, and who have assassinated at least a dozen senior Iraqi officials in recent weeks, Juhi, the 34-year-old judge who presided at Saddam's first court appearance last month, is an apostate. American and Iraqi officials who set rules for media coverage of the July 1 hearing considered the risks to Juhi so great that they ordered his name withheld from news accounts, a stipulation he withdrew on Wednesday during a 90-minute interview with The New York Times. In agreeing to abandon his anonymity, Juhi was in part recognizing that full-face photographs of him taken in the court had been published in Iraq and around the world, making moot any attempt to disguise his identity. Newspapers and magazines here and elsewhere had also defied the courtroom rules and published his name. But in the interview, Juhi gave another reason for identifying himself, one with which many who watched the television coverage of his tense 26-minute courtroom confrontation with Saddam would very likely agree. "There is something very good in Iraqis being able to see that Saddam is gone and that he and other members of his regime now have to face the authority of a judge, of an ordinary man like me," Juhi said, speaking in halting English. Of his performance in court - enduring Saddam's finger-wagging assaults before calmly and firmly instructing him to behave like what he has become, a criminal defendant, and not like what he insistently told the court he was, Iraq's lawful ruler - Juhi added, "I think I gave an example of what the law can be." If the arraignment of Saddam and his associates made Juhi a standard-bearer for a new Iraq under the rule of law, it was only a momentary glimpse. Since the hearing five weeks ago, proceedings against the 12 men have once again fallen behind a curtain of secrecy. According to Juhi, no further hearings in open court will be held until he decides whether there is a case for each of the defendants to answer, and, if so, he passes the dossiers on to a full trial court. In the interview, he said he expected it to be at least a year before any of the 12 come to trial, and so that long before any of them will be seen in public again. In all likelihood, this would mean that Saddam's trial would be delayed much longer. Iraqi court officials and the American lawyers advising them have said his case would be most likely to succeed if his associates are tried before him and given the chance to build up a body of evidence against him in an attempt to absolve themselves. Juhi said that what mattered was not when Saddam would be judged, but that the first crucial step, placing him before a court, had been taken. "We have started the case against him, and we'll finish it," he said. "They say a journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step, and we've taken that step. "Maybe soon we will be walking faster, but at least we have crossed the starting line." One early obstacle, he said, has involved the failure to find lawyers ready to defend Saddam and the others. At the court hearing, Saddam refused to sign papers formally acknowledging the proceedings, saying he wanted to appoint lawyers first. The other 11 men signed the papers, but only after each had requested lawyers, some by name. Several demanded that they be represented by lawyers from other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan, as well as by Iraqis. "You heard the accused asking for special lawyers," Juhi said. "Well, up to now, I haven't been able to find any, not Iraqis, not Jordanians, not anybody else. When I contact them, they don't refuse, they just say, 'Sorry, I can't do it, not now.'" If none of the lawyers specified by the 12 come forward, and if there are no volunteers, Juhi said, the proceedings would resume with court-appointed lawyers. Meanwhile, he said, he would continue to interview the witnesses who arrive daily at his office, many of them family members volunteering evidence against the alleged killers of their relatives, and to work through the pile of dossiers assembled on his desk, each dealing with crimes attributed to the accused. "There is Halabja," he said, lifting a pink file folder with documents relating to an Iraqi chemical weapons attack on a Kurdish town in 1988 in which at least 5,000 people died. Hoisting another, he said, "And that's the Barzanis," a reference to the killing of hundreds of members of a prominent Kurdish family in the 1980s. "And this is 1991," he said, referring to the killing of tens of thousands of Shiites after an uprising in southern Iraq. At the court appearance last month, Juhi was widely praised by Iraqis - and condemned by those still loyal to Saddam - for the resolute way in which he handled Saddam's courtroom attacks. Faced with a man who so terrorized Iraqis that many once trembled at the mention of his name, Juhi seemed utterly at ease, giving no sense of the psychological fealty still common among Iraqis when Saddam's name comes up. When Saddam called Kuwait's leaders animals and said they had wanted to turn Iraqi women into "10-dinar prostitutes," Juhi admonished him not to use abusive language. When Saddam rebuked him for citing the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 among his possible crimes, saying Kuwait belonged to Iraq and that only an Iraqi in the service of Americans would see it otherwise, Juhi listened quietly before cutting Saddam off, telling him the court was convened to advise the defendants of their rights, not to hear speeches. Asked if he had not been nervous about confronting Saddam, Juhi seemed perplexed. "I was in that court as a judge," he said. "I was in charge, not Saddam. As a judge, I am trained to work from the facts. "When I saw Saddam enter the court, my thought was, 'This person is an accused. I have documents, I have witnesses, I have a case to hear.' If I had started to think, 'These are men who killed many thousands of Iraqis,' I couldn't do my job."


btselem.org 16 June 04: Permit System to Cross Separation Barrier is Racist Palestinian farmer presenting his permit to soldier at Jayyus Barrier Gate, Qalqiliya District, West Bank, Fall 2003. Photo: Eyal Ofer© New B’Tselem Report: Permit System to Cross Separation Barrier is Racist “Seam Area” regime prevents Palestinian farmers from reaching their fields and is based on racist criteria Since October 2003, Israel has implemented a new permit system in the enclaves it created between the separation barrier and the Green Line. As a result, Palestinians without a permit are denied the right to work their lands to the west of the barrier. Absurdly, only Palestinians require permits. According to Civil Administration directives, Jews can freely enter the Seam Area, even if they are not residents of Israel. By contrast, Palestinians wanting to obtain a permit face a bureaucratic nightmare. B’Tselem’s report reveals that during the first six months of the permit regime, the Civil Administration rejected about 25 percent of the permit requests in the Tulkarm-Qalqiliya area. Although Israel has denied farmers their source of income, it refuses to compensate them for their losses. Even farmers with permits may wait hours to cross because the gates were closed. The Israeli government has not learned from the substantial damage caused by building the first stage of the barrier inside the West Bank. If Israel continues its current policy and completes other sections of the barrier east of the Green Line, thousands more Palestinians will lose their source of income, further increasing the level of poverty in the West Bank. Construction of the barrier inside the West Bank violates international law. For these reasons, B’Tselem urges the government of Israel to tear down the sections of the barrier that have been built within the West Bank. Until that time, the government should: revoke the declaration of the seam area as a closed military area; keep the agricultural gates open from morning to night; terminate the racist permit system.

BBC 24 Aug 2004 Consider Geneva pact, Israel told Israel does not think Gaza and the West Bank are occupied territories The Israeli justice ministry has recommended that the government should consider applying the Fourth Geneva Convention to the West Bank and Gaza. The convention covers the treatment of civilians in occupied territory. The proposal comes from a team set up by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to study the ramifications of a ruling by the World Court last month. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory ruling that the West Bank barrier is illegal. The court also accepted that the Geneva Convention does apply to the West Bank and Gaza and that the barrier breached the convention. This has been the general position of the international community, as affirmed in repeated United Nations Security Council resolutions. Guide to the route and structure of the West Bank barrier At-a-glance Until now, Israel's position has been that the Geneva Convention does not apply to the territories it occupied in 1967 because there was no sovereign power there before their capture. Before the Six Day War of 1967, Gaza was under Egyptian military control while the West Bank was annexed by Jordan, a move not widely recognised. In particular, Israel rejects the argument that its settlements in the West Bank and Gaza violate the convention, which prohibits the transfer of civilians into occupied territory. Recommendation criticised In the first political reaction to the recommendation Yuval Steinitz, the chairman of the Knesset's foreign affairs and defence committee and a member of the ruling Likud party, criticised the proposal and questioned the attorney general's competence to make it. It's about time Israel joined the international community in recognising that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories Michael Tarazi Palestinian legal adviser Guide: Geneva Convnention "Mazuz is in no position to measure the international and security consequences of his recommendations. "This should not be determined by a legal perspective as Israel has to take into consideration a number of other criteria," Mr Steinitz said. Michael Tarazi, a legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority, welcomed the Israeli attorney general's recommendation as a "positive development". "It's about time Israel joined the international community in recognising that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories. "However, I don't expect it to go much further than a recommendation. After 37 years of a belligerent occupation, I don't expect someone like Ariel Sharon to perform an about turn. "For one, Israel would have to stop building settlements, and we can see that they are expanding them," Mr Tarazi told BBC News Online.

Jerusalem Post 24 Aug 2004 www.jpost.com Role of Geneva Conventions in the territories disputed - Dan Izenberg, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 24, 2004 The Justice Ministry on Tuesday refused to comment on reports that the attorney-general has urged the government to declare that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Israel's occupation of the West Bank. However, a senior Foreign Ministry official confirmed the report. Former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Allan Baker told The Jerusalem Post that this was indeed one of the recommendations made by a committee appointed by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, to consider the repercussions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the West Bank security barrier currently under construction. The Fourth Geneva Convention establishes the rules of conduct for signatory countries that have conquered and occupied territory belonging to another signatory state. Israel does not recognize that the Geneva Convention apply to the West Bank on the grounds that Jordan had not been legal sovereign over the territory when it was captured. Baker, who fired off an angry letter to Mazuz in response to his recommendations regarding the ICJ opinion, said that in effect Israel has been complying with the Geneva Convention ever since it took over the West Bank and Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War. It has refused to officially declare that it is bound by the conventions because that would have meant Israel formally acknowledged that it held the West Bank in belligerent occupation and that the territory belonged to Jordan. Furthermore, this is not the time, when Israel is involved in a peace process and is preparing to leave parts of the territories, to declare that they are occupied, said Baker. According to Tel Aviv University law professor Asher Maoz, it is too early to say whether a formal acknowledgment by Israel that the Geneva Convention applies to its presence in the territories would make a difference in terms of IDF conduct in the West Bank and Gaza or High Court of Justice rulings regarding petitions protesting its conduct. Until now, Israel's policy has been to declare that it is bound by the 1907 Hague Convention and that it is prepared to voluntarily abide by the humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Convention. Both conventions deal with the rules of conduct of occupying armies and the obligation to protect the civilians of the occupied territory. Although the Israeli government ratified the Geneva Convention, it has never been incorporated into Israeli domestic law. In order for that to happen, the Knesset would have to pass a law to that effect. But the government's formal declaration that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies and the passage of a law to incorporate it into domestic legislation are formal acts. Most legal experts agree that in practice, both the government and the courts have conducted themselves over the years as if the Geneva Convention does apply. In court hearings on a wide array of issues including the construction of settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the expulsion of Palestinians, targeted assassinations and the construction of the security fence, the state has always argued that it is acting in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention. So far, the court has gone along with the government in almost all of the cases except for a few notable exceptions such as the Alon Moreh settlement ruling, the minority ruling of Justice Mishael Cheshin against house demolitions, and the recent, landmark ruling against most of a 40-kilometer stretch of the security fence in the Beit Surik area west of Jerusalem. According to Maoz, the question is whether or not the court will take a tougher stance against injury caused to Palestinian civilians by the IDF if the state declares that it accepts the Geneva Convention and the Knesset turns it into domestic law.

http://www.haaretz.com 25 Aug 2004 `End to terror could make fence illegal' By Yuval Yoaz "If the Palestinians reach a real decision to stop terrorism, a major legal question will arise surrounding the justification for the separation fence's existence, and we may have to dismantle segments of it," Deputy Attorney General Malchiel Balass told Haaretz yesterday. According to Balass, a cessation of attacks is not sufficient grounds to consider dismantling the fence; a significant act would be required on the part of the Palestinians, similar to the Palestine Liberation Organization's 1993 letter to Premier Yitzhak Rabin, since the separation fence was erected in the first place as a temporary security measure, which is also its legal justification. Balass is one of the senior Justice Ministry officials in constant contact with the defense establishment and seam-line administration, which are redrawing the fence route in line with the June 30 ruling of the High Court of Justice. Balass is also a member of the legal team set up by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to examine the ramifications of the July 9 ruling on the fence by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The team recommended that the government "thoroughly consider" applying the Fourth Geneva Convention to the territories de jure, while retaining for the state the necessary powers for exercising its responsibility for security there. The Justice Ministry confirmed yesterday's report in Haaretz on the Mazuz team's recommendations. According to Mazuz, this recommendation was made in view of the ICJ's ruling that the Convention applies de jure to the territories, and the fact that Israel long ago applied the humanitarian directives of the Geneva Convention to the territories "de facto and even beyond that," and also because the Supreme Court in practice considers Israel Defense Forces actions in the territories in the context of the Convention's directives, among other considerations. Last week the High Court gave the state a month to submit its comments on the ICJ ruling, within the framework of several anti-fence petitions before the court. The Justice Ministry team, whose position will be based on the report already submitted to the prime minister, will seek to persuade the court that the military commander on the ground still has the authority to protect the lives of Israeli citizens living in the territories, authority given him in accordance with international law, under the Israeli interpretation.

Maariv International 23 Aug 2004 www.maarivintl.com Foreign ministry criticizes Attorney-General Legal counsel Alan Baker accuses Mazuz of overstepping his authority by interfering in diplomatic issues Ilil Shahar and Yinon Keidari Advertisement The Legal Adviser to the Foreign Minister Alan Baker has sharply criticized the Attorney-General for involving himself in affairs out of his jurisdiction A few days ago Mazuz wrote an opinion to the PM warning of the possible consequences of ignoring the Hague ruling regarding the security barrier. He recommended that the barrier be rerouted so as to bring it more in line with the ICJ’s ruling, which means having rum along or adjacent to the green line. In his letter, Baker admonishes the Attorney-General for “interfering in matters of state, which are beyond both his jurisdiction and expertise. This is an issue with major diplomatic and security ramifications, and therefore you should have consulted with experts from the relevant ministries before submitting such a document”, he wrote Mazuz. Justice ministry officials have rebuffed the criticism. “The attitude of the foreign ministry towards the ICJ was hostile and demeaning. The legal counsel wrote an opinion calling on Israel to ignore the ruling as meaningless verbiage. Such attitudes can only negatively impact Israel’s already difficult international standing. The foreign ministry should be thankful, not critical of the Attorney-General’s decision to ignore Baker’s findings and write a report of his own”, said the spokesperson. (2004-08-23 12:38:50.0) .


www.japantoday.com 7 Aug 2004 War and remembrance By Tim Hornyak Veterans and other visitors pay tribute to their fallen comrades at Yasukuni Shrine. PHOTO BY TIM HORNYAK TOKYO — In a tranquil wooded area in the heart of Tokyo, tucked away between a park and the outer moat of the shogun's castle, World War II wages on. There are no casualties, artillery fire or atomic holocausts, but a quiet campaign justifying Japan's actions in the greatest conflict of the 20th century continues nearly 60 years after it capitulated to Allied forces. Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial to the nation's 2.5 million war dead and over a dozen war criminals, is frozen in time. To the chagrin of those brutalized by the Empire of Japan, it has stubbornly defied the tides of history and international public opinion, still honoring people under whom atrocities were perpetrated and welcoming 21st-century leaders keen to worship them. According to the shrine's ideology, their spirits are regarded as "deities" worthy of worship. A visit to the vast Shinto complex and its Yushukan war museum seems apt as the 59th anniversary of Japan's surrender approaches amid growing concerns of resurgent militarism in the country. For the first time since 1945, Japan has sent soldiers abroad without an international mandate. The deployment of over 500 Self-Defense Force troops to Iraq to participate in the U.S.-led occupation by carrying out humanitarian work followed what was effectively rear-area naval support for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, calls to modify the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9, which was decades if not centuries ahead of its time when promulgated in 1947, are on the rise. Comes into focus every Aug 15 Yasukuni Shrine comes into focus every year on Aug 15, the day Emperor Hirohito announced that his subjects would "endure the unendurable and bear the unbearable," observing that the war "did not turn in Japan's favor, and trends of the world were not advantageous." He did not speak the words "surrender" or "defeat" in his unprecedented radio address. Some of those who flock to the sanctuary on the anniversary seem to represent that ideology, kitted out in 1940s military attire and brandishing rising sun flags. Along with the blue-haired war widows and uniformed rightist thugs paying their respects are the politicians, eager to curry favor with the Japan War-Bereaved Association (Nippon Izokukai), a powerful conservative religio-nationalist group of 800,000 families that is a major backer of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and has influence over how WWII is portrayed in Japanese school textbooks. The association is headquartered steps away from the shrine and close to the Budokan hall, where every year in a government ceremony the chief cabinet secretary repeats the Yasukuni line that Japan's current peace and prosperity are based on the sacrifice of those who died for the nation. During his last visit to the shrine in January, which outraged countries like China that suffered under imperial Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he wanted to "realize anew the preciousness of peace and offer my prayers." Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni, one of which was recently declared unconstitutional by a Fukuoka court for violating the separation of state and religion, may please the association and its LDP patrons, but also harm regional relationships and compromise Japan's diplomacy. "Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine have caused immense damage to Sino-Japanese ties, complicating one of the most important relationships in Asia," says J Sean Curtin, a fellow at the Tokyo-based Japanese Institute of Global Communications. "Instead of laying a traumatic past to rest, Koizumi has unnecessarily resurrected it. His ill-considered Yasukuni visits have awoken a deep-seated anger in many ordinary Chinese people, setting back Sino-Japanese relations by decades. When historians look back on his premiership, they will undoubtedly view his obsession with the shrine and reckless antagonism of China as one of his greatest follies." War cries Like the white doves that roost on the shrine grounds, Koizumi's words are ironic, if not downright cynical, considering that Yasukuni, which means "peaceful country," extols the deeds of men who prosecuted wars of aggression in East Asia. It was established in 1869 by the young Emperor Meiji to honor those who died for his cause in the civil wars against the shogunal ancien regime. His enemies, such as the rebel ex-samurai Takamori Saigo, were not granted apotheosis as kami, a vague term that is also applied to Shinto gods and nature spirits. Later, Tokyo used Yasukuni to fan nationalist passions, and the shrine seems carry on that role even today. Yasukuni, though, is a fascinating site. Accessed through colossal torii gates of wood and metal along an avenue of majestic gingko trees, the shrine occupies pride of place in Tokyo just north of the Imperial Palace. On a recent surrender anniversary, voices of Japanese could be heard rising in song in a grove of cherry trees. The younger ones didn't know the words to the wartime ditty about ace pilots, but the elderly had no problem singing along to a grizzled harmonica player's tune. Near a cherry tree where members of the Jinrai (Divine Thunderbolt) kamikaze squadron promised to meet in the next life, leaflets were being handed out as part of a campaign denouncing a proposal to set up a new national war memorial free of religious and diplomatic implications. Like U.S. memorial to Unknown Soldier "It's not necessary to make another memorial — Yasukuni is just like the U.S. memorial to the Unknown Soldier," said Hiroshi Takasaki, a former corporal in the imperial bodyguard who took part in Japan's 1942 capture of Singapore from British forces. "All those guys went to war thinking they would come back here to Yasukuni." "They died for our country," he added, recalling how a soldier in his regiment perished in British bombing of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal shouting a salute to the emperor. In 1944, Takasaki was charged with taking the ashes of his comrades back to Japan, but his transport, carrying 900 British POWs who had worked the infamous Thai-Burma Railroad, known as Japan's "Railway of Death" for the thousands who died laying it, was torpedoed by a U.S. sub. He floated on the South China Sea for 12 hours and helped some POWs into his raft until rescued by a Japanese ship. After 1945, he worked for Japan's conqueror, the U.S. military. Asked whether Japan fought a war of aggression, he says it may have in China and Manchuria, but added the empire's need for oil forced it to expand into Southeast Asia. Show and tell History is never far away at Yasukuni, whose grounds feature a Noh stage, a sumo ring, an elegant Japanese garden with a carp-filled pond and teahouse. But the main draw is a museum on Japan's checkered military past that recently reopened following a massive renovation and expansion. Visitors to the Yushukan museum, founded in 1882 and the country's oldest, are greeted by a sparkling olive-green Mitsubishi Zero fighter and a black, ominous Model C56 locomotive used on the Thai-Burma Railroad. Alongside are repainted artillery, a 150mm canon used in the Battle of Okinawa and later excavated from a cave, and a howitzer that was dedicated to Yasukuni to "comfort the noble souls of the war dead" after soldiers manning it fought to the last man in the bloody combat on the island in June 1945. The exhibit proper begins on the second floor with an overview of samurai arms, including deadly meter-long tachi swords from the Muromachi period (1333-1568) that still look as though they were forged yesterday. Thoughts by classical scholar Motoori Norinaga hang in long vertical script: "If one asks about the Yamato spirit of these islands, it is like the cherry blossoms that bloom in the morning sun." From here, the exhibit focuses on events before and after the momentous Meiji Restoration of 1868, when power was restored to the emperor and Japan opened to the outside world following centuries of xenophobic shogun rule. The Yushukan slowly builds a case that Japan's growing militarism and expansionism was justified in the face of encroachment on Asia by Western imperialist powers, but visitors may find the history dubious. Commenting on the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, which followed Japan's land and sea victories over China in their struggle for supremacy in Korea, the museum states, "with the treaty ... Korea achieved true independence, which Japan had long hoped for." Only 10 years later, Tokyo would make the peninsula a protectorate, fully annexing it in 1910 and ruling it with an iron fist for 35 years. The Nanjing Massacre of 1937, listed as the "Nanking Incident: Attacking the capital to end hostilities," barely gets a paragraph. "The Chinese were soundly defeated, suffering heavy casualties," it says. "Inside the city, residents were able again to live their lives in peace." The Tokyo war crimes trials, however, estimated Japanese troops killed 42,000 civilians, mostly women and children, after the city fell and over 100,000 people in the vicinity under another Yasukuni deity, General Iwane Matsui, whom the judges sent to the gallows in 1948 for failing to stop the carnage. The beginning of war with the U.S. is portrayed as Tokyo having been pressured to attack Pearl Harbor, from which the famous "tora, tora, tora" telegram is displayed. Japan's 1945 surrender itself is hardly mentioned. The timeline states the emperor "acceded to the Potsdam Declaration" and the war ended. By far the most impressive display of the museum is the Great Exhibition Hall, which showcases WWII armaments. At one end is a 14.5m-long, 8.3-ton black coffin with a 1,550kg payload of explosives in the bow-the Kaiten "human torpedo" was for one-way missions. Pilots were sealed in and aimed at enemy vessels in the South Pacific. At the other end, a white Ohka (Cherry Blossom) suicide glider hangs in mid-air before delivering its 1,200kg warhead. Below it stands a Suisei (Comet) carrier-based bomber used by Special Attack Corps kamikaze pilots, this one found in 1972 in a jungle on Yap Island. A panorama shows models of the Ohka gliders, which formed the Jinrai squad, attached to the bellies of Mitsubishi G4M attack bombers and cruising to battle through a crimson Okinawa sky. Leaving the museum, visitors might hear the old veterans, still singing under the cherry trees: On their wings, the Rising Sun, owners of the Yamato spirit! Most enemy planes are smashed if any remain, come and get it! Propellers and arms ring out: Zoom, zoom, air aces! Zoom and fly away1

Kyodo News 7 Aug 2004 Yasukuni Shrine says its website jammed with too many hits Saturday, August 7, 2004 at 07:16 JST TOKYO — Yasukuni Shrine, an institution often regarded by Japan's Asian neighbors as a symbol of its militarist past, has posted a note on its website saying an unusually large number of access requests from abroad are intermittently causing difficulties for browsers. The website has been drawing a plethora of hits since July 30, seeing at one time more than 30,000 simultaneous hits, an official of the Tokyo shrine's public relations office said Friday. www.yasukuni.or.jp www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/

Chinese hackers attack Japanese Web sites A group of Chinese hackers has launched an attack on about 200 Japanese and Taiwanese Web sites, including the site for Yasukuni Shrine, it was reported Friday. The Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that the attack on the sites was scheduled to continue for about a week. Members of the hacking group were from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and had been given designated roles such as "invaders" and "attackers," the paper said. The group reportedly posted a message on its web site calling for people to attack Japanese servers. The newspaper said the attack was in retaliation for an attack from Japan, in which a hacker wrote "The Senkaku Islands belong to Japan," and deleted data on a site claiming the islands as belonging to China. The Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyu Islands, are claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan. The Web site of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, the Defense Agency and other government sites have been hit with huge amounts of data in attacks since Aug. 1, making access to the sites difficult. Yasukuni Shrine, where war dead, including class-A criminals, are enshrined, said its site had also been hit with a huge number of access requests, causing problems for site visitors. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Aug. 7, 2004)

New Zealand

Worldwide Faith News 5 Aug 2004 5 AUGUST 2004 New Zealand statement on the humanitarian tragedy in Sudan We, Church Leaders in New Zealand, are gravely concerned at the terrible tragedy developing in Darfur, Western Sudan; a disaster that the United Nations has described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Over 1.2 million people have been forced to flee their homes and are now internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring Chad. All are completely dependent on international assistance for the basic necessities of life - water, food, sanitation, shelter, and protection. Conditions in the camps are harsh and people will need ongoing assistance as they deal with the loss of family members, destruction of homes and food crops, disruption of education, trauma of sexual violence and torture, loss of belongings and a lack of health services and infrastructure in their places of refuge - all amidst continuing fear of attack. There are fears that the situation, if not urgently addressed, will echo the Rwanda genocide with the elimination of African ethnic groups by Sudanese government-backed Arab militias. We commend the New Zealand government for its support towards relief efforts and the people of New Zealand for their generous response to the humanitarian appeals to date. The scale of the situation is such that substantial funding is needed. Christian World Service and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand are jointly appealing for donations for ongoing emergency assistance in Darfur and Chad. The New Zealand churches, through Christian World Service and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand have for many years been actively involved in supporting the activities of the New Sudan Council of Churches working for peace, providing assistance to refugees and displaced persons and reconciling war-torn communities. The suffering and violence in Sudan has been going on for too long. Effective international action is needed to support and advance conflict resolution efforts. We call upon the New Zealand government to ensure the Sudan crisis is addressed effectively at the international level, through the United Nations and other international bodies, so that: *The Government of the Sudan genuinely disarms the militia groups in West Sudan and prevents attacks on innocent civilians *The Government of the Sudan provides full access to humanitarian groups into Darfur and makes Government resources available for the delivery of aid *The United Nations and/or the African Union considers all options of providing protection for refugees and relief workers and monitors ceasefire violations and human rights abuse *The ceasefire in South Sudan holds and a permanent peace agreement can be reached that is not at the expense of a just solution in Darfur. We ask the people of New Zealand to show compassion and generosity towards those in need in Darfur and Chad. Contributions to the joint Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Christian World Service (CWS) appeal can be made by contacting: CWS Box 22652, Christchurch, 0800 74 73 72 Caritas PO Box 12-193, Wellington 0800 22 10 22 Signed 2 August 2004 The Most Revd Whakahuihui Vercoe Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Kelvyn Fairhall National Administrator, Baptist Churches of New Zealand Lynne Frith President, Methodist Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Michael Thawley Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Thomas Williams Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand Garth McKenzie Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army - New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga

AP 6 Aug 2004 Jewish chapel, gravestones vandalized in NZ By ASSOCIATED PRESS A Jewish chapel was burned down and dozens of gravestones smashed Friday in what was believed to be the worst-ever anti-Semitic desecration at a cemetery in New Zealand. It was the second assault on Jewish gravesites in three weeks. The first on July 16 came just hours after two Israeli men were imprisoned for passport fraud and labeled spies by New Zealand's government. Jewish Council President David Zwartz said it appeared both acts of vandalism were sparked by the government's diplomatic sanctions against Israel over the spy affair. In Friday's early morning attack, the chapel at Makara Cemetery on the outskirts of Wellington, the national capital, was destroyed by fire and up to 90 headstones at Jewish graves pulled out of the ground and smashed, Detective Sergeant Tim Leitch said. Police found swastikas cut into the cemetery lawn and scratched on the chapel wall. Leitch said it was likely the destruction was a "hate crime" and that it had "disturbed a great number of people" in the local community. On July 16, vandals destroyed historic headstones and cut a swastika into a lawn at the Jewish section of a central Wellington cemetery. Police were not sure if the two attacks were linked, Sgt. Dexter Trail said. There have been no arrests following either. Jewish community member David Schnellenberg said the attack was the worst since Jewish settlers first arrived in New Zealand. "The sheer number of gravestones destroyed, the chapel burnt beyond repair, this has never happened before in New Zealand's Jewish history," he told National Radio. Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast branded the attack as an "act of violence and hatred." Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen said, "Racism of any sort is ugly and unforgivable and has no place in New Zealand." Zwartz said some attitudes toward New Zealand's Jewish community had deteriorated since the spy scandal. "We see a progression from hate speech to hate action," he said. Prime Minister Helen Clark suspended high-level diplomatic contacts with Israel after two Israeli men attempted to illegally obtain a New Zealand passport. She said the pair were working for Israeli intelligence agencies.

home.nzcity.co.nz 7 Aug 2004 Govt committee will consider if legislation against "hate language" necessary; Minister asks for anti-Semitism to be condemned 7 August 2004 The Justice Minister has welcomed a bipartisan initiative from a parliamentary committee to hold an inquiry into hate speech. The Government Administration Select Committee will look at whether legislative action is needed to deal with incitement of racial or sexual hatred. Minister Phil Goff says freedom of speech is a right and people cannot be stopped from having opinions. He says parliament's role is to try to find a balance between expressing opinion and when that opinion starts to harm other individuals. Meanwhile, the Ethnic Affairs Minister is calling on New Zealanders to support the Jewish community in the face of another outbreak of anti-Semitism. A prayer house and was set alight and 93 graves desecrated in the Jewish section of Wellington's Makara Cemetery. It is the second such attack in a month. Minister Chris Carter says he will ask his parliamentary colleagues next week to formally condemn anti-Semitism. He says the despicable acts at Makara have no place in our country.


washingtonpost.com 9 Aug 2004 Explosions at Islamic School Kill 8, Injure 42 in Pakistan By Zarar Khan Associated Press Monday, August 9, 2004; Page A10 KARACHI, Pakistan, Aug. 8 -- Two bombs ripped through an Islamic school Sunday, killing eight people and injuring 42 in the latest outbreak of violence gripping this southern port city. The blasts detonated near a restaurant close to the school, where thousands of Sunni Muslims study, said Fayyaz Leghari, a senior Karachi police official. An unknown number of the victims were students. There was no assertion of responsibility. A spokesman for the school, Ghulam Rabbani, said there were two explosions -- the first apparently intended to draw a crowd. "The first one was smaller. When people got to the site there was another explosion," he said. Officials initially reported an explosion near a prominent seminary with a similar name, Jamia Islamia Binori Town, which had links with the Taliban in Afghanistan. They later said two blasts had occurred at Jamia Binoria, a different school near an industrial area in Karachi. More than 100 police officers and paramilitary troops blocked off streets in the blast area Sunday night. Explosives experts defused another bomb hidden in a plastic shopping bag near the scene of Sunday night's blasts, Leghari said. Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, condemned the attack and expressed grief over the killings, state-run Pakistan Television reported. He appealed for people to help keep peace in Karachi, a city in which revenge violence is common. The explosion shattered windows at the restaurant and other nearby buildings. The burned wreckage of the motorcycle in which one of the bombs was planted lay with glass and other pieces of rubble strewn on the street. "We were drinking tea in the restaurant when the first bomb exploded. We rushed outside" said Hayaullah Khan, 20, a student at the school, with tea spilled over his traditional white shalwar kameez outfit. Karachi, Pakistan's main port city and commercial center, is believed to be a hideout for Islamic militants, some with suspected links to al Qaeda. In recent months, the city has been the scene of bombings and attacks targeting Westerners and security forces, including an assassination attempt against a senior general in June. The general survived, but 10 other people were killed. Officials have said much of the violence in the city of more than 10 million is the work of people angered by Musharraf's decision to support the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism. On Saturday, a bomb killed two people outside a car dealership in the part of Karachi where Pakistani police had arrested Ramzi Binalshibh, an al Qaeda operative, after a shootout in September 2002.

Sri Lanka

UN News Centre 6 Aug 2004 Sri Lankan judge appointed to United Nations war crimes tribunal for Rwanda 6 August 2004 – J. Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka has become a permanent judge of the United Nations war crimes tribunal for Rwanda, replacing his compatriot, Judge Asoka Gunawardena, who resigned in June. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Judge de Silva to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) last week after an exchange of letters with the Security Council and the General Assembly. The new judge's term expires in 2007. The 58-year judge has served on Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court since August 2001. Before that he was a judge on the Court of Appeal for six years, eventually rising to become that chamber’s President. Judge de Silva also has extensive experience as a government lawyer and prosecutor. The ICTR was set up by the UN to try people responsible for genocide and other serious humanitarian crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994. Estimates vary but at least 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus, are thought to have been murdered during a nationwide orgy of killing. .


english.aljazeera.net 3 Aug 2004 Pay out for Thai massacre victims Thai commission: Massacre due to inexperienced officers The Thai government has promised to pay compensation to the families of Muslims massacred in a mosque by its forces on one of the bloodiest days in the country's history. The government admitted on Tuesday that troops used excessive force when they stormed the mosque in April in the country's troubled south during, what it called, "a failed rebellion" that resulted in 108 Muslims killed and five members of the security forces dead. The raid on the Krue Se mosque was the bloodiest event on a day of fierce fighting with soldiers using eight grenades and heavy weaponry, but the crisis could have ended peacefully, according to the four-page summary of a report released on Tuesday. An independent committee that investigated the killings said troops should have surrounded the mosque while negotiations brought the stand-off to a peaceful end. It criticised the use of grenades and said the force employed was "disproportionate". "The prime minister wanted this information to be made public, so that the public would know that officers were lacking experience and insight that led to the incident," said government spokesman Jakrapob Penkhair. He said the government would offer unspecified compensation to the families of the 32 who were killed and the three members of the security forces who died at the mosque. Lack of accountability "The government will pay compensation in money and assistance to both sides killed at the mosque but it cannot be expressed in financial terms since some would be offered in scholarships," said the spokesman. The government has promised to improve training for security officers to prevent a repeat of the massacre. However, the government has made no mention as to whether the "inexperienced officers" who were responsible for the massacre would be charged or brought to book. The summary was released after a cabinet meeting to analyse the report by a committee headed by a former judge. It was not immediately clear if the government was to release the other 28 pages. Thai, Malay co-operation Thailand and Malaysia are due to finalise a master plan this week to develop their border areas, Thai officials said on Tuesday. They said the Joint Development Strategy (JDS) was due to be approved by Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Malaysian counterpart Syed Hamid Albar in Bangkok on Thursday. The JDS would cover road links, trade, tourism, agriculture, energy, education, human resources and disaster relief which would help make the relatively poor Thai south more prosperous and so provide an incentive to end the violence that erupted in January, they said. Among the projects was a bridge across Kolok River linking Takbai in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat to the Malaysian town of Bukit Bunga in Kelantan state, Surakiart said. The scheme, which followed a summit between the leaders of both countries in January, covers Malaysia's four northern states of Perlis, Kelantan, Kedah and Perak, and the southern provinces. Thai officials declined to say how much the scheme would cost, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Sihasak Phuangketkeow said at least 800 million baht ($19m) would be spent in the first year, starting 2005. Aljazeera + Agencies

AFP 5 Aug 2004 Thai commander of mosque massacre steps down BANGKOK : The Thai army commander who ordered an assault on a mosque which killed 32 militants in the country's south in April has resigned over the controversial raid, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said. General Pallop Pinmanee stood down in the wake of a damning report which determined that forces under his command used excessive force when they raided the historic mosque in Pattani province on April 28. He left his post Wednesday as deputy chief of the Southern Border Provinces Peace-building Command but reportedly will continue to serve in internal security capacities. "You must understand that soldiers will be responsible for what they have done," Thaksin told reporters Thursday. "Pallop is a real soldier. When others complained that his actions were not right he showed responsibility by resigning in good spirits." The premier stopped short of acknowledging any wrongdoing by Pallop, however, and took a defensive stance against the report by a government-appointed commission investigating the mosque massacre. "The report did not blame soldiers. It concluded that excessive force should not have been used on that day, but it is understandable that there was a lot of pressure on that day," Thaksin said. "There were soldiers killed and weapons stolen, and there was concern there might be more (militants) to come to try and rescue the militants holed up in the mosque." The fact-finding commission concluded that troops were too heavy-handed when they stormed the Krue Se mosque on a day when 108 militants and five security forces were killed in southern Thailand. Soldiers used grenades and heavy weaponry against the lightly-armed militants who fled to the mosque after attacking a checkpoint, according to a four-page summary of the report released Tuesday. But the inquiry team said the crisis could have ended peacefully and called on the government to compensate victims from both sides, a finding that the government has accepted. The tough-talking Pallop defended his leadership in the attack and slammed the commission members, comprising a former constitutional judge and several Muslim scholars, as "civilians who know nothing about the strategy of soldiers," the Nation newspaper reported. He also reportedly rejected the policy of compensating families of the victims and accused the government of making too many concessions. "Is the government going to wrap Thai flags on the corpses of these bandits if the community asks for it?" he said in the English-language daily. Human rights activists had demanded Wednesday that Pallop be held accountable for the massacre. The Asian Human Rights Commission demanded a full judicial inquiry into the killings after the government indicated that the officers in charge of the assault would not be punished.

Timor Leste

ABC Radio Australia News 8 Aug 2004 www.abc.net.au ETimor against an international court to trial Indonesians East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta says his country is opposed to the establishment of an international court to try Indonesians accused of crimes during East Timor's struggle for independence. He says his government does not want to undermine relations with Jakarta or exacerbate tensions inside Indonesia. Human rights groups have called for an international tribunal after an Indonesian appeals court cleared four members of the security forces of crimes against humanity. But Mr Ramos-Horta says a tribunal is not a priority. We also have to understand Indonesia's own difficulties. It's a country in transition which is still a very fragile movement towards establishment of democracy, ... of democracy. There are different forces at play in Indonesia and any international movement towards establishment of an international tribunal for East Timor could actually play into the hands of the fundamentalists. 10/08/2004 04:32:40 |


07 August 2004 1251 hrs Vietnam denies Montagnards forced to take part in propaganda film HANOI : Vietnam denied claims by a US-based advocacy group that it forced ethnic minority villagers to stage a re-enactment of Easter anti-government protests so they could film acts of violence. Citing sources in Vietnam's troubled Central Highlands, the Montagnard Foundation said residents of the Buon Tul village in Dak Lak province's Buon Don district were forced to take part in the documentary on July 7. The South Carolina-based organization claimed that soldiers and police threatened to kill anyone who refused. The government has used the film to show diplomats and foreign journalists that the minority people, who are known as Montagnards, acted violently during widespread protests in the region over the Easter weekend of April 10-11. "The information from this so-called Montagnard Foundation is utterly preposterous and does not deserve comment," foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung said in comments published on the ministry's website. He did not specifically address other allegations made by the organization of human rights abuses committed by security forces in the Central Highlands against the Christian Montagnards during June and July. The New York-based Human Rights Watch says hundreds of people were wounded and at least 10 were killed in the impoverished region by security forces and civilians acting on their behalf. The Montagnard Foundation says the actual death toll is far higher. The government, however, insists only two people died and has blamed the protests on the foundation, which it says is instigating efforts to establish an independent state in the region. Hanoi has vowed to severely punish anyone inciting further unrest. Following the protests hundreds of Montagnards fled their homes fearing retribution. The United Nations refugee agency has already moved 198 Montagnards to Phnom Penh from Cambodia's remote northeastern jungles. On Tuesday Cambodian rights group Adhoc said that 42 others still remain in hiding. The Vietnamese government has accused the UN agency of luring Montagnards to Cambodia with offers of political asylum. The Easter clashes were the first large-scale demonstrations in the Central Highlands since February 2001, when security forces forcibly broke up protests by about 20,000 Montagnards, triggering a mass exodus into Cambodia.



Reuters 5 Aug 2004 17:26:18 GMT Massacre village rejects freed general's contrition By Nedim Dervisbegovic AHMICI, Bosnia, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Muslim survivors of one of the most vicious massacres in Bosnia's 1992-95 war on Thursday dismissed as hypocrisy a Croat war criminal's wish to come to their village to pay his respects to the 116 victims. They said such a visit by the wartime Croat militia commander in central Bosnia, General Tihomir Blaskic, would add insult to injury. Blaskic was cleared of responsibility for the Ahmici massacre last week by the U.N. war crimes court in The Hague, which slashed his 45-year sentence on appeal to nine years for more than a dozen war crimes, leading to his release this week. Shocked British troops of the United Nations force found that Muslims of all ages had been savagely killed and many incinerated in their homes in the remote village on April 6, 1993. "He is not welcome here. We don't need his mercy now. He should have shown it in 1993," said 29-year-old Elvedin Kermo, head of the local survivors' association. Blaskic was the fifth of nine Croats originally charged to be cleared of either planning or executing the crime. Two masterminds and two perpetrators were convicted for the massacre and another man is on trial. Blaskic had formal command over the Bosnian Croat forces in the area but was found not to have had control on the ground. Political leader Dario Kordic was sentenced in 2001 to 25 years in prison for planning and ordering the massacre. Blaskic, 43, had been in prison since 1996. He received a hero's welcome on Tuesday from supporters in Croatia and Bosnia. HOSTILE MOOD At a rally on Wednesday, he said he wanted to go to Ahmici and "bow before the victims of this horrendous crime". "Justice will win the moment when all those responsible for crimes have been processed, including those for Ahmici and for all other crimes," he told reporters, in contrite remarks unfamiliar in Bosnia, where reconciliation is slow at best. Blaskic had to drop the visit in the face of strong Muslim objections. He said he hoped to live long enough to make the trip, but the mood in Ahmici remained hostile. "His visit would be a provocation, just as his supporters provoked us after the news from The Hague when they drove around in cars and waved Croatian flags," said Kermo. For Sulejman Pezer, a Blaskic visit would be "hypocrisy". Blaskic may have not planned and ordered the massacre, said Pezer, sitting in the shade on a humid summer day in front of the house to which he and his wife returned in 1998. "But he did nothing to stop it, to punish those who committed it or to help identify them," said the 65-year-old whose father, mother, brother and 16 other relatives died in the massacre. Most of about 400 Muslims who survived the massacre have returned to Ahmici where they are again neighbours to a few dozen Croats, including the Kupreskic brothers Zoran and Mirjan and their cousin Vlatko, who were cleared on appeal of massacre charges in 2001. But the two groups have little contact and separate schools. "They now say it wasn't our neighbours who took part in the massacre. They say paramilitary units were brought in to carry it out," Pezer said. "But who told them where each of us lived and how to call us out of houses by name?"

NYT 6 Aug 2004 BOOKS OF THE TIMES | 'THE STONE FIELDS' On the Killing Fields of Bosnia, Invoking Mother Courage By RICHARD EDER THE STONE FIELDS An Epitaph for the Living By Courtney Angela Brkic 316 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24 n the stony fields of Herzegovina the peasants are as horny-skinned, seamed and sun-darkened as farmers in the photographs from our own Depression years. Caring precariously for her frail baby, Courtney Angela Brkic's Croatian grandmother, Andelka, was instructed by a village neighbor to put a pine cone in his cradle. To acquaint him with hardship. She hardly needed the advice. She could remember a little sister holding a china cup decorated in a rose pattern — perhaps the only delicate thing in their mother's rough cottage — and asking, "Are we like roses?" Soon to die, their mother threw open the door and gestured at the hills outside. "We're the brush that clings to the rocky ground." Andelka clung. Orphaned and raising her sisters, widowed young when her husband died of typhoid, moving to Sarajevo, living a brief idyll until the war, when her Jewish lover was taken away and killed in a notorious concentration camp run by the Germans' fascist Croatian allies. Then losing her sons, grown and in trouble with Tito's Communists, to emigration. Through all this she clung like the brush, or a Balkan Mother Courage, until her grasp weakened and courage failed. "The Stone Fields" is a pine cone that Ms. Brkic (pronounced BER-kitch) has rolled into our cradle to acquaint us with hardship. Not Andelka's hardship; in fact the grandmother's story, written with lyrical precision, provides much of the buoyancy and lovely evocation in a memoir that knows a darker pain and darkly denounces it. It is the genocide that took place in Bosnia in the early 1990's, whose most atrocious example was the elimination by Bosnian Serbs of an estimated 7,000 Muslim inhabitants in the town of Srebenica. As for the cradle: with most horrors at a distance, the world has pretty much gone back to dozing, in this case after a few years of undoubted outrage and effort. Ms. Brkic does not tolerate sleep; she wars against forgetting. Yet if it were simply denunciation and recounting of what was so amply recounted at the time, her book would lack its unique quality. Contemporary accounts of a tragedy are like temporary grave markers. Instead, the author has carved a funeral monument, its artistry marred sometimes but in the main enhanced by the rough cuts of her chisel. She has thrust herself into the present of a past that dates back 10 years. What is the present of an old massacre? Two things: the dead and missing and the bereft. What Ms. Brkic did seems obvious yet it surprises. First she spent time with refugee wives, mothers and siblings of the 7,000 — undoubtedly dead yet mostly unable, even when disinterment and identification got under way, to offer the one consolation a dead person can leave behind, the certainty of the corpse. One mother insisted that each time the telephone rang and there was no voice (common enough to that rickety phone system), it meant her son was alive, captive and sending her a message. After that Ms. Brkic, who had worked in the United States as an archaeologist, joined the forensic and excavation teams to help dig up the victims from their mass graves and examine them. She made herself a bridge, that is, from silence as crippled hope to silence as the end of hope. She restored the victim to its mourners. And, to the heaps of bones and decaying flesh, she restored the mourners. For their own sanity the excavators could only treat the remains with professional abstraction. (Try not to look at faces or hands, one advised her.) The mourners alone could manifest the reality and dignity of what lived once and was so hideously cut down. Of course it's symbolic restoration. Ms. Brkic could not materially connect the dead with the bereaved. She was only a small part of the operation, and she couldn't bear to stay more than a few weeks. She failed to imitate her co-workers' indispensable objectivity; her outrage puzzled and even angered them, and all the more because when she wept some of them did too. What she succeeded at was something different. For readers it is as if by connecting two disconnected electrical poles she released a fulminating current of pity, terror and outrage. Ms. Brkic's wiring can be shaky; her current sparks and sputters. Her passion is unquestionably real, but we may feel she turns it a bit to catch the light better; at times we get the sense of an actor moving into position so as to declaim from it. Yet it hardly matters. Atrocity lives on in the mind not by the ugliness of the violation but by the fairness, or at least wholeness, of what was violated. It is here that the life of Andelka, with its moments of beauty as well as suffering, plays its part: a notion of human dignity held up in the background while the author tries to disinter the inhuman. There is, besides, Ms. Brkic herself, displaying marks on her own wholeness. From the excavations she flees back to Zagreb, where her great-aunts live. She examines her face in the mirror, inventorying it for what lasts — the bones, that is, and eliminating eyes, cheeks, lips. She writes down a scar, then erases, "when I remembered that skin was unlikely to survive." She takes up with a Croatian army officer, veteran of the brutal war between Croatia and Serbia. He is a man of extraordinary sweetness, and it is a while before the darkness emerges. A Roman Catholic, he goes to confession frequently but never takes communion. God — to translate — forgives him, but he can't forgive himself. Neither, finally and after other twists, does the author. Meanwhile, lying beside him — "the flow of his blood was like water singing through rock" — she conjures up what will last: "Beneath the warm skin were the plates of his cranium, the sutures where entire continents met in his childhood and fused over the ocean of his mind. The gentle, breakable bones of his face were like china, or the hollow bones of birds. They were as fragile as calcified breath."


AP 20 Aug 2004 Croatian Court Orders War Crimes Retrials Friday August 20, 2004 2:31 AM AP Photo ZAG102 By EUGENE BRCIC Associated Press Writer ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - The Supreme Court ordered the retrial Thursday of eight former Croatian military officials exonerated by a lower court for the torture and slaying of ethnic Serbs in a wartime prison. A five-member panel of judges upheld a prosecution appeal, ruling that the original trial was fraught with ``serious flaws in criminal procedure as well as erroneous and incomplete facts.'' District prosecutors indicted the eight military police officers in early 2002, accusing them of random arrests, torture and killings of ethnic Serbs and Yugoslav army officers at the Lora military prison in 1992. At least two inmates died of severe abuse. Scores of others were seriously injured at the jail in the coastal city of Split. Testimony also suggested detainees were deprived of food and water. The war crimes trial highlighted one of the darkest chapters of Croatia's war against rebel minority Serbs, who took up arms to oppose the country's secession from the old Serb-dominated Yugoslav federation in 1991. Human rights organizations roundly criticized Judge Slavko Lozina's acquittal of the group in November 2002. Lozina, a conservative often seen at nationalist demonstrations, refused to guarantee the safety of key witnesses from neighboring Serbia-Montenegro, local media have reported. Croatia's legal system has been undergoing a major overhaul as part of its efforts to join the European Union and NATO.


AP 6 Aug 2004 Muslim graves vandalized By ASSOCIATED PRESS Vandals painted swastikas on the tombstones of Muslim soldiers who fought in the service of France, at a military cemetery in the east of the country, officials said Friday. About 15 headstones at the cemetery in the Cronenbourg neighborhood in Strasbourg were desecrated. Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin condemned the act and expressed "solidarity with the Muslim community and veterans' associations affected by this new act of vandalism." The attack was the latest in a months-long barrage of anti-Muslim graffiti around France. Several cemeteries containing Muslim graves were vandalized in a similar manner in June. In the last several years, France has also suffered a wave of violence against Jewish schools, synagogues and cemeteries.

BBC 25 Aug 2004 Paris marks liberation from Nazis By Peter Biles BBC correspondent in Paris Liberation! French citizens wave American flags Thousands of people in Paris are preparing to mark the anniversary of the city's liberation in World War II. Sixty years ago, the Nazi troops who had occupied the French capital for four years, surrendered. There will be military parades and a concert in Notre Dame cathedral to celebrate one of the city's defining moments. The French attach special significance to the liberation of Paris - because, they say, they freed themselves. The liberation of Paris in August 1944 came less than three months after the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. But Parisians paid a heavy price for their 10-day uprising against the Germans. More than a thousand civilians - including members of the French resistance - were killed. Allied relations The liberation of Paris was a hugely symbolic event in helping to rid France of the shame of four years of collaboration with the Nazis. There will be a military reconstruction of the events of 60 years ago. Two columns of vehicles, one French and one American, will make their way through the city. Later, President Chirac will be the guest of honour at an official ceremony organised by the Paris City authorities. There will be some acknowledgement of the part that Allied forces played in the liberation of Paris, but unlike D-Day, this anniversary will be a largely French celebration - a tribute to the men and women whose courage restored France's national pride. That, in turn, did much to shape new relationships among the Allies in the post-war years.


AFP 10 Aug 2004 Fighting breaks out between Georgia, separatist region: report MOSCOW, Aug 11 (AFP) - Fighting broke out early Wednesday between Georgia and its separatist, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia, with shots coming from the Georgian positions, not far from the Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, the Interfax news agency reported. The outskirts of Tskhinvali and two Ossetian villages nearby were under fire, while there were no reports of casualties. The fighting erupted at 12:45 am (2045 GMT). After a brief lull, fighting resumed at 02:35 am (2235 GMT), with mortar shots being fired on Tskhinvali from the Georgian village of Tamaresheni, Interfax reported, adding that some buildings in Tskhinvali had suffered damage. A senior South Ossetian official told Interfax that there were no casualties. "Residents of Tskhinvali have gone out on the street so as not to be injured in their homes," said the head of South Ossetia's Information and Press Committee, Irina Gagloyeva. However, a Georgian police official told the RIA Novosti news agency that shots had come from the South Ossetian positions and were aimed at Georgian villages. The Georgian official, regional police head Alexander Sukhitashvili, also said there were no casualties. Georgia's defense minister, who is currently on a visit to Moscow, said Tuesday that his country was ready to fight if needed to win back South Ossetia but would prefer to resolve the dispute through negotiation. "The army should always be prepared for war, but we are against it in principle and will do everything possible to avoid armed conflict," Georgy Baramidze told Moscow Echo radio. His comments followed talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, and came amid growing tension between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region. Georgia's new President Mikhail Saakashvili has vowed to win back control over South Ossetia and another Georgian separatist region, Abkhazia, which both broke away from Tbilisi after bitter fighting in the early 1990s.


www.forward.com 9 July 2004 Forward ForumForward Forum Then They Came for the Gypsies: The Legacy of Death's Calculator By EDWIN BLACK July 9, 2004 In April 1941, a Romanian census taker came to the home of a suspected Roma Gypsy working as a blacksmith in the picturesque town of Schaas. The senior Nazi statistical official observing the process wrote, "He did not dare to deny his ethnical descent as Gypsy." The census taker instructed: "Now, please write: Gypsy." Shortly thereafter, that Gypsy blacksmith's census questionnaire, filled out by simple pencil, joined thousands of similar questionnaires at the Romanian Central Institute for Statistics facility. This facility was equipped with the latest IBM Hollerith high-speed punch-card machines, specifically programmed for the Romanian census. IBM's Hollerith punch-card system stored any information, such as ethnic type, profession and residential location, in the rows and columns strategically punched. The cards could then be counted and cross-tabulated at the rate of 24,000 cards per hour, yielding almost any permutation of data. To help systematize the persecution and extermination of minorities, the Romanians used custom-designed punch cards, printed exclusively by IBM, which included special columns and rows for all ethnic groups, including Roma Gypsies. The printed census forms were approved for compatibility by IBM engineers, ensuring each of the numbered boxes on the printed census forms corresponded to the designated punch-card column. Because this was a state-of-the-art census, the women operating IBM equipment were all at least high school educated. Within a year of being identified, an estimated 25,000 Gypsies were rounded up pursuant to the Romanian Interior Minister's order #70S/1942. Typically, roadblocks were set up on the outskirts of town as gendarmes, with lists of names, fanned out to arrest the Gypsies. Gypsies were then deported in trains, which were scheduled and tracked by IBM's leased and regularly serviced Hollerith machines. Their destination was a death of starvation, beatings or execution every bit as horrible as that experienced by the Jews of Romania. The Nazi census expert observing the Romanian census was Friedrich Burgdörfer, president of the Bavarian Office for Statistics in Munich. Ludwig Hümmer, an IBM punch-card expert working in IBM's German subsidiary, Dehomag, accompanied Burgdörfer to Romania. Hümmer went to Romania only reluctantly since he was not receiving a commission on the punch-card business in Romania. Romania was a sales territory operated directly from New York. But Hümmer was specifically instructed to assist in the Romanian census by Werner Lier, IBM's general manager in Geneva, Switzerland. Lier acted with the full knowledge of IBM president Thomas J. Watson. Recently, IBM's role as a willing accomplice in the mass murders of Gypsies — and indeed, the larger question of its Swiss operation — has come back to haunt the technology company. Big Blue has refused to answer the charges since the first simultaneous disclosures in 40 countries on February 11, 2001, that IBM knowingly systemized Hitler's persecution and extermination of Europe's Jews, directly from New York and through its subsidiaries in Europe coordinated through the Swiss office. But on June 22, a Swiss appellate Court ruled that a compensation suit filed by the Gypsy International Recognition and Compensation Action could proceed. "The precision, speed and reliability of IBM's machines," the Swiss judge ruled, "especially related to the censuses of the German population and racial biology by the Nazis, were praised in the publications of Dehomag itself, the branch of respondent IBM. It does not thus seem unreasonable to deduce that IBM's technical assistance facilitated the tasks of the Nazis in the commission of their crimes against humanity, acts also involving accountancy and classification by IBM machines and utilized in the concentration camps themselves." The judge's ruling pointedly added: "In view of the preceding, IBM's complicity with material and intellectual assistance in the criminal acts of the Nazis during the Second World War by means of its Geneva establishment does not appear to be ruled out, as there is a great deal of evidence indicating that the Geneva establishment was aware that it was aiding and supporting these acts." IBM has consistently stated through its spokesmen that it has no information about how its machines were being used. But that is the opposite of what IBM itself stated during World War II to American investigators probing IBM's Geneva office. Werner Lier, IBM's European manager in Geneva until Germany surrendered, was the company's top officer in Europe, involved with virtually every transaction in every country throughout the war. Lier himself defined IBM Geneva not as an autonomous, detached office — but as a nexus, which simply implemented the business decisions made by IBM New York. On April 29, 1942, Lier outlined for the American consul in Geneva exactly how IBM Geneva operated. "You will readily understand," explained Lier, "that this office is a clearing office between the local organizations in the various countries and the New York Headquarters." Lier added that IBM New York made all the decisions. His function was simply to monitor the business and keep the records. "The European Headquarters in Geneva," Lier explained, "are, in a way, a representative of the World Headquarters in New York, whose job it is to manage and control European affairs... In short, the functions of the Geneva Office are purely administrative." Lier emphasized, "When the local offices [in different countries] require machines or material from our factories in the United States, they pass the order to the Geneva Office which, in turn, transmits it to the New York Headquarters for handling and supplying the machines direct to the local office." Switzerland was the commercial nexus of World War II. Its famous financial secrecy laws, neutrality and willingness to trade with enemies made Switzerland the Third Reich's preferred repository for pilfered assets and a switchboard for Nazi-era commercial intrigue. In 1935, when talk of war in Europe became pervasive, Watson moved the company's European headquarters from Paris to Geneva. As a Swiss national, Lier freely traveled to and from Germany, the occupied territories and neutral countries, micro-managing company affairs for Watson. Census was one of Lier's most important projects. IBM, through Lier and the Swiss office, moved its machines from place to place around Europe as Nazi-allied regimes required them. For example, the Romanian census presented a huge business opportunity involving many machines and millions of custom punch cards — which only IBM printed. Watson had been preparing for the Romanian census and similar censuses for years. As far back as 1938, Geneva official J C. Milner advised New York, "During 1940, the census will be taken in several countries, and we expect a number of orders." Milner hoped IBM New York could develop a special IBM census tabulator in time. On October 10, 1941, Lier visited Berlin to review arrangements to supply the Romanians. He wrote to Watson's personal assistant Harrison K. Chauncey in New York: "As regards the Census... neither we nor the Dehomag have been able to obtain any precise information as regards the specifications of the machines which are needed in Bucharest. I agreed, exceptionally, to Mr. Hümmer going to Bucharest together with a representative of the German Statistical Office [Friedrich Burgdörfer] in order to analyze the whole situation. The commercial side of these two subjects has been dealt with direct with [two IBM executives in Geneva] Mr. [Jurriaan] Schotte and Mr. [J.C.] Milner." The Romanian business was not in Dehomag's commission portfolio. It was an enterprise of IBM New York. Because Dehomag employees received no commission outside the Reich, IBM New York and IBM Geneva were uncertain whether German employees could be relied upon to carry out IBM projects elsewhere in Europe. Weeks before in 1941, when Watson's personal assistant Chauncey had inquired whether tabulators had been dispatched to Romania, German manager Karl Hummel responded with what seemed like a lack of initiative: "We have not furnished any to Romania." He seemed to be waiting for direct orders, saying, "If Geneva gives us an order for Romania, we will fill it." But for Lier, Romania was clearly a priority. When he arrived in Berlin in the fall of 1941, "One of the first matters discussed with them," Lier reported to Chauncey on October 10, 1941, "was that of the Romanian census and the machines destined for this business, which are actually blocked in Poland." The day before, Lier had sent a more formal letter to Watson himself to allay any concerns: "On the occasion of my visit to Berlin," Lier wrote, "I also settled a few pending matters, such as the machines blocked in Poland [and] the Romanian census... I am addressing separate reports to the executives concerned in New York." Lier felt that if only he could contact the Romanian embassy, diplomats could use their connection with Reich offices in occupied Poland to forward the machines through the war zone. He called IBM's best contact in Berlin, American commercial attaché Sam Woods. "Thanks to Mr. Woods," Lier reported to IBM New York, "I obtained an interview with the Romanian Commercial Attaché who immediately endeavored to obtain the freeing of approximately seventeen machines at present blocked in Poland from the Devisenstelle [Foreign Currency Office] and the German Authorities... I have been given every assurance as to the satisfactory outcome of this demand." Shortly thereafter, Lier did effect the transfer of Dehomag machines to IBM's Romanian subsidiary. Even Nazi census master Burgdörfer admitted, in a journal article, that Romania's Central Statistical Institute was "unusually well-equipped." Romania's massive census was so sophisticated it even enumerated which Roma Gypsies were already refugees or already interned in concentration camps. Hence, IBM's punch card was designed to record such designations as "temporarily absent" for refugees and "in a concentration camp." No wonder that even Burgdörfer praised the census as "an extraordinarily extensive (maybe even too vast) program of registration." Burgdörfer elaborated on how the census takers handled Gypsies afraid to admit their extraction. "Settled gypsies," wrote Burgdörfer, "wanted to avoid answering on the question of ethnicity with the specific term 'gypsy' and often claimed they were Romanians... Therefore, counting officials and inspectors received orders to make the official entries according to the countees' wishes, but add a comment stating that in their opinion or in the general opinion of the community they were considered to be Gypsies." Hence, the IBM tabulations would record them as Gypsy regardless of the ethnic box checked. "Even more difficult is the statistical registration of so-called forest gypsies and wandering gypsies," Burgdörfer continued. "We met a number of forest gypsies (these are gypsies, who — for a small compensation to the owner of the forest — settle temporarily in a part of the woods, in order to produce wooden spoons and the like, which they proceed to sell on towns' markets) in the area of Strehaia. And soon afterwards in the same region we met so-called wandering gypsies, who make their camps somewhere along the road and who earn their living by mending pots and the like, apart from begging and thievery. In this case, we could check if the registration of wandering gypsies worked this time... but wasn't successful in earlier censuses." Burgdörfer explained how special measures were needed to make sure all three types of Gypsies were registered. "At the census of 1941 police stations," he recounted, "... each police station had to try on the date of the census to register all wandering gypsies using the census lists. They had to report to the Central Institute of Statistics, if there were wandering gypsies present in their territory at the time of the census and if this was the case, they had to include them in the census; if it wasn't reported, than it was 'a dead loss.' Dead losses were to be examined in a special post-control. In this fashion it is hoped that in the census of 1941 all gypsies — not only settled, but also forest gypsies and primarily wandering gypsies — are registered completely." The census was also used as an identification card. "Every head of the household recorded in the census," stated Burgdörfer, "has to receive a receipt and carry it at all times. On the road Dr. Golopentia stopped a group of wandering gypsies and demanded to see their certification, which they could produce — much to my surprise." The same method of census-receipt identification had been pioneered against Jews in Poland just before they were sent to concentration sites and ghettos. Prior to IBM's 1941 system of census cross-tabulation, all three different types of Gypsies in Romania, regardless of whether they wandered, resided in forest camps or settled in villages, could not all be efficiently identified. "An exact investigation of gypsies in numbers has not been possible until today," boasted Burgdörfer, "but everyone hopes that by special control measures for wandering gypsies, etc., this census will result in a somewhat proper registration of gypsy totality." That said, he remained skeptical about Gypsies of mixed descent. He lamented that it was "bordering on impossible, to statistically register Gypsy half-breeds, who pose a serious problem, from a race-psychological perspective." He concluded, "The total number of [Romanian] Gypsies (without counting Gypsy half-breeds) is estimated to be 300,000." IBM's subsidiary in Bucharest was incorporated on March 4, 1938, as Compania Electrocontabila Watson with approximately $240,000 in equipment, punch cards and leaseable machines. The unit quickly became profitable. The subsidiary's main clients were the Communications Ministry, census bureaus, statistical offices and railroads. Watson's decision to incorporate coincided with Romania embarking on an enhanced war footing. This martial program would include massive orders of Hollerith equipment and punch cards. IBM Europe was unable to fill all the leases requested by Bucharest, but it ramped up production to meet the need. IBM New York was kept apprised of the progress by Geneva. Company executives had worked with Romanian military committees early in the war to scrutinize each commercial installation in the country, identifying which could be requisitioned by the War Ministry. These machines were to be relocated to secure sites in the countryside when fighting broke out. Special arrangements with the Romanian War Ministry exempted IBM supervisors and engineers from the draft to assure continuity of service. A few months after Lier arranged the shipment of 17 additional machines from Poland to Bucharest to process the Romanian census, the United States declared war. Shortly thereafter, Axis-aligned Romania was deemed enemy territory under General Ruling 11. But IBM needed to finalize commissions owed to the Italian bank in Bucharest that covered delivery guarantees. Writing on June 18, 1942, on corporate letterhead displaying equally the name of IBM in New York and IBM Europe in Geneva, Lier tried to secure from the American commercial attaché in Bern a special license to pay the bank commissions. Lier wrote, "In the middle of last year, our Romanian company contracted a large order with the Romanian census authorities for the execution of the census of the population of Romania. Prior to giving that order to our Romanian company, the Romanian Government required a bank guarantee to be filed with the Banque Commerciale Italienne et Roumaine in Bucharest to cover the delivery of the equipment foreseen by the order... May we therefore request you to issue a license which would authorize us to cover the amount of Lei 111,348 by remitting this amount in Swiss Francs to the Societe de Banque Suisse in Geneva." The American legation denied Lier's request and suggested he contact the Treasury Department in the United States. Lier asked IBM New York to handle the matter directly with Washington. As late as January 1944, Jurraand Schotte, formerly of the Swiss office and now Lier's counterpart in New York, acknowledged to Justice Department investigator Harold Carter that he knew that punch cards at the Central Institute of Statistics contained information on census, population trends and "special studies of all minority groups in Romania." Schotte also confirmed that Romania's railroads maintained "a large installation of machines" located at the Communications Ministry. The railroad's Statistical Department alone utilized as many as 1.7 million cards annually, and its Traction Department 3.34 million more. Those cards were printed on IBM's Swift Press in its busy Bucharest facility, which was functioning at its absolute capacity of 20 million cards per year. Romania was liberated from fascist domination by Russian forces in late August 1944. On September 2, 1944, IBM Bucharest cabled a report to IBM Geneva: "Company in working order. Cable instructions for changed circumstances. Arrange urgently protection of property and personnel." IBM New York later sent a note: "Your telegram of the 12th October seems to indicate that your present situation is normal and that you are proceeding with your work as best you can." The company then asked for a comprehensive 11-point report on all financial statements, including profit or loss, and rental revenues by customer, for the years 1942, 1943 and 1944. In addition, the company also wanted an immediate estimate of future prospects in war-ravaged Romania, broken down by machines that could be immediately rented, personnel needed and spare parts required. New York also wanted to know if Romania had made its quota: asking for "points installed and uninstalled to date." This way, the Romanian subsidiary could take its rightful place in IBM's 100 Hundred Percent Club for outstanding performance. Romania was liable for war reparations, including $20 million to pay American claims, $50 million to Britain for its claims and approximately $300 million for Russian claims. By late July 1945, IBM had lodged its own compensation claims for war damage. The total of $151,383.73 included $37,946.41 for damaged Hollerith machines. It also called on State Department intermediaries to secure its bank accounts in Romania. Romania was not the only place IBM assisted in the identification and persecution of the Gypsies. For example, in Czechoslovakia, Gypsies constituted the second largest ethnic minority. Nazi raceologists and population statisticians were especially concerned about racial contamination from Czech gypsies. In November, 1936, Watson approved a card printing plant in a small town near Prague, where 16 presses and two cutting machines were installed. The next year, Georg Schneider was hired as an additional salesman for Prague. Within about a year, Schneider was transferred to Dehomag in Berlin "as a salesman and studying the German organization." He met Watson in Berlin, as well as the company's leading Swiss-based supervisors. By that time, Czechoslovakian State Railways was utilizing 52.2 million punch cards per year. In 1939, IBM Geneva and Dehomag agreed that Schneider should return to occupied Prague, where about 60 employees worked, as the new co-manager working with director Emil Kuzcek, where some 60 employees worked. At about that time, just after the invasion, the Third Reich opened the Statistical Office for the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, located in Prague. IBM did not list itself in Czech commercial registries as owning its own subsidiary. Instead, 102,000 of the subsidiary's 200,000 Kroner value was held by IBM's attorney in Prague, Stefan Schmid, and 98,000 by then-IBM European General Manager John Holt, both men acting as nominees for IBM New York. On July 4, 1945 — just weeks after the war ended — Schneider, the manager of IBM's Czech subsidiary, wrote a warm letter to Watson in New York, summarizing his loyal efforts on behalf of the New York office. "I beg to give you my report about the IBM office in Prague, Czechoslovakia... All the interests of the IBM were in good hands. The $-rentals were transferred to the account of IBM in Geneva, after begin [sic] of war with U.S. All $-rentals must be converted at the rate of exchange of K25.02 Crowns = $1 and stored on the blocked account of IBM in Prague." Schneider added that he met Watson's emissary Chauncey in Berlin, after the United States entered the war, to obtain IBM New York's permission to disguise German machines as Czech. "I made in 1942," Schneider reminded Watson, "with Mr. Chauncey, visiting Berlin, an agreement and so we were authorized to buy machines from the Dehomag and to sell or lend [lease] in our name. From each machine we had to pay a license-tax [royalty] to the IBM." In the concentration camps, IBM's code for Jews was 8. Its code for Gypsies was 12. General executions were coded as 4, death in the gas chambers as 6. Only Jews and Gypsies were systematically murdered in gas chambers. When Gypsies were allowed to work in camps, they received a prisoner number compatible with the IBM tracking systems maintained by the S.S. Economics Administration, which operated all camps. All Gypsy cards, once processed, were stamped with IBM's trademark name, Hollerith Erfasst — German for "registered by Hollerith." Gypsies worked in camps across the Third Reich, including Mauthausen, IBM coded 7; Buchenwald, IBM coded 2; and Auschwitz, IBM coded 1. Nearly every concentration camp maintained an IBM customer site called Hollerith Abteilung, or "Hollerith Department," some with machines, some just with card-sorting operations and some just with forms that prisoners prepped for Hollerith processing. IBM machines required on-site service, whether that was in the huge Hollerith Büro situated in the I.G. Farben factory complex — housed in Barracks 18 next to German Civil Worker Camp 7, about two kilometers from Auschwitz III, also known as Monowitz Concentration Camp — or in the Hollerith Service across from the parade plaza in Mauthausen, or in the bombproof Hollerith Bunker just outside the gate at Dachau. No machines were sold, only leased. They always remained IBM property. Although IBM Geneva left a massive paper trail, it has been hard to unravel and decipher it. Deals and denials characterized virtually the length and breadth of IBM's wartime presence in Geneva. Murky transactions were fundamentally untraceable since they could filter through a maze of banks or their branches, many of them newly created by Germany and scattered across occupied and neutral countries. New York branches of Swiss banks only complicated the trail, prompting Treasury officials in Washington to dispatch squads of investigators to Manhattan seeking evidence of trade with the enemy. During the war years, IBM's own internal reviews conceded that correspondence about its European business, primarily through its Geneva office, was often faked. Dates were falsified. Revised contract provisions were proffered to hide the true facts. Misleading logs and chronologies were kept. For instance, in late March 1942, Lier negotiated contracts with two blacklisted Swiss munitions companies. Yet on April 27, 1942, Lier sent a cable to IBM New York pretending that the two newly negotiated contracts had actually been signed before the war, and then openly asking New York to petition the U.S. government for a special exemption: "U.S. Commercial Attaché Bern requests we cancel contracts," cabled Lier. "Can you intervene to maintain installations on basis contracts signed before war." But IBM's own internal review later confirmed, "This is a definitely misleading statement because, apart from the two contracts here under consideration, three other contracts had been signed by the customer after the United States had entered into the war... the machines were supplied and billed by Geneva, and payment accepted. Mr. Lier made thereby a deliberately misleading statement... This deception is the more serious since none of the contracts signed before the war existed any longer." IBM also found a pattern of falsified dates. For instance, Lier sent IBM New York a cable July 21, 1942 asserting that a Type 954 Hollerith was installed at a blacklisted customer site in Switzerland on December 31, 1941, just before tough new trading with the enemy regulations went into effect. However, IBM's own fraud review, citing its Installation Report No. 22, proved the machine was actually installed on March 31, 1942 with rent beginning in April 1942. Foot-dragging, false logs and contrived chronologies were commonplace at IBM Geneva. For example, Lier had created an extensive log to demonstrate how he regularly complied with American consular officials in Bern who demanded IBM cease business with blacklisted companies. Eventually, IBM had to admit in a letter: "Thus it has taken Mr. Lier thirteen days to inform Mr. Herzog [an IBM sales manager] that two of his customers appeared on the 'Black List,' when he [Lier] could have informed Mr. Herzog by telephone on the day he was in possession of this information — namely on March 25 [1942]. In consequence," the company letter continued, "[American Commercial Attaché Daniel] Reagan had pierced the mystery surrounding this case and [refused]... to accept Mr. Lier's... chronological report, inasmuch as he accuses him of having had these contracts five days after he [Lier] knew that these customers were on the Black List." On occasion, even IBM New York could no longer unravel the ruses its key managers were weaving. IBM's own internal review of one case confessed that after June 1942, "we lose track of the case as the correspondence relating thereto was withdrawn from the files." Despite IBM's own internal reviews summarizing a pattern of improprieties, Watson allowed Lier to continue at his pivotal post. Just after the war, with the authorities trying to arrest him, Lier was smuggled back into the United States. IBM has consistently refused to allow access to its Swiss office files, its Polish files, its Romanian files or its Vichy files, which include spare-part shipments to the Third Reich. However, in 1999, History Associates, a Rockville, Md.-based corporate archival service, announced its newest project in a client newsletter: "IBM Corporation: processing 8,500 cubic feet of archival materials from the origins of the company up through the 1990s." The notation follows an article headlined: "American Corporations Research Ties With World War II-Era European Subsidiaries." Records measuring 8,500 cubic feet would fill a small warehouse twenty feet long, twenty feet wide and more than 21 feet tall with thousands of file boxes. But the 8,500 cubic feet reflect only the American holdings, and not the many thousands of boxes held overseas. IBM's explanation? "We're a technology company, not historians," spokesman Carol Malkovich told media outlets throughout 2002. When IBM's director of worldwide media relations, John Bukovinsky, was asked about the disclosures in 2001 and 2002 of the company's involvement in facilitating the extermination of millions of Jews, Gypsies and others, he replied, "That was six years ago [sic]." When a reporter pointed out that the Holocaust itself was some 60 years ago, Bukovinsky quipped, "So what. What is the point?" Edwin Black is the author of the award-winning "IBM and the Holocaust"(Crown Publishing, 2001) and the forthcoming "Banking on Baghdad," an investigation of 7,000 years of Iraq's history.

NYT 7 Aug 2004 Germany and Poland: A reason to celebrate Roger Cohen NYT Saturday, August 07, 2004 Globalist BERCHTESGADEN, Germany Relations between states are seldom as moving as those between people, governed in general by dry formulations rather than the unpredictable fluctuations of the heart. But there is something in the postwar reconciliation of Germany and Poland, the most improbable of diplomatic triumphs, that stirs the spirit as much as any human drama. If, after the Nazi transformation of Poland into the epicenter of its program for the annihilation of European Jewry, after Auschwitz and Majdanek, after the German slaughter of millions of Christian Poles and millions of Polish Jews, after the ghettos and the executions, after the crushing of the Warsaw Uprising and the street-by-street destruction of Warsaw - if, after all this and more, Germany and Poland have within three generations come to a point where civility governs their close relations, that is reason for celebration. But of course there are shadows. Not even Poland's entry this year into the European Union can entirely dispel the cloud of history. When Chancellor Gerhard Schröder traveled to the Polish capital this month for celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the first German leader invited to such a remembrance, he said, "We bow our heads in shame at the Nazi crimes." But the reception was mixed. Whistles rose from the crowd as Schröder was given the Medal of Honor of the Warsaw Uprising, an unlikely award, it must be said. Some Poles were disappointed, at least those who had hoped for a gesture as indelible as the genuflection of Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1970 at the memorial to the Warsaw ghetto. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, the Polish Foreign Minister, said Schröder's speech "lacked some meaningful gesture that would remain in memory." Still, the chancellor was there, his very presence testimony to the distance traveled by these former enemies. The uprising by the underground Home Army lasted 63 days and left close to 200,000 Poles dead, killed during the fighting or in Nazi reprisals afterward. In the acts themselves, and in the attitude of the great powers that watched and did nothing, there was cause enough for several lifetimes of that abundant commodity, Polish cynicism born of a cruel history. But Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a veteran of the fight, responded to Schröder's speech by saying: "We are satisfied. The demons of the past must not poison our relations." Satisfaction in Poland was particularly strong at the chancellor's forthright statement that Germany will not back a gathering tide of German property claims related to the last spasm of German-Polish violence: the expulsion at the end of the war of several million ethnic Germans as Poland's borders shifted westward, nudged that way by the not-so-gentle hand of Stalin. Schröder said Germany knew very well who started the war and who its first victims were. German property claims that distorted history were therefore unacceptable. "The German government," he said, "will oppose such claims and make that plain before any international court." For Poles alarmed by a new German assertiveness and ready, if provoked, to bill Germany $30 billion or more for the reconstruction of Warsaw, the chancellor's firm clarity was reassuring. But the claims reflect an important shift in Germany over the past decade and are likely to persist. German suffering, long taboo, no longer is. German pain, held behind pursed lips for a half-century because to speak of it after Hitler's mass murder was unseemly, now tends toward more open expression. So Erika Steinbach, the leader of the campaign for the building in Berlin of a center commemorating the expelled, and Rudi Pawelka, the chairman of the Prussian Claims Society, an association of deportees, will persist in their campaigns for restitution, compensation and recognition. Lawsuits seeking the return of property are likely to be filed in Polish and European courts this year. Attempts to establish some equivalency of victimhood will persist. This agitation comes in general from the margins rather than the mainstream of German society, just as the most vehement Polish reactions to it stem from the nationalist extremes. Their effect will be a measure of turbulence in the German-Polish relationship. But nobody expects some fundamental deviation from the path of intensified and improving ties. "For every step backward, there are two steps forward," said Bogdan Majewski, the Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman. "This is the realpolitik of two nations traumatized by history. There is still some way to go, but the younger generation will keep pushing forward and relations will be anchored by EU membership." Majewski said he, like many Poles, had been taken aback by withering German criticism of Poland for its support of the United States in Iraq. He had also been troubled by German blame of Poland for delays in an accord on a European Constitution. Both attitudes, he suggested, indicated a measure of German amnesia. Was it not obvious why Poland, after decades under Soviet subjugation, would feel a fierce attachment to an America seen as the agent of its liberation? Was it not natural that Poland hesitate over any surrender of sovereignty to the EU? Despite such questions, Majewski defined the relationship as one of "constant progress." A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said German ties with Poland were now special in the same way as those with France. "The burden of where we started from is enormous, but the relationship is good," she said. "And even if it can't be right for everybody, the chancellor's visit was a success." There are lessons here for implacable enemies. If Poles and Germans can reconcile, so, too, can the most bitter of foes, even Israelis and Palestinians. The method? Define your borders in the knowledge that they become less relevant as trade and people-to-people contacts expand. Create a regional political and economic framework that binds and is supportive. Set aside differences over property in the overriding interests of peace and let the courts decide individual claims. Above all, accept that agonizing history cannot be undone, but it can be overcome by looking, together, to the future.

www.dw-world.de/english/ 9 Aug 2004 Schily to Honor Italian Nazi Victims Schily will pay homage to the 560 people killed in the massacre Interior Minister Otto Schily will become the first member of a German government to attend a ceremony in honor of the victims of one of the worst Nazi massacres in Italy during World War II. Schily is expected to take part in a wreath laying ceremony at a monument to the 560 victims of one of the worst Nazi wartime atrocities in Italy, the Italian interior ministry said Monday. Schily will be accompanied by his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Pisanu when he visits the monument in the village of Sant' Anna di Stazzema in Italy's Tuscany region. The 560 civilians slaughtered in the Aug. 12, 1944 massacre in front of the local Catholic church included 120 children. The two ministers will also visit a local museum dedicated to the Italian resistance movement which fought the occupying Nazi force. Six surviving members of the SS division responsible for the massacre went on trial in absentia in the northwestern port city of La Spezia last month, charged with crimes against humanity. The former SS officers, all in the eighties, live in Germany and did not attend the military court. The case has been adjourned until October.

New Era (Windhoek) 18 Aug 2004 Gurirab Urges Acceptance of German Apology New Era (Windhoek) NEWS August 18, 2004 Posted to the web August 18, 2004 By Frederick Philander Windhoek "FINALLY, the smoke-screen of untold brutalities and suffering inflicted on the Namibian people is gone and the naked truth has been conceded to." With these words, Prime Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab yesterday addressed a completely silent National Assembly on the occasion of the resumption of the tenth session of the Third Parliament of Namibia. "It has taken a full century for the German authorities, but now finally we have heard the words that we had all along waited to hear, meaning so much to the recognition of human dignity and to the souls of our people," an obviously moved Gurirab said. "We Germans accept our historical and moral respon-sibility and guilt incurred by Germans at the time. And so, in the words of the Lord's Prayer that we share, I ask you to forgive us our tres-passes. Everything I said in my speech was an apology for crimes committed under the German colonial rule," Gurirab quoted the apology proffered over the weekend at Ohamakari on behalf of the German government and people by the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. "If the self-anointed Christian West had confront-ed the 1904-1908 German genocide in Namibia as a crime against humanity at that time, a firm precedent would have been set for the future. The holocaust against the Jews and other European communities during World War Two might have been prevented. Colonial Namibia's case would have taught the world a lesson by a negative example," the Prime Minister charged. "But this did not happen. Racist attitudes and pre-occupation with mineral rights blinded the greedy proponents of Western civilisation to the brutal atrocities that had been wrought upon defenceless Namibian men, women and children," he asserted. Gurirab further went on to say: "At long last, the German Minister's apology acknowledges both the guilt and indebtedness on the one hand and the affirmation of the fact that untold brutalities and suffering were imposed upon fellow human beings." In his opinion, the past weekend drew to a close one of the critical aspects of the longstanding agonies and painful memories of the German colonial legacy in Namibia's history and human relations. "In commemorating the 1904 genocide, committed by the colonial forces of imperial Germany against the people, Namibians from all regions in the country and in their thousands, demonstrated overwhelming unity and firm commitment towards a new beginning," the Prime Minister said. "In remembering that ugly and unforgettable past, the Namibian people showed the whole world on that emotionally charged occasion that political differences and personal preferences have their time and place. But that the national interest of the country and the collective security that all of our people occupy in our hearts and minds, has a special place of honour and reverence," Gurirab said. "I have always said over the years; to forgive is human, but to forget is out of the question. So today, we must accept the apology proffered by Mrs Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul on behalf of the German government and its people. Pledges are good, but verification of any com-mitment must be to ensure follow-up and implemen-tation," Gurirab cautioned the House. According to him, Nami-bians must keep all options open, but start a genuine pro-cess of dialogue, of healing and of sharing in constructive and practical ways. "Dialogue pre-supposes a give-and-take scenario. However, all options should be kept open until amicable solutions are found to out-standing issues and memo-rialized in a written bilateral agreement. The two sides would henceforth need to talk with each other and not pass each other," he warned. By doing this, we will add an essential and lasting in-gredient to the special rela-tionship that the Bundestag proclaimed in terms of Namibian-German official interactions. Memories are painful and haunting, but let's face it; we are not reinventing the wheel. There are near and present examples that can usefully serve Namibian-German purposes here as well, but the real dialogue must now commence in earnest," he said. He further warned that Namibians must reach consensus and speak with one voice. "We, who represent the victims must adopt a common position and speak with one voice, for the ball is now in our court and we must make the next move. Courage and perseverance do inevitably pay off and that was the epitome of the 1904 commemoration on August 14," he said.

New Era (Windhoek) 19 Aug 2004 German Opposition Slams Apology By Staff Reporter Windhoek GERMANY'S conservative parliamentary faction has slammed its government's apology for a colonial-era crackdown that killed an estimated 65 000 ethnic Ovaherero, saying it may hold the German taxpayers legally liable for billions of dollars. The Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) parliamentary faction has described Germany's development aid minister, Heidemarie Wiec-zorek-Zeul's apology as "an emotional outburst" which "may cost taxpayers billions" of Euros. The CDU/CSU faction leader Christian Ruck in a statement yesterday said Wieczorek-Zeul should have avoided the word "genocide" to describe the colonial-era crackdown that killed 65 000 Ovaherero because the term "genocide" was still a con-tested debate. Wieczorek-Zeul is the first top German official to attend a commemoration of the colonial war. "We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time," she said. "The atrocities committed at that time would have been termed genocide." While ruling out financial compensation for the victims' descendants, she promised continued economic assistance, particularly in land reform. "Everything I have said was an apology from the German government," Wieczorek-Zeul concluded, to the delight of the 1 000-strong crowd, who clapped, cheered and shouted: "Where is the money." Ruck claimed in a statement yesterday that the Ger-man government, in agreement with the Namibian Government, had avoided the word "genocide" which has been "historically and legally disputed". German General Lothar von Trotha, who was sent to what was then German South West Africa to put down the Ovaherero uprising in 1904, instructed his troops to wipe out the entire tribe, historians say. When the extermination order was lifted at the end of the year, prisoners were herded into camps and allocated as slave labour to German businesses, where many died of overwork and malnutrition. Some two-thirds of the tribe were wiped out. The slaughter is regarded here as the first genocide of modern times. But until Saturday, German officials had avoided the politically loaded term. The Ovaherero have for years sought reparations from Germany. In 2001, they filed a US$4 billion (Euro3.2 billion) lawsuit against the government and two German firms in a U.S. district court in Washington D.C. But German authorities, who have paid billions in reparations to victims of the Holocaust during World War II, have dismissed the Ovaherero claims, saying international rules on the protection of combatants and civilians were not in existence at the time of that conflict. The CDU/CSU faction said Wieczorek-Zeul's statement could risk the German government a lawsuit. "Now Wieczorek-Zeul's speech might be the crucial turn to the disadvantage of Germany. It heightens without any need the risk of a lawsuit and negatively affects the overall relations between Germany and Namibia," Ruck said. He maintained that German politics towards Namibia should be beneficial to the entire Namibian country and not exclusively favour one single ethnic group. The CDU/CSU however admitted that German bears "special" responsibility towards Namibia "without any question". The opposition faction claimed the development aid minister stopped short of outlining convincing plans to address a "future-oriented" land reform programme for Namibia. Namibia is now a leading recipient of German aid, getting about US$14 million a year.


Reuters 26 Jul 2004 11:54:13 GMT Wiesenthal says Hungary Nazi hunt not halted BUDAPEST, July 26 (Reuters) - The Simon Wiesenthal Center said on Monday it had not halted a hunt for Holocaust-era war criminals in Hungary, saying a statement put out by its local partner was incorrect. It said in a statement issued from Jerusalem that comments by its Hungarian partner Ivan Beer to Hungarian news agency MTI were incorrect and that Beer resigned on Monday morning as the organisation's representative in Hungary. "... The project continues albeit with a different local partner, who will be enlisted during the next few weeks," said the center's director Efraim Zuroff. Beer had told MTI that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had suspended its search in Hungary due to difficulties arising from local data protection laws after Hungarian data protection ombudsman Attila Peterfalvi had said passing on personal data to the center in Israel would breach local laws. Nazi troops occupied Hungary in March 1944 and within three months almost half a million Jews had been sent to concentration camps, with the collaboration of local authorities. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre launched its "Operation Last Chance" campaign in Hungary earlier this month, saying it was a last chance to find war criminals responsible for the Holocaust in Hungary. The campaign involved a telephone hotline and the offer of 10,000 euros ($12,160) for information leading to the capture of war criminals. But some local historians were doubtful any would be found in a country where almost 200 war criminals were executed and many more imprisoned after World War Two. Similar campaigns ran in the Baltic states, Poland, Austria, Croatia and Romania. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre said it also wanted to extend the programme to Argentina, Germany and Ukraine.

JPost.com 26 July 2004 Hungarian partner in Nazi hunt resigns By DALIA NAAMANI-GOLDMAN The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Hungarian partner in its new campaign to find more Nazi war criminals resigned from his post Monday for fear of legal liability, according to Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's office in Jerusalem. Ivan Beer, who served as the Hungarian campaign leader for "Operation Last Chance," was told by Hungarian Data Protection Ombudsman Attila Peterfalvi last week that it is illegal to send information about Hungarian citizens overseas. According to Zuroff, Beer felt much pressure to resign and was afraid he would be sued. Beer was not immediately available for comment. "I understand his anxiety in this regard," Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post. "That situation was untenable for him. I don't fault him." The new Wiesenthal Center campaign was launched July 18 and offers a $12,400 reward for information leading to the arrest of alleged Nazi war criminals. Hungary is the eighth country to participate, and according to Zuroff, there have not been similar problems in other countries. Zuroff attributed the setback to "people with something to hide," adding that he suspected Hungarian right-wingers were behind the criticism. "This is a fairly transparent and pathetic attempt to stop the hunt for Nazi war criminals," Zuroff said. Because no governmental official contacted the Wiesenthal Center to address issues of liability, Zuroff emphasized that the project will continue after a new coordinator is found. Peterfalvi was expected to issue an official opinion soon, though last week said Hungarian law prevents personal information from being passed on without permission from the person concerned. He also expressed concerns about the level of data protection in Israel. The parliament-appointed ombudsman's official opinions on data protection are legally binding. Peterfalvi began investigating the campaign last week. About 600,000 Jews from Hungarian territories were killed during World War II, many of whom were deported to Nazi death camps.

NPR.org 4 Aug 2004 Hungary Holocaust Criminal Program Under Attack Day to Day audio Aug. 4, 2004 NPR's Emily Harris reports that a new program designed to catch criminals involved in the Holocaust has come under serious attack by opponents in Hungary. .


Guardian UK 7 Aug 2004 Anti-Islamic books fuel racism fears 07 August 2004 08:50 Human rights groups warned yesterday that racism was becoming increasingly tolerated in Italy after the country's biggest-selling newspaper published a book by a veteran journalist which warns of an Arab invasion of Europe. The 126-page tract by Oriana Fallaci appeared on newsstands with the Corriere della Sera newspaper. In the book Fallaci makes sweeping criticisms of authorities for failing to stop Europe becoming "Eurabia" and "a colony of Islam", in a stealthy process she describes as the "burning of Troy". Oddly, Fallaci interviews herself in the book, the third volume the New York-based journalist has written against Islam since the September 11 attacks in New York. The first two have been bestsellers in Italy and elsewhere. "This kind of argument does a lot of damage," said Luciano Scagliotti, head of the Italian branch of the European Network Against Racism. "We are very worried. Fallaci and others like her are using their popularity to create hatred. She is effectively telling thousands of people they must chase the Arabs out of Europe. "It's a kind of racism that was unacceptable in Europe until a few years ago. Now, with this kind of publication, it is becoming acceptable. The more these books are published the more people even feel urged, encouraged and justified in wanting to chase the 'enemy' out of Europe. "It's exactly the same thing we saw in Italy when the laws were brought in against the Jews in 1938." Human rights groups and immigration experts have warned that Fallaci's message, along with the frequently xenophobic messages from the Northern League, a member of Silvio Berlusconi's government coalition, feeds on fear of foreigners in a country that has only experienced mass immigration in recent decades. The Muslim community, now the second largest religious group in Italy, is made up of more than 800 000 first or second generation immigrants. Yet they are not formally recognised as a religious group. The Italian government has signed accords with representatives of most other, much smaller religious groups, but Islam remains on the sidelines. The fragmented Italian Muslim community has failed to identify one official religious representative. Fallaci's first book written after September 11, The Rage and the Pride, was an international bestseller, selling more than a million copies in Italy alone. Her follow-up, The Force of Reason, published in April this year as a tribute "to the dead of Madrid", has already sold 800,000 copies in Italy. Her latest book attacks world leaders including George Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger. But most of her venom is saved for Islamist terrorists, anti-war protesters and anyone leftwing, accusing protesters of "intellectual terrorism" and being "brainwashing", "philo-Islamists" who would happily allow Osama bin Laden to live in Italy. The veteran war correspondent warns of inertia comparable to that of Europe in 1938 in the face of the Arab threat. The Corriere della Sera, which belongs to RCS media group, hails Fallaci as "a woman who has the courage to write the truth about others and herself."


ICG 3 Aug 2004 Macedonia: Make or Break Protests in Skopje against devolution proposals on 27 July attest to lingering tension in Macedonia, and despite many promising signs, the survival of the state is still not fully assured. The country's relative political calm in the face of potentially destabilising events earlier in the year -- the tragic death of the president and the explosion of violence in neighbouring Kosovo -- was a welcome sign. But perhaps the greatest challenge is now on the table: devolution of power to local government as set out in the 2001 Ohrid peace agreement. Significant challenges also remain on reforming the economy, stimulating employment and strengthening the rule of law. The lynchpin for progress in all these areas is the prospect of EU integration, which gives politicians their main motivation for pursuing reform policies and helps guarantee peaceful coexistence of the main ethnic groups. ICG reports and briefing papers are available on our website: www.icg.org

Netherlands see Bosnia

BBC 2 Aug 2004 Bosnian Croat general is released Blaskic had already served eight years in detention Former Bosnian Croat general Tihomir Blaskic, whose sentence for war crimes was cut from 45 years to nine last week, has been released from prison. Blaskic was originally convicted on several counts of ethnic cleansing, including the 1993 massacre of Bosnian Muslims in the village of Ahmici. His sentence was reduced after previously unreleased documents largely exonerated him. He was released on Monday as he had already served more than eight years. Blaskic, 43, flew to Croatia from Amsterdam with his wife Ratka and three children. His original sentence had been among the harshest handed down by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He had been the commander of the Croatian forces when Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims were fighting between 1993 and 1994. Archives At Ahmici, 100 Muslims were killed by Croat forces in 1993. Last week, Blaskic was cleared of all but three of the 19 counts against him, including convictions for ordering the attack on Ahmici and being responsible for troops that committed the atrocities. Tribunal judges upheld convictions for illegal detainment and inhumane treatment of prisoners. They said the appeal followed "an enormous amount of additional evidence" due to the lack of co-operation on the part of the Republic of Croatia before the death of former president Franjo Tudjman in December 1999. Archive material was only made available after Tudjman's death.


BBC 2 August, 2004 Roma mark Holocaust at Auschwitz Roma from across Europe came to the camp Hundreds of Roma have filed through the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to honour those massacred there 60 years ago by the Nazis. Roma, also known as Gypsies, came from across Europe for the ceremony in the former death camp in southern Poland, which has been preserved as a museum. It was the largest act of remembrance for the Holocaust's Roma victims. Some fear Roma losses are overshadowed in histories of the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were killed. At least 250,000 Roma are believed to have been killed, with 19,000 of the 23,000 sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau dying in a special section of the camp where Roma were held. Many succumbed to typhus and smallpox epidemics but 2 August is remembered as the day when German Nazi forces marched old Roma men, women and children into the gas chambers as Soviet forces closed in. Responsibility On Monday, beside the barbed wire fence in a corner of the 175-hectare field that housed the Birkenau death camp, both Roma and political leaders talked of the need not to forget the Holocaust, or "Pharrajimos", of their people. Auschwitz stands as the most notorious of the death camps "Auschwitz-Birkenau is a symbol of the genocide perpetrated on our people," Roman Kwiatkowski, chief Roma representative in Poland, said. A German envoy to the ceremony, Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, said his country fully acknowledged its guilt towards the Roma and the Sinti, a related people. "Like the Jews, the Sinti and Roma were brutally persecuted and systematically murdered with an inhuman determination," he said. "This genocide is part of our history. As Germans, we carry the historic and the political responsibility." Vigilance The Nazis considered the Roma racially inferior and "anti-social". Mr Kwiatkowski said his community feared the Roma deaths would be forgotten and he reminded listeners that present-day communities still faced discrimination. The Nazis' crimes were, he said, "a warning to present and future generations". Between six and eight million Roma now live in modern Europe, most of them in the east. Apart from the ceremonies at the death camp, Roma in Hungary were planning to hold a silent vigil to mark the anniversary.

Reuters 2 Aug 2004 Gypsies pay tribute to genocide victims BRZEZINKA, Poland (Reuters) - Karel Walter was 12 when Nazis killed the 52 Gypsy relatives imprisoned with him at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. On Monday he went to the camp site to keep the memory of the genocide alive. Walter was among hundreds of Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma, who gathered to mark the anniversary of the August 2, 1944 liquidation of Zigeunerlager, Gypsy Camp, when Nazis in a single night gassed 3,000 Roma prisoners. "I woke up in the night and saw heaps of bodies in the yard and prisoners rushed towards the gas chamber. I was the only one in the family who survived. ... and this memory still haunts me." he told Reuters. Walter, now a German citizen, has visited the site of the camp in what is present-day southern Poland several times with his children and grandchildren ..."to remember and ask: why us?" His said he survived because he was among a few hundred spared by the Nazis and sent to labour camps in Germany, where he was freed by the Americans. The Nazi regime targeted Europe's Roma -- just like Jews -- for systematic extermination, but because Roma communities were less organised and more dispersed their fate is less documented than the Holocaust. "It is very important that those who visit those sites get comprehensive information about thousands of murdered Roma. We regret that this is not always the case," said Roman Kwiatkowski, head of Poland's Roma association. Speaking at the low-key event attended by Polish deputy premier Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka and German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, he said some memorial sites in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic failed to pay full tribute to Roma victims. Estimates of the number of Roma victims of the genocide vary between 200,000 and 800,000 and in Birkenau alone some 20,000 Roma from 11 European countries died between early 1943 and August 1944. "This genocide is part of our history. As Germans we are historically and politically responsible for it, just like for the Holocaust," said Trittin. More than 1.1 million people were killed in the entire Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, mainly Jews, Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners.

RFE/RL Monday, 02 August 2004 Central Europe: Auschwitz Ceremony Marks 60th Anniversary Of Romany Holocaust By Jeffrey Donovan Roma from around Europe were expected to gather today at the site of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau to mark the 60th anniversary of what is often called the "hidden Holocaust." Prague, 2 August 2004 -- Porrajmos -- or "the Devouring" -- is the Roma word for holocaust. And no date invokes it more vividly than today. "On the night from the 2nd of August to the 3rd of August in 1944, in Auschwitz, the prisoners of the so-called 'Gypsy Camp' [were] taken to the gas chamber -- around 3,000 Roma prisoners," Roma historian Petr Lhotka told RFE/RL. "It was the [last] of the prisoners, because the other prisoners died before this date, or were deported to other concentration camps in Germany." Lhotka, of the Museum of Romany Culture in the Czech city of Brno, said that between 1939-1944, some 22,000 Roma -- mostly from Germany, Austria, and the Czech territories -- died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland.One historian said his own study of Nazi documents shows they specifically targeted assimilated Roma. It was the greatest concentration of Roma deaths during the Holocaust. But Lhotka said the vast majority of Roma were not deported to Nazi death camps. Rather, they were simply shot at the edge of villages in countries invaded by the Nazis, or dumped in mass graves -- often by local themselves. "Especially in the region of Russia. And some other Roma were the victims of states which cooperated with Nazi Germany. For example, in Croatia, practically all the Roma people who lived there were killed by the Ustashi regime there," Lhotka said. The total number of Roma who died in the Holocaust is unclear. Lhotka said Romany victims numbered close to 300,000, although some estimates go as high as 500,000. There has been some debate among scholars about whether the Roma were actually part of Hitler's Final Solution, the plan whose principle aim was to exterminate the Jews. Historian Guenther Lewy, the author of "The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies," has argued that genocide may not have been Hitler's final aim, as certain Roma classes were exempted, such as those married to Germans or integrated into society. But Lhotka said his own study of Nazi documents shows they actually targeted specifically those assimilated Roma, who were considered more dangerous because they could more easily "pollute" Aryan bloodlines. Regardless, the Roma Holocaust continues to win wider recognition in Europe. This comes after years of being largely ignored, and despite ongoing discrimination against Europe's 8.5 million Roma -- many of whom are now full European Union citizens following the bloc's recent enlargement. In May, then-German President Johannes Rau praised a group of 6,000 Romany prisoners at Auschwitz for staging a heroic, if unsuccessful, revolt after their captors sought to lead them to the gas chambers. Rau said at a ceremony in Berlin that the prisoners had stood up to barbarism during "Germany's darkest hour" and should be better remembered for their heroism. The organizer of today's ceremony at Auschwitz, Roman Kwiatkowski, said the event aims to shine a light on Roma history and issues. He said organizers were hoping an array of government officials and cultural luminaries would attend, including Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. "There will be scientists, artists, many professors, many Romany and non-Romany performers, there will be many presidents, governors, deputies, and senators," Kwiatkowski said. "There will be people from the universities and from many other places. It is very important that Jewish representatives will be there too. There will be rabbis -- the chief Polish rabbi will be present -- and other Jewish organizations from Poland and other countries will take part as well." But regardless of all the attention, historian Lhotka cautioned that anti-Roma attitudes will be hard to change in Europe. He takes an example from his own Czech Republic. Lhotka said a former concentration camp at the Bohemian town of Lety -- where several hundred Roma are believed to have perished at the hands of Czech, not German, guards -- continues to be used as a pig farm despite the pleas of Roma and other activists that it be turned into a permanent memorial. Lhotka said he understands the farm provides a few needed jobs, and that the Czech government apparently doesn't have the funds to buy it to serve as a memorial. But Lhotka said a better solution should still be found for what remains a disgrace. "There is still a pig farm and in the other place, which was the same [kind] of camp [as] Lety -- in Hodonin, in Moravia -- there is still some swimming pool and pub," Lhotka said. "I think it is a shame and it is impossible to have this farm there. But I don't see the solution for this situation."

Index on Censorship, UK 2 Aug 2004 www.indexonline.orgThe mass murder of the Roma The holocaust victims that history forgets Sixty years ago the Gypsy compound at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz was liquidated and its 2,897 Romany inmates gassed. Michael Shafir of the European Roma Information Office asks why the 'Porrajmos' - the Holocaust in the Romany language - remains an under-researched historical event. Sixty years ago, on the night of 2-3 August 1944, the "Gypsy camp" at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liquidated, after a last group of 2,897 Romany inmates were gassed there. The "Gypsy camp" had been established in February 1943 as a separate section of the death factory in which, according to latest available research figures, 1.1 million Jews perished. The "Gypsy camp" was originally intended to function as a "family camp" in which men, women and children were interned together. Out of the 23,000 Romany inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau, only 3,000 survived. Most of them died of hunger and disease, according to Franciszek Piper, a historian heading the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. After Jews and Poles (some 70,000-75,000 victims), the Roma were the third most numerous national group exterminated by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The "Porrajmos," or Holocaust in the Romany language, remains to this day under-researched. As in the case of the Jews, one is unlikely to be ever capable of producing an exact figure of those exterminated in the Porrajmos. But while estimates of Jewish victims vary between 5.1 and 6.2 million, those of Romany victims fluctuate at far larger discrepancies, from as "little" as 200,000 to as many as 1.5 million. As U.S.-based political scientist Zoltan Barany wrote in a book published in 2002, there are several reasons for these very large discrepancies. First, unlike in the Jewsih case, the Romany victims were in large parts illiterate or semi-illiterate and few among them could "bear witness" after the end of the ordeal. "Gypsy survivors," Barany writes,"did not leave behind diaries, did not write memoirs, and did not subsequently research into the subject." This combines with the fact that history has until recently been an alien concept in Romany culture. Second, reliable demographic data on the Roma and Sinti population of the pre-World War II period in Europe is hard to come by, the more so as many of them belonged to migrant populations. Futhermore, the "extermination of the Gypsies was far less meticolously documented by the Nazis and their collaborators than was the murder of the Jews." There is, however, a fourth reason for the lack of sufficient research into the Porrajmos, which Barany caustiously avoids mentioning. Some Jewish historians believe that the Nazis did not intend to exterminate the Romany population as a whole, and that herein lies sufficient justification for not regarding the Roma and Sinti population of Europe as part of the Nazi genocidal plan. However, while it is true that the Nazis "classified" the Roma into several categories, the classification was never really applied in actual practice. Many Sinti and Lalleri, who were supposed to be spared the fate of the rest being considered "Arian Gypsies" who had genetically not mixed up with the descendants of "European criminals" in the course of history, ended up by being forcefully sterilized and/or deported to the death camps, just as the other Roma did. As British historian John Grenville shows, SS-Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler, who devised the distinctions in a decree published in December 1942, was particulary eager to rid Germany of its Romany population and the distinctions "were arbitrary and by no means always observed; few Gypsies would be left in 1945; their mass murder, like that of the Jews, extended to all of Europe under German domination." According to Barany, there were "significant disparities" in the policies of the German-dominated satellites towards the Roma during the Second World War. The Croat Ustasha "were hardly more merciful in their treatment of the Roma than their German sponsors" and as many as 26,000 were killed or died in deportation in Croatia or Sardinia. In German occupied Serbia tens of thousands were sent to extermination cams and thousands died there. Hungary handled its Romany population much as it handled its Jews. Discriminatory legislaton was enacted against them in the early 1940s, but it was only after the German occupation of the country in March 1944 and he coming to power of the Ferenc Szalasi regime in October that year that Roma were deported to concentration camps, where sveral thousand died. In Poland, the occupant German authorities exterminated between 20,000-35,000 either by shooting or in concentration camps. As in their handling of the Jews, the Bulgarian authorities defended "home Gypsies" from deportation, but in Bulgaria-occupied Macedonia and Thrace, Roma were rounded up and sent to death. Radu Ioanid, of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), estimates the number of dead among the 25,000 deported to Transnistria by the Antonescu regime at 19,000, while according to historian Viorel Achim, about half of those deported returned to Romania. In the Slovak "Parish Republic" of Monsignor Josef Tiso there was plenty of discrimination, but no extermination policy against the Roma. Still, Roma were put in Slovakia into forced labor camps and, after the country's occupation by German forces in the wake of the 1944 Slovak National Uprising, some 1,000 Roma perished in pogroms and mass killings. In the Czech protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the authorities interned 1,300 Roma in the Lety camp, of whom 538 were dispatch to Auschwitz-Birkenau. A total of 326, including 241 children, died in Lety. Scandalously, today the place is a private pig-farm which the Czech authorities have been promising in vain to evacuate for several years. The Porrajmos has in the last years come more and more to the attention of historians, and the USHMM has been directing a lot of attention to this long-neglected chapter of the Holocaust. Whether this new focus would help eradicate the widespread anti-Roma prejudice from postcommunist East Central Europe remains to be seen. Michael Shafir writes for the European Roma Information Office (ERIO), a Brussels-based campaigners for the rights of the Roma.

AP 3 Aug 2004 Gypsies pay tribute to dead at Auschwitz By Tony Czuczka, Associated Press | August 3, 2004 OSWIECIM, Poland -- Gypsies from across Europe gathered at Auschwitz yesterday to remember hundreds of thousands of their murdered ancestors and to call for wider recognition of their suffering in the Nazi Holocaust. At the ceremony, exactly 60 years after the night the Nazis gassed the last 2,900 Gypsies in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, officials also warned that today's Gypsies still face discrimination, especially in Eastern Europe. Calling Auschwitz "a symbol of the genocide perpetrated on our people," Roman Kwiatkowski, the top Gypsy representative in Poland, said: "These crimes should be properly commemorated. We fear again that the Roma Holocaust will be forgotten." "Roma" and "Sinti" are names by which Gypsies in Europe are also known. Gypsy organizations put their total number at more than 7 million. Up to half a million European Gypsies are believed to have perished at the Nazis' hands during World War II along with 6 million Jews, though the exact number is not known. Others were sterilized or subjected to grisly pseudomedical experiments. The Nazis considered Gypsies racially inferior and "antisocial." Many were deported to a special section of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex in occupied Poland. The Nazis liquidated the Gypsy camp on Aug. 2, 1944, and gassed most of the remaining inmates. Others were sent to German factories as forced laborers. Several hundred mourners, including camp survivors and envoys of several European governments, walked yesterday from the barracks area to the ruins of a gas chamber and crematorium, where Gypsy representatives placed candles on the wall. SS soldiers blew up the gas chamber and crematorium in early 1945 when the Nazis abandoned the camp as the Soviet Army advanced. In May 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered. Hugo Hoellenreiner, a German Gypsy who survived the camp along with his parents, recalled the daily horror that included visits by camp doctor Josef Mengele, who used inmates for his so-called medical experiments. "Even today, I cannot understand why they did it to us," he said in a moving speech. "I can never forgive or forget what happened to us." Yesterday's anniversary was observed with speeches and mournful music amid the ruins of dozens of prison barracks on a vast grassy area, still ringed by concrete fence posts, watchtowers, and birch trees. Germany's envoy, Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, contended that Gypsies have struggled for wider awareness of their suffering under the Nazis. "Like the Jews, the Sinti and Roma were brutally persecuted and systematically murdered with an inhuman determination," he said. "This genocide is part of our history. As Germans, we carry the historic and the political responsibility." At a half-dozen ceremonies across Hungary yesterday, Gypsies gathered with candles, saying prayers for the tens of thousands of Gypsies from that country who were killed. Gypsy and civic leaders also called on Hungarians to help curb prejudice. "It is not enough to fight extremism with laws," said Jozsef Balogh, the mayor of Gyor, in western Hungary. "It must be condemned by the whole of society." Prejudice against Gypsies remains strong in Hungary, which has been under pressure in recent years from international organizations to do more to integrate them into society. Surveys suggest that Gypsies remain less educated, less healthy, and more likely to be poor and unemployed than the Hungarian average.

AP 27 July 2004 Europe's Gypsies stay put By ANDREA DUDIKOVA ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- It bordered on hysteria and smacked of xenophobia. Now it looks like pure paranoia. The European Union's historic enlargement into eastern Europe triggered fears in the West that Gypsies might leave their shabby homes in the East for jobs or government handouts in richer corners of the EU. "Grateful Gypsies set to flee their homes," one newspaper warned in Britain, where the prospect of an exodus was particularly worrisome. "Gypsies, you can't come," declared another. But nearly three months after the May 1 expansion, officials say few have left for wealthier western Europe. In fact, some say EU membership gives them a new incentive to stay put. Gypsies, also known as Roma, total 1 million in four of the EU's new member states - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - experts say. Although Poland, with 39 million people, is by far the largest newcomer nation, it has the smallest Gypsy community at about 35,000 people. Roman Kwiatkowski, who heads a national Roma association, said there are no signs that Gypsies have left since May 1. "Poland is a full EU member now, and that increased the attractiveness of the country," Kwiatkowski said. Even in Slovakia, where Roma make up about 8 percent of the country's 5.4 million people, experts say only a few hundred have left behind shabby, segregated settlements without running water or sewage systems. They include about 100 men who, according to the mayor of the eastern Slovakia village of Bystrany, left for seasonal work in England. A second group had planned to join them, but now appear to be balking at the high cost of living in Britain and the relatively small amounts of cash the first group managed to send home. "It's not all so rosy as they had thought," said the mayor, Radoslav Scuka. "They are happier than living just on social welfare, but they expected more." One explanation for the lack of an exodus is that only a few of the 15 pre-expansion EU countries have agreed to open their job markets to newcomer citizens. Only Sweden gives them unconditional access to jobs and welfare. Britain and Ireland have opened their labor markets but imposed restrictions on access to welfare benefits. Ivan Vesely, a Roma activist in the Czech Republic, estimated that no more than 100 Czech Gypsies have left to seek work in Britain since enlargement, and "most of them already returned home" without success. An inability to speak English is a hindrance, Vesely said. Slovak experts say others have difficulty scraping together enough cash to make the trip, or simply don't have the will to move elsewhere. Small groups in the Czech Republic have begun taking English courses with the goal of eventually getting jobs in Britain, he said, "But it takes time to learn a foreign language." Ludmila Sandorova, whose husband was among the Gypsies who left Slovakia's Bystrany for Britain, said he recently sent her 5,000 koruna ($155). "He called me saying he makes 150 pounds ($280) a week," Sandorova told the Sme newspaper. "He has to live on a hundred - the rest he puts away for us." "If I had known he'd make so little," she said, "I'd never have let him go to England." --- Associated Press reporters Karel Janicek in the Czech Republic and Monika Scislowska in Poland contributed to this story.

Poland - Katyn massacre

DPA 5 Aug 2004 Russia will not prosecute case of Katyn massacre 5 August 2004 WARSAW - Russian prosecutors will not press criminal charges in connection with the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia by the Soviet NKVD secret police in Russia's western Katyn forest, Polish PAP news agency reported Wednesday. After 64 years, Russian justice officials regard the statute of limitations on the crime as having expired. Polish authorities, however, see the massacre as a crime against humanity and therefore not subject to any limits. Russian authorities agree to release records of the investigation, Professor Leon Kieres, the head of Poland's Institute for National Remembrance War (IPN) crimes authority, told PAP. Kieres and the IPN's chief war crimes prosecutor Witold Kulesza were in Moscow Wednesday for consultations with Russian military prosecutors investigating the Second World War Katyn crime. Poland may begin its own criminal probe into Katyn after Russian prosecutors end theirs later this year, Kieres said. Russian investigators have failed to specify how many Katyn suspects are still alive, he noted. On Thursday the IPN officials are expected to meet with Russian presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky to discuss efforts to petition Ukraine for the release of records detailing 1939-40 NKVD killings of ethnic Poles in territories now belonging to Ukraine. On orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, NKVD agents shot dead 22,000 Polish prisoners of war including officers, doctors, professors and clergymen in Katyn, western Russian, and Charkov, northeastern Ukraine. Under communism, Moscow blamed the Katyn crime on Nazi Germany.

Russia to surrender massacre documents AFP Saturday, August 7, 2004 MOSCOW Russia has agreed to hand over to Poland copies of its archived documents on the massacre of Polish military officers during World War II at Katyn in Russia, a Polish official said Friday. Leon Kieres, the head of the Polish agency that examines Nazi and Stalinist crimes, told public radio after returning from talks in Moscow that 156 volumes of the files would be transferred to Poland.

VOA 6 July 2004 Poland Considers Investigating 1940 Soviet Killings of Polish Officers VOA News 06 Aug 2004, 18:29 UTC Polish prosecutors say they are considering opening an investigation into the 1940 killings of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet security police. The head of Poland's National Remembrance Institute, Leon Kieres, says Russia has agreed to give Poland access to documents on what came to be known as the Katyn Massacre. He spoke after returning from talks in Moscow. Soviet security killed about 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near the western Russian city of Smolensk and at several other places. The German army discovered the mass graves at Katyn in 1943, but it took Moscow until 1990 to take responsibility for the deaths. Russia rejects Poland's characterization of the killings as genocide and considers them murder. It has refused to press criminal charges against those responsible on grounds that the statute of limitations has expired. Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

independent.co.uk 7 Aug 2004 Polish fury as Russia refuses to charge Katyn massacre suspects By Andrew Osborn in Moscow 07 August 2004 More than 60 years after 22,000 unarmed Polish soldiers were murdered by the Soviet secret police in one of the Second World War's most infamous massacres, Russia has infuriated Poland by refusing to prosecute the surviving suspects. The so-called Katyn atrocities, which were personally ordered by Stalin in 1940, saw the NKVD (the forerunner of the KGB) kill 21,587 Polish Army reservists in cold blood on the spurious grounds that they were "hardened and uncompromising enemies of Soviet authority". The killings took place at three different locations but the massacre took its name from just one, the Katyn Forest near Smolensk in western Russia. The murders decimated Poland's intelligentsia; among the dead were officers, chaplains, writers, professors, journalists, engineers, lawyers, aristocrats and teachers. The event has soured Russo-Polish relations for the past six decades with Warsaw accusing Moscow of deceit, a lack of remorse and brutal indifference. It was only in 1989 that the then President Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that the killings had been perpetrated by Stalin's secret police. Before that the then USSR blamed the atrocities on the Nazis, even going to the trouble of reburying bodies and bulldozing evidence in an elaborate attempt to deflect the blame. Poland, which regards the killings as a crime against humanity, has long been pressing for a proper investigation and wants the surviving suspects prosecuted. Professor Leon Kieres, head of Poland's Institute for National Remembrance of the War, came to Moscow this week with Polish war crimes prosecutors. He was cruelly disappointed. Russian prosecutors told him that the crimes took place too long ago to be acted upon and refused to even divulge how many of the suspects were still alive. While promising to share some information with Warsaw, the Russians insisted that the crime could not be classified as genocide, a move that would allow prosecutions to go ahead. The Polish side was furious. "This was genocide, whether they want to call it that or not. That is the reality, the painful reality for us and for them," Anna Wolinska, who lost her father and uncle in the massacres, told TV Polonia. Professor Kieres said Poland may now begin its own inquiry. The incident is the second serious blow to Russo-Polish relations in as many weeks. On the recent 60th anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising in which 200,000 civilians and 10,000 soldiers were massacred by the Nazis, Poland's Foreign Minister demanded an apology from Russia. The Red Army, close to Warsaw, halted its advance and did not help the Poles. The Russian Foreign Ministry said, however, that there would be no apology. "We consider it inappropriate and blasphemous to the memory of the fallen to get into public polemics on this score," it said.

Poland - 60th Anniv.

www.dw-world.de 1 Aug 2004 Poland Commemorates 1944 Partisan Uprising Schröder paid tribute to Polish suffering under the Nazis On August 1, 1944, Polish partisans began a battle to retake Warsaw from its Nazi occupiers. Sixty years to the day, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder led a list of dignitaries commemorating the uprising. Three days of commemorations came to a climax on Sunday when veterans laid wreaths and sang patriotic songs as world leaders and survivors joined together in Warsaw to mark the 60th anniversary of the uprising by Polish partisans against Nazi occupiers towards the end of World War II. Among the dignitaries attending were Gerhard Schröder, the first German chancellor to take part in the annual ceremonies. "Today we bow in shame in the face of the Nazi troops' crimes," Schröder said at the ceremony Sunday. "At this place of Polish pride and German shame, we hope for reconciliation and peace." Schröder's words were followed by applause. Later he garnered even more of his hosts' approval by assuring that Germany would not support restitution claims to return ancestral property to Germans who fled or were expelled from eastern Europe after the Nazis' defeat. The issue has dogged Polish-German relations for years. Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said Schröder's speech had "great meaning for Poland." It was more than a political declaration, Cimoszewicz told Polish Broadcasting. Schröder's rejection of restitution claims could be "very important" to fend off claims to the European Court or the Human Rights Tribunal, he said. Although Schröder was warmly received throughout his visit to Poland, he did encounter sporadic jeers. At the Warsaw Uprising Cemetery, he was met with a sign that read: "Heil Schröder, don't come to the place where our countrymen are honoured who were murdered by your countrymen -- without compensation even today." U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott were also among those marking the anniversary with the laying of wreaths and a commemorative concert, as well as the opening of new, interactive museum about the uprising. Russia did not send a representative to the ceremonies. Rebellion was timed for maximum effect The partisan uprising broke out at 5 o'clock on August 1, 1944, following the broadcast of the code signal "tempest." The first the German army knew of the battle to liberate Warsaw -- the first European capital they had taken nearly five years before -- was a wave of explosions followed by rifle fire throughout the city. The timing of the uprising was chosen for maximum effect as the Germans appeared to be about to withdraw from Warsaw after being forced to retreat over the previous few months in the face of a sustained attack from the Red Army, which had forced the Wehrmacht out of the Baltic States, Belorussia and western Poland. An estimated 40,000 troops, including 4,000 women, made up the Polish Home Army, or Armia Krajowa, under the command of General Tadeusz 'Bor' Komorowski, who estimated they could hold out for about five days without help. In fact, the insurgents held out for much longer than that, battling the vastly superior German army for 63 days. Komorowski rallied his troops at the start of battle with a rousing call to arms: "Today I have issued the order you have been waiting for, the order to begin open battle against Poland's age-old enemy, the German invader." "After nearly five years of uninterrupted and heavy fighting underground, today you will carry your arms in the open in order to free your country again and to render exemplary punishment to the German criminals for the terror and crimes committed on Polish soil." Soviets, allies left Poles to their fate Although barely armed, the plan was to hold out for the rapidly advancing Soviet army, which had just reached the outskirts of Warsaw at the time of the uprising. There were also hopes that Britain and the United States, would come to their aid in time. In reality, little assistance was offered, and the Red Army halted its advance and observed the battle from the other side of Warsaw's Vistula River, watching as the SS commanders carried out Hitler's orders to level the city and kill or deport its inhabitants. More than 200,000 civilians were killed and Warsaw was left in ruins. Months later, the Soviet army took over a city of rubble and Stalin installed a puppet government which occupied Poland for more than four decades. DW staff (nda/ncy)

www.dw-world.de 2 Aug 2004 German Leader Rejects Restitution Claims Schröder wants to heal the scars of war in Poland Speaking at an event in Warsaw to commemorate the 1944 uprising against the Nazis, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made clear that his government did not endorse German claims for the return of ancestral property in Poland. It was the first time that a German chancellor had been invited to take part in commemorative festivities to mark the Warsaw uprising. Gerhard Schröder’s appearance, however, was overshadowed by renewed calls from Germans demanding the return of property which they were forced to leave behind in what is now Poland during the final stages of World War II. Polish leaders had expected the German chancellor to take a clear stance on such restitution claims, and amid the odd whistle and boo from the crowd he lived up to anticipations: "We Germans know full well who started the war and who were its first victims," Schröder said acknowledging the Nazi atrocities in Poland and added that because of German's blame there was no longer room left for discussing restitution claims which "turn history on its head." "Property issues related to World War II are no longer a subject of controversy between our two governments. Neither the German government nor any other serious political force supports any restitution claims still being voiced. This is our position, and we won’t hesitate to make this position clear before international courts, if need be," he stressed. Even with Schröder's assurances, Polish Foreign Minister Woldzimierz Cimoszewicz warned that the issue may not be closed. "One could imagine theoretically that German expellees file claims with European tribunals even if their cases are rejected by the Polish and German courts," he said. While praising Schröder for emphasizing the pride and patriotism of the Polish people, Erika Steinbach, president of the Federation of Expellees, blamed the chancellor for leaving expellees in legal limbo by not changing German legislation. Time to move on Jerzy Stabinsky, a Polish author who was in Warsaw during the 1944 uprising against the Nazi occupiers, said it’s high time the two nations left their war-related debates behind to look forward to a future as members of and partners in the European Union. "A lot of time has passed since the events in 1944," he said and stressed that it is time to move on. "The scars of war should have healed, and there are now more important tasks for our two nations to tackle jointly." Chancellor Schroeder said governments could only do so much to promote a better understanding between the two nations. He called on ordinary people to intensify their contacts and learn each other’s language: "We must not let up in our efforts to promote closer cultural ties between our societies," he said and pointed to exchange efforts between young Poles and Germans which will help shape the common future. "By doing so, we’ll act in the spirit of those who lost their lives in the Warsaw uprising," the chancellor vowed. Schröder also used the occasion to reject a private German group’s idea to build a memorial center in Berlin commemorating German expellees. He dismissed the plan as "unacceptable" because it would unilaterally spotlight German suffering and play down its origin in Nazi aggression. DW staff (hg) .

Russia see Poland

www.mosnews.com 27 July 2004 Synagogue Destroyed by Fire in Siberia A fire destroyed a two-story synagogue building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk early Tuesday morning, the Russian Information Agency Novosti reported. The blaze erupted in the early hours of Tuesday and continued until sunrise. Police are not ruling out arson. The fire broke out on the first floor of the building and spread quickly across the wooden floor, engulfing the entire building, Novosti reported. The part of the building occupied by the Jewish Cultural Center was also destroyed by fire. No one was hurt in the blaze. This is not the first time the synagogue, which was built in the 19th century with donations from the local Jewish community, has been hit by fire. Police are investigating the incident and do not rule out that the fire could have resulted from problems with the electric wiring, negligence, as well as premeditated arson.

washingtonpost.com Putin Feels Fallout Over Plan to Eliminate Soviet-Era Benefits Cash Would Replace Social Safety Net By Susan B. Glasser Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, August 3, 2004; Page A12 MOSCOW, Aug. 2 -- Russia is poised to dismantle the remnants of the Soviet-era social safety net for as many as 100 million of its poorest citizens, replacing many free services with cash payments in a controversial experiment that has sent President Vladimir Putin's approval rating down sharply. Putin's initiative targets such benefits as free public transportation, free medication and cut-rate vacations for retirees, war veterans and people in myriad other categories deemed "socially vulnerable" by the Soviet Union. Both supporters and opponents say the bill represents the most far-reaching attack on Soviet-style social entitlements since the fall of communism in 1991, and it is expected to win final approval this week in the lower house of parliament. But the proposal launched by Putin as the first major legislative initiative since his landslide reelection victory in March has generated unexpected controversy, even among the pro-Kremlin parliamentary majority and generally supportive governors. His support has fallen to less than 50 percent in one benchmark public opinion poll for the first time since he became president in 2000. "Putin is losing his rating, but he is intentionally sacrificing it," said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a political consultant for the president's party, United Russia. "He considers himself popular enough" to push through an unpopular reform. "Giving up the socialist, the communist economy is an important part of the agenda," he said. In recent weeks, thousands of protesters have gathered in Moscow to rally against the law that provides money in lieu of benefits, waving placards calling the measure, among other things, "social genocide." Opposition to the measure has united an unlikely political coalition of Communists, Western-oriented democrats, aging World War II veterans, victims of Stalinist repression and workers involved in the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster who were exposed to radiation. Ten regional governors, many of them supporters of United Russia, also protested in a joint letter to the Kremlin. Such protests have become increasingly rare as Putin has reconsolidated power during his presidency. The governors complained of the burden on the regions that the cash payments decreed by the Moscow authorities would impose. A recent survey by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center, a leading independent polling group here, found that 55 percent of Russians surveyed were against the measure, while 35 percent were in favor. "The public believes the state will deceive us, it's cheating, they are going to rob us again," said Igor Bunin, who heads the Center for Political Technologies, a Moscow research group. But he said the plunge in the president's ratings would not hinder Putin's ability to do as he likes after four years of working to eliminate meaningful political opposition. "This is all controlled by the Kremlin," Bunin said. "The government has political control over the entire system, no parties to oppose it, no real opposition in parliament." Nikonov said the consequences might be more serious than Putin and his advisers anticipate if Russia's notoriously inefficient bureaucracy has problems implementing the complicated changes. "It depends on whether the reform will work in the way described by the government and whether people will really get the money. If there is a real disappointment, then Putin is in very big trouble, and in my mind there is a real risk of that." Putin has said little about the controversy. In late June, he promised that the result of the reform would be to "improve the situation" of affected Russians and make the system "more socially fair." The measure was scheduled to go to the floor of parliament Tuesday for the crucial second reading. Politicians in the United Russia party that controls the chamber argue that they have made significant changes to the proposal, such as adding a one-year phase-in period, after considering thousands of proposed amendments. Some details in the 1,000-page bill won't be clear until final amendments are approved, but in outline, the plan still envisions replacing the eliminated benefits with cash payments ranging from 800 rubles ($27) to 3,500 rubles ($120) a month. Not even the government can say for sure how many Russians would be affected; the Health and Social Development Ministry has estimated that 107 million people are entitled to some benefits, but some individuals may be counted in multiple categories -- as war veterans and Heroes of the Soviet Union, for example. Supporters of the new law argue that the benefits are costly, inefficient relics of the Soviet state, often useless to many recipients, such as those in rural areas who are entitled to free public transportation and telephones but have access to neither. Critics, however, say the cash payments would be lower in value than the benefits and would be eaten up by inflation and higher prices. They also express doubt that regional governments would deliver the money in full and on time. Despite the public stir, many analysts said they expected an easy win for the measure in the legislature, where the Kremlin controls a two-thirds majority. Final approval of the bill in the lower house, the State Duma, could come by the end of the week. Then it heads to the upper chamber, the Federation Council, and to Putin for his signature. "It's objectively necessary in the country, and it will without a doubt improve life in the country," said Valentina Ivanova, a United Russia member of parliament and deputy chairwoman of one of the key committees shaping the bill. In an interview, Ivanova said the Duma's budget committee had considered close to 4,000 amendments to the measure over the past week and had approved about 35 percent to 40 percent of them. But she conceded that Putin and United Russia had yet to fully explain what the legislation does and why it is needed. Before it takes effect on Jan. 1, she said, pro-Putin politicians must prove that the law was significantly altered in the Duma to address the public's concerns. But the bill's opponents and many independent analysts argue that the massive number of amendments and changes made to the bill by United Russia amount to political posturing designed to present party members as moderates open to compromise. "United Russia is deceiving us all. They are the ones who submitted this, it was theirs and they approved it, and now they are talking about these improvements. If it's a good bill, then how can we talk about 3,000 amendments?" said Alevtina Aparina, a Communist member of parliament. "The bill was not ready, it was very poorly developed. But they decided to push it through anyway." Critics have pointed out that the measure targeting Russia's most vulnerable citizens comes at the same time another Putin-supported measure is moving through parliament. That bill would guarantee social benefits for several million employees in the massive federal bureaucracy, entitling them to the same free transportation, medical care and low-cost vacations now being withdrawn from war veterans and others. "The social safety net will exist securely exclusively for the corrupted bureaucracy," said Sergei Mitrokhin, a leader of the Western-oriented Yabloko party that also is opposing the bill. "The impression is that bureaucrats are a special caste securing socialism for themselves while all others will be brought to live under conditions of wild capitalism."

Serbia - Kosovo

UPI 7 Aug 2004 No cakewalk in today's Kosovo By Claude Salhani BREZOVICA, Serbia-Montenegro. — Iraq is not the only trouble spot where the West has tried to import democracy only to realize it's much more complex and painstaking than initially perceived. Nor is the United States alone in this venture. Western powers have been working five years, since June 1999, to democratize Kosovo, a disputed region in what remains of the former Yugoslavia, now comprised of only Serbia and Montenegro. The other republics of the former federation — Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia Herzegovina — have broken away, claiming their independence. The separation from Belgrade was often achieved violently. Kosovo is comprised largely of ethnic Albanians and a number of other minorities, of which Kosovar Serbs, the largest minority, make up about 7 percent of the population of 2 million. Serbs are Christian-Orthodox, while Albanians for the most part are Muslim. Kosovar Muslims, who are relaxed in their religion, say the conflict in Kosovo is not faith-based but ethnic. The tiny 3 percent Catholic Albanian population, for its part, feels fully integrated in the Albanian community and shares the Muslims' apprehension of Serbs. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find the "Islamic look" or a veiled woman in Kosovo. Initial efforts by Saudi Arabia to import its brand of conservative Islam to Kosovo failed utterly. Islamist groups who invested funds building mosques and schools have withdrawn, except for one involved in health care. The province, technically still part of Serbia and Montenegro, struggles to convince the world — and the Western governing powers that administer it — of its readiness for independence. The majority ethnic Albanians will have difficulty persuading Serbia and its President Boris Tadic to sever the umbilical cord attaching the province to Serbia. Many of Serbia's most treasured historic churches are in Kosovo, such as in Metohija. In an editorial published during his mid-July U.S. visit seeking reassurances from the United States, Mr. Tadic said Serbia is working for a lasting and just peace for "our southern province," meaning Kosovo. At issue, besides the old churches, are Kosovo's Serbs. They fear for themselves if Serbia withdraws from the province. The precariousness of Serbian-Albanian relations was demonstrated by what in Kosovo are called "the March incidents." What transpired between March 16-18 depends largely on whether you ask Serbs or Albanians. And the answer is still not clear. What is clear, however, is that trouble broke out after four Albanian boys were chased, some say by Serbs with a dog. The boys took fright, ran, fell in a swollen river and drowned. One survived to tell the story. It did not take long for the story to make the rounds of the Kosovar media, which fed the frenzy of the crowds, triggering a new round of violence. The result was 19 killed — 11 Albanians and eight Serbs — 600 injured, thousands evicted from their homes, hundreds of Serb houses destroyed and 35 Serb churches burned. In its haste, and probably to avoid further ethnic violence, UNMIK, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, quickly closed the case, claiming the dog could not be found. After the "incidents," the U.N.-appointed civilian media administrator blamed the local media for fanning the flames, pointing the finger at one particular local television channel. The media in turn blamed the international security forces KFOR, or Kosovo Force, for not being more prepared. KFOR is the postwar multinational security force created to provide security in Kosovo. It is comprised of NATO forces, of which the U.S. is a major contributor along with a number of Eastern European nations, such as Bulgaria and Ukraine. KFOR, the media say, was caught completely by surprise, lacking proper intelligence. KFOR did not anticipate the level of violence and had far too few troops deployed on the ground to handle the crisis. Does this sound familiar? The chasm between the two communities was distinctly apparent during a multi-ethnic symposium on the crisis role of the media. The meeting, arranged by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, heard Serb and Albanian journalists' conflicting reports of the March incidents. Each side accused the other of being unprofessional, of distorting the facts and of escalating the crisis. Kosovo, meanwhile, continues under UNMIK administration. Although Kosovo has a "president," an ethnic Albanian supported by a full Cabinet, UNMIK is the real power. It took the United States, with U.N. assistance, just a few weeks to put together Iraq's interim government. The slower-working United Nations and European Union have now been working for five years to democratize Kosovo. Many in Kosovo remain critical of UNMIK. They accuse it of being too slow in establishing the institutions needed to allow Kosovo's transition to democracy and possibly independence. Much as in Iraq, the concept of democracy has been largely absent. While Iraq was ruled by a dictator for the last 30 years, Kosovo was part of Josip Broz Tito's communist Yugoslavia; ethnic Albanians had little if any say running the province. The United States, an active member of the nation-building powers in Kosovo, should have drawn lessons from UNMIK's experience when it came to Iraq. Kosovo offers a prime example of ethnic divides and tensions, of a crisis that could erupt into a conflict at a moment's notice and of the difficulties of introducing coherent democracy in such an environment. Unlike Iraq, where the United States believed it could instill democracy almost by osmosis, UNMIK went about the task far more systematically — some would say bureaucratically, as is typical of the United Nations. It set about establishing four "pillars" of support: police and justice, civil administration, the OSCE — comprised of some 55 nations, including the European Union and the United States; and reconstruction, being paid for by the EU. Part of the OSCE's mission includes democratizing the province, establishing an independent media and providing parliamentary support and help in local elections. Kosovars, by the way, will go to the polls next October for the fourth time since arrival of the international community — this time to re-elect their parliament. Kosovar Albanians are convinced they will be granted independence, some believe by 2005. "We have no ties to Serbia," said Fatos Bytyci, an ethnic Albanian journalist. "There are borders with custom checks between Kosovo and Serbia. Kosovar Albanians have long stopped applying for Serbian passports, refusing to sign a waiver stating they are citizens of Serbia," he said. Instead, Kosovar Albanians are issued U.N. travel documents. And the province has opted to use the euro as its currency instead of Belgrade's dinar. In fact, the only remaining connection to Serbia, explains Mr. Bytyci, "is that international telephone calls into the province share the same country dialing code." Many feel the March incidents reversed the progress made in the last five years. "If they refuse to grant us independence, then war will break out again," warns Mr. Bytyci, who predicts ethnic Albanians will fight for separation from Serbia and self-governance. But the Serbs are also likely to fight to prevent such an outcome. Ironically, once independent, Kosovar Albanians hope for EU membership, which Serbia also wants eventually. But first, both sides must work out their differences. Claude Salhani is international editor for United Press

AFP 10 Aug 2004 New chief of UN Kosovo mission to start work next week PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro, Aug 10 (AFP) - The new chief of the United Nations mission in Kosovo, Danish diplomat Soren Jessen-Petersen, is to take over his post next week, a UN spokesman said Tuesday. Upon his arrival in Pristina next Monday, Petersen "will have his first meetings with all Kosovo leaders," spokesman Jeff Bieley told reporters. "He arrives fully prepared for his post as he knows the Balkans very well," Bieley added. Petersen is fifth international administrator of Kosovo since the United Nations installed its mission in the province in June 1999, following the end of war. He will replace former Finnish prime minister Harri Holkeri, who resigned in May for health reasons amid ethnic tensions in the province. At the time of his nomination for the post in mid-June, Petersen said he "will approach this challenge determined to move the agenda forward, in the interests of all communities in Kosovo and in the interest of peace and stability in the entire region." Among first tasks of new UNMIK chief will be to try to renew the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and to supervize the October 23 legislative elections, organized by local Kosovo's institutions for the first time since the end of the war. However, Petersen will also have to work on protection of minorities, particularly the Serb community. In March 19 people were killed and over 900 injured, including international police and NATO peacekeepers, when mobs of ethnic Albanians attacked minority enclaves inhabited by Serbs -- the worst outbreak of violence since the UN took over administering the province following the 1999 Kosovo war. Kosovo is officially part of Serbia, but its population is mainly ethnic Albanian. Until his appointment to the top post in Kosovo, Petersen was special representative of the European Union in Macedonia. International.

United Kingdom

Hull Daily Mail - Hull,England,UK 4 Aug 2004 www.thisishull.co.uk SURVIVOR TO TELL OF PAST HORROR More News | Back to home page 09:30 - 04 August 2004 A Jewish man who fled Nazi tyranny as a boy, just weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War, is to relate his story to today's children. Retired architect Bob Rosner was just eight when he fled mainland Europe in June 1939. Now he is to attend the UK Holocaust Centre, known as Beth Shalom or House of Peace, in Nottinghamshire this month to speak to children about the horrors perpetrated more than 60 years ago. Now 73, Mr Rosner will tell how he was forced to leave his parents in Vienna, Austria, and was fostered by Sir Leo Schultz, the long-serving council leader who helped to rebuild Hull after the war. Mr Rosner, who now lives in Hessle, said: "I am lucky to be here today because Hitler's Nazis intended to kill me by gassing and then burning me because I was born a Jew." He is one of nine survivors from around Britain who have been invited to Beth Shalom, Britain's first dedicated holocaust memorial and education centre. Mr Rosner will give his talk on Sunday, August 15, and will tell schoolchildren how his parents found him and his older sister Renate guardians in Hull just weeks before the war began. They were among the last few hundred children to escape on a programme known as "kindertransport" to rescue young people from the clutches of Hitler. Mr Rosner hopes that by talking he will educate youngsters about the holocaust, help to build tolerance of other cultures and also reinforce the message that genocide still takes place today. He said: "All they are doing is trying to educate the world that if we can't stop genocide happening, we can at least try to reduce its incidence." He is also worried by the growing unrest over the number of asylum seekers coming to Britain. "I was an asylum seeker who was given asylum or else I would have perished like most Jews," he said. "I have never defrauded anyone, there are no horns coming out of my head and I have always sought to contribute positively to this society which gifted me life. "Like most immigrants and asylum seekers, I have only wanted a job to do, a home to live in and recognition that I too am a human being." Marina Smith, chief executive and co-founder of the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, said survivors would be speaking to more than 500 school students each week. She said: "It is a contribution which, over a decade, has resulted in a generation knowing, touching, feeling closer to the holocaust than the two generations that went before."

http://www.aegistrust.org/ Darfur: it's time for justice An edited version of this article was published in The Times, 31 July It is time to get tough on the planners and organisers of the crime of the decade. One reason why the Government of Sudan believes it can get away with killing tens of thousands, displacing a million people to a wilderness, and burning their villages is because they have been getting away with genocidal behaviour for twenty years in other parts of Sudan. Now the treatment of black Muslims in Darfur is so clear-cut that it is time to draw a line. The UN resolution passed yesterday is a very important step in the right direction, but given the fact that it is so late, another 30 days’ grace for Khartoum is perhaps a little too generous. We also need to look beyond the symptoms of the current crisis to the root cause and deal with that. When Britain vacated Sudan in 1956, we left it in the hands of the Arabs. Three Arab tribes, representing five percent of the population, retain political dominance. Of eight hundred local government administrative posts in Sudan, only twelve were given to the blacks, who represent 52% of the population. The racism and inequality of power in Sudan almost parallels Apartheid South Africa. One main difference being that the Government of Sudan and the militias have killed more black people. This governing structure has to fundamentally change if there is to be a future for Western Sudan. But what change and how? First, power and wealth must be shared more equally in Western Sudan, as the Government in Khartoum has done with the South. It means that Arabs will have to compromise their elite position. They are fortunate that their enemies are happy to share with them. The blacks of Darfur want to remain Sudanese. They just do not like to be called ‘zurga’, meaning ‘nigger,’ or treated as ‘abid,’ meaning ‘slave’. Sudan, then, should become a federal state. The plan for this won’t go far without pressure, as the breakdown of the peace talks last week demonstrated. But it is possible, as the success of the southern peace talks have shown. Second, non-cooperation by the Sudanese Government should be punished with smart sanctions that do not hurt the poor. Travel bans and the freezing of assets of key perpetrators are a good start. Third, debt relief can be negotiated with Sudan, only after a political settlement is achieved for Darfur. US$24 billion dollars of international debt, despite their oil, provides quite an incentive. Fourth, and most importantly; justice must be pursued. Impunity in Africa encourages crimes against humanity and genocide. Evidence points to senior politicians in the Government of Sudan being responsible for the death and destruction in Darfur. I spoke last week to countless refugees from Sudan and tried to define the relationship between the Government of Sudan and the Arab ‘Janjaweed’ militia who are blamed for the atrocities. They all say, “There is no difference: the Janjaweed and the Government are the same.” So why do the UK, US and UN keep asking those same people to bring the perpetrators to account? Criminals don’t put themselves on trial. Someone else needs to do it. That is why the International Criminal Court was established, at great expense and effort. Investigations take time to prepare; in the meantime the suspects should be named and the crimes they are accused of detailed. For example, the first Vice President of Sudan, Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, whom the US and UN believe has orchestrated the atrocities in Darfur. Finally, Tony Blair is right to be cautious about sending British troops. He is equally right though, not to rule out military intervention. Resolve must be shown, or like any bully, Khartoum will mock half-hearted international efforts. The tiny African country of Rwanda, which lost a million people in 1994 due to lack of resolve from powerful nations of the world, has committed a company of Rwandan soldiers to Darfur. Recalling how his people were slaughtered in the presence of the UN, President Kagame said that whatever mandate he is given, his soldiers would not stand and observe people get killed. An African lead is welcome, and the AU has this week taken a much more robust stance on Darfur, but military interventions in Africa need support from developed nations. Failure to achieve justice and equality will have long term consequences. The vulnerable children in the refugee camps will soon look back across the border and remember their villages and the life they once had. Like many of us in such a situation, they may feel compelled to seek their own justice and destiny, perhaps with the rebel groups. We in the British public therefore should certainly give our generous support to the aid agencies who are keeping people from Darfur alive. At the same time, we must ask our own Government to pursue justice and a rapid political resolution, through their influence at the United Nations. We want to feed children who have a future of peace and opportunity, not orphans who will grow only to be killed trying to liberate their homeland. James M Smith The author is Director of the Aegis Trust

BBC 27 Aug 2004Military massacre remembered Wreaths were laid in memory of the dead soldiers The single largest loss of military lives in the Northern Ireland Troubles has been remembered in County Down. Eighteen soldiers and one civilian died when two IRA bombs exploded at Narrow water, near Warrenpoint, 25 years ago. Friday's service was organised by Newry and Mourne District Council who say a permanent memorial is on the agenda. Several dozen people attended the service where they laid wreaths and crosses for each of the victims. The Ministry of Defence said it was not an official event but said it holds an annual church service in memory of those who died. Friday's anniversary was, however, marked at the headquarters of the Parachute Regiment in Colchester, as 16 of the soldiers killed were from that regiment. Memorial garden The Warrenpoint massacre remains the single biggest loss of life by that regiment since World War 2. Meanwhile, south Armagh victims group FAIR has opened a new centre and memorial garden in Markethill. DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson was among those gathered at the opening of the Living Memorial Centre. Director of FAIR Willie Frazer said while the memorial was dedicated to members of the Ulster Defence Regiment and the PSNI, the centre would be for everyone. "It is for innocent victims, UDR men, policemen, soldiers families," he said. "We have Catholic families also in this organisation and this is for people who are not involved in terrorism."

BBC 29 Aug 2004 Massacre memorial vandalised Graffiti was daubed at the site of the memorial A memorial to victims of an IRA bomb attack in County Down has been vandalised, just two days after it was unveiled. Wreaths and crosses laid at Narrow Water, near Warrenpoint, were damaged in the early hours of Sunday. Graffiti was also daubed on items laid in the area. It comes after a commemoration was held on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the IRA attack which killed 18 soldiers and one civilian. UUP Assembly member Danny Kennedy said the attack was an insult. "This is just the latest attack on our community in recent days, and there is concern and anger among the unionist population," he said. Friday's service was organised by Newry and Mourne District Council, who said a permanent memorial was being considered. Crosses and wreaths were laid at the service for each of the victims. On Saturday, an Orange Hall was destroyed by fire in nearby Newry. Police were investigating whether arson was involved.


washingtonpost.com 27 Aug 2004 Skeletons in the Closet By Ken Wiwa, author of Tuesday, July 27, 2004; Page C04 BONE TO PICK Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge By Ellis Cose. Atria. 212 pp. $22 What should we do with the past: Go back and address yesterday's injustices, or just forget it and move on? The question contains a dilemma, because to dwell on the past means running the risk of never getting on, but to forget the past may be impossible: Ellis Cose quotes Czeslaw Milosz as saying, "It is possible that there is no other memory than the memory of wounds." This dilemma -- which lies at the heart of Cose's "Bone to Pick," a meditation on and investigation of the impulses that govern our engagement with the past -- is the one that truth commissions the world over have tried in varying ways to reconcile. And as noted by Cose, a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek, there have been at least 17 such commissions, which, in turn, have spawned an international industry in post-conflict resolution, a burgeoning bookshelf and a mountain of testimonies -- none of which yet has provided a universally accepted method of dealing with a contested history. The complex questions surrounding "forgiveness, reconciliation, reparation, and revenge" probably require a scholarship of jurisprudence, philosophy, psychology, history and literature. This is the kind of ambitious enterprise that the world's great religions deal with. But Cose meets the challenge, and "Bone to Pick" ranges over centuries of contested histories, across five continents, spinning individual tragedies in and out of collective traumas, seeking the nature of "forgiveness, albeit as a proxy for a larger set of values." The strongest material in "Bone to Pick" is Cose's reconsideration of the Greensboro, N.C., massacre in November 1979, when the local Ku Klux Klan opened fire on a multiracial group of protesters demonstrating against conditions in the textile mills (the alleged killers were tried but not convicted in state and federal courts). Cose lays out the causes and consequences of an incident that remains a festering sore, pointing out the hypocrisy of those who celebrate history yet insist that others must forget the past and move on: "The same son of the South who clings so tightly to his Confederate flag, who argues for its continued relevance, dismisses slavery as insignificant in terms of modern problems." Cose is best on American-centered issues such as the reparations debate, and his accounts of individuals on both sides of the death penalty issue provide a dramatic platform from which to view the impulse and consequences of the need for revenge. On the other hand, the lens with which he views foreign stories is not so focused -- readers without a good grasp of the history of truth commissions in Ghana, Peru and New Zealand might be left groping for more context. Cose is on sure ground, however, when assessing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in South Africa, even though he commits some errors -- Nkosinathi Biko is the son, not the brother, of Steve Biko, and the name of the infamous "Prime Evil" Col. Eugene de Kock, South Africa's "most notorious enforcer" of apartheid, is spelled two ways in one sentence. Nevertheless Cose captures the dilemmas that country faces in its attempt to come to terms with its tortured history, as when he quotes the deputy chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission: "The international community can marvel at [former] President Mandela's ability not to be bitter. But it's helped tremendously by the fact that he doesn't live in poverty; he doesn't live in a shack." The heart of that matter is: How do you restore the collective dignity of victims? How do you account for social injustice? Can the wrongs of history be redressed by financial compensation? These questions speak to the asymmetries of the economic and social order; they invoke philosophies of development, of affirmative action, of global social justice. While reparations and restitution are fired by a moral imperative, it is often politics that determines the will to action. Reflecting on negotiations stemming from confiscation of properties by the Nazis during the Holocaust, Stuart Eizenstat, who served as U.S. special envoy for property restitution, remarks that "the lawsuits were simply a vehicle for a titanic political struggle." And South Africa's justice minister underscores the point, arguing that apartheid victims suing foreign corporations "may have all sorts of legitimate reasons to run to an American court, but it may turn out not to be the best thing to do if it were to put our economy through serious turbulence." These are the hard truths about South Africa's TRC, the "much celebrated" commission that "inspired numerous others in places as disparate as Peru and East Timor." What Cose doesn't mention is that in the run-up to the first democratic elections, the leaders of the white-dominated security forces told Nelson Mandela they would not provide security for the elections unless he promised them an amnesty for their past actions. Even truth commissions, especially celebrated ones, are not above politics. The truth may be a prized (and politicized) commodity in the quest for social justice, but as Cose observes, quoting Czech novelist Milan Kundera, "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." "Bone to Pick" is a timely reminder of that axiom and a useful addition to the canon of that struggle.

ICC Newsletter (Hague) www.icc-cpi.int 6 Aug 2004 Newsletter As the ICC moves from the preparatory to the judicial phase and the workload steadily increases, it is crucial for the Court to keep the diplomatic corps, representatives of the international legal community, civil society and other interested parties informed of ongoing developments within the organisation. For this purpose, we have created the ICC Newsletter as our latest vehicle for keeping observers updated on the work of the Court and to promote the understanding of the Rome Statute. To be published in both English and French, the Newsletter will consist, mostly, of articles relating to ongoing activities within each organ of the Court. We would anticipate that this will include anything from the participation of staff members at seminars to the successful completion of key departmental goals. In addition, the Newsletter will contain a list of the latest ICC legal filings, ICC staffing figures, and any amendments made to the ICC basic documents. We are extremely pleased to provide this service, which we sincerely hope will be of benefit and interest to you, answering many of your frequently asked questions, and look forward to receiving your comments or suggestions regarding the first issue in due course. These should be addressed under the subject heading: ICC Newsletter to: pio@icc-cpi.int

http://www.utne.com/webwatch/2004_160/news/11318-1.html The Morality of Intervention The Iraq War blurred the line between humanitarian intervention and moral crusade —By Ian Williams, Alternet August 5, 2004 Issue A civil war between government troops and ethnic minority rebels rages in Darfur, Sudan, that has claimed 50,000 lives already and put millions of others at risk as they get caught in the cross-fire. But much-needed military and humanitarian intervention is unlikely to come anytime soon from the United States. Thanks to the debacle of Iraq, the distrust of the United States that the invasion has created, and the American people's increasing frustration and alienation from Bush's wartime policies, any action taken to prevent genocide would be a political foible of the worst kind. It seems the well of US compassion, if one could ever have called a mixture of paranoia, cowboy machismo, and tepid concern just that, has run dry. And with it any potential for intervention in the Sudanese crisis. How can two very different crises come to look the same? Iraq was a moral crusade pitched in a combined rhetoric of humanitarian intervention and self defense. The line between the two became blurred, became headed under the broad category of "Do the right thing." But now, what was never a simplistic question of "doing the right thing" to begin with, shows itself in all its complexity and the Bush White House cannot afford to take anymore leaps in the name of ethics. And the world is not prepared to take leaps for Bush. Deteriorating relations between the United States and many countries complicates the question of intervention and "just war." While Britain and Australia have both expressed readiness to commit troops to Sudan, it is almost impossible for Muslim nations in the Security Council such as Algeria and Pakistan to agree to U.S.-led action against an Arab League member like Sudan. The Arab world's tolerance for the atrocities committed by their rulers is indeed a cause for despair. But the occupation of Iraq, including the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the U.S.'s total support for Ariel Sharon, and the xenophobic anti-Muslim and anti-Arab outbursts in the United States, make that stone harder to cast. And even if they were to accept the need for intervention of some kind in Sudan, why would they entrust George Bush with such a task? -- Elizabeth Dwoskin

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) ( Aug 2004 Indigenous Peoples Day: Genocide It Is By Marty Logan Montreal When the Belgian Defence Ministry earlier this year blamed North America for the world's worst ever genocide over its killing of millions of indigenous peoples, outrage at the claim spotlighted a topic that rarely enters the public realm but has long been accepted by many native Americans and their supporters. The assertion was made as part of a display on Belgian peacekeeping worldwide, to mark the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda that killed at least 500,000 people. It claimed that 15 million native peoples have been murdered on this continent since Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, and suggested that the extermination continues today. Although the numbers cited in the display are questionable, there is evidence, however, of a deliberate attempt to obliterate the continent's native peoples This dispels established theories, such as: the death from disease of many, if not most, of those killed was an unfortunate by-product of "contact" between cultures; or that the boarding school system that literally beat the "Indianness" out of children was a misguided attempt at acculturation. "We're doing a lot of research for our cultural centre and it's becoming more and more apparent that it was all very calculated to get the resources on Haida Gwaii," says Andy Wilson, a member of the Haida Repatriation Committee on what most maps still label the Queen Charlotte Islands, 100 kilometers off Canada's Pacific Ocean coast. The archipelago, sometimes called "Canada's Galapagos," now counts about 4,000 residents, but at one time Haida Gwaii's population might have reached well over 10,000 before it plummeted to 588 in 1915, after European contact. Wilson's committee has spent the past eight years travelling to museums in Canada and the United States collecting the remains of 400 Haida ancestors taken from the islands after dying from smallpox and other European diseases, in what Wilson calls deliberate "germ warfare." "As we read into the archives in the museums about the captains and the (other) people that were on the boats, who wrote in their logs, they knew exactly what they were doing to gain access to Haida Gwaii," adds Wilson in an interview. Many other activists and scholars have repeated that claim in relation to other slaughters of native North Americans. Residential schools were another weapon against native peoples and their cultures, in Canada and its southern neighbour, the United States. "As early as November, 1907, the Canadian press was acknowledging that the death rate within Indian residential schools exceeded 50 percent," says the report 'Hidden From History: The Canadian Holocaust'. "And yet the reality of such a massacre has been wiped clean from public record and consciousness in Canada over the past decades. Small wonder; for that hidden history reveals a system whose aim was to destroy most native people by disease, relocation and outright murder, while 'assimilating' a minority of collaborators who were trained to serve the genocidal system," continues the report by a group called 'The Truth Commission Into Genocide in Canada'. In the past two decades, survivors of that system, which operated until the 1960s, have sued the Canadian government and the churches that operated the schools. In 1998, Ottawa apologised for the physical and sexual abuse and loss of culture suffered by native children in those schools. But as of Aug. 3, more than 12,400 of 90,000 survivors of the system had filed claims against the federal government, and settlements had been reached with more than 1,250 of them, at a cost of 71 million dollars, according to Ottawa's Indian Residential Schools Resolution department. In the United States, survivors of the boarding schools and their families are now drafting a resolution they aim to have introduced in Congress that would demand compensation for the roughly 100,000 native children taken from their homes in the 18th and 19th centuries with the goal of assimilating them into white society. Working within the Boarding Schools Healing Project, activists argue that Washington is liable under international law for any continuing effects of that system, including the loss of aboriginal languages and the widespread violence in many native communities. A proposed apology from the U.S. government to American Indians is now making its way through the U.S. Congress. It reads in part, "This nation should address the broken treaties and many of the more ill-conceived federal policies that followed, such as extermination, termination, forced removal and relocation, the outlawing of traditional religions and the destruction of sacred places." While the Belgian peacekeeping display rated North America as the worst example of genocide in history, it also pointed at other regions that targeted their indigenous peoples. South America, it said, is responsible for the deaths of 14 million native people to date. As early as 1992, indigenous peoples meeting at the Kari-oca Conference in Brazil wrote in the 'Indigenous Peoples Earth Charter' that changes should be made to the United Nations Convention Against Genocide, so it would recognise "many examples of genocide against indigenous peoples." In July, Juan Mendez, the new U.N. special rapporteur on the prevention of genocide, told IPS that the international definition of genocide "obviously covers indigenous peoples when they are subject to some kind of extermination by one way or the other." But, added Mendez, "there is no such thing recognised in international law as cultural genocide or economic genocide. That doesn't mean of course that I'm not going to be open to interpretations of the Genocide Convention that are a little innovative or outside the mainstream interpretations." Mendez should have no lack of opportunities, as claims of genocide against indigenous peoples worldwide are growing as the U.N. system opens its doors to them. For example, at a meeting of the body's human rights commission in Geneva on Apr. 8, a representative of native peoples living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh accused the central government of genocide against the Jumma people. From 1979 to 1983, the government moved half a million settlers into the region to overwhelm the Jumma, said Sanchay Charkma of the Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network. Authorities had also set the tribal people against one another and intensified the policy of Islamicisation, he told the commission. Article 7 of the Draft U.N. Declaration on Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples says they have the "collective and individual right not to be subject to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including the prevention of and redress for: a. Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or identities; b. Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; c. Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights; d. Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures." Although the declaration appears doomed to fail after 10 years of negotiations between indigenous peoples and governments, Wilson believes dominant cultures will soon admit how they treated aboriginal peoples. "I think it's the proverbial elephant in the living room that nobody's willing to talk about, pretending it's not there. It is there, and we're coming to that time where we have to talk about it," he says. "I work with the public every day and it does come up in conversations ... people always want to know what happened on Haida Gwaii; how the population went from over 10,000 down to 500 and how that all came about. They know that's something wrong there, that something happened (because) our people just disappeared like that."

The Reporter (Gaborone) BOOK REVIEW August 20, 2004 Over 250 Million Killed By Sheridan Griswold Antonio Monegal and Francesc Torres, editors (2004) "At War", Barcelona, Forum Barcelona and CCCBC, paperback, 380 pages, ISBN 84-95951-69-X. A book devoted to the world "At War" should be an unusual one because war has been the prevailing condition of mankind over the last century. The editors are interested in how artists have responded to this human weakness. The art of war is not limited to the shooting of photographers in war zones, with arresting images staying with us from Robert Capa's civil war shots in Spain (his 1937 war album is there) to those from Vietnam, South Africa, Haiti, El Salvador, Rwanda and now Iraq. Artists of all breeds have been called on to portray war, in sketches, paintings in a variety of media, in sculpture and in recreations from war scrap. There is even a form of "trench art", what soldiers created while confined to front-line ditches. Monegal and Torres widen their definition to include artefacts of war, an approach which allows them to include wooden spoons left by those cremated at Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, to Henry Rosen's violin, which was also rescued from the Nazis by Oskar Schindler. And a collection of war toys. The aftermath of war is here too, particularly children and adults maimed by landmines in different parts of the world. And the memorials people erect to the dead. Their point is that war results in an amazing variety of cultural products. These they have assembled from all over the world. Even items from Hitler's war room are included. There are over 250 black and white and colour plates in the book. Museums and private collections from all over the world contributed to the exhibit. The editors assume 250 million people died in the last century because of wars, but they have left out many wars: for example the one from 1980-1986 in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, which killed at least 40,000 people (and the world ignored); or the one a hundred years ago in South West Africa (now Namibia) when the Germans tried to exterminate the Herero people. Genocide ignored only leads to worse atrocities later. Tragically the numbers killed could be much higher. For example they estimate the recent civil wars in Angola and Mozambique resulted in the deaths of 500,000 and a million people respectively. These are actually conservative figures. The text is organised around at first the "culture of war". This is followed by what is required "before the conflict". The next section explores how people are socialised to accept violence. The editors have solicited contributions from 14 experts from around the world. Is a future without violence possible? War games begin within the family and are part of the games people play. This requires the creation of enemies. Nations are manipulated so that there is Us and Them (friend and foe - and it is easier if the enemy can be portrayed as less than human). But is the enemy found in the mirror? Reasons to kill are manufactured and then sold to the killers (soldiers who are either volunteer murderers or conscripted assassins). The experience of war creates a voluminous material culture of conflict. In the end there are no victors-we are all losers. Alfredo Jaar took 3,000 photos in Rwanda during the massacres in August 1994. He has chosen 60 photos that display different aspects of this genocide. But he has preferred not to display them. Instead he has constructed a "cemetery of images" where the photographs are "buried" in black boxes that are labelled. To him this forms an epitaph to those who have died. Thus he has refused to contribute to what he calls the "pornography of violence".

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)
FANA - Federation of Arab News Agencies

HRW - Human Rights Watch
ICG - International Crisis Group
ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
Interfax - Interfax News Agency, Russia
IPS - Inter Press Service (an int'l, nonprofit assoc. of prof. journalists since 1964)
IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Networks (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Africa and Central Asia)
IRNA -Islamic Republic News Agency
IWPR Institute for War & Peace Reporting (the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, with a special project on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal)

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

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